Although sometimes praised for its inclusivity and calming abilities, the practice of yoga became more widely known as a controversial practice encouraged by fraudulent individuals. Marred by scandal, yoga became demonized in newspapers as a “cult.” Read more about it!
The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Jump to: Sample Articles
- 1905. Tantrik Order in America and the Tantrik Press are founded in by Pierre Arnold Bernard (the Great Oom) and assocates.
- 1910. Bernard founds the Sanskrit College in New York City.
- May 1910: Two teenage girls accuse Bernard of "Sexual misconduct", causing a nationwide scandal.
- 1918. Bernard establishes Clarkstown Country Club in South Nyack, New York.
Suggested Search Terms:
- [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
Popular interest in yoga and Hindu philosophy in America grew after an extensive lecture tour by Swami Vivekananda starting in 1893, ending 1895. The terms yoga, Swami, Hindu, (sometimes spelled Hindoo) and Tantrick (also spelled Tantric) will return articles on this subject. The names of Vivekananda and Tregunatita, will return articles on these Hindu theologians. For articles on Pierre Arnold Bernard it is best to search using his last name in combination with yoga or Tantrik or by using his popular "title" the Great Oom.
- "Mrs. Katherine C. Tingley’s Theosopic Raja yoga school at Point Loma Cal will now undergo rigid investigation," New-York Tribune, (New York, NY), Nov. 16, 1902, Page 8, Image 22, col. 1.
- "Mental Slavery to Mrs. Tingley," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Nov. 26, 1902, Image 2 col. 2.
- "Philosophy of the Vendar," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), August 23, 1903, Image 14 col. 1.
- "Vedanta the faith of the yogis which Washington has taken up," The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), December 18, 1904, Magazine Features, Page 2, Image 30 col. 1.
- "The community of reincarnated souls for which Lyman C Gage has abandoned the world of finance," The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), July 15, 1906, Magazine Section, Image 48 col. 1.
- "Mysterious yoga faith of the east India which has robbed an American citizen of a devoted wife," The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), May 17, 1908, Magazine Section, Page Page Five, Image 37 col. 1.
- "Worship in eastern calm," The Sun (New York, NY), December 6, 1908, Second Section, Page 2, Image 18 col. 1.
- "How young girls study the Hindoo method of rest and relaxation," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), April 11, 1909, Page 12, Image 12 col. 1.
- "To convert Americans," New-York Tribune (New York, NY), February 20, 1910, Page 3, Image 17 col. 1.
- "Weird orgies by the great god oom," The Paducah Evening Sun. (Paducah, KY), May 6, 1910, Page 6, Image 6 col. 3.
- "Holy fraud is in law’s toils a sex pervert," Bisbee Daily Review.(Bisbee, AZ), Nov. 24, 1912, page 4, image 20, col. 6.
- "Oom forfeits Sunday ball game and his repute as omnipotent," New-York Tribune (New York, NY), August 08, 1921, Page 16, Image 16 col. 2.