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Yoga for the New Woman and the New Man: The Role of Pierre Bernard and Blanche DeVries in the Creation of Modern Postural Yoga

  • Joseph Laycock
Abstract

Pierre Bernard and his wife, Blanche DeVries, were among the earliest proponents of postural yoga in America. In 1924, they created the Clarkstown Country Club, where yoga was taught to affluent and influential clientele. The network created through this endeavor not only popularized yoga in the West but also advanced the reinvention of yoga as a science of health and well-being rather than as a religious practice.

This article suggests that the pair's success in marketing yoga coincided with a shift in gender roles underway at the turn of the century. Economic and cultural changes led to the rise of a “New Woman” who was not only more financially independent but also more socially and sexually autonomous. At the same time, a crisis of masculinity led to the rise of the “New Man” as men sought out new cultural forms through which to restore their sense of manhood. Bernard's success depended largely on his ability to capitalize on the perceived “otherness” of yoga, presenting it as a resource for Americans seeking to construct new forms of gender identity. Bernard borrowed from the physical culture movement and presented yoga as an antidote to the emasculating effects of modern society. DeVries taught a combination of yoga and sensual Orientalist dances that offered women a form of sexual autonomy and embodied empowerment. By utilizing these strategies, Bernard and DeVries helped lay important foundations for modern postural yoga and its associations with athleticism, physical beauty, and sexuality.

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1. For scholars who object to the presentation of yoga as an exercise regimen, see Eliade, Mircea, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970), 228 , and George Feuerstein, “The Lost Teachings of Yoga,” Common Ground (March 2003), http://www.commonground.ca/iss/0303140/lost_teachings_of_yoga.shtml, accessed March 14, 2012; for the position of the HAF, see Aseem Shukla, “The Theft of Yoga,” the Washington Post, April 18, 2010, http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/aseem_shukla/2010/04/nearly_twenty_million_people_in.html, accessed January 22, 2012; for Singleton's assessment, see Singleton, Mark, Yoga Body: The Origin of Modern Posture Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 20 . Singleton does discuss Pierre Bernard's nephew, Theos Bernard, who traveled to Tibet and published several important works on yoga.

2. On Vivekananda's teachings about yoga, see Michelis, Elizabeth de, A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali and Western Esotericism (New York: Continuum, 2006), 121 ; Love, Robert, The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America (New York: Viking, 2010), 25 ; Carrette, Jeremy and King, Richard, Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion (New York: Routledge, 2005), 116-18; Singleton, Yoga Body, 71; on Bernard and Tantra, see Urban, Hugh B., “The Omnipotent Oom: Tantra and Its Impact on Modern Western Esotercism,” Esoterica 3 (2001): 218–59.

3. Bernard's significance has been discussed by scholars of American religious history such as Prothero, Stephen, “Hinduphobia and Hinduphilia in U.S. Culture,” in The Stranger's Religion, ed. Lannstrom, Anna (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), 1337); Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedia of American Religions, 5th ed. (New York: Gale, 1996); and Albanese, Catherine, A Republic of Mind and Spirit (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007). However, biographical details have been scarce and historians have disagreed over such facts as what state Bernard came from, his legal name, and whether he ever visited India. Scholarship was forced to be overly reliant on men's magazines and other journalistic accounts. In 2010, Robert Love produced The Great Oom, the most definitive biography of Bernard. This book draws heavily on archival resources at the Rockland County Historical Society and oral history conducted in Nyack, New York. In the same year, journalist Stefanie Syman published The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010), a history of yoga in America that dedicates a chapter to Bernard. Syman had numerous interviews with Love, and her footnotes include sexual details of Bernard's practice that Love excluded from his own work. The labor of these journalists has finally provided religion scholars with details about Bernard's life. It is now possible to reassess Bernard's place in the larger history of modern postural yoga and, more important, how he was able to market yoga successfully to Americans.

4. For a discussion of the two-tiered model of religion and the problems this dichotomy presents to historians, see Primiano, Leonard, “Vernacular Religion and the Search for Method in Religious Folklife,” Western Folklore 54 (January 1995): 3756 ; on American discourse about “true religion,” see Orsi, Robert, Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 188 . Onchanging gender identity between 1890 and 1920, see Hoffert, Sylvia, A History of Gender in America: Essays, Documents, and Articles (Upper Saddle River,N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2003), 283 ; and Ryan, Mary P., Mysteries of Sex: Tracing Women and Men through American History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 209–21.

5. On Bernard's various aliases, see Love, The Great Oom, 15. Love notes that Perry Baker took the surname “Bernard” from his stepfather. The French surname “Pierre” is more difficult to interpret. Syman (The Subtle Body, 84) suggests that the alias “Bernard” may have been meant to imply a relationship to Dr. Claude Bernard, a French physiologist known for experimental medicine. Pierre Bernard was also the middle name of the nineteenth-century French Orientalist painter, Franc¸ois Barry. On Bernard's original name, see Love, The Great Oom, 9. Paul Sann (Fads, Follies, and Delusions of the American People: A Pictorial Story of Madnesses, Crazes, and Crowd Phenomena [New York, N.Y.: Bonanza, 1967], 9) claims that he was born with the name Peter Coon. Fuller, Robert C. (Spirituality in the Flesh: Bodily Sources of Religious Experience [New York: Oxford University Press, 2008], 124) claims he came from California, not Iowa. For a scholar who believes Bernard likely did travel to India, see Fuller, Spirituality in the Flesh, 88; Syman (The Subtle Body, 313) found a reference to an Elias Hamati in Calcutta in the address book of Bernard's in-law, Viola Werthem Bernard; on Bernard's tutelage under Hamati and his connection to Clarence Baker, see Love, The Great Oom, 13–25.

6. A gory photograph of the Kali Mudra appears in Tantrik Order of America, Vira Sadhana: The International Journal of the Tantrik Order of America (1906). Bernard is not named in the caption. His ability to simulate death does, however, appear in a footnote in Life at the Clarkstown Country Club (Nyack: The Club, 1935). On Bernard's 1902 arrest, see Love, The Great Oom, 25–26.

7. Bernard apparently believed the cult of Bacchus came from India. The margins of Vira Sadhana are adorned with drawings of classical deities and captions naming their culture of origin, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, etc. One drawing depicts Bacchus holding a staff and states that he comes from India (Tantrik Order, Vira Sadhana, 49); for a description of the Bacchante Club, see Love, The Great Oom, 40.

8. “Gertrude Leo's Story as New York Paper Printed It,” Tacoma Times, May 18, 1910, 6.

9. Mrs.Fuller, Marcus B., The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1900), 130 .

10. Love, The Great Oom, 63.

11. “‘Omnipotent Oom’ Held as Kidnapper,” New York Times, May 4, 1910, 7.

12. Charles Boswell mentions that, during World War I, Bernard offered his services as a seer. He writes, “He lured to his sanctum the mothers, wives and sweethearts of service men, and at $50 a head permitted them to ‘see’ and ‘talk with’ their loved ones at the front. To perform these miracles he used devices—trumpets, screens of clouded glass and reflected images from photographs.” See Charles Boswell, “The Great Fuss and Fume over the Omnipotent Oom,” True: The Men's Magazine, January 1965, available online http://omnipotentoom.com/the-great-fuss-and-fume-over-the-omnipotent-oom, accessed October 13, 2012. On the creation of modern postural yoga, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 5.

13. On Leo's accusations, see “’Nautch Girl Tells of Oom's Philosophy,” New York Times, May 8, 1910, 20. A persistent claim about Bernard is that all of his initiates were required to sign contracts in their own blood. See Love, The Great Oom, 31, 44. Love suggests that Bernard's followers really did sign contracts in their own blood. The inside cover of Vira Sadhana does contain an illustration of a knife labeled “initiation” seemingly being dragged across a human hand. On the panic over white slavery, see Love, The Great Oom, 55. The two women's testimony also conformed to a familiar trope of “captivity narratives,” which had been used to vilify Catholic priests and other religious outsiders during the nineteenth century. For a discussion of this literature, see Pagliarini, Marie Anne, “The Pure American Woman and the Wicked Catholic Priest: An Analysis of Anti-Catholic Literature in Antebellum America,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 9, no. 1 (Winter 1999): 97128 . Concerning the full extent of the charges against Bernard, a copy of the prosecution file was obtained from the New York City District Attorney Record of Cases.

14. On New York newspapers, see Syman, The Subtle Body, 93; on the significance of Om, see “Om” in Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ed. Constance Jones and James D. Ryan (New York: Facts on File, 2007), 319-20. There are a number of clues as to the origin of the epithet “Oom the Omnipotent.” The Tantrik Order's Vira Sadhana (5) contains a lengthy quotation speculating on the relationship of the god Shiva to Canaanite deities that is attributed to “O.M. Bernard.” It is possible that the initials O.M. may have been another of Bernard's aliases; a lecture made by Hiram E. Butler to the Society for Esoteric Culture in 1887 proposes solving unemployment by building “a magnificent city to Om (the Omnipotent).” The Society for Esoteric Culture had an interest in yoga and Hinduism. In 1891, the group relocated to California, where Bernard and Hamati would later arrive. See Hiram E. Butler, “The Ultimate to Which We Are Laboring,” Esoteric: A Magazine of Advanced and Practical Esoteric Thought 1 (July 1887–June 1888), 20.

15. Love, The Great Oom, 59.

16. “Oom the Self-Named Free,” New York Times, August 26, 1910, 2; Love, The Great Oom, 65–66.

17. Love, The Great Oom, 82–83.

18. On complaints about the New York Sanskrit College and charges by the State Board of Education, see “Night Revels Held in Sanskrit College,” New York Times, December 15, 1911, 22. On Charles Whitman, see Randall, Monica, Phantoms of the Hudson Valley (Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1995), 82 .

19. Love, The Great Oom, 89. Success put a strain on the couple's marriage. In 1941, DeVries resigned from Bernard's country club to pursue her own projects as a yoga instructor. See Love, The Great Oom, 304.

20. For journalists who credited DeVries with Bernard's success, see Boswell, “The Great Fuss and Fume over the Omnipotent Oom,” and Seabrook, William, Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today (New York: Lancer Books, 1940), 318 ; on the new yoga studios, see Love, The Great Oom, 110.

21. Hunt, William R., Body Love: The Amazing Career of Benarr MacFadden (Bowling Green, Ky.: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1989), 156 .

22. On building the Clarkstown Country Club, see Hunt, Body Love, 156; on the end of efforts to drive Bernard out, see “Pierre Bernard, ‘Oom the Omnipotent,’ Promoter and Self-Styled Swami, Dies,” New York Times, September 28, 1955, 35; on Bernard's twelve-million-dollar estate and circus animals, see Randall, Phantoms of the Hudson Valley, 81–83.

23. On journalists' defense of Bernard, see “‘Omnipotent Oom’ Scents a Fraud,” New York Times, October 27, 1922, 3; on Bernard no longer being called “Oom,” see “‘Oom’ Named Bank Head,” New York Times, November 15, 1931, 33.

24. On the definition of “true religion,” see Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth, 188; on Hinduphobia and anti-Catholic prejudice, see Prothero, “Hinduphobia and Hinduphilia in U.S. Culture,” 18; on comparisons between Hinduism and the worship of Baal and Moloch, see “The Soul Destroying Poison of the East,” the Washington Post, May 28, 1911, 44; Mabel Potter Daggett, “The Heathen Invasion,” Hampton Columbian Magazine, October 1911, 409; and Fuller, The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood, 149.

25. On “the Turbaned Tornado” and anti-Hindoo riots, see Melton, J. Gordon, “The Attitude of Americans toward Hinduism from 1883 to 1983 with Special Reference to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,” in Krishna Consciousness in the West, ed. Bromley, David G. and Shinn, Larry D. (Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1989), 8182 ; on surprise that Bernard was white, see “‘Omnipotent Oom’ Held as Kidnapper,” 7.

26. On exploring sexuality through slumming, see Heap, Chad, Slumming (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 3 ; on “fake opium joints,” see ibid., 34.

27. Hoffert, A History of Gender in America, 283.

28. For a discussion of literature on “women adrift,” see Meyerowitz, Joanne J., Women Adrift: Independent Wage Earners in Chicago, 1880–1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 4445 .

29. Ryan, Mysteries of Sex, 208; on upper-class women claiming the freedom of wage-earning women, see Hoffert, A History of Gender in America, 295.

30. For Hirsig's account of Dr. Latson's dance class, see Dockerill, Marion, My Life in a Love Cult: A Warning to All Young Girls (Dunellen, N.J.: Better Publishing Co., 1928), 65 .

31. For a discussion of new ideas of masculinity among middleclass men at the turn of the century, see Hoffert, A History of Gender in America, 284–86, and Ryan, Mysteries of Sex, 221.

32. Hoffert, A History of Gender in America, 288. For a discussion of new trends in leisure associated with masculinity at the turn of the century, see ibid.

33. Love, The Great Oom, 25, 76; Singleton, Yoga Body, 71.

34. Melton, “The Attitude of Americans towards Hinduism,” 85.

35. On the 1895 retreat to Thousand Island Park, see de Michelis, A History of Modern Yoga, 121; on Vivekananda and mind-body dualism, see Carrette and King, Selling Spirituality, 116–18; on Vivekananda's dismissal of hatha yoga, see Love, The Great Oom, 25, and Singleton, Yoga Body, 71; on Blavatsky, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 76–77; on Besant, see Love, The Great Oom, 76.

36. On the midway as an exhibition of primitive culture, see Rosenberg, Chaim M., America at the Fair: Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition (Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2008), 254–55. On Little Egypt, see Kasson, John F., Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 26 .

37. Singleton, Yoga Body, 154. See also Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, vol. 1 (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 23 .

38. On associations of yoga with impurity, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 35; on European scholarship concerning “true yoga,” see ibid., 41; on Yogi Bava Lachman Dass, see ibid., 56–57.

39. Singleton (Yoga Body, 66) suggests that Crowley's knowledge of yoga may have actually been substantial. For a detailed comparison of Bernard and Crowley, see Urban, “The Omnipotent Oom.” On Atkinson, see Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, 181; Bernard listed his occupation on Prosecution file, 1910, courtesy of New York City District Attorney Record of Cases. On the absence of Indian Hindus, see Stark, Rodney, One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001), 110 .

40. “The Soul Destroying Poison of the East,” 44. Alma Hirsig, in her book, My Life in a Love Cult, claims that she studied dance under Dr. Latson. Her description of Latson's teachings defies credibility and describes a subterranean hall where she was made “queen” over masked devotees who engaged in erotic congress. See Dockerill, My Life in a Love Cult, 17–20.

41. On the popularity of secret societies, see Syman, The Subtle Body, 93. Bernard joined the Nyack Mason Lodge (Love, The Great Oom, 137). Interestingly, one of the photos in Life at the Clarkstown Country Club suggests a connection to Freemasonry. The caption reads, “Mat room for physical training,” and the photo depicts two “thrones” that have no legs but consist of large cushions set at floor level and connected to high, ornate backs. The thrones are on either side of a fireplace, and, above the fireplace, there is an alcove with a small Buddha placed in it. Written in the alcove are the words:

Silence

Attention

Memory

Understanding

Amen

The aphorism, “Know Dare Do Keep Silent” followed by the words: Silence Attention Memory Understanding Amen The aphorism, “Know Dare Do Keep Silent” comes from Western esotericism and can be found in the writings of Eliphaz Levi. This suggests that Bernard was combining these sources with his Tantric teachings. See Clarkstown Country Club, Life at the Clarkstown Country Club; on Bernard's conversation with Potter, see Seabrook, Witchcraft, 323.

42. On yoga and Eve, see Daggett, “The Heathen Invasion,” 399–401; on Tantric rites, see ibid., 408–11.

43. Reed, Elizabeth A., Hinduism in Europe and America (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1914), 131 .

44. Mary Doyle produced her memoir, Life Was Like That (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1936) under the penname Mary Hitchcock. Alma Hirsig's memoir, My Life in a Love Cult, was published under the name Marion Dockerill.

45. On the debate over Danse du Ventre, see Leigh Eric Schmidt, Heaven's Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman (New York: Basic Books, 2010), 22–26; on dance and marital relations, Bernard and Craddock were both interested in developing the female reproductive muscles. In notes for a lecture given in 1928, Bernard wrote, “The sphincter muscles of the vaginal vault can be developed to such an extent that they can grip a broom handle and retain it against a full strength pull from an individual. … Yoginas have developed such strength and tone in their Vaginas. It would be impossible to picture any female troubles with such a tone.” See Syman, The Subtle Body, 319; on Craddock's view of dance as religious exercise, see Schmidt, Heaven's Bride, 26.

46. On Stebbins study of yoga and interaction with St. Denis, see Singleton, The Subtle Body, 144; on St. Denis's lack of formal training in Indian dance, see Desmond, Jane, “Dancing Out the Difference: Cultural Imperialism and Ruth St. Denis's ‘Radha’ of 1906,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 17, no. 1 (1991): 32 ; on the significance of St. Denis to postural yoga, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 145; on St. Denis's decision to become a dancer, see Desmond, “Dancing Out the Difference,” 38; White Jade is quoted in Desmond, “Dancing Out the Difference,” 37; on women imitating St. Denis, see Bernstein, Matthew and Studlar, Gaylyn, Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 107–8.

47. Dockerill, My Life in a Love Cult, 68.

48. On DeVries's vaudeville aspirations, see Love, The Great Oom, 88–89; on DeVries and yoga gymnosophy, see Syman, The Subtle Body, 99; on DeVries's choreography at the Clarkstown Country Club, see ibid., 104.

49. On Hirsig's account of DeVries inspiring Bernard's career, see Dockerill, My Life in a Love Cult, 66–67; on the possibility of Bernard working as a barber, see Nik Douglas, Spiritual Sex: The Secrets of Tantra from the Ice Age to the New Millennium (New York: Pocket Books, 1997), 191. Douglas claims that Bernard worked at various times as a barber, an acrobat, a salmon packer, and a fruit picker.

50. Hitchcock, Life Was Like That, 187–88.

51. On urban women discussing “Oom the Omnipotent,” see Loos, Anita, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), 233 . On Hirsig's sister marrying Crowley, see Sutin, Lawrence, Do What Thou Wilt (New York: MacMillan, 2000), 274; on Bernard's advice to “live dangerously,” see Love, The Great Oom, 124.

52. Impett, Emily A., Daubenmier, Jennifer J., and Hirschman, Allegra L., “Minding the Body: Yoga, Embodiment, and Well-Being,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 3, no. 4 (December 2006): 3948 .

53. On the world's first bodybuilding competition, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 81; on physical culture and a crisis in masculinity at the turn of the century, see Ryan, Mysteries of Sex, 221, and Hoffert, A History of Gender in America, 287. The original catalog to Bernard's library at the Clarkstown Country Club can be viewed online at http://www.omnipotentoom.com/library, accessed March 15, 2012; on the Indian scepter, see Todd, Jan, Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful: Purposive Exercise in the Lives of American Women, 1800-1870 (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1998), 97 .

54. On the meaning of Vira Sadhana, see Love, The Great Oom, 37; on the character of men of the Tantrik Order, see Tantrik Order, Vira Sadhana, 90; on yoga requiring courage, see ibid., 138; on yoga as evolution, see Syman, The Subtle Body, 106.

55. On the New Yorker article, see Syman, The Subtle Body, 111 (É milie Coué was a French psychologist who produced popular books on self-improvement through auto-suggestion); on Bernard's relationship with MacFadden, see Hunt, Body Love, 157; on the significance of MacFadden, see Singleton, Yoga Body, 89; on the myth of Indian effeminacy, see ibid., 95.

56. See Urban, “The Omnipotent Oom”; Love, The Great Oom, 36–37; and Green, Harvey, Fit for America: Health, Fitness, Sport, and American Society (New York: Pantheon Books, 1986), 249 .

57. On James Braddock, see John Kieran, “Take a Card, Please,” New York Times, January 7, 1936, 28; on pranayama and uddibardi, see Boswell, “The Great Fuss and Fume over the Omnipotent Oom.” (Pranayama, literally “extension of the breath,” is a yogic breathing exercise. “Uddibarri” could refer to the yogic principle of uddiyana bandha, a yogic practice in which the stomach is drawn toward the spine. Alternatively, it could be a term of Japanese origin.) On Nova's training, see “He Doesn't Train on Booze and Butts: Red Smith,” New York Times, May 17, 1973, 55; for an image of Nova with Mr. Jimmer, see Love, The Great Oom, 289.

58. On yoga and athleticism, see Kogler, Aladar, Yoga for Every Athlete: Secrets of an Olympic Coach (New York: Jaico Publishing, 2000), and Capouya, John, Real Men Do Yoga: 21 Star Athletes Reveal Their Secrets for Strength, Flexibility, and Peak Performance (New York: HCI, 2003); on the Yogi Nova, see Love, The Great Oom, 342. In 2005, the Indian government began documenting yogic postures and teaching techniques for a “Traditional Knowledge Digital Library.” This project was initiated in response to yoga instructors who sought to “patent” yoga postures and receive royalties when others used them. See Devi K. Sangeetha, “Patenting Yoga: Who Gets the Asanas?” Times of India, October 9, 2005, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad-times/PATENTING-YOGAWho-gets-the-asanas/articleshow/1257559.cms, accessed March 14, 2012.

59. On the Cosmopolitan article and Hearst, see Love, The Great Oom, 256–57.

60. On Dukes, see ibid., 340; Life at the Clarkstown Country Club (125) references a separate publication listing all of the testimonials, titles, and honors that Bernard acquired in India.

61. At the University of Virginia Library, I discovered a copy of Sri Deva Ram Sukul's book, Yoga and Self-Culture (New York: Yoga Institute of America, 1943) (Copy 104). Inside was an inscription: “To Dr. Pierre Bernard, A Preceptor of the Master's Teachings with the Blessings of the Author. Sri Deva Ram Sukul. September 1943.” After Bernard's death, DeVries sold many of his books. This copy had apparently been a gift to Bernard that found its way to Virginia.

62. On Mae West, see Watts, Jill, Mae West: An Icon in Black and White (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 115 ; on the Baptistes' initiation by Sukul, see Magana Baptiste, “A Legacy of Yoga,” available online at http://www.shareguide.com/Baptiste.html, accessed March 14, 2012; on the Baptistes’ interest in bodybuilding and dance, see Feuerstein, “The Lost Teachings of Yoga.” Interestingly, Syman (The Subtle Body, 126) discusses Bernard's nephew, Theos Bernard, and his divorce from his wife Viola Werthem Bernard. Syman suggests that Theos had wanted Viola to play a role similar to that of DeVries as his female counterpart in leading a Tantric community.

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