About Tantra in America and the Tantrik Order

(From "SPIRITUAL SEX: Tantric Software for Love: "

Dr. Bernard | The "Tantrik Order In America" | Controlling Forces | Charter Document | New Tantric Order


Pierre Arnold Bernard was the first "American Primate" of the Tantrik Order in America, founded circa 1905. Born Peter Coon, in Leon, Iowa, in 1875, the son of a barber, this enigmatic character was largely responsible for establishing Tantra in America. It is not clear when or why Peter Coon, aka "Shastri", "Oom" and "P. A.", changed his name. As "Dr. Bernard" he became famous for his demonstrations of self-hypnosis, yogic trance and immunity to pain. Of this, Dr. Daniel McMillan of the University of Michigan wrote:

"The self-induced state of hypnosis performed by Dr. P. A. Bernard is the best counterfeit of death I have ever witnessed in my thirty-eight years of experience in the active practice of medicine."

In November 1900, Pierre Bernard (Shastri) demonstrated "Kali Mudra" (the simulation of death in which "the entire organism is sunk into the deepest lethargy that actually precedes death") before forty physicians and surgeons, "for the last time".

In 1904 Bernard ran a clinic in San Francisco. By 1905 some of his close associates were calling him "The Loving Teacher" or "Oom". He attracted his first students in Tacoma, Washington and in Portland, Oregon. He also taught in Seattle, where he initiated some into the Tantric tradition and there is some indication that his "Tantrik Order" was first established there.

The "Tantrik Order in America" was founded by "Shastri", an American Tantric yogi who became better known as Dr. Pierre Arnold Bernard. He founded the "Tantrik Order" with several other people; its principle Officer-initiates were Morais Albert Norton, Salvais Hamati, Armand Calvin Tuell, and Eugene Ivard De Lois. Pascal Warren Tormes was appointed Secretary and Robert Emile Young, the Director. The Tantrik Order was officially registered, in Washington and in Canada in July 1906. Its first publication, the "International Journal: Tantrik Order", is dated 16 October 1906 and originated from St. Louis.

Published by the "Tantrik Press", New York, this "External Issue, Vol. V. , No. 1", subtitled "Vira Sadhana", is a comprehensive compendium of information pertaining to Tantra. It is truly remarkable how much data was brought together and published, at a time when very little information on the Tantric tradition was available in the West, and when prudishness prevailed.

This organization got firmly established in New York City and eventually made its base in Nyack, New York, when Bernard acquired a large estate there. Many prominent Americans and Europeans became associated with Bernard and his "Tantrik Order".

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