A Victorian house on Alameda’s Grand Avenue is the last surviving center of The Home of Truth, a once-nationwide spiritual movement that popularized “New Thought” concepts, brought Hindu Vedanta teachings to California, and believed its leader would rise from the dead.
The Home of Truth began in 1887 when San Francisco schoolteacher Annie Rix experienced a “miracle cure” at a Christian Science class. The 31 year-old Rix quit her job, and traveled to Chicago to study at the Christian Science Theological Seminary. There she met and married fellow seminarian Paul Militz, and befriended Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, founders of the Unity School of Christianity. “Sister Annie,” as her followers would later call her, would write much of the Unity School’s early course material.
The Unity School is the largest and most influential “New Thought” organization. Originating in 19thcentury America, New Thought doctrines teach that God, as “infinite intelligence”, permeates the entire universe, that ultimate reality is spiritual, and that the true human nature is divine, and not subject to sickness or death. These became core Home of Truth concepts.
Sister Annie returned to California in 1893, and established Home of Truth centers across the state. In 1900, she sponsored Swami Vivekananda’s visit to the Bay Area, where the famed guru introduced thousands of Californians to Eastern spiritual wisdom, and founded the San Francisco Vedanta Center.
Largely because of Vivekananda’s influence, Sister Annie moved from Christianity to a broader spiritual perspective. In 1911 she split with the Unity School, and began publishing Master Mind, a popular metaphysical magazine that promoted interfaith unity, and disseminated Home of Truth teachings on healing, prosperity, and spirituality.
Throughout the 1910s, Sister Annie founded Home of Truth Centers across North America, from San Diego to Boston. She also penned several books and countless articles, and crisscrossed the United States delivering lectures to large audiences.
On June 22, 1924, during a visit to Los Angeles, Sister Annie died. For three days, followers held a vigil over her body, believing she would rise from the dead. Eventually city officials intervened, and forced her interment.
Over the next 50 years, The Home of Truth declined in size and influence until only the Alameda center remained. The center currently claims around 200 members, and holds services where ministers preach Sister Annie’s doctrines, a Prayer Ministry conducts healings, and laypeople study A Course in Miracles, a contemporary New Thought “Bible”.