The Washington Times, 1908


#HindooHistory #Yoga
“‘You are my affinity no longer.’ It was with these words that Mrs. W. E. Stone abandoned husband, children, home, country, and friends—gave up her position as a leader of the exclusive society of LaFayette, Ind....”
“And she accepted, in the place of all this, a life of semi-barbarity, among the mystics, the fakers, and the dervishes of East India, where as a devotee of the weird, intangible faith which is called Yoga, she must satisfy her heart’s desire in the contemplation of the occult..”
“It is a weird religion, that of Yoga, known in its generic form, but, in its many mysterious ramifications, regarded in awesome ignorance. That these fakers do perform some wonderful and singly impossible feats, is attested by numerous reputable witnesses.”
“But the power behind all this ais still a mystery, clothes in the impenetrable shroud of occultism that only the East Indian can employ”
“This is the religion that Mrs. Stone has adopted. But enough of technicalities. In practical demonstration the Yogis have made their faith one of which the world stands in awe. And their demonstrations are truly remarkable, puzzling and mystifying in the extreme to all...”
Here is the story being referenced in the clip above:
And further context on the colony Mrs. Stone left her husband for. It was actually run by a German, August Englehardt, who was inspired by the lebensreform movement in vogue at the time

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More from @HindooHistory

15 Mar
The Hawaiian Star, 1908


“Reported Separation at Purdue Recalls Sensational Incidents in Chicago”


“Swami Vivekananda Listened to by Many, But Mrs. Craddock Driven Away to Final Suicide”

#HindooHistory #Yoga
“The cult, which is now reported to have claimed Mrs. Stone, is an offshoot of an ancient Hindoo system of thought”
“A number of years ago one phase of the cult was forcibly called to the attention of Chicagoans through the lectures of Mrs. Ida Craddock, who applied its theory to details of life in such a way her books and publications were barred from the malls and she was indicted”
Read 10 tweets
14 Mar
Tacoma Times, 1915



#HindooHistory #Yoga Image
“Lack of drapery appeared today as one of the chief beliefs of the leader of the Christian Yoga cult, Yogi Ralph DeBit, in his trial with Mrs. Dorothy Gerber before Justice Brinker for alleged misconduct” Image
“Like the character in ‘The Naked Truth,’ it appeared that the mystery of human life was unveiled, and the inner truth revealed to the elect only when earthly and statutory vestments were tossed away”
Read 8 tweets
14 Mar
Kinsley Graphic, 1899


“How a Hindoo Woman, Now an American, Escaped from a Horrible Heathen Sacrifice”

“Mrs. Ramee Lalros... arrived in Chicago recently from India via Yokohama and San Francisco, with her husband.”

#HindooHistory Image
Mrs. Lalros...was about to become the victim to the terrible suttee of her caste when reduced by the man who afterward would become her husband” in Image
“At the age of 11, just on the eve of the children’s marriage, the youth of 13 who was to be the bridegroom died and... according to the irrevocable laws of her caste, she was doomed to be burned on the funeral pyre” Image
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb

Excerpts from an abridged version of Mabel Potter Daggett’s essay titled “The Heathen Invasion of America” published in 1911 in the Hampton-Colombian Magazine: 1/

“Yoga, that Eastern philosophy, the emblem of which is the coiled serpent, is being disseminated in America. Literally yoga means ‘path’ that leads to wisdom. Actually, it is pricing the way that leads to domestic infelicity and insanity and death” 2/
“It was the Congress of Religions, at the Chicago World’s fair, in 1893... they arrived silken clad and sandal shod, to prove an attraction that outshone the plain American variety of minister in a frock coat and white tie.” 3/
Read 14 tweets
23 Feb
In recent posts we’ve seen the intellectual and cultural impact of various Swamis in America. Spiritual figures like Swami Ram and Swami Abhedananda traveled and lectured extensively, drawing adherents and pushing back on distortions propagated about India and the “Hindoo”
But as we have also seen, the figure of the Swami also became something of a villain in American culture, a trickster magician out to cheat innocent Americans (women in particular) of their money. Enter Swami Kohlrabi!
Published in the San Francisco Call in 1913, the comic strip below features one “Swami Kohlrabi,” an unscrupulous American professor who dresses up like a “Swami” to trick clients out of their money:
Read 15 tweets
23 Feb
The Sun, 1900

Following Swami Abhedananda’s column (which was reprinted widely), The Sun received the following response from a reader:

“The assertions made by ‘a teacher from India’ specifically contradicted”

“if this teacher had ever gone up from Calcutta to Meerut, some nine hundred miles, in a boat and made use of his eyes, I think he would have observed hundreds of these amphibious creatures... I could tell you cases myself where European men have lost their lives by swimming”
“The teacher talks of the people of this country being familiar with the horrible story of the Juggernaut, which he also never heard of until he heard it here, though at the same time he says he saw one of those cars being drawn by men and women...”
Read 7 tweets

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