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Violence and New Religious Movements$
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James R. Lewis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.001.0001

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“Strong as Steel, Steady as Stone”

“Strong as Steel, Steady as Stone”

Skirting Pitfalls in 3HO/Sikh Dharma

(p.325) 16“Strong as Steel, Steady as Stone”
Violence and New Religious Movements

Constance Elsberg

Oxford University Press

Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO group can briefly be described as a blend of Kundalini yoga and Sikhism. Due to the strongly martial dimension of Sikhism, the group is thus heir to a militant tradition, which, one might suppose, could easily be used to justify violence. Also, particularly in the first decades of its existence, 3HO contained all of the key ideological and organizational characteristics that have been associated with violent new religions. However, the group has never been involved in violence, either external or internal. This chapter surveys the various factors that have mitigated against violence in 3HO.

Keywords:   Sikh Dharma, Sikhism, new religious movements, Khalsa, millennialism, Yogi Bhajan, charisma, Kundalini yoga, violence, counterculture

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