Frank Bruce Robinson Papers, 1929-1951

Overview of the Collection

Frank Bruce Robinson
Frank Bruce Robinson Papers
1929-1951 (inclusive)
8 linear feet
Collection Number
MG101 (collection)
Editions of the Psychiana lessons, typescripts of Robinson's books, journal articles, and correspondence from students.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Material concerning the early life of Dr. Frank Robinson is quite sketchy and necessarily biased as one must rely totally on Robinson's own accounts. He says he was born on July 5, 1886 in New York City; his brother Sydney and others say he was born in a small village in Buckinghamshire, England (Latah Journal (Deary, Idaho) August 12, 1937). Stratford-on-Avon and Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, are also mentioned as birthplaces in later articles on Robinson. His mother was Hannah Rosella Coope, his father the Reverend John Henry Robinson. In March 1888 his father became pastor of the Long Crendon Baptist Chapel after "a long visit in America. " Long Crendon is a small village with a population of less than 100, situated about 12 miles southwest of Aylesbury, at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, near the River Thames, in Buckinghamshire. When visiting Long Crendon in 1934 Frank was shown a book containing the history of the Long Crendon Baptist Chapel which included the reference to the American visit of his parents; however, Rev. Robinson stated he was never in America.

After a few years in Long Crendon the family moved to Halifax, a small town southwest of Leeds in southwest Yorkshire, known for its cloth trade. It was here in about 1894 that Hannah Robinson died--Frank said he was eight when his mother died. Soon Rev. Robinson moved his four boys a few miles to the southeast to the industrial town of Huddersfield, where he soon remarried. Frank claimed his step-mother, Ellen Haigh, was very cruel and often beat him and his brother Sydney. Upon returning to the house one day Frank caught her beating Arthur (aged 10) and became so angry he turned on her and beat her. As a result of this insolence his father forced him to join the British Navy (he was 13 or 14 at the time), but he didn't like the navy so schemed to get a medical discharge. He returned to the family home briefly, but was soon sent, with Sydney, to Canada. This was, according to Frank, in 1900 (the boys would have been 14 and 12); Sydney said it was 1902. After arriving in Montreal the two boys found their way to Ontario where both obtained farm work. At this point their paths seem to have separated. Sydney died in Montreal in 1944 or 45, the youngest brother, Leonard, was killed in World War I, and at the time of Frank Robinson's death in 1948 his brother Arthur was on the crew of an English freight boat (The Psychiana Bulletin, May 1952, p. 7).

Frank Robinson worked at various odd jobs, eventually obtaining employment at Robert Templeton's drug store in Belleville, Ontario in 1908. While there he was arrested for passing counterfeit money, but was acquitted of the charge. Nonetheless, it was not long before he was again on the move, this time settling in Toronto where he worked for Robert's nephew, J.G. Templeton. While there he was urged by Dr. Elmore Harris to enter the Bible Training College; Dr. Harris even offered to pay his expenses. He soon became disillusioned however, and left before the end of term. He joined the Royal Northwest Mounted Police (stating on the application that he was born in England) and was sent to Regina, Saskatchewan. After two months he was dismissed as a chronic alcoholic. He then worked as a druggist in various small towns, eventually arriving in Vancouver and Victoria.

In 1910 he entered the United States and worked as a pharmacist in Portland, Oregon before joining the Navy as a Hospital Apprentice First Class on the U.S.S. Philadelphia. Again his excessive drinking resulted in his discharge.

About 1915 or 16 Robinson made his way to Ellensburg, Washington, where he worked at the Ball Pharmacy. Here his drinking had unusual results. While drunk he found his way to Spokane where he enlisted in the U.S. Army under the name Earl Meyer, stating he was born in Ellensburg. He was sent to Manila where he was later court-martialed for disobedience--he says it was because he refused to have all his teeth pulled. After spending about six months in disciplinary barracks he was discharged from the army; he was also, at this time, cured of his drinking problems. He worked for a time in San Jose, California, moved to San Francisco in 1919, and then to Oregon where, on his application for a job in Klamath Falls he again claimed England as his birthplace.

On November 23, 1919 Robinson married Pearl Leavitt of Klamath Falls. They moved to Tucson, Arizona where their son, Alfred, was born on March 1, 1923. A series of moves followed Alfred's birth; first to Los Angeles, then Portland, Oregon, next to Yakima, Washington where they remained for two years. Finally, in April 1928 they moved to Moscow, Idaho where Robinson was employed by Charles E. Bolles at the Corner Drug Store. The Robinson's daughter, Florence, was born in Moscow in January 1931.

Robinson began the Psychiana organization shortly after arriving in Moscow, but continued his work at the drug store until his new religion was firmly established. In 1933 he bought William Marineau's printing operation in Elk River and had it moved to Moscow where, in addition to printing the Psychiana lessons, he established Moscow's second daily newspaper, the News Review, which later merged with its rival, the Star-Mirror, to form The Daily Idahonian. The year 1933 also saw the opening of the Psychiana Clinic under Dr. Charles F. Magee. The clinic, located in a former businessmen's club on the corner of First and Jackson Streets, could accommodate about 30 patients. (A picture of the clinic can be found in the Psychiana Quarterly, June 1933, p. 16) The Professional Building on Third and Jackson Streets was built by Robinson in 1936. It housed most of the doctors and lawyers in Moscow, as well as the Exclusive Prescription Pharmacy, one of three pharmacies owned by Robinson, the others being the Moscow Pharmacy and the University Pharmacy.

In 1936 Dr. Robinson purchased 160 acres of land and deeded it to the public of Latah County for a park, called, appropriately, Robinson Lake Park. The Soil Conservation Service built a dam, which in turn made a lake of about twenty acres. Robinson started a youth center for Moscow in 1945, but it does not appear to have been in operation long.

When Dr. Robinson applied for his passport for his 1934 trip to Europe he stated on the application that he was born in New York City. During a subsequent postal investigation of Psychiana, a religion which relied exclusively on the mails, the postal inspectors came across this passport, and in 1936 Robinson found himself involved in legal proceedings. A Federal Grand Jury indictment was returned against Robinson in Boise on February 11, 1936; on May 20, after a four day trial, he was acquitted of the charge of having knowingly lied about his birthplace on his passport application. In August of 1936 he was involved in a deportation hearing and ordered to leave the United States. Senator William Borah, a good friend of the Robinson family, intervened, and it was agreed that Robinson could re-enter the United States, having first secured the proper immigration documents. He left for Cuba in August of 1937 and re-entered through Florida. In 1942 he became a naturalized citizen.

Robinson never mentions where he received the D.D. and Ph.D. degrees he used after his name, but Rev. Clifford M. Drury, in his article "Psychiana-The New Religion" in the August 3, 1933 issue of The Presbyterian Banner, says Robinson received them from the College of Divine Metaphysics in Indianapolis. This institution operated a correspondence school and apparently Robinson studied with them from 1915-1918. The 1948 information bulletin issued by Psychiana stated the Ph.D. was an honorary degree from Reed College in San Francisco. In 1945 Bishop Aneed of the Byzantine American Catholic Church raised Robinson to the episcopate of that church, hence the title "Archbishop of Psychiana" [Arthur Carl Piepkorn. Profiles in Belief: The Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada, (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) I, 92].

In 1940 Dr. Robinson suffered a serious heart attack, but recovered and continued his work with Psychiana. He suffered with coronary thrombosis for several years, and shortly after noon on October 19, 1948 he succumbed to a lung hemorrhage. On Friday the 22nd Marcus Bach arrived in Moscow to deliver the funeral eulogy. Following the funeral Dr. Robinson's body was taken to Spokane for cremation.

His wife Pearl, son Alfred and daughter Florence were still living when the four sealed boxes of his personal papers were opened January 15, 1980. Pearl Robinson died November 27, 1982.


While living in Portland, Oregon in the mid 1920's, Frank Robinson had a "vision of the future" seeing himself at the head of a new religion, one based on I Corinthians 3:16: "Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of God--and that the Spirit of God liveth in you?" Following this experience Robinson moved to Yakima, Washington where he worked at the Pioneer Drug Store for about two years, but found the late hours left him little time for the development of his teaching. Seeking a location where drug stores closed at 6 p.m., he and his family moved to Moscow, Idaho, in April 1928. It was not long before he began giving evening lectures in the dining room of the Moscow Hotel on the power of the spirit of God; about sixty people attended his first lecture.

While working at the Corner Drug Store he continually jotted notes to himself, and on a Saturday night he locked his door, sat at his typewriter, and in the next thirty-six hours typed the first set of ten lessons for his unnamed religion. Borrowing about $2500 from several towns people, Robinson had the lessons printed and commenced advertising. According to the Psychiana Bulletin for April 1950, "Psychiana was chartered in the late fall of 1929 and the first Psychiana advertisement was placed shortly after the turn of the year." Before long the advertisements for this new religion appeared in 700 newspapers, 86 magazines, and over 18 radio stations. Anyone answering one of these advertisements received approximately 67 pieces of literature over a 22 week span.

In his Strange Autobiography, p. 207, Dr. Robinson relates how he arrived at a name for his teaching. In a dream he entered "a room about twelve feet square painted black and in the middle of it was a Helen Gould canvas army cot. On the cot was a male corpse with hands folded across his breasts. Standing over the head of the corpse and making downward motions with his hands was a man I had never seen before." After watching this procedure for a time Dr. Robinson asked the man what he was doing and received the reply: "You ought to know. This is Psychiana, the Power which will bring new life to a spiritually dead world." Several months after this dream, as Dr. Robinson was passing a clerk's desk, he happened to notice a photograph of a student on the desk--a photograph of the same man he had seen in the dream. He learned this man was Geoffrey Peel Birley, of Alexandria, Egypt, and immediately wrote him asking for $40,000, a sum which Mr. Birley sent within three weeks. Robinson visited Birley in 1934 and in November 1936 Geoffrey Birley spent several days in Moscow visiting the Robinsons [News-Review (Moscow, Idaho) November 2, 1936].

Early in the development of Psychiana Frank and Pearl Robinson would spend evenings attending to the assembling and mailing of lessons, but as the enrollment increased--within a year the teachings were being sent to 600,000 students in 67 countries--Robinson had to quit his job at the drugstore and hire an office staff to deal with the volume of mail. The operations began in a single room of the Urquhart Building, next to the Corner Drug Store, then expanded to three additional rooms in the same building. Soon a five year lease was signed for offices in the Bratton Building on East Third Street, but in six months this too was inadequate, and in 1932 Robinson bought a quarter block on Third and Jackson Streets which was originally occupied by Short's undertaking parlor. This building was occupied for two years and was later torn down to make room for the Robinson Professional Building. It was not long before it became necessary to split the Psychiana operations, the printing and bookkeeping division occupied a building on First and Main (now Dahmen Insurance parking lot) and the mailing operation, or International Headquarters, was housed near the new Professional Building (now the parking lot for Idaho First National Bank). At its peak Psychiana was reported to be the seventh largest religious organization; it employed nearly one hundred people, mostly women, and handled up to 50,000 pieces of mail per day. In 1950 a large multi-story building was being planned, but it was never built.

Most of Robinson's early printing had been done by George Lamphere, owner of Moscow's newspaper, the Star-Mirror. In 1933 Robinson discovered he was being greatly over-charged, purchased the Elk River paper owned by William Marineau, moved the printing plant and Mr. Marineau to Moscow, began doing his own printing and started a second paper, the News-Review, which eventually merged with the Star-Mirror to form the Daily Idahonian.

In addition to the lessons, Dr. Robinson also developed a series of radio programs which were broadcast nationwide in the mid 1930's. He attracted large crowds whenever he lectured and was also invited to speak to classes in religion at several college campuses, most notably to Dr. Marcus Bach's classes at the University of Iowa.

By 1936 Robinson was no longer able to handle all the correspondence and give lectures so he hired Charles Wesley Tenney, a retired Methodist minister associated with the Idaho Institute of Religious Studies on the University of Idaho Campus. Tenney answered almost all of the student mail until he was forced by the Methodist church to sever his relations with Psychiana. He went to Portland where he worked as a hospital orderly. His place as Robinson's assistant was taken by William Walter DeBolt, who, soon after his work with Psychiana began, was expelled by the Church of God. He left Psychiana after several years to become pastor of the Methodist church in Lind, Oregon.

When Frank Robinson died on October 19, 1948, his son, Alfred, who had assisted his father since 1947, attempted to continue operations, but after several years he was forced to close, the rapid rise in postal rates being given as the main reason. The last mailings were sent out in 1952, and in January 1953 all operations ceased. The sorting of the remaining lessons and other material took several years. By 1955 the University of Idaho Library was fortunate enough to have obtained copies of the lessons and books authored by Dr. Robinson. In August 1955 Robinson's widow and son delivered four sealed boxes to the Library. After a period of twenty-five years these boxes were opened; the contents are described in the following inventory.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

In August 1955 Alfred Robinson and Pearl Robinson gave the University of Idaho Library many Psychiana related items including four large boxes which were to remain sealed for 25 years. These boxes were opened in January 1980 and the contents sorted; the material is now contained in seven file boxes. Included in the three boxes of correspondence are letters between Psychiana headquarters and students in eighteen countries. Carbon copies of Psychiana's replies are attached to most of the original letters from students. The letters from students which Robinson used in his publications are marked with quotation marks; occasionally words were changed or sentences rearranged. The remaining boxes contain copies of all the Psychiana lessons, copies of Psychiana Weekly and other similar publications, typescripts of speeches and articles by Frank Robinson, broadsides used in advertising, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, a scrapbook of clippings kept by Robinson, and photographs.

This is a very important collection not only for those researching Dr. Frank B. Robinson and the impact of Psychiana, but also for those interested in non-orthodox religion. Anyone interested in effective advertising methods would also find this collection useful.

The contents of each section of this collection are described in the following Description of Series.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The correspondence between Psychiana and its students is separated by year and arranged alphabetically within the year. In cases where two years are involved, i.e., the student wrote in December and the answer was written in January, the year of the student's letter determines placement. Multiple letters from a single student within the same year are in chronological order.

The lessons are in numerical order within each series, i.e., Basic Series, Advanced Teaching, etc., then placed in chronological order by copyright date. The newspaper clippings and typescripts of speeches are also in chronological order.

The typescripts of articles are in alphabetical order by title; where more than one version of a work exists the various versions are numbered. The photographs have been separated into several categories according to subject. Many of them are also available in the Special Collections Library photograph collection, and are completely cataloged therein.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Correspondence , 1935-1941; 1947-1949Return to Top

With the exception of the last three folders in Box 3, all the correspondence is between Psychiana and its many students. Robinson admits in several of his books that, due to lack of space, many thousands of letters were destroyed, which accounts for the fact that the correspondence in this collection does not begin until 1935. There is only one letter in 1935, one folder for letters dated 1936, two folders for 1937, one for 1938, one for 1939, two for 1940, and one for 1941. Then there is a gap before the letters are resumed in 1947 for which there are nine folders. These years are contained in the first file box. The majority of letters are dated 1948, and these occupy one and one half file boxes. The letters for 1949 and the folders of miscellaneous correspondence complete the third box.

The replies to the earlier letters are signed by Frank Robinson and C.W. Tenney, with Robinson's letters being the more personal; Tenney seems to have used a form letter. In 1940 and 1941 W.W. DeBolt was also signing letters, and from 1947 to 1949 Alfred Robinson answered most of the student's letters.

It was claimed that in its first year the Psychiana teaching was sent to 600,000 people in 67 countries, and that it eventually was sent into 74 countries. Included in this sampling of correspondence are letters from all the 48 states, the territories of Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal Zone, and the Canadian provinces, of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. More distant letters came from Australia, Barbados, British Guyana, Ceylon, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, Germany, Holland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the Gold Coast in West Africa--a total of 18 countries. The students came from all economic levels, from the poor and unemployed to laborers, those owning small business such as grocery stores, those employed in management positions in large corporations, doctors, lawyers and even some ministers subscribed to the lessons. Students ranged in age from a young man who began studying Psychiana at the age of 16 to Alex Anderson, who said in his 1948 letter that he was 102 years old. Many wrote year after year giving progress reports and requesting more lessons or books.

Most of the incoming letters tell of benefits received through the study of Psychiana, improved health, better jobs, more harmonious family life, etc. A few letters inquire about missing lessons or letters received from the accounting department, some correct Robinson's Biblical references. In 1937 there are many letters relating to the postal investigation of Psychiana; Dr. Robinson asked his students to send him copies of the letters they sent to the postal inspector in Seattle, and these letters are included in the collection.

Students often sent Robinson newspaper clippings or articles they felt he might be interested in, including one of Herbert W. Armstrong's "World Tomorrow" radio broadcasts, and the pamphlet "The Cult Called Psychiana Exposed by the Sunday School Times" (1939) [Box 1, folder 1940 A-J]. They also included original art work, poems, articles, and music. Many students sent their photographs and photographs of their families.

Among the more interesting letters is one in 1940 in which the writer claims to have had a foreknowledge of Dr. Robinson and Psychiana as early as 1916. There is also, in 1937, a letter from a women in Tacoma mentioning the recovery of her son after a telegram was sent to Robinson for help. From her letter and Robinson's reply it is evident that this is the telegram he mentions in several of his books as the one he read to the audience in Portland's Shrine Auditorium. (see Strange Autobiography, p. 268; also Lecture I, National Convention, 1937 in Box 5) In another 1937 letter a student mentioned to Dr. Robinson that he was copying his lessons to share with others. Robinson immediately replied telling him to stop copying the lessons or he, Robinson, would sue the student for violation of copyright. In 1948 a student sent short book reviews of Robinson's books, the most common criticism being the lack of proof-reading. Another student, a vegetarian, sent her interpretation of the Biblical story of the fall of man saying man's sin was eating meat. In 1949 Alfred received a letter which concluded "You have certain natural endowments, in other words, native ability, you have passed through experiences which brought acquired ability, and these are your personal capital stock, and if you develop this capital stock along the original lines which you surely must be able to do, you will make a good landing, but if you try do what somebody else has done in the same manner, form and spirit, you will end like Bert Hubbard [i.e., you will fail.]" There is one unintentional touch of humor on the part of the Post Office; an envelope addressed "The Archbishop of Psychiana, Moscow, Idaho" was stamped "Missent to Priest River."

The final three folders in this series contain miscellaneous items of correspondence. In the first folder is a twenty-two page carbon typescript dated November 27, 1951, entitled "Psychiana Form Letters." Each paragraph has a title, and all Alfred Robinson had to do was to jot the appropriate title on the top of a student's letter and a secretary could type a suitable reply.

The second folder contains miscellaneous correspondence involving Frank Robinson. A chronological list of the letters is as follows:

1. A printed copy of a letter signed Geoffrey Birley, dated 24th October. This letter was used in follow-up material.

2. A carbon copy of a letter from the acting Third Assistant Postmaster General to the Postmaster, Moscow, Idaho, dated May 14, 1931, explaining why Psychiana Monthly was denied admission as second class mail material.

3. An undated memorandum from Frank Robinson headed "Instructions for Elmer and Jennie after I'm gone East."

4. A typed letter to Frank Robinson from his brother Arthur, dated Liverpool, August 11, 1934, in which Arthur says he is sorry he did not see Frank when he was in Europe.

5. A typed letter to Frank Robinson from Arthur Robinson dated December 15, 1935 on the subject of their father. This letter also includes a page from a handwritten letter which Arthur received from his wife.

6. A letter dated March 15, 1938 from A.C. Plagge, the Psychiana representative in Holland, dealing with legal matters.

7. A typed letter from Senator Henry C. Dworshak dated September 20, 1939.

8. A postcard from Alfred Robinson postmarked Oberlin, Ohio, April 7, 1941.

9. An undated copy of a telegram from Frank Robinson to Senator W. Lee O'Daniel concerning a speech of O'Daniel's. (Fall 1942?)

10. An undated typed draft of a bulletin in the form of a letter to Mr. Green of the National Better Business Bureau in which Robinson charges the bureau with being an un-American organization. 4. p.

11. Frank Robinson's printed Xmas message to students.

The third folder contains the correspondence between the University of Idaho Library and Psychiana. It commenced in May 1949 when librarian Lee Zimmerman wrote to Alfred Robinson requesting copies of his father's writings to place in the library's Pacific Northwest Collection of Idaho authors. When Psychiana announced its closing in 1952 Zimmerman again wrote Alfred requesting additional copies of books, lessons, and other interesting material to add to the library's collection. This correspondence continued into 1953 and 1954. In 1955 Alfred delivered to the library a large amount of material. The complete list runs to three typed pages and is included in the folder. The folder also contains a photocopy of the trust conditions regarding the four sealed boxes.

Series II. Psychiana Lessons and Publications Return to Top

This series contains a complete record of the printed Psychiana lessons beginning with those copyrighted in 1929, as well as typescripts for several other series of lessons. There are also Psychiana lessons in Dutch and Spanish. The Psychiana organization published a magazine known variously as the Psychiana Monthly, Psychiana Quarterly, Psychiana Weekly and Psychiana Bulletin; some issues of each are in this collection. Other informational pamphlets and lectures are also included.

The Special Collections Department of the University of Idaho Library has a four volume bound set of the Psychiana Lessons printed in 1951 (Day-NW BL 2775 R6 L4). The contents are as follows: v.1. Primary Series; 20 lessons, Beginners Course--formerly Advanced Course Number One. v.2. Advanced Teaching Number One; 10 lessons--formerly Advanced Course Number Two. v-3. Advanced Teaching Number Two; 30 lessons--formerly Major Teaching or Master Series. v.4. New Psychiana; 27 lessons. An effort has been made to correlate the lessons contained in the file box with those in the bound volumes.

Description Dates
Psychiana Lessons (not found in bound volumes)
ca. 1929
Psychiana Lessons (not found in bound volumes)
ca. 1932
Psychiana--Advanced Course Number 1
(v.1 of bound lessons) - This folder contains lessons 4, 10, and 11 only. Although they do not have specific titles, each is preceded by a short letter from Dr. Robinson explaining what the lesson is about. Lessons 4 and 11 have examination questions at the end; lesson 11 contains Robinson's "rags to riches" story. A complete set of the 20 lessons in this teaching in English is in the folder labeled "Psychiana in Spanish."
ca. 1932
Psychiana--Advanced Course Number 2
(v.2 of bound lessons) - The ten lessons in this group have no distinct titles. The course deals more with the Spiritual Realm, whereas the Advanced Course Number 1 dealt with the Scientific Realm.
ca. 1932
Psychiana--Advanced Teaching Number 3
(not found in bound volumes) - This course contains 40 lessons and has been divided into two folders. Some covers in folder one have been mislabeled Advanced Teaching Number 2. The introduction to this set of lessons states that this is the final course required for those qualifying for the Psychiana ministry. It is basically a theological study, with several lessons taken from the addresses of George H. Cless., Jr. Lesson thirty-three contains the story of the post office investigation of Psychiana and also Robinson's deportation hearing.
ca. 1936
Man Can Now Talk With God
Master File - Dr. Frank Robinson explains in a letter "To My Students Everywhere" that this is a re-writing of the Psychiana Lessons. This folder may be considered a "master-file" for the first seven lessons as it contains two copies of each lesson, one with the titles printed in black, and the other with titles printed in red, and also some introductory material printed in two styles--single and double column. Various changed of wording in the "Student Registration Certificate" are also represented. Stapled to each lesson is the material which was sent with it to the student. Included with each study lesson are the introductory letters from either C.W. Tenney or Frank B. Robinson, the study lesson itself, printed letters from students which tell of the benefits received from the teaching, the illustrations by Stephen Bern Dahlman, and the Students Registration Certificate which is numbered to correspond to the lesson with which it was sent. Some of the material has pencil notations concerning the date it was first used or the date it was withdrawn. The non-lesson material includes 6 items.
ca. 1938
1). "A Brief History of This World Movement With Explanation of the Phenomena Which Follow It." By Charles Wesley Tenney, 4 p.
2). "To All Students; A Few Words With Dr. Robinson Personally," 1 p.
3). "To My Students Everywhere," 1 p.
4). "To The Residents of The State of Idaho" signed C.W. Tenney. 1 p.
5). "My Dear Friend" signed C.W. Tenney. 1 p.
6). "Dear Fellow-Student" signed C.W. Tenney. 1 p.
Man Can Now Talk With God
(revision in v-3 of bound volumes) - In their original published form there were 105 lessons, each one four pages in length. Lessons 1-64 are complete in themselves, but from 65-105 the ideas continue from one lesson to the next. When these lessons were revised in 1949 and renamed the "Master Series" the original 105 lessons were-combined and reduced to a series of 30 lessons.
ca. 1938-1941
New Psychiana (1)
(Not found in bound volumes) - This is a series of single spaced typescripts of lessons numbered 5-17. Lesson 13 is called the half way point, lesson 14 is headed Part 2.
New Psychiana (2)
This is a set of double spaced typescripts for 26 lessons, with corrections made in green ink. It appears to be the same as the 1950 revision of Advanced Teaching Number Three, with a different numbering system (i.e., typescript lesson six is lesson three of the printed version, typescript lesson seven is printed lesson four). Missing numbers include 9, 13, 18-22. Page one of lesson 24 is also missing.
The League of Eternal Life
This folder contains single spaced typescripts for 26 two page lessons which were written between May 27 and 31, 1946. These lessons were designed to be received each week, rather than every other week as were most of Robinson's lessons.
Psychiana in Dutch
The Dutch translations of the Psychiana lessons were published in the Hague by A.C. Plagge in 1938.
1). A folded advertisement for De God then Niemand Kent (The God Nobody Knows), and eight printed form letters from the "Psychiana Studie-Groep: Nederland en Koloniën" which appear to be advertisements for the lessons.
2). Psychiana publications. Vlugschrift [Pamphlet] 1 & 2. The first being the Dutch translation of "Why I Founded 'Psychiana'", the second the "Introductory Lecture."
3). Psychiana Lessons 16-20, the translations of which appear in volume one of the bound lessons.
4). A magazine entitled Psychiana, dated 15 Juli 1938. This is not a translation of the Psychiana Quarterly, but a journal published by Plagge for the Studie-Groep.
Psychiana in Spanish
The material in this group has been divided into three folders, the first contains copies of thirty-five Psychiana broadsides with typescripts of the Spanish translations attached. The second and third folders contain the printed English version of the two introductory lectures and the Advanced Teaching Number One, each with the typescript of the Spanish translation inserted. The printed version of the Spanish translation of lesson one is also included; it was noted that the wording in the printed version differed from the typescript.
Psychiana Monthly - The only issue in the collection is v.1, no.6
December 1931
Psychiana Quarterly
The issues in this folder are v.2, no.8, June 1933; v.2. no-9, September 1933; v.5, no.4, December 1935; v.6, no.1, March 1936; v.6, no.3, September 1936; v.7, no.1, March 1937. A Psychiana Quarterly for December 1932 is part of the C. Ben Ross Papers (MG091, file box 5).
Psychiana Weekly
Inside the front cover of this bound volume which contains numbers 1-52 of 1940 is a note written and signed by Frank B. Robinson stating: "This is the only volume of the Psychiana Weekly in existence." There is a biography of C.W. Tenney in the January 13 issue, an article on Senator William Borah in the February 3 issue, one on Walter Winchell on March 2, lead articles on Hitler on June 8 and August 31, and a brief biography of William Walter DeBolt on November 2. There are also many comments on Hitler and the war, as well as anti-communist remarks. Attacks on orthodox religions are also prominent, such as the attack on the Presbyterians on May 11 and the Methodists on August 3. Each issue contains testimonials and a question and answer section. Many of the answers reveal a rather sarcastic side to Robinson's character, such as the question in the January 27 issue when a student asks Robinson where he got his degrees and he replies: "That's none of your business...."
Psychiana Weekly/Monthly Transitional Notes
This folder contains the April 13, 1940 copy of the Weekly, marked with changes for a monthly publication. It includes a pencil sketch of the lay-out for the front page for the July 1947 issue, with a typescript of two articles entitled "Back Again" and "Our Progress". There are also typescripts for several short articles, one on Alfred Robinson, another on Marcus Bach's book They Have Found a Faith, and a third on group meetings. No copies of the 1947 monthly publication are included in this collection--if indeed it was ever published.
Psychiana Bulletin
This began in January 1950 as a 6 page, 81/2" x 11" publication, then in February 1951 changed its format to 12 pages, 51/2" x 8". Issues included in this collection are January 1950 to June 1952, with the exception of the August 1951 issue which is missing. Each issue contains articles by "The Wayfarer," Pamela Dawn, Marcus Bach, and Frank Bruce Robinson. The June 1952 issue was the last one published.
This folder includes six typed pages containing portions of letters received from students. Pages 1-3 contain 30 one sentence statements; the writers are identified by city only. The final three pages contain entire paragraphs taken from letters; the writers are identified by name and complete address. These excerpts were used in the various Psychiana publications such as the Weekly, Monthly, and Bulletin, as well as in the follow-up material.
A Tribute to Dr. Robinson
A three page printed copy of Dr. Marcus Bach's tribute to Frank B. Robinson which he read at the funeral in Moscow on October 22, 1948, is the only item in this folder.
Psychiana Information Booklets
1). "Psychiana." Visitors Week
21 p.
This contains a one page history of the movement and pictures of individual staff members. All photographs are identified and comments made about the workers.
March 12-17, 1934
2). "The Amazing Story of 'Psychiana'"
19 p.
This is mostly photographs, with commentary, of the Psychiana operations.
3). "What is 'Psychiana'?"
4 p.
This is a short informational pamphlet.
4). "What is 'Psychiana': a concise yet comprehensive brochure explaining in detail the whole 'Psychiana' movement"
31 p.
This contains pictures of the Psychiana operation as well as pictures of individual staff members. Also included are copies of letters received from students and some Stephen Bern Dahlman illustrations.
5). "It Takes a Lot of Employees for the Psychiana Religion"
4 p.
This is basically pictures of individual staff members, unfortunately the photographs are unidentified.
6). "The Psychiana Religion Information Bulletin, 1948"
This is present in two forms, a 9 page typescript and the 5 page printed booklet. The final page of the typescript contains corrections by, and a short letter from, Alfred Robinson.
Introductory Lectures
1). Why I Founded Psychiana
3 copies.
2). Lecture 1
2 copies.
3). Introductory Lecture
2 copies.
Hymn Books
1). The Church of "Psychiana" Hymn Book
Contains 76 hymns, both words and music. Omitted from the collection is Robinson's favorite hymn, "Lead Kindly Light."
2). Two mimeographed pages, includes only words to "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers," "The Quilting Party," and "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny."
3). Five mimeographed pages, includes only words to "Silent Night," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Jesus I Have Promised," "Do Not Pass Me By," "Haven of Rest," "Jesus Savior Pilot Me," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," "Sometime We'll Understand," and "Blest Be the Tie That Binds."
4). Four mimeographed pages. Hymns For Use In The Frank B. Robinson Campaign. Includes only words to "I Love to Tell the Story," "Tell Me the Old, Old, Story," "Faith of Our Fathers," "Blest be the Tie," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," and "What A Friend."

Series III. Writings Return to Top

This series contains typescripts of articles and portions of books written by Frank Bruce Robinson. In many cases there are both original and carbon typescripts; some manuscripts also contain corrections. Both these conditions are noted in the following description. While some of these manuscripts have been published there are also several important unpublished items; in some cases only a small portion of the original manuscript has been published. An attempt has been made to identify the published portions of the manuscript material, but anyone familiar with Robinson's published works will understand the difficulty of this task. The headings used in the following list are those used on the file folders.

Amazing Story
This typescript, which takes its title from the chapter headings, comprises only chapters 4 and 5 of a work written in 1946 and apparently intended as part of Robinson's novel The Wanderer. Pages 140-150 of the typescript correspond to pages l08-117 of the novel--this is the section describing Robinson's arrival in Moscow and the beginning of Psychiana; typescript pages 168-170 describing the dream which gave Robinson the name "Psychiana" correspond to The Wanderer pages 117-119, otherwise no part of this manuscript has been published. Chapter 4 is entitled "In Which We Read An Amazing Story," chapter 5 "In Which We Continue Our Amazing Story." It exists in this collection in two forms, the original typescript containing pages 117-139; 151-157, and the carbon of the typescript which includes pages 140-150. Since the missing pages in the original correspond to the printed version of The Wanderer it can be surmised that when Robinson decided to omit the rest of the material in this typescript he took the original of pages 140-150 to incorporate into the final version of the work. Corrections have been made on the original typescript in green ink. The story contained in these two chapters deals with the attacks on Psychiana by the Better Business Bureau and the Methodist Church, and the articles written by Collier's, The Lutheran Companion, and The Sunday School Times. There is also a brief reference to the Moscow Youth Center which Robinson started in 1945. In chapter 5, C.W. Tenney's relationship with Psychiana is given prominence. Beginning on page 131 Robinson relates the incident of the Gamaliel window he donated to the First Presbyterian Church of Moscow, but which was rejected by the elders of the church because they did not like the scriptural reference: "If this work be of God you cannot stop it, but if it be of man it will come to naught."
Believest Thou This (1)
Both the 151 page original typescript and a carbon copy of the typescript are included in this collection. They include the title-page, chapters 1-5, and the first page of chapter 6 of a book about Frank Robinson. Although the title page reads: Believest Thou This / by Dyson Battley / Copyright 1946 The Bobbs-Merrill co., it is evident from reading the manuscript that the book was actually written by Robinson. No part of this book is found among his published works. The manuscript contains many biographical details, including Alfred's experiences during the war, which are not found in Robinson's autobiography. There are also some misstatements of biographical information. In conversations between the author and Robinson, Robinson expounds on his theory of eternal life, stating that before long man will learn the secret of living forever on this earth. Some of the incidents related here are also related in other works, but with different characters, e.g., the incident of the China pheasant which was killed by Robinson's car and restored to life by Robinson is also related on page 170 of The Wanderer, only it was the Wanderer who restored the bird's life. Likewise, on page 56 of the typescript the author states it was he who made out the $5000 check for an advertising bill and mailed it, whereas in Robinson's autobiography, 2d ed., p. 213, Robinson states a clerk (whom, incidentally, he had to dismiss for forging his name to checks) made out the check and Robinson himself mailed it. The author of this manuscript claims to have witnessed several healings and on pages 146-147 asks Robinson to explain the psychology he used in healing a young woman of a heart condition. This explanation is perhaps one of the most interesting sections of the entire manuscript.
Believest Thou This (2)
This second version of "Believest Thou This" bears no resemblance to the previous manuscript of the same name. It was written by Frank B. Robinson in 1946; only one chapter, both original and carbon typescript, 21 pages in length, exists. The title page for the original is missing, but the carbon title page is included with the manuscript. As in "Believest Thou This" (1) Robinson describes his car as a two-toned green Cadillac. Some of the incidents which he relates are found in other published works, but there are several other amusing anecdotes which are worth mentioning. On page six he relates that he was in Virginia to see an ill student when he was detained by police as a suspected bank robber--the robber also had a two-toned green Cadillac. He was taken to police headquarters where he was identified by an F.B.I. agent familiar with his work. When he told the police his mission he was given a police escort to the next town where his student lived. Other interesting incidents related in this short manuscript include Robinson's meetings with President Roosevelt (pp. 14-15), Billy Sunday (pp. 17-18), and an unidentified pair of evangelists in California (pp. 19-20).
Believest Thou This (3)
In its third form "Believest Thou This" is similar in style to Robinson's other published works. It was written in 1946 while he was visiting with Alfred and Annette in their home in Los Trancos Woods, near Palo Alto, California. It too, exists in both original and carbon typescript, although chapter one of the carbon copy is missing. The entire manuscript is six chapters, 104 pages, in length. Many of the statements on comparative religion, the operation of the 'God-Law' and manifestations of healing are found in his other writings. Robinson's theories of eternal life on this earth, hinted at in the previous versions of "Believest Thou This" are more fully developed in this version. On page 31 of the typescript he states: "To subscribe to a religion which offers less than eternal life on this earth is to subscribe to a religion that limits God. Any religion which limits God is a false system of religion." Chapter 5 deals with attacks on Psychiana by organized religion and the Better Business Bureau. The incidents involving the Lutheran Pastor Oliver and the Presbyterian Church's return of his check for a window for the new church are also related in the manuscript "Amazing Story."
The Better Way
Originally thought to be an unpublished manuscript, this 269 page carbon typescript proved to be the typescript for the book God In The Dark, published in 1948. This folder also includes a seven page addition to the last chapter. Some minor changes in wording were noted when the typescript was compared to the printed volume.
The Flame
"The Flame" is a single chapter, 26 pages in length, of a projected book. It exists both in the original and carbon typescript. The "Flame" referred to is another name for what Robinson has called the "Spirit of God" (see the manuscript "The Pioneer", p. 14). There is, beginning on page eleven, a description of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, both when Robinson lived there as a child and when he visited in 1934.
God vs. the Axis
Two titles typed on page one, "The Discovery of God," and "Rediscovering God" were discarded in favor of the above title. This typescript includes chapter 1, entitled "This Godless World" (pp. 1-8), chapter 2, "Religion without God" (pp. 9-17) and chapter 4, "The Madness of War" (pp. 26-37). Judging from internal evidence, the manuscript was written in 1943, and although the ideas expressed and the illustrations used are similar to those in Through War To God, the manuscript does not form a part of the printed work.
I Believe
This 31 page typescript is simply a compilation of brief statements on a series of miscellaneous topics such as Reality, Success, Fate, Money, Justice, and Health. It bears no relation to any of Robinson's work, and is written in a style dissimilar to his.
Out of This Chaos--What?
Written during World War II, this twelve page typescript opens with the statement that a new civilization will be the result of the chaos war has created, but soon Robinson returns to his themes of the similarities between religions and ends the typescript with a description of the beginning of Psychiana. The manuscript exists in both the original and a carbon copy; pages one and two of the carbon have corrections in blue pencil.
The Pioneer
The title for this 20 page typescript is taken from the first sentence in which Robinson states that man has a desire to pioneer into the unknowable realm of God. It is a restatement of his belief in the God-Power, comparing the contacting of the "Power" to the use of electricity in the home: flip the switch and it's there. This typescript also contains a reference to the Spirit of God as the "Flame". There is a brief biographical section on Robinson's early life in Long Crendon, mistakenly placed in Warwickshire in this manuscript. The original copy has a few corrections in red pencil; the carbon is not corrected.
Quiet Talks With God
In 1942 Dr. Frank Robinson wrote a series of 101 newspaper columns entitled "Quiet Talks With God." Each column also had an individual title. They exist in several forms in this collection. In the folder labeled "Quiet Talks (1)" number one is printed on a piece of newsprint 9" x 12"; numbers two through six are printed of 9" x 12" glossy paper with corrections marked in pencil; numbers 7-101 are typescripts, each one being two pages, double spaced. Numbers seven, eight, and nine were mis-titled "Quiet Talks About God." Many of the typescripts have corrections in green ink or red pencil. The folder labeled "Quiet Talks (2)" contains mimeographed copies of all 101 columns, each on a single 91/2" x 12" sheet of paper. There is also a single 14" x 19" sheet of newspaper layout containing the first six talks.
The Wanderer (1) & (2)
The Wanderer(1) contains a carbon typescript of pages numbered 136-154 which correspond to pages 119-135 of the fourth chapter of the printed version of the work. The original typescript in "The Wanderer" (2), numbered 155-166, is headed "Chapter 5 -- In which we see 'The Wanderer' in Action." Although chapter 5 of the published book has the same title, this typescript does not form a part of the final version.
Psychiana Lead Articles
These forty-nine typescript articles of varying lengths were written in 1939 and apparently were intended for the Weekly. They are dated in pencil on the top of the first page of each article from January 4 to December 28, but include no year; they do not appear in the 1940 issues of the journal. Newspaper clippings and other printed material are attached to the typescripts; notes regarding type size are also indicated. There are many corrections made in red pencil.
Psychiana Miscellaneous Articles
Approximately twenty three items are contained in this folder. Although many of the articles are not dated, they seem to have been written between 1937 and 1948. Included are typescripts of articles, some designated for the Bulletin, and typescripts for advertising circulars, including one measuring 101/2" x 43" which Robinson wanted inserted in the largest newspaper in Spokane." The typescript of the first of a new series of lessons "Psychiana for Christians" is in the folder as are two articles and a printed circular for the "American Fifth Column Movement."

Series IV. Lectures and Broadcasts Return to Top

This series contains typescripts of speeches and transcriptions of Robinson's radio broadcasts. They are interfiled and arranged chronologically by year; since many of the folders contain more than one speech, no attempt was made to organize them by month. Some speeches contain no dates, but an attempt was made to date them from internal evidence. The University of Idaho Special Collections Library also has the broadcast recordings for "Flashes of Truth" and the "Psychiana Program." Unfortunately the lack of proper audio equipment prevents one from comparing the typescripts with the actual speech.

Description Dates
Success or Failure -- Wealth or Poverty -- Which? (Large Lecture)
This "lecture" was designed to be read--not delivered orally. It is also called "Introductory Lecture Two" of the Psychiana lessons. In this series it exists in three forms; a fifteen, page published booklet, 51/2"x 8"; a ten page published booklet, 51/2"x 8"; and finally as a twelve page carbon typescript.
Transcription Copy, 1-6
These appear to be brief radio advertisements for a free copy of Robinson's six thousand word lecture on Psychiana which was available from the radio station carrying the advertisement. Each typescript is two pages in length.
The Bibles of the Xtian Religion
This is a twenty-two page original typescript of an address delivered at the Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, on January 5, 1930. The introduction gives a brief history of man and the similarities between the various religions. Robinson then gives a brief description of the history and various translations of the Christian Bible.
Easter Lecture
"Did Jesus Christ Rise From the Dead?" This 37 page original typescript focuses not only on the scientific impossibility of the resurrection, but also on the many contradictions in the Gospels. Pages 7 and 8 are missing, but since the first several lines on page 9 are crossed out, one can assume the missing pages were cut from the speech. There are some corrections, both in pencil and green ink.
Easter Sunday
Robinson's first speech to a Spokane, Washington audience was delivered on April 1, 1934, at the Masonic Temple. The 15 page carbon typescript was typed from notes taken by secretaries during the speech itself. (Offering was taken, and several applause notes are included in the typescript.) The content is similar to the 1933 speech described above.
Radio Address
Unlike Robinson's other speeches, this address on behalf of Klamath Falls mayor Willis Mahoney in his unsuccessful bid for the Oregon governorship, is purely political. The speech was broadcast over radio station KEX on May 17, 1934. Robinson was Mahoney's chief financial backer and notes in ink on the back of page six of the typescript indicate that he believed fraud and voting irregularities were the cause of Mahoney's defeat.
Doctor Robinson's Fireside Hour
The carbon typescripts for two of these 15 minute radio programs are found in this folder. The first is dated October 26, 1934, the other is undated, but since it is for the second program one can assume it is for the November 2 broadcast. In these programs Robinson played hymns on his pipe organ and also commented on the circumstances surrounding the writing of the hymns played.
Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles
This appears to be a transcription of short-hand notes taken during the speech delivered on January 6, 1935. It is an original typescript, 16 pages in length. In his speech Dr. Robinson reiterates his religious theories.
Flashes of Truth
The transcripts of the first six, of a total of fourteen, "Flashes of Truth" broadcasts are in this folder. Programs one through four are five pages in length; in addition to Robinson's organ playing, a "Guide" interviews him about his beliefs. In programs five and six, which are six pages long, the style changes slightly. After an introduction and organ selection Robinson proceeds to lecture for the remainder of the program. These 15 minute programs were prepared by the Izzard Company of Seattle, and recorded by MacGregor and Sollie studios in San Francisco.
Psychiana Programs 7-18
These typescripts are for a series of 15 minute radio broadcasts which were recorded by MacGregor and Sollie studios of San Francisco. Robinson opens and closes each program with an organ selection., and again, as in "Flashes of Truth", the interviewer, who is designated in the script as "Guide", questions Robinson about his philosophy. There are many corrections and deletions penciled on the typescript.
New Visions of God
On six consecutive evenings in January 1935 Robinson held a series of lectures in Los Angeles. The outlines for the first four lectures and the typescripts of lectures five and six are in this folder. Attached to the typescripts are pages from Robinson's book Crucified Gods Galore.
Psychiana Transcriptions
Six transcriptions, or radio announcements, prepared by the Izzard Company, advertising Robinson's six thousand word treatise and informing the radio audience when his radio programs were broadcast are in this folder. There are also two cue sheets for closing statements by local radio announcers.
Radio Broadcasts
Transcripts for these programs were prepared in September 1937 by the Izzard Advertising Company of Seattle. The script for program number one is missing, number two is entitled "Peace, Happiness, and Abundance", the third, "Realization", the fourth "Cosmic Rays", and the sixth "Call to Arms." Only program five has no individual title. The program consisted of an introduction by the announcer, a brief inspirational talk by Dr. Robinson, during which he often read a letter from a student, then a summation and closing statement by the announcer, sometimes including an excerpt from a student's letter. There are numerous penciled changes on these typed scripts.
National Convention Speech
The three lectures delivered at the Psychiana National Convention in Portland, Oregon on November 28, 29, and 30 are stapled together, but numbered separately. Lecture one is 17 pages, lecture two is 12 pages, and lecture three is 9 pages. The first lecture is a general introduction to Psychiana and contains excerpts from student's letters, lecture two is entitled "Can A Dying Church Be Saved?" and lecture three includes a testimonial and several questions from the audience. The typescripts appear to have been transcribed from stenographic notes made at the convention, not the typed copy from which Robinson spoke.
Radio Broadcasts
These six broadcasts, prepared by the Izzard Company in March 1938, are similar to the previous broadcasts. The "Guide" enters Robinson's home while Robinson is playing the organ, they have a brief conversation during which letters from students are read, then Robinson plays another organ selection while the announcer tells the radio audience how to obtain Robinson's six thousand word treatise on Psychiana. As with the other radio scripts, there are many penciled changes on the typescript.
National Convention Speeches
The Psychiana National Convention on October 2-4, 1938 was again held in the Masonic Temple, Portland. During these three days Dr. Robinson delivered four lectures, the typescripts of which are 12, 16,13 and 18 pages respectively. Dr. C.W. Tenney's introductory remarks are included with lectures one, two, and four.
Jack Holden Broadcast
This is a five page typescript of a program of music and conversation with Chicago radio announcer Jack Holden, Dr. Robinson and tenor Henry Burr. It appears to be the first in a series of projected "Quiet Talks With Henry Burr and Dr. Frank B. Robinson of Moscow, Idaho."
American Spiritual Awakening
The American Spiritual Awakening was launched in Los Angeles in September 1941. Robinson and Ernest Holmes, Dean of the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy, Los Angeles, shared the stage for the five talks. Robinson returned in October to deliver yet another lecture. Folder one contains the typescripts, both original and carbon, of Robinson's speeches on September 22 (9 pages), September 24 (7 pages) and October 12 (9 pages). The second folder contains the heavily corrected typescripts of Holmes's speeches on September 21 (7 pages), September 23 (14 pages) and September 25 (8 pages); Robinson's introductory remarks are also included. A note attached to the first speech reads "The original transcription of this first meeting was destroyed--so this is only about half of what was taken down."

Series V. Clippings and Articles Return to Top

As is true with many people in public life, Robinson kept many newspaper and magazine articles about himself and his movement, as well as clippings of interest to him or which supported his theories. Some of these clippings he pasted in a brown photograph album; these have been left in the album. Clippings supplied by the Pacific Press Clipping Bureau and clippings of articles which Robinson found interesting, but which were not about him, were found in a large envelope; these have now been mounted. Robinson also kept entire magazines and in two cases copies of The Daily Idahonian. Items in this series have been sorted according to type of material and the contents of each folder are listed under the folder heading.

Clippings About Robinson
The clippings in this folder were mounted on approximately fifty sheets of legal size paper. On one sheet are several very unfavorable items, one calling the movement "one of the most barefaced confidence games ever dished out." There are many clippings dealing with Robinson's trial and subsequent acquittal, over forty-five clippings about his deportation hearing, and several articles announcing his re-entry into the United States from Cuba. Newspaper advertisements for his lectures in Los Angeles are also represented. There are three unmounted items. Selected articles are listed below by page number.
Miscellaneous Clippings
A third folder contains an assortment of miscellaneous clippings found among Robinson's papers.
Items in the scrapbook are in chronological order and are listed below by page number. Some pages contain more than one article, other articles occupy more than one page. Some pages are blank.

Series VI. Photographs Return to Top

There are many photographs in this series, most of which were used to illustrate magazine articles dealing with Psychiana. A few family photographs are included as are pictures of celebrities which Robinson requested. The photographs have been separated by subject; a brief description of each of the seven folders is given below. Each photograph contains two sets of numbers separated by a hyphen; the first number is the folder number., the second the number of the print within the folder. Since the Special Collections photograph collection contains a majority of these photographs, file cards were not made for the card catalog, however, a complete list of photographs will be found in the file cards maintained for the inventory of the Robinson papers.

Folder 1. Frank Bruce Robinson, Negatives
Of the nine photographic negatives in this folder, two show Robinson posed with his car, 1-2 gives a good view of the front of the Robinson home in 1932 before it was enlarged. There are four negatives of Robinson seated at his organ, 2 distant views showing the pedals, and two close-up views; a print for 1-6 is included. Negatives 1-7 and 1-8, with their accompanying prints, show successive cuts from the deGueldre photograph of Robinson. The final negative is a portion of the "I Talked With God" advertisement; the envelope in which the negative has been placed also contains the original magazine advertisement from which the negative was made and a photoprint made from the negative.
Folder 2. Frank Bruce Robinson, Photographs
There are thirty-two different poses in this folder, the earliest is dated about 1910, the latest 1948. Different sizes or printings of the same picture are given the same number, the suffix a, b, etc., being added to differentiate the pictures. Some of the pictures are autographed, some mounted or in folders. In addition to the publicity pictures there is a series of three photographs, 2-24, 2-25, 2-26, which show Dr. Robinson at work in his bedroom study. Photograph 2-27 was taken at the Rotary Convention in San Francisco in 1947; 2-29 and 2-30 show him with his Duesenberg. Photograph 2-31 which was mailed to Alfred in January 1948 is probably the last photograph taken of Dr. Robinson.
Folder 3. Robinson Addressing Groups
These photographs show Robinson speaking to gatherings of Psychiana students and other interested people in Spokane, Los Angeles and Portland. Robinson used these photographs to illustrate his books and also in his advertising.
Folder 4. Psychiana
The four negatives and forty-four photographs in this folder represent the growth of Psychiana. They show the various buildings occupied by the organization and the staff, both clerical and printing, as they go about their daily tasks. Many views of the individual departments were used in the articles published about Psychiana in national magazines. Some of the pictures have notes either penciled or typed on the back. There are several views of the Robinson Professional Building and the Psychiana International Headquarters Building which was next to it. There are also photographs of Rev. W.W. DeBolt and C.W. Tenney, Robinson's assistants. A picture of Stephen Bern Dahlman, the artist who illustrated many of the Psychiana ideas, is also in this folder.
Folder 5. Robinson Family
This folder contains eight negatives of Robinson and several unidentified friends, two small photographs of Robinson in Pompeii, a profile portrait of Pearl (Mrs. Frank) Robinson, four photographs of Alfred, two of Florence and one snap shot of Alfred Bruce Robinson, Jr., Dr. Robinson's grandson.
Folder 6. Robinson and Friends
Included in this group are three negatives taken at the Uniontown Stock Show, photographs of Marcus Bach, Tommy Burns, Henry Burr, Thomas Dewey, Rev. Bebe H. Patten, and one of Frank Robinson with Red Skelton. Some of these photographs are signed.
Folder 7. Miscellaneous
The major portion of this group of negatives and photoprints are of the covers of Robinson's books which were used in advertising circulars. (See Broadsides in Box 7). The other items are a negative and photoprint of the Psychiana pin, three negatives for what could be a Christmas card, and the negative for the aerial view of Robinson Lake Park.

Series VII. Miscellaneous Return to Top

There are several folders of material which did not fit into any of the regular series; this material is described below under the appropriate folder heading.

Description Dates
Student Literature
Robinson's students often sent him articles,- poems and songs which they had written. Many of these endeavors found their way into various Psychiana publications. In addition to the works listed below, many student writings are attached to letters in Series I.
Pictures of Jesus
Letterheads used by Dr. Robinson
Lists of Newspapers Regularly Used for Dr. Frank B. Robinson's 'Psychiana' Advertising
Aneed, Antonius Joseph
In 1945 Bishop Aneed raised Frank B. Robinson to the episcopate of the Federated Independent Catholic and Orthodox Churches. There have since been questions as to Bishop Aneed's own consecration.
Psychiana Pins
Seventy-five Psychiana pins were found with the Robinson papers. Dr. Robinson described the emblem as "a beautiful gold-plated two color emblem. The red flame of truth tops this beautiful pin. In the middle, in blue is the 'Psychiana' P, and the whole design is very beautiful." A later advertisement describes the emblem as the "flame of truth held high by the hand of the truth seeker."

Series VIII. Broadsides Return to Top

This series contains examples of many of the advertising broadsides sent by Psychiana to students and prospective students. The largest single type of material was labeled on the original folders "Follow-ups." These are the letters and broadsides sent to anyone answering a Psychiana advertisement. In describing the contents of the follow-up folders a Group refers to the entire series of mailings, a Set is the material included in a single mailing. Some years include more than one group.

Items in this series are arranged by type of material or subject content. Since some items were duplicated many broadsides will be found in more than one folder. An alphabetical list of folder headings, with a brief description of the contents, follows.

Description Dates
American Spiritual Awakening
This folder contains material on the American Spiritual Awakening, the Psychiana Spiritual Awakening, and the Psychiana Revival. There are two broadsides on the Institute of Religious Science, Los Angeles, which was affiliated with the Psychiana movement.
These are mostly single page reprints of articles by or about Robinson.
Dahlman, Stephen Bern. Drawings
A Psychiana student from Grand Forks, North Dakota, Stephen Dahlman illustrated many of Robinson's ideas. This folder contains ten drawings, 81/2" x 11", plus three on larger paper with a note from Robinson signed 'Doc.' These illustrations and others not represented in this folder are also found in the follow-ups.
Direct Mail
The direct mail approach was used between 1947 and 1949. The items in this folder include post cards and other types of come-on advertising, some of which include dates used in pencil on the sheets. Some sheets also have a list of other items which were mailed with them.
There are only two items which give any indication of the financial aspects of Psychiana. The sheet which is included in an envelope containing three broadsides mailed to Robinson when he was in California, gives a breakdown of income by source for the date of February 23, 1947, and includes the income for the day, the month, and the year to the date of the sheet. Also included is a similar sheet for February 23, 1946. The second item is a copy for an advertisement in the Spokane Press entitled "A Suggestion For Those Not Quite Sure Where to Place Their Surplus Funds," with the recommendation they invest in Psychiana. An accountant's statement of Psychiana income, profit and loss for the nine months ended September 1932 is part of the advertisement.
The folder contains 3 sets or mailings, each containing a letter, broadsides, and a lecture. Also included are several miscellaneous broadsides which were discontinued May 1, 1935.
There is one group of six sets, some items include the date new material was added to the mailing. There are also two miscellaneous sets.
Included in this folder is one group of nine sets which have been dated, and one group of six sets, some with pencil notes concerning their use.
This folder includes a list of the contents of each set mailed between January 1 and September 27, 1938, a group of seven sets which include the first five lessons of "Man Can Now Talk With God," and many miscellaneous sheets, some with notes as to when used, when pulled, and supply on hand.
Among the items in this folder are several 1938 follow-ups with notes about their discontinuance in 1939, two groups of follow-ups started and stopped in 1939, a group of seven sets started in May containing notes as to mailing frequency, and a group of six sets dated September 1939.
The only items included in this folder are material relating to the "Spiritual Blitzkrieg," including three blitzkrieg pins, the pamphlet "What is 'Psychiana'," and some undated broadsides.
This folder contains miscellaneous broadsides, some with pencil notes relating to replacements.
Besides some miscellaneous dated broadsides, this folder includes three groups of follow-ups, one with six sets, one with eight sets, and the other with five sets.
This folder contains a single group of eight sets.
Contained in this folder are one group of two sets with a note that these sets were discontinued, a group of five sets dated May 1944, and an undated group of four sets.
There are two groups in this folder, one with six sets, the other with five. Unlike the other follow-ups, both these groups are headed "Invitation Number One, Two, etc."
There are two dated groups in this folder, one containing six sets, the other two.
Included in this folder are twenty-one letters, with all enclosures, which were mailed to students and former students. Each envelope is labeled, giving the date of the mailing and the mailing list used. There are also some advertisements for books.
The contents of this folder are similar to the 1950 folder. It contains twenty-five circulars, and besides the date sent and list used, there is also a key which, when the order form was returned, could be used to indicate from which group the reply was received.
Letters from Robinson, Printed
These letters were used in many of the follow-up mailings and include copies of telegrams to Mussolini and Churchill, letters addressed "Dear Fellow Student" which accompanied the lessons, and Robinson's 1947 Christmas message. Various printings of the same letter are represented in this folder.
Letters to Robinson, Printed
Included in this folder are the letter from Geoffrey Birley, one headed "What a World Famous Surgeon Thinks of Psychiana" in both Dutch and English, and other testimonial letters which Robinson included in the follow-ups. As in the previous folder, various printings of the same letter are included.
Letters Sent With Lessons
Each lesson sent to students had a letter from Dr. Robinson. In this folder the first group has one letter only, the second has seventeen letters; the third contains forty-five, each with questions about the lessons.
Letters, Overdue Accounts
There are several types of material in this folder, notices which were attached to lessons, brief notes about finances, and letters. The letters were sent in a series, and, after sending four or five letters and receiving no reply from the student, a letter was sent by the Psychiana Legal Department which threatened to turn the account over to a lawyer in the student's home town for collection. There are 38 separate items in this folder.
Messages to Students
Among the items in this folder are the two free booklets, the Psychiana Creed, information on establishing a Psychiana Sales Agency, and the "Daily Procedure for every 'Psychiana' Student."
Miscellaneous Broadsides
This folder includes order forms for lessons, printed letters, and other items, many of which are found in the other folders in this series.
Order Forms, Books
This folder contains book lists, a publications catalog, special offers and various advertisements for individual books, with order forms printed at the bottom. Mounted on Robinson s stationery is the first order for Gleams Over the Horizon, which was received on January 10, 1939.
Order Forms, Lessons
There are eleven sets of order forms which were sent with various followups, special offers to students, and application blanks for advanced courses. Some of the forms are dated to indicate when they were used; some have been filled in by students.
This is an interesting folder as it not only contains paste-ups for new advertisements, but also changes made in earlier advertisements. There are often notes to the printer concerning type size or color.
Pictures Used as Enclosures
Robinson at his desk. 1943. Robinson at his organ. undated Robinson at his desk reading mail. undated Robinson addressing a class at the University of Iowa. undated American Spiritual Awakening (Robinson-Holmes) Los Angeles. 1941. Robinson at Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles. 1935.
Psychiana Church Material
Certificate of Merit Certificate of Approval Certificate of Life Membership Instructions for Psychiana church groups Application for Ordination as a Minister in the 'Psychiana' faith Requirements for Ordination Certificate of Ordination (copy) The Church of Psychiana. Articles of Faith.
Quiet Talks With God
In an attempt to place his newspaper column Robinson sent a letter to all American newspaper publishers enclosing a card giving rates charged for the column based on the circulation of the paper. Also included in this folder are several advertising broadsides.
Speech and Convention Announcements
Broadsides dealing with the Convention at Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles in 1936, the National Convention in Portland in 1937, and a speech at the Shrine Auditorium, Portland, in 1937 are included in this folder.
War Messages
During World War II, Robinson made several prophecies about the war; these were offered free in two advertisements "Death to the Axis" and "Is God Dead", both printed in 1942. Also included in this folder is the "Robinson Plan for World Peace", "The War is On", "The American Fifth Column", a pamphlet entitled "Blitzkrieg for God" and a Blitzkrieg pin, as well as many other broadsides.

Series IX. Items Not In File Boxes Return to Top

The items in this series were included with the Robinson gift but were not in the sealed boxes. Because they are oversized it was not possible to place them in a file box. A complete list of these items follows.

Description Dates
Pharmacy Licenses (framed)
Oregon. Board of Pharmacy
May 22, 1920.
Arizona. Board of Pharmacy
November 2, 1922.
California. Board of Pharmacy
June 25, 1924.
Idaho. Department of Law Enforcement
July 17, 1929.
Certificates (framed)
National Geographic Society. Membership
October 31, 1933.
Mark Twain Society. Honorary Member
September 26, 1944
Photographs (framed)
Aerial view of Robinson Lake and Park
Frank B. Robinson with Group Attending Psychiana National Convention, Shrine Auditorium, Portland, Oregon
October 2-4, 1938
Frank B. Robinson Addressing Audience, Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles
January 27, 1935
New York Evening Graphic Seventh Annual All Sports Dinner, Hotel Astor, New York
May 19, 1932
Advertisement for addresses in Trinity Auditorium, Los Angeles, January 27-31, 1935. 14" x 221/2"
Good news - the peaceful program. June 6, 1947. 1 side. Sound workshop Flashes of Truth. 16 sides. MacGregor & Sollie Recording Laboratories Psychiana. 4 sides. MacGregor & Sollie Recording Laboratories Psychiana. 28 sides. Izzard Radio Productions Psychiana Program. 14 sides. MacGregor & Sollie Recording Laboratories

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Psychiana movement
  • Religious institutions -- Idaho -- Moscow -- History -- Sources

Corporate Names

  • Psychiana Religion


  • Founder of Psychiana, a mail-order religion based in Moscow, Idaho.

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Robinson, Frank B. (Frank Bruce), b. 1886--Archives.