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"The Heathen Invasion of America" (1911)
In this November 1911 article from the Current Literature, an unnamed author stirs fears of a "heathen invasion" in the U.S. that threatens to undermine the country's "spiritual health." The article argues that the Congress of Religions at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair opened the gates to "Oriental propagandists" like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Abhedenanda, and Baba Bharati, and their influence has proliferated with the flourishing Vedanta Society, Buddhist, Hindoo, Muslim, and Zoroastrian places of worship around the country. Cases are given of people (primarily women) who have been cast under the spell of the invasion, and driven mad. The article mentions, for instance, Ms. Aloise Reuss, "a woman of culture and refinement, was taken, screaming and praying, from the Mazdaznan Temple of the Sun to be incarcerated, a raving maniac, in an Illinois asylum." Specific mention is made of the Vedanta Society in West Cornwall, Connecticut, and the article quotes the testimony from one recent visitor.
Date: November 1911
Source: Current Literature
Item History: 2011-11-01 (created); 2013-05-03 (modified)
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