Starting anything just as the stock market was crashing would seem risky. For Robinson, Psychiana, as he called it, smoothed his way through those depression years by promising a way forward to people desperate for answers. He turned $2500 into hundreds of thousands of dollars and more than a million followers.
Robinson used direct mail and magazine advertising to lure seekers who were promised they would learn to “literally and actually” speak to God.
This was no small operation. The amount of mail that poured into Moscow forced the post office to move to a larger building. Checks for $20 to $40 came rolling in by the thousands and Robinson’s series of lessons rolled out. Lifetime members of Psychiana got a certificate suitable for framing signed by Robinson with the reminder, Every Hour on the Hour Repeat—“I believe in the power of the living God.”
Robinson received testimonials claiming that his lessons had resulted in various physical and mental cures. There was no doubt that Pyschiana had a positive effect on at least one person. Robinson developed a penchant for wearing furs and driving around town in a specially built Duesenberg.
Psychiana provided Robinson a nice living up until the day he died in 1948. His son tried to carry on the operation, but with the loss of its inventor, Psychiana had lost its verve. The business and/or religion, closed its doors in 1952.
For more on Psychiana, watch this Idaho Experience episode on Idaho Public Television.