Born on June 16, 1880, in Manchester, England, Alice Ann La Trobe Bateman was a devoted missionary worker and Sunday school teacher. She later became known as a writer of the occult. Many refer to her as the mother of the modern form of the New Age Movement.
One Sunday, Alice was alone in her room reading, when the door opened and a stranger entered. Terrified, she listened as the man dressed in European clothing with a large turban on his head informed her that there was a plan for her to do some work in the world, if she chose to; however, her disposition would have to change. If she could learn to exercise self-control and become a more pleasant, trustworthy person, she would travel throughout the world and do the "master's work." Promising to check on her in several-year intervals, he paused, looked at her one last time, and walked out.
Thinking the stranger to be Jesus Christ (c. 6 B.C.E.–c. 30 C.E.) and deeply affected by his message, she worked to become a nice person, so much so that her family was concerned that she was ill. In 1915, nearly five years later, when several English women introduced Alice to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891) and Theosophy, her studies of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrines revealed that the man was the Master Koot Hoomi. In 1919, another "teacher" appeared to Alice, identifying himself as Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul.
Alice Bailey wrote a series of Ageless Wisdom books of teachings from Djwhal Khul that became lauded as classics in occult teaching. In an unfinished autobiography, Bailey expressed her love and compassion for her teachers, declaring them hard-working disciples of the world and of the Christ.
In 1923, she established The World Goodwill Centers, to assist those in need, and The Arcane School for the education and development of spiritual disciplines and techniques, such as meditation. In order to offer the school activities and courses free of charge, Bailey established The Lucis Trust, a publishing company and funding organization, which in 1924 published Bailey's popular Great Invocation Prayer, and would eventually publish 24 other works in 50 languages. Baily's writings continue to be a main influence of "New Agers" or those interested in the occult or deeper spiritual mysteries.
Bailey, Alice A. The Unfinished Autobiography. New York: Lucis Trust Publishing, 1951.
Three Remarkable Women. Flagstaff, Ariz.: Altai Publishing, 1986.