Quimby as Founder of New Thought

C. Alan Anderson

Adapted from a talk presented
July 20, 1996
International New Thought Alliance
Florida West Coast District Meeting
Clearwater, Florida

The essence of this paper is published in The Journal of the Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion, 3 (Spring 1997): 5-22.

INTRODUCTION

This paper is part of an exchange dealing with the question of the relative importance of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby and Emma Curtis Hopkins in the founding of the New Thought movement.

This paper shows that:

Without Quimby there would have been no Christian Science.

Without Christian Science there would have been no Hopkins as New Thought healer or teacher.

The New Thought movement could have developed even if there had been no Hopkins.

Mary Baker Eddy originally acknowledged appreciatively the influence of Quimby.

There are significant parallels between Quimby's views and those of Eddy, not simply at an early period but later as well.

The character of Eddy was consistent with her taking the Quimby system and making it her own, with certain retrogressive additions, and without giving credit to Quimby.

Emma Curtis Hopkins was a spiritual giant, and the New Thought movement as it actually developed stands in large measure on her shoulders. But she herself stands on the shoulders of Phineas Parkhurst ("Park") Quimby, however deep may be the buffering pillow of Mary Baker Eddy between her feet of understanding and Quimby's body of Wisdom.

At one point in her doctoral dissertation, "Emma Curtis Hopkins: 'Forgotten Founder' of New Thought," Gail Harley refers to Hopkins as "the primary founder of New Thought (p. 143, italics added)," and at another point calls her "the founder of organized New Thought (p. 9, italics added)." Apparently it is the latter that she is defending in this exchange. Organized surely is the key word here. Perhaps organizer would be a better word than founder. Let us consider whether she was THE initial organizer or simply a very important organizer.

That Hopkins played an indispensable role is being questioned. The July 1996 issue of Creative Thought contains an article by Arthur Vergara, who is the Editor-in-Chief of DeVorss & Co. and a longtime student of New Thought history. This article is one of his series on "New Thought: A Historical Perspective." Vergara refers to Hopkins as "mentor to the new movement." He writes:

. . . as the Quimby legacy became indistinct because of the difficulty of tracing it organizationally, Emma Curtis Hopkins arrived on the scene from a wholly different quarter and came to be regarded as "the teacher of teachers" and "the founder of New Thought." The claim is made that she taught the founders of all the major organizations within New Thought, but this is not the case. This claim disregards not only many other less prominent influences, but the existence and influence of a figure of at least equal importance, Malinda Elliott Cramer. (p. 13)

In 1885, while Hopkins was with Eddy, Cramer was healed of 23 years of invalidism, as "an intuitive response from the depths of Being," to her "earnest meditation and prayerful seeking" (Cramer, Divine Science and Healing, p. 11). Her description of it indicates that it accompanied a mystical experience. She says that her teaching was "derived from no book, but from the Omnipresent Source of all Truth (Ibid., p. 23)." Cramer opened her own school in 1888. In 1892 she had the International Divine Science Association chartered. From 1894 through 1899 it held meetings that indirectly led to establishment of the International New Thought Alliance.

Of the organizationally less prominent influences referred to by Vergara, Warren Felt Evans deserves special attention. He was a former Quimby patient and was the first published writer in the field that became New Thought. Georgine Milmine, in a February 1908 McClure's Magazine article that was part of a series adapted to form a book, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science most recently attributed both to Milmine and to Willa Cather, says:

After reading Dr. Evans, a number of Mrs. Eddy's strongest students . . . [helped] to form the nucleus of what was later to become the "New Thought" movement. . . . As a direct rebuke to those who had become interested in the writings of Dr. Evans, she issued instructions to the members of the Christian Scientists' Association that they should read no other works on mental healing written by herself. (p. 390)

She also then required teachers of Christian Science to prohibit their students from reading any mind cure literature other than hers, and she prohibited any members of her Association from meeting without inviting all members, in order to prevent discussion and "conspiracy." (Ibid., p. 391) At first the Evans followers were unorganized, but then they

began to meet together more systematically, to organize in groups here and there, and to publish books and periodicals, encouraging liberal discussion and investigation. . . . By the beginning of 1888 there was discord even in that inner circle of students who shared Mrs. Eddy's councils . . .

Milmine mentions some by name, but not Hopkins. It appears that Milmine refers to activity mostly around Boston. Clearly New Thought could have developed even if there had been no Hopkins. Indeed, from the amount of dissent from Eddy it seems almost inevitable that New Thought under some name would have come into existence

Harley's dissertation (p. 77) quotes Catherine L. Albanese, in Nature Religion in America, as saying that "Quimby was surely the harbinger of a new age" who "hammered out a confusedþbut still commanding theology of healing, for a charter document for American metaphysical religion." Harley does not question this conclusion; we might well suppose that anyone who constructs a "charter document" for anything deserves to be considered its "founder."

REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY FOUNDER OF ANYTHING

A founder must be more than a modifier or promoter. A founder must have great original insights that are as close to wholly new as anything can be, even if only in bringing together previously disparate elements into some new clearly recognizable entity. The most important founders are the founders of paradigms, the paradigm shifters, the initiators of important new ways of understanding what is going on, of how the world works, of how we can bring about new accomplishments or significantly change old ones.

Col. Harlan Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He initiated the process, but probably few people would have heard of him if it had not been for the organizational genius of John Y. Brown. Yet you don't see Brown's picture on the bucket!

Jesus generally is considered the founder of Christianity. However, he had only a small group of dedicated followers and established no organization. One could well argue that Paul, in a position roughly comparable to that of Hopkins, was the founder, but one scarcely can imagine that Christianity would have developed if there had been Paul but no Jesus.

Quimby was a paradigm shifter. Eddy performed a vital function in preserving his insights, despite mixing them with unessential innovations, and Hopkins performed an equally vital function in reforming Christian Science, teaching her revision, and providing organizational form for its expression.

HOW CLOSE MUST A FOUNDER OR FATHER BE TO THE OFFSPRING?

There is nothing in the notion of founder or father that requires a direct, continuing, unbroken, recognized influence in every aspect and every follower of whatever is under consideration. If I build a factory that produces interchangeable parts, I am deeply indebted to Eli Whitney, regardless of whether I have heard of him. The terms father and founder are linked in The American Heritage College Dictionary, 3rd edition, definition of father as "a man who creates, originates, or founds something . . . an early form; a prototype." A founder of course is one who founds. The term found is from a linguistic root meaning base or bottom. To found is (according to Webster's New World Dictionary Third College Edition) "to lay the base of; set for support; base [or] to begin to build or organize; bring into being; establish"; in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 10th ed.: "to take the first steps in building; to set or ground on something solid; base; to establish (as an institution) often with provision for future maintenance." The two words are linked in "the founding fathers."

Clearly, Quimby took the first steps and laid a base, however much others may have modified it or the superstructures erected on it.

We are concerned with the question of who was the founder of New Thought in the sense of indispensable contributor to its coming into existence. If there are two or more indispensable contributors, priority should be given to the chronologically first.

Harley quotes with apparent agreement a statement by G. Gordon Melton in "The Case of Edward J. Arens and the Distortion of the History of New Thought," in the Spring 1996 issue of The Journal of the Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion, that Hopkins "remained closer to Eddy in her teaching than Quimby and helped make New Thought the uneasy synthesis of Eddy and Quimby, which it is today. (p. 78)" This is a recognition of something of the continuing importance of Quimby.

We could well stop at this point, but there is much more to support Quimby's position as founder.

Some people keep suggesting that Eddy was not dependent on Quimby, and worked out a system independent of his. So it seems appropriate to exorcise that ghostly claim again.

THE REVISIONIST HISTORY OF THE PROXIMATE ORIGIN OF NEW THOUGHT

Melton is a distinguished scholar of American religion, and I agree with much of what he says. But in the article to which I have referred above, he indulges in some exaggerated statements. He asserts (p. 15) that Quimby died in 1866,

twenty years before there was a New Thought movement, that none of the leaders of the movement had met Quimby or read any of his material, that there is virtually no reference to him or his teachings during the first forty years of the movement, and that his teachings (being unavailable to the movement prior to 1921) had no effect on its growth and development

Let's examine Melton's claims.

twenty years before there was a New Thought movement:

I don't claim to know exactly how to tell when a movement begins. Possibly copying and discussing Quimby's manuscripts by his patients in his Portland, ME, office was the beginning of a movement. Perhaps it was as late as the large-scale conferences around the turn of the century. Probably it was somewhere in between; it is not necessary to challenge Melton's dating for our present purposes.

that none of the leaders of the movement had met Quimby or read any of his material, that there is virtually no reference to him or his teachings during the first forty years of the movement:

This is not the case. After Eddy became prominent, Julius A. Dresser did much to make the work of Quimby known both before and after his fairly well-known 1887 address, "The True History of Mental Science," later published and expanded. Quimby's life, character, and ideas and excerpts from his writings were published in The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby by Annetta Gertrude Dresser in 1895. Both Julius and Annetta Dresser were Quimby patients and were as familiar as anyone with his views and methods. To what extent they may have been "leaders of the movement" can be questioned, especially with regard to Julius, who died in 1893. But Annetta lived four more decades.

Melton also overlooks the importance of the Metaphysical Club of Boston, started in 1895. It was an important element in the establishment of New Thought as a movement. Its people were well aware of Quimby, especially because of the involvement of Horatio Dresser in the Club. In his Spirits in Rebellion Charles S. Braden says:

Although efforts at wider organization were made in various parts of the nation it was at least indirectly from the Boston Metaphysical Club that the National, and eventually the International, New Thought Alliance developed. (p. 154)

Of the people associated with the Metaphysical Club, Horatio Dresser and Henry Wood were the most prominent, and their books were many and widely distributed. Braden (p. 156) shows the popularity of Wood by citing numerous editions of many of his books. Cramer "had close ties" with Henry Wood, as well as the Fillmores and the Brooks sisters. (Ruth F. Townsend, compiled by Joan Cline McCrary, Foreword to Malinda E. Cramer, Divine Science and Healing, 5th ed., Denver: Divine Science Federation International, 1988, p. viii)

Returning to the Melton quotation:

his teachings (being unavailable to the movement prior to 1921) had no effect on its growth and development:

1921 was the year of publication of The Quimby Manuscripts, but Quimby's teachings were available long before that year, as we have seen. Melton's major contention is that New Thought, in seeking to distinguish itself from Christian Science, adopted a myth (presumably meaning not simply a falsehood but an organizing story providing meaningful orientation) of Quimby as its founder.

In his section called "Reviewing the Case for Quimby," Melton presents four points, three of which, whether true or false, are irrelevant to our topic. His only important claim, in relation to our concern today, is that no one has considered adequately

the possibility that Eddy had abandoned Quimby's metaphysics and, out of the new perspective formulated in the late 1860s and early 1870s, developed a healing practice appropriate to it. But even on the one issue raised by Dresser, it is difficult to reconcile Quimby's references to Wisdom's "odor" and "spiritual matter," central concepts to his metaphysics that are so foreign to anything Eddy proposed.:

Such statements are in line with Christian Science claims that Quimby remained a mesmerist throughout his career and never rose to anything like the recognition of truly divine healing that is the hallmark of Christian Science--and New Thought, I add.

Before looking at this in some detail, I emphasize that regardless of what Eddy may have believed and taught at any time, she was inspired to get into spiritual healing as a result of her association with Quimby. That is sufficient to maintain the title of founder for Quimby. However, there is far better ground than that for continuing to consider Quimby founder of New Thought.

Harley in her dissertation (pp. 33-35) says that Hopkins examined evidence and concluded that Eddy and Quimby were significantly different. However, it appears that this was limited to reading correspondence, and it seems highly unlikely that Hopkins while still with Eddy saw any of Quimby's writings, which one scarcely can imagine that Eddy would have made available. Only by studying these could Hopkins have made any valuable judgment with regard to Eddy's originality. However all this may be, Harley here and elsewhere indicates that Hopkins knew of Quimby, so this strengthens the case for there being at least a link of awareness of Quimby.

Charles S. Braden in Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice says with regard to the late 1860s:

There is no question that at this point Mary Baker Glover was freely ascribing the mind-healing method she was teaching to Quimby. [In the late 1860s] she brought with her to Mrs. Wentworth's house a manuscript entitled "Extracts from Doctor P. P. Quimby's Writings," which she allowed Sally Wentworth to copy. During her stay here she completed a manuscript which she called "The Science of Man or the principle which controls all phenomena." Embodying the Quimby teaching, the original, still preserved, shows interlineations in Mary Baker Glover's authenticated handwriting. Inevitably some of her own developing thought crept into this work, but certainly not enough to invalidate its Quimby origin. (p. 26)

The Cather/Milmine book (pp. 125-31) identifies the Extracts as a copy of Quimby's "Questions and Answers" and adds that Sally Wentworth's son attested in an affidavit that Eddy attributed it to Quimby and claimed no originality for herself.

Milmine (in a February 1908 McClure's Magazine article, p. 522) says of "Questions and Answers":

From this manuscript Mrs. Eddy taught for several years after Quimby's death, and she sold copies of it to her early students for [the then princely sum of] $300 each [including twelve lessons in the Quimby cure].

Horatio Dresser tells us in The Quimby Manuscripts (2nd ed. p. 433) that part of Eddy's retitled copy of "Questions and Answers"

with a facsimile showing emendations in Mrs. Eddy's hand, was published in the New York Times, July 10, 1904, with a "deadly parallel" showing Quimby's teachings and those of Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health." In 1872, while teaching in Lynn, Mass., Mrs. Eddy claimed this Ms. as her own, and in this and other writings she gradually changed the terminology so that it bore less resemblance to Quimby's.

I have examined this New York Times magazine section article via microfilm and have found it impressive.

In 1877 (two years after publication of Eddy's Science and Health) Sarah G. Crosby, who had been a friend of Eddy when Eddy was a patient of Quimby, swore to an affidavit stating that

I do not hesitate to say that Mrs. Eddy's teachings in 1877, and Dr. Quimby's teachings in 1864 were substantially the same; in fact, as I heard them both, I know they were.

She said earlier in the affidavit:

These lectures were in all material respects the same as I had myself been taught by said Dr. Quimby . . . the same teaching about Truth and Error and matter and disease, the same method of curing disease by Truth casting out Error, the same claim that it was the method adopted by Jesus. (Ibid.)

The question is not whether Eddy introduced significant innovations (and this need not be determined for our purposes), but whether she were dependent on Quimby's inspiration and his essential ideas (forming an indispensable link in the chain of her thought) at any significant stage of the development of her thought. That she was so dependent is certain. We shall see more details shortly.

People who claim that Eddy developed theory and practice significantly different from Quimby's point to Quimby quotations that appear to be materialistic and then take them literally, rather than as examples of Quimby's attempts to express new insights while lacking adequate terminology. What he did was similar to what Whitehead did about three quarters of a century later in devising new terminology or new uses for old words in order to deal with unfamiliar ideas. Something of that sort seems inevitable when dealing with revolutions in thinking. Melton (p. 25) says, "it is difficult to reconcile Quimby's references to Wisdom's 'odor' and 'spiritual matter,' central concepts to his metaphysics that are so foreign to anything Eddy proposed." Albanese also takes note of them, but interprets Quimby as speaking symbolically; she (p. 109) refers to his "metaphor of odor." We should no more interpret literally Quimby's reference to odor than we do anyone's reference to "the sweet smell of success" or the "odor of sanctity." Or, if one has some special spiritual "sense," it scarcely can be described except by analogy to something that we all experience. Quimby's employment of the term "spiritual matter" is not unlike Aristotle's use of matter to refer to whatever is the potential for something else. In Quimby's thought matter is not to be interpreted materially, but as something that can be changed by mind.

Lest one get the impression that Quimby wrote in nothing but confusing terminology, it seems appropriate to take notice of some of the abundantly clearþand clearly spiritual, not mesmeric nor any power of one human mind on another nor anything merely humanistically psychotherapeuticþwords of Quimby in his writing called "Questions and Answers," which Mrs. Eddy had. The ideas may be new to the 19th century, but it is apparent that Quimby at least sometimes wrote without using words that suggest materialism. I quote:

As God is Wisdom, Wisdom is Science and we call the proof of getting Science knowledge, belief or reason; but when the answer comes, our knowledge vanishes and we are swallowed up in God or Wisdom. The sick are strangers to this Wisdom, being led by false guides without it . . . (Seale 3:262-63).

God is Truth and there is no other truth, and if we know God the same is known to us. (Ibid., p. 264)

All science is a part of God, and when man understands science, the same is known to God; but the world's God is based on man's opinion and right and wrong is the invention of man, while God is in their reason, but not known. (Ibid., p. 265)

I do not throw the Bible away but throw the explanation away and apply Jesus' own words as he did, and as he intended they should be applied, and let my works speak for themselves, whether they are of God or man, and leave the sick to judge. (Ibid., p. 266)

Christian Scientists, in line with Eddy, claim that Quimby practiced only secular healing and in effect never really left mesmerism, which is also called magnetism. In contrast to later Eddy claims, in a letter to W. W. Wright in 1871 Eddy refers to Quimby as "an old gentleman who had made it a research for twenty-five years, starting from the standpoint of magnetism, thence going forward and leaving that behind (Cather/Milmine, p. 90, italics added)."

A writer in the Bangor Jeffersonian in 1857, about five years before Eddy went to Quimby, described Quimby's method as non-mesmeric. (Cather/Milmine, p. 55n, Annetta Gertrude Dresser, The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby, pp. 22-25, and H. W. Dresser, The Quimby Manuscripts, 2nd ed., pp. 106-107.)

Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V. Dittemore (who for a decade was a Director of the Christian Science church and a trustee under Eddy's will), in their Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition (p. 156) present an impressive case for showing that Christian Science is of Quimby origin, in three dimensions. They may not understand Quimby adequately, but they convincingly show connections of Quimby and Eddy. They say:

[First] as far as the thought is concerned, Science and Health is practically all Quimby. Mrs. Glover's one addition was the notion of "malicious malpractice"; every other important idea in the book can be traced to the Portland doctor. The conceptions of God as the sole reality, of the non-being of matter, of the soul as eternal and unchanging, of Christ as the revealer of divinity through mental healing, of disease as errorþall these went back to Quimby. The technique of healing was his: the appeal to a higher truth to dispel the patient's error, the efficacy of absent treatment, the cure of children through influencing their parents' beliefs, the acceptance of "chemicalization" (that is, mental disturbance accompanying new ideas) as a phase of the process, the notion that the healer feels in his own person the pains of his patient. Quimby's, too, was the assertion that this system of thought forms a science, and his was the very name which Mrs. Glover ultimately (though not in the first edition of her book) adopted for this science. (pp. 156-57, italicization added)

[Second] Even the terminology and illustrations are often Quimby's. Such is the peculiar use of the word "belief"; the name "Wisdom" or "Principle" as applied to God; man as the "mirror" of God; and matter as the "shadow" of mind. Quimby presented his theory in the form of an imaginary court scene, and Mrs. Glover followed him with the same curious illustration.

[Third] The contradictions latent in Quimby's thought were nowhere surmounted by Mrs. Glover. Rather they became more prominent, owing to her continued emphasis on the metaphysical aspects of his doctrine, which were of secondary interest to him. Quimby's point of departure was the fact of disease, Mrs. Glover's a metaphysical dogma. Again and again she reiterates : "There is no reality but God and his idea." The phrase "his idea" allowed for a positive metaphysical explanation of the world, had she possessed the philosophical insight to develop it, but as it was, instead of seeing the universe as God's idea, she restricted this to the soul of man, rejecting everything else as illusion. The necessity of explaining the illusion she never could perceive.

Is there any evidence that might help us to judge the likelihood of Eddy's appropriating Quimby's system? Bates and Dittemore (p. 95) take note of Quimby's recognition of Eddy's quickness at perceiving the truth, but also that some around Quimby were

doubtful . . . of her character. Annetta Seabury suspected her of being too ambitious, George Quimby warned his father that she was unscrupulous and would steal his ideas, and Quimby himself admitted that she lacked "identity" or integrity [footnote: On the authority of Horatio Dresser, who received this information from his parents and from Mrs. McKay, formerly Sarah Ware]. It is significant that she was never asked to join George Quimby and the Misses Ware in copying Quimby's manuscripts and never saw any of them save [Volume I, referred to by Dresser as "Christ or Science," lent her by [Julius] Dresser, and "Questions and Answers," of which, like other patients, she was permitted to make a copy for her own use.

Perhaps the ultimate expression of lack of confidence in Eddy is found in a letter written shortly after Quimby's death in 1866, by Quimby's widow, Susannah B. (Harden) Quimby, to Julius Dresser, (unpublished until 1993, when I included it as an appendix I in my Healing Hypotheses). Apparently Dresser had sent her a copy of Eddy's "LINES ON THE DEATH OF DR. P. P. QUIMBY, WHO HEALED WITH THE TRUTH THAT CHRIST TAUGHT, IN CONTRADISTINCTION TO ALL ISMS," dated Feb. 22, 1866, and published in a Lynn, Massachusetts, newspaper (The Quimby Manuscripts, 2nd ed, p. 160). He probably also had informed Mrs. Quimby of Eddy's famous fall on the ice, after which she appealed to Dresser to carry on Quimby's practice in healing her; but Dresser declined to follow in Quimby's footsteps. Later Eddy would refer to that fall as the occasion for the receipt of her alleged healing revelation.

. . . I agree with your views of her exactly. She is ever aiming at her own popularity and endeavoring to build herself up at some others expense. She evidently thought when she so strongly endorsed the Dr['s] theory at her first visit to him that he would put her forward to explain for him his doctrine, and she never fully abandoned the idea while he lived. She last summer visited B[elfast] (bringing a rich friend with her to bear expenses) and hung around and talked, at last, proposed (through her friend) giving a lecture, but the Dr did not encourage it, and did not invite her to preach for him at all, so she did not stay long. I have thought she would eventually go into spiritualism, heart and hand. She said she did join them sometimes and would get quite excited and carried away while talking about them. Her case as she describes it is sad, and had I never seen her or heard her talk I might have more sympathy or believe she was in the frightful condition she represents, but she is so extravagant in her expressions and does not always adhere closely to truth that I have less confidence perhaps than I ought. . . .

Distasteful though it is to consider the questionable character of Eddy, it is part of the picture required to understand the history of the influence of Quimby.

CONCLUDING SUMMARY

Without Quimby there would have been no Christian Science; without Christian Science there would have been no Hopkins as healer or New Thought teacher. It is possible that there would have been a New Thought movement without Hopkins, given a background provided by Quimby, Evans, the Dressers, Wood, Cramer, and others who had little or no indebtedness to Eddy, or provided by various Christian Science dissidents. We have seen that Eddy originally acknowledged her indebtedness to Quimby, whom she praised. We also have seen that there are significant parallels between Quimby's words and those of Eddy, not simply at an early period but later. We have seen it to be well within the character of Eddy to do exactly what she did do in taking the Quimby system and making it her own with certain lamentable additions.

Once more, without Quimby there would have been no Christian Science Eddy, and therefore no New Thought Hopkins. As the initiator of the chain of developments that took place, Quimby deserves the title of founder of the New Thought movement.

REFERENCES

Albanese, Catherine L. Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Anderson, C. Alan. Healing Hypotheses: Horatio W. Dresser and the Philosophy of New Thought. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993.

Bates, Ernest Sutherland and John V. Dittemore, Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1932.

Braden, Charles S. Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1958.

Cather, Willa, and Georgine Milmine. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy: and the History of Christian Science. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993 (originally Doubleday, Page & Company, 1909).

Cramer, Malinda E. Divine Science and Healing, 5th ed. Denver: Divine Science Federation International, 1988.

Dresser, Annetta Gertrude, ed. The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby. Boston: Geo. H. Ellis, 1895.

Dresser, Horatio. W., ed. The Quimby Manuscripts (both editions the same year). New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1921.

Harley, Gail. "Emma Curtis Hopkins: 'Forgotten Founder' of New Thought" unpublished doctoral dissertation, Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences, 1991.

Melton, G. Gordon. "The Case of Edward J. Arens and the Distortion of the History of New Thought," The Journal of the Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion 2 (Spring 1996): 13-28.

Milmine, Georgine, "Mary Baker G. Eddy: The Story of Her Life and the History of Christian Science," part X, McClure's Magazine, 30 (February 1908) 387-401.

Seale, Ervin, ed. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings. Marina Del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Co., 1988.

"True Origin of Christian Science: Documentary Evidence Refuting Mrs. Eddy's Claim That Her System Was Revealed to Her by God" (no author indicated). New York Times Magazine Section, July 10, 1904.

Vergara, Arthur, series of monthly articles on "New Thought: A Historical Perspective," Creative Thought throughout 1996.


The Healing Wisdom of Dr. P. P. Quimby edited by Mason Alonzo Clark.

The Philosophy of P. P. Quimby by Annetta Gertrude Dresser (and Horatio W. Dresser).

Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Contrasting Strains of Metaphysical Idealism Contributing to New Thought, with sections on materialism of Dods, types of idealism, Quimby, Evans, Eddy, Hopkins, Divine Science, Unity, Troward and Holmes, and a possible future.

"The Healing Idealism of P. P. Quimby, W. F. Evans, and the New Thought Movement": the paper that Alan presented at the Bicentennial Symposium of Philosophy in 1976.

Society for the Study of Metaphysical Religion: the academic organization concerned primarily with the New Thought movement.

New Thought Movement Home Page.

International New Thought Alliance: the umbrella organization connecting many New Thought groups and individuals. Includes links to directories of local New Thought districts, churches, and centers.

Anderson and Whitehouse, New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality

Created September 15, 1997, by Alan Anderson, Contact Info.