From Disease, Poverty and Drudgery to Health, Wealth, Power and Success: Read the Within Pages and Know about the Great Work of the Mystic Success Club. SELF-IMPROVEMENT CORRESPONDENCE COURSE, PYRAMID SCHEMES.
From Disease, Poverty and Drudgery to Health, Wealth, Power and Success: Read the Within Pages and Know about the Great Work of the Mystic Success Club

From Disease, Poverty and Drudgery to Health, Wealth, Power and Success: Read the Within Pages and Know about the Great Work of the Mystic Success Club

New York: Magazine of Mysteries, n.d, but ca. 1906.

8.75 x 13 inches, [16] pp, stapled wrappers. Text on most pages in four columns of absurdly small type. Creased where it has been folded into quarters, with some soiling, dampstaining, and minor chipping at the center fold of the first two leaves, rear wrap with some creasing, else clean and unmarked.

Part self-help program, part pyramid scheme, the Mystic Success Club was the brainchild of New Thought leader Helen Van Anderson and Hubert A. Knight, publisher of "Three Weeks Training in Clairvoyance," and other pamphlets offering instruction in arcane skills. Promising adherents the ability to achieve "health, vigor, force, and tremendous psychic mental powers" they asked only that you pay $1 to subscribe to their monthly Magazine of Mysteries and get three friends to do the same. Once your four dollars arrived, you were a life member of the Mystic Success Club and could expect to receive four booklets over four months that, if used properly, would allow you to "control and direct all the great forces of the universe, especially the unseen forces, for good of yourself and others." This circular lays out the process in some detail, but is primarily composed of purported testimonials from "Brothers" and "Sisters" across the United States who proclaim their delight with the benefits of Club membership. As cons go, the Mystic "Success" Club appears itself to have achieved only middling success at best. A correspondent writes to a 1905 issue of "Life: A Monthly Magazine of Christian Metaphysics": "I wish to say through your valuable, true, honest journal, that I know by both experience and a thorough investigation that 'The Mystic Success Club' of New York, so vigorously advertised by 'The New York Magazine of Mysteries,' is a base humbug, a graft and a fraud. I would advise all of your readers to NOT JOIN." Although Ms. Van Anderson (who appears to have been sincere in her beliefs) is still read in some circles today, Mr. Knight committed suicide after being found guilty of extortion. And while the "Magazine of Mysteries" was issued monthly between 1901 and 1914, the Club was somewhat shorter-lived, a fact reflected in OCLC: The "Magazine" is held by five institutions, and a single copy of one of the Club's booklets (the "Second Degree") is held in one, but of this circular no copy is recorded.

Item #19851

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