“The Machiavelli of the mid-20th century will be an advertising man; his Prince, a textbook of the art and science of fooling all the people all the time.”
– Aldous Huxley
The “Twilight Mages” were a group of practical occultists that emerged in the 1890s, who commercialized the occult by making previously esoteric or forbidden knowledge available to the masses – for a price. The Twilight Mages promised to reveal the secrets to success, and to help develop one’s latent powers and hidden talents. Using the same business model that Scientology would later perfect, the Mages sold elaborate mail order lesson plans in esoteric subjects as diverse as personal magnetism, telepathy, and hypnosis. A single topic would typically consist of an average of 30 lessons, and mastering the “complete system of personal influence” required the completion of nearly 200 lessons.