Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman Bailey (1880- 1949)
- Published: Sunday, 08 April 2018 10:44
Alice Bailey was founder of a spiritual movement growing out of the Theosophical tradition. Born to well-to-do parents in Manchester, England, she was raised in the conservative evangelical wing of the Church of England. Although she early showed mystical tendencies, her childhood was generally unhappy. After finishing school at the age of eighteen she threw herself into religious work in the Young Women’s Christian Association. The Y.W.C.A. sent her to India, where she delivered strongly evangelical sermons to British troops. There she met Walter Evans, an American studying for the Episcopal priesthood. They were married in 1907, and she returned with him to the United States. After his ordination the couple settled in California. The marriage failed, however, and they separated in 1915 and were divorced in 1919.
Amid this personal crisis, Alice Evans – then working in a fish cannery in Pacific Grove, California – discovered Theosophy in 1915. Although her first reaction was negative, she soon found that certain of its ideas, such as karma and the existence of the Masters, appealed to her mystic side and were of help to her in her plight. She joined the Theosophical Society and, in 1917, moved to Hollywood, California, where she worked in the vegetarian cafeteria at Krotona, the Theosophical center. She there met Foster Bailey, national secretary of the Theosophical Society, whom she subsequently married.