Psychiana Is BornTop of Page | Contents | Next Chapter
I SHALL NOT ATTEMPT TO DESCRIBE THE GROWTH IN THE New Life which began to manifest in me from the day on which I decided to throw away everything that had been taught me about God by my parents and the different churches. I thought perhaps condemnation would come, but to my joy, the feeling of freedom, of new life, began to take hold of me, and I knew, beyond the possibility of doubt, that my childhood dreams were to come true. I was sure that the revelation of God I was to bring to the world would be the most amazing revelation this religious world has ever known. I am more than ever convinced of this today.
I saw at once that what I had suspected for so long was true. I saw and knew that the pathway to God lay entirely outside of the theology of any religious organization on the earth today. I saw these systems of religion in their true light -- honest -- earnest -- but all based upon what the promoters of their systems of religion chose to tell them to believe. For instance, in proof of this statement, ask the next Christian you meet if he or she is prepared to prove the truth of the Christian story. Ask him if he knows that one of the reasons there are four gospels in the Christian bible is because animals have four legs. See what he tells you. These good honest souls, and there are millions of them here in the United States, have been misled by their leaders who, in their off moments, may be found driving bungs into beer barrels and the like.
The millions of church members here in America actually want to know God. They think, without investigating, that their church is the only thing on the face of the earth which knows anything about God. They think, because they know no better, that there never was another "crucified god" outside of Jesus Christ, and they swear by all that's holy that there never could have been. It is for this reason that the heads of these churches have so very bitterly attacked this Teaching and myself. I have brought to the American people the truths of God. These church leaders, knowing that these truths will eventually replace the errors they are teaching in the name of God, foresee their own ultimate destruction. So they try to get me out of the picture. Little do they know the Power behind me or they would not try that. One man, endowed with the Spirit of God, is more powerful in a world which knows not God than the rest of the universe combined.
Such a man can control his own destiny because he knows how to apply the Power of the True Spirit, God, in his life. With God in the life, one has everything. With nothing more than a church system of theology in life, one has nothing. This world today is a wonderful example of a world that, in spite of several hundreds of millions of nominal religious professors, does not know the first thing about the actual truth of the present existence of God. Had there been one small religion on the earth teaching the actual truths of God, Hitler never would have been heard of. It will take, therefore, a new revelation of the True God to bring to this earth the Power which can restore peace, health, and everlasting life. That is the mission of the "Psychiana" Movement.
* * *
Every day brought new evidences of the truth of what I was now predicating my future life upon. Every day the way opened up, and a strange Power seemed to come into my life. All fear went out to be replaced by a wonderful confidence. At last I was coming to know the infinite peace which God in the life brings. The strange part of it all is that this new experience with God grew on me. It came, as a thief in the night. It stole in. I knew and recognized Its presence, nevertheless, and I knew that God was a living reality here and now. The big job then was to bring this true conception of God to a world full of "religion" and still not knowing God. I knew that it would be called quite presumptious to stand alone and tell the world of great religions that none of them knew the first thing about God. Yet that is exactly what I have had to do, and I have unhesitatingly done it.
I do not believe there is another man alive who could, or would have dared to do it. Yes, attacks have been made by the church, but outside of the financial loss and the suffering to my family, what have they amounted to? They gave me more international prominence than any other religious leader of the times.
How I was to go about telling a world of religion that it knew not God, I did not know at that time. I did, however, know enough never to make a single move myself. I waited for the leadings to be clear, and when I recognized them, I followed. It made no difference where those strange leadings took me, I knew that through me, God Almighty was going to show this world, for the first time in its history, the difference between "religion" and the actual Power of the Great Spirit, God. Of course, I was eager to begin, but not eager enough to start before the time was ripe. Sending Mrs. Robinson and baby Alfred home to their folks in Oregon, I decided to move from Los Angeles back to Portland, Oregon. There seemed to be a definite urge to retrace my steps, so to Portland I went. I secured a good paying position and at once sent for my wife and baby. We secured a home out on 34th Street Northwest. This home is still owned by Mr. John Suter, a printer who has worked for a large Portland printing house for thirty years or more. He had moved away for the summer and we rented his home while he was away. I call and see John Suter every opportunity I have.
I shall never forget the day the Spirit of God spoke definitely to me in the Suter home. I had been lying under a tree in Grant High Park, studying some works along the religious new thought line. The particular set of books as I recall it, was a volume called The Secret .of the Ages, by Robert Collier. I have since met several times the author of those books -- in fact, I had dinner with Bob Collier in the Hotel Roosevelt not long ago. These small books helped open the way I was trying to tread, and my gratitude is to Bob Collier for having written them.
The impulse which came to me that day was to relax absolutely, keep very still, and allow the invisible Spirit of God to manifest itself to me. I had a definite leading to do just that, so m order to be quiet, I lay under the trees in Grant High Park. A feeling of absolute security and perfect assurance was mine that day. It was not until later though, in the Suter home, that I experienced the same "visitation" I had while a child in Long Crendon. Perhaps I should not call these moments with God "visitations." If I use this word, some religious organization might have me arrested as an insane creature who has "visitations," and that would cause me a bit more inconvenience in addition to the great amount they have already caused me.
When God decides to manifest His Power to a human being, that man is the sanest man this side of heaven. Moreover, while there is no question but that what I am about to relate was a direct communion with God, it was the most perfectly beautiful and natural manifestation possible. It was the thing I needed to assure me beyond doubt that God lives on this earth today, and can, through his Power, bring to this earth that Divine Power in such measure that wars illness, fears, doubt, death -- all these can be once and for all completely banished, and God, the Great Spirit -- God can live together on this earth with man eternally. Immortality is possible here and now and would have been experienced a long time ago had there been no man-made religious organizations to usurp the place of God. Just as soon as those organizations are shown for what they really are this world will find and know the fulness of God.
Mrs. Robinson was down town with Alfie. I had walked back a few blocks from Grant High Park and had laid the Collier books down on a table. Then, singing to myself, I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes. I was always "talking with God" as my advertisement states, but this day I wanted God actually to reveal himself to me -- not that I doubted, but I wanted the experience that I had longed for and suffered for all my life. I wanted that experience right now. I lay perfectly still, not a move, just completely resting in the Great Spirit, God. Then God opened the veil which is supposed to separate us mortals from God, and though God and I are very close now, I shall never forget that day. The future opened up like a rose. I cannot describe it -- such moments are not described by any words in any language; they are spiritual moments and are spiritually discerned. A great, infinite peace stole over me. I was overwhelmingly happy. There, in those few seconds, for that is all they were, I suppose, I saw victory ahead. I saw the road I was to travel. I saw the home we now live in. I saw the answer to the criminal trials which were to come later. I saw everything in one flash, exactly as it happened, and for this reason, I am so absolutely sure of the future. It was indescribable. Let me just try to describe it by saying that the Spirit of the Infinite God spoke to me. All I could do was to lie and shout, "Glory to God -- Glory to God in the highest," and I did shout. The tears rolled down my cheeks, for God had at last revealed Himself to me, and had done it through methods entirely removed from any theological organization on the face of the earth.
One strange thing about that experience was that I saw the home in which I now live, and the grounds, and the very identical pipe-organ I have. The home we bought in Moscow was at once recognized by me some years later, as part of the home I saw that day in John Suter's house. When I went to Europe a few years ago, I gave Mrs. Robinson instructions to build an addition to our home. I did not draw the plans, and to this day she does not know of the experience I am now relating to you. I keep many things pertaining to God to myself. The public sees only the results, not the Source of Origination. When I returned from Europe, here was the house, complete as I had seen it that day in Portland.
That was a hallowed experience. It changed me. It made me. It equipped me with strength to do the work which is mine to do. It put the seal of the Most High God on my life, exactly as I knew it would be put on me sooner or later. I believed God: I still believe God. I shall never doubt God -- not "up yonder in the sky" -- but here and now, in me and in you, regardless of whether you have church affiliation or not. It is my conviction that you will be more likely to find God without church affiliation than with it. Such affiliation offers a strange god to the world, one the True God knows nothing about.
The next day there was a very famous English lady visiting in Portland, and somehow or other, I met her. Looking me in the eyes, she said, "I should like to talk with you, sir." We went for a walk in the Council Crest park and there, seated on a bench she said to me, "What is the religious experience you recently had?" I was astounded; I had not revealed this experience to anyone -- yet this lady knew all about it. "It's beautiful to realize that I have personally met the man whom God is to use to bring in the Great Day of God," she said, looking at me. Our talk lasted many hours. God knows then, better than anyone else knows, how His plans shall work out for the redemption of the human race.
I am reminded here of a verse which is running through my mind -- "God's purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour; the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower." Surely I had tasted the very bitterest draught life has to offer anyone. Had I not suffered as few have ever suffered? Had not my very soul been seared by the perfidy of those who masquerade as "agents of God?" I think it had. But the flower is beginning to bloom now. I see the fruits of my labors hard by. The battle is not over yet, but the foundation of victory is solidly planted, and the next few years will bring to this earth -- God in person -- not physically, I don't mean that, for no man has seen God at any time.
God is invisible Spirit. If any man or any organization tells this world that Almighty God appeared on this earth in the form of man, that organization is not speaking the truth. I realize that the true conception of God destroys religion as we have it today; for all the good it is in this present world crisis, it might just as well not be here, for it knows not God. It knows half a hundred man-made or church-made theories of God, but they are not sufficient to reveal the Great Spirit, God, to the human race. This should be evident to all. It should require no argument to sustain it.
* * *
Shortly after this, I felt a very definite urge to leave Portland, so I went to the wholesale drug house in Portland and asked if they had an opening somewhere else. I was sent to the Pioneer Drug Store in Yakima, and it was there I met to my surprise, Jimmy Urquhart and Bob McKinley of the old days in Ellensburg. I worked hard there, saved money, and in every spare moment was keeping very close to God. I knew that a break would come soon. While at the Pioneer, I shall relate a rather amusing incident which the boys in the store still laugh about.
It was Saturday afternoon -- farmers' day. One farmer on whom I waited told me that he wanted to get a bottle of mineral oil for use as a laxative. We handled the Rexall line of pharmaceuticals, and these paid a commission of two and one-half per cent to the salesman selling them. Naturally we all tried to sell Rexall goods. I sold this chap a bottle of mineral oil. It cost one dollar. Then, remembering our instructions (and the commission) to sell in as large a quantity as possible, I began on that farmer in earnest. I told him that if he would take one gallon of the mineral oil, eight times as much as one pint, he would save three dollars, and, I explained, three dollars saved is three dollars earned. He took the gallon. Running back to Jim Urquhart, I said, "What is the price on five gallons of that oil?" Jim quoted me a price, and before the farmer got to the door, I had called him back and explained how much money he would save if he bought five gallons of the oil.
Being a good farmer, he bought another four gallons. I felt proud of my selling ability that day. My checks there at the Pioneer were always larger than anyone else's for commissions. However, there was a backfire, for on Monday morning, into the store came a stout lady with "blood in her eye." She wanted to know where the young fellow was who had sold her husband five gallons of mineral oil for a "laxative." I finally had her quieted down, and on convincing her that this mineral oil was the finest thing to use in a tractor, she went away happy. We would have refunded her money any time she demanded it -- only she did not demand it.
All through these months spent in Yakima, the outline of the new Teaching I was to give to the world began to take form in my mind. I was, however, working the "graveyard" shift, and had little time in which to write anything, although never was the Movement I was about to form out of my mind. I considered the "soap-box" method of distribution, but ruled that out, deciding that by mail was the only feasible way to bring this new Teaching to the world. I would make a charge for it, refunding their money if not completely satisfied, and then someday, some wealthy man would endow the Movement and I could then send it around the world free of all charges and pay the postage and other many expenses in addition.
With this in mind, I sent a wire to the Spokane Drug Company in Spokane, asking them if they knew of a position where the drug stores closed at six o'clock. The next day came a wire that there was a position in Moscow, Idaho, at the Corner Drug Store, working for C. E. Bolles. I contacted Mr. Bolles, and by the end of the week I was in Moscow, Idaho. At that time, Moscow was unknown. It is known all over the civilized world today, and there is more talk about "that man Robinson in Moscow," than about any other religious leader.
When we arrived in Moscow, we were very much dissatisfied with the place. The trip on the train from Spokane had been hard, and the rain was pouring down. That was in April, 1928, thirteen years ago. Outside "Bull" Ward's paint shop, the horses were tied to the hitching posts, and if ever there was a farmerfied city, Moscow was that city. I said to Mrs. Robinson, "Let's go back to Spokane. I would not work in this sort of place for anything. I can write somewhere else." She urged me to stay at least overnight, for she and little Alfie were tired.
Calling up Charley Bolles I informed him that I had arrived, but that I was not going to work. He invited me to come up and see him and asked me what the matter was. I told him that I was not used to working in a "hick" place and told him further that there was not enough money in the place to make me stay there. Laughing, Charley said, "Oh heck, come up and see us. I'd like to see the color of the man's hair that talks like you do; I'll bet you're a heck of a good man." Well, after dinner that evening we went up to see Charley Bolles, and I liked him. I still like him, for he's a real chap. He talked me into staying one month and getting back the expenses of the trip from Yakima, and I agreed to that. This experience only goes to show how very easy it would have been for me to have left for Spokane again; but an all-wise God was watching every move I made and was seeing to it that I made no move that was not the proper move to make -- hence I stayed in Moscow and still live there.
The usual job of house-hunting followed, and we were aided in this by Harold Cornelison, the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, who gave Alfred a stick of rhubarb to chew. Alfred had a little tricycle, and it was amusing to see him pedalling up Main Street that day chewing on that stick of rhubarb. We finally located an upstairs apartment, and the next day I started to work. The more I worked in Moscow the better I liked the place. The old fixtures in the Corner Drug Store are now gone, and in theIr places are new and up-to-date ones. While working for the Corner Drug Store, I was fortunate enough to win two national window-trimming contests, and this helped us considerably, as we could not save much from a salary of one hundred-seventy-five dollars a month.
Gradually what is now known as the "Psychiana" Movement took form. I carried a little black-covered notebook In my pocket, and as a valuable thought would come to me, I would jot it down. Most of the fundamental thoughts In my Movement were written down in that drug store. Then I began to look around for a typewriter, finally locating one, an old Corona, which was owned by Carey Smith, a clothes-presser in Moscow. Carey and I had a good time fishing up at the Bungalow a few years ago, and the memories of his hotcakes will linger long. In the meantime, and to show how much I was in earnest, I rented the dining room of the Moscow Hotel every week and there held lectures on my new conception of God. Moscow is a small city of about five thousand people, and anything unusual is sure to be the subject of much gossip. Here was I, working in the Corner Drug Store all day, and lecturing to the public at night. It created quite a sensation, and more than one finger was pointed to the forehead and moved round with a circular motion when I was passed on the street.
However, the crowds came, and it was evident that what I was teaching was destined to make its mark. Many college professors attended those lectures, and an order was issued forbidding any professor from the Umversity of Idaho, located in Moscow, from attending my meetings. I do not know why that order was issued. Perhaps it was because I did not have the academic standing of some of the professors in the University of Idaho. At any rate, they were forbidden to attend the meetings. This did not worry me, for the only reason I held those meetings was to get the general reaction of the people to the new truths of God, and that reaction was good.
One Saturday night I took the little Corona home and, asking Mrs. Robinson not to disturb me, I wrote that night the complete first set of "Psychiana" Lessons. I worked all night and all the next day, and when they were completed I gave them to my wife for criticism. There was no criticism -- nothing put praise. She wondered how I had been able to write these Lessons and predicted at once that they would go around the world. "They are good. They are unusual, but how are you going to get them distributed?" she asked. I replied that the way for their distribution would be taken care of at the right time, and I further informed her that if this philosophy of God was true, I should be the first one to demonstrate the fact.
A little later I was ready for the financing of the Movement. Let it be remembered here that I had not been in Moscow ninety days, and if anyone raises any money in Moscow for any purpose, that is news. No one in Moscow, with few exceptions, has any money. The city is a typical university city, and the pay of college professors is not too high. Sometimes I think it is, but they have to live as well as anyone else. Putting the Lessons in an old brief-case, I left the apartment and when Mrs. Robinson asked me where I was going, I told her I was going down town to raise $2500.00. She looked at me in a quizzical sort of way and said, "In the frame of mind you're in, you are very apt to get it." I knew very well I should get it.
Where, or from whom, I did not know. I did not need to know. What I had discovered about God, and the present existence of God in my life, was all the assurance necessary that whatever money I needed would be forthcoming, even if I had not been in Moscow ninety minutes instead of ninety days.
I was standing outside the drug store waiting for something to happen when a grocery clerk by the name of Ned Phillips came along. Incidentally Ned is still working in the same store but is part owner now. "Ned, have you any money?" I began. Ned looked at me rather mystically and said, "Yes, I have some money. What's on your mind?" Opening up the drug store, I took him in and explained to him what I wanted to do. I told him that if he loaned me any money, he would either lose it all or I would give him back twice the amount of the loan. Ned gave me his check for all he had, five hundred dollars, with this remark, "I don't know you very well, Robbie, you haven't been here long; but you look good to me. I think you're all right. I heard your lectures, and if this five hundred dollars will do you any good, take it."
Ned started to leave the drug store, but I called him back, for it was twenty-five hundred dollars I had started out to get -- not five hundred. I asked him if he knew anyone else who had five hundred dollars, and he replied that George Benson, his brother-in-law to be had that sum. "Call him up," I said. Ned did, and a few minutes later, Benny, as we now call him, came to the drug store. I explained to him what I wanted, and he gave me five hundred dollars. That made one thousand dollars inside of an hour. Then I asked both of those chaps if they knew of a third fellow who had a little money. Benson, who still is with the Ward Hardware and Paint Company, mentioned the name of one of the cashiers at one of the local banks -- Elmer Anderson. Elmer was called over, and he wrote a check, although how a Swede came to part with seven hundred and fifty dollars that quickly is something I have never been able to explain. Anderson for years has been in our employ as C.P.A. and bookkeeper, and he's a good one.
Well, there was $1750.00 out of the $2500.00 needed, and the night was still young. I suggested the name of Oscar Anderson, another Swede, and a prominent Moscow farmer. The boys agreed to go out with me to see him, and while Oscar rather derided the Movement, he did give me a check for $750.00. Thus my objective was achieved. The $2500.00 had been raised in one night, in a strange town, and by a man they knew very little about. I felt I needed this twenty-five hundred dollars to have one thousand sets of the Lessons printed and ten thousand each of the letters which were to be sent to those who replied to our national advertisements, for that is what I decided to do -- advertise nationally. Many a millionaire will stop and ponder before attempting to launch a national advertising campaign, but I did not hesitate five seconds. Moreover, I hold today the world's record for successful mail-order advertising. Let me tell you about that first ad which has proved to be such a sensational piece of advertising copy.
I knew nothing whatsoever about advertising. I had never written an ad in my life. I was no promoter, but I did know something of the Power of the Great Spirit in me, and what little I did know about that Power was more than sufficient for me in any emergency. Borrowing a sheet of paper from the local newspaper, I sat down to try my hand at writing an ad. I had not the faintest idea how to go about it. Then, from the nowhere, came this thought, "Don't write an ad, tell the people what you have to offer them." That is exactly what I did, and all I did. It was all I knew how to do. That piece of copy which cost me four hundred dollars to insert brought more than twenty-three thousand dollars worth of orders for this new Teaching. It was something never before witnessed in the advertising field. No piece of copy like that had ever appeared before. If that piece of copy was true, it meant that all the differing systems of religion were not true, for I very plainly said this in that first piece of copy.
Out of the twenty-five hundred dollars I had raised, I had saved four hundred dollars for the insertion of this full-page ad in Psychology Magazine. Wishing to make connections with an advertising agency, I went the next day into Spokane, Washington, where I inquired for the largest agency there. I entered that office and asked for the semor partner of the firm showing him the copy, I handed him a check for four hundred dollars to cover the cost of the ad. His commission would have been sixty-eight dollars had he handled this piece of copy; and his commissions from that day to this, had he done so, would have been quite a tidy sum. This clever advertising man, however, took one look at the copy and then looked at me. "How much money have you, young fellow?" he asked. I replied that the four hundred dollars he held in his hand represented everything I had. Calling his partner in, he said "We don't want to handle that sort of stuff, do we? We can't afford to. Our reputation is worth too much to us, and besides, we don't want to be a party to this young man's losing the last dollar he has." The other partner agreed. Turning to me, he said, "Mr. Robinson, I suggest that you forget all about this and keep your four hundred dollars. That piece of copy is mechanically imperfect. People won't answer it and you will never get a reputable magazine to run it. It's too revolutionary." Turning to those two advertising gentlemen, I said, "Well, you fellows are the two smartest men I have ever seen, or the two biggest fools," and I walked out.
I have already told you the phenomenal results of that advertisement, and it has appeared, and still is appearing, in the most outstanding publications in the United States. There have been a few magazines and newspapers which have refused the copy, but in every case, these periodicals have been members of a certain "faith" which, if it could, would deny the right to anyone to teach any other religion than the one they teach. The two advertising men mentioned have both personally called on me soliciting our advertising account. When I recalled my first interview with them, they professed not to remember it; but I did. The first advertisement appeared in Psychology Magazine, and as before stated, that "mechanically imperfect" piece of copy brought in enough inquiries and enrollments to make further advertising possible. The second advertisement appeared in the Pathfinder. It cost fifteen hundred dollars, and the third appeared in Physical Culture. In one year from the date of the first advertisement we were sending our teaching into sixty-seven different countries. I believe the Spokane advertising agency made a bad guess.