John Morgan Pryse

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John Morgan Pryse was an American Theosophist born in Cincinnati, Ohio. With his brother James Morgan Pryse, he assisted William Quan Judge in setting up publishing operations in New York.

Theosophical Society involvement

John and his brother James purchased and operated newspapers and printing plants in Nebraska, Montana, and Wisconsin, finally moving to Los Angeles in 1886. John joined the Theosophical Society in Los Angeles on April 23, 1888, a short time after Jame had become a member.[1]

They were soon invited by W. Q. Judge to New York to assist him with the printing work. They formed the Aryan Theosophical Press which printed the Esoteric Instructions of H. P. Blavatsky and other Theosophical works.

At the request of Mme. Blavatsky James Pryse went to London in 1889 and became one of HPB’s staff in Avenue Road. While there, he set up the HPB Press. After her death in 1891, John became a member of the London headquarters staff.

In the late 1940s, as a very old man, John Pryse was still active in Theosophical work and living in Los Angeles. He sold "Books on Occultism, California and the Pacific Islands."[2]

Works published by John Pryse

  • The Restored New Testament. Los Angeles: John M. Pryse and London: John M. Watkins, 1914. Subtitled "The Hellenic fragments, freed from the pseudo-Jewish interpolations, harmonized, and done into English verse and prose, with introductory analyses, and commentaries, giving an interpretation according to ancient philosophy and psychology and a new literal translation of the synoptic gospels, with introduction and commentaries." 848 pages. Available in several versions at Internet Archive.
  • The Apocalypse Unsealed. New York: John M. Pryse, 1910. 244 pages. Subtitled: "being an esoteric interpretation of the initiation of Iôannês (Apokalypsis Iōannou) commonly called the Revelation of (St.) John : with a new translation". Available at Internet Archive. A gnostic work.


  1. Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at See book 1, entry 4430(website file: 1B/40).
  2. John M. Pryse letter to Boris de Zirkoff. June 2, 1947. Boris de Zirkoff Papers. Records Series 22. Theosophical Society in America Archives.