He is called the father of American yoga, being the first to popularize Yoga and Tantra in The United States. His nephew Theos Bernard became the first western Lama and a Tibetan Buddhist scholar after frequent visits to
But Oom the Omnipotent also had a darker side.
He was a practitioner of sex magic and an avid occultist. In 1910 he was accused of kidnapping two young girls for sexual indecencies. A clip from the May 4th 1910
Ultimately the charges were dropped, some say due to very wealthy and powerful connections within the political world of NYC at the turn of the last century. The claims of strange occult sexual practices were wide spread. It was told he would bring prostitutes from the city down the
Pierre Bernard died in 1955 and soon after the Clarkstown estate was purchased by the Nyack Missionary Training Institute, which later became
Soon after the purchase strange things began to happen in these buildings. Lights in administration offices would turn on and off all by themselves. Various objects in the offices of the old mansion would fly off tables.When you would venture in the attic and through the many secret maze of passageways that criss cross around the inner walls of the mansion after hours you would hear strange music and often voices when no one was there. Fetishes and idols from around the world stored in the large attic would move from one place to the other as if they could do so of their own volition. Books in the library would inexplicably fly off shelves and land yards away. Students studying in the many private reading rooms would feel an icy hand on their shoulder or someone whispering in their ear. There is a small handprint as if of a young person in the attic that will not go away no matter how many times it would be cleaned or painted over.
These paranormal activities were not limited to the old Tudor mansion though. The renovated dorm was often the scene of the unexplained and supernatural. There is a room on the second floor of the south wing that is covered in mirrors. Not many want to live in the room for there is a tendency for hideous faces to appear in the mirrors late at night. This room and various others throughout the building are host to strange night visitations by forces unseen who would either sit on the bed and try to suffocate the occupant by laying on their chest or move the bed across the floor with violent force. At least once it was said that a bed levitated. Students in prayer often felt an uneasy presence in many of the rooms, and a few saw ghosts like beings in hallways. There is an elephant that was used for rituals by Bernard buried in the Athletic field and once late at night a security guard swore he heard the sound of an elephant walking and trumpeting in the parking lot. A picture of one of the elephants called "Mom" is below.
The most frequent reoccurring manifestation of the paranormal was nicknamed “The Dark Specter” by generations of security officers. It began to make its appearance in the mid seventies, and it has been sighted numerous times haunting every area of the campus grounds. The Dark Specter’s first appeared to a group of students who had just returned from a late night gathering in
I lived in Moseley Hall, the former guest residence of the Country Club from 1984 until 1988, and I visited the library frequently while in College and Seminary. As just I reported, one my best friends was the chief of Campus Security; so I had privy to places most did not at all hours of the night. I have first hand accounts of all of these incidents. I also saw quite a bit of these activities, from idols moving from one place to another when you turned your back to the music and voices from nowhere. I never did encounter the Dark Specter though. Some of us were ghost hunters long ago before it became the popular pastime it has become today, and we explored all of the buildings hoping for a personal encounter with the paranormal. We were granted our wish on many occasions. A few friends and I actually saw a demonic spirit physically take form in the top floor of the Seminary building; the scene of many of the sex magic rituals in the 1930s and 40s. It is something we will never forget. It appeared as a misshapen dark mass of a creature that mixed the characteristics of a humanoid and a frog. It, like the Dark Specter dissolved into the darkness as we confronted it and began an Exorcism. While at the time we were novices who had just begun training with such entities, it was hands on training as to how to deal with such malicious spirits. And it was training that some of my friends were able to utilize in paranormally active
But the paranormal would happen at the oddest times. One night after traveling the
The buildings have repeatedly been blessed and exorcised, but the incidents continue to happen.
Did Pierre Bernard unleash something dark that will not die at the Clarkstown Country Club by strange rites and rituals? Or are the ghosts of the Tantric former occupants at odds with the conservative Christian residents who now populate the buildings?
I have no idea, but I know what I experienced on the banks of the
Until next time,