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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter V
Chapter V

This chapter indicates a complete line of demarcation between the world with which I have been dealing and the world with which I am dealing now (1947). An entirely new cycle appears. Up till now I have just been Alice Bailey, socialite, mother and church worker; my time has been my own; nobody has known anything about me; I have been able to arrange my days to suit myself except as far as the children were concerned; no one was clamoring for appointments; there were no proofs to read; no public lectures to give; and, above everything else, no unending correspondence and letter-writing to claim my attention. I sometimes wonder if the general public has the faintest idea of the literally appalling number of letters I both dictate and receive. I am not exaggerating when I say that some years I have dictated over 10,000 letters and once I timed myself as regards a current day's correspondence and it took me forty-eight minutes simply to slit the envelopes before I withdrew the letters. When this is the case and when to this must be added the thousands of form letters which I have signed plus the letters which I have written to entire national groups (to which I have affixed no personal signature) you can understand my saying to my husband one day that upon my tombstone there should be the words: "She died smothered in papers." Today my record is about 6000 letters per year because I delegate so much of my correspondence now to men and women who can give more thought, time and consideration to the answering of my correspondence. Sometimes I sign these letters; sometimes I do not and I would like to give my grateful thanks at this point particularly to Mr. Victor Fox and one or two [176] others who have written perfectly wonderful letters for me to correspondents (letters which have received grateful thanks) and have themselves received no credit for the writing. This is what I call selfless service - to write a letter which you do not sign and for which someone else receives thanks.

This whole section of my life, 1921-1931, makes relatively dull reading. I find it difficult to bring into it a light touch or anything that would serve to relieve the monotony of the treadmill into which I entered during these years. Neither Foster Bailey nor I had planned any such life and we have often said that had we known what the future held we would never have started the things which we undertook. It is an outstanding case of the truth of the proverb that "Ignorance is bliss."

After that completely shocking annual convention of the T.S. in Chicago, Foster and I returned to Krotona utterly disillusioned, profoundly convinced that the T.S. was run strictly on personality lines, with the emphasis upon personality status, upon personality devotions, upon personality likes and dislikes and upon the imposition of personality decisions upon a mass of personality followers. We simply did not know what to do or along what line to work. Mr. Warrington was no longer president of the society and Mr. L.W.Rogers succeeded him. My husband was still national secretary and I was still editor of the national magazine and chairman of the Krotona committee.

I shall never forget the morning when, upon his assumption of office, Mr. Rogers took over, we went up to his office to tender to him our desire to continue to serve the T.S.   Mr. Rogers looked at us and asked the question, "Is there any way which you can think, by which you can be of service to me?" Here we were, therefore, without jobs, no money, no future, three children and utterly uncertain [177] as to what it was we wanted to do. A move was instituted to have us ousted off the Krotona grounds but Foster cabled Mrs. Besant and she immediately squashed the effort. It was just a little too raw.

This was a most difficult time. We were not married and Foster was living in a tent on the grounds of Krotona. Being a very circumspect English woman I had a lady living with me to act as a chaperone and prevent dirty gossip. One of the things I have attempted and I think successfully to do is to rescue occultism from defamation. I have tried to make the vocation of occultists respectable and have been surprisingly successful. Whilst I was unmarried and whilst the children were tiny I always had some elderly friend live with me. After marriage my husband and the children themselves have proved adequate protection. For one thing, I have never been interested in any man except my husband, Foster Bailey, and, for another, no really decent and self-respecting woman would live in such a way that her children as they get older are critical of her. This has been very good for the occult movement for today the word occultism has a respectable connotation and lots of worthwhile people are perfectly willing to have themselves recognized by the rest of the world as occult students. I feel that this is one of the things that it was my destiny to help carry out and I do not believe that ever again will the occult field of thought fall into the same disrepute as it did from 1850 until now.

Books are still being written defaming H.P.B. and Mrs. Besant and one wonders what their writers hope to achieve. As far as I can ascertain the modern generation of investigating students are not the least interested in the pros or cons of their characters. It is quite unimportant to them whether so-and-so approves or disapproves of either of these two people. What they are interested in is the [178] teaching and the truth. This is wholesome and right. I wish these modern writers who spend months in raking up dirt and endeavoring to prove someone was vile would realize the stupidity of their activities. They do not touch the truth; they do not change the loyalties of those who know; they do not change the trend towards occult realization and they hurt nobody but themselves.

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