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Utopian in Power: Henry Wallace, Roerich, and the Sacred Union of the East

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Published on Mar 31, 2013

Occult and spirituality aspirations of Henry Wallace, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of Agriculture and then Vice-President. FDR's. Professor Andrei Znamenski explores the reason why Wallace supported a reckless project - a 1934-1935 "botanical expedition" with an occult spin to Eastern China (Manchuria and Inner Mongolia). To a surprise of his colleagues in the Department of Agriculture, Wallace appointed as the head of this expedition Russian emigre painter and occultist Nicholas Roerich. The latter used this as an opportunity to jump-start his utopian geopolitical project of the Sacred Union of the East - an attempt to bring all Tibetan Buddhist people of Inner Asia into a vast theocratic state that would become a spiritual beacon for the humanity. Although later Wallace did everything to distance himself from Roerich, in the early 1930s the future Vice-President was part of Roerich's esoteric circle, considered the painter his guru, received an esoteric name "Galahad," and was at least partially aware of the Roerich plan. In his correspondence, Wallace referred to the Sacred Union of the East project as the "Great Plan," the "New Country" and "Kansas."

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