Paramahamsa Yogananda one of the greatest masters of the 20th Century and author of the famous Autobiography of an Yogi suffered numerous attacks in his early days in the US including, , racial and religious prejudice, being labelled as a “love cult”, allegations of of brainwashing/hypnotizing, lawsuits by former students, and the “yellow journalism” of the day. https://www.crystalclarity.com/…/a-fight-for-religious-fre…/ Jon Parson, “The Fight for Religious Freedom”
Eviction from Miami and Court Case: “Hypnotism” and “Teaching Women”
In 1928 during his visit to Miami, an article in a Miami newspaper wrote of a Yogananda “love cult” where women paid “good money” to be taught yoga. They claimed that he charged $35 for his course and more than 200 women had signed up for it. On the front page of Miami Daily News of Feb. 8, 1928, it says that two women followers went insane “as a result of the Hindu’s cult teachings,” according to relatives. Later the local press reported how “Swami Yogananda, East Indian love cult leader” had “his life threatened by a delegation of indignant citizens” who burst into a class.
Under the pretense of avoiding a disturbance, the Police Chief H. Leslie Quigg then ordered Yogananda to leave Miami or face arrest. The Swami had to attend court in Miami to testify against charges of running a cult and hypnotizing the police! The Police showed a LA newspaper report as “proof” that he was running a cult along with the information that a few months back (some entirely unrelated) organization was “uncovered” in Switzerland where “East Indian Teachers” and their “feminine followers” disported themselves in the nude
Interestingly, two months after this incident Quigg was arrested for the murder of a couple black men while in police custody.
Paternity Suit 40 Years after his Death!
Paramahamsa Yogananda suffered many such attacks throughout his life and in fact was subject to stupid accusations even after his death. The latest being one in the year 1995 (40 years after his death) by a 69 year old Oregon gold miner called Erskine who claimed he was the love child of Paramahamsa Yogananda and his mother who was one of his close disciples! Erskine claimed that he must be given rights to the SRF organization. Luckily DNA tests have proven his claims to be false by 2002. But Erskine has challenged those tests!
‘The miner acknowledged that his mother never told him he was Yogananda’s son or that she had been physically intimate with the famed guru. But he said his mother hinted at the “wonderful blood” in his veins and fought constantly with her husband over her son’s paternity’. LOL! https://www.latimes.com/…/la-xpm-2002-jul-11-me-guru11-stor…
No Public Man is Safe: In Article “Spiritualizing Newspapers”
East-West magazine, Mar-Apr 1928 by Paramahamsa Yogananda https://www.paramhansayogananda.com/…/spiritualizing-the-n…/
After the incident in Miami where he was arrested and expelled from the city, Paramahamsa Yogananda wrote this very precise dissection of the Media Business which incredibly is extremely applicable to date.
From a thorough study of the situation of public life in America, I am of the opinion that the reputation of no public man is safe from being wrongly newspaper-handled.
From a thorough study of the situation of public life in America, I am of the opinion that the reputation of no public man is safe from being wrongly newspaper-handled. Many newspapers try to create prejudice against individuals and nations to suit their nefarious ends of narrow, bigoted, short-sighted political views.
Some syndicating news agencies at times make wholesale productions of lies and baseless scandals. I have studied and examined so many cases of untruthful exaggerations, whipped and bluffed untruths, that I wonder how the Sunday sheets of some papers containing sensational news can continue to exist.
However, one hardly ever sees any contradictions made by the persons persecuted. Why is this? I hear there is an unwritten law among some newspapers that when they are sued for libel they keep silent about it and that news is not syndicated. Since they control public opinion they don’t want to turn the wrathful spot-lights of public opinion on themselves, whereas they rejoice when they turn those furious burning lights on some innocent person. Most papers gloat at the prospect of scandalizing someone.
They are too ready and willing to use the materials cunningly supplied by blackmailers, but often quite unwilling to print retractions and save the reputation of innocent people from being murdered at the hands of evil publicity.”
Sounds only all too familiar. Looks like the world hasn’t evolved much in a hundred years.
But the good news is that Paramahamsa Yogananda went on to establish one of the largest worldwide Yoga Movements the SRF which now has more than 500 temples/centers in 175 countries. His seminal book “The Autobiography of a Yogi” sold millions of copies and introduced the science of “Shaktis/Siddhis” to the west and influenced almost every religious leader of today as well as public figures such as Steve jobs, Narendra Modi and so on.His attackers on the other hand are forgotten and any allegation – if at all it is remembered – is laughed at by people today.