Alice Anne Bailey was born as Alice LaTrobe Bateman on June 16, 1880 at Manchester, England. She was a tireless writer on subjects of occult and founded an international esoteric movement that had doctrines and practices that were advanced in nature, and unconventional. She is credited with being the one who coined the term New Age, and her writings gave rise to many aspects of such beliefs.
At the age of 15, as recounted by her, she had a memorable experience when she met a tall man in European clothes, but with a turban on his head. It was only later, when in America, she realized who this person was.
She had a very strong Christian education and a sheltered upbringing. Her evangelical work in the British army took her to India in 1907, where she met Walter Evans, her future husband, who was serving in the army. After their marriage, in 1907, they migrated to the United States, where Evans became an Episcopalian minister. Though they had three daughters, their marriage was not a success, and they divorced. Later she met and married Foster Bailey in 1920.
In 1915, she met two English women living in Pacific Grove, California, and came in contact with Theosophy and the works of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who was popularly known as Madame Blavatsky, and became active in the Theosophical Society. Through Blavatsky’s writings, especially her Secret Doctrines, Bailey realized that the person she met when she was 15 was Master Koot Hoomi, or Kuthumi.
Bailey – The Amanuensis
To be near the headquarters of the Theosophical society in Krotona, she moved to Hollywood in 1917, and started working there as a vegetarian cook. In 1919, she came in contact with another master – Djwhal Khul. She agreed to be his amanuensis - someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation) - after she got over her initial reluctance. The books were to be dictated telepathically.
In collaboration with this master whom she called The Tibetan, she wrote more than 15 books. He dictated through an inner voice, and she wrote down the dictation, word for word. The most popular of this collaborative work was Treatise on Cosmic Fire, which was immensely unreadable, more difficult than Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine. This collaboration was an example of a channeled communication through the medium’s subconscious.
Alice Bailey, herself, wrote seven books:
• The Consciousness of the Atom
• The Soul and its Mechanism
• From Intellect to Intuition
• From Bethlehem to Calvary
• The Unfinished Autobiography
• The Labors of Hercules
• The Labors of Hercules: An Astrological Interpretation
In 1923, along with her husband Foster who was also a Theosophist, Alice Bailey started The Arcane School. Under the guidance of the Spiritual Masters, the school taught the disciples ways to further the Great Universal Plan. The purpose was to teach the Tibetan master’s teachings. Her husband carried on with the School after her death in 1949, and it is still flourishing.
The School enrolls students from all over the world, and has grown steadily since it was formed 84 years ago. Today, their daughter, Mary Bailey, looks after the works of Alice Bailey and her husband.