The website BoingBoing recently posted a copy of a display ad that has been making the rounds on the internet. Dean Hardy in Allegan, Michigan was offering blueprints to build a large pyramid in one’s backyard for the cost of $20. Hardy’s pyramid plans were designed for “maximum energy” and to “create an antenna to refocus cosmic or etheric light.”
The ad was posted to mock not only the pseudo-scientific claims of Hardy, but also as a reference to the New Age “pyramid power” craze that reached its height in the 1970s, complete with claims that within a pyramid razor blades would stay sharp, food would be slow to spoil, and people could reach heightened states of energy and awareness. To add to the cheap laughs, one commenter posted a link to a local news story featuring Dean’s wife Mary who framed the creation of the pyramid within a story of extraterrestrial contact and missing time.
But if we go back to 1979, Dean and Mary Hardy, with Kenneth Killick, explained pyramid energy not in terms of extraterrestrials, but alongside the 1908 metaphysical classic The Kybalion and its seven Hermetic laws of the universe. Killick and the Hardys linked themselves to The Kybalion by dubbing themselves “Three Initiates” in their book Pyramid Energy Explained, and they referenced the 1908 work over two dozen times within its pages. According to the authors, The Kybalion was written by Hermes Trismegistus, who was also the designer and builder of the Great Pyramid, and The Kybalion was no less than the key to science and ultimate wisdom. “Understand the seven principles laid out in the Kybalion,” said the trio from western Michigan, “and you will understand the structure of the atom and the workings of the Father in his universe.”
They were not the only pyramid-building seekers influenced by The Kybalion. Dwight York founder of the Black Nationalist group the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, both published a crude reworking of The Kybalion titled Sacred Wisdom and built two pyramids at his Egyptian-themed Tama-Re compound in Georgia. Most famous is the group SUMMUM, who since 1979 have had a pyramid as their sanctuary and temple off the I-15 highway in Utah. A book of their teachings Summum: Closed Except to the Open Mind took so much from The Kybalion that the US Copyright Office declared it a derivative work.
While a series of unconnected pyramids across the country would seem to be one of the most unusual legacies of The Kybalion, it is completely in line with its history. The Kybalion was a modern book cloaked in ancient mystique, and its teachings were both clear and practical, yet still flexible enough, to be applied to a wide range of beliefs and endeavors, from art and philosophy to bounty-hunting and pyramid-building.