Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Henry A Wallace: Practical Mystic

"Wallace is among the most genuinely learned men in American public life since Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson." Paul Sifton, Library of Congress historian 


Henry A. Wallace, FDR’s first Vice-President and later presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, though a devout Christian (he was raised Presbyterian and in 1939 joined the Episcopal Church) also had complex views on religion. Around 1919, Wallace left the Presbyterian Church and began exploring various esoteric systems. He once said, "I know I am often called a mystic, and in the years following my leaving the United Presbyterian Church I was probably a practical mystic ... I'd say I was a mystic in the sense that George Washington Carver was – who believed God was in everything and therefore, if you went to God, you could find the answers." While not a Theosophist, he was influenced by theosophical ideas. In 1925, he helped organize a Des Moines parish of the Liberal Catholic Church, an inclusive Christian denomination with ties to theosophy. He was also friends with the Theosophist poet and artist George William Russell.

It was Wallace, a Freemason, who encouraged FDR to have both sides of the Great Seal placed on the One-Dollar bill.

Through the encouragement of Wallace, the FDR administration sent an exhibition to Mongolia to search for the mythical city of Shambhala. However, it’s believed that President Franklin Roosevelt thought the exhibition was for botanical reasons. ’s administration was pregnant with Occultists and members of Secret Societies. Unfortunately, during the election of 1948, the press used his involvement in the Shambhala exhibition and his reputation as being interested in esoteric studies to smear his name and to derail his campaign.

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