Theosophy and the Society in the Public Eye

Henry A. Wallace

Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–1945), the Secretary of Agriculture (1933–1940), and the Secretary of Commerce (1945–1946). In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.


Henry A. Wallace

Wallace was raised as a Presbyterian and remained a devout Christian all his life. In college, however, he became increasingly dissatisfied with organized religion after reading William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). Around 1919 he stopped attending the Presbyterian church and spent the next ten years exploring other religious faiths and traditions, including spiritualism and esoteric religion.

He completed a correspondence course in Theosophy from the People's Temple, and was a card-holding member of the Theosophical Society in America, as verified by the archives in Wheaton, for some years until 1935, when he let his membership lapse after joining Franklin Roosevelt's cabinet, presumably for political reasons. He was also an altar boy in the Liberal Catholic Church.

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