Book Review of, Pyschiana Man: A Mail-Order Prophet, His Followers, and the Power of Belief in Hard Times by Brandon R. Schrand (review)

Published In

Oregon Historical Quarterly

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2022


Book Reviews


This biography charts the life of Frank Bruce Robinson, a "wildly unreliable figure," and the rise and fall of his subscription mail-order spiritual system, Psychiana, headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, in the 1930s until Robinson's death in 1948 (p. ix). Psychiana repackaged popular New Thought and Christian Science philosophies and promised to put subscribers in touch with "God Power." Robinson harnessed the power of advertising to secure subscribers, lectured throughout the Pacific Northwest and in California, and, for a brief period, hosted a radio show. Robinson was a successful entrepreneur, whose system benefited a great many people by their own accounts, who was also a braggart prone to grandiosity and dishonesty. He created what Brandon R. Schrand calls in one chapter title a "faith factory" out of which employees, many of them women, sent out thousands of copies of Psychiana lessons, books, pamphlets, and other ephemera to national and international subscribers.


Copyright (2022) Oregon Historical Society


Book Review of: PYSCHIANA MAN: A MAIL-ORDER PROPHET, HIS FOLLOWERS, AND THE POWER OF BELIEF IN HARD TIMES by Brandon R. Schrand Washington State University Press, Pullman, 2021. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. 414 pages. $24.95 paper.



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