A Visit With Dr. Catherine Ponder about DeVorss & Co.
As we prepare to gather in San Antonio, Texas for this year's INTA Congress, we do so not only because it is one of the most unusual cities in the United States, often described as "the Gateway to Mexico;" but also because of the many varied New Thought speakers we will have an opportunity to hear and meet.
Among these will be Gary Peattie, Vice President of DeVorss & Co. Almost everyone in the New Thought movement, at one time or another, has purchased metaphysical books from this seventy-year-old company. Their longtime editor, Arthur Vergara, will also speak on those early New Thoughters, a ten year research project.
Mr. DeVorss was originally the manager of the Sales Department for Unity School's books. Then by 1929 he had moved to the West Coast and established DeVorss & Co. About 1970, Arthur and Mary Peattie, former bankers, were asked to take over DeVorss & Co. through a family connection.
Arthur Peattie had a friendly, outgoing personality. He did something that perhaps had not been done by that company before. He went out after the authors he felt should be published by DeVorss & Co. When he learned I was traveling from Texas to the Northwest to lecture at the Civic Auditorium in Reno, Nevada for a businessman-reader who was sponsoring my lecture for more than a thousand of his "best friends," Art Peattie invited me to stop in Los Angeles on my return to Texas.
There I met him and his wife, Mary. After only one session with them, I realized they would give my books the personal attention I was no longer getting from my East Coast publisher. Although it took more than ten years to get all my books released from the original publisher, DeVorss & Co. started publishing my new books as fast as I could write them, and they have continued to do so ever since.
They did this for many New Thought writers. Indeed, DeVorss & Co. spread the message of New Thought, through its books publishing, in a way that no one else in the twentieth century did. Most of us have quietly ordered books from them, in some instances, for decades. Yet how few of us have realized their enormous worldwide influence on the New Thought movement. As the old saying goes, "We couldn't have done it without them."
That friendly, outgoing Art Peattie has now gone on to the next plane of life. But his quiet and very smart wife, Mary, has persisted with the business of supplying us with New Thought books, old and new. She said to me at an INTA Congress recently, "DeVorss & Co. is my whole life."
She is now assisted by her son, Gary, who helps carry on the family tradition of service to the New Thought movement. When I received the William H.D. Hornaday Humanitarian Award at a Religious Science Ministers' Conference in San Diego, Gary Peattie was right there, supplying New Thought books for the ministers and their churches. His presence reminded me that in the 1970s at the INTA Congress in Phoenix, his father had been present, and when I walked into the hotel lobby to check in, Art Peattie proudly handed me my first copy of The Millionaire Moses: His Prosperity Secrets for You just published by DeVorss.
Now that I am in "Act Three" of my life, I have turned over a lot of business matters concerning my literary work to my son, Richard. He, in turn, often works with Gary Peattie concerning my books, while Mary Peattie remains at the helm overseeing everything. And Arthur Vergara continues his fifteen-year editorship.
So I invite you to join me in this unique opportunity to see, hear and meet some of the most influential and important people of the New Thought movement, who have helped INTA develop a worldwide impact. And we'll never know how vast the effect of the quiet, efficient work of DeVorss & Co. in the twentieth century has been on us individually, as well as on readers everywhere.
I do know that when I taught my first prosperity class during a recession in 1958 that I not only used Charles Fillmore's powerful book entitled Prosperity plus other prosperity books published by Unity School, but I also contacted DeVorss & Co. and asked them to send me a copy of every book they had published on the subject of prosperity. Books like Wells of Abundance by E.V. Ingraham, It Works, a favorite booklet with numerous readers, and a generous number of other books and booklets were quickly forthcoming. Thanks to the help of DeVorss & Co. then, their books helped my prosperity classes and writings to go on and on. We have often said, "What goes around, comes around." So is it any wonder the DeVorss & Co. now publishes the very book it first helped me develop through class work, without even knowing it?
Many readers of this column could relate similar stories. I invite you to do so by joining us at the INTA Congress in San Antonio to pay proper tribute to two unsung heroes of the New Thought movement: Mary and Gary Peattie, and in loving memory of Art Peattie, who also helped in the twentieth century expansion of the New Thought movement more than he and we may ever know.
(Excerpt - New Thought Magazine - Summer 2000)
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