|1 Bernard, "Tantrik Worship: The Basis of Religion," International Journal, Tantrik Order 5, no.1 (1906): 71.
3 Paul Ramana Das and Marilena Silbey, "Celebrating Sacred Sexuality," reprinted on the Church of Tantra web-site ( http://www.tantra.org/amertan.html ). On contemporary New Age appropriations of Tantra, see Hugh B. Urban, "The Cult of Ecstasy: Tantra, the New Age and the Spiritual Logic of Late Capitalism," History of Religions 39 (2000): 268-304.
4 Collins, "The Secret to Tantric Sex," p.240. As Phillip Rawson enthusiastically proclaims, "in complete contrast to the strenuous 'No' that official Brahmin tradition said to the world, Tantra says an emphatic...'Yes!' ...Instead of suppressing pleasure...and ecstasy, they should be cultivated and used" (The Art of Tantra [Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1973], p.10).
5 See for example the useful definition provided by Douglas Brooks, The Secret of the Three Cities: An Introduction to Hindu Sakta Tantra (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 55-72. As. N.N. Bhattacharya comments, "Most modern writers on this subject insist solely on its sexual elements, minimal though they are ...and popularize modern ideas pertaining to sex problems in the name of Tantra. The historical study of Tantrism has been handicapped...by the preoccupation of those working in the field" (History of the Tantric Religion: A Historical, Ritualistic and Philosophical study [Delhi: Manohar, 1982], p.v).
6 Foucault, The History of Sexuality, volume I, an Introduction (New York: Pantheon, 1980), p.35. Cf. Foucault, Religion and Culture, J.R. Carrette, ed. (New York: Routledge, 1999), p.117f; Angus McLaren, Twentieth Century Sexuality: A History (London: Blackwell 1999); Jeffrey Weeks, Sex, Politics and Society: the Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800 (London: Longon, 1981).
8 From the "Third Millennium Magic" web-site http://www.3mmagic.com/at_main.html.
9 "The so-called sexual revolution of the last two decades in Europe and North America has brought about a renewed interest in the Tantric tradition....Notwithstanding the publications of sumptuously illustrated books...it would not be untrue to apply a Bengali saying to the state of Tantric studies: that it has remained in the same darkness in which it always was...We have gone from one extreme to the other. While early scholars were unnecessarily apologetic about the sexual...practices of Tantra, modern scholars revel in the sexual aspects and have coined such colorful expressions as 'cult of ecstasy'" (Pratapaditya Pal, Hindu Religion and Iconology According to the Tantrasara [Los Angeles: Vichitra Press, 1981], p.vi).
10 Thus the Kularnava Tantra states that "true sexual union is the union of the Parashakti with the Atman [Self]; other unions represent only carnal relations with women" (5.111-2, in Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971], p.262).
11 On the technique of vajroli or the retention and sublimation of the semen, see David Gordon White, The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), pp.199-201. "maithuna is never allowed to terminate in an emission of semen Otherwise the yogin falls under the law of time and death like any common libertine" (Eliade, Yoga, p.267-8). Many Tantric techniques also involve, not just retention of semen, but the actual extraction of the vaginal fluids from the partner into the male body. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, "The semen that is about to fall into the woman's vagina should be drawn back up ...If already fallen he should draw up his own semen [together with the woman's secretions] and preserve it...When the semen drops death ensues. By holding the semen there is life" (Georg Feuerstein, Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy [Boston: Shambhala, 1998], p.233).
12 See Brooks, Auspicious Wisdom: The Texts and Traditions of Srividya Sakta Tantrism in South India (Albany: SUNY 1992), p.xix; cf. Sir John Woodroffe, Shakti and Shakta (Madras: Ganesh & Co., 1975), p.158f; Alexis Sanderson, "Purity and Power among the Brahmins of Kashmir," in The Category of the Person: Anthropological and Philosophical Perspectives, eds. M.Carrithers, S. Collins and S.Lukes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
|14 See Hugh B. Urban and Glen A. Hayes, eds., In the Flesh: Eros, Secrecy and Power in the Vernacular Tantras of India(Albany: SUNY, forthcoming); Hugh B. Urban, "The Remnants of Desire: Sacrificial Violence and Sexual Excess in the Cult of the Kapalikas and in the Writings of Georges Bataille," Religion 25 (1995): 76-90.
16 Ward, A View of the History, Literature and Religion of the Hindoos (London: Kinsbury, Parbury and Allen 1817), v.I, p.247. On the genealogy of Tantra during this period, see Hugh B. Urban, "The Extreme Orient: The Construction of 'Tantrism' as a Category in the Orientalist Imagination," Religion 29 (1999): 123-46.
17 See Urban, "The Extreme Orient," pp.123-46. "Tantra...was regarded as an extreme example of the degeneration...believed to have affected Hindu religion since its glorious classical past in the Aryan civilization" (Kathleen Taylor, "Arthur Avalon: The Creation of a Legendary Orientalist," in Julia Leslie, ed. Myth and Mythmaking [Richmond: Curzon, 1996], p.151).
20 On Woodroffe, see Taylor, "Arthur Avalon," pp.150ff, and Urban, "The Extreme Orient," pp.134-7. According to Woodroffe, "The Sakta Tantra simply present the Vedantik teachings in a symbolic form for the worshipper, to whom it prescribes the means whereby they may be realized in fact" (Shakti and Shakta, pp.587). In his Principles of Tantra, for example, Woodroffe' provides a detailed, point-for-point comparison of the liturgy of the Catholic Mass and a Tantric ritual (p.63f).
|22 Bernard, quoted in Douglas Spiritual Sex, p.204.
23 Dr. Charles Potter, World Telegram (May 7, 1931), cited in William Seabrook, Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today(New York: Harcourt Brace, 1940), p.359. As Monica Randall comments, "the new media followed his every move. He was a showman an occultist with psychic abilities that were astonishing. He delighted in bizarre publicity stunts[N]eighbors accused him of hosting orgies and abducting virgins to sacrifice to his elephants" (Phantoms of the Hudson Valley: the Glorious Estates of a Lost Era [Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1995], p. 78).
24 The few studies of Bernard's life and works include Nik Douglas' discussion in Spiritual Sex, pp.191ff and the web-site devoted to him at www.vanderbilt.edu/~stringer/pab.htm. The latter includes a fairly extensive bibliography of all the published materials on Bernard. The most interesting of these include contemporary newspaper reports, such as: "Oom: Omnipotent Doctor Bernard Makes News Again," Newsweek (July 1, 1933): 22; John Lardner, "Out of a Book," Newsweek (May 19, 1939): 24; Eckert Goodman, "The Guru of Nyack: The True Story of Father India, the Omnipotent Oom," Town & Country (April, 1941): 50, 53,92-3 ,98-100; "Oom's Animals: Nyack Summer Theater Performs in Yoga Disciple's Private Zoo," Life Magazine 17 (1942): "The Ascent of Peter Coon," Newsweek 46 (October 10, 1955): 46ff; 53-6; Kenneth R. MacCalman "Impressions of Dr. Bernard and the C.C.C. as Viewed by a Nyack On Looker," South of the Mountains 14, no. 4 (1970): 2-8.
There is also some recent scholarly literature which deals briefly with Bernard, such as: J. Gordon Melton, "Pierre Bernard." In Biographical Dictionary of American Cult and Sect Leaders (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1986), pp. 32-3, 138; "Pierre Bernard," in New Age Almanac, J. Gordon Melton, ed. (Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1991). pp. 150 153; "Tantrik Order in America," in Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, ed. (Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1989), p.164; Gary L. Ward, "Pierre Arnold Bernard (Tantrik Order in America)," in Religious Leaders of America: A Biographical Guide to Founders and Leaders of Religious Bodies, Churches, and Spiritual Groups in North America, ed. J. Gordon Melton (Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1991), pp. 39-40; "Bernard, Pierre," in The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, ed. Leslie Shepard (Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1991), pp. 175-6; William Seabrook, Witchcraft: It's Power in the World Today (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1940), pp. 354-359; Francis King,
|Sexuality, Magic and Perversion (Secacus: Citadel, 1971), pp. 155-7; Paul Sann, "Success Story: The Omnipotent Oom," in Fads, Follies and Delusions of the American People (New York: Bonanza Books, 1967).
30 Bernard, Life: at the Clarkstown Country Club (Nyack: Clarkstown Country Club, 1935). Bernard's estate contained some thirty-four buildings including a temple and a theater, dancing elephants, a gorilla named Gonzo, a tiger, a leopard, and enough exotic birds to fill an aviary (Randall, Phantoms of the Hudson Valley, pp.81f).
35 Schopenhauer, quoted in International Journal, Tantrik Order, 5, no.1 (1906), p.71. "Of course the principal rites of Tantrik worshippers take place in secret and with closed doors. This secrecy is in accordance with the Tantrik precept: 'One should guard the Kaula system from uninitiated beasts, just as one guards moneyfrom thieves' [Kularnava Tantra]" ("In Re Fifth Veda: Theory and Practice of Tantra," International Journal, Tantrik Order, 5, no.1 : 27).
39 Foucault, The History of Sexuality, v. I, p.45; Weeks, Sex, Politics and Society, p.6-7. However, as Peter Gay points out, discussions of sexuality had to take place in the proper contexts either privately, in the closed realms of secrecy or, publicly, through the proper social conventions and scientific discourse (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud, Volume I: Education of the Senses [New York, Oxford University Press 1984], pp.36ff.
43 "Tantrik Worship: The Basis of Religion," International Journal, Tantrik Order 5, no.1 (1906): 71. "The whole world is embodied in the woman Sex worship as a religion constitutes the basis of all that is sacred, holy and beautiful" ("In Re Fifth Veda," pp.35-6).
|50 As John Maynard comments, the respectable classes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to regard only one form of sexual relation to be proper and healthy namely heterosexual marriage. "Only the married life offered the via media between celibacy and licentiousness, which 'repairs the Fall and leads us from earth to heaven" ("Victorian Discourses on Sexuality and Religion', University of Hartford Studies in Literature 19 : 61).
51Boswell, "The Great Fuss and Fume Over the Omnipotent Oom," p. 85. "Oom the Omnipotent, the Loving Guru of the Tantriks is quite a fellow[H]e speaks Hindustani without an accent and dabbles in yoga, real estate, politics and purification" (Lardner, "Out of a Book," p.24).
56 Crowley, Liber CCCXXXIII: The Book of lies, which is also falsely called, Breaks: the wanderings or falsifications of the one thought of Frater Perdurabo, which thought is itself untrue (London: Wieland and Co., 1913), p.130.
57 "Message from Master Therion (Aleister Crowley), Constitution of the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars (O.T.O) (1917), reproduced in R. Swinburne Clymer, The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America: Authentic and Spurious Organizations (Quakertown: The Rosicrucian Foundation, n.d), v.II, p.600.
Sex, Magic and Perversion, pp.170-1.
|60 Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph, p.211ff. "The Nusa'iri of Ansairreh ...are a nominally Muslim group living...in isolated areas in the mountains of northwest Syria and Latakia... What has mainly set the Nusar'is apart and made them the object of persecution and massacre by the orthodox Muslims and by Druses, Ismailis and Crusaders alike is the belief that they practiced pagan and Gnostic sexual rites" (ibid., p.211). Some speculate that Randolph may have encountered Tantric practices in the course of his wanderings though there is no real evidence of this (Douglas, Spiritual Sex, p. 85).
62 Randolph, The Mysteries of Eulis (manuscript 1860) reproduced in Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph, pp.339-40. See also Eulis! The History of Love: Its Wondrous Magic, Chemistry, Rules, Laws, Modes and Rationale; Being the Third Revelation of Soul and Sex (Toledo: Randolph Publishing Co., 1974); Magia Seuxalis (Paris: Robert Telin, 1931).
63 Randolph. The Mysteries of Eulis, p.337. Randolph lists over a hundred uses for sexual magic, which include: Frustrating bad plans of others; Relating to money dealings, losses, gains and to forecast them; The grand secret of domestic happiness; To render a false husband, lover or wife sexively cold to others; To secretly penetrate others' designs (Machiavelli's power), The power of influencing others, solely financially , To derange the love relations of those not one's lover; The power of preparing amulets, and charging them with Aethae; To become immersed in business spheres, to reliably direct others; The grand secret of life prolongation (pp.319-325).
65 Randolph, Eulis!, p.126; cf. Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph, p.187. "No real magic power can or will descend into the soul of either except in the mighty moment, the orgasmal instant of BOTH not one alone! for then and then only do the mystic doors of the SOUL OPEN TO THE SPACES.The eternal spark within us (and which never flashes except when the loving female brings to her feet the loving man in their mutual infiltration of Soul, in the sexive death of both that intense moment when woman proves herself the superior of man
|mutual demise!) was created by ALLAH God himself" (The Ansairetic Mystery, in Deveney, Paschal Beverly Randolph, p.314).
66 Part of the power of Tantric ritual derives from its deliberate violation of laws of caste and purity; thus many rituals call for intercourse with prostitutes and outcasts (see Eliade, Yoga, p.261). On the deliberate use of impurity as a means of acquiring esoteric power, see Brooks, Auspicious Wisdom, pp.149ff. On Randolph's sex magic, see also Julius Evola, The Metaphysics of Sex (New York: Inner Traditions, 1983), p.272.
67 On the techniques of semen retention, see White, The Alchemical Body, pp.199ff, and Eliade, Yoga, pp.267ff. Many scholars have argued that women are by no means empowered or liberated in Tantric ritual, but are used primarily as tools for optimizing the power of the male practitioner. Outside the confines of Tantric ritual, their subordinate place in the social order is seldom questioned. "Women...are made subordinate to males, and their ritual role is...limited to...being a partner for male adepts" (Brooks, The Secret of the Three Cities, pp.25-6).
69 Kellner claims to have been initiated by the Arab fakir, Soliman ben Aifha and the Indian yogis Bhima Sen Pratap and Sri Mahatma Agamya Guru Paramahamsa, from whom he learned "the mysteries of yoga and the philosophy of the left hand path which he called sexual magic" (John Symonds, The Magic of Aleister Crowley [ London: Frederick Muller, 1958], p. 95). On Reuss and his knowledge of Tantra, see A. R.Naylor, ed., Theodor Reuss and Aleister Crowley, O.T.O. Rituals and Sexmagick (Thames: Essex House, 1999).
Peter Koenig argues that the O.T.O. was not founded by Kellner but only formed after his death under Reuss' leadership. Kellner was the head of a small group known as the "Inner Triangle" and did practice some quasi-Tantric rites in which his wife acted as "the Great Goddess" and he as a "Babylonian Priest", in the attempt to create the "elixir, that is: male and female sexual fluids" ("Spermo Gnostics and the OTO," available on line at http://www.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/spermo.htm.
On the O.T.O. generally, see Ellic Howe and Helmut Moller, "Theodor Reuss: Irregular Freemasonry in Germany, 1900-1923," Ars Quator Coronatorum 91(1978): 28-46; Peter-Robert Koenig, "The OTO Phenomenon," Theosophical History 4, no.3 (1992): 92-8; "Theodor Reuss as Founder of Esoteric Orders,"
|Theosophical History 4(1993)6-7: 187-93.
70 On the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor and its connections to Randolph and the OTO, see Joscelyn Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment (Albany: SUNY, 1994), pp. 258ff, 347-61. Though drawing heavily on Randolph's sexual teaching, the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor warned against the dangerous excesses of sexual magic, which can lead men to madness and suicide: "The doctrines of Eulis as set forth by Randolph, teach that the concentration of the will at the moment of seminal emission...calls down the divine germs of spiritual powers... and that these become planted in the souls of those who call themWhen taken literally, the teachings of Eulis are an awful delusion and mean ruin to all who practice them...since they call down powers into the soul which fasten upon its vitalitySuch practices rear a swarm of vipers which will terminate the physical existence of their victims by suicide or drive them ashowling maniacs to the madhouse" ("The Mysteries of Eros," in Joscelyn Godwin, Christian Chanel, John Patrick Deveney, The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism [New York: Samuel Weiser, 1995], p.213-78).
71 Oriflamme (1904): 18, in Clymer, The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America, v.II, p.541. For a good discussion of Reuss' techniques of sex magic, see Koenig, "Spermo-Gnostics and the OTO:" "The whole body was considered Divine...and the sexual organs were meant to fulfill a peculiar function: a Holy Mass was the symbolic act of re-creating the universe....Sexually joining is a shadow of the cosmic act of creation. Performed by adepts, the union of male and female approaches the primal act and partakes of its divine nature...The sensations that form within Man and Woman sexually joined come not from the conjunction of the physical parts, but from the male and female sexual polarities in contact" (See also Theodor Reuss' translation of Crowley's Gnostic Mass: "Die Gnostische Messe," reproduced in: P.R. Koenig, Der Grosse Theodor Reuss Reader [Muenchen 1997 ]; and Reuss: "Mysterica Mystica Maxima," Jubilaeums-Ausgabe der Oriflamme 1912 [Baumann, Berlin und London 1912]).
72 King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1978), p.79. On homosexual rites, see Peter Koenig's chapter "Anal Intercourse and the O.T.O.," in Das OTO-Phaenomen: An Agony in 22 fits, translated on line at (http://home.sunrise.ch/~prkoenig/phenomen.htm) . Koenig summarizes the higher degrees follows: "VII° Adoration of the
|phallus as Baphomet, both within and without; VIII° Interaction with something outside the closed vessels of the vagina and the anus; IX° Interaction inside the vagina with either the blood or the secretions of a woman when excited; X° Impregnation + fertilisation of an egg + the act of creation; XI° Two-fold: i) Isolation in the anus where it is considered unable to interact with anything; ii) interaction with excrement and small amounts of blood... and the mucous membranes that lead into the blood supply."
73 King, The Magical World, p.79. "To invoke a god into themselves. .. and set into flaming activity all the subjective psychological factors symbolized by a particular deity, the practitioners mentally concentrated on the form of the god through intercourse, building up a creative visualization of his or her form and imagining that it had a life of its own. At orgasm they attempted to transfer their own consciousness to that of the image, blending their personalities into one" (ibid., pp.79-80).
74 "Sex, for Randolph, was a sacrament and nothing less than a means to a holy communion of souls. ..He hedges it round with taboos: it should not be enjoyed frequently or promiscuously, never with any corm of contraception, and absolutely never with the same sex. Nothing could be further from the sexual magic later developed by the Ordo Templi Orientis" (Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment, p.255-6; cf. p.361).
75 King, The Magical World, p.100. Crowley's main texts on sex magic include: Of the Nature of the Gods; Liber Agape the Book of the Unveiling of the Sangraal de Arte Magica; and Of the Homunculus, most of which are included in Francis King, ed. The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O. (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1973).
76 Crowley, "The Temple of Solomon the King," in Equinox I (4) (London 1910), p.150. On Crowley's possible Tantric influences, see Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000), pp.92, 127, 141, 188. As Evola suggests, "Apart from satanic, heathen and deliberate scandalizing elements, the Law of Thelema was in fact inspired by Tantrism" (The Metaphysics of Sex, p.264).
|of the Kaula Circle (London: Luzac & Co., 1936): "I met a European who was one of X.Y.Z.'s pupils. He called himself by a number. In the beginning he was extremely handsome, afterwards he grew gross...He had many women at his disposal... He learnt many magical processes by which he drew into his circle great phantoms...He had with him a pupil, a thin. long-nosed boy.. .I wondered why he had followed the man whose number was 666...666 wore a ceremonial robe, had a pentacle, a wand a sword and a cup ...I watched that day the spirits he evoked with the help of the Lamas ...I saw 666 fall to the ground frothing at the mouth" (pp.48-9).
79 Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, p.767; parenthetical words supplied by Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt, p.216. On Crowley's sex magic and its relation to the OTO, see Koenig, "Spermo-Gnostics and the OTO: "Crowley's VIIIth degree unveiled... that masturbating on a sigil of a demon or meditating upon the image of a phallus would bring power or communication with a divine being.. The IXth degree labelled heterosexual intercourse where the sexual secrets were sucked out of the vagina and when not consumed...put on a sigil to attract this or that demon to fulfill the pertinent wish...In his "Emblems and Mode of Use" Crowley describes the method of how to smear sperm on a talisman in order to attract for example money."
80 Crowley, "The Law of Liberty: A Tract of Therion, Issued by the Ordo Templi Orientis," reproduced in Clymer, The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America, v.II, p.572. As Crowley writes in his Confessions, "Mankind must learn that the sexual instinct is...ennobling. The shocking evils which we all deplore are due to perversions produced by suppressions. The feeling that it is shameful and the sense of sin cause concealmentcreates neurosis and ends in explosion. We produce an abscess and wonder... why it bursts in stench and corruptionThe Book of the Law solves the sexual problem completely. Each individual has an absolute right to satisfy his sexual instinct...The one injunction is to treat al such acts as sacraments" (pp. 874-5).
81 King, The Magical World of Aleister Crowley, p.82. A detailed record of the Paris workings is contained in two manuscripts, The Book of High Magick Art and the Esoteric Record, compiled by Neuberg. As Symonds comments, "Sex became for him the means to reach God. It was his vehicle of consecration...In his eyes every sex act was a sacred magical act, a sacrament. A prolonged orgy in honor of the great god Pan" (The Great Beast, p. 135).
|82 "Crowley indicated both women and drugs as the means to cause openings or breakages of ordinary consciousness and to enter into...relations with supersensual beings. The orgasm of coitus (as also the effect of drugs) led to openings of consciousness toward the supersensual. ..The technique...was that of excess; through pain or pleasure, sex or intoxication, it was necessary to attain condition of exhaustion taken to the extreme limit" (Evola, The Metaphysics of Sex, pp.264, 266;cf. Symonds, The Magic of Aleister Crowley, pp.147ffl 48, 130-1).
85 Crowley, The Vision and the Voice (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1911), p.385-6. On the creation of alchemical androgynes, see Urban, "Birth Done Better: Conceiving the Immortal Fetus in India, China and Renaissance Europe," in Notes from a Mandala: Essays in Honor of Wendy Doniger, ed. Laurie Patton (New York: Seven Bridges Press, 2000).
86 "There was some close connection between sexuality and geniusThe divine consciousness which is reflected in the works of Genius feeds upon a certain secretion...analogous to semen... This point of view bears a relationship to certain Tantric teachings according to which ojas, a subtle essence derived fromsemen, fills the lower centers of the adept, rises through subtle passagesto the top of the spine and goes through a transformation which results in the physical body being flooded with a divine essence" (King, The Magical World, pp.97-8).
91 There is a vast array of such books; see for starters, Christopher S. Hyatt, and Lon Milo Duquette, Sex Magic, Tantra and Tarot: The Way of the Secret Lover (New Falcon Pub., 1991); Christopher S. Hyatt, S. Jason Black, Tantra Without
|Tears (New Falcon Pub., 2000); Donald Michael Kraig, Linda Falorio, Tara Nema, Modern Sex Magick : Secrets of Erotic Spirituality (St. Paul: Llewellyn Pub., 1998); Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, The Tree of Ecstasy : An Advanced Manual of Sexual Magic (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1999) .
96 Garrison, The Yoga of Sex (New York: Julian Press), quoted in Douglas, Spiritual Sex, p.222. For a similar celebration of Tantra, see Rawson, The Art of Tantra: "Tantra is a cult of ecstasy, focused on a vision of cosmic sexuality" (p.9).
99 On Rajneesh and Trungpa, see Urban, "The Cult of Ecstasy," and "Zorba the Buddha: Capitalism, Charisma and the Cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh," Religion 26 (1996): 161-82. Decrying modern Western civilization as hypocritical and repressed, Rajneesh proclaimed Tantra as a new-religionless religion based on absolute liberation of the body and sexuality: "Tantra says everything has to be absorbed, everything!...without any condition. Sex has to be absorbed, then it becomes a tremendous force in you. A Buddha...a Jesus, they have such a magnetic force around what is that? Sex absorbed" (Tantra: the Supreme Understanding [Poona, Rajneesh Foundation, 1975],p.100).
|101 Fra. Geh Mad, "Developmental Technique for Tantra/Sex Magic," on the web-site http://www.greendome.org/archives/tantra/tantra.html.
103 From the "Tantra Works" web-site (http://www.tantraworks.com/tantrausa2.html#NTO) . "It's wondrous, exhilarating and true; you can use sexual pleasure as a guide to spiritual fulfillment. Not only is the sensual path enriching and joyful, but it's delightfully accessible with Tantra... [S]piritual sex liberates body and soul. A revolutionary movement sure to be a watershed in the coming millennium, spiritual sex celebrates the mystical aspects of sexuality while revealing the secrets that allow men and women to reach a zenith of ecstasy" (ibid.).