Part five B

5.10 Books on Osho

Before presenting some of the many writings on Osho’s years in Oregon we may benefit from reading this thorough ‘Review of the Literature’ from Valan Valdason’s dissertation ‘Responses to the Closure of Rajneeshpuram’ and its categorization of sources available to her in 1988 as well as to us now:

“Four areas of literature were relevant to this topic. First, a cursory review of Rajneesh and his teachings established an understanding of the controversial nature of this Tantric master. His work translated a mix of Eastern and mystical traditions into a spiritual growth model for Westerners ripe from the human potential movement. He incorporated the Eastern image of the meditative Buddha and the Western fulfilment of material man, Zorba, into his model of Zorba the Buddha. His integration of Eastern meditative techniques and Western alternative therapy methods was a prime example of the developing fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology. His 350 volumes of teachings cover comments about all the major religious traditions, psychological models for growth and therapy, political and societal questions, as well as personal conversations between master and disciples.

A second area describes the disciples and chronicles of their experiences. They were and are non-conformists, educated, intelligent, affluent and sophisticated; numerous writers confirm the same observations made by researchers. FitzGerald (1986) and Gordon (1987) provide the most complete chronicles of the movement while journalists of every background from professor of religion (Clark, 1983) to author for ‘Penthouse’ (Christensen, 1985) have offered details and opinions. Numerous disciples have offered stories and gossip, some out of respect, like Meredith (1988), Amitabh (1982), Bharti (1980) and Divya (1981), and others out of turmoil or anger, like Belfrage (1981), Strelley (1987) and Milne (1986) Researchers studied the ranch population (Sundberg, 1983, 1984) and found the same selfactualized participants studied by Deva (1980) in India and independent religious thinkers observed by Vanderlans and Dahlmans (1982) in Holland.

Intertwined with observations of disciples are the stories of the ranch and of the ashram in India. Some writers provided fair social and political observations (Braun, 1984, Levin, 1980), and Murphy (1986) provided a personal account of how the Oregonians attacked the Rajneesh community. As noted above, some of the disciples’ comments were loving while others were only gossiping. The power struggles were best analyzed by FitzGerald (1986) but she only traced the problems within the organization while others clearly pointed out the multiple causes for events. Gordon (1987) provided the best narrative about Rajneesh himself, and how his movement, the ashram, the ranch and the disciples shaped and were shaped by his character.

The information on the current status of community members was minimal and consisted of a few individual interviews and a lot of speculations (McNamer, 1986, Williams, 1986, and Tart, 1987). Were the disciples disillusioned? How could the spiritual ideals have allowed corrupt and unlawful actions? The literature review in Chapter 2 closes with observations about how, in so many situations, truth becomes distorted by both individuals and self-perpetuating systems (Goleman et al, 1985). The lack of any objective information about responses to the events from a large number of participants prompted this study.” (Valdason 1988, pp. 123-25)

Core Biographies

In the same way as in the previous part on Poona One, we may here again mention Vasant Joshi (Sw Satya Vedant) and Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha) as two most authoritative and insightful writers also covering the phase of Bhagwan’s work in Oregon. Vasant Joshi as the official biographer of Osho and Maneesha as the socalled ‘ashram bard’. We may here bear in mind that Vasant Joshi is an Indian by birth and has worked as a scholar at universities in the US, a background which in many dimensions has been useful to his writings on Osho.

* Osho The Luminous Rebel. Life Story of a Maverick Mystic / Vasant Joshi (Sw Satya Vedant). New Delhi, Wisdom Tree, 2010. (Joshi 2010)

Chapter 7. Rajneeshpuram in America. Page 159-167.
Chapter 8. Sheela and the Hovering Clouds Over Rajneeshpuram. Page 168-176.
Chapter 9. Travesty of Justice and Democracy. Page 177-185.

* Bhagwan. The Buddha for the Future / Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha). Poona, Rebel Publishing House, 1988. (Forman 1988)

The Rajneeshpuram phase in Oregon narrated in her most captivating style up to Osho’s arrest in Charlotte 29.10.1985. Page 225-541.

As for the events during the twelve days in the autumn of 1985 when Osho was kept in custody and his fatal treatment by US authorities on direct orders from the White House, the main source is again Maneesha (Forman 1989) now supplemented with Ma Prem Anando and most noteworthy Max Brecher who has done meticulous research visiting locations and jails, interviewing a total of 69 officials and retrieving documentary evidence, often censored, during his investigation.

* Bhagwan. Twelve Days that Shook the World / Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha). Rebel Publishing House, 1989. (Forman 1989)

Robert Coleman’s introduction to Maneesha’s book. Excerpt:
“This is a book of inner and outer transformations. It’s a hall of mirrors capturing the thousand and one images of the American heart and mind on both sides of the prison bars of so-called justice. In this precious document, Juliet Forman has somehow magically caught the invisible tremor of truth by the tail, spiced it with laughter and tears and woven it all into a delicious tale of intrigue. These twelve days were a suspense thriller, a love story, a courtroom comedy-of-errors, a fable made flesh and blood, a manifesto of political hypocrisy and a revelation of mankind’s vanishing freedoms.” (Forman 1989, p. XV)

Maneesha on her trilogy
“For the segment on the second commune, at Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA, I drew not only on my own experience but on those of many others who were involved in work of which I had known little or nothing. That period, too, in an entirely different way, was extraordinary. Many of us felt we learnt invaluable lessons through being witness to both the US government’s effort to sabotage Osho’s work, and those of a small group of sannyasins who became embroiled in internal politicking.
I know I feel I have lived several lifetimes in a relatively few years… and I would not change one moment of any of it!
I have a particular affection for ‘Bhagwan: Twelve Days that Shook the World’ – the second volume – too. It required a tremendous amount of research and, in gathering that all together, I realized that I was looking at a thriller, and one in a genre all its own: a political-spiritual one. Though some readers might find the court testimony a lot of tackle, I included it because I personally find it fascinating, and because I want all that happened to Osho and his work to be recorded, as precisely as possible, for posterity. I thought that if I don’t do this now, maybe it will never get done.” (

On front jacket Kamath writes
“There has never been anyone like him before. It is doubtful whether there will ever be anyone like him again. Anyone who can turn over two dozen governments against him must have something in him. One suspects it is intellectual honesty of a rare kind.
“There have been others like him at different times. A Walt Whitman, a Bernard Shaw, a Bertrand Russel, iconoclasts in their own way and with an abundance of talent. But they, even while they paid a certain price, knew where to stop.
“Rajneesh pulls all stops. He is freedom without end.” (M.V. Kamath. The Book Review)

On back jacket Osho says
“I have found a better recorder than Ramkrishna has ever found in Vivekananda, or even Socrates has found in Plato,” said [Osho] of the author Maneesha. “When we are all gone, her collections will be remembered for centuries.” An extraordinary tribute from a master to a disciple who, for the most of the last fourteen years has been deeply involved in compiling and editing books of Osho’s discourses, which are now available in over five hundred titles in more than thirty languages around the world. More recent she has become a chronicler of the amazing events around Osho. In this, her second book, she covers the period of her master’s imprisonment in the USA and the attempts on his life – and this time, the disciple has written it down while the master is still alive.”

Mistlberger on Maneesha’s books (Forman 1988, 1989, 2002)
“Of all the books written by disciples and ex-disciples describing Osho’s life and work, these three books are the most ambitious. Taken together, they amount to 1,500 pages and half a million words… Juliet Forman, who went by the name Maneesha, was a close disciple of Osho’s and one of his most faithful. She was no mindless follower but an intelligent woman and dedicated chronicler and her books are worth reading for one willing to invest the time. She, in all likelihood, gives the most technically accurate account concerning the ‘who did what’ of the highly controversial days leading to the collapse of the Oregon commune in 1985 and its immediate aftermath. That said, she may have been too close and too attached to her master to be able to write in a purely objective fashion. Nevertheless, I recommend her books if for no other reason than the fascinating account they give of a life in the immediate inner circle of a profound and deeply controversial figure… Forman captured a very large chunk of Osho’s story.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 662)

In an unpublished synopsis (1989. 11 pages), Juliet Forman is interviewed on the contents of ‘Bhagwan: Twelve Days That Shook the World’, and she’s answering questions on conspiracy, Osho’s threat to American values, his arrest, incarceration with attempts on his life and the media coverage of the events.

* A Passage to America. A Radically New Look at Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and a Controversial American Commune / Max Brecher. Book Quest, 1993. Foreword by Kushwant Singh. Second Revised Edition in digital format 2014 with a new chapter 13. (Brecher 1993, Brecher 2014)

Brecher’s work is a thoroughly researched and documented investigation – in his own ‘scientific/journalistic’ methodology – based on interviews, media reports and legal, historical, sociological and religious sources covering comprehensively Bhagwan’s commune in Oregon, his fatal incarceration in late 1985 and its aftermath.

Brecher’s book includes a foreword by Khushwant Singh. Excerpt:
“It is therefore all the more important that while our memories are still fresh and many of us can recall Osho’s words, a fair objective account of what he stood for and what he did should be recorded for posterity. Also all that we know of the diabolical conspiracy to besmirch his reputation and that of his following must be told. This has been done by Max Brecher whose academic background of philosophy, psychology and comparative literature, his years in the film industry and creative writing make him eminently suited to set the record straight about one of the greatest personalities of our times.” (Brecher 1993, p. vi)

Max Brecher on his research
“I started in New York, doing legal research, and then I went to Washington D.C. and interviewed people in various federal departments who were involved in the case, including the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) Commissioner, Alan Nelson. Then I followed Osho’s trail from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was arrested, to Oklahoma City, where he was held in jail, and then to Oregon itself. I did interviews with the major players involved. Putting their stories together, I could clearly see that there had been a conspiracy.” (Osho Times International, 1993:7)

Brecher on the publishing of his book
“The book was finished in 1989, and I had to contact 20-30 publishers, western as well as eastern. A signed contract with Motilal Banarsidass in Delhi was nullified in 1991, due to the Indian attempt at that time to reestablish some goodwill with USA. So it ended up with Book Quest, a publisher in Bombay. Some reviews were printed in Indian papers but none in western press. With a certainty of 98% Meese – and with him Reagan – were involved in the operation, and all leads stopped on the level right below Meese. A Vatican connection to CIA’s catholic top management cannot be proven but is most likely to have existed. Any interview with Vatican officials were rejected. The book is based on primary interview material and contains no speculative content whatsoever.” (Max Brecher. Interview. Poona. 30.08.1996)

Brecher on the second digital edition
“I’ve completely rewritten A Passage with more research on the scholarly side. The argument was strong. It is much stronger. The writing was good, but now in some sections it verges on greatness (even if I do say so myself). I am trying to get it republished in India with a major publisher. What’s more, I want to make a CD available to libraries around the world which will include not only the book, but also all the research I did (interviews – in both text and digital formats – and the telling documents that clinch the case. The book has been largely ignored in those places where it should have been most avidly read and studied. Notably, Oregon. But they have an image of themselves that they want to uphold at any price.” (Max Brecher. E-mail. 17.03.2011)
(Note: Second revised end enlarged digital edition 2014 is with a new chapter 13. See Brecher 2014 in References)

Brecher on why and how he’s telling this story
“My response is simple. “Because it has never been properly told. Never been adequately researched, documented, taken apart and painstakingly pieced together. And what’s more, it’s too important to get wrong.”
Authors with an external, allegedly objective perspective have all too often relied more on refusal than refutation. Without evidence, logic or coherent argument, they have categorically dismissed Rajneesh, the man and his claim to embody bliss and wisdom “which passeth understanding”. As if themselves had reached some higher plane of existence and were miraculously above this state…
On the other hand, those who continue to love and revere him – and demonstrate those sentiments by gathering in large numbers at sannyas centers around the world and what is now known as the Osho International Meditation Resort in Poona, India – have told insiders’ stories. But too often those have been depictions of their own insides. What happened to them and how they felt. Vivid and valid as those experiences of total immersion and transformation are, they often fail to create a picture large and persuasive enough for those who haven’t been there and done that..
This volume is based on thousands of media reports from the period, legal, historical, sociological and religious research, and about 100 formal and informal interviews with government officials, lawyers and sannyasins in the United States, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, India and Italy. It does not seek to square circles or build bridges across the chasms separating those who would praise Rajneesh and those who would bury him. But it does seek to dredge up the exactly what happened, when and why from the murky depths of myth, hysteria and straight black propaganda…
Critics who find the course swerving too much hither and thither are asked to remember the uncommon territories we are passing through and cut me some slack.
Those familiar with the first edition [1993] of this volume should know that this is a totally revised work. The stress then was on stop the presses scoop journalism. Here I have delved more into the rich academic literature on this and related topics and been more generous with the use of footnotes. There are more than 1500 of them.
Without sacrificing rigor and accuracy, I have also opted for a more literary approach. Appropriate rhythms, telling metaphors, and more precisely chosen words. The results are, in my opinion, a stronger, tighter argument and more pleasing peruse.
There’s also a whole new chapter (13), which was originally intended to be a brief appendix on yellow journalism – with particular emphasis on The Oregonian – and then spun out to become the longest chapter in the book [pp. 456-525].” (Brecher 2014. Introduction, pp. 3-5)

Brecher on his working method
“Starting from those premises, my work was to be a basically historical-factual-journalistic investigation – with generous helpings of what some call “religion” and others “spirituality” – into how it all went south. My basic questions were: What had happened, when and why? Who, if any, specifiable people were responsible and even legally culpable? And no one was to be left out of the equations and given a free ride.” (Brecher 2014, p. 459)

Mistlberger on Brecher 1993
“Max Brecher, in his exhaustively researched 1993 book, ‘A Passage to America’, concluded that there were high level conspiracies – all the way up to the Vatican – to shut down the Oregon commune from the beginning… This is an interesting work and unfortunately no longer in print. Brecher did extensive research and interviewed many people, ultimately concluding that a deep conspiracy existed at high levels of government and organized religion to persecute Osho.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 278,663)

The second edition reviewed by Bhagawati. Excerpt:
“This is an alarming book, which has been communicating an important message since its initial publication in January 1993.
From all the evidence shown it is abundantly clear that there were numerous governmental and civic conspiracies against Osho and Rajneeshpuram from the very beginning. And things could have ended very differently – like Waco, for example – had it not been for the “inspired” flight of Osho out of the ring of fire that had surrounded the commune and was quickly closing in. Then came the bizarre Alford Plea: a duckbill platypus so-called legal construction in which the defendant asserts his innocence while admitting that the prosecution could have proven its case against him…
Any of our readers who are already familiar with the first edition of this book please be aware that this edition had been totally revised and includes a completely new chapter (13).” (Ma Anand Bhagawati.

* Was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America? / Sue Appleton (Ma Prem Anando). Cologne, Rebel Publishing, 1988. (Appleton 1988)

Anando is an attorney admitted to practice in Supreme Courts of Australia and America which provides her with a background most suitable for her investigations into the many juridical phenomena during these events. Not only that. She was also Osho’s personal secretary during Poona Two and had as such during her writing the opportunity to collect Osho’s comments on the experiences he had during his twelve days in custody by the US authorities. These comments are to be found nowhere else but here.

Mistlberger on Anando’s books (Appleton 1987, 1988)
“The titles of the books say it all – devotional accounts written by a close disciple during the intense and traumatic times following the collapse of the Oregon commune and Osho’s bizarre ‘world tour’.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 661)

See also Section 5.13 Osho Arrested in Charlotte

Contemporary works

Osho’s years in Oregon have been documented by a number of American scholars and writers who have felt inclined to publish their research and opinions of the multifaceted phenomenon that took place in those hilly hinterlands of Oregon.

* Rajneeshpuram and The Abuse of Power / Theodore L. Shay. West Linn, Scout Creek Press, March 1985. (Shay 1985)

Professor Shay writes on the scope of his essay
“This is a case study. It deals with the vital issue of lawful government and the potential for the abuse of power. It examines, in outline, some of the most important legal and political developments that have surrounded the Rajneeshee community in Oregon.
Too often, this subject has been discussed in an atmosphere of confrontation and misunderstanding. Extraneous issues, biases, personality clashes and an amazing array of rumors have contributed to the loss of factual perspective. Fear of the unknown, cultural and religious intolerance, media, distortion and sensationalism have all added to an irrational climate of opinion in which reasoned accommodation has been rendered almost impossible. And often, actions of various governmental units have also failed to contribute clarity and justice.” (Shay 1985, p. 1)

Roshani Shay writes
“The small booklet you are referring to is ‘Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power’ by T.L. Shay. Even though I co-wrote it we held back my name because by then I was a sannyasin and we thought people might not read it. Ted and I created it primarily to distribute to all of the legislators in the State Capitol during their legislative session.” (Roshani Shay. E-mail. 21.07.2018)

* A Reporter at Large. Rajneeshpuram I-II / Frances FitzGerald. In: The New Yorker, September 1986. Part I & II. (FitzGerald 1986)

* Cities on a Hill. A Journey Through Contemporary American Cultures / Frances FitzGerald. New York, Simon & Schuster, 1986. Rajneeshpuram on p. 247-381. Also in The New Yorker, September 1986. (FitzGerald 1986a)

Frances FitzGerald has written an in-depth piece of investigative journalism based on her three visits to the Ranch (May and September 1983 and again in August 1985), where she conducted numerous interviews with key-persons in management and the entire organization. Her essay, first published in the New Yorker in two parts in September 1986, is presenting a most detailed and fairly balanced account of the political and legal issues concerning Rajneeshpuram. It was titled ‘A Reporter at Large’, to be published with other essays in ‘Cities on a Hill’ (1986).
(Note: Frances FitzGerald (1940- ) is an American journalist and historian. Her first book ‘Fire in the Lake. The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam’ (1972) won her the Pulitzer Price).

From her acknowledgements in ‘Cities on a Hill’
“For the research on Rajneeshpuram I am much indebted to Professor Erhard Dortmund of Western Oregon State College, who for three years kept me abreast of the news by sending me what now amounts to a trunkful of clippings from the Oregon press. For his selfless efforts and his friendship I am most grateful.” (FitzGerald 1986a)

Krishna Prem recommends Fitzgerald for reading
“Enough said. I have neither the urge nor the interest to dwell any further on the Oregon experiment. Readers who are interested are directed to an excellent and informative book by Pulitzer-winning American journalist Frances FitzGerald, ‘Cities on a Hill’. It’s a truly amazing story of incredible accomplishment fuelled by our collective love for this one remarkable man.” (Allanach 2010, p. 345)

* Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society. Cultures Collide In a Quest for Utopia / Kirk Braun. West Linn, Scout Creek Press, 1984. (Braun 1984)

Introduction by T.L. Shay, Professor of Political Science and C.L. Shay, Associate Professor of Political Science, both Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. Excerpts:
“‘The Unwelcome Society’ is a story of cultures in conflict. It tells of one group’s inability to adapt to change and of another’s vision of Utopia which is seeking fulfilment in the wild west of north central Oregon. It is a story of confrontation between conservative Christianity and traditional values held dear by a rural people and of a lifestyle and set of values which they perceive as not only alien but also threatening.
Kirk Braun has written a sensitive and penetrating account of this collision of cultures and beliefs. He has done extensive research into media coverage of the events and into the teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who has inspired the vision of the newcomers. He has interviewed or observed nearly all of the principal actors in this real-life drama. He effectively weaves this material into a view of confrontation through the eyes of the participants by means of sharply etched vignettes. The story, as the events it describes, is fascinating…
As Mr. Braun’s rendition of the sagas unfolds, we invite the reader to view it in a broader context. In many ways, this book provides a study in microcosm of our diminished globe. Modern communication and transportation have ushered in an era of cultural and value confrontation. The story of the Rajneeshees and Oregonians can be thought of as a case study which lends itself to wider application; provides a window, if you will, to a far larger horizon. Above all, it offers insights into the capacity and willingness of people to tolerate values and lifestyles which are new and different from their own. Indeed, our global future may well depend upon whether such cultural confrontations as these become explosive collisions or result in greater understanding and tolerance between peoples.” (Introduction. Braun 1984)
(Note: Author Kirk Braun worked as a newspaper columnist)

Heading: Meeting Bhagwan face to face.
“Rajneeshpuram – I was ushered into a large woodpanelled room with a white linoleum floor. A bearded man sat in a large white overstuffed chair in the middle of the far wall. Except for the figure in the chair and several large indoor plants, the room was empty.
He had a flowing white robe and a dark blue stocking cap that was pulled down over his ears and across his forehead just above his eyes. He smiled as I entered and motioned for me to sit before him on the floor. As I did so, he beckoned me to lean forward and he touched me gently on the forehead with his fingers. His fingers rested there and he bade me close my eyes.” (Braun. In: The Rajneesh Times, 1982:4)

Excerpts on Cari Shay
“Cari Shay is an assistant professor of political science at Western Oregon College and with her husband, Ted, has been doing research on the Rajneesh movement since its arrival in Oregon. She kept a journal of her impressions of the festival in which she captures the spirit of the celebration, the people involved in it and the vibrant energy of the setting.” [Here follows a few pages with excerpts from Cari Shay’s journal] (Braun 1984, p. 190) (Note: Cari Shay became Ma Amrit Roshani and now calls herself Roshani Shay))

Roshani Shay on Kirk Braun’s book in her chronology
“Aug 30: Oregon author releases advance copies of his book, Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society, Culture Collide in a Quest for Uropia, to be available in bookstores from Sept.15…
Sept 28: Medford Mail Tribune prints favorable review of Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society as a refresher course on Rajneeshpuram…
Oct 15: Announcement of availability of Kirk Braun’s book Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society through Pacific Northwest Books Co. distributors circulated…
Oct 31: Feature story on Kirk Braun and his book, Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society, in which he recounts several instances of manuscript rejection by publishers (Lake Oswego Review, Lake Oswego, Oregon)…
Nov 7: Publication of Kirk Braun column on process of writing, publishing book on Rajneeshpuram (West Linn Tidings, West Linn, Oregon)…
Nov 23: Kirk Braun laments difficulties of publishing his book on Rajneeshpuram (Sun-Enterprise, Monmouth, Oregon)…
Dec 3: “mixed” review of Kirk Braun’s book of Rajneeshpuram (Observer, LaGrande, Oregon)…
Jan 1: Oregon Magazine “Rajneesh Watch” does unfavorable column on Kirk Braun and Oregon scholars studying Rajneeshpuram who counsel “moderation”.” (Shay 1990)

* Alles ganz easy in Santa Ba­r­bara, Wie ich das Ende der Rajneesh-Kommune in Oregon erlebte und was mir danach in Kalifornien widerfuhr (Everything is Totally at Ease in Santa Barbara. How I Experienced the Downfall of Rajneesh Commune in Oregon and What later Happened to me in California) / Jörg Andrees Elten (Sw Satyananda). Hamburg, Hoffmann und Campe, 1990. (Elten 1990)

Satuananda’s book is written in German and contributes to the amount of other writings by its comprehensive description of the last days and the closing of the Ranch. Later on Satyananda returns to Poona Two and he finally makes a thorough commentary on his experiences in the various phases of his time as a devotee. Satyananda settled as a writer in Santa Barbara, later to return to Germany.

“Ich folgte Shree Rajneesh, dem skandalumwitterten indischen Mystiker, um mich in seine Kommune in der Wüste Oregons einzubringen und an einem aufregenden, verwirrenden und manchmal sogar haarsträubend gefährlichen Abendteuer teilzunehmen, an einem Experiment, das in Wahrheit nur den einen Zweck hatte: uns aufzuwekken, uns von dem bequemen Ruhebett unserer Apathie hochzujagen, uns zu schockieren und die eng gezogenen Grenzen unseres Bewustseins zu verletzen. Jeder, der an diesem Experiment teilgenommen hat, ist in irgendeiner Weise – nicht immer auf angenehme Weise! – bereichert worden. Eines Tages werden die Historiker dieses Experiment in einem grösseren Zusammenhang studieren und entscheiden, ob es wichtig und erfolgreich war.” (Elten 1990, p. 11)

Elten interviewed
“Con: Bei “Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt” hiess der Author Swami Satyananda und in Klammern stand Jörg Andrees Elten. In dem neuen Buch heisst der Autor Elten und Satyananda steht in Klammern.
Elten: Ja, es ist eine andere Situation. Damals kam es mir drauf an, die Identität des Stern-Reporters drastisch zu zerstören oder zu unterbrechen und das auch nach aussen hin zu dokumentieren: Hier schreibt nicht mehr derselbe Mann, sondern das ist ein anderer. Heute ist eine andere Phase. Ich bin nach wie vor Sannyasin, wenn man darunter versteht einen Osho-Freund. Wenn sie die Sannyasins nennen, dann bin ich eben einer. Aber wenn ich hier auf dem Marktplatz mich bewege, dann tret’ ich nicht als Swami Satyananda auf, sondern mit meinem bürgerlichen Namen, unter dem mich nach wie vor die meisten Leute kennen. Ich halte das heute auch nich mehr für nötig, wie die Mala ja auch nicht mehr wichtig ist. Die hatte ihren Zweck, den hat sie erfüllt, und deswegen braucht man sie nicht mehr zu tragen. Und deswegen brauch’ ich auch nicht mehr als Swami Satyananda rumzulaufen.” (Connection, 1990:4, p. 27)

Review: Ein Buch gegen die Angst
“Der Autor selbst sagt über sein Buch: “Es ist ein Buch gegen die Angst. Ich schildere, dass man von Null anfangen kann, ohne Geld, ohne Dach überm Kopf, ohne alles – und dass man trotzdem seinen Spass am Leben haben kann.” (Connection, 1990:5)

* The Rajneesh Chronicles. The True Story of the Cult That Unleached the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil / Win McCormack (editor). Second edition. Portland, Tin HouseBooks, 2010. (McCormack 2010)

From 1983 to 1986 Win McCormack was editor in chief of Oregon Magazine where he wrote a highly critical monthly column called ‘Rajneesh Watch’. His book includes a Chronology of the Rajneesh Cult on page 10-48, and in appendix a Cast of Characters on page 318-336, including the following: Sw Amitabh Prem (Robert Birnbaum), Sw Anugiten (Richard K. Langford), Ma Prem Arup (Maria Gemma Kortenhorst), Ma Shanti Bhadra (Catherine Jane Paul Elsea & Jane Stork), Sw Bodhimitra (Henry Gerhard), Ma Deeksha (Maria Grazia Mori), Sw Krishna Deva (David Berry Knapp), Sw Devaraj (George Alexander Stowell Wynne-Aubrey Meredith), Ma Prem Hasya (Francoise Ruddy), Ma Prem Karuna (Wendy Cutler Wyatt), Ma Yoga Laxmi (Laxmi Thakarsi Kuruwa), Sw Prem Niren (Philip (P.J.) Toelkes), Ma Anand Puja (Diane Ivonne Onang), Ma Prem Savita (Sally Anne Croft), Ma Anand Sheela (Sheela Silverman & Sheela Ambala Patel), Sw Shivamurti (Hugh Milne), Ma Yoga Sushila (Susan Wallach & Sushila Tribe), Sw Anand Teertha (Paul Lowe), Ma Yoga Vidya (Phyllis McCarthy), Ma Yoga Vivek (Christine Woolf), Ma Yogini Dhyan (Alma Peralta).

McCormach refers to ‘S. A Novel’ by John Updike (1988)
“In his 1988 novel ‘S’., in which he credits material included in ‘The Rajneesh Chronicles’ as one of his sources, John Updike tells the story of a house wife in Massachusetts who abandons her husband and middle-class lifestyle to become a “sannyasin” at a religious commune in Arizona presided over by a guru from India… This description fits life at Rancho Rajneesh and the city of Rajneeshpuram in central Oregon during their occupation by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his cohort from 1981-85 pretty well – though Updike was, of course, creating fiction, as well as applying his characteristic irony to a social situation that, in real life, was not very amusing at all. (McCormach 2010, p. 1) (Note: McCormach’s writings are also presented in 5.5 Press Coverage)

Heading: Disclaimer Requested From Updike. Excerpt:
“Despite his disclaimer that “some details of this novel (“S.”) were suggested by reports on Rajneeshpuram in newspapers,” the press continues to treat John Updike’s bestselling “S” not as a novel but as a first-hand report of life at the former Rajneesh commune in Oregon.
In a letter to Updike – who never visited Rajneeshpuram – Ma Prem Hasya, international secretary to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, has requested the author to issue a public statement clarifying that his work is, indeed, a work of fiction.” (Press Release. 26.06.1988)

* Rajneeshpuram. Who were its People? An Oregon Documentary / Bert Webber. Medford, Webb Research Group, 1990. (Webber 1990)

Sw Atmo Shahid, Ma Prem Sunshine, Sw Veet Parigrah, Ma Prem Patipada, Ma Deva Mahamati, Sw Deva Navino and Ma Amrit Roshani have all contributed in writing with their experiences on the Ranch. In appendix C Sw Veet Parigrah writes ‘Rancho Rajneesh as an Ecological Model’. Page 101-105.

From cover notes: “Probably unknown to most of the TV and newspaper reporters who were assigned to cover “those Rajneesh,” is the fact that the sannyasins had set in motion what may have been one of the most all-encompassing and innovative no-waste programs in the United States. Further, the few professional environmentalists who looked beyond the TV “hype,” found the programs at Rancho Rajneesh to be an ecological model for the rest of the world.”

* Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his New Religious Movement in America / Eckart Floether & Eric Pement. Published by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States. Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 1983. (Floether 1983)

Punya on Floether’s book
“The pathetic Eckart Floether, an ex-sannyasins who had found solace in a Christian sect where he ‘saw the light’, became famous with his ‘insider’s account’ in which he accused Osho of mental instability. His book was used by many as confirmation that there was something wrong with us.
Aware that it is much easier to write a controversial book (hate is a very energetic and active drive) and much easier to find a publisher even if it should lack any literary grace, I had the desperate conviction that it was absolutely necessary for the story to be written from the other side as well. But I never thought that I would be one of the people doing the writing.” (Punya 2015, p. 260)

McCormack writes
“Eckart Floether, a Rajneesh defector, says that he remembers Karuna because it was she, he claims, who tried to dissuade him from leaving the Bhagwan’s ashram in Pune (Poona), India, a few years ago. Floether had been at the ashram for several months when, according to him, certain events transpired that made him question his sojourn there, events that he has written about in his pamphlet “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His New Religious Movement in America,” published by the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States.” (McCormack 2010, p. 93)

* Life as Laughter: Following Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Bob Mullan. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983. (Mullan 1983).

By a non-sannyasin British sociologist. Reports from Poona, Rajneeshpuram and Medina in UK including questionnaires and interviews.

* The Rajneesh Story. The Bhagwan’s Garden / Dell Murphy. West Linn (OR), Lindwood Press, 1986. (Murphy 1986)

Dell Murphy wrote this balanced and captivating book on how she experienced the cultural divide between Oregonians and Osho’s followers on the Ranch, and it appeared at a time when the media hype following the crucial events at the Ranch was in full gear.

Dell Murphy writes on her book
“To whom it may concern. Most of the events recorded here were chronicled in newspapers at the time; and I depended heavily on the papers to refresh my memory. If I sometimes quoted their exact words, I tried to give the writer appropriate credit. My purpose is to bring these events together in a way that will perhaps enable you to make some sense out of it all. I tried to expose some of the baseless rumors that were so widely – and wildly – circulated, and to dig through them to the truth. Having been a newspaper woman for many years, I know how difficult it is to pretend to be impartial. Believe me, writers have opinions! In the course of a long and eventful life, I acquired quite a few of them, and I never really acquired the knack of concealing them.”

Maneesha on Dell Murphy’s book
“Dell Murphy, a retired newspaper women from Oregon, was later to write a book about Rajneeshpuram entitled, ‘The Rajneesh Story: The Bhagwan’s Garden’. She was one of the minority who grew increasingly appalled by what she saw as the unadulterated prejudice and bigotry of her fellow countrymen – and women. “Bhagwan-bashing became quite the style,” she writes. “You didn’t have to know anything about the Rajneeshees to assume the role of basher. You didn’t have to read any of the Bhagwan’s books, or listen to any of his discourses or even visit Rajneeshpuram. All that was required to become an instant basher was to have once viewed a certain television program or read an exposé of some journalist. To be a Rajneesh defender was a bit more difficult. If you spoke out boldly, you could be dropped from the Tuesday bridge club, or the informal breakfast club where old cronies gathered for years. It was not a popular stance.” (Forman 1988, p. 291)

Amrito writes conclusively on the publishing houses’ policy
“The unspoken conspiracy of intellectuals everywhere to silence Bhagwan is not confined to suppressing works on him by his disciples. In Oregon, Kirk Braun, a noted journalist who made as close a study as a non-sannyasin could, was unable to find a publisher who would take his book, ‘Rajneeshpuram, the Unwelcome Society’. He had to print it himself. Similarly, ‘The Rajneesh Story: The Bhagwan’s Garden’, by Dell Murphy, was printed by the non-sannyasin author at her own expense for lack of a publisher. What these books have in common is an absence of the party line on just how terrible Bhagwan really is.
The response to these authors from the publishing houses was such that when Ted Shay, Professor of Political Science at Willamette University, Oregon, had completed his book, ‘Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power’, his comment on his intentions about finding a publisher was telling, given his status in the academic world. “It’s just not worth the bother of trying to find a publisher,” he said. “Anything that isn’t negative will not get published by the establishment.” He too published his own book.” (Meredith 1987, p. 198)

* Chronology of Events Relating to Rajneeshpuram, Oregon 1981-1985 / Roshani Cari Shay. Western Oregon State College, 1983-1990. 553 pages. Unpublished manuscript. (Shay 1990). See also: Vol III / Sources / Archives.

Later Publications

* Jesus Crucified Again. This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America. Editing and Compilation: Ma Deva Sarito. Introduction: Sangeet Duchane. Cologne, The Rebel Publishing House Gmbh, West Germany, 1988.

Osho’s own story of the events during his incarceration in USA. Compilation of quotes from discourses in Rajneesh Mandir, Oregon, on World Tour locations, and in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Poona.

In the accounts mentioned earlier on Poona One we find several autobiographies also covering Osho’s years in Oregon.

* My Diamond Days with Osho. The New Diamond Sutra / Ma Prem Shunyo. 2nd revised edition. Delhi, Full Circle, 1999. First edition: Diamond Days with Osho. Published by Rebel Publishing House, Poona, 1993. (Shunyo 1999)

Her personal high energy diary as a close devotee but also a thriller telling about Osho’s treatment in US. An intimate report of her inner and outer adventures. In first edition Epilogue with fairy tale story and watercolours.

* Past the Point of No Return. Inner and Outer Journeys / Edited by Ma Anand Bhagawati. Delhi, Osho World Foundation, 2010. (Bhagawati 2010)

A carefully edited collection of 46 narratives by disciples of Osho. They are presenting first-hand their meetings and life with their master, from Bombay and Poona.

* Osho, India and Me. A Tale of Sexual and Spiritual Transformation / Jack Allanach (Sw Krishna Prem). Published by, 2010. (Allanach 2010)

Compelling and unique storytelling of his experiences around Osho. Acute observations mixed with humour captivates the reader throughout the book.

* My Life with Osho. Seven Doors to Self-Realisation / Azima V. Rosciano. Delhi, Diamond Books, 2013. (Azima 2013)

A devotional account of adventures and dramas experienced around Osho by a disciple with a M.D. in medicine and author of two books on homeopathy (1995 & 2007).

* Encounters with an Inexplicable Man. Stories of Osho as Told by his People / Savita Brandt (Ma Anand Savita), compiler and editor. Pune, Dancing Buddhas Publishing, 2014. (Savita 2014)

To compile this chronological collection Savita talked to scores of devotees over 15 years and edited their intimate memories from being with Osho. The design of the book is a delight.

* On the Edge. Living with an Enlightened Master / Ma Yoga Punya. Editor: Ma Prema Veena. California, San Bernardino, Create Space, 2015. (Punya 2015)

In her melodic prose and calm style Punya narrates from her many years in Osho’s communes based on her impeccable research. Parallel sequences of past and present are interlacing in the text making it a very enjoyable read.

* Don’t Kill Him! The Story of my Life with Bhagwan Rajneesh / Ma Anand Sheela. Translated from German. New Delhi, Prakash Books, 2012. First German edition: Tötet Ihn Nicht! München, 1996. (Sheela 2012)

Sheela tells how she did everything he instructed her to do and how he chose as her to be his parrot. Nowhere she admits to any wrongdoing, rather she’s trying to validate everything that happened in Oregon through her own eyes.

* Hellbent for Enlightenment. Unmasking Sex, Power, and Death with a Notorious Master / Rosemary Hamilton (Ma Anand Nirgun). Ashland, White Cloud Press, 1998. (Hamilton 1998)

Insightful account about her life with Osho when she was a cleaner in Poona One and later on cooked for Osho while he was in Oregon.

* Zorba the Buddha. Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement / Hugh B. Urban. Oakland, University of California Press, 2015. Reviewed by Sw Anand Nandan on (Urban 2015)

First major academic work to cover the Neo-Sannyas Movement in its cultural, political and economic context. The phase in Oregon is covered extensively.

* The Golden Guru. The Strange Journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / James S. Gordon. Lexington, Stephen Green Press, 1987. (Gordon 1987)

Comprehensive account by an American psychiatrist who is presenting an un-biased portrait of Rajneesh and his work in Poona and Oregon. Epilogue, pp. 233-45.

* Operazione Socrate. Il caso Osho Rajneesh. Come e perché è stato ucciso il Maestro spirituale più discusso della nostra epoca / Majid Valcarenghi (Sw Deva Majid) & Ma Ida Porta. Milano, Tranchida Editori, February 1995. (Valcarenghi 1995)

Majid’s account of Rajneesh’s arrest and the political harassment in USA as well as in Italy. Partly based on tranlations from Appleton 1988, Brecher 1993 and the compilation Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Unpublished Xerox copy on 89 pages in Osho Cyber Cafe & Research Library, Poona (2001), contains: Introduction. The Setting for the Experience. Poisoning. Persecution. Conclusion. Appendices.

A full listing of published books on Osho and life on the Ranch in Oregon is to be found in: Volume III / References.

Here follow some quotations and annotations on the published books.

Gordon on publishing
“Bill Whitworth, of the Atlantic, commissioned the article on Rajneesh and his disciples that eventually grew into ‘The Golden Guru’… Most of Rajneesh’s books in English, video and audio tapes of some of the discourses, and audio tapes of his meditations are available from Chidvilas Publishing, Boulder, Colorado. Two volumes of ‘The Book of the Secrets’, the Rajneesh text that I first read, are now published in the United States by Harper and Row as are ‘The Mustard Seed’, Vasant Joshi’s authorized biography, ‘The Awakened One’, and several other collections of Rajneesh’s discourses.
Rajneesh’s thoughts on a wide variety of subjects are alphabetically arranged according to topics and collected in three volumes of ‘The Book’. His meditations are assembled in ‘The Orange Book’. An in-depth presentation of his disciples view of Rajneesh’s life and work through 1984, with photographs, is contained in two lavishly produced volumes, ‘The Sound of Running Water’ and ‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’. All are available from Chidvilas. A detailed investigation of Rajneesh and his disciples appeared in a twenty-part series in the Oregonian in June 1985. Hugh Milne’s book ‘Bhagwan: The God that Failed’ is published by St.Martin’s Press. Frances Fitzgerald has written a long reportorial account of Rajneeshpuram, which is included in ‘Cities on a Hill’ (Simon and Schuster)… The commune grew smaller each day; RFI moved its copies of Rajneesh’s books and tapes to Boulder, Colorado, assigned its copyrights to the Rajneesh Foundation Europe.” (Gordon 1987, pp. vii,205)

Mistlberger on Gordon 1987
“Generally considered to be one of the best ‘objective’ books written by a non-disciple. It is arguable of most gurus that their work cannot really be deeply understood by an outsider (that is, by one who has not been formally initiated as a disciple), owing to the importance of the connecting link between master and disciple. That idea has, of course, been wildly abused at times, but it still carries merit, much as it does in any domain of life (and, of course, it is also true that one too close to their subject suffers visual distortions as well). Gordon was a psychiatrist and observer of Osho’s life and work (although also very sympathetic) and so naturally his view is from some distance, a fact that helps in some ways, and hinders in others.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 661)

Gordon writes on his visit to Poona 1979
“As part of my work at the National Institute of Mental Health, I had spent the previous six weeks in India visiting medical researchers and learning about India’s traditional systems of healing. This was to be the first step in setting up collaborative research projects between the United Stated and India…
Original I had hoped to include the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in my studies. After all, it seemed to me that Rajneesh and his disciples were embarked on a significant experiment. Though I did not yet know the details, it was clear that their effort to combine Eastern meditative and Western psychotherapeutic techniques was on a scale far larger than any similar undertaking in the East or West. The idea had interested NIMH, but a State Department telex from Delhi had quashed it. The Shree Rajneesh Ashram was not a “suitable place” for me as a “representative of the U.S. government,” certainly not a site for a joint research project.”” (Gordon 1987, p. 17)

Operation Socrates
“On the 27th of October 1985, Bhagwan was arrested on immigration charges and jailed for two weeks. After his release his health began to deteriorate. In a book published by an Italian disciple, called Operation Socrates, Majid Valcarenchi and Ida Porta attempt to show that Bhagwan was murdered. According to them the Master was poisoned with thallium, a substance which causes bone pain, hair loss, deterioration of vision, and breakdown of the immune system, symptoms which began immediately after his jail experience. ” (Rita Stucchi Pedrini. Elle Magazine, Italy. October 1997)

Abhiyana writes on publishing
“Several ex-moms wrote their non-tell-all books. Not one took any responsibility for what went down. There was always someone else to blame. Shanti Bhadra made herself up as a total victim to the evil Bhagwan – what a load of crap! Sheela proclaimed her love and devotion to the master, even as she stabbed him in the back.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 354)

The epilogue to Sheela’s book mentions it was written in a few weeks during the summer of 1996. Excerpt from Nachwort:
“Während der Arbeit an diesem Buch durfte ich selbst erfahren, dass die existierende Gemeinschaft der Sannyasins, sei es nun die Kommune in Poona oder andere Sannyas-Institutionen, ihr gegenüber immer noch sehr feindselig eingestellt sind. Die hegen völlig ungerechtfertige Vorurteile. Das zeigte sich nicht nur daran, das Informationen und der Allgemeinheit zugängliche Veröffentlichungen Bhagwans, angeblich nicht mehr vorhanden sein sollten. Sie wurden meiner Meinung nach ganz bewusst zurückgehalten, sobald den Beteiligten klar wurde, dass Sheela irgendwie damit zu tun hatte… Auch die offizielle Pressepolitik der Kommune in Poona ist davon geprägt. Es werden Informationen zurückgehalten, die Bhagwans Kommune in Amerika betreffen. So werden auch Lebensläufe Bhagwans als offizielle Presseinformationen herausgegeben, in denen dieser wichtige Weitabschnitt in Bhagwans Leben überhaupt nicht erwähnt wird – wirklich mit kein einziges Wort… Auch in vielen Büchern Bhagwans ist dieser recht unvollständige Lebenslauf enthalten. Für die jetzigen Leiter oder Verantwortlichen der Kommune scheint diese Zeit ein rotes Tuch zu sein.” (Sheela 1996. Susanna Christinck in Nachwort p. 252. Bubendorf/Schweiz im Sommer 1996)

“Dieses Buch wiedme ich meinen geliebten Eltern Ba – Bapuji, Ambalal und Maniben Patel, Baroda, Indien, weil sie mir die richtigen werte für mein Leben mitgegeben und mir eine sinnvolle Existenz ermöglicht haben.” (Sheela 1996, p. 5)

Satish Edelberg’s synopsis on German edition of Sheela’s book
“In her book, ‘Don’t Kill Him’ Sheela fluctuates so often in the time line, that it is difficult to find a straight account of the different events. There are plenty of passages where she describes her intimate master-disciple relationship with Osho. In it she says how she did everything he instructed her to do, down to the tee – exactly according to Osho. She goes on to say that Osho chose her specifically for that, quote-unquote: to be his parrot. Strangely she also criticizes Osho’s doctors for malpractices by treating Osho according to his own recommendations for treatment.
There is no part of the book where she admits to any wrongdoing. From salmonella poisoning to the final countdown on the Ranch, through her own attitude with the press, she seemingly points her finger of blame for the collapse of the Ranch at the blind people around Osho and to Osho himself. That’s the basic of this topsy-turvy book, which includes as I have mentioned, lots of tasty morsels for the gossip-hungry mind. Throughout the book she also tells many stories to indicate how human Osho is, and proffers the view that he himself succumbed to materialistic and other non-spiritual attachments…
Given also the book’s reprints of some letters she wrote to Osho, it would seem she is only interested through the book in trying to validate everything that happened through her own eyes.” (Satish. 29.06.2006)

Shanti Bhadra recalls
“Sheela’s nurse joined me [in jail before sentence] for a while, until Sheela recalled her to type her memoirs. The nurse would rush out every morning to secure the typewriter, and then sit on the toilet seat with the typewriter on the table in front of her to record Sheela’s musings. They were very repetative. Sheela clang the story that Bhagwan was a great master, that she loved and trusted him absolutely, that he was testing us, and that only she understood his vision.” (Stork 2009, p. 206).

Satya Bharti on publishing
“Kirti and I… traipsed around New York, meeting literary agents and publishers. While everyone was interested in “the Rajneesh story,” few wanted anything but an exposé: nail the bastard to the wall; pin every crime on him; he had no redeeming value. Scandal meant money; I could write my own ticket. It was more than I was ready for. I promised Grove Press, my old publishers, a book in exchange for full artistic freedom (I should have known better!) and returned to Vancouver feeling as if I were back in business finally…
Deeksha wanted to set the record straight in case I was writing a book, as she’d heard I was doing. Her phone call came at a propitious time. Grove Press had just been bought out by an English publishing company that didn’t want to do my book. It wasn’t negative enough, objective enough; I was back to square one again. Having missed my moment by now – other books about the Rajneesh story would soon be on the market – I’d decided to rewrite my manuscript completely, hopefully turning it into something more meaningful than a three-month rush job had allowed…
I finished my new manuscript a few weeks before the [Bhagwan’s] trial began. Patti found a Hollywood producer for it, my agent found a new publisher.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 319,323,343)

Osho commenting on FitzGerald writings in The New Yorker
“You have mentioned the ‘New Yorker’ about me and the commune. Perhaps they may not have ever written such a big article before – one hundred and fifty-six pages. And what they call facts are only the facts that the government has supplied to them. They have not asked me; otherwise for every fact there is a counter-fact. But it is easy not to ask both parties…
‘The New Yorker’ is simply presenting one side… Where was this ‘New Yorker’ when I was there to reply? Now they are writing facts and figures. And they have not consulted the other party at all, to ask, “What are your facts and what are your figures? How has the government misbehaved with you? How has the government proved to be fascist, violent, crude, primitive, undemocratic…?” They should have asked us – because we have suffered. But the press is either in the hands of the church or in the hands of a political party, or in the hands of the government, or in the hands of rich people…
And this man [Edwin Meese] is the right-hand man of president Ronald Reagan; they are boyhood friends, they were both actors in Hollywood. And when Reagan became president he called him and made him the highest legal authority in America. So it is not possible that whatever he is doing is not known to Ronald Reagan. It is a conspiracy in the White House.
Journalists should gather a little courage, and when they start writing stories about facts and figures they should look at the other side also. Just put both sides; don’t give your judgment. Let the people decide. And truth has a quality of its own: if both sides are placed before you without any prejudice, you will be able to figure out what is true and what is false… Truth has to wait, but not to wait forever. It is patient; it is patient because it knows its victory is certain.” Beyond Enlightenment (1986). Chapter 32, pp. 765,762,769,770.

Subhuti on Fitzgerald
“Personally, I experienced a strange moment when being interviewed for a book by author Frances Fitzgerald from New York. I was telling Fitzgerald how amazing it had been to watch Oregon politicians ganging up against the commune, but she interrupted me, saying this had happened only after the commune’s attempt, in the autumn of 1984, to rig the Wasco County election.
I nodded, agreeing with her viewpoint that the state had acted legally, whereas we had not. It wasn’t until after the interview that I came to my senses and realized she was wrong. The swelling tide of state and federal opposition had begun way before that incident.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 121)

FitzGerald interviewing Subhuti on the Ranch
“Subhuti who was struggling with the facts of the matter in order to write a book, said, in answer to a question, “Yes, I suspected that Hulse’s illness and the fire in the planning office were caused by us. But it wasn’t a big thing for me. I went unconscious on it. ‘It’s all in Bhagwan’s hands,’ I said to myself. That was the reasoning. We saw Bhagwan as the big Daddy who could take care of everything. But we’ve learned that you can’t avoid taking responsibility for yourself.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 122)

Subhuti writing in The Bulletin
“In other words, whatever ambitions I had to succeed in the world again were not nearly as strong as the simple desire to hang out and have a good time. I did try and write a book about Rancho Rajneesh but it turned out to be such a mish-mash of narrated events, personal impressions and second-hand information that no publisher was interested. Eventually I threw it in the back of a passing garbage truck – and felt enormously better for doing so.” (Subhuti in: The Bulletin (OR), 04.03.1990, section B)

Book by Michael Rockland forthcoming
“Michael Rockland from Princeton, New Jersey, is a friend of Swami Das Anudas, editor of Bhagwan Magazine. He is chairman of the Department of American Studies, Rutger University, NJ, and is currently writing a book about the Rajneesh movement.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1983:30)
(Note: A Bliss Case: a Novel / Michael Rockland (1989). Fiction)

Book by Ava forthcoming
“At the time of writing, rumor has it that Ava is going to author a book about her experience at Rajneeshpuram: it should make intriguing reading, the disclosure of what exactly went wrong in those meetings which she was part of, that meant that the murder attempt on Devaraj went askew.” (Forman 1988, p. 468)

Roshani Shay in her chronology
Oct 3: Eastern Oregon poet said to be working on a collection of essays entitled “Translations of Rural America for the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” (Shay 1990)

Shiva writes in 1986
“To date, there have been five ‘official’ biographies of Bhagwan, and several investigative journalists have written their accounts of what happened inside the ashram. But so far, there has never been a cool appraisal of the movement from somebody who was a member of Bhagwan’s inner circle. No ‘Dynasty’ or ‘Dallas’ scriptwriter could have dreamed up anything to match the intrigues, the double dealing, the power struggles and the machinations that went on…
Though the account is factually as correct as I can make it, it is not, and is not intended to be, objective. It is not an all-enveloping account of the growth, development and decline of Rajneesh Foundation International. It is the personal story of my relationship with my guru over ten years, and of the ramifications consequent upon my leaving the movement…
I left the movement in 1982 [Milne became initiated in 1973], less than two years after it had moved to America and set up its headquarters in Oregon, where it purchased the Big Muddy ranch for more than $5 million. Since then I have been publicly denounced by Bhagwan himself in the ‘Rajneesh Foundation International Newsletter’, and harassed and haunted by certain of Bhagwan’s remaining adherents…
A severe mental breakdown followed my leaving, and I had to spend some time in a psychiatric hospital.” (Milne 1986, pp. 15-19)

Maneesha on Milne’s book
“However, I was shocked to discover later the lengths Hugh Milne went to make it clear to the world at large that he had left sannyas not because it simply wasn’t his cup of tea anymore but because Bhagwan “failed” him. Even more devastating was the entire graceless way in which Hugh recounted his memories of his years as Shiva. If he had had moments of inspiration, meditation, beauty and friendship in that time, he trampled all over them in an effort to discredit Bhagwan and those of us who were his friends. Reading the rather grubby article he wrote for the German magazine, ‘Stern’, and later his book, I felt hurt and insulted, felt my word and my master were insulted too. But ultimately of course, Hugh has harmed himself most deeply: Hugh, you betrayed love…
It seems that anger against Bhagwan propelled Hugh to write his book. To me, it is particularly shoddy in that it blatantly attempts to play on the mind’s love of the negative, the sleazy, the suggestive: his book is being serialized by one of those daily tabloids that border on the pornographic and which appeal to the least inspired of mentalities. As such it does not merit any further attention, except that it illustrates how desperate is the need of the establishment to malign Bhagwan: the media the world over appear to have the time and copy space to entertain only the most grossly distorted accounts of anything pertaining to Bhagwan, accounts which are accepted unquestioningly as true.” (Forman 1988, p. 263)

Vismaya writes
“An INS officer had arrived in London to meet an ex-sannyasin, Shiva, who had been Bhagwan’s personal bodyguard in Pune. In his fury at what he felt was a betrayal of the dream, Shiva had written a book exposing what he saw as the corruption of Bhagwan and the ashram’s political machinery.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 189)

Devageet writes on Milne’s book
“Hugh Milne is an example of the classic disaffected follower. He has written a bitter and dishonest book. He is an ex-disciple clearly floundering and lost, peddling his salacious stories to the highest bidder. Using his book as a standpoint to try and understand the phenomenon we know as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is like trying to gather information about Great Britain using the revelations of Kim Philby, or Burgess and Maclean. That Milne has an axe to grind is obvious, but how far he is willing to bend the truth and distort matters of public record in order to justify his view, needs careful consideration before taking what he says as anything more than petulant gossip.” (Devageet. In: Aveling 1999, p. 16)

Goldman writes in her notes
“2. Sannyasins made a distinction between Milne (1987), Strelley and San Souci (1987), on the one hand, and Franklin (1992), on the other. They saw Milne as a sexually obsessed turncoat and Strelley as a minor player who vastly overestimated her own importance. Both of these apostates criticized Bhagwan and portrayed him as a charlatan. On the other hand, Franklin, a more sympathetic defector, still spoke of him with some reverence. Most sannyasins responded to Franklin’s deference to Rajneesh and explained her criticism in terms of the fact that Sheela had exploited and mistreated her.” (Goldman 1999, p. 277)

Shiva leaving the Ranch
“Eckart had just heard that one of Rajneesh’s top disciples had defected from the movement. It was the highly visible bodyguard Shiva Murthi, who had been with Rajneesh for years. Now he was back in Scotland. What triggered the defection was what happened when he and a friend were canoeing; the friend got swept off in the rapids and started drowning. When Shiva Murthi phoned Sheela for a helicopter, she brusquely told him to forget the friend.” (Brooke 1986, p. 199)

Osho on Milne leaving the Ranch
“The Chancellor of the university, Amitabh, left. The vice-chancellor of the university, Siddha, left. Both were unique individuals, but both will be back soon. Shiva, who had been a guard for many years – she forced him to leave. And the way to force him was through humiliation, giving him jobs which the man had never done. The day he left… I used to go driving outside the commune. Just near Krishnamurti Lake, at the end, he was kneeling down on his knees, tears in his eyes, to say goodbye to me. He has not betrayed.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991) Ch.12, p. 139. 26.09.1985.

George Meredith is commenting thoroughly on Hugh Milne’s book on Osho in his own ‘Bhagwan. The Most Godless Yet The Most Godly Man’ (Meredith 1987) on pp. 166-220.

Mistlberger on Strelley 1987
“This book is comparable to Hugh Milne’s, being written by a disaffected former disciple.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 661)

Mistlberger on Murphy 1986
“A sympathetic account of Osho’s Oregon days by a non-disciple. (The annoying habit journalists had of referring to Osho as ‘the’ Bhagwan, rather than simply ‘Bhagwan,’ is repeated in the title of the book – sure a sign as any that the author was not a disciple).” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 660)

From a Marxist analysis of Rajneesh
“Nachbemerkung der Herausgeber: Die Schwierigkeiten der Linken mit Bhagwans Ashram-Bewegung bestehen nicht erst, seitdem, mit der Gründung der “Rajneesh Foundation International” 1981, der übergang vom kommunitär erscheinenden Organisationsprinzip der Gemeinschaft der Sannyasins zum autoritären Religionslonzern mit Zwangsarbeitsandacht vollzogen wurde; ein Übergang, der mit der Übersiedlung Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh nach Oregon zusammenfällt. In gewissem Sinne hat Bhagwan dadurch der linken Kritik das Geschäft erleichtert: And die Stelle einer schwierigen Kritik der ideologischen und sozialpsychologischen Hintergründe dieser Selbstunterwerfungsbewegung konnte die leichtere der ‘Kommerzialisierung legitimer Bedürfnisse’ treten. Ein Titel der “Illustrierten Stadtzeitung für Berlin – ZITTY” gibt die Richtung an: “Der Bhagwan-Konzern: Mala, Mäuse, Management” (Nr. 25/1983). Es ist einfacher, Bhagwan in der Manier, Wallraffscher Entlarvungsjournalistik, durch Information darüber, wie es bei Bhagwans ‘eigentlich’ hergeht, abzutun, als durch Aufklärung der Mechanismen seiner Faszination, seines Charisma (siehe den Artikel von Woilfgang Pohrt), die Denunziation seines Konzeptes vom ‘ganzheitlichen Menschen’ zu betreiben. Das Ungenügen dieser Methode rächt sich darin, dass sie ebenso wirkungslos bleibt wie die Wallraffsche Kritik der BILD-Zeitung.” (Initiative 1984, p. 42)

Mistlberger on ‘Way of the Heart’ (Thompson 1988)
“This little book is largely an undiscovered gem. Written by two intelligent anthropologists who were remarkably sympathetic to Osho, it is a scholarly appraisal of his ideas and work. The concluding chapter, in which the authors provide the pros and
cons of the matter of the Oregon commune, is worth the price of the book alone. It would have been interesting to have seen Thompson and Heelas wait a few years longer and write a larger work, but what they did put together is still valuable, even if not written from the point of actual participants in transformational work.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 661)

Amrito on The Way of the Heart
“In the same Economist article they also purport to review another book about Bhagwan, ‘The Way of the Heart’ by Judith Thompson and Paul Heelas. The Economist claims that “what interests these authors is how a few people were able to mislead thousands…” This is a total misinterpretation of Judith Thompson’s book. At no point do the authors judge sannyasins as “misled”; and moreover they state in their introduction that “as anthropologists, our main aim is to convey the nature of Bhagwan’s teaching and the life of his followers, the sannyasins,” a job they do with an integrity embarrassingly missing from The Economist.” (Meredith 1987, p. 195)

Thompson’s concluding remarks on the demise of Rajneeshpuram
“It appears that for sannyasins, those with most knowledge, in experience, of the path, the verdict is simple: events have been of transformative value. And if it has been of value to them, who are we as outsiders to ignore this in our considered response to Bhagwan’s path? As anthropologists, we ourselves feel that participant testimonies are part of the ethnographic record which must be seriously attended to by those interested in exploring what is open to human experience.” (Thompson 1986, p. 130)
(Note: Their fieldwork included living in the Medina commune in Suffolk, the largest center in UK, established in September 1981 and headed by Ma Anand Poonam. Medina means ‘Holy City’ and ‘marketplace’ both).

We must not forget that Osho’s years in Oregon also led to quite a number of novels, fiction as well as docu-fiction. A few notable works are:

– S. A Novel / John Updike (1988).

– The Case of the Reborn Bhagwan / William L. Sullivan (2017).

– Borderline Dream Time / Luke Mitchell (Sw Lokesh) (2010).

– Please Don’t Tell My Guru. A Novel / Rico Provasoli (2009).

– A Bliss Case: a Novel / Michael Rockland (1989).

– Angels in Boots. An Adventure to Yourself / Sw Sambodhi Viram (2009).

See also: (Goldman 1990) A review essay on S and A Bliss Case / Marion S. Goldman. In: Society, 27:94-96.

All works of fiction are included in Volume III / References.

Research Papers

Unlike Osho’s phase in Poona One, where interest in the whole project from the scholarly world was of rather limited nature, now in Oregon we witness numerous field studies and comprehensive publishing of research papers and dissertations on Osho and his work. What were the incentives that drove this large number of academics to investigate the multifacetted events in the hinterlands of Oregon?

Two things, at least.

First of all, the attempt on the Ranch to establish an Utopian experimental community in accordance with the American Utopian tradition previously practiced by religious movements and other gatherings.

Secondly, the comprehensive rural experiment in recycling and ecological landscaping was carried out on a scale unheard of anywhere in the states – or anywhere on a global level for that sake. We’re here talking about early 1980s, four decades or more before the present state of this planet and the unavoidably understanding of what is at stake.

In his early days in Oregon Osho says
“Now the greatest challenge is how to maintain the balance of nature, how to maintain ecological harmony. It was never there before, it is a new problem.
We have lived on this earth for millions of years. Slowly, slowly we had been growing more and more expert technologically, but we had not yet been able to destroy the natural balance; we were yet a very small force on the earth.
Now for the first time our energy is bigger, far bigger, than the earth’s energy to keep its balance. Man has become so powerful that he can destroy the natural balance.
The modern mind has been too aggressive against nature, and it has created the ecological crisis. Our whole approach is wrong, it is destructive. We only take from the earth, and we never give anything back. We only exploit nature; we only go on taking, and all the resources are being spent.
But things have now gone to the extreme. Either man has to drop his aggressive attitude or man has to get ready to say goodbye to this planet. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” City of Rajneeshpuram: Comprehensive Plan. Vol I. Colophon. (RCC 1982)

Here follows an overview of research papers by sociologists, psychologists and historians of religion published in scholarly peer-reviewed journals or as mentioned. References are listed in chronological order and based on information retrieval and three bibliographical listings compiled by Cari Roshani Shay, Ass. Professor of Political Science, Western Oregon State College. She comments on the delimitation of her listings as follows:

  1. Rajneeshees and Rajneeshpuram. Papers by Oregon Researchers.

Note: This list may be incomplete. It is intended to cover all papers and publications of faculty members and students at the University of Oregon (UO) doing research on Rajneeshpuram or Rajneeshees (sannyasins). The Papers of Ronald Clarke, OSU Religion/Philosophy professor, and Ted Shay, Willamette Univ. Political Science professor, are also included. July 1998. 5 pages.

  1. Rajneesh-Related Publications.

Note: This is intended to be a list of all professional publications to date about the Rajneeshees, Rajneeshpuram, etc. (Included are a few journalistic writings frequently referred to in professional literature.) At the end there is a partial list of writings of or about Rajneesh by Rajneeshees. 26.04.1990. 4 pages.

  1. Bibliography of Manuscripts Related to Rajneeshpuram. Updated May 3, 1990. 1 page. (Personal information from Cari Roshani Shay. 2016)

Bibliographical listing of research papers
Entries are in chronological order.
See also: 5.6 Press Coverage

(VanderLans 1982) Affiliation to religious movements (Unification Church and Bhagwan Movement): A contribution to the validation of Loftland’s conversion model / J, VanderLans & R. Dahlmans. In: Gudrag: Tidjdschrift voor Psychologie, 1982, 10, pp. 39-56.

(Buckwalter 1983) Antelope and Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. Cities in turmoil: A case study / Doyle W. Buckwalter & J.Ivan Legler. In: Urbanism Past and Present, 1983, 8, pp. 1-13.

(Clarke 1983) The Teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: and their Social, Ethical and Environmental Implications / Ronald O. Clarke. Report to the Oregon Committee for the Humanities. Summer Research Project. Oregon State University, Department of Religious Studies. Salem, Oregon, 27.09.1983. 31 pages. XB3.+acc

(Drennen 1983) Rajneeshpuram: Hound Dogs with the Scent / William T. Drennen. In: Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Summer 1983, Vol 23, No. 3, p. 82-100. Reprinted in Aveling 1999. Cat.C. (R)

(Hagan 1983) Preliminary Report on the Survey of the People of Rajneeshpuram / R. Hagan, C. Latkin, R. Littman, and N. Sandberg. Eugene, University of Oregon, Department of Psychology, 1983. Unpublished.

(Hummel 1983) Asiatic religions in Europe / Reinhart Hummel & Bert Hardin. In: New Religious Movements Update, 1983, 7:2 June, pp. 3-13.

(Hummel 1983a) Asiatic Religions in Europe / Reinhart Hummel & Bert Hardin. Concilium, 1983, 161, Jan., p. 23-28. Reprinted in Aveling 1999. Cat.C. (PI)

(O’Sullivan 1983) Sharing the joke. The building of Rajneeshpuram / Michael A. O’Sullivan. Unpublished manuscript based on March interview with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

(Rock 1983) Jealousy and the Abyss / William Pennel Rock (Sw Anand Veereshwar). Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Spring 1983. Vol 23, No. 2, pp. 70-84. Cat.A.

(Sundberg 1983) The People of Rajneeshpuram / Norman D. Sundberg, R.A. Hagan, C.A. Latkin & R.A. Littman. Paper presented at a symposium of the Oregon Psychological Association, Salem, Oregon. October 30, 1983. 2 pages.

(Sundberg 1983a) Rajneeshpuram – A psychological utopia? / N.D. Sundberg & R.A. Hagan. Invited address, Psychology Colloquium Series, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, 30.11.1983. 2 pp. handout.

(Valdason 1983) Interviews with ex-Rajneesh disciples / V. Valdason. Professional School of Psychological Studies, San Diego, 1983. Unpublished research project. See also: Valdason 1988.

(Veereshwar 1983) Jealousy and the Abyss / Sw Anand Veereshwar. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1983, 23:2, Spring, p. 70-84. Reprinted in Aveling 1999.

(Braun 1984) Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society. Cultures Collide In a Quest for Utopia / Kirk Braun. West Linn, Scout Creek Press, 1984. 241 pages.

(Foudraine 1984) Rajneesh therapy / Jan Foudraine (Deva Amrito) In: Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1984, 23, pp. 115-118.

(Littman 1984) Rajneeshpuram: The Development and Impact of a Utopian Society / Richard A. Littman, R.A. Hagan, C.A. Latkin & N.D. Sundberg. Paper presented at a symposium of the Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, California. April 16[18?], 1984. 4 pages.

(Price 1984) Rajneeshpuram and the American Utopian Tradition / Mary Dale Price. M.A. thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1984. Unpublished.

(Puttick 1984) Gender, Discipleship and Charismatic Authority in the Rajneesh Movement / Elizabeth Puttick. Ph.D. dissertation, University of London, 1984. Unpublished.

(Sundberg 1984) Rajneeshpuram: The Development and Impact of a Uto­pian Soci­ety / Norman D. Sundberg. Un­publ­is­hed Sym­po­sium Pa­per. Uni­ver­sity of Ore­gon, 1984.

(Sundberg 1984a) The people of Rajneeshpuram. A symposium at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, 1984. Unpublished symposium paper.

(Clarke 1985) The teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Ronald O. Clarke. In: Sweet Reason: A Journal of Ideas, History and Culture, 1985, issue No. 4, pp. 27-44.

(Collins 1985) Rajneesh Rhetoric: A Comparative Ethical Appraisal / Catherine Ann Collins & Christine Miller. Paper presented to the International Communication Association, Hawaii, 1985.

(Dolch 1985) Press Coverage and the Image of the Rajneeshees in Four Oregon Newspapers: August 1981 to August 1982 / Jessie Dolch. M.S. thesis, University of Oregon, 1985. Unpublished.

(Goleman 1985) Truth and transformation in psychological and spiritual paths / Daniel Goleman, Huston Smith and Ram Dass. In: The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol 17, 1985, No.2, pp. 183-215. Cat.C. (R)

(Hagan 1985) The children of Rajneeshpuram / R.A. Hagan, C.A. Littman & N.D. Sundberg. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Western Psychological Association, Los Angeles, California, January 1985. Unpublished.

(Hasya 1985) Meet the New Religions: The Rajneesh / Ma Vedanta Hasya. Presentation and Discussion at Meetings of the Society for Scientific Study of Religion. October 26, 1985. Unpublished.

(Klausa 1985) Rajneeshpuram. Arbeit und Sozialkontrolle in einem theokratischen Gemeinwesen / Ekkehard Klausa. Papier für die Tagung der Vereinigung für Rechtssoziologie am 26. und 27. April 1985 in München. Unpublished.

(Prasad 1985) Meet the New Religions; The Rajneesh / Sw Prem Prasad. Presentation and Discussion at Meetings of the Society for Scientific Study of Religion. October 26, 1985. Unpublished.

(Price 1985) Rajneeshpuram and the American Utopian Tradition / Marie Daly Price. Syracuse University, Syracuse, 1985. 63 pages. Ill. (Syracuse University. Department of Geography. Discussion Paper Series, Number 87, April 1985). Cat.C. Unpublished. (R)

(Sanders 1985) Religious Community as a City: The Oregon Constitutional Puzzle of State of Oregon v. City of Rajneeshpuram / Jamie M. W. Sanders. Willamette Law Review 21 (1985): 707-65, pp. 710,712-24. Cat.C. (R)

(Shay 1985) Rajneeshpuram and The Abuse of Power / Theodore L. Shay (Ph.D). West Linn, Scout Creek Press, March 1985. 57 pages. UB. Cat.C. (R)

(Sperow 1985) Rajneeshpuram: Religion Incorporated / Janice L. Sperow. Hastings Law Journal 30 (1985): 917-68, p. 932 n 130. Cat.D (R)

(Sundberg 1985) Rajneeshpuram: Why is it of interest to psychologists? / N.D. Sundberg. Talk to the Lane County Psychologists Association, Eugene, Oregon, 09.01.1985.

(Sundberg 1985a) The Challenge of Research in Community Psychology – Illu­stra­tions from Raj­ne­esh­pur­am / Norman D. Sundberg. Un­publ­is­hed “Psi Chi Ta­lk”. Uni­ver­sity of Ore­gon, 198­5.

(Sundberg 1985b) Stress and mental health in a new community: Observations in Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg. Presentation in the Psdychology Lecture Series, Oregon State Hospital. Salem, Oregon, 30.01.1985. 3 pp. handout.

(Sundberg 1985c) The challenge of community rescearch: Illustrations from Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg. Invited Psi Chi lecture, Western Oregon State College, Monmouth, Oregon, 22.05.1985.

(Sundberg 1985d) A socio-psychological view of Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg. Invited lecture in Asian House series, Eugene, Oregon, 10.12.1985.

(Androes 1986) The Rajneesh experience: A report / Louis C. Androes. In: Communal Societies, 1986, 6, pp. 101-117.

(Collins 1986) Media Coverage of the Rajneeshees: A Dramatistic Analysis / Catherine Ann Collins. Paper presented to Northwest Communication Association, Idaho, 1986.

(Gussner 1986) Teachings on Karma and Rebirth. Social and Spiritual Role in the Rajneesh Neo-Sannyasin Movement / Robert E. Gussner (Sw Anand Jina). Page 301-324. In: Karma and Rebirth. R.W. Neufeldt (Editor). Albany, State Unversity of New York Press, 1986. Cat.A.

(Latkin 1986) Gender roles at Rajneershpuram / C.A. Latkin. Student award paper presented at the Oregon Psychological Association meetings, Kah-Nee Ta, Oregon, May 1986. Unpublished.

(Latkin 1986a) Oregonians’ attitudes toward Rajneeshees: A statewide survey. Student award paper presented at the Oregon Psychological Association meetings, Kah-Nee Ta, Oregon, May 1986. Unpublished.

(Myers 1986) A study of attitudes toward the Rajneeshees through content analysis of newspapers / Paul R. Myers. Honors College Thesis, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1986.

(Palmer 1986) Community and Commitment in the Rajneesh Foundation / Susan J. Palmer. Update, Aarhus, Denmark.

(Sundberg 1986) Community vs. context: The rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg. Invited presentation to the Northwest Regional Community Psychology group, Western Psychology Association, Seattle, Washington, 02.05.1986.

(Whalen 1986) From the New Left to the New Enlightenment: The methodological consequences of public attention / John J. Whalen & Marion S. Goldman. Paper preented at the Pacific Sociological Association, Denver, April 1986. 7 pages.

(Carter 1987) The ‘New Renunciates’ of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Observations and Identification of Problems of Interpreting New Religious Movements / Lewis F. Carter. In: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1987, 28(2), p. 149-172. Reprinted in Aveling 1999.

(Hannigan 1987) Apples and oranges. New religious movements and the new social movements compared / John A. Hannigan. Paper presented to the Association for the Sociology of Religion, Chicago, 1987. Unpublished.

(Johnson 1987) On founders and followers: Some factors in the development of new religious movements / Benton Johnson. Unpublished presidential address to the Association for the study of Religion, Chicago, August, 1987.

(Katsikis 1987) A study of the children of Rajneeshpuram and their adjustment after the close of the commune / Melissa G. Katsikis. Honors Thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1987.

(Latkin 1987) Rajneeshpuram, Oregon: An exploration of gender and work roles, self-concept, and psychological well-being in an experimental community / Carl Asher Latkin. Unpublished dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. University of Oregon, Eugene, June 1987. 239 pages.

(Latkin 1987a) Who Lives in Utopia? A Brief Report on the Rajneeshpuram Research Project / Carl A. Latkin, R.A. Hagan, R.A. Littman & N.D. Sundberg. In: Sociological Analysis, 1987, 48(1), pp. 73-81. (Latkin’s visa for India took him four years. Research assistant: Amy Knowlton, John Hopkins University)

(Manuto 1987) The life and death of Rajneeshpuram and the still lingering dilemma of the religion clause of the first amendment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Speech Communication Authoryty. 1987.

(Palmer 1987) Therapy, charisma and social control in the Rajneesh Movement / Susan J. Palmer. Paper presented to the Associa­tion for the Sociology of Religion. Chicago, 1987.

(Palmer 1987a) Women in new spiritual communes: Rajneesh lovers, Moon sisters, Krishna mothers. Paper presented to the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Louisville. Published in: Palmer 1994.

(Schafer 1987) Utopia Gone Awry: Social Dynamics in the Demise of Rajneeshpuram / Walter E. Schafer. Discussion Paper Series. California State University, Chico, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1987. Unpublished paper.

(Tart 1987) Keynote address / C. Tart (speaker). The National Convention of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Stanford, California, 1987. Unpublished cassette recording.

(Van Driel 1987) The Print Media and the Down­fall of Raj­ne­esh­pur­am: A Cross-Na­tio­nal Stu­dy / Barry Van Driel and Jacob Van Belzen. Pre­sen­ted to the 19th In­ter­nati­onal Con­f­eren­ce for the So­cio­logy of Reli­gion, Tübin­gen, 1987.

(Aveling 1988) Western Renunciates / Harry Aveling. Armidale College of Advanced Education. 1988. Unpublished paper.

(Boyd 1988) Gender role expectations: Does androgeny exist in today’s society? / Cari A.T. Boyd. Honors Thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1988. (A comparison of Rajneeshees with matched UO alumni.)

(Clarke 1988) The narcissistic guru. A profile of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Ronald O. Clarke. In: Free Inquiry, 1988, 8, No. 2 (Spring), pp. 33-45. Reprinted in Aveling 1999. (Responses by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Robert Rimmer and Robert Basil (1989) The humanistic guru. In: Free Inquiry, 1989, 9, No. 3, pp. 4-48).

(Goldman 1988) The women of Rajneeshpuram / Marion S. Goldman. In: SCWS Review. Published annually by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1988.

(Goldman 1988a) The women of Rajneeshpuram / Marion S. Goldman. Lecture sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society. University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 20.04.1988.

(Gussner 1988) Sholars, Sects and Sanghas / R.E. Gussner and S.D. Berkowitz. In: Recruitment to Asian Based Meditation Groups in North America. Sociological Analysis, 49:2, pp. 136-70.

(Katsikis 1988) Prejudice: A field study / M.G. Katsikis & C.A. Latkin. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Burlingame, California, April 1988.

(Latkin 1988) Cultural and gender differences in emotional expression / C.A. Latkin. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, April 1988.

(Latkin 1988a) Self-concept in members of a new religious movement: The Rajneeshees / C.A. Latkin. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association annual conference, Burlingame, California, 28.04.1988. 9 pages.

(Latkin 1988b) The social-psychological impact of forced relocation / C.A. Latkin. Paper presented at the Western Pychological Association annual conference, Burlingame, California, 28.04.1988.

(Latkin 1988c) Gender roles in the experimental community: Rajneeshpuram / C.A. Latkin. Paper presented at the Western Psychological Association annual conference, Burlingame, California, 01.05.1988.

(Latkin 1988d) Gender role transcendence in an alternative organization. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Academy of Management. August 1988. X+acc

(Latkin 1988e) Cognitive strategies for influencing work satisfaction in an alternative community / Carl A.Latkin. Paper presented at the meeting of the Western Psychological Association. May, 1988. X+acc

(Littman 1988) Children of the Rajneeshees / Richard A. Littman. Paper presented at the conference Developmental Psychology in Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 27.02.1988.

(Palmer 1988) Charisma and Abdication. A Study of the Leadership of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Susan J. Palmer. In: Sociological Analysis, 1988, 49(2), p. 119-35. Reprinted in Aveling 1999.

(Sundberg 1988) CPI’s in Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg, C.A. Latkin, R.A. Littman & R.A. Hagan. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Personality Assessment. New Orleans, 12.03.1988. 9 pages.

(Valdason 1988) Responses to the Closure of Rajneeshpuram / Valann Valdason (Ma Prem Valann). A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. The Professional School of Pychological Studies. San Diego, 1988. 209 pages.

(Van Driel 1988) Categorization of New Religious Movements in American Print Media / B. Van Driel and J.T. Richardson. Sociological Analysis, 1988, 49:2, pp. 171-83.

(Latkin 1989) Gender roles in the experimental community: Rajneeshpuram / C.A. Latkin. In: Sex Roles, 1989, 21, pp. 629-652.

(Latkin 1989a) Followers and leaders / C.A. Latkin. Presentation in the Symposium ‘Rajneeshpuram’, (chaired by Latkin) at the meeting of the Pacific Coast chapter of the National Historic Communal Societies, Eugene, Oregon, 13.05.1989.

(Littman 1989) People of Rajneeshpuram / R.A. Littman. Presentation in the Symposium “Rajneeshpuram,” (chaired by C.A. Latkin) at the meeting of the Pacific Coast chapter of the National Historic Communal Societies, Eugene, Oregon, 15.05.1989. (2 page handout)

(Sundberg 1989) Personality at Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg. Presentation in the Symposium “Rajneeshpuram,” (chaired by C.A. Latkin) at the meeting of the Pacific Coast chapter of the National Historic Communal Societies, Eugene, Oregon, 13.05.1989.

(Abbott 1990) Utopia and bureaucracy: The fall of Rajneeshpuram / Carl Abbott. In: Pacific Historical Review, 1990, 59, No. 1, pp. 77-103.

(Goldman 1990) A review essay on S and A Bliss Case / Marion S. Goldman. In: Society, 27:94-96.

(Latkin 1990) Self-consciousness in members of a new religious movement: The Rajneeshees / C.A. Latkin. In: Journal of Social Psychology, 1990, 130, pp. 557-558.

(Latkin 1990) The Self-Concept of Rajneeshpuram Commune Members / Carl A. Latkin. In: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1990, 29(1), pp. 91-98. Alt.t: Self-concept. Consistency and Beliefs.

(Sundberg 1990) Personality in a Religious Commune: CPI’s in Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg, C.A. Latkin, R.A. Littman & R.A. Hagan. In: Journal of Personality Assessment, 1990, 55, pp. 7-17.

(Sundberg 1990a) Personality in a new religious commune: Rajneeshee TAT’s / N.D. Sundberg, M.S. Goldman, N.J. Rotter & D.A. Smyth. Paper presented at the conference of the Society for Personality Assessment, San Diego, 23.03.1990.

(Van Driel 1990) The Downfall of Rajneeshpuram in the Print Media. A Cross-National Study / Barry van Driel and Jacob van Belzen. In: Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1990, 29(1), pp. 76-90.

(Courtis 1991) Self transformation and gendered experience among Rajneesh sannyasins and Ananda Margiis / Mary M. Courtis. Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1991.

(Goldman 1991) Experiencing Rajneesh: Transference, gender and the seeking self. Paper presented (in England?)

(Latkin 1991) Follow-up study and methodological issues in research at Rajneeshpuram / C.A. Latkin, N.D. Sundberg & R.A. Hagan. Presentation as part of Symposium: Rajneeshpuram – Further observations of a community experiment (Chaired by R.A. Littman) at the national conference of the Communal Societies Association, Aurora, Oregon. 12.10.1991.

(Latkin 1991) From device to vice: Social control and intergroup conflict at Rajneeshpuram / C.A. Latkin. In: Sociological Analysis, 1991, 52, p. 363-378.

(Sundberg 1991) Methods and findings in studying individuals at Rajneeshpuram / N.D. Sundberg, R.A Littman, C.A. Latkin & R.A. Hagan. Presentation as part of Symposium: Rajneeshpuram – Further observations of a community experiment (Chaired by R.A. Littman) at the national conference of the Communal Societies Association, Aurora, Oregon. 12.10.1991.

(Latkin 1992) Seeing red: A social-psychological analysis of the Rajneeshpuram conflict / C.A. Latkin. In: Sociological Analysis, 1992, 53(3), pp. 257-271. Reprinted in Aveling 1992.

(Palmer 1992) Therapy, Charisma and Social Control in the Rajneesh Movement / Susan J. Palmer & Frederick Bird. In: Sociological Analysis, 1992, 53(Spring), pp. 71-85. Reprinted in Aveling 1999.

(Sundberg 1992) Personality and spirituality: Comparative TATs of high achieving Rajneeshees / N.D. Sundberg, M.S. Goldberg, N.J. Rotter & D.A. Smyth. In: Journal of Personality Assessment, 1992, 59, pp. 326-339.

(Walker 1992) A Selected Bibliography of Sources on Communal Societies in Oregon and Washington Available at the Oregon Historical Society / Lisa Walker. March 15, 1992, pp. 22-25.

(Latkin 1993) Coping after the fall: The mental health of former members of the Rajneeshpuram commune / C.A. Latkin. In: International Journal of the Psychology of Religion, 1993, 3(2), pp. 97-109.

(Latkin 1993a) Pitfalls and pratfalls in research on an experimental community: Lessons in integration theory and practice from the Rajneeshpuram research project / C.A. Latkin, R.A. Littman, N.D. Sundberg & R.A. Hagan. In: Journal of Community Psychology, 1993, 21, pp. 35-48.

(Manuto 1992) The Life and Death of Rajneeshpuram and the Still Lingering Dilemma of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment / Ron Manuto. Free Speech Yearbook 30 (1992): 26-39, pp. 26-27.

(Palmer 1993) The Rajneesh Papers. Studies in New Religious Movements / Susan J. Palmer & Arvind Sharma. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1993. A single-day Symposium on the Rajneesh Movement, held on May 29, 1989, at the Faculty of Religious Studies of McGill University, Montreal.

(Latkin 1994) Feelings After the Fall: Former Rajneeshpuram Commune Members’ Perceptions of and Affiliation with the Rajneeshee Movement / Carl A. Larkin, Norman D. Sundberg, Richard A. Littman, Melissa G. Katsikis & Richard A. Hagan. In: Sociology of Religion, 1994, 55:1, p. 65-73. Reprinted in Aveling 1999. Cat.C. (R).

(Latkin 1994a) Rajneeshpuram follow-up: The residents’ perceptions of and affiliation with the Rajneesh Movement / C.A. Latkin. In: Sociological Analysis, 1994, 55, pp. 64-74.

(Goldman 1995) From promiscuity to celibacy: Women and sexual regulation at Rajneeshpuram / Marion S. Goldman. Page 203-21. In: Sex, lies, and sanctity: Religion and deviance in contemporary North America / Mary Jo Neitz & Marion S. Goldman (editors). Greenwich, JAI Press, 1995.

(Latkin 1995) New directions in applying psychological theory to the study of new religions / C.A. Latkin. In: International Journal of the Psychology of Religion, 1995, 5, pp. 177-180.

(Puttick 1995) Sexuality Gender and the Abuse of Power in the Master-Disciple Relationship. The Case of the Rajneesh Movement / Elisabeth Puttick. In: Journal of Contemporary Religion, 1995, 10(1), p. 29-40.

(Shay 1995) Better Dead than Red. Local Letters and the Rajneesh Movement / Roshani Shay & Ted Shay. Page 131-151. In: Religion and the Social Order. Sex, Lies, and Sanctity: Religion and Deviance in Contemporary North America / David G. Bromley (editor). Jai Press, Greenwich, Connecticut, Volume 5, 1995. 272 pages. Cat.A. (R)

(Török 1997) A Large Community Outbreak of Salmonellosis Caused by Intentional Contamination of Restaurants Salad Bars / Thomas J. Török et alia. In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol 278, No. 5, Aug, 6, 1997. Page 389-95.

(Vanneman 1997) Searching for Paradise in the Rain: Oregon’s Communes and International Communities of the 1960s and 1970s. Honors thesis, University of Oregon, 1997, p. 25. Unpublished.

(Urban 1998) Zorba the Buddha. Capitalism, Charisma, and the Cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Hugh B. Urban. In: Religion (26) 1998, pp.161-82.

(Goldman 1999) Passionate Journeys. Why Successful Women Joined a Cult / Marion S. Goldman. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1999. 292 pages. Characters are composites. Cat.C. (R)

(Wilner 2000) All My Sisters and Brothers: Redefinitions of Family in Oregon International Communities During the Late Twentieth Century / Joseph Bear Wilner. M.A. thesis, University of Oregon, 2000, pp. 106-25.

(Welsh 2002) Dreams to Redeem: Utopian Ideals and Outcomes at Rajneeshpuram and Wildhorse Canyon / Thomas Lawrence Welsh. Honors thesis, University of Oregon, 2002. Unpublished.

(Davisson 2003) The Rise & Fall of Rajneeshpuram: Seeing Red in Cattle Country. Better Dead Than Red / Sven Davisson. In: Ashé! Journal of Experimental Spirituality, Spring 2003, Vol II, No. 1. Page 47-66.

(Urban 2005) Osho, from Sex Guru to Guru of the Rich. The Spiritual Logic of Late Capitalism / Hugh B. Urban. In: Gurus in America, edited by Thomas A. Forsthoeffel and Cynthia Humes, pp. 169-92. Albany, State University of New York Press, 2005.

(Goldman 2011) Second Chance Family at Rajneeshpuram / Marion S. Goldman. In: Oregon Humanities/Belong Issue, 2011 Summer, p. 21-26.

(Urban 2013) Zorba the Buddha The Body, Sacred Space, and Late Capitalism in the Osho International Meditation Resort / Hugh B. Urban. In. Southeast Review of Asian Studies (35) 2013, pp. 32-49.

(Shay 2014) Sex and Gender in the Words and Communes of Osho (née Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) / Roshani Cari Shay & Henrik Bogdan. Page 59-88. In: Sexuality and New Religious Movements / Henrik Bogdan & James R. Lewis (editors). New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. 240 pages. Cat. AC. (P1,R,P2)

(Abbottt 2015) Revisiting Rajneeshpuram. Oregon’s Largest Utopian Community as Western History / Carl Abbott. In. Oregon Historical Quarterly (116), 2015, 4 Winter, pp. 414-447. Cat.C. (R)

(Urban 2015) Zorba the Buddha. Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement / Hugh B. Urban. Oakland, University of California Press, 2015. 250 pages. Illustrated. Reviewed by Sw Anand Nandan on Cat.C. (J,P1,R,P2)

(Schafer ????) Utopia Gone Awry: Social Dynamics in the Demise of Rajneeshpuram / Walt Schafer, California State University. Undated paper. Unpublished.

On Carter’s study of Osho’s teaching (Carter 1983)
Heading: Rajneesh inconsistent, but no cause for alarm
“Dr. Ronald Clarke made these observations after a summer study of the Central Oregon religious leader’s teachings. He was interviewed Tuesday.
Clarke ended his study with the plea that Oregonians practice “tolerance, self-restraint, civility and – if possible – magnanimity and understanding” towards Rajneesh’s followers…
While there has been much public concern and media coverage about Rajneesh’s Rolls-Royces and his followers’ activities in the cities of Antelope and Rajneeshpuram, Clarke said, there has been a lack of systematic surveys of Rajneesh’s teachings.
The professor quoted Rajneesh as saying that those who try “to systematize my thought (teachings), they will go crazy.” Clarke said much of the problem in attempting to understand Rajneesh arises from putting him in a category in which he doesn’t fit. He is not trying to present a coherent conceptual system for world consumption.
“There are a lot of contradictions and paradoxes in his thought. He is a mystical leader, a master, and doesn’t intend to be a philosopher,” Clarke said…
Clarke said he tried to approach the group objectively. As in any religion, he said it was not a simple, black and white picture…
The professor [at OSU since 1963] admitted his study was not comprehensive, since he read only about 5 percent of the 350 books Rajneesh has published in English. “It appals me that citizens of Oregon read one book or just excerpts and become experts,” he said.” (Lewis H. Arends Jr. In: The Statesman Journal, OR. 05.10.1983)

Maneesha on Schafer’s paper
“Recently I read a paper by Professor Walt Schafer of California State University, entitled ‘Utopia Gone Awry: Social Dynamics in the Demise of Rajneeshpuram’, in which it is stated that “Rajneeshpuram was founded on the ideals of egalitarianism and democracy. The reality was autocracy.” By “egalitarianism” I am guessing that Schafer means the concept that people are equal. If so, the professor did not do his homework.” (Forman 1988, p. 506)

Satya Vedant on research papers
A certain pattern among American scholars and sociologists in the Ranch period showing great interest in the events there. Then after 1985 utter silence. Eastern Religion courses on Osho were held at universities with no first hand knowledge. Vedant got to know quite a number of those US scholars doing field surveys at the Ranch. When Osho was in his body he was clouded by negative media coverage, printed as well as electric, and his format could not be recognized. After 1990 we see a great interest from publishers and libraries. Every other day a book by Osho is being published. His body is not an obstacle any more. Satya Vedant never visited Lao Tzu library during Poona One, but he stayed in Lao Tzu when Osho left in 1981, and he also used the library after 1989. When writing his biography he found that Osho’s family were business people, and his uncle a poet, which led to inspiration from him to Osho. There is a Jain culture for reading which influenced Osho. Vedant worked with Neelam from 1989 in selecting photos for publications. Early publications were printed on bad quality of paper, later to be improved. The present scene of publishing: Fascinating, fabulous. (Sw Satya Vedant. Interview. Ahmedabad. 25.07.2006)

Punya on research publishing, books on Osho, and Rudolf Bahro
“While Margaret and I busied ourselves with the Press Office ‘household’, i.e. filing the new clippings and preparing the press kits, Isabel, Veena, Sunshine and Sarita spoke to the journalists and the VIPs. I remember hearing the name of Ted Shay, Ph.D., a professor of Political Science at Willamette University who came to study the commune. He was accompanied by his wife, Cari Shay, Ph.D., also a professor of Political Science, but at Western Oregon University, who later became Ma Amrit Roshani and a beloved friend of mine.
Other names I heard mentioned in our office were Kirk Braun (‘Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society’), Dell Murphy (‘The Rajneesh Story: The Bhagwan’s Garden’) and James S. Gordon. They all published well-informed books and the latter’s ‘The Golden Guru’ became a point of criticism against him when he was chairman of a Complementary Medicine group under Clinton. I vividly remember the German philosopher, Rudolf Bahro, who stayed with us for a few weeks. I was introduced to him because I spoke German and was delighted to meet an intelligent, unprejudiced man. Although a philosopher, he looked more like an artist or a poet, more a person functioning from the heart than from the head, as his profession would suggest.
The girls also arranged interviews, and paved the way for Ronald O. Clarke of the Department of Religious Studies, Oregon State University, to work on a Summer Research Project (sponsored by the Oregon Committee for the Humanities) which had as its intent an objective analysis of Osho’s teachings and their social and ethical implications. If I remember well, the study took a whole year to complete and the results showed that the IQs of our people by far exceeded that of the average Oregonian. Mr. Clarke must have belonged to our more intelligent category: on the back of an Osho discourse book we printed his words as an endorsement:

“Rajneesh is a man of gifted intellect and extraordinary erudition. His published discourses are a source of much wisdom, insight and poetic beauty. And I regard his teaching to be a significant contribution to humanity’s enduring quest for spiritual understanding, growth and fulfilment.”

Another group study was led by Lewis F. Carter. Apparently the group encountered problems in evaluating the results as each interviewer had his or her own perspective derived from individual religious upbringing, nationality and gender. Moreover, the interviewees, although all wearing shades of red, gave such diverse answers to the routine questions that they were too difficult to assess. Then, from the University of Oregon came Norm Sundberg, Dick Littman and Carl Larkin, psychologists, and Mimi Goldman, a sociologist, all of whom later wrote several articles about Ranch residents.” (Punya 2015, pp. 266ff.)

From Goldman’s study
“‘Passionate Journeys’ explores the fascinating stories behind the Bhagwan Rajneesh phenomenon of the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on women who left families, careers, and identities to join the community of Rajneeshpuram. Rajneesh was a spiritual leader for thousands of young Americans, and in rural Oregon his devotees established a thriving community. Sociologist Marion Goldman’s extensive interviews with women who participated at Rajneeshpuram provides a fascinating picture of the cultural and social climate that motivated successful, established women to participate in such a movement. Goldman comes to realize that their responses, while extreme, can shed light on our understanding of how women in general experience love, work, and spirituality. The book is written in an engaging, lively style that makes it an unusually engrossing ethnography for a wide range of readers. It is also meticulously researched, theoretically complex, and carefully argued, and will appeal to specialists in feminist theory and women’s studies, sociology, religious studies, American studies, and the history of the Northwest.” (Goldman 1999. Back jacket)

Goldman on terminology
“Because of these negative connotations, scholars frequently substitute ‘novel religion’ or ‘new religious movement’ for ‘cult’, although the latter is the least cumbersome, most accurate term. For that reason some sociologists of religion have started to use it once again. I hope that readers will rethink the stigma associated with ‘cult’ and consider it to be a neutral and useful term.” (Goldman 1999, p. 15).

Wadud, city planner, on Ranch studies
“One of our purposes is to be studied – already, two professors from the University of Oregon are doing a study on us. Eventually, this city should become something like the new Disneyland in Florida. Epcot is a model of the technological future; this will be a model of humankind’s social potential. We’re perceived as being self-centered, but our concern is to create an alternative model of society for mankind.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 71)

Fig. 8. Human Resources Profile. Survey of 160 Residents of Rajneeshpuram. June 1982. (RCC 1982. Vol I, p. 144)

Fig. 8. Human Resources Profile. Survey of 160 Residents of Rajneeshpuram. June 1982. (RCC 1982. Vol I, p. 144)

Osho commenting on research method in 1988-survey on level of intelligence among Ranch inhabitants
“You will be happy to know that the University of Oregon did a survey about the commune: how much intelligence the commune people have and how much intelligence the average Oregonian has. They were surprised, shocked.
They did not publish the survey until after I had left and was deported from America. But now the survey is published and it says that the average Oregonian has only seven percent intelligence, and the average commune member had fourteen percent intelligence – double that of any Oregonian.
And the research is being done by the Oregonians. You might think that people who have seven percent intelligence cannot judge about people who have fourteen percent. They must have tried to bring their intelligence as high as possible. My understanding is that it cannot be more than three or four percent; seven is make-believe. And the commune people must have nearabout twenty; they were reduced to fourteen.
But still, it is so obvious that the lower intelligence destroys the higher intelligence.
Stones are very much against the flowers.
Belief is of the ignorant people who do not want to explore the truth themselves. But a man of sincerity never believes in anything – any God, any scripture, any religion. He searches.”
Turning In (1989). Chapter 8, p. 208.

Carter on methodological issues
“To some extent ethnographers must learn to speak the symbolic language of the community in order to be understood and to understand responses; and in that process, they will find their thoughts and observations shifted toward the frames of reference of the commune members. Although I neither intended nor did I do anything approaching a classical ethnography of the Rajneesh movement, spending as much of my time with opponents of the movement as with members, I found that those associations shaped my language and thought in ways which required some re-socialization upon my periodic re-entry into the academic world. For example, the question, “How did you become a Rajneeshee?” would produce mild annoyance from sannyasins (members), but “How did you find Bhagwan?” produced extensive accounts. The second question implicitly takes an insider perspective. Confusion inherent in this “shuttle” field observation sometimes caused inadvertent mild suspicion from both sides, since members preferred the term “sannyasin” and opponents used the term “Rajneeshee.” Similarly, members referred to “Bhagwan” while opponents used “The Bhagwan.” There was a constant shifting frame of reference, from that of adherents to opponents to an “outside” ethnographic perspective which was different from both.” (Carter 1998, p. 228)

From ‘Rajneeshpuram and the American Utopian Tradition’. Excerpt from Abstract:
“Like other utopians, the followers of Bhagwan stir up controversy whereever they settle, yet rarely are their positive contributions elaborated upon. By exploring Rancho Rajneesh’s goals, development, and its relationship with its neighbors it is arguable that Rajneeshpuram is not the social and environmental threat feared by residents of Wasco and Jefferson counties. Rather, the many misconceptions and animosities expressed by older residents recall an enduring American scepticism towards the promise of utopian ideology.” (Price 1985)

Price on her study
“The aims of this study are threefold. Primarily, it provides a detailed description of Rancho Rajneesh’s less-publicized farming practices and planning achievements. Second, since utopian ideology has long been a part of the American experience, this study places Rajneeshpuram within the broader context of utopian movements. Finally, a historical sketch of the region’s settlement and resource use helps explain the neglected condition of Antelope and Big Muddy Ranch, which quickly changed with an infusion of new people and capital.” (Price 1985, p. 5)

Report on biological warfare published 06.08.1997
“A medical investigator’s report discussing the 1984 contamination of salad bars in The Dalles is published in the “Biological Agents and Warfare” issue of the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’. This is the first time it has been published, ten years after it was written. It had previously been withheld from publication in an attempt to prevent copycat attacks. The article explains that at the time of the attack in The Dalles, intentional poisoning was not considered a cause simply because no one seemed to have any motive. Now, says Michael R. Skeels, director of the Oregon health Division’s Public Health Laboratory, “our index of suspicion would be much higher than it has been. We would consider intentional contamination earlier in the game. We have lost our innocence about this possibility.” (McCormack 2010, p. 45)

Webber on Carter’s research paper
“Dr. Carter’s article, “The New Renunciates’ of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; Observations and Identifications of Problems of Interpreting New Religious Movements” appears in ‘Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion’, Volume 26. No 2, 1987. His is only one of a number of papers about the Rajneesh to appear in professional journals.
While the Washington State University study goal was both descriptive and analytic, there were challenges to bring balance from the perspective of non-involved outsiders. The team became aware of polarization by friendly as well as unfriendly writers. Carter is quick to point out there is a mass of information fal[ling] into one of two conflicting traditions: the hundreds of promotional books developed by insiders arrayed against thousands of articles written generally by hostile outsiders.”
Other researchers, particular psychologists, made trips to Rajneeshpuram for studies. Several of these involved extensive questionnaires and statistical analysis of returns. It is not the purview of this book to include everything ever written for professional purposes, but to list those studied in the bibliography for those who have explicit interest and to extract from some of them information that applies here.” (Webber 1990, p. 81)

Webber on 1983-symposium
“Of great interest will probably be the proceedings from a symposium at a meeting of the Oregon Psychological Association in October 1983. The chairman was Norman Sundberg of the Department of Psychology, University of Oregon. The participants included:
Sw Deva Madud, City Planner, Rajneeshpuram
Ma Prem Isabel, Spokesperson, Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune
Richard Hagan, Psychology Department, University of Oregon
Carl Latkin, Psychology Department, University of Oregon
Richard Littman, Psychology Department, University of Oregon
Ronald Clark, Religious Studies Department, Oregon State University
These researchers acknowledged that local and national media have frequently mentioned controversies between the Rajneeshees and long time Oregon residents. They pointed out that their socio-psychological study of Rajneeshpuram takes on special significance because of the rarity of new towns and Utopian communities.” They declared their symposium “is probably the first attempt at a social scientific presentation and analysis of the community.” The data presented was the result of surveys at the ranch done in August and in October 1983. The researchers were quite pleased to receive 732 responses from about 800 people who were at Rajneeshpuram at the time. Of these, 635 fully completed questionnaires were analyzed (about 80 percent of the population). The following study was with 250 randomly chosen people who had been in the original sample of 635. For their report, 100 people from the second survey were used. These data are summarized in the Proceedings of the Symposium and are slightly more detailed in the paper by Carl Latkin, “Who Lives in Utopia” A Brief Report on the Rajneeshpuram Research Project” in ‘Sociological Analysis; a Journal in the Sociology of Religion’, Volume 48 No 1. spring 1987.” (Webber 1990, p. 81)

Research on the closure of the Ranch
“Val Ann Valdason presented her dissertation as part of the requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology on the subject, ‘Responses to the Closure of Rajneeshpuram’ (1988). Ma Prem Valann wrote:
This research originally framed the closing of the ranch as a “crisis of faith,” a traumatic event that tested the members and challenged their affiliation. Judging from the responses, this was experienced as crisis of faith by the members but very few… lost faith or chose to end their affiliations.
It was more like the members had lost a significant relationship, a friend or lover, and that the ‘death’ had disrupted the ‘family.’
Valdason said there were various levels of turmoil but many “accepted the loss, found meaning in the experience and had moved on to new things in their lives.” Almost all had “[kept in] contact with Bhagwan and had used his teachings to understand the loss.” (Webber 1990, p. 85)

‘Rajneeshpuram: Thoughts About Its Meaningfulness’. Excerpts from Latkin’s dissertation:
“Rajneeshpuram, the multi-million dollar commune and city, has now all but disappeared. Weeds have taken over the once fertile fields; the green houses are filled with masses of dead seedlings and are overgrown with flowers gone to seed. The town houses are covered with dust. There is not a sound around; a door and a sheet of plastic rattling in the wind are the only sounds. The former inhabitants have been scattered around the country and the globe.
This experiment has ended. What can we learn from it? This is a question I have pondered constantly – even before the demise of the community. On the ranch, there were many times when I found myself thinking, what is this all about? At times everything seemed perfectly understandable: these people had chosen a different life style, a different path. Other times I was baffled and frustrated. “What in the hell are all these people doing out in this godforsaken desert? What is the meaning of all of this?” I asked myself.
It is clear that though it was difficult for me and other outsiders to understand, the commune held great meaning for it’s inhabitants. But what about its meaningfulness? I propose that the commune generated meaningfulness for the residents. Meaningfulness was arrived at through several avenues: first, the encouragement of emotional expressivity; second, the heightened level of positive affect; third, emotions generated in the commune, amplified meaningfulness in members’ lives; and fourth, their unique belief system with its emphasis on the self provided a rich source of meaningfulness for the inhabitants, as did group identification. In the following section, conjecture on these mechanisms will be made.” (Latkin 1987, p. 138)

John Hogue writes on the Rajneeshpuram experiment
“Demographic and psychological studies were made of the citizens of Rajneeshpuram in 1983 by Professors Carl A. Latkin, Richard A. Hagan, Richard A. Littman and Norman D. Sundberg of the University of Oregon’s Department of Psychology. Their study showed that the majority of sannyasins were college graduates, a population with a higher than normal rate of MAs and PhDs. They were, for the most part, the upper crust in education and financial success…
Their communism-out-of-abundance experiment had no shortage of cash. With the financial help of 300,000 other sannyasins, and sannyasins-run businesses worldwide, an estimated eighty-five million US dollars was invested in Rajneeshpuram’s development…
Prior to the political controversies that destroyed their experiment, the Rajneeshees were in the process of building a bridge of their kind of utopian commune-ism to the world at large. Initially there was a parasitic relationship between the main commune in Oregon and the world at large. This dependency ran counter to the Rajneeshees’ desire to create a life-affirmative economic system rather than one that is based on competition and greed. Recognizing this, they attempted to correct this…
Rajneeshpuram was not a Marxist commune. Abundance rather than poverty was for the most part shared equally. Theirs was a high, though simple, standard of living. Their abundance had many forms. When I remember my life at Rajneeshpuram, the first thing I recall is the wealth of laughter and playfulness of its people. Residents who had been professors, corporate executives, artists, doctors and lawyers happily got their hands dirty digging, planting, and building their little oasis. The commune’s concept of work as play distinguished them from billions all over the world who found work a dreadful but unavoidable necessity for survival…
At the time of this experiment, there was a moratorium on childbearing, which is why the population of children was so slow. As I understand it, the sannyasins felt they could not serve as a true model of an ideal future society if they contributed to the increasing overpopulation of the planet. Still, there were plans to drop the moratorium once the commune city was self-sufficient. It is unfortunate that the commune had to disband before this futuristic experiment of child rearing could see itself through a generation or two.” (Hogue 1994, pp. 196,203,198,201)

Carter on Advaita Hinduism
“I could not understand many things at Rajneeshpuram until I learned to accept that Bhagwan’s teachings as understood by most of his followers involved a form of radical Advaita Hinduism, radical in the sense that all dualities are dismissed as “illusion” and consequently statements need not be consistent from one moment to the next, certainly not from one year to the next. Indeed, many sannyasin would claim that the very notion of consistency is illusion. This ’emic’ [insider] knowledge makes it easier to understand the lack of concern for consistency in that community. However, lack of concern for consistency was one of the bases on which enemies of Rajneeshpuram were able to discredit the Bhagwan’s varying stories about his reason for moving to the United States – health reasons at one point, and as a religious refugee at another.” (Carter 1998, p. 263)

Latkin’s study ‘Feelings After the Fall of Rajneeshpuram’
“The positive responses exhibited by former Rajneeshpuram residents are consistent with their belief about human nature. The Rajneeshees believed that all life events can be used as learning experiences. The authoritarian structure of Rajneeshpuram and the disbanding of the commune were regarded by many as opportunities for learning and self-understanding. Another adaptive belief was the view that all being is transitory; nothing is permanent. Many Rajneeshees’ beliefs overlapped with New Age beliefs or a mystical meaning system… This overlap may have aided in adjusting to life outside Rajneeshpuram, for their beliefs would not appear bizarre or aberrant to the subculture of non-Rajneeshees who are also mystically inclined. The survey data support the position that retrospective assessments and social interaction play a strong role in crystallizing of experience of new religious movements… In conclusion, 16 or 24 months after the breakup of Rajneeshpuram most former residents who were surveyed continued to think about Rajneesh almost every day and were living with other sannyasins. Most reported that their present relationship was positive, and only a few respondents expressed anger or hostility toward Rajneesh. The relation between Rajneesh and his disciples has been permanently altered. After returning to India in 1987, where he took the name “Osho,” Rajneesh died in 1990. In light of Rajneesh’s charismatic leadership, it will be interesting to see in the ensuring years if disciples’ affiliation with the movement strengthens, dissipates, or remain the same.” (From Discussion. In: Latkin 1994, p. 72; reprinted in: Aveling 1999, p. 407)

Rajneesh Foundation Publications

* City of Rajneeshpuram: Comprehensive Plan. Volume I: Research and Analysis. 329 pages. Illustrated. Volume II: Land Use Plan. 165 pages. Illustrated. Volume III: Development Code. 116 pages. Illustrated / Published by Rajneeshpuram City Council, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, 1982. Volume I-III. UB (RCC 1982)

Quote by Osho on colophon in comprehensive plan
“Now the greatest challenge is how to maintain the balance of nature, how to maintain ecological harmony. It was never there before, it is a new problem.
We have lived on this earth for millions of years. Slowly, slowly we had been growing more and more expert technologically, but we had not yet been able to destroy the natural balance; we were yet a very small force on the earth.
Now for the first time our energy is bigger, far bigger, than the earth’s energy to keep its balance. Man has become so powerful that he can destroy the natural balance.
The modern mind has been too aggressive against nature, and it has created the ecological crisis. Our whole approach is wrong, it is destructive. We only take from the earth, and we never give anything back. We only exploit nature; we only go on taking, and all the resources are being spent.
But things have now gone to the extreme. Either man has to drop his aggressive attitude or man has to get ready to say goodbye to this planet.” Comprehensive Plan. Colophon, Vol I. (RCC 1982)

Structure of the plan
“The plan is divided into three related volumes, each following from the other. The first volume is entitled “Research and Analysis”, the second “Land Use Plan”, and the third “Development Code”.
Volume 1 contains a detailed study of the Rajneeshpuram planning process, citizen involvement, natural resources, socio-economic issues, land use requirements, services and facilities, energy resource needs, renewable energy sources and conservation. Through this analysis environmental, social and economic issues have been identified.
Based on an analysis of the findings within Volume 1, goals, policies, and implementation strategies are developed in Volume 2 that give form and shape to the decisions made about land use issues. Volume 3 contains definitive standards and regulations that are implementing measures for the policy framework contained in Volume 2.” (RCC 1982, p. vii)

Letter from Wadud
“Hi! I’ve been working with eight sannyasins for the past several months, writing the comprehensive plan for the new city of Rajneeshpuram. The plan sets the guidelines for our city’s growth during the next twenty years. It is an incredibly complex document which usually takes at least a year to produce. Well, here on the ranch it’s happened in three months, much to our delight and to the amazement of various state and county agencies in Oregon which have reviewed it. Equally surprising are the depth and scope of the plan itself. For me, this project has been what is described in some sannyasin circles as “a major growth experience,” revealing hitherto unknown aspects of my personality! Like many people here, I constantly felt that I was engaged in something which was continually blowing my own ideas of the limits of my capabilities.
And that kind of feeling is, as I’m sure you’re all aware, both scary and totally exhilarating… the unmistakable flower of sannyas. His Blessings, Sw Deva Wadud. Director, Community Development. City of Rajneeshpuram.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1982:15. 15.09.1982)

Comprehensive plan
“Rajneeshpuram came up with a 625 page plan in only 90 days that state agencies unanimously declared was the best plan they had seen. LCDC acknowledged the plan, in compliance with state law, with the exception of some minor changes in the boundary of the new city.” (Braun 1984, p. 164)

Sw Prabat, a city planner by profession, was instrumental in designing Rajneeshpuram’s comprehensive plan. (Clare 2009, p. 205)

Win McCormack on removal of plan in 1984
“On July 11, in a move seen by many as the first step toward achieving dismantlement of the city, the Wasco County Court voted to remove Rajneeshpuram’s Comprehensive Plan from the Wasco County Comprehensive Plan. Rajneeshpuram Mayor Swami Krishna Deva reacted to this action with belligerence.
“What we see here today,” he told the commission, “is the beginning of civil war in this county. If that is what you want, fine.”” (Oregon Magazine, September 1984)

In Poona Two one more book on ecological landscaping was published: ‘Osho Teerth. A Garden Park and Ecological Prototype’ / Report prepared by Osho Spiritual Health Organisation (O.S.H.O.) for Shunyo Foundation. Poona, 1992. (Shunyo Foundation 1992)

Roshani Shay in her chronology
“Oct 1: … by this date, the Rajneeshpuram Comprehensive Land Use Plan had been submitted to agencies for comment; responses were as follows: Department of Commerce, Housing Division: “First, we would like to commend the City on its very thorough and innovative plan. The extensive inventories and site analyses are especially impressive, as are the City’s plans for orderly, phased development. The overall quality demonstrates a considerable effort on the part of the City and its planning staff. The speed with which Oregon’s newest city has prepared its comprehensive plan could serve as an example for other jurisdictions…
Jan 31: University of Oregon Psychologist Norm Sundberg speaking to Salem psychologists says 93% of Rajneeshpuram residents said they were extremely satisfied with their life and only 2% indicated extreme dissatisfaction, that Rajneeshpuram residents have significantly lower rates of depression and stress and much higher feelings of self-esteem and social support than members of outside comparison groups…
Mar 8: OSU religious studies professors Warren Hovland and Ron Clarke offer course on “Rajneesh and Gandhi” for second Spring Term; last year class enrolled 50; class will tour Rajneeshpuram…
May 2: State Rep. Dave McTeague releases ten page report entitled “Rajneesh’s Religious Police state Exemplifies The Abuse of Governmental Powers In the Cities of Rajneesh (Antelope) and Rajneeshpuram” calling government in Rajneeshpuram and City of Rajneesh “abusive, despotic”; it is clearly an attempted rebuttal of Prof. Ted Shay’s “Rajneeshpuram and the Abuse of Power…
Oct 27: National convention of the Society of the Scientific Study of Religion meeting in Savannah, GA hears presentation on Rajneeshpuram by a sannyasin therapist and Washington State Univ. Sociology Professor Lewis Carter on Rajneeshpuram.” (Shay 1990)

* The Orange Book / Sw Anand Veetmoha (editor) Rajneesh Foundation International, Antelope, Oregon, 1981. (Veetmoha 1981)

The Orange Book
“These are methods to play with, to help you to celebrate the exploration into yourselves. Unique in their originality and utter simplicity, these meditations reflect Bhagwan’s understanding and insight into man’s essential nature, and provide the world with a synthesis between the Eastern meditative approach and Western psychological techniques. Dance, shake, gaze in a mirror, beat a pillow, hum, sing, anything that will take you beyond the mind…” (From advertisement in: The Rajneesh Bible (1985), Vol III. Appendix)

A number of smaller booklets on the new community also appeared:

* Rajneeshpuram. A Blueprint for Man’s Future. Antelope, Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune, 1982. 30 pages. Booklet.

Tim Guest writes
“A blue booklet – ‘Rajneeshpuram: A Blueprint for Man’s Future’ – was printed and handed out to every sannyasin at the European communes; in it, Sheela’s pronouncements were laid out like poetry. ‘If we can build a city in a semi-desert, surrounded by land that has been reclaimed and made agriculturally productive through love and care, recycling wastes, exploring new sources of energy, giving back to nature as much as we take from her and enhancing areas of natural beauty and wildlife, we will have achieved our goal.'” (Guest 2005, p. 188)

* First Annual World Celebration. Music Group Songs. Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation, 1982. Booklet.

* Rajneeshpuram. An Oasis. Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune, 1983. 30 pages. Stapled. Albumsize. Booklet.

* Rajneeshpuram the Rainbow. Rajneesh Foundation, 1983. 32 pages. Albumsize. Booklet.

* Rajneeshpuram. Fest des Friedens und der Liebe. Eine Dokumentation (Second Annual World Celebration). Cologne, Sannyas Verlag, 1983. 88 pages. Booklet.

A luxury folder was published in 1982 with text by Sheela. It was for private circulation to sannyasins and not for distribution within the U.S.A. The folder contained two presentations:
– Rajneesh Services International Ltd. The Bond Programme. A Secured Note Investment Programme.
– Rajneesh Investment Corporation. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Rajneesh Foundation International. Report and Accounts. Report by Sheela on the first two years of Ranch development. Color photos.


Osho’s informal talks from the dentist chair from early 1982 in Rajneeshpuram were published in three volumes which may be read as autobiographical narratives.

1. Glimpses of a Golden Childhood / Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Editors: Sw Devaraj & Sw Devageet. Publisher: Ma Anand Sheela. Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation International, September 1985. 777 pages. Illustrated with b/w photos. PB. 10,000 copies. (1985)
Second edition 1990. Revised and expanded. New subtitle: The Rebellious Childhood of a Great Enlightened One / Osho 1990. Hardcover. (Osho 1990)

2. Books I Have Loved / Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Editors: Sw Devaraj. Sw Devageet. Publisher: Ma Anand Sheela. Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation International, July 1985. 281 pages. PB. 10,000 copies. (1985)
Second Edition, 1998. Books I Have Loved / Osho. With introduction by Sw Devageet. Hardcover. (Osho 1998)

3. Notes of a Madman / Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Editors: Sw Devaraj. Sw Devageet. Publisher: Ma Anand Sheela. Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation International, September 1985. 129 pages. Illustrated with colorphotos from nature. PB. 10,000 copies. (1985)
Second edition, 1999. Illustrated with b/w photos, drawings and sketches of Osho. Hardcover. (Osho 1999)

4. A later contribution continuing these series in Poona Two is Osho Notes Written on my Heart / Ma Prem Anando. Unpublished manuscript.

Osho on disciples’ writings
“Hence, no enlightened man has ever written anything. But disciples have taken notes. All the literature that exists in the name of enlightened people is nothing but disciples’ notes. The problem becomes more and more complicated because the disciple is writing something which he does not understand. He loves the master, he has fallen into a deep love affair, but he does not understand the mystery of the master. He is under his magical influence, but he does not know his secret. Unless he knows his own secret he will never know the secret of the master, because they are not two things.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 2, p. 25.

Osho on writing versus the spoken word
“This is a problem with linguistic people – those who know the language. They translate books from one language into another, but particularly when it comes to translating poetry it becomes more difficult. And if it is a question of translating the statements of somebody who has attained to enlightenment, then it becomes even more difficult.
But the problem is that people who have attained to enlightenment are no longer interested in translating anybody’s book. They are not interested in writing their own book, they are enjoying their silence and their ecstasy so much. If they want to convey anything at all, they use the spoken word, because the spoken word has the warmth and the liveliness. And the spoken word has something of the person who is speaking it. It comes from his heart. It carries some flavor of his being. It also carries some light, some profundity which is lost in the written word. Hence, no enlightened person has ever written a single word.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 20, p. 374.

Osho on biographies
“I have read many autobiographies, and I have seen how people when they look backwards, look with the eyes that they have now, and with all the experience they have accumulated meanwhile. With all this experience, with these new eyes, the meaning of the incidents starts changing.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 26, p. 617.

In an interview 1998 Devageet recalls an early visit to Osho’s room and start of the sessions
“He gestured for us to sit at his feet and immediately started talking about the great sanghas (communes) of Gautam Buddha and Mahavira, saying that whatever the world knows of these masters has come through the notes of their disciples. He explained how the disciples of Buddha got together immediately after his death to recollect his sayings and compiled 140 volumes. He told us about the method used with Mahavira, where a bunch of disciples remembered individually, then came together and remembered collectively, and, when it was unanimous, they wrote it down.
I was a bit mystified by all this. I mean, it was interesting, but what did it have to do with us? Then Osho said “And you, Devageet, will be my note taker.” Well, I was stunned! Stunned and absolutely delighted at the same time, because I love books and writing, even though I couldn’t type at the time – and suddenly, out of nowhere, had come this.
Then he said “We will write a book which will have a particular flavor, which is not possible from the discourses in Buddha Hall. In Buddha Hall I am talking to the future, I am talking to the whole of humanity. But in this… he called the dental room ‘your little Noah’s Ark…’ I can talk to you with an intimacy that I can’t in Buddha Hall.”
And he said “And in this book we will put special intimate photographs that people have never seen before. Vivek will take these photographs. And you Devageet will be the note taker, and Amrito, you will do the editing. Ashu you help with the editing and do the typing.” And he said “Ashu, you will be the referee.”
Referee? Referee of what? I thought it was a little Osho joke. Next day, after the dental session, he said, “Okay, now it’s my time.” That became the routine: I would end the session by saying “Osho, the dentistry is finished now,” and he would say “Your work is finished. Now my work is beginning.” Then he would start talking…
Anyway, there was I, with my head next to his, trying to catch every word. He was talking very, very, quietly, and I was scribbling away with the notes. Even though he was talking slowly, it was quite difficult to keep up, writing longhand.
Next day, I did the same, and then Amrito said “Wouldn’t it be great if I could also hear what he says?” Because nobody else could hear. I said “Yes, because then I can check the notes with you to make sure they are word perfect.”
So we sent a proposal to Osho that we arrange a recording device, a little microphone on the dental line… would it be okay? Back came the answer: Yes, but use the same tape everyday.” Then he said “At the end, you destroy the tape.”
So already he had a certain overall vision, which at that time I didn’t understand. So the next day we rigged up this little microphone. I had earphones so I could write, Amrito had earphones so he could hear. And after that things went very quickly. Sometimes he had one dental session a day, sometimes two.
One thing that made these talks very different from his usual discourses was that he would suddenly say something to me directly, personally. He would say things like “You think I am the patient, you are the patient. You think I am on the operating table, you are on the operating table. I will operate on your scull…” Things like that…
So, you know, I am writing all this down! Then each day he was talking about different aspects of this particular mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, very beautiful. Then, about six sessions later, he said “And now we start the next series. In this series we are going to talk about the books I have loved, all the books in my life, and we will do one book for every year of my life.”
But it never really happened like that. He’d talk about a couple of books, then ask “What number are we on now?” I’d say “This is number five, Osho.” And he would say “Okay, number seven is…” So pretty soon the numbers were all over the place. At the end of every session we would have four number fours, three number twos…
Then, after a few sessions, he asked “How many books have we done altogether, Devageet?” And I rushed through my notes to work it out and found out we had done 67, or something like that. Well, his age was 53!..
Anyway, something around a 172 books he just ended it, and started another series. He just suddenly started recalling times from his childhood, which were enormously beautiful, and he would sit there – remembering certain events – and he would be roaring with laughter. I have never seen him like that. You know, it was so wonderful. And he was telling stories I’d never heard before… and we were writing all this down…
Then somewhere at the beginning of February, I think, he said something like “All good things must come to an end, and so now it is finished.” Boom! That was it. Every day for months, weeks and then suddenly – it was over. That is exactly how it was with him…
Finally, somewhere around the end of October 1984, we finished the editing – just before he started speaking again in public, which was an amazing piece of synchronization.
Osho said “I want you to destroy all the notes, Devageet. You just give the manuscript to Sheela.” And then Osho wanted titles. According to the way he had been speaking, there were three books. The title for the middle book was obvious: it had to be called “Books I Have Loved.” That was clear.
But for the first series Osho said “Give me twenty titles and I will choose one.” At that point, Vivek… who had not wanted these books to happen, right from the beginning. She never said anything, but we all knew it. I think she felt it was an invasion of Osho’s privacy – the fact that Osho wanted it to happen was irrelevant!
Anyway, I was writing titles for the first book. I had about 18 titles and Vivek said “I don’t know why you are bothering. These are just notes of a bloody madman, anyway!” So I wrote that down, “Notes of a Bloody Madman.” And, of course, he chose that; Notes of a Madman. The section on Om Mane Padme Hum is part of that book.
So that was the first one. The middle series became “Books I Have Loved” and for the last one we gave Osho a whole list of titles, and the one he chose was “Glimpses of a Golden Childhood.” Since then, this book has been shown itself to be a great favorite. People love it. And this new edition looks very beautiful… a lovely book.” (Osho Times International. February 1998, pp. 21-23,59)

Fig. 9. Traffic signs on road leading to Rajneeshpuram.

Fig. 9. Traffic signs on road leading to Rajneeshpuram.

Glimpses of the Books: Notes of a Madman.
“Osho’s talks form four series, the first two series under the title Notes of a Madman:
Vivek calls your notes “The Ramblings of a Madman”… written by a madman, but not ramblings. If I am mad, then who is sane? If I am mad then who can say he is not mad? Nixon? Who can claim sanity? This poor earth is full of man men, so I appear to be mad. A sane man among the insane always appear so…
I am surrounded by madmen. I am in a whole world of madmen. Certainly I will look mad… mad, even to my own people… At least I cannot go mad. And I am not going to die at this moment. I have a few more strange things to do yet.” (Jagdish 2010, p. 558)

Devaraj recalls in 2015 the dental sessions
“In Rajneeshpuram I suggested the use of nitrous oxide as an anti-asthmatic analgesic for His dental sessions. Osho trusted me enough to give it a try. I was nervous because His body, especially His breathing was incredibly sensitive. His feedback comments during the first session enabled me to regulate the flow-balance of oxygen and nitrous oxide. I took clinical notes at the time, but Vivek, his caretaker, saw the notes as an intrusion of His privacy. After the session she complained angrily before storming out to inform Osho.
Osho responded by summoning His dental team into His sitting room. During His silent period such a summons was very unusual. He began by telling us that most enlightened Masters are known only from the notes of their intimate disciples. He then continued, “I am always relaxed but your nitrous oxide relaxes my body even more. At those heights consciousness is almost free from the body, and, with four intimate disciples I can share the experience in new ways. Devageet, you will be my note-taker. I will speak from your dental chair, and you will make a uniquely intimate book.”
Was Osho’s unexpected response to Vivek’s territorial reflex to my notes mischief? Of course it was, but flavored with His compassion. He invited Vivek to take new, intimate photos of Him. “We will make a beautiful book, and Vivek’s photos will give my sannyasins a new, intimate glimpse of the Master…” He included Vivek, Ashu, His dental nurse, and Amrito, His doctor, in His unique experiment with consciousness.” (Devageet. In: Viha Connection, 2015:4)
(Note: Anando too was participating in these sessions. Later on she wrote Osho Notes Written on My Heart)

Osho on note-taking
“”You, Devageet, will be my note-taker. I will speak from the dental chair. No Buddha has ever done such a thing… but you know me; I am a little crazy. One day these notes that you take from your dental chair will become a beautiful book. It will not be like my other books, those are from my words spoken in discourse. In my discourses, I am speaking to the world, to the future generations of humanity. In your small Noah’s Ark, Devageet, I will be speaking to just a small, intimate group of my devotees, people who love me deeply, people who are utterly in tune with me. Speaking to you, my words will possess a different quality, a new intimacy. Through these words spoken from your dental chair people will be able to have a new glimpse of the Master. The book will be unique. No enlightened Master has ever spoken from the dental chair, and probably never will again.”
Osho went on to say that Devaraj should edit the notes, and Anshu could type them and be Devaraj’s editorial assistant. But her main function, he made clear, would be to “be a referee for Devageet and Devaraj.” Osho chuckled as he said it. I was puzzled when I heard these words: Devaraj and I were friends. We had never quarrelled, let alone fought. It was only three years later, when we collaborated in editing and preparing the three books that finally resulted from the dental chairside notes, that I realized how complete Osho’s vision had been. He had seen clearly, three years before it happened, how Devaraj and I would argue and squabble over the placing of each punctuation mark and paragraph. He had known, and had chuckled.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 96-98)

Speaking while in silence; taping the sessions
“In that tiny Noah’s Ark, he was trying new ways of communication, ways that were not possible in a large auditorium, before a large audience. The number of people, and the wide differences in their states of consciousness, affected the content of his discourse. Here with only four of his intimate disciples, we glimpsed a mischievous, earthier, intimate side of Osho…
Paradoxically, Osho was in silence. He had entered a period of official silence when he had left India. He was giving no discourses…
We decided that it would be better if we could tape his words, and asked Vivek to ask Osho if we could rig up a small microphone to record what he was saying. In this way, I could later check my notes against the tape, and Devaraj would be able to hear through earphones. It would immensely help his future editing. Vivek soon brought his answer: It was fine for us to tape each session, but we should use the same tape each time. When the final note taking session was completed, we should burn the tape. When the notes had been finally transcribed and edited, we would then give them all to Sheela for publishing, keeping nothing back. We did exactly as instructed. When the dental work was over, I would switch off the dental spotlight, bring the microphone into place – it was attached to the light – and lower it close to Osho’s mouth. Nodding to Devaraj that all was in place, we would put on our earphones. Having this set-up meant I could write notes without having to have my ear close to Osho’s lips, and later, I could check my notes for accuracy against the taped words. The stipulation about using the same tape meant that I was kept fully stretched, dentally and mentally, having to type each day’s notes before the next session was called. Sometimes there were two sessions a day, each lasting two hours or more. It was during this time that I learned to type. I had to. Devaraj was busy with other projects, and Anshu too. It quickly became my daily task to transcribe the tapes, and the pile of papers grew quickly.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 105-107)
(Note: The words attributed to Osho are according to Devageet’s personal recollection. They are not intended to be a word-perfect historical record, but simply to convey the flavor of the events he has described).

Devageet on Osho’s intimate revealing from the dentist’s chair
“3 books were taken down in notes in the states”. (Osho Now News video. November 1990)

Shunyo on recordings from the dental chair
“Back at the house, Osho was having a lot of trouble with His teeth. He had nine root canals and while this treatment was happening He, of course, made the best of it, and while under the influence of the dentist’s gas, He talked. It was not an easy task for Osho’s dentist, Devageet, to work on a mouth that is most of the time moving. Osho talked three books worth. We realised that something was worth recording here, and so recorded all He said. The three books, ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’, ‘Books I Have Loved’, and ‘Notes of a Madman’ are extraordinary.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 89)

Mistlberger on the dental sessions
“Osho claims full enlightenment, yet dictates books while stoned on nitrious oxide, appears to be oblivious to his Oregon commune falling apart, and is given a fleet of ninety-three Rolls-Royces, which he accepts…
One view of the matter has it that Osho himself was never truly happy in Oregon and that his withdrawal from public speaking which had been his main and only substantial form of communication with his people for so many years, was actually a manifestation of a type of depression. But the very idea that he could be ‘depressed’ was absurd, sacrilegious to the many who followed him and believed wholesale in the idea that he was a fully realized being. But was he?
Back in the late 1980s, I read a book by the Canadian psychotherapist and one-time Osho disciple Robert Masters, titled ‘The Way of the Lover’. Masters had been present at the original Pune ashram in the ’70s, and he had contrasted Osho’s appearance in the ’80s at Rajneeshpuram unfavorably with his bearing in the ’70s. ‘Bhagwan’s face had lost its balance and luminosity, his eyes lost their timelessness and ‘depth’, he wrote, adding that Osho ‘looked drugged, and appeared to be oblivious to it all'[Masters 1989, p. 148]…
However, it also eventually came to be known that Osho used to undergo dental sessions during which, under the influence of nitrous oxide, he dictated at least three books. How he could dictate books while having his teeth worked on is unclear – or rather, what is reasonably clear is that some of these ‘dental sessions’ were not in fact that. The fact that he had many dozens of them would seem to emphasize that point. Accordingly, an argument has been mounted by some that he was in fact indulging in nitrous oxide usage to the point of addiction, and that this may have been a factor in his death.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 224,298,348)
(Note: Oregon congressman Jim Weaver visited the commune in 1986 and reported he found that Osho’s bedroom featured nitrous oxide spigots by his bedside. (Mistlberger 2010, p. 374)

Heading: Osho in the Dental Chair [Sheela editing]
“Firstly, as one response put it, the dispute over the periods of Osho’s intake of Nitrous Oxide can basically be fully addressed through the three articles that were written under the collective title “Tooth Truth: Memoirs of a Dental Triumvirate” and printed in the March/April 2001 Edition of ‘Viha Connection’. These were written by Nityamo, Ashru and Devageet. Nityamo and Ashru were at various times dental assistants to Devageet, who was Osho’s personal dentist from around 1978 to his death. Particularly in Nityamo’s account, but also in Ashru’s, it is clear that Osho had three periods of nitrous oxide usage, Poona One, on the Ranch and in Poona Two. Some commentators have denied Osho’s use of nitrous oxide in the Poona Two period. Even a brief examination of Nityamo’s article, when she speaks of sessions and dates them in 1987 and 1988 contradicts this…
Thirdly Devageet, Osho’s dentist kindly made a short reply to my article indicating that the three books Osho dictated under nitrous oxide were all dictated during the early Ranch period. I had questioned this, as I felt “Glimpses of a Golden Childhood” self-referred to India so much it had to have been dictated in Poona. He explained that the First Edition text of “Glimpses” which seems to locate Osho in India, had been manipulated by Sheela, who published the First Edition to make it feel like it had been dictated in India. A Second Edition of 1992 had changed this. I therefore stand corrected on this. I was simply working from the First Edition. Why Sheela did this, the reader can only guess at. I imagine that her rationalisation was that books that might have indicated that Osho was taking nitrous oxide would have not helped his immigration case in attempting to gain at the time residency in the United States.
It also became clear from other email correspondence that one whole session (session 29) of the First Edition of Glimpses had been deleted from the Second Edition. Having re-read this session, I can only imagine that Sheela and her gang altered this session beyond recognition, as it contains the odd story of Osho being adopted by Sheela’s father, which, as almost everyone knows, quarrels with Osho’s own accounts in many texts of his early childhood. In these other texts he indicates he was with his own grandparents until age seven. The Editor of the Second Edition in 1992 must have therefore felt to drop it. However one still has an open mind, and no one has come forward with anything definitive.” (Parmartha. August 2003)

Three books were dictated
“In September of 1985, three books by Osho appeared in print, and all three were reported by his dentist Devageet (in 2001) to have been dictated while Osho was under the effects of nitrous oxide. These books were ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’, ‘Notes of a Madman’, and ‘Books I Have Loved’. Anyone reading these books, especially ‘Notes of a Madman’, will be struck by the different tone. I read this book when it first came out and even then, as young and green disciple, it was immediately obvious to me that the book was different. Osho could never be accused of normative behaviour but this book was peculiar like some sort of extended session of free association.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 374)

For a full account of the autobiographical dental sessions in Rajneeshpuram January and February 1982, see ‘Osho: The First Buddha in the Dental Chair’ (Devageet 2013). And also Sw Devageet’s introduction in second edition of ‘Books I Have Loved’ (Osho 1998, pp. x-xiv)

1. Glimpses of a Golden Childhood (1985. 2nd edition 1990)

Osho on autobiography
“This is not going to be an orthodox, conventional autobiography. It is not an autobiography at all, just fragments of a life reflected in thousands of mirrors.” (Osho 1990, p. 324)

Glimpses of a Golden Childhood
“The fourth series of notes from the dental chair proved to be the last. It was about Osho’s childhood… Osho told stories of his early years that he had never revealed before. He had us laughing, sometimes crying, but mostly stunned at his sheer audacity as a child. His words took us back fifty years, to a time and context that no longer existed in India. In remembering details of childhood incidents with his teachers, parents, family and friends, told in the strange intimacy of his private dental cabin in an Oregonian desert, Osho didn’t merely recall his early years, he was reliving them…
And then, suddenly, after two months, Osho stopped speaking as suddenly as he had started. The notes from the dental chair ended. Not with any particular event, nor had his childhood been fully travelled. He simply ended with the words: “And Devageet, it is beautiful, but enough. Devaraj, help him. Ashu, do your best. I would love to continue but time has gone. One has to withdraw somewhere. Stop!” (Devageet 2013, pp. 138,139)

In his introduction to the first edition of ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’ (1985), Devageet writes on dental sessions and books
“The notes these books were compiled from fall naturally into four series.
The first series was Bhagwan simply gossiping on this and that; talking mainly of silence and beauty. The second series went deeply into the source of the ancient Tibetan mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum. But when Bhagwan gossips, He jokes, brings in all sorts of apparently unrelated topics, and each session was light and wonderful. The first two series are in a single volume called ‘Notes of a Madman’.
The third series was a recollection of books Bhagwan had read and treasured in His reading lifetime. He used to read up to twenty books each day! It was on his doctor’s advice that he stopped reading, but he loved books, particularly those which give a glimpse into the unknown, whose words are bathed in light and whose beauty of expression can lead their readers to share their poetry and inspiration. This volume is called ‘Books I Have Loved’, and it is a master’s view of the world of enlightened literature.
The fourth series is called Glimpses of a Golden Childhood. Bhagwan has never spoken of his childhood, not out of secrecy, but simply because anything from before his date of enlightenment was dead to him. In this book he again visited those early years. He gives us fascinating and hilarious tales of himself and of those closest to him. He tells of those enlightened masters who recognized his potential and helped him survive his hazardous first years. He is an amazing man and he was an equally amazing child. These notes were given in early 1981, and were his last words before he went into silence for an indefinite period of time.” (Introduction. First edition. 1985)

In introduction to the second edition of ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’ (Osho 1990) Abhinandan writes:
“Of all the recorded words of Osho, this small series of gossips from the dentist’s chair were to prove the most intimate so far. It was a special kind of communion. Therefore, these words have a special flavour…
This is the second edition of this book. The first was changed in a few subtle and less subtle ways by its first publisher [Sheela]. But the original diamond remained flawless, the changes she made are gone, and it is now back in its original form.
This edition is richer. Since the original series of talks given in 1981 Osho has spoken many times of his childhood. These stories and anecdotes have been added in an appendix to the book – a few extra spices for this already superb banquet.
If the reader detects a few changes in style in this appendix it is due to the fact that in the original text Osho was simply relating a childhood narrative. In these additional passages, mainly from discourses, he uses stories to illustrate specific points.” (Introduction. Second edition of: Osho 1990)

Sheela editing ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’
“Sometime after August 1984, the manuscript of Rajneesh’s reminiscences about his early years, ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’, was given to Sheela. Along with her associates, Sheela forged Chapter 29 and inserted the fabricated adoption story. “We were staying with a certain man, Ambalal Patel,” the forgery reads, “who were my father’s friend. He was so loving towards me that I found in him another father.”” (Brecher 1993, p. 177)

Photosession with books
“A photo from Osho’s book “Glimpses of a Golden Childhood,” showing Osho resting in his room with a pile of books from his library. The top book is ‘Miracle of Love’ by Neemkeroli Baba [mentioned by Ram Dass in his Be Here Now]. Another photo shows Osho reading the book.” (Osho Times International. 1999, Fall issue)

On second edition 1990
“Surendra is now preparing the films to send to the printer for the new edition of GLIMPSES OF A GOLDEN CHILDHOOD. A little bit earlier in the production I had several occasions to leaf through it to sort out editing or punctuation questions here and there, and every time I would get “caught”, finding myself reading on for pages and pages and forgetting everything else that was waiting piled up on my desk for attention. It’s such a beautiful book, and finally it is getting a “package” that does it justice, with all the photos that were in the first edition, plus some more that have never been published before, including one of ‘Nani’, Osho’s beloved grandmother. And one thing that really struck me is that it was a completely different book than the one I read years ago. Now, this is literally true in a sense – one chapter “constructed” at Rajneeshpuram but not ever spoken by Osho has been taken out, along with some restoration of other original text that had been changed. And a selection of childhood stories extracted from other discourses has been added, at Osho’s request, as an appendix. But the main thing “new” about it for me was that while my first reading of it was a wonderfully juicy gossip about the Master’s life, the second read brings much more… more depth, somehow, more “aha’s”. So this new edition is definitely on my “must acquire” list. It should be coming out some time in the next two or three months.” (Osho Words (Digital news echo). 1990:6. 24.08.1990)

2. Books I Have Loved (1985. 2nd edition: Osho 1998)

‘Books I Have Loved’ (1985) contains 16 sessions recorded in Lao Tzu House where Rajneesh dictates the story of his lifelong bookloving affair. In Madyapa’s introduction, he writes:
“Having read hundreds of thousands of the world’s greatest books on every conceivable subject, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh shared their fragrance as he spoke on these books during talks given in Poona, India. From the very first book ‘Hsin Hsin Ming’ by Sosan, to the last entry, ‘The Book’ by Alan Watts, Bhagwan takes us on an unparalleled journey of discovery, choosing gifts from authors we have known plus surprises from mystics and poets never heard of before.”

Devageet on ‘Books I Have Loved’
“At the beginning of the sixth note-taking session, Osho quietly announced that series one had now been completed, and series two was about to begin…
Six sessions later, he just as suddenly announced the start of the third series of notes. It was to be a journey in which he recalled many of the inspirational books he had enjoyed throughout his lifetime. Osho was a lifelong bibliophile. As a student, he had starved in order to buy books of his choice. Throughout his life he had always possessed a large collection of fine books, and in Pune, his library was vast; in fact, his whole house was one large library. From the dental chair in deepest Oregon, Osho spoke of those rare books whose words echoed the eternal essence of the mystery of life that is hidden in all forms, the formless mystery into which he had dissolved when he became enlightened. I felt he was transmitting that same mystery as I wrote his notes from the dental chair…
At the opening of the series, he had declared that he wanted to talk about the same number of books as the years of his life. He was fifty-one years old at that time. He said he would speak on about ten books per session. His sense of numbers being famously erratic, he asked me to help him stay on track…
In searching through my pile of notes I found to my horror that we had overshot the birthday target. We had actually covered sixty-four books. On telling Osho the news, he was silent for a long moment before deciding to add a postscript. He said he would change his original intention and speak instead on two volumes for each year of his life, because there were so many authors clamouring to get onto his list. Presumably they were clamouring from the other side of the Great Divide. As he was speaking it often felt as if he was in direct touch with the dead authors… The book series ended when Osho dedicated the last volume to the memory of Alan Watts, and American who, according to Osho, could have attained to enlightenment if only he had taken the opportunity to be with an enlightened Master.” (Devageet 2013, p. 131-137)

On Alan Watts’ The Book, Osho comments:
“I have loved ‘The Book’ and I have saved it for the last. Do you remember Jesus’ saying “Blessed are those who stand at the last”? Yes, this book is blessed. I bless it, and I would like this series of sessions to be in memory of Alan Watts.” Books I Have Loved (1985), p. 247.

The books mentioned by Osho include a number of key religious texts alternating with Western authors. For a full listing of titles see Volume One / Appendix. Among the titles are:

– Thus Spoke Zarathustra / Friedrich Nietzsche
– The Brothers Karamazow / Fyodor Dostoevsky
– The Book of Mirdad / Mikhail Naimy
– Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu
– Jonathan Livingstone Seagull / Richard Bach
– The Prophet / Kahil Gibran
– Leaves of Grass / Walt Whitman
– Tertium Organum / P.D.Ouspensky
– Zen and Japanese Culture / D.T.Suzuki
– The Fables of Aesop
– Zorba the Greek / Kazantzakis
– Siddhartha / Herman Hesse
– At the Feet of the Master / J.Krishnamurti
– The Way of Zen/Alan Watts
– Being and Nothingness / Jean Paul Sartre
– Time and Being / Martin Heidegger
– Tractatus Logicus Philosophicus / Ludwig Wittgenstein
– Alice in Wonderland / Lewis Carrol
– Waiting for Godot / Samuel Beckett
– Das Kapital / Karl Marx
– Lust for Life / Irving Stone
– War and Peace / Leo Tolstoy
– Farthers and Sons / Turgenev
– One-dimensional Man / Herbert Marcuse
– My Experiments with Truth / Mahatma Ghandi
– Listen Little Man / Wilhelm Reich
– Poetics / Aristotle

Osho commenting on the Nobel Prize
“The money given with the Nobel Prize is soaked in blood, because the man, Nobel, was a manufacturer of bombs. He earned his immeasurable money in the first world war selling arms to both camps. I would not even like to touch his money. In fact I have not touched money for many years, because I don’t have to. Somebody always takes care of money for me – and money is always dirty, not only Nobel Prize money.
The man who founded the Nobel Prize was really feeling guilty, and just to get rid of his guilt he founded the Nobel Prize. It was a good gesture, but only like killing a man and then saying to him, “Sorry, sir, please excuse me.” I would not accept that blood money.” Glimpses of a Golden Childhood (1990), p. 125.

All titles included in ‘Books I Have Loved’ (1985) are listed in Vol I / Appendix.

3. Notes of a Madman (1985. 2nd edition: Osho 1999)

On back cover
“The very last words of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh before He went into silence for an indefinite period.”

In his introduction to first edition 1985 Anand Madyapa writes
“Deep within each of us there exists a place that longs to be touched, awakening our being to a dream hardly imagined but definitely real. The dream is of our search for home.
Within the pages of this small book you will meet the enlightened Master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He tells us He is just an ordinary human being, like us, but with one exception. His search for home has ended. He has awakened. Bhagwan tells us too that He has devoted His life to helping others experience the joyous gift of awakening.”

Lolita writes in her introduction to second edition 1999
“But of all these books, this precious volume that is in your hands is something unique. As with ‘Books I Have Loved’, it is a transcription of what Osho is saying in the presence of a few individuals in the unlikely setting of His dental sessions. Here, in this intimate atmosphere, Osho speaks in a free, loose, poetic way on anything that comes to Him. He is not responding to any sutras or personal questions brought to Him. He is speaking directly from His own world, on what moves Him, on what He loves, opening us to the panorama of an enlightened consciousness – seemingly a vast calmness that, without outer causes, can have playful ripples moving through it.
This is a rare and intimate glimpse into an enlightened one’s ecstasy.
Osho is here like a mad dancer, dancing to the soundless beat of the Tibetan mantra ‘Om mani padme hum, Om mani padme hum’… whirling and disappearing into the dance. Disappearing and yet articulating, sharing, as if His words are the feet of the dance, connection to the earth, connecting to whoever knows how to listen.
This is what I find utterly astounding about Osho, that He manages the impossible – to bring us words from the source of Existence. He mentions this: “When there are words, nobody expects words and flowers to be together” – but here they are, the impossible is happening in such a small book. So much is given, so many flowers.
Reading this book is an adventure – traveling with Osho to the “source of everything great” where you will be tasting the flight of it, feeling the dance of it, hearing the awesome silence of it and, when you are ready for eternity, even coming home to it.” (Ma Prem Lolita. Introduction. Page vi-vii)

Osho says
“In the library there are thousands of books; there are over one hundred thousand volumes in the beautiful library. I love the library. It contains all the best that has ever been written. I am giving it all to our university [Multiversity]. Of all the thousands of books I have told Vivek to carry only one. That is my only book now. It is written by a man who has not reached but come very close, very, very close – Kahlil Gibran. I wanted to talk about his book many times but did not. The time was not yet right. The man was only a poet and not a mystic, not one who really knows, but he reached to the heights in his imagination. Walt Whitman is the only American to talk of these heights, but he also missed.” Notes of a Madman (1985), p. 5.

“I have been continuously speaking for twenty-five years and only being misunderstood. Hence I have moved from the masses, but for the chosen few I am always available… It must be difficult listening to a man like me twice each day. It allows me a chance to share my vision. But I cannot share it in words. My tears show it. I cannot say it… My fingers? Don’t worry, it’s an old habit. I am trying to use my fingers, my hands when I speak. The habit comes because words cannot say it. Just a gesture, even a simple finger can say more. Hands are so eloquent… I was saying before that English is not the language to express it. It is too technical, too accurate. English can give good scientists to the world but not mystics. I am really a mystic, a mystic in a world of scientists.” Notes of a Madman (1985), pp. 34,37,39,53.

Sw Rajnish writes
“while in india i read notes of a madman which is to become my most loved and favourite book of bhagwans simply surpassing all other books as bhagwan is speaking just to himself no audience… pure expressions of being himself and experiencing bliss this book i read at least ten times buy fifty copies at a time and give as my only present to friends.” (Rajnish 2008, p. 40)

4. Osho Notes Written on my Heart / Ma Prem Anando. From series in Poona Two, May 1988 to September 1989. Unpublished manuscript.

Introduction. Excerpt:
“I am writing notes on your heart”, Osho said softly, as his finger traced seemingly random patterns on my chest. Once, rubbing hard on my heart, he said, “Take note, Anando, this will be a signature for centuries to remember.”
“I am doing telegraphy on a heart.”
“What a notebook, that breathes! I can only write on a notebook that breathes.”
“I am writing my notes in flesh and bones.”
“I am taking notes on your heart. Can’t you understand, Anando? Take note.”
I didn’t understand.
Just as I never understood (and still don’t) what he meant by his last words as he was leaving his body, “Anando will be my medium.”
The ‘note’ giving was happening in a series of dental sessions that Osho had in the last two years he was in the body. There were 115 sessions altogether that I was present for, from May 1988 through to September 1989. Each one lasted around an hour, sometimes longer…
The session happened first in the small dental room off the main corridor of Lao Tzu house, Osho’s residence, and then in May 1989 they were moved to the big new dental room that had been created next to the Samadhi.” (Ma Prem Anando. Personal information. E-mail. 20.09.2013)

In the dental room
“Sometimes Nirvano attended; Anando sat at Osho’s side and kept notes while He tapped on her heart chakra and said He was writing notes on her heart.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 275)

Further comments on the dental sessions:

Shiva remembers
“In early 1982 Vivek asked me to come and take some pictures of Bhagwan in his dentists’ chair… he was taking nitrous oxide as a consciousness-altering drug. I took shots of small clear tubes being passed into his nostrils and being held in place by a special handmade clip. Bhagwan reclined. There were five people plus Bhagwan in the tiny dental room – the dentist, the dentist’s female assistant, Vivek, Bhagwan’s personal physician Swami Devaraj, and myself. The dentist whirled two knobs which were recessed in the wall to balance the gasses. Bhagwan asked now for a little more oxygen, now for slightly more nitrogen… As the gas began to affect him, Bhagwan started to talk. His speech became increasingly slurred and slow. His normally sibilant trailing ‘s’s’ became even more drawn out and exaggerated as the gas started to have its effect.” (Quotation from Milne 1986. Reprinted in: Sam 1997, p. 137)

William James on the use of nitrous oxide
“Nitrous oxide and ether, especially nitrous oxide, when sufficiently diluted with air, stimulate the mystical consciousness in an extraordinary degree. Depth beyond depth of truth seems revealed to the inhaler. This truth fades out, however, or escapes at the moment of coming to; and if any words remain over in which it seemed to clothe itself, they prove to be the veriest nonsense. Nevertheless, the sense of profound meaning having been there persists; and I know more than one person who is persuaded that in the nitrous oxide trance we have a genuine metaphysical revelation. Some years ago I myself made some observations on this aspect of nitrous oxide intoxication… one conclusion was forced upon my mind at that time… it is that our normal walking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” (James 2004, p. 335)
(Note: ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’ / William James was first published in 1901-2)

Shanti Bhadra writes on laughing gas
“One aspect of the antagonism between Sheela and the members of Bhagwan’s household was Sheela’s undisguised dislike of Bhagwan’s doctor and his dentist. She considered them both incompetent, if not downright dangerous. She complained that the doctor was a kind of mad scientist and maintained that his ineptitude would be the death of Bhagwan. Bhagwan did not share her concerns and was in fact happy with both men. They were first and foremost his disciples and when he let them know that he wanted them to administer laughing gas to him for an hour every day while he dictated a book or two to them, they were only too happy to comply. Neither thought to question the master’s wishes nor warn him of the possible consequences of inhaling so much laughing gas over such a long period of time.” (Stork 2009, p. 170)

One more ‘autobiography’ is
* Osho. An ‘Autobiography’ Compilation. Osho Research Library, Poona, 1999. 835 pages. Landscape format. Spiral binding. Unpublished manuscript. Amended in ‘Osho’s Life’ at (Osho 1999).

“Manuscript Version.
This manuscript version of Osho: An Autobiography Compilation is a photocopy of the print-out of the final edit, completed in Osho Commune International, Pune, India, 8th March 1999.
Research/compilation/editor: Ma Yoga Bhakti.
Research/Hindi translator/editor: Sw Yoga Pratap Bharti.
The original request for this research, in 1994, came from Ma Deva Anando, Osho’s medium, as coordinator, at that time, for English Publications, and Osho International department, in Osho Commune International, Pune.” (Introduction. Osho 1999)

This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise.

* This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise. A Photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Work 1978-1984 / Sw Anand Madyapa (Editor). At head of title: This very Body, the Buddha. Introduction: Sw Krishna Prem. Design: Ma Prem Pujan. Direction: Ma Yoga Pratima. Photography: Sw Krishna Bharti et al.. Translations: Sw Anand Maitreya. Production: Sw Veet Santap. Proofreading: Sw Krishna Prem et al.. Publisher: Ma Anand Sheela. Rajneeshpuram OR, Rajneesh Foundation International, December 1984. First edition. 563 pages. Landscape format: 30,0 x 34,5 cm. Weight: 4,560 g. Photobiography with b&w and color photos. HC. 1,500 numbered copies. (Madyapa 1984)

Front flap. Endorsements
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is an especially outstanding personality in cultural and spiritual realms of the present time. I even dare say that He is the most important living exponent of a process of harmonization of East and West, of spirituality and intellect, who will be mentioned in the history of mankind, having already during His lifetime realized a humanistic and religious synthesis of historical significance.” Fritz Tanner, Ph.D. Marriage Counsellor. Psychological Practitioner. Zürich, Switzerland.

“I consider (Bhagwan) one of the lights of this generation.” Rabbi Joseph H. Gerlberman. New York City, Washington DC, Founder and President of the New Seminary.

“It is Bhagwan’s special talent that He helps one to a deeper awareness of all religious experience in a manner that is (both) necessary (and appropriate) to present day society. I believe Him to be a major force for religious consciousness in our time.” James Broughton, Poet. Mill Valley, CA. (Grand Classic Master of Independent Cinema).

Back flap. Endorsements
“The radiance of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is like a multifaceted diamond… Bhagwan is not a teacher of enlightenment but enlightenment itself – enlightenment saying what it itself is.” Leonard M. Zunin, M.D. Psychiatrist, Lecturer and author: “Contact – The First Four Minutes.”

“Never before or after have I encountered anybody having such a harmonious and immensely creative view encompassing art, science, human psychology and religiousness, and certainly we would lack substantially without His vision of the new man.” Dr. Arnold Schleger, Ph.D. Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland.

“Here (Rajneeshpuram) everything was bright and new, colorful and prosperous. All the people seemed happy and cheerful, either the faces of those who seemed to have found an answer… an extraordinary achievement… a most impressive place.” The Sunday Times, London, July, 1984.

Roshani Shay in her chronology 1984
“July 1: Festivalgoers find… 10 new books of Bhagwan’s teachings plus an in-depth photobiography of the 1978-84 period.” (Shay 1990)

“‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’. By Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Covering the period March 1978 – March 1984, this beautifully illustrated photo-biography provides an in-depth account of the life and work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the world-wide community which has arisen around His vision. Many never-before-published color photographs and more than 500 original black and white photographs. $100 clothbound. 564 pages. ISBN 0-88050-705-5”. (Advertisement in: The Rainbow Bridge. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple, March 1985; also in: The Rajneesh Bible (1985). Vol I)

‘This very Body the Buddha: This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise; A photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His work 1978-1984’ (Madyapa 1984) is documenting the experiments in Oregon as well as the last years in Poona One. Edited by Sw. Anand Madyapa, the book is still heavily influenced by its publisher, Ma Anand Sheela’s point of view and interests. The volume is the second in the series starting with ‘The Sound of Running Water: a photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his work 1974-1978’ (Asha 1980), and was made available on Bhagwan’s 53-years birthday in December 1984. Advertised in Rajneesh Newsletter, 1984:19, December 15, 1984.

The tome is composed in following parts, all with excerpts from discourses and chronology of events month by month.

Contents. Page 13.

– India: The Creation of the Buddhafield.
March 1978 to June 1981. Page 14-235

Prologue. Page 14-15.
Part I: Seeds of Transformation.
Part II: The Mystery School.
Part III: The Hollow Bamboo.
Part IV: The Center of the Cyclone.
Part V: Homo Novus: The New Man.
Part VI: The Ultimate Phase.
Part VII: Last Communion in the East.

– The Goose is Out. Page 236-269.

The Great Journey.
The Dispersion.
This Very Body The Buddhafield.

– Rancho Rajneesh: Oasis in the Desert.
July, 1981 to November, 1984. Page 270-257.

A Commune Out West.
The Miracle of Love.
This Very Earth.
Rajneeshpuram: Sacred City of the Lord of the Full Moon.
Life: The Greatest Adventure
First Annual World Celebration.
The Master Comes to Visit
This Life Our Celebration.
Second Annual World Celebration.
Worship: A Quality of Love and Trust.
Rajneesh International Meditation University.
Caravan to God.
City of Rajneesh: A Time of Change.
Rajneeshism: My Laughing Religion.

Hindi Expression of His Love. Listing in ten panels of photos in b&w of published discourse series in Hindi with comments. Page 229-233.

Satya Vedant on the photobiography
“With the release of ‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’, for the first time there is a photobiography of the entire body of the work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. In ‘The Sound of Running Water’ we are given intimate accounts of Bhagwan’s childhood and early school years. There are revelations about the Master’s early experiments with consciousness, and the shattering culmination of enlightenment. The reader is provided with fascinating glimpses of Bhagwan’s years of invitation, the traveling tours around India, accounts of the first initiations in Bombay, and a pictorial record of the growth of the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona.
‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’ picks up the golden thread of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His work in March of 1978.
The reader moves with the Master through the last years of public discourses, and into a deeper, heart to heart communion with the first silent satsangs. We see Bhagwan in America and the dedicated work of His disciples in Oregon and around the world. Through a mosaic of color and black and white photographs, the reader is witness to His vision flowering in creative communities around the world. The book ends with a new blessing and a new beginning – excerpts from the first series of discourses entitled ‘The Rajneesh Bible’.
‘This Very Body the Buddha, This Very Place the Lotus Paradise’ is available in a limited edition, album sized and bound in silver leatherette with gold gilt lettering.” (Bhagwan, 1984:12)

Sheela on ‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’
“Bhagwan wanted a historic coffee-table book. It should be special, numbered edition. Cost should be no issue.
The book should have two parts, one the end of Poona and the other new commune in Oregon.
The idea, design, photo selection, all was done by Him.” (Ma Anand Sheela. E-mail. 27.02.2015)

Osho on the later title
“The West is suffering from too much science; the East has suffered from too much religion. Now we need a new humanity in which religion and science become two aspects of one man. And the bridge is going to be art. That’s why I say that the new man will be a mystic, a poet and a scientist.
Between science and religion only art can be the bridge – poetry, music, sculpture. Once we have brought this new man into existence, the earth can become for the first time what it is meant to become. It can become a paradise: this very body the Buddha, this very earth the paradise!” Zorba the Buddha. A Darshan Diary (1982), p. 16.

Osho on the title’s statements
“Maneesha, your second question is:
“Bhagwan, I have heard you say, ‘This very body, the Buddha,’ and I have also heard you remind us that we are not the body. Would you talk about these seemingly opposing statements?”
They are certainly only seemingly opposite. When I said, “This very body, the Buddha,” and “This very earth, the paradise,” my meaning was, “Don’t look anywhere else! Don’t look there – look here, look in.”
And to make it possible to look in, sometimes I had to say that we are not the body. The first thing is to bring you there. “This body the Buddha,” is just to bring you here, and once you are here the second thing is, “Look within; you are not the body but something that the body contains – the emptiness, the nothingness.” There is no contradiction; they are two steps of a single process.” Live Zen (1988), p. 84.

Osho on titles
“Beloved Master, Out of this mud, the lotus paradise.
That’s certainly true. Lotuses grow only out of mud, and Sheela and her group have done the basic work: they have created mud. Now you do the second part! Okay? From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 6, p. 73. 20.09.1985.

Osho on book promotion
“Sheela informed me from New Delhi – she had taken our latest publication, ‘This very Body the Buddha This very Place the Lotus Paradise’, to show to people – that one minister, the finance minister of India, came to see her. She showed him the book. K.D. was with her, and K.D. could not believe what that man was doing…
Because in ‘The Lotus Paradise’ we have a few pictures of our nature institute; naked women, walking by the lake or massaging each other, or just sitting and giving an interview. Sheela was sitting in front so she could not see, but K.D. was at the side so he was amazed when he saw that the man was touching the bottom of a girl in the picture! And these are the people who are in power.” The Rajneesh Bible (1987). Vol IV, Chapter 5.

Yatri involved in designing
“I worked on the second “Paradise” volume in the early ranch days, but had some delicious battles with Sheela (who seemed to consider it a personal biography) in which she took to her bed and I was shown where the ranch gates were. The old boy saved me from such a fate and sent me to the Siberia of the pipe crew to dig trenches, lay pipes and wallow in sewage. It was marvellous!! Not quite what Sheela had intended.” (Yatri. E-mail. 02.02.2009)

Shiva tells
“Bhagwan was still very fussy about how he appeared in photographs. Only his head was important, he said, but it was not just a matter of leaving out his body. To be acceptable a picture had to minimise the length of his nose and not emphasise his bald head. His eyes were the thing. He would scrutinise all photographs very carefully, and only allowed certain pictures to be included in books and photographic records. This applied not only to photographs of himself, but to all official pictures of the ashram. I appear several times in ‘The Sound of Running Water’, the posh photographic record produced in Poona, but all traces of my presence were eliminated from the later book, ‘This Very Place, This Lotus Paradise’, which covered 1979-1984 and was produced in Oregon. By that time I had left the movement, and Bhagwan had forbidden the use of pictures or text references of people who had left the movement in any of the ranch publications. Ex-sannyasis were erased for ever.” (Milne 1986, p. 146)

This photo-biography covering the years 1979-1984 seems to have moved into darkness as it is not mentioned in official listings of published books on Osho’s work. In a subsequent volume ‘The Song of the Ocean. A photo-biography of Osho and his Work 1979-1990’ (Jagdish 2010) pages are numbered 462-788 in succession and on front leaf it writes ‘In continuation of The Sound of Running Water. A photo-biography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his Work 1974-1978’ (Asha 1980). Bibliographic data and colophon are omitted.

It contains among other events also the adoption of Osho as a child by Sw Swarupananda, Ma Sheela’s father, shortly after he was born. One week after this event, Osho is recognized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service as a religious teacher.” (Madyapa 1984, pp. 534-35). See also: 5.12 Organizational Upheaval / Politics and Crimes. Documents attesting to the adoption are in Appendix / Oregon.

The Book of Rajneeshism

* Rajneeshism. An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion / Edited by: Academy of Rajneeshism. Design: Ma Anand Zeno. Ma Prem Tushita. Direction: Ma Yoga Pratima. Publisher: Ma Anand Sheela. Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation International, November 1983. Revised Second Edition. 77 pages. Illustrated with b/w photos. PB. First Edition July 1983. 72 pages. 10,000 copies. $3.00. (RFI 1983)

Roshani Shay in her chronology
“June 22: Bhagwan’s secretary welcomes early comers to the festival; announces the pending publication of a small book on the religion of Rajneeshism…
Aug 20: Videotape of Bhagwan’s deposition shown to jurors and reveals: oath taken on the Book of Rajneeshism…
Aug 31: Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge denies requests by KOIN-TV and KATU-TV of Portland to make copies of Bhagwan’s videotaped deposition, saying it is neither a court “record” nor “file” and that public display would have a “chilling effect” on videotaped court testimony: TV stations’ attorneys say they expect to appeal it is noted that in this case, the Rajneeshee oath was accepted by the US court system, “I take the oath on the sacred book of our religion of Rajneeshism that I only speak the truth and will only speak the truth now.”
Sept 26: Bhagwan says sannyasins need no longer wear the colors of the sunrise or the mala, that he will have The Book of Rajneeshism destroyed and they should no longer call themselves Rajneeshees in order to avoid the institutionalization of his movement…
Sept 30: 4000-6000 copies of The Book of Rajneeshism and Sheela’s red robes burned at a ceremony attended by 2000-2500 at the Rajneeshpuram crematorium.” (Shay 1990)

“Man is living in his most critical moment and it is a crisis of immense dimensions. Either he will die or a new man will be born. Rajneeshism accepts the challenge and is making the only world-wide effort to transform human consciousness…” Advertisement in: The Rajneesh Bible (1985), Vol III.

On Rajneeshism
“The following pieces are excerpted from this book which is soon to be published by Rajneesh Foundation International.
“This is the first time that an Enlightened Master has put His religion into book form It is the first time it has happened while the Master is still alive. Bhagwan wanted to do it so that the people who come after us can still receive His religion in its purest form,” explained Ma Anand Sheela to festival participants in a welcoming meeting at the Second Annual World Celebration.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1983:9)

Osho on Rajneeshism in The Rajneesh Times October 1983
“Our religion should not be categorized with any other religion of the world because it has no tradition or dogma and it allows everybody without any discrimination into its religious fold. Rajneeshism does not ask anyone to renounce their religion and does not have any conflict with Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Lao Tzu, etc. Basically Rajneeshism has the essential core of all religiousness.
The other religions are against each other’s traditions and attitudes. In fact, these other religions are fanatic and each believes and fights that theirs is the true religion and others are false. This is not the case with me or Rajneeshism. A Christian can become a Rajneeshee and he is not asked to drop his love for Jesus, in fact he finds Jesus in me. The same is true for a Buddhist or a Mohammedan.
Our commune consists of people from all religions who have found their religion’s truth in me. We have thousands of Christians, Buddhists, Jainas, Hindus and Jews who are Rajneeshees. We have people from every country, every race and every religion and there is no discrimination. Even an atheist is absolutely accepted and loved in our religion. Rajneeshism is a way of life. It has nothing to do with religious hocus-pocus or heaven and hell. My whole emphasis is in finding the center of the cyclone – the emptiness that is between you and existence and the eternal nothingness. In this nothingness the flower of enlightenment blooms. You cannot condemn us like Christians, Jews, Hindus or Jainas as we do not discriminate against anyone.” The Rajneesh Times. 28.10.1983; The Book (1984). Vol III, p. 2.

Osho in discourse September 1985
“Sheela has created a book, ‘Rajneeshism’. That is not my book; I have not read it. I don’t know what is written in it. She has collected material from my other books. Whatever she has added to it, I don’t know; what she has deleted from it, I don’t know. On Monday we are going to have a big world press conference, and we are going to have a bonfire – with dancing and rejoicing – to burn that book… because I am always against the word “ism.” Humanity has suffered enough.
Sheela has created the word Rajneeshee.” That is an ugly word. Then what is the difference between a Rajneeshee and a Christian and a Hindu and a Mohammedan? I have withdrawn it. Now nobody is a Rajneeshee. I give you back your individuality, your integrity. To me, you are all individuals, living together because your search is one – not that your dogma is one, not that your system of belief is one. You are rebellious people, and I would like you to remain rebellious. That is the only point that joins you all…
And then, outside the temple, we will be having a bonfire to burn all the books on Rajneeshism, all the stationery that belongs to the Academy of Rajneeshism. That “ism” is an ugly and dirty word, and I don’t want it to be associated with me. Now it will be called Rajneesh Academy; in short, RA. ‘Ra’ is an ancient Egyptian word which means “the highest experience of consciousness.”
We are going to change the plague before the Mandir, because here also they have put “Academy of Rajneeshism.” That will be changed before Monday. We have to clean up all the rubbish that they have done here.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 13, p. 156. 27.09.1985.

On book burning
“On the Ranch a traditional book burning was performed following the leaving of Sheela and a dozen commune leaders. More than 2.000 cheering and singing followers fed the flames of the funeral pyre late September 1985 with 4.000 copies [Kate Strelley, p. 375: 30.000 copies. Total print was 20.000] of the 77-page, red-jacketed booklet ‘Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion’ (1983). The book was rediputed by Bhagwan who ordered the books burned to discredit Sheela’s deeds, one of the pallets containing 2.000 books draped with the satin and silk clothing once worn by Sheela during religious ceremonies. The book burning was to underline that Bhagwan had always been against any organized religion, and his personal secretary Ma Prem Hasya also celebrated the death of Rajneeshism. In an interview Bhagwan commented:
“That was not my book. I’ve never read it. I am not a savior. I am not a prophet. Nobody has ever been a savior.” (Spokesman Review. 21.06.1985)

Tim Guest writes
“That weekend at the Ranch there was a bonfire of five thousand copies of ‘Rajneeshism’; some sannyasins threw their ceremonial red robes on the flames. (There were bonfires in Germany, too. My mother stayed away; burning books made her very uncomfortable.)” (Guest 2005, p. 252)

“In July 1983 a booklet entitled “Rajneeshism” was published, explaining the beliefs and practices of the religion, including descriptions of the four religious holidays to be observed annually and ceremonies to be performed on the occasions of birth, death, marriage, and caring for the sick. It designated three categories of minister and the number of years of training required to attain each rank. The rationale for the creation of Rajneeshism in the face of Rajneesh’s clear disdain for organized religion was based on the belief that a religion would inevitably arise from the movement and that it was better to help this process along when the Master was still alive and could provide guidance.” (Dempsey 2012, p. 89)

Carter quoted by Aveling
“The only attempt to codify Rajneesh beliefs and practices is the so-called “Bible of the Rajneesh” (Academy of Rajneeshism, 1983) which establishes levels of clergy and lifestage rituals (birth, death, marriage). This codification was repudiated by Bhagwan in October, 1985 as a creation of misguided followers…
Also included is ‘Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion’, attributed to “Academy of Rajneeshism”, (1983) which purports to summarise beliefs and ceremonies of the religion. This book was marketed at Rajneespuram for over two years as an official synopsis, but repudiated by Bhagwan who ordered the burning of all copies at the ranch, saying, “That was not my book. I’ve never read it. I am not a saviour. I am not a prophet. Nobody has ever been a saviour” (Spokesman Review [21.06.1985])”. (Carter in: Aveling 1999, pp. 183,189).

Palmer quoted by Aveling
“A celebration of the death of Rajneeshism took place at Rajneeshpuram in which a bonfire was made of copies of Sheela’s book Rajneeshism and her “pope’s robes”. The Rajneesh Times of October 4, 1985 offers Bhagwan’s explanations which reveal his acute concern for the problem of institutionalisation:
In an interview with Bill Graves of The Bulletin, Bhagwan said he decided to take these steps in an effort to keep his movements from becoming institutionalised.
The book and the word “Rajneeshism” were developed by Ma Anand Sheela against his wishes during his three-and-a-half-years of silence. “I hate the word ‘ism’.”” (Palmer in: Aveling 1999, p. 386)

Anando writes
“Bhagwan’s teaching had always been that organized religion with its dogma and tradition is anathema to the individual. Each person must seek freedom through religiousness, which is unique to each individual. Since the teaching was clear, there was no harm in calling the teaching “Rajneeshism” to satisfy the bureaucracy as long as sannyasins did not become confused by it.
Apparently, Sheela was the person most confused. She insisted that it was necessary to produce a book called “The Book of Rajneeshism” to satisfy the government, though no attorney had told her so. She had a book produced which set out the “traditions” and “practices” of the religion of Rajneeshism, and she took it seriously, insisting that those who traveled carry a copy with them at all times. Those testifying in court were told to insist on being sworn on it as though it were equivalent to the Bible, even though the Bible was not used in Oregon courtrooms. Sheela had a closet full of red robes made, allegedly at Bhagwan’s direction, and wore them on all “ceremonial” occasions. She even wore while traveling through Europe. She referred to herself as the “pope of Rajneeshism” until Bhagwan learned about it and told her to stop…
Sheela and her followers, Shanti Bhadra, Puja and Savita, refer to Sheela as the “First Rajneeshee.” In a sense they are right. Sheela was the first to believe in “Rajneeshism,” and she and her people are the only Rajneeshees. The rest are content to be sannyasins, traveling together on their individual paths.” (Appleton 1988, p. 68)

Maneesha remembers
“It was all so different from the religiousness we were living in Rajneeshpuram; in fact it was its very antithesis. So how, you will wonder, did we reconcile all that Bhagwan was saying about religion and priests versus true religiousness with the fact that we were now “Rajneeshees,” of the religion of “Rajneeshism,” with a bible called ‘The Book of Rajneeshism’ and our very own pope – who even had papal regalia for special occasions – in the form of Sheela? Bhagwan had reiterated so many times that the last place you can expect to experience God or feel the essence of religiousness is within the confines of a formal religion. Yet it was exactly what we appeared to have created.
I understood that Sheela was doing all this because we were applying for permission for Bhagwan to stay under the category of his being a religious teacher; and she wanted to substantiate that by having all the trappings of a formal religion. However, it appears she had been advised by our lawyers that this was not necessary. In fact it was actually obstructive when it came to the issue of the separation of church and state…
Perhaps, because Sheela could not or would not listen to him, Bhagwan was trying to tell us all through discourses that what we were doing, or allowing to be done, to his vision was the very thing that had been done to masters in the past. Perhaps what usually happened only after the master was dead, Bhagwan was allowing it to be played out now, while he was alive to watch what our response would be and to guide us…
If we had any questions about a disparity between Bhagwan’s vision and the actual way the commune was being run, we could read his words, selected under Sheela’s guidance, from her creation, ‘The Book of Rajneeshism’. If one still had questions, one was obviously just being negative, unsupportive – both of which might be remedied by a drink spiked with poison.” (Forman 1988, pp. 412,515)

Urban on Rajneeshism
“Nonetheless, in 1983 – in the midst of the dispute with the INS – Sheela announced the foundation of a new religion called “Rajneeshism,” complete with its own sacred texts, rituals, prayers, holidays, and clergy. In 1983 and 1984, the community published a number of texts that were primarily designed to assert the “religious” character of the Rajneesh movement in the United States. The first was a booklet entitled ‘Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ and His Religion, and the second was a fat, two-volume compilation called ‘The Rajneesh Bible’…
According to Rajneesh himself, when he reflected on this period after the collapse of the Oregon commune, the use of the term “religion” was initially simply a way to satisfy the INS, who were now threatening to deport him and his followers and needed a category in which to fit this unusual community. As he put it, the INS officials could only slot him into the category of “religion,” and that was the only reason that he accepted the label…
But regardless of the original motivation of the turn to “religion” [including tax exemption], it did seem to pay off for the Rajneesh community. In the spring of 1984, after receiving thousands of supporting materials, including letters of recommendation from followers, psychologists, and academics, the INS finally granted Rajneesh preferential status as a “religious worker.” It did not, however, rule on his residence application. And it did also not prevent an escalating series of attacks from government officials, politicians, journalists, and local residents over the next two years.” (Urban 2015, pp. 120,122,123)

Aveling writes on Sheela
“Leadership of the movement was placed firmly in the hands of the outspoken, Indian-born and America-educated, Ma Anand Sheela (see Milne, 1986, 131 for biographical details). “Rajneeshism” was proclaimed to be an organized religion on Dec 5, 1981 and codified in a small book published in July 1983. It was quickly consolidated into a highly authoritarian and hierarchical organization. The formal ecclesiastical structure included three categories of ministers. The “gacchamis” were recited morning and evening. The disciples worked long hours every day to transform Rancho Rajneesh into an utopian ecological community; this was referred to as “worship.” (Aveling 2012)

“Among other things, Sheela had tried to create the religion of Rajneeshism, publishing a red book with ‘commandments’ that were paraphrased sentences of the Master, spoken during his discourses. Her justification was that, in the United States, officially recognized religions enjoyed a lot of privileges, one of them being that we could remain undisturbed at the Ranch.
A few people believed this, but many of us remained sceptical. Osho had been speaking against organized religions his whole life, specifying that he’d done this in order to make sure there was no possibility of creating even a shadow of a religion after his death.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 242)

Punya writes on booklet
“The previous winter, while I was in Switzerland, a booklet called ‘Rajneeshism: An Introduction to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Religion’ was published by some people (on Sheela’s instructions) in Rajneeshpuram. When I saw it later I could not believe my eyes. First of all the word ‘Rajneeshism’ in the title: I knew how Osho loathed anything with an -ism at the end. The text, which described the celebrations and their dates, with dogmatic values and ideas as if we were a church, reminded me of the Catholic catechism booklet I had to learn by heart when I was a child. The churchy feel was perfectly reflected also in the outer appearance. I remember it as being an unaesthetic little paperback booklet of about 50 pages. There were two editions; one had a red-and-white cover, the other maroon. The text was printed on glossy paper in a calligraphy font. The only way to stomach such a thing was the thought that this publication could have helped Osho receive the status of a ‘spiritual leader’ which he deserved and which would have given him permanent residence in the States…
Similarly, I only have a vague memory that we eventually destroyed the Rajneeshism booklets in a public book-burning ceremony together with Sheela’s ‘pope’ outfit, a satiny red robe which she had worn for her public appearances.” (Punya 2015, pp. 273,275)

FitzGerald on booklet at her second visit in September 1983
“When I returned in September, everyone in the commune was chanting this prayer at the beginning and end of every workday. By then, the commune has also instituted a regular Sunday-evening darshan, where visitors and others could go and meditate or listen to Teertha [Devaraj] reading from the Master’s works…
In May, I learned that the guru had given some people the title acharya, or teacher…
But in July the commune published a booklet called “Rajneeshism,” which explained the religion in some detail…
The booklet was most obviously a plan for the perpetuation of the community of believers after the guru’s death…
Reading the booklet, I wondered if any of the Rajneeshee leaders had ever read Max Weber, for here was a textbook attempt to “routinize charisma.” Rajneeshism seemed, in fact, merely part of the whole enterprise taking shape at Rajneeshpuram. In Poona, the Buddhafield had been a realm of free play – a kind of psychic sandbox – but here it was becoming more and more formalized, businesslike, and institutional. In attempting to locate themselves within the American tradition, the Rajneeshee now compared themselves to the Mormons rather than to the Puritans or the Oneida Community. Just why this transformation was taking
place was not entirely clear.” (FitzGerald 1986, I pp. 90-92)

The burning of books that hold understandings diverging from a ruling ideology, be it political or religious, has been a current phenomenon throughout history. This is certainly not new to any reader. But a few events in this field will have to be pointed out. It’s all a matter of control over which sources are to be left behind to posterity.
The ‘burning of the books’, sometimes with the librarians on the bonfire too, had been state of the art in China since 220 BCE where all books in the imperial archives were set on fire. This was to be repeated on and on also in 1781 where 50.000 woodblocks was broken up to be used for firework and again, most recently, during the cultural revolution in the 1960s.
In Europe Protestants were as eager in this wiping out works by opponents as were the Catholics, but the prize will have to go to the ardent content of ‘Index Librorum Prohibitorum’ (formally abolished by Pope Paul VI in June 1966), the very symbol of intolerance. In the 1980s the Vatican influence not only on the Italian press, but also in a wider context, made it known that Osho was not to be mentioned anywhere, let alone accessioned to the Vatican Library.
After a council of Trento 1542, a new Roman Inquisition became the foremost tool in the protection of the faith, forbidding the sale or possession of any religious book which had not previously been approved by the ordinary who was to give his ‘nihil obstat’ (nothing forbids) to grant the ‘imprimatur’ (let it be printed). At that time Luther had already in 1520 burned the papist decree and had damnation bestowed upon him in other major works within Catholic theology.
Well known to most Westerners are the book burnings carried out in Nazi Germany in the early 1930s where authors with ‘entartet’ political or sexual standing were put on fire in the wake of the burning of Reichtag in 1933, Not that well known is yet another burning in August 1956, most likely noted by Osho, when Orgone Institute Press’ holdings of Wilhelm Reich’s books, adding up to six tons, were burned by American authorities at a refuse disposal plant near Hudson river following Reich’s conviction in June same year. The burned books included ‘The Sexual Revolution’, along with 20.000 copies of his printed magazine, ‘Orgone Energy Bulletin’. Wilhelm Reich and his therapy was known and used by Osho who also included his ‘Listen, Little Man’ in ‘Books I Have Loved’ (1985), and same title is quoted on back flap of Maneesha’s book on his World Tour (Forman 2002). So in the 20th century book-burnings were happening due to political or ethical agendas, providing a method of mind control with some connotations not too pleasant to present readers.
(Note: With his professional background the editor disagrees with the burning of books as well as people. At the square in Berlin where books were burned by the nazis in 1933, a memorial has been made. A small window in the pavement through which to look into an underground chamber with its empty shelves. At a plaque is written a prophetic warning dated 1820 to future generations by Heinrich Heine: ‘Where books are burned, you’ll end up burning people’).

Sheela on book burning
“Eine Massenablehnung meiner Person wurde inszeniert. Das Buch des Rajneeshismus wurde verbrannt, zusammen mit meinen Roben der Rajneesh-Akademie, die ich stolz getragen hatte und die Bhagwan entworfen hatte…
Nach meiner Abreise war aller Respekt bei den Sannyasins verschwunden. Sie sanken auf die Ebene der Massenmentalität ab. Sie beteiligten sich daran, die Stadt, die sie mit Liebe aufgebaut hatten, zu plündern – die Schöpfung eines Mannes, den sie liebten. Sie verbrannten ihren Respekt und ihre Religiösität zusammen mit dem Buch des Rajneeshismus.” (Sheela 1996, pp. 244,247)

Book burning
“Thousands of copies of ‘The Book of Rajneeshism’ are burned at the commune crematorium following Rajneesh’s announcement that the religion of Rajneeshism no longer exists. After the burning, Rajneesh appears on ABC’s ‘Nightline’ and demands that Attorney General David Frohnmayer drop his lawsuit contending that Rajneeshpuram violated the separation of church and state.” (McCormack 2010, p. 26)

Maneesha writes
“A week or so after Sheela left, we had a huge bonfire in which were burnt Sheela’s papal regalia and all available copies of ‘The Book of Rajneeshism’, a little book of her inspiration in which the tenets of Rajneeshism were laid out.” (Forman 1988, p. 495)

Question to Osho on Rajneeshism
“Beloved Master, I am celebrating the sudden and beautiful death of Rajneeshism, and the idea of a bonfire wholly of the book of Rajneeshism. But how can we burn the fire to destroy Rajneeshism within? Please explain.

That’s a very simple matter, because I have never taught you any religion. I have never taught you any belief system. If you have created something inside you, it is your doing. Undo it.
Today, we will be burning the book of Rajneeshism, symbolizing that we are not a religion but a way of life, a way of religiousness. There are no Rajneeshees, only friends of Rajneesh. Inside you, if you have created any idea of a religion – if you can create it, you can uncreate it.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 16, p. 200. 30.09.1985.

Book burning
“He [Osho] dealt the fatal blow, however, when he said he had never wanted a religion, that it was Sheela who had insisted on it. He invited his sannyasins to wear whatever coloured clothing they wanted and to take off their malas. He incited them to have a ceremonial burning of Sheela’s official satin robes and the ‘Book of Rajneeshism’ at the newly built crematorium. As they sang and rejoiced as the flames licked around the funeral pyre of robes and books, they could not know that they were burning their own hopes and dreams, and that the song they were singing was the swan song of the commune.” (Stork 2009, p. 199)

Sangeet on book burning
“When Sheela left the Ranch Osho asked people to burn the Rajneeshism books. Afterward, Osho thought US Immigration would argue that He couldn’t be a religious leader without a religion, so He declared His intention to fight this point.” (Ma Prem Sangeet. In: Viha Connection, 2010:6; From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 17)

“At the end of September, Rajneesh suddenly announced that his followers would no longer be required to wear red clothes or the “mala,” the 108-bead necklace with his picture. Then, after 4,000 to 5,000 copies of ‘The Book of Rajneeshism’ were burned in the commune’s outdoor crematorium in an elaborate nighttime ceremony, he proclaimed the end of the Rajneesh “religion” and suggested that Attorney General Frohnmayer drop his church-and-state suit against the city of Rajneeshpuram.” (McCormack 1987, p. 218)

On book burning
“Next, he declared that the religion she had created, Rajneeshism, was dead. Six thousand copies of the book she had published setting out the rules and regulations of the embryo religion were ritually burned.” (Fox 2002, p. 28)

Shanti Bhadra writes on Rajneeshism
“Among possible alternatives was a visa category for religious leaders, but to be a religious leader there must be a religion to lead. Bhagwan had always spoken vehemently against organised religion, but necessity is the mother of invention and he now went to work inventing religion. Modelling his religion on long-established organisations, he called it Rajneeshism. He dictated his bible to Sheela over a series of evenings, calling it the ‘Book of Rajneeshism’. He decreed that it be printed and bound in red bindings, perhaps a joke on Mao’s little red book. He created a priesthood and named dozens of sannyasins to it. There were different categories, the names of which I no longer remember. I was named to the category of priests who could perform the ceremonies of marriage and death. He named Sheela to a priestly race and appointed her the temporal head of the Church. Whenever she appeared in public in her religious capacity, she was to wear red satin robes and a red satin scarf on her head.” (Stork 2009, p. 146)

Satya Bharti recalls
“In a typical grandiose display, Sheela’s red “pope’s outfit” and thousands of copies of The Rajneesh Bible were burnt to ashes, sannyasins singing and dancing around the funeral pyre. Now I read, Bhagwan was “profoundly saddened” by people’s reaction to the death of Rajneeshism. They’d stopped wearing malas and red clothes, buying everything the boutique had in blue and green as if they’d been waiting for an opportunity to reject him.” (Franklin 1992, p. 315)

Carter writes
“The only attempt to codify Rajneesh beliefs and practices is the so-called “Bible of the Rajneesh” (Academy of Rajneeshism, 1983) which establishes levels of clergy and lifestage rituals (birth, death, marriage). This codification was repudiated by Bhagwan in October, 1985 as a creation of misguided followers.” (Carter. In: Aveling 1999, p. 183)

FitzGerald on Rajneeshism
“Toward the end of September, Rajneesh announced that “Rajneeshism had been entirely Sheela’s invention: he himself had never claimed to be a religious leader – indeed, he had never been anything more than a friend to his sannyasins. He urged the commune members to destroy all traces of the religion and said there was no necessity for them to wear malas and sunset-colored clothes. Obligingly, his disciples made a bonfire of Sheela’s red robes and all available copies of the booklet “Rajneeshism,” and sang and danced around the flames.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 110)

Later on Osho talked on dropping the malas
“Just to protect you, I have withdrawn your malas. You will feel sad for it but it is necessary that you should not be recognized as my people. Otherwise, everywhere you will be harassed. It is not only in India. In Australia sannyasins have been beaten, in England sannyasins have been beaten. In Germany sannyasins have been thrown out of their jobs. It is a global phenomenon.” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 22, p. 449.

“Rajneeshism is dead. I wanted it to be dead before I drop my body. This has happened for the first time… and I wanted it to happen because I wanted to be certain that only the fragrance remains, not a dead structure, because the fragrance cannot be represented by the priests and the popes, and the fragrance cannot create religions. It may once in a while touch a man and drive him almost crazy with joy…
But Gautam Buddha did not allow the religion to die before his eyes; he forgot that what he is teaching, the priests will distort. They will create a structure which will be absolutely against him.
Buddha has said, for example – his last words were, “Don’t make any statues of me. I am not a god. And do not worship me, because I do not want to be reduced into a lower status. You can love me, but you cannot worship me. Love does not need statues and temples.”
But the day he died just the opposite happened. It is very surprising; he was the only man in history who said, “Don’t make my statues” – and in the world there are more statues of Gautam Buddha than anybody else. There was a time when there were only statues of Gautam Buddha and in a few languages like Arabic, Urdu, Persian, the word ‘buddha’ became synonymous with statue. His were the only statues, so in Arabic and Urdu ‘budh’ – that is their way of calling Buddha – means statue, and ‘budhkanna’ means the temple where the statue of Buddha is stationed. This is just an example.” Socrates Poisoned again after 25 Centuries (1988). Chapter 16, p. 222. Crete, 27.02.1986am.

Mistlberger on Sheela
“During Osho’s three-plus-years of silence, Sheela was given enormous power and ran the Oregon commune essentially as a dictator. During that time she began to see herself as both a queen and a pope, and even dressed the part, decking herself out in red robes, and wearing her mala (the 108 beads with Osho’s photo attached to a locket) with white pearls, wrapped around her head like some sort of garish Tantric miter – the pistol-packing pontiff herself.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 291)

Bodhena on organized religion
“In many ways, we started to behave more like an organized, established religion, very much in contrast to the spontaneous and earthy spirituality that had become something like a trademark for being a sannyasin. We were now officially registered as a church, and thousands of copies of a small booklet were printed, an introduction to the “religion” of “Rajneeshism”, edited by the “Academy of Rajneeshism”. New publications of Osho’s discourses were published by “Bodhisattvaa Ma Anand Sheela, M.M., D.Phil.M., D.Litt.M.(RIMU), Acharya”. Other sannyasins, like the editors, were sporting similar titles. Sheela herself was running around in a costume looking like the pope, and that guy certainly had never been a role model for us. Everywhere on the Ranch, before and after work, we were kneeling down and doing the “Gachchamis” (originally a very beautiful Buddhist chant we first started using in 1981 when Osho had given his May satsangs), after someone had given the “reminders”. Work departments became “temples”, the work itself became “worship”.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 137)

Vasumati writes
“As part of complex legal manoeuvres going on in Oregon connected with visas and planning permission, we now belonged to a new religion – Rajneeshism. Religious teachers can allegedly get Green Cards more easily. When the fact Bhagwan had not spoken for several years went against his religious leader status, suddenly – a miracle! It was discovered Bhagwan had been adopted by an American couple as a boy and this had been completely forgotten. Here were the papers to prove it. I think the couple were relatives of Sheela – another amazing synchronicity.
In line with now being a religion, we were each given a book outlining the basic tenets of Rajneeshism, a little red book, a Tantric Catechism. There was even a Rajneesh Bible. It seemed we were collectively becoming what we hated.
I could perhaps have spared a compassionate thought or two for the mommas and co-ordinators who had to be on message and uphold all this rubbish with a straight face in meetings. But I didn’t. I felt less compassion and more hostility. The worm was really turning now. An oil tanker has apparently a turning circle of eight miles; I can only conclude my inner worm was extremely long too…
And when all the Rajneesh Bibles [not Bibles, but the catechism] were ceremoniously burned in the yard behind the disco, and I hated them as much as anyone, I could not dance around the flames. I stood with other counter-revolutionary veterans from where we silently looked on from the shadows.” (Geraghty 2007, pp. 224,227)

5.11 Periodicals

Osho’s move from Poona to Oregon not only meant a change in the format and design of published books with discourses and darshan diaries, but also a change in the publishing of newsletters, papers and magazines. Over and out were ‘Rajneesh. Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’ and ‘Sannyas’ magazine and up came ‘Rajneesh Foundation International Newsletter’, ‘The Rajneesh Times’ and ‘Bhagwan’ magazine.

Mann writes on periodicals
“In addition to books, the cult began to publish glossy monthly magazines in the later 1970s. The first was called ‘Sannyas’. The early ones were mainly sold at the various meditation Centres and at the Poona bookstore. They carried translations of Rajneesh’s discourses and news and cult promotion items. With the move to Oregon, this practice was diversified. First, the ‘Rajneesh Times’, a weekly, began publication in 1982 with a circulation of about 5000 and by 1984, had grown to include 12 pages. It featured news items of the cult’s struggle with various Oregon groups and authorities, changes and new developments in the commune – or elsewhere – editorials, informative articles, an astrology column and some ads. Its ambience was thoroughly optimistic and positive. In 1983, it was displayed for sale in Europe, including Germany. Then to capture the national market there and in Japan, by 1984, German, Dutch, Italian and Japanese editions began to appear.
Meantime, new monthly periodicals made their appearance. In 1982, the ‘Rajneesh International Newsletter’, mainly devoted to reprinting one or more of his discourses appeared and then in 1984, the glossy magazine, ‘Bhagwan’. This devoted itself to extolling topics such as the Bombay Days, sex and marriage and included both historical surveys of Rajneesh’s words or works and the latest of his revelations, such as his predictions regarding AIDS. All three publications, after 1982, devoted increasing space to articles or stories uncritically lauding individual Rajneeshees for specific achievements or groups like the commune’s peace force. In short, they performed the usual functions of a house organ.” (Mann 1991, p. 149)

Bhagawati on newspapers and the start of Viha Connection
“In the beginning there was the ‘Rajneesh Newsletter’ – a few huge yellow-colored sheets with discourses by Osho and at times Yatri’s so endearing cartoons. The ‘Sannyas Magazine’ was implemented toward the end of the Pune One era, to be followed up with the ‘Rajneesh Times’ in Rajneeshpuram. This was to be a newspaper spreading only positive news, yet had to fold in the wake of the autumn 1985 demise. However, a few friends, Bhasha, Hina, Maitreya and Bodhi, picked it up again calling it the ‘Rajneesh Newspaper’ and managed to spread the word for a while longer. Remember, no internet in those days!
A future event began to unfold when Dhanyam and Avinasho met on the Ranch, in the summer of 1985. He was a bus driver and she a cleaner in Raidas. Avinasho says, “One day I got on his bus, we hugged, and that was how it all began! We left the Ranch separately as he wanted to visit his family in New York, but in December 1985 we met up in Laguna Beach where we lived for two months. In the spring of 1986 we moved north to the San Francisco Bay Area and took over the Rajneesh Viha Meditation Center, which so far had existed pretty much on paper only.”” (, 20.03.2011)

Rajneesh Newsletter & The Rajneesh Times

* Rajneesh Foundation International Newsletter. March 21, 1982 (Vol 1, Nr.1) – September 15, 1985 (Vol 4, Nr.13). Fortnightly. Published by Rajneesh Foundation International, Jesus Grove. 8 pages with insert. Tabloid format. Illustrated with b/w photos.
Continuation of: Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter (Poona).

Rajneesh Newsletter. Selected articles:

– Letter from Sheela. 1982:1.
– “Please do not abbreviate ‘Rajneesh Sannyas Ashram’ and ‘Rajneesh Meditation Center’. These names must be used in full at all times, including advertisements.” 1982:2.
– In most issues: Rancho Roundup. News from the commune.
– Rajneeshpuram. The Seeds of a City. 1982:3.
– “Please Note. This is to inform you that Michael Barnett, ex-Sw Anand Somendra, has been expelled from sannyas and is no longer a sannyasin. As he and his work are not in accordance with Bhagwan’s guidance and teachings, all centers and sannyasins and lovers of Bhagwan are requested not to be involved with Michael Barnett or with his work in any way.” 1982:9.
– Rajneeshpuram elects city council. 1982:11.
– The Bond Programme. Advertisement. 1982:11.
– A plan for a city. 1982:13.
– Comment by Don Hewitt on Bhagwan in ’60 Minutes’. 1982:18.
– Letter from Sheela on Hugh Milne. Comment by Pramod. 1982:19.
– Darshans with Teertha begins 12.02.1983 pm. 1983:1.
– Religious Pilgrimages. Visas denied. 1983:1.
– Shela performing Invocation at State Senate in Salem. 1983:3,4.
– Rajneeshpuram listed in The Oregon Blue Book gazetteer. 1983:4.
– Gachchamis and temples introduced. 1983:6.
– Names of locations on the Ranch explained. 1983:7.
– Anand Niketan Rajneesh Meditation Center, Copenhagen. 1983:12.
– Letter from Sheela on Bhagwan speaking only to her. 1983:15.
– Letter from Sheela on INS’s turning down Bhagwan’s petition for permanent resident status in America. 1983:21.
– Share-A-Home program. 1984:15.
– Answering question from journalist during drive-by. 1984:16.
– Bhagwan starting giving discourses again. 1984:16.
– Downtown Rajneeshpuram, The Rajneesh Bookstore. 1984:17
– Sweepstakes to build the Academy of Rajneeshism. 1984:23.
– Questions asked in The Rajneesh Bible, vols I-III. 1985:1.
– Sw Bodhimitra cremated. 1985:5.
– Wildflowers and trees on the Ranch. 1985:6.
– Lecture on the importance of his books.RB, vol VI,#11. 1985:12.
– Presentation of new published books, doublepage. 1985:12.
– Rancho Rajneesh: The Rajneesh Bible. 1985:12.

Letter from Sheela in first issue of Rajneesh Newsletter
“Hi There! I’m not very good at writing long flowery letters. I guess it’s not my style. I’m just a down-to-earth housewife who’s got the job of keeping a 64,229 acre home tidy, busy and growing as fast as possible. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of hard work… and it also happens to be driving me crazy!
I’d like to tell you all that I love you, but that would ruin my reputation as a tough guy – and believe me you gotta be tough to run an outfit like this! Seems like Louis L’Amour was right: the West is a place where you’ve gotta walk tall, sit straight in the saddle and not take lip from anybody.
So, even though I do love and miss you all, don’t start spreading it around that I’ve gone soft, okay?
Love, Sheela.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1982:1)

“Rajneesh Foundation International Newsletter.
* Bhagwan’s message for today’s world
* Latest developments in the living religion of Rajneeshism
* Twice a month
* Illustrated.
Rajneesh Foundation International Newsletter is published twice each month by Rajneesh Foundation International, Rajneeshpuram, OR 97741 USA. It contains excerpts from Bhagwan’s discourses and a wide range of articles dealing with Bhagwan’s vision and work, sannyas and individual sannyasins, new developments in Rajneeshism, and stories about Rancho Rajneesh.”
(The Rajneesh Bible (1985). Vol I)

Heading: He Stays Now for Us…
“Every evening Ma Anand Sheela meets with Bhagwan and reads to Him letters which sannyasins all over the world send to Him: requests for guidance, messages of love, anecdotes and gossip. Bhagwan responds to these letters through Sheela. From time to time He also tells her amusing stories or speaks to her about the development of His spiritual work. For example, in June this year Bhagwan described to her in detail His vision of how the world will evolve over the next ten years.
Sheela passes these stories or messages on to the commune here either at weekly meetings of ranch coordinators or at general meetings of the whole community so that everyone can share in the “juice.” When the message is of general interest to sannyasins everywhere, Sheela writes about it in the Newsletter.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1982:19)

* The Rajneesh Times. Oregon. 03.09.1982 – 29.11.1985 (Vol 4, No.15). Weekly newspaper on Fridays. Editor: Ma Prem Isabel (1982). Ma Mary Catherine (November 1983). De facto editor: Sw Anand Subhuti. Publisher: Ma Deva Samya (1983). 8 pages. From 1983 growing to 12/16/20/24 pages. Tabloid format. From April 1983 in broadsheet format, 10 pages. 25 cents. $18/year. Initial run: 1,000 copies.

Subheading: ‘America’s best newspaper in America’s best city.
Positive journalism direct from the source.’
Change of subheading October 1985: ‘A newspaper with a vision’.
‘Kids Corner’ on last page.

The Rajneesh Times. Selected articles:

Vol 1
– Letters to the editor are welcome. We invite you to be humorous, positive and sincere. 1982:3.
– Meeting Bhagwan face to face. By Kirk Braun. 1982:4.
– Public agencies comments on City of Rajneeshpuram Comprehensive Plan. 1982:5.
– Space-age greenhouse takes of. 1982:5.
– Immigration officials turn down Bhagwan’s petition as religious worker. 1982:17.
– Disciples petition for Bhagwan’s mother to stay. 1982:22.
– Brave New World. By Kirk Braun. On seminar. 1982:22.
– Sweet Land of Liberty. A Poem by Kirk Braun. 1982:23.
– Hotel Rajneesh, Portland, opens to public. 1983:25.
– University course by Dr. Ted Shay on the community. 1983:25.
– Feature: Sw Anand Subhuti on ‘The Wild Geese’. 1983:27.
– Sw Das Anudas on Rajneeshism and New Age Movement. 1983:28.
– Rajneeshees of the press/Capitol. By Ron Blankenbaker. 1983:29.
– Greetings ad from The Rajneesh Estate. Hollywood. 1983:29.
– Greetings ad from Rolls-Royce of Beverly Hills, Ltd. 1983:29.
– Sheela with hands raised leads prayer in Senate Salem. 1983:30.
– Change to broadsheet format. 1983:34. 22.04.1983.
– The Paradox of Rajneeshism. 1983:34.
– Editor prints letters from Senator Mark Hatfield. 1983:34.
– Festival Facts& Figures. 1983:35.
– Oregon professor Ronald O. Clarke studies Bhagwan. 1983:35.
– Evergreen students study Rajneesh culture. 1983:35.
– Magazine Recalls Bhagwan’s ‘Bombay Years’. 1983:35.
– Kirk Braun on Dr. Cari Shay report: Who Guards the Guardians? on 50 pages to the Senate Salem. Including extracts. 1983:35.
– Zorba the Buddha Rajneesh Bakery Cafe, Portland. 1983:37.
– Largest order for Bhagwan’s books. 1983:38.
– Sheela and Sw. Prem Jayananda’s second wedding. 1983:38.
– Ad: Special Master’s Day Issue. Press Run: 20,000. 1983:38.
– Buddha Hall – awaiting the pilgrims. 1983:39.
– Oregon’s History of Prejudice. Sw Sarvananda. 1983:41.
– 2nd Festival. Meditation begins in Buddha Hall. 1983:44.
– Communes of America. Sw Sarvananda. 1983:44.
– Festival issue with several sections and color photos. 1983:45.
– Teertha initiating disciples & Satsang in Buddha Hall. 1983:45.
– Caption: ‘Earlier this year Dalai Lama praised Bhagwan’s religious work in a speech at Bodh Gaya, India’. 1983:45.
– The Rajneesh Commune. Sw Sarvananda. 1983:45.
– 2nd annual world celebration in pictures. 1983:45. 08.07.83
– Feature on Oregon’s U.S. Senators. 1983:46.
– Changes at Rancho Rajneesh since July 1981. 1983:46.
– Rajneeshism publishes its first official introduction. 1983:47.
– Carlo Mazzerella and Italian TV crew at Ranch. 1983:47.
– Feature: Rancho Rajneesh. RT special survey. 1983:48.
– Feature: Visitors’ questions. 1983:50.
– Museum planned by Bhagwan’s disciples. 1983:51.
– Bhagwan answers questions from Kirk Braun. 1983:51.
– Book by Bob Mullen forthcoming. 1983:51.
– Semographic survey by Prof. Richard Littman. 1983:51.
– Bhagwan speaks to INS in Portland. 1983:52.
Vol 2
– Special Mahapanirvana issue in color. 09.09.1983. 1983:2
– Satsang September 8pm. 1983:2.
– Plans to enclose Buddha Hall to birthday celebration 1983:2.
– Prison library project. 1983:5.
– Feature: Rajneeshpuram Peace Force. 1983:5.
– LA Herald exposes Oregon’s anti-Rajneesh bigots. 1983:5.
– Graphics from Naropa. Vol 2. 1983:6. 07.10.1983.
– Color photo of Shela on front page. 1983:7.
– University of Oregon survey presented. Sundberg/Latkin. 1983:7.
– City under siege. By Ma Mary Catherine. 1983:9.
– Interview with Semu Huaute, medicine man. 1983:10-11.
– Birth of Dutch Rajneesh Times. 1983:12. 18.11.1983.
– New RT corporation. Editor: Ma Mary Catherine. 1983:13.
– Feature on Governor Vic Atiyeh. 1983.13.
– Sw Anand Subhuti writes article on earthquakes. 1983:18
– Chart of Rajneeshpuram. Swamu Prem Kabir. 1983:18.
– Kirk Braun writes on extremist opponents. 1984:20. 13.01.84.
– Wholistic Planning… / Ma Mary Catherine. 24.02.1984.
– Sw Deva Wadud. City Planner. Interview. 09.03.1984.
– Celebration issue. Color photo of Bhagwan. 1984:30. 23.03.84.
– Rancho Rajneesh Farmers… By Ma Mary Catherine. 13.04.1984.
– Satsang in Rajneesh Mandir 21.03.1984am. 1984:30.
– Darshan in Rajneesh Mandir 21.03.1984pm. 1984:30.
– Rajneesh Bookstore, Zen Crossing, Downtown. 1984:30.
– Wildlife flourishes. 1984:35.
– Random shot. Science fiction by Sw Anand Subhuti. 1984:35.
– Utsava, The Church of Rajneeshism, Laguna Beach, CA. 1984:35.
– Kirk Braun on federal legislation. 1984:36.
– Sw Dhyan John on tour guiding. 1984:37.
– Happy Birthday Rajneeshpuram. 1984:38.
– Chinese translations planned for Bhagwan’s books. 1984:38.
– Interview with James Coburn. By Ma Prem Hasya. 1984:38.
– Prof. Edward Mann visits to research book. 1984:38.
Vol 3
– Happy Maharapanirvana Day. 1984:2. 07.09.1984.
– Saving the John Day watershed. 1984:2.
– Sheela statement on press conference 18.09. SAH. 1984:4.
– Sheela interviewed on Crossfire TV, Washington. 1984:7.
– Interview with Ma Deva Waduda. 1985:28. 08.03.1985.
– Ad SORW and new photobiography covering 1978-1984. 1985:28.
– Surprise visit from Denmark. Ma Nidhi’s family. 1985:32.
– Sw. Narendra Bodhisattva joins wife Ma Prem Anubodhi. 1985:33.
– Sw. Satya Vedant on the saga of Rolls Royces. 1985:33.
– Irrigation: Making the land lush & Recycling metal. 1985:33.
– Letters Jim Weaver – Ma Shanti Bhadra on poisoning. 1985:33.
– City celebrates 3rd anniversary. 1985:39. 24.05.1985.
– Letter from Sheela on bill to ban big celebration. 1985:39.
– Interview with Ma Yoga Laxmi when in INS office. 1985:45. 5.7.
– American Religious Freedom Foundation founded. 1985:45.
– Medical Symposium on AIDS. 1985:45. 05.07.1985.
– Bhagwan on ‘Good Morning, America!’ TV show. 1985:47.
– Bhagwan shares His wisdom with the world press. 1985:48.
– Exclusive interview with The Rajneesh Times, Prabhu. 1985:49.
– Sheela interview on Cable News Network. 1985:50.
Vol 4
– Interview with Ma Anand Puja on AIDS. 1985:1. 30.08.1985.
– Tomorrowland. Fiction. Part One. 1985:3.
– Review of Glimpses of a Golden Childhood. 1985:3.
– Sheela Flees – Crimes Revealed. 1985:4.
– Three Days in September. Sw Anand Subhuti. 20.09.1985
– Impartiality of police investigation questioned. 1985:5.
– Late News Extra: No more Rajneeshism & red clothes. 1985:5.
– Editorial by Subhuti, Ma Prem Smita & Mary Catherine. 1985:5.
– Ma Yoga Mukta encounters Sheela in Zürich. 1985:5.
– Sheela’s Swiss account may hold $43 million. 1985:5.
– Selections from press conference. 1985:5.
– Review of Yallop: In God’s Name (1984). 1985:5.
– Ready for innocence now, kids. 1985:5.
– Sheela’s ‘Pope’ robes burned. 1985:6.
– Investigation speeds up: subpoenas and searches. 1985:6.
– New Community Information Center opens. 1985:6.
– Bhagwan ‘A religion has died’. Press conference. 1985:6.
– The Chronicles of Prince Charming. Subhuti. 1985:6.
– Antelope may get its name back. 1985:6.
– Circulation. Total print. Average each issue: 4200. 1985:7.
– Amrito: The case against a commune revolution. 1985:7.
– New president Ma Prem Anudadha interviewed. 1985:7.
– Public notices on vacant positions. 1985:7.
– Out of the inner chaos. 1985:8.
– How do you feel about…? By Sw. Anand Subhuti. 1985:8.
– Sheela and the Stern gang. By Sw Satyananda. 1985:8.
– Rajneesh Friends International is born. 1985:8.
– Editorial: Back to the here and now. Sw. Satyananda. 1985:9.
– New plans for design of campus of RIMU. 1985:9.
– Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh arrested. 1985:10
– Has Bhagwan left? By Sw Satyananda. 1985:10.
– Betrayed by America. By Sw Anand Subhuti. 1985:10.
– Hasya, John and Anuradha meet the press. 1985:10
– The journalists couldn’t believe their ears. 1985:10.
– Interview with Bhagwan at Nightline 29.10 pm. 1985:10.
– Just an ordinary flight.. By Sw Satyam Anando. 1985:10.
– Sw. David, vice-president and Ma Sujato, treasurer. 1985:10.
– Sheela arrested same day as Bhagwan. Sw. Nirvano. 1985:10.
– Will Justice Prevail? By Ma Mary Catherine, editor. 1985:11.
– The world’s most famous prisoner. Mary Catherine. 1985:11.
– Bhagwan’s health of utmost importance. 1985:11.
– Affidavit reveals much. By Sw Satyam Anando. 1985:11.
– Vivek and Devaraj are back! Commune meeting. 1985:11.
– Bhagwan’s nurse: Just a real pleasure. Ma Atandra. 1985:11.
– Bhagwan held incommunicado. Color frontpage. 1985:11.
– Interview with Ma Anand Poonam. 1985:11.
– Special edition. Words from Bhagwan. 1985:12. 11.11.1985.
– The Odyssey of Bhagwan to Portland. Mary Catherine. 1985:12.
– Hasya and John announce Bhagwan’s return. 1985:12.
– Sunshine tells press of Bhagwan’s mistreatment. 1985:12.
– Bhagwan leaves the United States. 1985:13. 15.11.1985.
– An interview with Ma Dharma Chetana. 1985:13
– Religions in the courts. Sw Veeten. 1985:13.
– Charlotte in Bhagwan’s wake. Sw Prem Nirvano. 1985:13.
– Native Americans meet in Portland. 1995:13.
– An open letter to my friend. Sw Prem Amitabh. 1985:13.
– Community meeting 14.11.1985. 1985:13.
– Bhagwan returns to His motherland. 1985:14.
– Sale of the century – 86 Rolls Royces. 1985:14.
– The truth of the matter. Sw Satyam Anando. 1985:14.
– The future of the commune. 1985:14.
– Oregon Odyssey. The story of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His disciples, and their attempts to create a spiritually-based commune in Central Oregon. Compiled by Sw Anand Subhuti. 1985:14. Section B. 5 pages.
– Hasya: ‘New commune is Poona.’ 1985:15. 29.11.1985.
– Disciples depart as Oregon commune closes down. 1985:15.
– The future of RIMU in America. 1985:15.
– Krishna Deva testifies. 1985.15.
– Interview with Oyaté Sunkawakan Waste. 1985:15.
– The house where Nobody lived. Photos. By Subhuti. 1985:15.
This Thanksgiving issue is last issue: Vol 4 1985:15. 29.11.1985.

Roshani Shay in her chronology
“Sept 3: Distribution of 1500 copies of the first issue of The Rajneesh Times weekly newspaper…
March 3: It is reported that there has been an ongoing Press Room squabble at the State Capitol on whether reporters from the Rajneesh Times (circulation 2599) should be given legislative press credentials; some raised an objection to the credentialing on the grounds that some Rajneeshee had registered as lobbyists; a Capitol Press Corps meeting on this date settlers the issue by agreeing to recommend that a pass be granted, with only one dissenting vote…
Apr 1: It is reported that: the Dalai Lama of Tibet praised the work of Bhagwan on February 3 in India; the first issue of the German Rajneesh Times has been circulated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria; the greatest number of Rajneeshee in Western Europe reside in Germany, where there are 40 meditation centers and 1400 businesses (including 13 Zorba the Buddha restaurants)…
Nov 18: Reported that the first issue of the Dutch Rajneesh Times printed Oct. 19…
Nov 25: Reported that the Rajneesh Times recently sold by Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune (RNSIC) for $15,000 to the newly formed Rajneesh Times Incorporated, a new editor chosen; weekly circulation has reached about 4000 in just over one year…
Dec 18: U.S. Second Congressional District candidate campaign committee runs full page ad in Bend Bulletin claiming the paper is biased in favor of the Rajneeshee and against her because its facilities are used to print The Rajneesh Times for an income of about $35,00 per year and which reprints an Oct. 14 anti-Rajneeshee speech which she made in the Dalles…
Feb. 1: First edition of the British Rajneesh Times issued; first Italian edition issued in Milan last week…
Jan 2: British Rajneeshee parade through Fleet Street in London distributing copies of the new edition of the Rajneesh Times…
Feb 17: Average size of Rajneesh Times edition is 22 pages, 4000 copies circulate to 16,000 readers (30% in Rajneeshpuram, 14% in Oregon, many of which are complimentary or exchange copies, 22% to other western states, 33% to other states and countries); six independent editions of the Rajneesh Times now published in the US, Germany, Holland, Italy, UK and Japan and another planned for Australia; 8000 copies of the German Rajneesh Times sold regularly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Dutch edition which is now bi-monthly is soon to go weekly…
Mar 2: Salem Statesman-Journal editorial and regular columnist take ONPA to task for rejecting the membership application of The Rajneesh Times…
Apr 13: Rajneesh Times editorial cites “bullying tactics of the INS”: calling the parents of Rajneeshee at Rajneeshpuram and repeating unfounded rumours; intimidating ex-spouses of Rajneeshee; sending negative press clippings to embassies abroad to influence officials there to deny visitors’ visas to those travelling to Rajneeshpuram; distributing negative press clippings to Rajneeshee entering the country, especially through Seattle… Rajneeshee in Denmark manufacture massage tables and meditation stools, own a restaurant in a ten-year old center housing 30-40 residents and own an island cottage…
June 15: 400 daily guests reported at Poona Commune, which holds meditation camps, has a touring book exhibition and publishes the Indian version of the Rajneesh Times…
July 6: Rajneesh Times issues an astrology coloring book… an Australian edition of the Rajneesh Times is expected to join those in Britain, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan and 2 in India…
Dec 21: The Rajneesh Times comments on bigotry in Oregon (an editorial and a major feature article citing specific data and instances) and quiet in Wasco County since the election…
Mar 22: The Rajneesh Times comments on a recent debate between a sannyasin (Ma Anand Bhagawati) and a German critic of Bhagwan…
July 10: The Oregonian, Part 11,..quotes Forbes, Gibb, Milne saying Sheela controls content of The Rajneesh Times, regularly uses document shredders…
July 26: The Rajneesh Times comments on the recent Word Press Conference at Rajneeshpuram…
Aug 2: The Rajneesh Times print quotes from several recent media interviews with Bhagwan…
Nov 11: Special “Welcome Home” edition of The Rajneesh Times runs feature on Bhagwan’s “Odyssey” from Charlotte to court in Portland…
Nov 29: The last issue of The Rajneesh Times published at Rajneeshpuram includes a photo essay of Bhagwan’s house there and lists 35 centers around the world with addresses and phone numbers…
30.11: Ma Mary Catherine, editor of The Rajneesh Times says the newspaper’s employees and their families may move to Boulder, Co “because of its cosmopolitan flavor and reputation for tolerance.”” (Shay 1990)

“The Rajneesh Times is a new weekly newspaper covering all aspects of community activities at Rajneeshpuram in Oregon. If you would like to be a subscriber, please fill out the form below.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1982:13)

Heading: Stop Press…
“Hold the front page!” This classic editor’s cry was heard for the first time in Rajneeshpuram recently when it was realized that The Rajneesh Times could not publish a last-minute story about Bhagwan’s visit to Portland for talk with US immigration officials.
The idea was attractive, but not without problems. Production of the Rajneesh Times, a weekly newspaper which has been appearing each Friday since September 3 this year, is governed by a series of typesetting, and printing deadlines that normally preclude late-breaking stories.
But when it was learned that Bhagwan would be flying to Portland on Thursday October 14 – the day before publication – the extra effort had to be made. “We just had to get the story on our front page that same week,” said Ma Prem Isabel, the paper’s editor. “We couldn’t let all the other newspapers in Oregon get the story ahead of us!” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1982:17)

Heading: Rajneesh Times under new ownership
“Rajneeshpuram – After one year of publication The Rajneesh Times has been sold by Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune to a new, independent corporation called The Rajneesh Times Inc.
Ma Deva Samya, a resident of the city, is president of the corporation which bought the newspaper for $15,000. She also works for the newspaper as its publisher.
Ma Mary Catherine, a regular contributor to the paper, is treasurer and secretary of the corporation and has also been appointed editor…
The circulation has grown from zero to 4,000 in just over a year, making it one of the largest weekly newspapers in central Oregon.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1983:13. 25.11.1983)

Dell Murphy narrates from 1983:
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times.
“The Rajneeshees were understandably pleased that the legislators would take this unprecedented action, coming to see for themselves what was taking place at the ranch. And their courtesy and even a few kind words – that was enough to make them all go melty inside! So what they did was make it their lead story in the Rajneesh Times. They even carried a picture of Rep. Otto and some of the members of his committee.
Who knows what repercussions this may have caused among Rep. Otto’s constituents. It may even have been the inspiration for the song composed and sung by the lobbyists at the end-of-session party at the Capitol Club a few months later.
In a skit portraying legislators setting off for a visit to Rajneeshpuram, they sang a song entitled “Don’t Put My Picture on The Cover Of The Rajneesh Times.” It was sung to the tune of “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” and it went like this:

We’re elected officials with sensitive egos
And we like to look good to the folks
But the press keeps searching and opponents keep lurching
To make us the brunt of their jokes.
There are few things sacred in conducting our business
‘Cause watchdogs are out for a find.
But the real gut ripper is to get your picture
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times
Rajneesh Times
Don’t put my picture on the cover
Rajneesh Times
Don’t put my picture on the cover
Rajneesh Times
Don’t put my picture on the cover
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times

We’ve all been invited to fly Bhag United
To the Rancho of the orange and the red
Most sent their staff and some got the shaft
When the cameras got shots of their head
We found it unique and a little bit mystique
But we dare not share it with our Friends
But what does it differ when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times

Well the Bhag has his Rolls and we have our polls
And we’d like to share in his dough
We’ll give him a city, let him sit pretty
It’ll match up with all of our goals
Rajneeshees are aggressive and generally impressive
And they seem quite normal to us
But to give them a plug is like spreading your mug
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times
Rajneesh Times
Please put my picture on the cover
Rajneesh Times
Please send five copies to my mother
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times
On the cover of the Rajneesh Times.”
(Murphy 1986, pp. 82-84)

Osho on the newspaper Rajneesh Times in October 1985
“Swami Anand Subhuti: Bhagwan, you have said that freedom of expression is the foundation of democracy, but this newspaper is in a unique situation, because it is part of a community that is being guided by an enlightened master. In the past, anything that was said criticizing the commune, the city, and the corporations here, or simply offering an alternative viewpoint, was censored by Sheela and her group on the grounds that it was against your vision. Is there a role for criticism and freedom of expression here now?

This newspaper is certainly not an ordinary newspaper. It is not just that you are collecting news and printing it.
It has a certain purpose behind it. It has a message, and you have to keep in mind that whatever you do, whatever you write, it does not go against the message.
This paper is not a mere newspaper. It is a messenger. So you have to keep alert that it beats with my heart, that it keeps in tune with me, that it does not lose contact with my vision.
If you simply want it to be a newspaper, then my name should be removed from it. Then you can collect all kinds of stupid things that are happening around the world: murders, suicides, wars; and certainly you will be selling better. You can make it sensational, which all the newspapers of the world are doing. They don’t have a vision. They don’t have a message. They are only a business, in search of sensation.
If they can get sensation, good; if they cannot get, then they have to create, because it is sensation that sells. And the motive behind those newspapers is earning. That is not the motive behind your newspaper.
We are not concerned whether we sell to millions of people or not. Our concern is not sensational, but to spread the message, and anything that you can find in the world happening which supports the message, choose it. But the message remains your criterion.
So your freedom of expression is absolutely there, but you have accepted a vision; now you have to use your ability of expression to make that vision available to as many people as possible. That will be your creativity.
But if my newspaper starts writing something against my own message, and you call it freedom of expression, then you are not being a gentleman. Then you should start a newspaper of your own and use your freedom of expression.
My newspaper has to be my freedom of expression, and you have to give it form, reality, relevant context. Your work is more difficult, because you have to constantly remember that it is not going to be against my message. And my message is your message. If it goes against me, it is going against you.
Freedom of expression does not mean suicide. That will be suicidal. So you have to be alert. Then there is no need for anybody else to prevent you from doing something. But if you are not responsible, then somebody else will interfere.
And now that Sheela is gone… She herself was not fulfilling my vision. She was trying to do her own trip in my name. She was taking an advantage, which is absolutely ugly.
So now your responsibility becomes even bigger, because I never read your newspaper, so I don’t know what you are doing in it. I trust you, and I have lived my whole life on trust.” Osho in: Sannyas News, 25.07.1986.

Subhuti, editor of The Rajneesh Times
“The paper wasn’t my idea. It was a by-product of incorporating our city, the City of Rajneeshpuram. The new council realized they were legally required to post official notices in a local newspaper and the nearest one was forty miles away in Madras…
So we had to write the stories, take the photos, check them for political ramifications and still get the paper to bed by Wednesday night each week. Thursday it would be printed in Bend, about 90 miles away, then trucked back to the Ranch and sold in the canteens that evening.
On Friday, our phones would start ringing with calls from outraged Ranch officials, complaining about all the things that shouldn’t have gone in the paper. It got so bad, we started calling it ‘the Friday massacre.’
Much more time was needed to check all the stories, but that’s exactly what we didn’t have. In order to be a legally-recognized newspaper, we had to hit the Thursday deadline, or lose our status. If we lost our status, the city couldn’t use us. So it was always a sweat.
In the beginning, I designed a tabloid-sized newspaper, like the British variety. This had the virtue of being small, so it didn’t require much news to fill it – therefore, less work for me. Had I been wise, I would have kept it like that, minimizing my workload. Big pictures, small captions, lots of ads… I could have given myself a much easier time.
But, well, you know the ways of the ego. Every newspaper in Oregon was broadsheet-sized, with sections, editorials, features… I wasn’t about to be outdone. By the time I was finished, the only thing we didn’t have was a sports section…
On the downside, running the paper put me in continuous conflict with Sheela. We both agreed the paper was essentially a propaganda rag – one close friend even presented me with a copy of ‘Pravda’, the Russian state newspaper, as a tribute to my skills. But we collided over style. As far as I was concerned, she had zero taste and the subtlety of a wart hog…
Then she described the puzzled and slightly disdainful expression on Bhagwan’s face when, after hearing about our fights, he’d said to her, “… and all this fuss, just for The Rajneesh Times?” As if the newspaper was about as important as one grain of sand in the Sahara Desert.
I laughed out loud. That felt real, exactly the way he’d say it. So, from then on, I did it her way. That is, until she kicked me off the newspaper.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 90)

The Rajneesh Times
“Most of my friends… had no idea of what was going on in the media and would not have been particular interested in knowing either. We had The Rajneesh Times as a source of information, but this was more of a party publication with our view of things. We had no television and just a few of us had a subscription to ‘Time’ or ‘Newsweek’ magazines. Everybody was happily working along in our much more interesting world of spiritual pioneers.” (Punya 2015, p. 261)

Subhuti on Rajneesh Times
“And how, above all, can you preach tolerance when the boss of the Ranch, Sheela Silverman, Bhagwan’s aggressive young secretary, is using four-letter words on television and insulting everyone in sight?
My sympathy for them was an extension of my own situation. Because, as editor of The Rajneesh Times newspaper, I saw it as my manifest destiny to explain Bhagwan to the people of Oregon, thereby paving the way for peace, harmony and understanding between us all.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 10)

Subhuti recalls
“I remember one funny incident concerning The Rajneesh Times. On one occasion, I got a message from Osho to write an editorial saying how he had always been a misfit in society. I wrote the editorial, the way he wanted, with the headline “The Misfit Mystic”. Before publication, I sent it to Sheela for approval.
Immediately, I was called to meet Arup (later renamed Garimo), a Dutch woman who was one of Sheela’s assistants. She was upset, and told me that Osho should not be talked about in this way. She hadn’t been informed that it came from him!
So, of course, we went ahead and published.” (Subhuti. E-mail. 07.11.2017)

Gordon writes
“Pramod tried to speak to Sheela about the expulsions and the treatment of the local people. His experience as a diplomat made him well aware of “the element of rightness in the local people’s position and in ours.” But Sheela was unwilling to see it. “It was ‘We’re under siege. They’re rednecks. We’re a spiritual community and they should acquiesce. We’re creating a new man and everything is justified’…’Compromise’ was a dirty word to Sheela.”
When he and Subhuti wanted to publish a news account of a speech by Mark Hatfield in which the senator denied doing anything adverse to the ranch, Sheela axed the article. When they appealed, Shela presented their position to Rajneesh. “The newspaper,” he told them, through her, “is not meant to be a newspaper but propaganda.” In April 1983, ten months after he arrived, Pramod left, disillusioned with the ranch, but still wearing the colors and the mala with his Master’s picture.” (Gordon 1987, p. 157)

Subhuti recalls
“For example, I remember one game Sheela used to play with me, when I was editor of The Rajneesh Times, the Ranch’s weekly newspaper. When I argued with her about the paper’s content and style, which was more or less all the time, she’d say to me, “Okay, then we’ll shut the newspaper down.” That was her trump card. She knew that was the last thing I wanted. I was so invested in that paper. My ego was glued to every page. In my eyes, The Rajneesh Times was vital to the success of our spiritual mission. It was the vehicle through which Osho’s work would be understood and accepted by everyone, even by Oregonians. Of course, behind my conviction that the newspaper was essential was my thinly disguised – or perhaps glaringly obvious – ambition that other people should recognize that, as its editor, I was also essential, and be impressed by my importance. Ha! I was as deluded as I was glued. But anyway, that was the point at which I always caved in and did what Sheela wanted. I couldn’t bear the idea of a world without The Rajneesh Times. Gradually, though, something shifted inside me. One day, when the same message was delivered to me by one of Sheela’s willing lieutenants – “she’ll close the paper” – there was no reaction, no twinge of fear, no panic in my guts. I was cured. I just shrugged and said, “Oh well, I guess I’ll go to the truck farm and pick potatoes.” That was about the time when I was “retired” as editor of the paper. But I got lucky. I didn’t pick potatoes. I was sent to drive trucks, which turned out to be tremendous fun.” (Subhuti. Viha Connection, 2015:5)

Subhuti on the running of Rajneesh Times
“On the Ranch in Oregon, when the city of Rajneeshpuram was officially incorporated, it was realized that the city was legally obliged to post official notices concerning city affairs in a local newspaper. That’s when someone had the idea of creating our weekly newspaper, so the city notices could be published there. And anyway, it was soon agreed by everybody that our new town should have its own newspaper.
At that time, no one else on the Ranch knew how to create a newspaper, so I, as a former newspaper reporter, was invited to take it on. However, I did not have the title of editor, even though I was the founder and de facto editor of the newspaper. This was because my immigration status was insecure and I could not be seen to be holding any official job.
When the newspaper began in September 1982, I wrote to Osho, suggesting a number of possible names for the paper. Since it was supposed to be the city’s newspaper, I suggested names like: The Rajneeshpuram Times, The Rajneeshpuram Express, etc. It was Osho who came back with the instruction that we should call it The Rajneesh Times. I was happy with this name – in fact, it was the name I originally thought of, but omitted from the list, since I was under the impression that the name of the city had to be part of the title.
The newspaper began in tabloid size, and then grew to broadsheet size, at my suggestion, some time in 1983. I switched to the broadsheet format because all newspapers in Oregon were using it, although it meant more work for me – bigger papers to fill! The paper was part of a design studio called Naropa, which, like every Ranch department, had a female coordinator. The Naropa designers produced a range of items including book jackets, posters, etc, as well as the newspaper. The photographers were also based there. Our first coordinator was an Australian woman called Pratima. She was replaced by an American woman called Jagruti, who was soon replaced by Ma Deva Samya.
I continued to function as the de facto editor until the spring of 1984, when I was “purged” along with many other sannyasins who’d been around a long time, with whom Sheela found it difficult to deal. I was sent to drive trucks and buses, which, by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed.
At this point Mary Catherine, an American sannyasin who had been working on The Rajneesh Times, took over responsibility for publishing the newspaper every week. Mary Catherine was not a journalist by profession (I think she had an academic background) and was not on the newspaper from the beginning. She joined a few months before my transfer. In retrospect, it was obvious that Sheela was grooming her for the post, since I was dismissed as soon as MC was deemed capable of managing without me…
One year-and-a-half later, in September 1985, Sheela left the Ranch and I returned to the newspaper as part of the staff. At this time, Samya was again the Naropa coordinator and probably the editor, but I’m not sure if she held the official title.
However, I did not last long at the newspaper. I was upset with Osho, for what, in my view, seemed like poor decision-making on his part, and this made it impossible for me to work on the newspaper, whose basic function was to support him and his vision of life. I went back to driving trucks and buses. Osho was deported from America in November 1985. After Osho left, a mass exodus of sannyasins began from the Ranch. I returned to the newspaper, again as de facto editor, and I think we published two more issues before closing down the newspaper.” (Anand Subhuti. E-mail. 23.12.2016)

Mann writes
“It was the task of the burgeoning ‘Rajneesh Times’, the main “newspaper”, that worker sannyasins read, to set out the policies of the commune’s leaders, to point out and defame its enemies, and praise its leaders and faithful disciples. Gordon says, “The Rajneesh Times was subjected to continued censorship by Sheela… and Shanti Bhadra… Nothing critical of the ranch or politically favorable to its opponents was to be printed.” (Gordon, p. 135). According to one of the editorial staff who later defected, articles signed by Sheela were really ghost written by the staff. As time went by, the newspaper became increasingly unreliable. One ex-staff person jokingly exclaimed to me, “We stood behind all our lies.” (Mann 1991, p. 118)

Subhuti to FitzGerald on attachment
“Later, Swami Anand Subhuti, the editor of the ‘Rajneesh Times’, explained this concept of “need” to me… At one point, he said, he himself had become too attached to his own creation – the ‘Rajneesh Times’. “I had a powerful claim on it, and my possessiveness became apparent. So someone came to me and said, ‘Do A-frames for a bit. So we are going to have an untogether paper for a while. So what?’ So I did A-frames for a week.” Apparently, a week has sufficed to detach him, for he was back on the job.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 61)

FitzGerald on Samya at Medical Clinic
“Another woman – Samya, the publisher of the ‘Rajneesh Times’ – fell ill after Sheela intercepted a letter she had sent the guru warning him about Sheela’s group.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 114)

Leaving Rajneesh Times
“One of the writers for the Rajneesh Times didn’t want to put up any more with what he was told to write and left, shaken up and in tears.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 141)

Sheela leaving
“Dumping my dump truck, I switched back to The Rajneesh Times as the story escalated and I soon realized how dangerous it was for Bhagwan to blow the whistle on Sheela… Her wrongdoing was bound to reflect on him, since he’d appointed her as his secretary and given her control over the Ranch… The extent of his knowledge remains unclear. Clearly, he didn’t instruct her to plant a bugging device in his own room, or encourage her to rub out members of his personal staff, but he’d allowed her to create a virtual police state and escalate the conflict with the outside world by fair means or foul.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 104)

The Rajneesh Times
“When I was working on The Rajneesh Times, we’d drive 90 miles down Highway 97 to Bend to have the newspaper printed by ‘The Bend Bulletin’, Central Oregon’s biggest daily newspaper… Once for fun, we drove a Rolls Royce to ‘The Bulletin’. After printing our paper, we returned to the parking lot to find a note tucked under the Roller’s windshield wiper. It said, “Go back to India.” It was to become a reality sooner than any of us realized.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 96)

Roshani Shay in her chronology 1982
“Dec 21: The daughter of Congressman Ryan who died at Jonestown, now Ma Amrita Pritam, announces her impending marriage to a British follower at the ranch (Sw Anand Subhuti).” (Shay 1990)

Heading: Him or him?
“Rajneesh Times readers have objected to our use of capital H when designating Bhagwan as “Him” or “He.”
These readers say the capital H glorifies Him, contrary to His statements that He is only our friend and not our savior, messiah, or leader.
Another point raised by some readers is that the use of H cuts down our credibility with the general public.
With all the recent changes in the community, the staff decided to experiment with dropping the H.
As events progressed, however, writer after writer found themselves automatically capitalizing the letters. It became clear to us that capitalizing Bhagwan is a natural expression of out love and understanding of who He is.
At the same time, we noticed that in “ordinary” news media, even the word Bhagwan is not capitalized, and is usually written as “the bhagwan.” ‘The New York Times’ refers to Him as Mr. Rajneesh!
These ordinary news outlets are not at liberty to recognize that an enlightened man is living here and now.
He is not glorified, but merely described by capital letters, and we produce the only newspaper free enough to describe Him as He truly is.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:13)

Latkin writes
“For the Rajneeshees there were two logical tactics for deflecting the negative labels and bolstering their self-esteem: denigrate non-Rajneeshees and glamorise their own image. They employed both. The contents of their weekly newspaper, The Rajneesh Times, was an excellent example of both. The paper’s subheading read “The world’s best newspaper in the world’s best city,” while many of the articles denounced and ridiculed Oregonians and other non-Rajneeshees for their prejudices and stupidity. The psychological phenomenon of ingroup bias, combined with the Rajneeshees’ arrogance and with the group’s attempt to buttress its self-esteem, led to group-wide condescension and overconfidence, which impaired the Rajneeshees’ judgement and helped to alienate them.” (Latkin. In: Aveling 1999, p. 319)

Heading: Message from Devaraj late 1985
“The Rajneesh Times has received the following message from Swami Devaraj:
Beloveds, To avoid any confusion to your readers – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has appointed the following:
Ma Prem Hasya, personal secretary to Bhagwan and president of Rajneesh Friends International, is responsible for all international sannyas affairs.
Ma Yoga Laxmi is president of the Indian section.
All correspondence for Bhagwan should be directed to Rajneeshpuram for the present.
With His blessings, Swami Devaraj.”

Heading: Thank you
With this Thanksgiving issue, The Rajneesh Times will suspend publication until we can find a new location. We would like to express our thanks to our subscribers and readers, our advertisers and our printer for their support during these three years.

Heading: Collectors Items
A limited number of nearly complete sets of The Rajneesh Times are available for $200. In addition, we have sets of the newspapers issued since Sheela left. These are available for $20, plus $5 mailing. Please contact us by December 15 at 503-489-3411. Ask for Mary Catherine. Bon Voyage!”
(The Rajneesh Times, 1985:15. Last issue 29.11.1985)

* Rajneesh Times International. Deutsche Ausgabe. (German Edition). 30.03.1983 – 1989. Weekly, from November 1987 fortnightly, later monthly. Editors: Ma Deva Yachana; Sw Prem Nirvano; Shanta (1983-1987). Production: Sw Vimukta. Sw Prem Visarjan. 16-28 pages. In color from 1987. Publisher: Rajneesh Times Verlagsgesellschaft. Rajneeshstadt, Germany. Initial run 30,000 copies. Continuation of: Die Rajneesh Times. Deutsche Ausgabe.
Continued in:
* Osho Times International. Deutsche Ausgabe (German Edition) from 1990.

“Seit April 1983 gibt es eine deutschsprachige Ausgabe der amerikanischen Wochenzeitschrift “The Rajneesh Times”. Sie leitet eine neue Ära im Journalismus ein – den positiven Journalismus.”

Heading: The Rajneesh Times: Deutsche Ausgabe
“Rajneesh-Acharya halt Andacht im Senat” – that was the headline for the first issue of the new German language edition of the Rajneesh Times. During Bhagwan’s Enlightenment Day celebration, the Rajneesh Times office at the Ranch was doubly busy, planning the regular issue of the newspaper and working with visiors from Cologne who were putting out the German version as soon as they returned home.
In the following week, stories were telexed from the computer room here, and photos were sent by air courier. In Germany writers went into action, designers stayed up all night, and printing presses were inked and running. The result was a beautiful 16-page first edition in German, with some of the same stories carried by the English edition, plus many other articles of interest to readers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “The Rajneesh Times/Deutsche Ausgabe” will continue to appear every week.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1983:4)

In the first issue reprint of editorial in The Rajneesh Times on ‘Positiver Journalismus’.

The August 2002 issue of the German ‘Die Osho Times’ is an anniversary issue celebrating its 20 years birthday with several features on the magazine’s publishing history since the first issue was put together at ‘Schloss Wolfsbrunnen’ in March 1983.

“Wir haben diese Ausgabe zum Anlass einer Rückschau auf die Anfänge dieser Zeitung genommen und im Zeitungsarchiv geblättert. Für uns alle war das eine spannende Zeitreise, die viele Erinnerungen wachrief. Die alten Ausgaben zeugen von der unglauglich kraftvollen Energie die damals in der Sannyas-Bewegung herrschte. Sicher erscheint da manches im Rückblick auch etwas überheblich bzw. naiv. Natürlich sind wir nach wie vor “Deutschlands allerbste Zeitung”, aber auf die Fahnen schreiben würden wir uns das heute nich mehr…
Um unseren Lesern ein Bild der Gründerjahr zu geben, befragten wir Nirvano und Shanta über die ersten Jahre der Osho Times und bringen einige Artikel und Dokumente im Original. Artikel von Satyananda, Amano Wilfried und Visarjan runden das Bild ab.” (Anandi Ishu. Die Osho Times, 2002:8)

Satyananda recalls the publishing
Heading: Osho times – herzlichen glückwunsch!
“Es gibt bestimmt keinen Leser der Osho Times der so unter ihr gelitten hat wie ich. Warum? Weil ich nicht nur Leser, sondern auch freier Mitarbeiter dieses wundersamen Magazins bin, das auf seinen 20. Geburtstag zusteuert.
Seit es die OT gibt, bin ich dabai. Kein anderer freier Mitarbeiter, von Redakteuren und Chefredakteuren mal ganz abgesehen, hat es länger ausgehalten als ich. Darauf bin ich stolz. Denn für mich als alten Berufsjournalisten war die Osho Times über viele Jahre hinweg ein Affront, ein Koan, eine Knopfdruckmaschine. Sie hat mir geholfen, meine Vergangenheit als journlistischer Profil zu vergessen und meinen Blick auf neue Horizonte zu richten. Kann man von einer Zeitschrift mehr erwarten? Ich nicht – also bin ich der OT dankbar, besonders heute, da ich mich wieder mal darüber wundere und freue, dass er sie schon so lange gibt…
In der Vergangenheit war die deutsche Osho Times ein Kind des Mutterblattes in Pune – der so genannten “Osho Times International” (OTI). Die meisten Interviews und Artikel – auch meine – wurden ursprünglich auf Englisch für die OTI verfasst und dann für die deutsche OT übersetzt…
Die deutsche Osho Times hat sich rechtzeitig von der Mutter in Pune abgenabelt. Sie zahlt ihren festen Mitareitern ein Gehalt und schafft damit eine Koninuität und Planungssicherheit, die dem Mutterblatt nich vergönnt war.
Viele Sannyasins, die ihre Mala schon seit vielen Jahren auf dem Hausaltar oder in der Schublade liegen haben, ziehen erstaunt die Augenbrauen hoch, wenn ich die Osho Times lobe. Sie sind schon längst keine Leser mehr und erinnern sich nur an ein Blatt, das vor vielen Jahren von überswänglichen Musterschülern als Anhimmelungsgazette produziert wurde. Böse Zungen sprachen damals von der spirtuellen “Pravda”…
Als Ma Sheela mit ihren Freunden in den vorzeitigen Ruhestand gegangen war und in Rajneeshpuram plötzlich ein ganz anderer Geist einzog, breitete sich in der Osho Times Redaktion Ratlosigkeit aus. OT-Redakteur Swami Subhuti – einst Reporter für eine englischen Zeitung – entdeckte eine Chance, die Osho Times in ein demokratisches Kontrollorgan umzuwandeln. Hätte ein unabhängiges Magazin der “Dritten Gewalt” nich manchen Unsinn der Sheela-Administration verhindern können? Subhuti fragte Osho um Rat – und schon kam der Zenstock des Meisters auf sein Haupt nieder.
Wir – Subhuti und alle, die mit der OT direkt oder indirekt zu tun hatten – sassen in Osho’s Haus auf dem Boden und der Meister sprach fast eine Stunde lang über die Osho Times, über seine Vision, über pressefreiheit und Demokratie und über den Journalismus im Allgemeinen. Mir war bei dem Meeting nicht ganz wohl zumute, denn ich hatte Subhuti’s Vorschlag eigentlich ganz attraktiv gefunden. Nach all dem Mist, den Sheela gebaut hatte, schien mir die Idee, die OT in ein kritisches Forum zu verwandeln, jedenfalls nicht ganz abwegig. Der Meister war anderer Meinung. Aber je länger er sprach, desto besser verstand ich ihn schliesslich.
Osho’s Argumentation baute auf der grundsätlichen Feststellung auf, dass eine spirituelle Commune etwas völlig anderes ist, als eine parlamentarische Demokratie. In der Demokratie geht es um Kontrolle der Macht, in der Commune geht es um Liebe und Vertrauen. In der Demokratie geht es darum, widerstreitende Interessen in Kompromisse einzubinden. In der Commune geht es um den Versuch, eine gemeinsame Vision zu verwirklichen.
Die Osho Times, so sagte Osho, sei kein politisches Magazin, sondern diene im Weitesten Sinne allein dem Zweck, seine Vision zu verbreiten. Deshalb sei Mindfuck in Leserbriefen nich gefragt und auch keine kritischen Discussionen und Kommentare über Communefragen. Wenn wir ein politisches Magazin machen wollten, könnten wir das seinetwegen gerne tun, aber dann dürften wir es nicht Osho Times nennem. Damit war der Fall erledigt.
Fünfzehen Jahre später leuchtet mir Osho’s Argumentation noch besser ein als damals. Und ich bin ganz froh dass die deutsche Osho Times – abgesehen von einem Ausrutscher – der Versuchung widerstanden hat, sich zum Sprachrohr widerstreitender Interessen zu machen.
Auch ohne hitzige Diskussionen und ohne Klatschspalte ist die Osho Times in Aufmachung, Stil und Inhalt das beste spirituelle Magazin in Deutschland geworden. Das ist das schönste Kompliment, das ich ihr zu ihrem Geburtstag machen kann.” (Sw Satyananda. Die Osho Times, 2002:8)

Shanta, editor from late 1983 to late 1987, in an interview 2002 recalls the first years
Heading: zur lichtseite des lebens eine neue art, zeitung zu machen
“Ich bin ca. ein halbes Jahr nach der Gründung zur deutschen Rajneesh Times gestossen. Es gab damals schon die amerikanische Mutterzeitung und die Aufgabe war zunächst, die amerikanische Ausgabe ins Deutsche zu übersetzen, aber auch über die Aktivitäten in den europäischen Kommunen zu berichten. Latifa, Osho’s Sekretärin für Europa, war beauftragt, die Leute zu finden, die die deutsche Rajneesh Times machen sollten. Es war die Zeit, wo Osho nach Amerika gegangen und die Kommune in Rajneeshpuram im Aufbau war. Die Zeitung sollte vor allem über die Entwicklung der Ranch und der Kommune berichten. Da aber auch in Deutschland viel Interessantes passierte, gab es bald einen grossen Teil mit eigenen Berichten über die Situation hier. Die ursprüngliche Intention war jedoch, die amerikanische Rajneesh Times erstmal ins Deutsche zu übersetzen..
Nach einigen Ausgaben wurde dann der deutschen Redaktion eine grössere Eigenständigkeit zugebilligt und wir konnten mehr das machen, was wir für richtig und für landestypisch hielten…
Ja, die deutche Ausgabe sollte genauso sein wie die amerikanische. Also gleiches Layout, gleiches Format und gleiches Papier. Die Gründungs-Crew hat sich dann aus technischen Gründen für das Berliner Format entschieden. Das is das gleiche Format, in dem auch der Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger gedruckt wird, während das amerikanische Format grösser war. Ob diese Anweizungen damals direkt von Osho kamen, weiss ich nicht. Natürlich haben wir damals geglaubt, dass alles, was von der Ranch kam, direkt von Osho käme…
Je mehr Macht Sheela an sich riss, desto schlimmer wurde auch in der Osho Times eine Entwicklung, die ich heute als überposivität, als eine Art Jubel-Journalismus bezeichnen möchte. Das war jedoch zu Anfang noch nicht der Fall…
Als Osho nach der Weltreise wieder in Poona war, kam von dort die Nachricht, dass es ab sofort nur noch eine zentrale Ausgabe geben würde, die in den unterschiedlichen Ländern übersetz werden sollte. Das war dann für mich der Grund, aus der Osho Times auszusteigen. Es folgten einige Ausgaben, wo nur noch übersetzt und keine eigenständige Redaktionsarbeit mehr gemacht wurde. Diese Zentralausgabe hat uns im übrigen auch die monatlichen Erscheinungsweise und das vierfarbige Magazinformat beschert, was ja durchaus ein Gewinn ist. Im Laufe der Zeit gewann die Redaktion der deutschen Osho Times jedoch ihre Eigenständigkeit zurück und heute ist es ja die einzige, die es überhaubt noch in Printform gibt.” (Ma Shanta. Interview. Die Osho Times, 2002:8)

Ma Shanta on the role of Die Rajneesh Times and Sheela
Heading: Deutschlands allerbeste Zeitung?
“Warum wir dies jahreslang gemacht haben, obwohl uns die Überposivität oft selbst zum Halse heraushing, fragt sich so mancher. Das wichtigste Kriterium war, Bhagwan und die Kommune nich zu gefährden und für disen preis waren wir bereits alles zu verschweigen, was uns in irgendeiner Weise engreifbar machen würde. Denn dass die Kommunen und auch Bhagwan gefährdet und massiven Angriffen und Vernichtungsabsichten ausgesetzt waren, das war nicht nur Sheelas Erfindung, das haben wir auch hiet in Detschland am eigenen Leibe erfahren.
Wir haben geschwiegen, weil wir erfahren haben, wie Presse, Öffentlichkeit und Politiker mit der Wahrheit umgehen…
Die Zeit der Superlative ist vorbei. Wir versuchen, von Woche zu Woche darzustellen, was ist, ohne Zensur, ohne Schönfärberei. Was nicht heissen soll, dass wir nicht trotzdem noch begaitert sind über uns, unseren Meister, unsere Kommune, trotz allem Zweifel, trotz aller Desuillusion, trotz allem “ich weiss nicht” und “ich glaube nichts mehr”. (Ma Shanta. Kommentar. Die Osho Times, 2002:8)

Editor Visarjan on the first issue.
Heading: die null-nummer die geburt einer zeitung
“Da war sie also! Die Message kam direkt von Osho aus Rajneeshpuram. Neben der englischsprachigen Ranch-Ausgabe sollte nun auch eine deutschprachige “Rajneesh Times” erscheinen. Ma Latifa, Oshos damalige Sekretärin für Europa, wurde beauftragt, das Projekt so schnell wie wöglich umzusetzen. Wie damals üblich, wurde das Unmögliche sofort umgesetzt. Innerhalb kürzester Zeit stand die Null-Crew. Vimukta und ich kamen aus dem Dharmadeep Center in Hamburg. Swami Vimukta auch “Herr Rehfeld” (“wie das Reh auf dem Feld”) genannt, kümmerte sich um den Satz. Damals, 1983 noch eine echte Aufgabe. Ich war für die Produktion und Grafik der Zeitung zuständig und der einzige, der schon Zeitungserfahrung mitbrachte. Unsere Redakteure waren Ma Deva Yachana aus München und Swami Prem Nirvano aus Zürich. Mit Ma Chandro, zuständig für Abos, Vertrieb, Buchhaltung und das Sekretariat war das Team komplett. Da waren wir also zusammen, voller Freude und Tatendrang.” (Prem Visarjan. Die Osho Times, 2002:8)

Henkel writes critically on The Rajneesh Times
“Die amerikanische Rajneesh Times ist im November 1985 eingestellt worden. Meine Zitate stammen immer aus der deutschen RT. Es ist erschreckend, sich vorzustellen, dass für viele Sannyasins die RT der einzige Lesestoff ist. “Man sieht kaum jemanden ein Buch lesen, der Bookshop fürht nur Bhagwanliteratur, an Zeitungen gibt es nur die wöchentliche Rajneesh Times, deren englische Ausgabe etwas weniger kindlich ist als die deutsche.” So berichtet M. Berger aus Rajneeshpuram in: Diktatur der Freundlichkeit S. 45. Und aus Freiburg wird berichtet: “Im ‘Ashram’ wird nur eine Zeitung gelesen… ‘Die Rajneesh Times’. Es wird konzentriert gelesen, Seite für Seite, nur manchmal unterbrochen durch schallendes Lachen oder ein geheimnisvolles Grinsen.” (aaO 52) Die RT bringt gelegentlich vermischte Nachrichten aus aller Welt unter dem Tenor: So verrückt ist die Welt. Ansonsten ist ihr Horizont beschrankt auf die Grenzen der Bewegung, mit gelegentlichen Ausblicken auf verwandte spökenkiekerische und “Selbst”-suchende Tendenzen. Finanziert wird sie durch grosse Anzeigen der einzelnen Ashrams usw., deren Inhalt Dank an Bhagwan ist, und durch Therapie-Reklame. – Dass ist häufig aus dieser Zeitung zitiere, hat folgende Gründe: ich will über die Affäre berichten, die der Anhänger mit Bhagwan hat, d.h. es geht mir darum, wie Bhagwan wahrgenommen wird; die synkretistische Verkleidung der Botschaft und die oberflächlichen Wiedersprüche in den veröffentlichten Reden des Meisters können das nur verdunkeln. Die Konzentration auf die Bücher Bhagwans hat die kirchlichen Kritiker dazu verführt, die Bhagwan-Bewegung wie eine Buchreligion zu betrachten, wodurch sie sie völlig missverstanden haben.” (Henkel 1986, p. 208)

* Rajneesh Buddhafield. Published by Rajyoga Meditation Centre, Delhi. 1981- . In Hindi.

Meanwhile in India
“It all started in early 1978, Osho (then known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) sent one of his committed disciples Swami Om Prakash Saraswati to Delhi to start a meditation centre and named it Rajyoga with his blessings. In a few months, Rajyoga Meditation Centre was inaugurated in New Delhi to start daily meditations, books and tape library and organised regular exhibitions and meditation camps in the capital and in North India.
When Osho left for the United States in 1981, Rajyoga launched a Hindi newsletter, ‘Rajneesh Buddhafield’, to keep his disciples and lovers informed of the new developments in Rajneeshpuram. A couple of years later, Osho sent a message to Rajyoga to start a campus near Delhi and efforts started in this direction.
Rajyoga Meditation Centre also started to publish Osho’s books in the early 1980s. Several paperbacks in Hindi and English have been published in addition to hardback books in Punjabi.
A major publishing landmark for Rajyoga was the publication of Osho’s discourses on Nanak in Punjabi ‘Ek Onkar Satnam’ – in 1987. Since then, this bestseller has had over ten editions and Rajyoga has been instrumental in translating and publishing other books by Osho in Punjabi that have also proved to be popular. More recently, the centre published ‘Einstein the Buddha’, a two-volume compilation of Osho’s insights on the new man for the new century. To impart a new impetus and perspective for Osho’s vision in the new century and bring meditation to the marketplace, as he said, Osho World Foundation was established in 1999, an extension of Rajyoga Meditation Centre. The Foundation presents Osho’s vision at three levels for the market with information and lifestyle products, for the mind with a programme of meditative events covering the fine arts and for the soul with meditation camps at Osho Dham, a meditation campus about 40 km. from Delhi.” (Kul Bhushan. Osho World News. December 2006, pp. 29-30. 75 years anniversary issue)

* Rajneesh Buddhafield European Newsletter. 1981 – 1982. Last issue: 14, April 1982.

Tim Guest writes
“Every two weeks they gathered round the kitchen table to scrutinize the pages of the Rajneesh Buddhafield European Newsletter – the ten-page sannyasin broadsheet, typeset at Kalptaru and churned out at a printing press not far from Oak Village – for glimpses, hints, tastes of the sense of ecstasy and belonging they had felt at the Ashram. When my mother got hold of a copy, she always turned first to the ‘We Have Heard: Unofficial News from Poona’ column on page four…” (Guest 2005, p. 64)

In March 1982 a centre-spread – ‘I’m Here To Wake Up’ – featuring interviews with Medina residents.

* The Rajneesh Times. European Edition. February 1984 – .

Tim Guest writes
“In early 1984 a new sannyasin newspaper, the Rajneesh Times: European Edition, was launched. The British Library has a stack of these – no doubt sent by a sannyasin who had mischievously retained some sense of history. The masthead, dated 1 February, included the two-birds logo (with a trademark) as the dot over the ‘j’ in ‘Rajneesh’. (A joke on the front page: ‘Why did the Rajneeshee cross the road? To buy the other side.’)
The new sannyasin newspaper, typeset in the Medina Design Studio and mass-printed in Mildenhall, was launched with a parade down Fleet Street. The march was ‘to bring a message to the British press,’ the leading article explained. ‘The birth of the British Edition of the ‘Rajneesh Times’ is the direct result of the hypocrisy, sensationalism and distortions of the British Press and British public.’ The front page of issue 2 was plastered with photographs from the launch parade (‘FLEET STREET SEES RED!’). There were orange floats. There were maroon balloons. There was an inflatable purple dinosaur, eight feet high, sixteen feet long, ‘representing the British Press’ because it can take up to four minutes for a signal to travel from the tail to the brain; an age before it ‘gets the message’.” (Guest 2005, p. 167)

* The Rajneesh Times. 31.10.1985 – 1986. Holland.

* The Rajneesh Times. Poona, India. December 1983 – August 1987. Fortnightly. 8 pages with inserts. Illustrated. Published by Sw Satya Bodhisatva. Editor: Ma Yoga Prem (Vol 3. No.1 December 11, 1985). Annual subscription Rs.48. See: World Tour / 6.12 Periodicals.
Continued in Rajneesh Times International, Poona.

On title heading ‘A Newspaper with a Vision’.

Bhagwan Magazine

* Bhagwan. January 1st 1983 – September 1st 1985. Six issues/year, from January 1st 1984 monthly. Editor 1983: Sw Das Anudas. 1984: Ma Prem Apa. Sw Anand Madyapa. Ma Prem Maneesha. 1985: Sw Shanti Prabhu. Ma Yoga Pratima. Editorials also by Ma Mary Catherine. Design: Ma Anand Zeno. Published by Ma Anand Sheela, Rajneesh Foundation International. Jesus Grove, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. 30 pages. Magazine in album format. Illustrated with b&w photos and color photos on cover.

Bhagwan magazine. Selected articles:

– Chapter from Sw Deva Amrito: Original Face. 1983:1
– Interview with Ma Deva Dwabha. 1983:2.
– Interview with Sw Suryadas. 1983:2.
– Interview with Sw Anahata. 1983:2.
– Theme: The Bombay Years. By Ma Satya Bharti. 1983:3.
– Interview with Sw Christ Chaitanya. Bombay. 1983:3.
– Interview with Ma Yoga Astha. Kirtan groups. 1983:3.
– Interview with Sw Krishna Bharti. Bombay. 1983:3.
– Interview with Sw Prem Kabir, astrologer in RT. 1983:4.
– Interview with Ma Saki. 1983:4.
– Interview with Sw Bodhigarbha & Ma Prem Patipada. 1983:4.
– Letters from about Bhagwan and His Work. 1983:5.
– Interview with Ma Prem Sheelu. 1983:6.
– Interview with Ma Prem Sunshine. 1983:6.
– Interview with Sw Krishna Deva. 1984:2.
– Focus. By Sw Deva Wadud & Ma Prem Sangeet. 1984:2.
– Sweepstakes to build Academy of Rajneeshism. 1984:2.
– Interview with Sw Ananda Teertha. 1984:3.
– Interview with Ma Prem Hasya. On power.1984:3.
– Interview with Ma Anand Sheela by Dhyan John. On power. 1984:3.
– Interview with Sw Swarupananda, Sheela’s father. 1984:3.
– Interview with Ma Deva Waduda by Hasya on Neo-Tarot. 1984:4
– Interview with Sw Deva Prashantam by Hasya. 1984:5.
– Interview with Sw Nirava Ajhad. 1984:6.
– Interview with Sw Harida, fire protection. 1984:6.
– Interview with Bhavito & Veeren, musicians, by Hasya. 1984:7.
– Bhagwan on his enlightenment. Discipline..Vol 2, 1978. 1984:8.
– Death celebration of Sw Dhyan Nirvesh. 1984:8.
– Interview with Ma Anand Zeno by Hasya. 1984:9.
– Interview with Sw Veet Madak on death. 1984:9.
– Interviews with Share-A-Home participants. 1984:10
– Comments by Sw. Satya Vedant & Ma Prem Patipada. 1984:12.
– Interview with Sw Prem Prasad. European communes. 1985:1.
– Interview with Sw Deva Wadud & Ma Prem Anamo. 1985:3.
– Communes in Germany: Hamburg & Berlin. 1985:4
– Interview with Sw Deva Dweepam. 1985:5.
– Editorial on Bhagwan speaking in Rajneesh Mandir. 1985:7.
– Bhagwan answers question from editor Ma Yoga Pratima. 1985:8.
– Last issue September 1985. Theme: Responsibility. 1985:9.

Advertisement for first issue
“Beginning this month, a beautiful new magazine about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is being published by Rajneesh Foundation International. Articles in the magazine document the effects Bhagwan has had on the lives of both disciples and non-disciples. Contributions from individuals whose work and personal lives have been touched by Bhagwan’s teachings and wisdom demonstrate the tangible influence of his message in creating a new climate of love in today’s world.” (Rajneesh Newsletter, 1983:21, January 1983)

“Bhagwan is published six times each year as a vehicle to document the effects and influence of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in the world. We welcome articles which demonstrate this in the lives – both personal and professional – of disciples and non-disciples, as well as articles derived from research relevant to Bhagwan and his work.” (Bhagwan, 1983:1)

“Bhagwan. This beautifully illustrated monthly magazine devoted to the life and work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh brings to the world His remarkable insights into today’s essential issues. Politics. Education, Power, Intuition, Beauty, Trust, Relationship, Celebration and more…” (Advertisement in: The Rajneesh Bible (1985). Vol I)

Discontinuation of periodicals
“Rajneesh Friends International Newsletter and Bhagwan magazine have been discontinued. The credit for the unused portion of your subscription amounts to US$ xxx. This can be used towards purchases of any items from Rajneesh Publications. We are in the process of completing a new flyer-order form, and will send one to you as soon as it is ready. We look forward to hearing from you.” (Letter from Rajneesh Friends International. Signed Sw. Prem Purushottama, Rajneesh Publications. 27.11.1985)

Roshani Shay in her chronology 1982
“Dec 10:… three new books and a glossy magazine launched in honor of Bhagwan’s birthday…
Dec 11: Celebration of Bhagwan’s 51st birthday; presents include four Rolls Royces, bringing the total to 27.” (Shay 1990)

Continued in: Part Six. World Tour / 6.12 Periodicals.

5.12 Organizational Upheaval

What made it to the headlines of the local and national media wasn’t the ecological reclaiming of the land nor the effective recycling projects at the Ranch. Rather it was the politics and crimes by those involved – be it the State of Oregon, the US Government itself or the ruling management of the Utopian experiment in Oregon – that drew national attention. And those political actions and the crimes committed were neither few nor of minor character, revealing also severe turmoil in the movement.

Roshani Shay in her chronology 1984
Feb 2: “Natural father of President of Academy of Rajneeshism reveals at Portland press conference that he legally adopted Bhagwan on Jan. 12, 1936 when the boy was four years old, saying he kept the adoption secret for 48 years due to his promise to Bhagwan’s natural father (who died Sept. 8, 1979), but as he is 78 years old and his health is fragile he wishes to tell the story before he dies; documents produced were signed by the adoptive father, natural father and natural mother, the latter said to be worried about an astrological prediction that Bhagwan’s life would be very short unless he were adopted and cared for by others; adoptive father files a second preference petition with the INS to grant Bhagwan permanent residency under the theory of family unification, since his children and grandchildren have been US citizens or permanent residents for many years and he a permanent resident since 1973; Pres of Academy of Rajneeshism announces that the adoption documents will be placed in the Academy of Rajneeshism’s archives, along with 150,000 other rare volumes, papers, photographs and tapes chronicling Bhagwan’s life; celebration party at Rajneeshpuram…
Feb. 15: INS reverses its Dec. 1982 ruling and approves Bhagwan’s request to be classified as a religious teacher saying that supporting documents and evidence submitted to rebut the derogatory evidence prior to Dec. 1982 played a key role; despite the reversal, INS spokesperson says a decision on permanent residency status is not expected “in the immediate future.”…
May 1: By this date letters had been sent by RNSIC, RIC and Rajneeshpuram to the Naval Air Station Commander at Oak Harbor, Washington to protest numerous low and noisy military jet flights over Rajneeshpuram, including a particularly dangerous one on Mar. 22 when an F 16 flew 100 feet above the Rajneeshpuram airstrip just after an Rajneeshpuram plane had landed; the Commander reportedly orders his pilots not to drop below 2000 feet over Rajneeshpuram…
May 24: The European Parliament, by a vote of 98 yes, 28 no and 26 abstentions, adopts a resolution calling on EC nations to stop “religious sects” such as Moonies, Rajneeshee, etc. by means of a code of conduct from “converting minors, hampering contact between recruits and their relatives, begging and unlawfully seizing the property of members.”…
Oct 16: Governor’s Office issues 8-page “fact-sheet” on Rajneeshpuram to dispel rumors.” (Shay 1990)

In his ‘The Long Reach of the Dharma’, Abhiyana has compiled a chronology of major events in the commune from May 1984 until September 21st 1985. (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 332-33)

Roshani Shay on Share-A-Home-Program (SHAP) in her chronology 1984
“Aug 29: A Rajneeshee travels from Rajneeshpuram to New York City on a charitable mission sponsored by RHT to bring up to 2000 homeless street people to live and participate in Rajneeshpuram for as long as they wish.” (Shay 1990)

Homeless people program 1984
“… in May Mary Catherine was called to see Sheela again. This time Sheela wanted to know how many homeless people there were in the country; M.C.’s guess was between one and two million. She then realized what Sheela intended to do: she would bring these people, American citizens, to Rajneeshpuram, and use them for their votes. When M.C. said the scheme couldn’t work, that the people would never vote the way Sheela wanted them to, Puja said, “Don’t worry about that,” in a fairly ominous tone. Many thought then that Puja must know of some plan Sheela was concocting – perhaps phony absentee ballots – or coercion in some form or another… In the meantime, the Share-A-Home plan was set in motion, initiated by a sannyasin who knew many street people in New York, and who promptly delivered two busloads to our doorstep. Some dozens of sannyasins were sent to a multitude of American cities – New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Minneapolis, to name a few – and brought back perhaps in total between three and four thousand street people, at least two-thirds of whom were black, and many of whom were on drugs or were alcoholics.” (Forman 1988, p. 368)

Rosciano on Share a Home Program
“In the meantime, the Ranch continued to expand. The little airport was given a bigger runway and a terminal building. Construction was completed on the hotel, a disco, a nursery and a big two-story mall in the centre of town, which now held restaurants, boutiques, a bank, a travel agency, and many of the community’s offices. The therapy groups were filled with people arriving from all over the world. And the legal department was also expanding at a frentic pace, fighting lawsuits, involving local ranchers, land-use watchdog groups, the county, the State of Oregon and the US Government itself.
County elections were coming and Sheela made a move that for me represented the beginning of her decline and the decline of the Ranch itself. She wanted to ensure the results of the election were in our favour, but a large percentage of us living on the Ranch were foreigners who couldn’t vote.
So Sheela created a program which I call the ‘harvest of the homeless’, which totally upset the equilibrium of the Ranch. She sent sannyasins around America with buses to collect hundreds of homeless people – those living in the streets without any money, any home, or any property whatsoever. She called it the Share-a-Home program…
It was at this time that Sheela lost it completely, as far as I was concerned. She lost control of her greed, and started to justify completely absurd actions to obtain not only control of the county through the elections, but also tighter and tighter control of the commune itself…
By the way, Sheela’s attempt to take over the local county failed. Registration of new voters was blocked several days before the election, so that few of our new population of street people could vote. Shortly afterwards, a mass exodus of the once-again-homeless people began, as almost all of our new guests were encouraged to leave the Ranch.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 236ff)

Registration of voters
“But Wasco County officials outsmarted them. Shortly before the registration period closed, county officials, citing the appearance of a suspiciously large number of registration cards, insisted that all prospective new voters be questioned by a special panel at the armoury. Realizing that the homeless would never be able to pass such scrutiny, the cult abandoned both the poisonings and the registration schemes. Most of the cult members never even registered.” (Miller 2001, p. 31)

Carter on election plot
“One of the most controversial incidents during the years of Rajneeshpuram involved what appears to have been a concerted attempt by leaders of the community to sweep the 1984 county election in Wasco County, the county in which the community had been repeatedly blocked by county commissioners in its ambitious expansion program.
Based on testimony from Krishna Deva, the ex-mayor of Rajneeshpuram, it appears that members of the commune leadership intended to elect residents of the commune to two of the three county commissioner positions in the fall election…
It also appears that on two occasions salad bars in The Dalles, Oregon, were contaminated with salmonellas, apparently as “tests” to see if considerable numbers of county residents could be disabled. The effort was abandoned only after the State of Oregon closed voter registration and the U.S. District Court declined to intervene.
At the time, allegations about an attempt to sweep the elections was dismissed by commune leadership and sympathetic writers as existing “only in rumors circulated by anti-Rajneeshees.” Bhagwan’s secretary called a news conference in which she claimed that the election bid of the two write-in candidates was merely a “joke.” A call by an Oregon congressman for investigation of the poisonings was dismissed as a “rambling incoherent speech.”
Krishna Deva’s narrative was in the form of testimony given when he was being investigated for suspected participation in the poisonings and other alleged crimes. As one of the core staff members at Rajneeshpuram, his testimony obviously raised credibility questions, and some of the narrative was frankly astonishing even to outsiders familiar with Rajneeshpuram, though it was savored by the anti-cult movement in Oregon. Here was a core practicing member of the community whose testimony was used in subsequent prosecutions of other staff members.” (Carter 1998, p. 230)

Sheela and SAHP
“Apparently Sheela had grown more and more insecure about her position within the commune hierarchy as time went on and her failures, in particular the Share-A-Home program, mounted, and it was for this reason also that she had installed the elaborate eavesdropping system there and instigated the murder attempt on Rajneesh’s doctor. It also turned out that Sheela herself, and perhaps Rajneesh as well, had been heavily dependent on sedatives.” (McCormack 1987, p. 219)

FitzGerald on growing turmoil
“And a good deal of the business advice turned out to be bad. The result was turmoil in the movement. Some of the therapists refused to close their centers and were “excommunicated” by Sheela; others obeyed orders but then lost their followings. A number of the large communes had business failures. Indeed, in February of 1984, the very month that ‘Der Spiegel’ did a story on the Rajneeshee, some Rajneehee discos in West Germany failed; as for a “chain of hotels” mentioned in the story, it never materialized. Then with the small centers closed, the Rajneeshee had lost their most effective recruitment centers, and the numbers of new people dropped off.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 97)

Abhiyana writes
“As told in Max Brecher’s ‘A Passage to America’, the CIA may have planted a man in the Share-a-Home program whose job was to chase the joint, and if possible kill Osho. He was taped talking to someone about the plot on one of the wiretapped public phone lines, and was interrogated and drugged by Sheela’s people.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 346)

Murphy on Sheela
“On September 25, 1984, we wrote a letter to Isabel in which we implored her – and others on the ranch – to try to persuade Sheela to take a vacation. In the light of future revelations, we can’t be certain that the letter was ever delivered. But we had begun to feel that Sheela was cracking up. We didn’t get a reply; but we hardly expected one, knowing how fiercely loyal they all were to Sheela, and to each other.
We knew how Sheela had driven herself, traveling far and wide, making gigantic plans, assuming more and more responsibility. (On April 15, 1985, the German magazine, Petra, named Sheela one of the five most powerful women in the world, putting her right up there with Nancy Reagan!) But when she started to recruit people who were living in the streets and bus them to Rajneeshpuram, we wondered if she had taken leave of her senses.” (Murphy 1986, p. 157)

Osho on therapists, successor and secretary
“Through the years I had worked on these therapists and their therapies, and they started feeling that they had become kind of gurus, masters. And deep down there was great competition amongst them: Somendra left because of his competition with Teertha about who was a better therapist – just fights of egos. Deep down they must be thinking that sooner or later I will have to die. Teertha had taken it for granted, without anybody saying it to him, that he was going to be my successor. Perhaps he was spreading the idea he was going to be my successor.
The day I announced in the commune that nobody is going to be my successor, only two persons were unhappy – and I looked at both the persons: one was Sheela and the other was Teertha. Everybody was happy, rejoicing, but those two people were sad. That was their aim – perhaps not consciously. but unconsciously. That was the beginning of Sheela trying to destroy the commune in different ways.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 37, p. 332. Punta del Este, 30.04.1986pm.

Whenever a religious founder is leaving his body some crucial questions will arise:
1. Will there be a successor? If so, who will it be?
2. What will be the role of the secretary in the transition process?
3. How to preserve the message in its original form and how to continue spreading the vision of the founder?
Osho has commented on the question of his possible successor among therapists and secretaries, and Anando, his last secretary in Poona Two, is still working on the editing of his last book, ‘Philosia’, conveyed to her during his last months in late 1989. See more in Epilogue where Barrett writes on change of movements after the founder’s death and presents a model on this issue.

Shanti Bhadra on Sheela
“The real object of his wrath was Sheela, his other half. While Bhagwan played at being God, withdrawing behind closed gates and surrounding himself in an aura of mystery and holiness, he sent Sheela out into the world as his emissary, arming her with an impertinent and disrespectful tongue. In short, she was the mercurial element, the mischief-maker.” (Stork 2009, p. 198)

Brooke on Sheela
“Sheela was arrogant, ruthless, and ambitious, hostile and testy, daring everybody to take her on, even the Oregon government and local residents whom she had rejected from their small town of Antelope.” (Brooke 1986, p. 157)

Osho on Sheela
“Sheela had no spiritual aspirations. Seeing that she has no potential, at least in this life… And this was my impression on the very first day she entered my room in 1970 – that she was utterly materialistic, but very practical, very pragmatic, strong-willed, could be used in the beginning days of the commune… because the people who are spiritually-oriented are stargazers.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 18, p. 222. 02.10.1985.

Goldman on Sheela
“She rationalized Sheela’s abrasive behaviour and imperious demands the way many other sannyasins did. Sheela was like an alarm clock; you might want to throw her against the wall to get her to be quiet, but she woke you up.” (Goldman 1999, p. 205)

Sheela on TV
“Whenever Sheela would appear on television, it was the job of us in the video department either to record the show or obtain a recording of the show from the TV station involved.
At that time in the US, there was a popular talk show hosted by Merv Griffin called ‘The Merv Griffin Show’, and Sheela had been invited to appear on it.
Osho would sometimes ask to see the particular recordings we made or received of Sheela’s appearances, and one afternoon, we got a call from Vivek to come up to Osho’s house because he wanted to see Sheela on this show…
But when the show was over, Osho turned to my coordinator and asked her to tell Sheela that she should be even stronger in her responses when dealing with the media: “Shela has not been strong enough. She must be even more strong.” (Mutribo. In: Savita 2014, p. 156)

Sambhodi on Sheela and the maharaja syndrome
“Her selection fits in with the maharaja theory. She was a native Indian, someone with the same cultural background and instincts as Bhagwan, someone with whom he would be comfortable and who would appreciate his exalted standing from a cultural as well as spiritual perspective. In addition, she had lived in America, another advantage because Bhagwan had no Western experience or cultural savvy whatsoever. Whatever understanding he had was gained entirely through his vast library collection which included extensive volumes on Western philosophy, science, mathematics, literature, art, history and government. He was enamoured by what he read, and Western thought saturated his discourses in India. On a functional level, however, he was absolutely ignorant. He had no way of knowing that Sheela’s wiles, her bullying and harassing manner wouldn’t work with Americans the way it did with the more docile Indian population. Neither he nor Sheela realized that Americans push back. You can’t harangue or intimidate them into giving you what you want (although a bribe will often work, and she undoubtedly used that technique on a few occasions). So because she lacked the ability to develop a clear, persuasive argument for our community, we proceeded in America as we had in India, completely ignoring the existing cultural climate.” (Clare 2009, p. 158)

Sheela out of office spring 1985
“In January and February, Ma Anand Sheela and other top Rajneesh officials (including many of the same disciples who would suddenly leave Rajneeshpuram the following September), conducted a well-published series of globetrotting visits to Europe, Australia and the Far East. It was later revealed that in December 1984, Sheela married a Swiss sannyasin named Dhyan Dippo in Zurich, and then obtained a backdated divorce in Nepal from Swami Jayananda (John Shelfer).
On February 19, Sheela returned to Rajneeshpuram from India, where she had failed to obtain an audience with newly elected Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and announced that she would leave immediately on another extended trip. She said she had a major plan in the works, promising, “It’s going to top the Share-A-Home program. I never do less than what I have done before.” She denied that the purpose of her travels was to scout a new home for the group…
Sheela spent most of March and April in Australia, where Rajneesh followers were attempting to develop the Karri Valley resort, near the town of Pemberton in Western Australia, into a major tourist spot and commune for Rajneeshee children.” (McCormack 1987, p. 214)

FitzGerald on defections from the commune
“At the time, I knew there had been some defections from the commune: a number of sannyasins had left in anger over policy decisions and over how these decisions were made. One group of them, in February of 1983, had written an open letter to all Rajneeshee, denouncing “the so-called ‘leaders’ [of the Rajneesh Foundation International]… Sheela and her ruling oligarchy” and signing themselves “The Wild Geese.” An editorial in the Rajneesh Times denouncing the letter and some of the probable signers confirmed the existence of this group. After my second visit to the ranch, I met some of the sannyasins who had left the ranch – people who, unlike the residents, were willing to talk about how it was run…
When she [Sheela] quoted from her private conversations with him [Osho], they wondered whether he had really said what she said he had said. Roberts herself doubted it. There was obviously no way that lower-echelon sannyasins could determine what the guru said or didn’t say. For the first two years in Oregon, Rajneesh had spoken only with a few high-level sannyasins, and in the fall of 1983 he announced – or, rather, Sheela announced – that he would speak only with Sheela. One thing was certain, however, and that was that Rajneesh had created the system they so disliked. His responsibility was obvious – yet he had hidden it from them in plain sight.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 93)

Vismaya writes on darshan with Osho
“Bhagwan had gone into silence when he left India and no longer gave personal darshans or spoke in discourse. He explained he had said all he wanted to and had prepared us through his words to receive his deeper message, which could only be communicated in silence. I was surprised therefore when one July Celebration on the ranch, I was given a message I must tell no one but was to be in a certain place at a certain time, freshly bathed and no perfume, because I was to be taken to see Bhagwan.
Six of us climbed into a limousine and were driven across a bridge over a lake with black swans on one side, white on the other, a symbol of Bhagwan’s Tantric wisdom beyond the duality of god and evil. We were stopped at two large gates by sannyasin guards with Uzi sub-machine guns, though I don’t know what they symbolised – ‘don’t fuck with me’?
In the time-honoured ritual of suspicious borders between countries everywhere, they leaned in, spoke to the driver and peered into the back of the car. We were waved through and into the grounds of Bhagwan’s house. We de-limousined and were ushered, single file, into a cool room with no windows.
We sat in a silent row on the marble floor until Bhagwan arrived, wearing, perhaps it was a bling thing, the largest diamond encrusted Rolex I have ever seen. He namastéd us with a smile, sat down elegantly and gave a rambling talk about the minerals and gold underneath the rock on which the commune was built. I assumed this was a metaphor for inner riches, until he began to talk about the actual drilling. He then gave each of us a hat and a zap on the third eye.
‘There is something strange going on here’, I tell Sujan later that evening, when I tell him all. ‘Those guns are weird.'” (Geraghty 2007, p. 193)

Goldman on dropping sannyas
“And old friend who knew these two from the ranch refer to them as “closet sannyasins.” Each retains space in her heart for Bhagwan. Some individuals close to the current inner circles in Pune separate those who remain loyal to Bhagwan from defectors. For the most part, however, sannyasins draw few distinctions between devotees who dropped out and those who are still formally part of the movement. Although they condemn the apostates who published lurid exposés about Bhagwan and Rajneeshpuram, they usually speak with warmth and concern about old comrades. This was a common theme among all of the sannyasins who talked with me recently: “No matter what, you never really drop sannyas.” (Goldman 1999, p. 257)

Susan Palmer writes on Osho’s phase of abdication as anyone’s guru following Sheela’s exodus
“On September 26, Bhagwan told his Sannyasins to stop wearing the colour red and the mala, their traditional symbol of initiation (Rajneesh Times, 1986:27). All malas were to be sent back to the ranch. When his followers protested, Bhagwan relented and allowed them to keep the mala. He announced the end of Rajneeshism, saying “A religion has died.” A celebration of the death of Rajneeshism took place at Rajneeshpuram in which a bonfire was made of copies of Sheela’s book ‘Rajneeshism’ and her “pope’s robes”. The Rajneesh Times of October 4, 1985, offers Bhagwan’s explanations which reveal his acute concern for the problem of institutionalisation:
In an interview with Bill Graves of the ‘Bulletin’, Bhagwan said he decided to take these steps in an effort to keep his movement from becoming institutionalised.
The book and the word “Rajneeshee” were developed by Ma Anand Sheela against his wishes during his three-and-a-half years of silence.
“I hate the word ‘ism’.”
Bhagwan continued to deliver blows to the institutions of his movement. The Rajneesh Times of October II reports that he abolished the daily “gacchamis” or bowing ceremony “which he said was too similar to ritual Christian and Mohammedan prayers” and at the same time he put an end to the terms “worship” and “temple” which were to become plain old “work”, and “department” again. He attacked the large international communes by declaring “I am absolutely against centralisation” and invited his Sannyasins to start new communes.
On October 18 the ‘Rajneesh Times’ announced “Friends of Rajneesh International is born” meaning the name of the movement was not longer The Rajneesh Foundation International. This move was inspired by Bhagwan’s statement that he was not a Guru to his Sannyasins, but merely a friend.” (Aveling 1999, p. 386)

Politics and Crimes

To keen observers the events unfolding at the Ranch were hidden in plain sight, as we might say. But the energy of those working heavily on the Ranch didn’t leave much time for insight when their ten-hour days of worship were finished. Should anyone show a critical attitude they were kindly shown where the exit road from the community was to be found, others chose to leave at night at their own free will. For many it was a choice between being near their master and swallow a few unpleasant chunks or leaving the community. As for the festival goers they were mostly carried away to the music and didn’t stay long enough to notice the darker side of politics, inside as well as outside the Ranch.

Sven Davisson writes
“Even before coming to the United States, Rajneesh was on the radar screens of the U.S. State Department. After the murders and mass-suicide at Jones Town, the U.S. government began to monitor gurus and religious groups that attracted a large American following. In the late 70s, CIA agents were often rumored to be among the visitors at the Rajneesh ashram. At the very least, the American consulate in Bombay sent reports to Washington regarding the activities of Rajneesh and his Pune ashram. Those reports contained specific references to State Department concerns that Rajneesh would try to relocate to the United States…
From the moment that Rajneesh first stepped foot on American soil, he was a matter of “concern” for the U.S. government. By 1984, 17 different local, state and federal agencies were actively investigating the activities at Rajneeshpuram. White House documents show that Edwin Meese III, the “shadow president” of the Reagan administration, noticed the “Rajneesh” situation as early as 1982. The presence of the Rajneesh commune almost immediately created fear among the local Oregonians, especially the few remaining residents of Antelope. Destruction of the commune became a crusade for Oregon Attorney General David Frohnmeyer and the private activist group 1,000 Friends of Oregon (coincidentally founded by the Attorney General’s brother). In a 1984 interview in The Oregonian, congressman Bob Smith stated that he had begun “pounding” the INS to resolve the Oregon-Rajneesh “issue” in April 1982…
Beginning in 1983 and increasing through to the dissolution of the commune in 1985, military jets from Whidbey Island Naval Base conducted regular flyovers of Rajneeshpuram. In violation of FAA regulations, the planes routinely flew extremely low over the commune disrupting daily life and in several instances, jeopardizing civilian air traffic at he Rajneesh airport. These flights were ostensibly routine training missions – at times even using the commune buildings as fake targets for bombing runs. The flights also included reconnaissance and surveillance. Twin-engine Mohawk surveillance planes from the reconnaissance unit in Boise, Idaho, also conducted recons over the commune. In the taped conversations with Wolfgang, he also mentions participating in aerial surveillance. Both the INS and U.S. attorney’s office conducted aerial recons over Rajneeshpuram in 1985 as part of their preparation for arresting Rajneesh.” (Davisson 2003)

Ronald Reagan
Born in 1911 in Illinois Ronald Reagan like his father was pro-Roosevelt but his political standing was changed in post-war America, where he gained political prominence among right-wing extremists, and he spoke strongly for McCarthy’s witch-hunting of suspected communists in Hollywood. Reagan won the governorship of California with the full support of the frankly racist John Birch Society. During his years as President (1981-1989) it was questioned if he truly knew the difference between movie scripts and the real world and all public comments were thoroughly screened by his aides after in one speech he had referred to the Third World as ‘Third World War’ eight times in error. With his obvious difficulty in absorbing facts and understanding complex issues, briefings on all issues had to be reduced to no more than one page for the President, a profile very much resembling that of later President Donald Trump, the two of them having much in common in public appeal and performance, me-first values, use of one-liners, sexist views and disrespect of facts as they were both happily distorting facts and figures to persuade the public. Reagan had powerful support from fervent evangelists, Church groups, the Right-To-Life lobby opposing the choice of abortion to be available to the mother and also the Equal Rights Amendment for women. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years after he left office. (Based on: ‘The Rape of a Noble Ideology. U.S.A. In Perspective 1783-1985’ (Munjee 1986, pp. 425-68). See also: ‘There He Goes Again: Ronald Reagan’s Reign of Error’ / Gail MacColl and Mark Green (1985), where the authors provide 300 documented errors of fact by Ronald Reagan. A record later on to be taken to new levels by the fake news of Donald Trump in his morning Twitter based on Rupert Murdock’s Fox News).

Subhuti on US government investigation in 1981
“According to government correspondence, obtained much later under the Freedom of Information Act, Edwin Meese, counsellor and friend to President Reagan, was, by October 1981, already forwarding material about Bhagwan to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Other memos show that General Alexander Haig, Reagan’s Secretary of State, was also expressing concern about the sudden appearance of an Indian guru and his red tribe in Oregon.
On November 24, 1981, the same day that Bhagwan applied for permanent residency in the US, a telegram was sent from the State Department in Washington to the America Consulate in Mumbai requesting officials to investigate the past activities of Bhagwan’s ashram in Pune.
The telegram added: “There is both Congressional and White House interest in the activities of the guru and his ashram.” Our all-American roller coaster ride was under way.
By the way, the IRS and INS investigations were just the beginning. In the end, no less than 17 federal and state agencies had us under their microscopes. No wonder Sheela went nuts.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 81)

Win McCormack writes
“Perhaps taking a cue from the Shah of Iran, Rajneesh secured his original three-week visa at the American Consulate in Bombay by claiming that he needed specialized medical treatment in the United States for a back ailment. The INS would like to prove, as suggested by a January 1982 U.S. State Department report, that “Rajneesh either faked or, more likely, seriously exaggerated his alleged medical condition in order to transfer his ashram to the United States and escape tax difficulties in India. Predicts one source bluntly: “He will be deported.” (Oregon Magazine, September 1984)

Gordon writes
“Later, a ranch Freedom of Information request unearthed an internal INS memo of April 8, 1983, which confirmed the sannyasins’ charge of prejudice. “Perhaps this is wishful thinking,” the memo read, “but there is speculation that possibly the pressure applied by the Service to the immigration situation of the [Rajneesh] organization may cause them to pick up stakes and leave the United States.” (Gordon 1987, p. 128)

Niren on US government involvement
“The first and most important thing to understand is that what finally happened – Bhagwan being deported – was the government’s intention and program from the time Bhagwan arrived in the country, from the time the original application was made… at all times. As soon as the government became aware of us, there was total government hostility and a plan to investigate us for as long as it took before they found something against the commune and against Bhagwan.
“The documentation that we have is clear… We obtained documentation indicating there was White House involvement and White House hostility; by that, I mean cabinet level at least. And there were memoranda from the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the operational level that clearly indicated the implementation of a program to get us out of the country.” (Sw Niren, Rajneeshpuram. In: Forman 1988, p. 289)

On Niren, Osho’s chief attorney
“During his attempts to clear Rajneesh’s name, Toelkes accused U.S. Attorney Charles Turner of misusing his office in order to attack Rajneesh. Toelkes also claimed that while Rajneesh was in jail, he was poisoned by U.S. officials and the result of this mistreatment was Rajneesh’s physical deterioration and ultimate death.” (McCormack 2010, p. 291)

Heading: American TV Airs Question: Who Killed Osho?
“For the first time, an American television news team has raised the question of whether there was a plot by US Government officials to kill Osho while He was living in the United States.
Newsroom 6, a CBS affiliate in Portland, Oregon, recently screened a three-part series in which TV reporter Eric Mason tried to “shed some light on the web of intrigue and subterfuge surrounding Osho’s departure from Oregon and His death in India.”
In the first part, arms dealer Kim Johns stated that Osho’s disciples purchased arms for self-defence because “there was a legitimate fear on their part of Osho’s life being in jeopardy by someone, by an entity – heavy hitters, not just farmers.”
Mason then interviewed Don Stewart, a self-described soldier of fortune who said he had conducted covert domestic espionage and “sting” operations for the US Government on a contractual, freelance basis. Stewart said he had been approached by a man called Wolfgang and they had discussed the possibility of killing Osho.
Mason asked Stewart why people in Oregon should get upset about such a plot now that Osho has gone. Stewart pointed out that once you have set up a covert government system for killing people, “who is it going to be used against next time? Once you have decided to kill, who do you kill next?”
Wolfgang, also known as William Gossett, said on the program that he was asked a “philosophical question” by a US Government official that could have had “no other meaning” than getting rid of Osho. Wolfgang said he set the price for the contract at $100,000.
Reporter Mason also mentioned a third soldier of fortune, John Wayne Hearn, who said he had been offered a job to blow up buildings at the Oregon Commune, although not by people in the US Government.
In the second part of the series, Mason described the slow and painful deterioration of Osho’s body after leaving the USA, and the exhaustive medical tests carried out by His doctors which ruled out all possible causes except poisoning with thallium and exposure to radiation.
The third part of the documentary looked at the worldwide community of sannyasins and lovers of Osho, noting that it is rapidly growing even though Osho has left His body.
“Nothing came of the negotiations between Reagan Administration officials and the soldiers of fortune mentioned in this TV news series,” commented Swami Prem Niren, attorney for Osho. “But this documentary clearly shows that senior Reagan officials had the intention of doing physical harm to Osho as a means of silencing Him.”
“My feeling is that the main obstacle to carrying out that intention was the tight security on the ranch,” Niren added. “It was impossible to get at Osho, which must have raised the question in the minds of Reagan’s aides: how do we get this guy out of the ranch and into an exposed position? Their answer was simple and effective: use the indictment machine of the grand jury process to accuse Osho of immigration fraud and get Him inside a federal prison, where He could be attacked with thallium and radiation.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:24)

Sven Davisson writes
“In his book ‘Passage to America’, Max Brecher interviews two soldiers-for-hire who allege that they were offered money for killing Rajneesh. In both instances, the individuals were sure that the CIA was ultimately behind the payment offers. John Wayne Hearn, now serving three life sentences for the gruesome murders for hire, admits to working for the CIA on several covert operations, including running guns to Nicaragua and assisting in a plot to overthrow the government of French Guyana. Hearn claims to have been offered a significant amount of money to blow-up several trailers at Rajneeshpuram in an attempt to scare the sannyasins. The second man Don Stewart recorded his conversations with his contact who went by the name Wolfgang. In these conversations, Wolfgang specifically mentions government agencies targeting Rajneesh. Wolfgang’s plan was to assassinate the Bhagwan during one of his daily drives. Once a day Rajneesh would drive his car along a commune road and sannyasins would line up to watch their guru drive by. For Wolfgang, and presumably his backers, the killing of a couple of hundred devotees was more than acceptable if Rajneesh was taken out. It is ironic that in both these instances, the soldiers turned down the offer due to the rumors they had heard about the commune being an armed camp. The prospect of being trapped by a couple of thousand armed zealots proved an unacceptable risk.” (Davisson 2003)

Abhiyana writes on the bombing of Hotel Rajneesh in Portland
“July 29, 1983: Stephen Paster checked in to a fourth-floor room at Hotel Rajneesh. He set three pipe bombs to blow up the hotel. One bomb apparently exploded in his hands before he could surround it with homemade napalm, and he lost several fingers and suffered eye and ear injuries from the three blasts that shook the hotel. You would have thought it would be an open-and-shut case, but Paster claimed the bomb was already in the room and he was an innocent victim; after leaving the hospital, they let him go on $20,000 bail. It shows you how much we were appreciated in Portland; I’m sure many had wished the bomber had blown up the whole building.
We felt the judicial system had failed us once again. Paster belonged to a militant, fundamentalist Muslim organization called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. This was 16 years before 9/11! We followed him to several “safe” houses around Portland. At around 3 a.m. in the pouring rain, we were sitting in our car outside one of the houses waiting for him to emerge. A cop knocked on my window; I rolled the window down as he exclaimed: “Go home and let us do our job!”
Paster skipped bail and fled town, but was arrested a few months later and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Police found a “bomb workshop” and manuals describing the construction of homemade bombs and munitions in his Los Angeles apartment. He only served four years of his prison sentence. His involvement was also suspected in two later bombings in Seattle: the Vedanta Society temple and the Integral Yoga society. He is reportedly now in Lahore, Pakistan where he trains Fuqra members in weapons and explosives. No one else associated with Paster or the Jamaat ul-Fuqra was ever arrested.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 322)

Sambodhi writes on Carter Lewis’ study
“In his book, Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram, Carter Lewis mentions that we gave $5.00 to each person who left [SAH]. I never heard about that, and because so much of what I’ve read about us in the course of this writing has been incorrect (e.g.,
one article said that the hotel fire [in Rajneesh Hotel, Portland] was on the second and third floors), I hesitate to accept the accuracy of this item. However, I’m willing to give Carter Lewis the benefit of the doubt, mainly because his book is more balanced and conscientious than most of the other material I’ve read, and he may, in fact, have interviewed someone who dealt directly with these payments. Also, I’d like to believe it’s true…
Steven Paul Paster was the bomber. With Pakistani affiliations, he was a ranking member of the Muslim fundamentalist group, Jamaat ul-Fuqra. They targeted ethnic Indians and Indian sects in North America. The bombing cost him three fingers, hearing loss, and burn scars. Following recovery from his immediate injuries, he was released on $20,000 bail and promptly fled the state, claiming he was afraid for himself, his wife and two children. (It’s not clear whether he was afraid of us or the FBI.) He was caught two years later at a Fuqra house in Colorado. He served 4 years of a 20-year sentence for the bombing, and moved to Lahore. U.S. intelligence sources say he provides explosives training to visiting Fuqra members (ironic, since the job he did at our hotel suggests he needed training himself). We were unaware of his background at the time of the bombing, and felt convinced that the climate of hostility towards us in Oregon provided a measure of support for his behaviour. It very well may have.” (Clare 2009, pp. 240,197)
(Note: One more attack from Muslim fundamentalists was carried out in Poona with the bombing of German Bakery near the Resort in Koregaon Park in 2010, following the shootings and siege of Taj Mahal in Bombay)

Roshani Shay in her chronology
“Jan 6: Reported that authenticity of cable #4705 to US State Dept. from US Consul in Bombay has been verified, but that it was sent and received in Dec,. 1981 (rather than Jan., 1982); cable states that copies were to be sent to INS Headquarters and to Portland office and that Consul does not believe visa fraud was committed in relation to Bhagwan’s entry into US; INS officers refuse to confirm whether cable is in their files…
Aug 7: Stephen Paster, awaiting trial for arson in the 1983 bombing of Hotel Rajneesh in Portland… Paster said to belong to a group of fundamentalist Moslems.” (Shay 1990)

Osho’s visa
“When Bhagwan’s tourist visa came up for renewal, an application was made for his residency under the two appropriate categories then applicable, those of “religious worker” and “religious teacher.” First there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about whether Bhagwan could be considered a “worker.” Because he’d been sick and in Chidvilas for three months prior to coming to the ranch the INS considered he couldn’t be working, and because he was in silence, they argued, he couldn’t be a “teacher”; this, despite the fact that he had four hundred book titles to his name by then. And in any case, according to the INS, what Bhagwan was creating wasn’t a religion…
Ironically, our need to establish ourselves as a religion to the INS was our undoing in a later issue when we were accused of mixing church and state…
However, when Bhagwan had been denied acceptance under the category of “religious teacher,” our lawyers discovered that the manner in which that decision had been arrived at flagrantly ignored the INS’s own regulations which pertained to such cases. They had totally ignored considering both sides of the issue – and our rebuttal was impressive. It consisted of three videos, fifty-one photographs, forty-eight pages of brief and six hundred and twenty-eight pages of evidence to counter the INS’ challenge that Bhagwan wasn’t a religious teacher.” (Forman 1988, pp. 293,295)

Adoption of Osho as a child
“Swami Swarupananda, Ma Sheela’s father, surprises the whole commune when he reveals that he had adopted Bhagwan at the age of four. “Bapuji”, as Swarupananda is affectionately called, relates the story to the Rajneesh Times.
Shortly after Bhagwan was born, His parents consulted astrologers to have the child’s destiny read. But the astrologers refused to do the chart, saying that the boy would die before the age of seven. A strategy was suggested that might avert this destiny, and that was for the parents to disown Him. If He lived, the astrologers said, He would be the leader of mankind.
The parents did not want to believe this dire prediction. They tried to ignore it as if nothing had happened – maybe the predictions were wrong. At the age of one-and-a-half, Bhagwan almost died of smallpox. The sores covered His body and His eyes were swollen shut. They thought surely He would die, but He lived. His parents began to take the predictions seriously.
Within a year, He was sick again – this time it was typhoid fever. He almost died, but by some miracle He survived, only to have the typhoid recur after a period of time. He was deadly sick, but again He pulled through.
About this time Swami Swarupananda met Bhagwan’s father, Swami Devateerth Bharti, affectionately called “Dadaji”. Swarupananda could see that his friend was burdened with some anxiety, and he asked what was wrong. “Dadaji” told the whole story. Swarupananda pointed out to him that things were happening according to the astrologer’s prediction. He then offered to adopt Bhagwan as his son. There was a strong feeling between the men – “Dadaji” felt that he was right. He took a picture of Swarupananda to show to Bhagwan’s mother, Ma Amrit Saraswati Jain, and to ask her agreement. On the next trip to Bombay, “Dadaji” and Saraswati brought the young Bhagwan to his new father.
Swarupananda remembers the child Bhagwan as being “in a class by Himself… There was something about Him, a king of quietness.. And the eyes… those eyes… there was such a lustre in them it would always draw attention to Him… there was understanding and peace in those eyes… this child… I felt He was coming from a different place than the rest of the world.”
Because of his agreement with “Dadaji”, Swarupananda keeps this story a well-guarded secret until the evening of February 9, 1984. The time has come for the news to be revealed.
A surprise meeting of the commune is held to make the announcement. Naturally, a huge celebration follows with “Bapuji” joining in the dancing.
One week later, Bhagwan, on His own merits, is recognized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service as a religious teacher.” (Madyapa 1984, pp. 534-35)

From interview with Sw Swarupananda, Sheela’s father Babuji, who claimed to have adopted Osho when four years old
“A: Astrologers were consulted right after His birth. They read a person’s destiny. But they refused to do the chart of this boy, Bhagwan. They said that the boy would die before the age of seven years. The only hope was for the parents to disown Him, then perhaps there was a chance.
If He lived He would be the leader of mankind. He would show the way to the whole world.
Q: Did His parents believe the prediction?
A: His parents did not want to believe. They went on almost as if nothing had happened, maybe the astrologers were wrong? But they weren’t wrong
This thing “destiny”, how it plays its game! At the age of 1 1/2 years He became sick with smallpox and almost died. His whole body was covered with sores. The sores on is eyes were so bad He couldn’t open them. They gave Him up for dead. But, for some inscrutable reason, He lived. But that opened their eyes. The fear began to enter the parents at that time.
Again in about a year’s time He is sick again, this time with typhoid fever. The sickness was bad; it was about to eat Him away. Again He almost died and again He survived, by some miracle. Then after a period of time the typhoid came back. Again the boy was deathly sick, but He survived again.
Q: Did Bhagwan’s father tell you this story?
A: Yes. In 1935 we had a meeting. I felt that this man was unhappy. “Babulal,” I asked im, “you are carrying something, a burden, what is it?”
“I am alright,” he said. But I cared for him so much. I kept on about it, and finally he told me.
When I heard the story I said “Come to your senses! This is happening according to the prophecy. Find someone you can trust, someone who is willing.”
By that time the thought had already occurred to me. Why not? “Babulal,” I said, “I feel like asking you… why not give over this child to me? I will be His father. And can you not just look at me and know this is right? Look at me. Am I not the same as you?”
At that moment the thing happened. Babulal looked at me and said “As far as I am concerned I give the child to you.” He said he would go talk to the child’s mother, Saraswati, and seek her agreement. And he took a picture of me to show her. On his next trip to Bombay he brought her – and the boy.
Q: And that’s when you adopted Him, on that trip?
A: Yes. Right then it was done.” (Sw Swarupananda. Interview. In: Bhagwan, 1984:3)

Sheela editing ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’
“Sometime after August 1984, the manuscript of Rajneesh’s reminiscences about his early years, ‘Glimpses of a Golden Childhood’, was given to Sheela. Along with her associates, Sheela forged Chapter 29 and inserted the fabricated adoption story. “We were staying with a certain man, Ambalal Patel,” the forgery reads, “who were my father’s friend. He was so loving towards me that I found in him another father.”” (Brecher 1993, p. 177)

On Michael C. Sullivan, district attorney of Jefferson County
“Sullivan, a graduate of Washington University, in St. Louis, and a man of unusual intellectual detachment, could find no humor in the situation, even now. The Jimenez group, he said, did not speak for most people in Madras. A Methodist minister and a Catholic monsignor had spoken out against violence and religious intolerance while the trouble was going on…
Mike Sullivan told me that he got along very well with the Rajneeshee he had met, and would defend their rights to the end, but that he did not approve of their tactics. He had advised them not to sue their neighbors for libel, and he had advised them to make some gesture of good will toward the community, but they had not followed his advice.” (FitzGerald 1986, I pp. 53-54)

On Charles Turner, US Attorney, Portland
“”But I recognized early on that the thing to do, if they wanted to get rid of these people, was to deport the Bhagwan because he was the catalyst and the linchpin for the organization. If we could get rid of him, the whole thing would fall apart as a matter of course. And they ridiculed and laughed at me about that. But that’s exactly what happened.”
Turner seemed blissfully unaware, during his candid interview, that he was, in effect, admitting to conspiracy: representatives of the world’s most powerful government had decided to use the nation’s legal system to destroy a small spiritual community, without actually knowing if anything illegal had occurred.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 108)
(Note: Interview with Charles Turner is from ‘A Passage to’ America (Brecher 1993 & 2014) where further documentation of government politics and action are to be found)

Comments from Charles Turner later on
“Charles Turner, the US government’s prosecuting attorney in the case against Bhagwan – who happened to be a fundamentalist Christian – stated in February 1989, that as Rajneeshpuram was becoming established, the government “threw up their hands, [saying]: ‘What are we going to do with these people? How are we going to get them out of here? They’re totally entrenched. They’re a political entity. They have money, they have power, they have organization. They’re sophisticated, they have people who are absolutely, completely, totally committed to what they are doing, zealous beyond anything that I’ve never encountered before in my life. So, what are we going to do about it? Let’s use the US attorney’s office to charge them with immigration fraud.'”…
Charles Turner continued: “I realized early on that the thing to do, if we wanted to get rid of these people… was to deport the Rajneesh, because he was the catalyst and the lynchpin for this organization. If we could get rid of him, the whole thing would fall apart as a matter of course.”” (Forman 2002, p. 431)

Brecher writes on pressure put on office
“U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, and the former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Robert Weaver, believe that both Inman and the INS national headquarters in Washington, D.C. put undue pressure on their office to criminally prosecute the Rajneesh case.
“I think they just wanted us to do their dirty work for them,” Robert Weaver said. “The case was a politically difficult one. I had conversations with Commissioner Nelson and when these guys at the INS would sit down and talk about their two or three cases, Bhagwan was always on that list. It was always on the short list along with Sanctuary and the illegal aliens from Mexico. And the reason that all those things were on somebody’s short list was because they were getting inundated with enquiries from the White House, from Capitol Hill, from constituencies. I know it was a matter of concern at the White House.” (Brecher 1993, p. 127)

From interview with James Gordon
“The US government has had, at the very least, a suspicious attitude since the late ’70’s. When I was working at the National Institute of Mental Health, already the State Department said I could not come [to Poona] as a representative of the US government. My proposal was that I come here because I was sort of the expert on alternative therapies, and I said, “Why don’t I go?, because they’re putting together meditation and psychotherapy. This is one of the ways of the future in mental health and I want to study it and see it and perhaps it makes sense to do a research project.” The National Institute of Mental Health said, “Great!” They sent a telex (as they have to do) to the Consulate in Bombay, and they said, “No.”…
There’s not much question that at the very least powerful people in Oregon, and some people within the Justice Department, wanted Him out. There was never any question in my mind, there was never any question in my book. I stated very clearly what Charles Turner told me: that Hatfield said to him, “Can you find some way to get rid of this guy?” So there’s no question that fairly high ranking people wanted him out.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:2)

From fax by Brecher on upcoming Turner Conspiracy Trial
“”For one of the things I discovered while researching that book [Brecher 1993], and hopefully made clear in no uncertain terms when writing it, was the hand washing hand state of affairs in Oregon between state and federal officials, especially as far as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, “Rajneeshees” (current and former), and Rajneeshpuram were concerned. Even someone who has not had that indelible experience – which has become even more indelible in the years of silence since the book has been published – might suspect a conflict of interest.” (Brecher 2014, p. 506)

Professor Shay concludes in ‘Rajneeshpuram and The Abuse of Power’ and quotes Oregonian editorial of 08.08.1984
“The Rajneeshees have been singled out for treatment at the hands of various state and local government bodies such as would not be tolerated had it been directed against any other religious community in Oregon…
A breath of fresh air and common sense was provided by an August, 1984 Oregonian editorial. Some of its reasonable suggestions are worthy of repetition here.
‘The followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, gathered in a commune on the Muddy Ranch in Eastern Oregon, should receive neither privileged treatment nor harassment at the hands of Oregon state government…
The governor, in effect, invited them to leave. The attorney general held that the incorporation of their city violates separation of church and state. And their city and other developments are under attack as conflicting with state land laws.
After a sorry record of antagonism, with plenty of fault to be found all around, it is time to try a constructive approach. If Rajneeshpuram in its present form is an unconstitutional mingling of religion and government, the state’s legal talent should strive to help the inhabitants form a city that does meet constitutional tests. Similar attention should be given land use laws, which were intended to protect the environment and preserve farmland, not to prohibit creation of new cities where there is reason to have them.
In short, a cooperative effort is in order to help the Rajneeshees establish what it is they want in ways that are compatible with federal and state constitutions and the environment of Wasco and Jefferson counties. Then there should be no question about… special favors or heavy-handed action by state agencies. In the eyes of the state, equality for all should apply to a commune on the Muddy Ranch the same as to any other community in Oregon.’
These are the words written in the spirit of American justice. They are words designed to remind government of the need to exercise power responsibly and not abusively. They are words which remind all of us that government is created to serve the needs and protect the rights of all its citizens. Now it is time for action to implement such principles. For it still holds true, actions speak louder than words.” (Shay 1985, p. 51)

Vasant Joshi writes on Osho in the US
“His very presence was the ultimate challenge for the system, not simply because he was offering a real alternative to the old, but in effect showing precisely, as is evident in Rajneeshpuram, how the dream of ‘life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness’ can truly be realised. While the rest of the urban US was facing violence and alienation, here young Americans were caring for each other and living the very dream. It was something that was a threat to the flag-bearers of the society and so could not be permitted to succeed.
This attracted the storm clouds. The federal government was determined that this experiment should be terminated as soon as possible. Some seventeen government agencies had been instructed to get information on Osho and his sannyasins, anything that could convict them and get them out of US. Public opinion had already been manipulated with the usual clichés of ‘religious cults’, and therefore they knew that they will find support in whatever they choose to do.
The Reagan administration was in power then. It was most determined to do whatever it could to destroy the city and throw Osho out of the US. The Attorney General, Edwin Meese, later made it clear that he never wanted to hear Osho’s name again. Ironically, it was the same administration that would later find scores of its members convicted under various crimes. Edwin Meese himself would later leave office under a cloud of criminality. At the time when that government was planning the destruction of Rajneeshpuram, they themselves were embroiled in a major abuse of their own Constitution. No American could ever imagine how perversely corrupt their own government was.” (Joshi 2010, p. 172)

Fig. 10. Department of State. Telegram from Alexander Haigh, Secretary of State.

Fig. 10. Department of State. Telegram from Alexander Haigh, Secretary of State.

Edwin Meese
Edwin Meese ran into trouble due to his past history of corruption already in the hearings preceding his nomination to Attorney-General in 1984, where an inquiry into his wrongdoings concluded that none of the wrongdoings justified any indictments for criminal prosecution, so in the wake of Reagan’s re-election 1984 the Congress approved Meese Attorney-General. (Munjee 1986, pp. 434-35)

Edwin Meese
“Meese continued to act as Reagan’s personal counsel, and in 1985 was appointed Attorney General… Meese was forced to resign from the post in 1988 when it was found that he had helped old friends at Wedtech Corporation gain a $32 million contract from the Defence Department.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 110)

Maneesha writes on Edwin Meese
“Edwin Meese, the attorney general, was one of those particularly antagonistic towards us: it was he with whom the governor of Oregon, Atiyeh, was in daily contact, obviously reporting to Meese what was happening in the commune. Earlier we’d filed a lawsuit against Meese – also naming George Shultz and Alan Nelson – alleging violation of civil rights and Bhagwan’s being denied due process of law. It was later said that it was this lawsuit – nicknamed “God Versus The Universe” – which “really stirred up the hornet’s nest” in Washington! It is interesting that today, two years later, facts about incidents that happened during 1985 are coming to light regarding the actions or misdeeds of Meese and others holding high office within the Reagan administration, stories which include the Iran/Contra affair. “Although he is the government’s chief law officer,” notes the July issue of ‘The Economist’, “Mr. Meese sometimes seems to be more investigated than investigating” – and proceeds to ponder on his “apparent failure to comply with government ethics laws.” (Forman 1988, p. 534)

U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese
“It was by no means unexpected that Meese would hold a strong position in the Reagan administration. Way back in November 1966 when Reagan was elected governor of California on a promise ‘to clean up the mess at Berkeley,’ he had chosen as chief of the campaign Deputy District Attorney Edwin Meese. On May 20th, 1969, Meese had proven his skills and his loyalty to the governor having the tactical command when 200 persons were injured and one killed by the police in The People’s Park demonstrations in Berkeley. What may now be almost forgotten is the fact that over one hundred high ranking officials in the Reagan administration were later indicted on charge of ethical misconduct, among them also Edwin Meese who was forced to resign from his post as U.S. Attorney General…
The successful conclusion of the Osho case was vaguely commented by Edwin Meese III at the following morning meeting for department heads at Justice Department headquarters in Washington. The meeting was accidentally filmed for a PBS documentary ‘Justice For All.'” (Evald 2000, pp. 169,172)
(Note: Edwin Meese (born 1931) was Reagan’s general counsellor and for the first time in American history the general counsellor assumed cabinet member status. Meese also had authority over the staff for domestic policy and national security. Appointed U.S. Attorney General on 23.02.1985 and served in this position until 1988)

Osho talking on Edwin Meese in August 1988
“The man Ed Meese said in a press conference, “All that we want is to silence Rajneesh absolutely. He should not be heard anywhere, he should not be seen anywhere. We will close all the doors to his voice.”
Anando has sent him just now… Here we are, ten thousand sannyasins, and poor Ed Meese has been kicked out of his Attorney General’s job because he has been found guilty of doing many criminal acts.
And Anando, as my secretary, has written to him – with a photograph of ten thousand sannyasins, that means twenty thousand hands raised – saying “Osho Rajneesh is still being heard – where are you?” It is only a question…” The Miracle (1989). Chapter 2, p. 38.

Police force
“When it was decided that a police force was needed to protect the ranch, six men and four women went for a ten-month training course at the Oregon Police Academy. All the recruits graduated in the top ten per cent of their class, and one of them, a droll young man named Swami Deva Sangeet, was picked as the best of seven hundred Oregon police trainees. Rajneeshpuram now had a police force – or a Peace Force, as it was known – sporting police revolvers and pink uniforms.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 61)

Growing pressure
“On June 3 [1985], the Rajneesh Foundation International (RFI) filed suit in federal court charging the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service with violating the Rajneeshees’ constitutional rights, and asking for an injunction to prohibit further INS investigations of the group. Sheela announced that she had been informed by a source in the U.S. Attorney’s office that a federal grand jury indictment against her and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was imminent. She predicted they would be arrested sometime between June 11 and July 27.” (McCormack 1987, p. 216)

On Mukta coming to Osho in Bombay and U.S. attorney
“Mukta is one of those unwavering people that have become very rare in the world. She had not come for me; she had come just to accompany another sannyasin. That other sannyasin has disappeared long ago. She used to come to India at least two or three times a year to see me. She was American, very rich, and was constantly thinking that when her father dies… That old fellow was holding all the money.
Then I went to America, but she never came to the commune. The old man had died, and now she had all the money. She was afraid if she came to the commune and saw me it would be difficult. She had been telling me again and again, “Bhagwan, don’t be worried. He cannot live forever. Once he is gone, our ashram is not going to have any trouble about money.” I said, “This is very ugly. The very idea is ugly and poisonous.”
But he died and she became one of the richest women in America. She never came to see me in five years while I was in America and the last thing she did when she found that the American government was trying to destroy the commune or in some way deport me…
The U.S. attorney had said, “Our main purpose is to silence Bhagwan absolutely.” One journalist asked him, “What do you mean? Do you want to assassinate him?” He said, “No, we have more sophisticated means to silence him.” She became afraid that if the American government found out that she was my sannyasin…
She sent a letter from her attorney. This is a strange world and gives tremendously hilarious moments. When I saw the letter I could not stop laughing. The letter said, “I have never been connected with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and I am not at all interested what happens to him or to the commune. I have never been to the commune. This is from my attorney to inform you that I have never been associated with you.”
She must have become afraid. It is very difficult when you are passing through dark nights; even your own shadow leaves you.” Satya Shivam Sundram (1988). Chapter 27, p. 322.

FitzGerald on Sheela and coordinators’ meetings
“Sheela had told me that her outrageousness made for good publicity. She had also told me that she was doing the bidding for Rajneesh himself. And there was some evidence that this was so. Circulating among the opposition in Oregon at the time were two documents purporting to be the minutes of two coordinators’ meetings, one dated November of 1982 and one January of 1983. The documents sounded authentic, and were later authenticated by two sannyasins who had been present at the meetings. One of them ended with the directive “Please shred these notes immediately after use,” and both contained reports of discussions a good deal more sensitive than the one I had listened to, and apparently among a far smaller group of people. Both indicated that there was dissension within the commune, and both reported the gist of conversations that Sheela and others had had with the guru. One entry in the November minutes, for example, read:
‘Bhagwan said not to worry about why people left, focus attention on work here. He doesn’t want to speak again, but if money becomes too difficult, He would do. He wants to attract people who can sit silently and also enjoy the work.’
An entry in the January minutes read:
‘Sheela was on CBS Eye Witness News – Bhagwan was very pleased because she was so feisty. “It was all bullshit.'”
The guru had apparently liked the word.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 95)

Ranch management poisoning in The Dalles
“Seven hundred and fifty people reported being ill after having eaten food at one of ten restaurants in The Dalles between September 10th and October 7th, 1984. Forty-five of those people were sick enough to need hospitalization. Of them many were extremely ill but nobody died… According to Ava, Sheela and Puja told her that they were going to do an experiment to see if they could make people sick in The Dalles so that they could not vote. Sheela asked Ava to go to The Dalles and place salmonella cultures in salad bars and coffee creamers in restaurants.” (Forman 1988, p. 477f)

Abhiyana writes on Ava
“Ava testified under oath that Sheela and her cabal were extremely keen to make sure there were no leaks, so that Osho should never hear of their crimes. I can’t see how exonerating Osho could save her skin. I would thing it would have the opposite effect of pissing off her prosecutors. Additionally, all the wiretapped tapes from Osho’s room were pored over by the Feds, and to their dismay, no evidence was found that Osho knew of the crimes. But it’s an immature mind game to pin blame on another; ultimately it is my responsibility too, as I ignored my doubts, and rationalized that I was surrendered for the greater good.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 312)
(Note: A full report of Ava’s testimony is found in chapter 13 of ‘A Passage to America’ (Brecher 2014))

Two well-researched studies on the bio-attack issue are ‘The Rajneeshees’ (1984) (Carus 2000) and ‘Germs. Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War’ (Miller 2001).

On poisoning
“The first documented use of biological agents by the Rajneeshees took place on August 29, 1984, during a routine fact-finding visit to Rajneeshpuram by the three Wasco County commissioners. The Rajneeshees gave water laced with Salmonella Typhimurium to Judge William Hulse and Ray Matthew, the two commissioners who were hostile to the group. Both became sick and one required hospitalization.
The most significant use of biological agents by the Rajneeshees targeted restaurants in the town of The Dalles in September 1984. Because of its location on the interstate highway, The Dalles has more restaurants than would normally be typical for a town its size. Cult members contaminated salad bars in ten restaurants with Salmonella Typhimurium. Two Rajneeshees later told law enforcement officials about their participation in the effort and described the direct involvement of Sheela and Puja…
Cases continued to appear in what appeared to be a never-ending stream. By September 30, health officials had reports of 423 cases, and twenty patients remained hospitalized. On October 1, the total number of people admitted to the hospital during the outbreak reached 45. At least ten restaurants were later implicated. Ultimately, public health officials identified 751 local people who became sick during the salmonella outbreak. The actual number of victims was probably much higher because many out-of-state travelers may have been infected as well. Fortunately no one died, although some people became seriously ill.
Law enforcement officials believed that the restaurant contaminations may have been a test run for a planned follow-up attack involving the town’s water supply. According to K.D.[Swami Krishna Deva, the major of Rajneeshpuram], sometime during July or August 1984, Sheela ordered him to acquire maps of the water system in The Dalles. When he failed to do so, she became impatient and turned to another Rajneeshee, Sagun, who apparently obtained the maps when he accompanied Sheela on a trip to The Dalles. Subsequently, K.D. was present at a meeting with Sheela and other cult members during which they discussed an operation to contaminate the town’s water supply…
The September 1984 Salmonella poisonings ended the cult’s use of biological agents. Participants provided two explanations for the decision to terminate the attacks. According to K.D., “as soon as the Share-A-Home project began to get going, the contamination project seemed to be de-emphasized and everyone concentrated on the Share-A-Home project.” This account suggests that the leadership of the cult, which was intimately involved in both activities, was stretched thin. The Share-A-Home project was difficult to manage because many of the homeless people were dysfunctional. As it assumed primacy, there was not enough time to continue the contamination effort…
After the restaurant attacks, the Rajneeshees did not abandon terrorism but changed the focus of their activities. They targeted individuals who were viewed as enemies of the cult or who were seen by Sheela as rivals, real or imagined. A list of potential targets was drawn up and assassination plots were organized.
In some cases, the plots reached fruition. The most important was the effort to kill the U.S. Attorney in Portland, Charles H. Turner, whom the Rajneeshees viewed as one of their major enemies. To accomplish this objective, two cult members traveled to Texas to purchase handguns. When they found that it was difficult to buy weapons in Texas with out-of-state identification, they continued to New Mexico, where they obtained false identification cards and bought several pistols. They planned to shoot Turner in the garage of the federal office building in Portland, but were foiled by law enforcement. As of mid-1999, arrest warrants remained outstanding for some cult members in connection with this plot.” (Carus 2000, pp. 128,131,135)
(Note: Records used for the investigations: “Fourth, this case study relies on official documents generated by public health and law enforcement officials at the local, state, and federal levels. The documents came from four sources: (1) Records of the Oregon Attorney General’s Office relating to the legal proceedings against the cult brought by the state of Oregon are in the Rajneeshpuram case files, 1981-1989, 91A-081, Oregon State Archives (cited as OSA files). (2) The State of Oregon Attorney General’s Office provided copies of certain affidavits, sworn statements, and law enforcement records (cited as AG files.) (3) Considerarble material relating to this case was available in the records of the U.S. District Court, Portland, Oregon (cited as U.S. District Court files). Among the documentation obtained from this source were statements by several members of the group who participated in the biological contaminations. Unfortunately, some key Rajneeshees who participated in the attacks never admitted involvement or gave statements about what they did, so we do not have accounts written from their perspective. (4) Finally, several people, including the administrator of the Wasco-Sherman County Public Health Department, provided additional material… Most of the people on whom Sheela relied were women who came to be called “moms;” the more senior of them were known as “big moms.” At least one disaffected Rajneeshee derisively called these people the “Dowager Duchesses.”” (Carus 2000, pp. 117,119)

On poisoning
“By the end of the outbreak, almost a thousand people had reported symptoms to their doctors or the hospital; 751 were confirmed to have salmonella, making it the largest outbreak in Oregon’s history. No one had died, miraculously, But a pregnant woman had given birth prematurely, and her baby was suffering from the poison’s effects…
The investigation eventually established that the cult had experimented in 1984 and 1985 with poisons, chemicals, and bacteria. The commune’s germ-warfare chief was a thirty-eight-year-old American nurse of Philippine origin who had been a close ally of Sheela’s since their days in Poona, India. Ma Anand Puja, whose real name was Diane Ivonne Onang, supervised medical care at the commune. One of the “Big Moms,” as the commune’s three woman leaders were known, Puja wielded enormous power. A stocky woman with narrow eyes, a fixed sneer, and jet-black hair, Puja was known to some sannyasins as “Nurse Mengele.” She was obsessed with poisons, germs, and disease…
State and federal investigators eventually concluded that the plot to poison people in The Dalles with a biological agent, which involved about a dozen people had grown out of the cult’s legal war with the country and its determination to win control of the county government in the November elections…
The Rajneeshees’ attack did not attract much attention. It occurred before the days of competing twenty-four-hour cable news shows. The was no “Outbreak in Oregon” to rivet viewers, no nonstop footage of victims staggering into hospitals. The prosecutions of cult members unfolded in the Pacific Northwest, far from the nation’s media centers. Dave Frohnmayer, Oregon attorney general, had been unable to interest high-level friends at the Justice Department and White House in the case. When public health officials figured out how easily the Rajneeshees had spread the disease, they decided not to publish a study of the incident. No one wanted to encourage copycats.
But the attack was nontheless significant. It was the first large-scale use of germs by terrorists on American soil, the union of a modern phenomenon and age-old means of destruction.” (Miller 2001, pp. 19,26,28,32)
(Note: See also “The Town That Was Poisoned,” remarks of Rep. James Weaver, Democrat of Oregon, Congressional Record, 99th Cong., 1st sess., Feb. 28, 1985, 131, no. 23. And: “Preliminary Report. Salmonellosis Outbreak. The Dalles, Oregon, September 1984”; interoffice memo, State of Oregon, Nov. 7, 1984)

Governmental repression on cult organizations
Jonestown in Guyana was visited by Congress man Leo Ryan in 1978 and shooting erupted at the airstrip when he was leaving. Jim Jones then asked the whole community to commit group suicide and almost 1,000 people died. Later on the raid on the Branch Davidians at Waco in 1993 and the mass suicide of the Order of the Solar Temple in Switzerland in 1994.
Leo Ryan’s daughter Ma Amrita Pritam spent a lot of time as a sannyasin on the Ranch where Osho’s vision was so life-affirmative that a mass suicide was out of the question. She says there is evidence that CIA was present at the airstrip in Jonestown and involved in the engineering of the whole tragedy. The White House knew the details of the shootings at the airstrip hours before it was known to the public. (Forman 1988, p. 534)

Even more relevant may be what happened to the MOVE organization, as the attitude of the authorities towards Rajneeshpuram in the fall of 1985 may have been influenced by the events in Philadelphia in the Spring of 1985. Here, on 13.05.1985, the house where the MOVE organization founded by John Africa was living was attacked by the local police force, resulting in a fire which spread to the whole evacuated neighbourhood. 11 members of the organization died in the fire, including five children. It is most likely that the Rajneeshpuram management was aware of this event and the earlier fatal confrontations and raids on spiritual communities. (Note: More on MOVE in: Brecher 1993, p. 239 and Subhuti 2011, p. 111)

Priskil on politics
“Nach der Übersiedlung in die USA (1981) setz, bedingt durch gewaltsame Übergriffe, der Niedergang ein, der mit der Zerschlagung der Gemeinde 1985 seinen Tiefpunkt erreicht. Von seiner Verhaftung und Flucht hat sich Bhagwan nie mehr erholt; Mutmassungen über seine Vergiftung im US-Gefängnis, die er noch kurz vor seinem Tode äusserte, können leider nicht verifiziert werden, da sein Leichnam verbrannt und eine Obduktion damit unmöglich wurde. Von der Hand zu weisen ist der Mordverdacht nicht, dafür sind die Berichte von ehemaligen Agenten des CIA, etwa von Philip Agee, zu eindeutig. Skrupel im Umgang mit politischen Gegnern und religiösen Dissidenten sind den USA jedenfalls fremd, davon zeugt allein schon die Bombardierung eines angeblichen “Sektenzentrums” in einer amerikanischen Grossstadt vor wenigen Jahren, bei der ein ganzes Stadtviertel niedebrannte.” (Priskil 1990, p. 5)

Audio 2. Music from satsang in Rajneesh Mandir at Master’s Day 06.07.1985pm. 8.20min

Devaraj poisoned in July 1985
“The Fourth Annual World Celebration began and Osho came to meditate with us in Rajneesh Mandir. Devaraj was reading passages selected from Osho’s books [‘Nirvana. The Last Nightmare’ (1976)], interspersed with music. Master’s Day, July 6th, was upon us…
Maneesha drove home and as we were walking up the driveway someone came running and told us that Devaraj had been injected with poison during the celebration, and was dying.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 100)

Maneesha on the poisoning of Devaraj
“How could Shanti Bhadra allow herself to be under someone’s sway to this degree? And where did this leave all the other coordinators? Were they all equally implicated, all criminals? – Su, Ava, Durga, Rikta, Homa, Vidya, Puja, Yogini, Julian, Patipada?” (Forman 1988, p. 437)

Samsara on bugging and power struggling
“By January 1985, Sila [Sheela] decided to bug Bhagwan’s rooms, choosing a handful of us to listen in and record. We sat in a small room in the rear of Sila’s house hidden from the staff. The two houses were connected by wires laid in conduits much like underground cables. Bhagwan had started taking nitrous oxide and Valium regularly and there was a general concern that he might try and commit suicide with the help of his doctor. As legal owner of the Ranch, Sila could do whatever she wished to secure her property and, in her mind, the bugging was for the “good of the commune.”…
But by July, there was another element. A new group of four, came from Hollywood with lots of money and gained Bhagwan’s favor. Bhagwan seemed to like the wealth, expensive watches and glamour. A coup was brewing. They offered a new vision of how to run the Ranch, began having private “counsel” with Bhagwan and appeared to be “taking over” as Bhagwan referred to their ideas with increasing praise…
The power play between Sila and the new favorites, the Hollywood sannyasins, was escalating and I was afraid of them. They supported Bhagwan’s nitrous oxide habit and wanted to run the Ranch with a life style that included drugs, channeling spirits, mediums, and no hard work. To me, that spelled destruction.” (Longo-Disse 2006, 188,189,227)

Investigations on the Ranch
“One day shortly after the various agencies had begun their investigations in the commune, four suitcases were found that were said to belong to Julian. They contained dozens and dozens of publications on a multitude of ways to kill people. Other suitcases contained medical records and articles about poison underlined in red ink. Around the same time as the suitcases were discovered, Dr. Shunyo found a book that had been in Puja’s possession entitled ‘Handbook On Poisoning’. On the bottom of page one hundred and ninety of the book, two poisons had asterisks beside them. One of the substances that was asterisked was “fluorocarbond.” According to the book, if used it would cause symptoms consistent with Devaraj’s condition when he was injected. In addition, one newspaper hazarded the guess that it was adrenalin that Devaraj was injected with; hence no poison ever showed up in Devaraj’s tests. At the bottom of the page was a note in Puja’s handwriting. Shunyo also found, in a locked drug cubboard in the Medical Center, information relating to chemical and biological warfare, salmonella poisoning, and an article from a newspaper describing how several state employees had become strangely ill. The article was highlighted.
Literature was found in a security room in Jesus Grove which included a book entitled ‘Deadly Substances’, four different volumes of a work entitled ‘How To Kill’, a copy of ‘The Perfect Crime and How To Commit It’, a photocopy of an article entitled ‘Poison Investigation’, with sections on symptoms highlighted, a copy of ‘Let Me Die Before I Wake’, and a clear plastic bag containing articles on infectious diseases, chemical products lists and chemical and biological warfare. The articles also included several publications on assassinations, explosives, terrorism and related matters.” (Forman 1988, p. 474)

Barrett writes
“Two British women were senior in the organization: Sally-Anne Croft was in charge of finance, and Susan Hagan ran the Rajneesh Investment Corporation, which included overall responsibility for the construction of Rajneeshpuram. Both were charged, with others, with conspiracy to murder a local federal attorney. They managed to return to Britain, and spent several years fighting extradition back to the USA, claiming that they were innocent but would probably be found guilty simply through association. In July 1995 their fears were proved correct; in October they received prison sentences of five years, though they were both released and returned to Britain part-way through their sentences. The evidence for their guilt had rested largely on the testimonies of other senior members, who had used plea-bargaining to reduce their own sentences.” (Barrett 2001, p. 292)

Abhiyana on sniffing dogs
“After Sheela escaped, we learned that on the very same day that Joe had signalled the presence of explosives, a cache of weapons and ammunitions had been smuggled into Jesus Grove, and stored in a secret underground bomb shelter. The shelter was connected to a tunnelled escape route, to employ if the government ever attacked. The smell of cordite was obviously in the grass, and the cache was exactly below where the dog had indicated.” (Abhiyana 2017, 344)

Urban comments
“And yet another still more outlandish plan under consideration was to fly a bomb-laden plane into the county courthouse in The Dalles [Leslie A. Zaitz. The Oregonian, 15.04.2011]. Ironically, the same Rajneesh who had once claimed to be a “spiritual terrorist” wielding words instead of weapons had now become the head of a movement that engaged in very real physical terrorism, the spiritual aims of which were unclear…
The subsequent criminal investigations produced a staggering amount of evidence and a stunning array of charges. In all, some twenty-five individuals were charged with electronic eavesdropping conspiracy, thirteen with immigration conspiracy, eight with lying to federal officials, three with harbouring a fugitive, and others with criminal conspiracy, burglary, racketeering, arson, assault, and attempted murder.” (Urban 2015, p. 130)

Shanti Bhadra on suicidal matters
An outside doctor visited Osho, suffering from blood poisoning, teeth root channel treatment causing infection and also from ear rinsing with Listerine mouthwash after swimming. Osho asked Devaraj on how to bring on a painless death. He was told a combination of three drugs. He ordered enough for three people to be buried in a safe place in the garden. (From: Stork, p. 172)

Ranch management hit list in The Oregonian
“The Oregonian confirmed the existence of a “hit list” such as Patipada mentioned, stating that on the list were Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer, U.S. Attorney Charles Turner, Karin Green, a former assistant attorney general, Daniel Durow, Wasco County planning director, James Comini, a Wasco County commissioner, Leslie Zaitz, an Oregonian reporter, and two former sannyasins, Helen and Barbara Byron. “Frohnmayer was supposed to be killed first,” according to The Oregonian, “but the alleged plotters switched plans and made Turner their primary target because they believed federal indictments were imminent on immigration charges.”” (Forman 1988, p. 476)

Laxmi on the hit list
“3) Most surprising to me: Laxmi, Osho’s Poona secretary, was on the hit list. Earlier, Sheela had thrown her off the Ranch. With Osho’s blessings, Laxmi went looking for land in the Himalayas to start a new commune, as she had several years before, but the local governments blocked any big land purchases linked to Osho. Sheela opposed the move, as she would lose all her power if Osho left America.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 353)

Frohnmayer in interview 1987
“In his 1987 interview with the University of Oregon professors, Frohnmayer said that if Rajneesh “had allowed himself to be arrested at the ranch, he’d still be there. They’d have to try him and the appeals could drag on forever. If he were there, the ranch would still be populated by the faithful. We would still be dealing with them today if it had not been for his precipitous flight. People accused me of having engineered that and I take full credit for it.”” (Brecher 1993, p. 397)

Bhagawati writes at Frohnmeyer’s passing 09.03.2015 at age 74
“He is particularly well known among former commune residents for his relentless pursuit of all matters Rajneeshpuram. The presence of the commune almost immediately created fear among the local Oregonians – and the few remaining residents of Antelope. Hence the destruction of the commune became a crusade for Frohnmeyer and private activist group 1,000 Friends of Oregon…
Also, as Sven Davisson wrote in the Ashe Journal in 2003, “White House documents show that Edwin Meese III, the ‘shadow president’ of the Reagan administration, noticed the Rajneesh ‘situation’ as early as 1982, and in a 1984 interview in The Oregonian, congressman Bob Smith stated he had begun ‘pounding’ the INS to resolve the Oregon-Rajneesh ‘issue’ in April 1982.”
KVAL out of Eugene, called Frohnmeyer’s time as the AG among the most turbulent in Oregon history thanks to one man and a Central Oregon commune. “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers grabbed the headlines, formed their own town and ran afoul of the law.”
“As Oregon’s top cop, Frohnmeyer had to face the commune and its foes and enforce the rule of law. Frohnmeyer said the commune posed ‘real threats to public peace that we needed to make sure did not result in some horrible Ruby Ridge or Waco type situation which might easily had happened.”…
In both cases minority groups were slaughtered by government agents. And just for the record, sannyasins know this is exactly what would have happened, hadn’t Osho flown out of Rajneeshpuram with the sole purpose that the National Guard (apparently about 4,000 were lined up) would not descend on us and we would have been history.” (Bhagawati. 13.03.2015)

Much can be said on the concepts of idealism and sense of justice. You may indeed end up on the floor dancing with demons on your way to wisdom, when your intoxication of being on the right track and the power of community spirit lead to violent and even criminal acts in the cause of common justice. Any criticism may be lost on those who believe they are the chosen ones and consider themselves a more clear-sighted avant-garde and the feeling of ‘us’ against ‘them’ is not too far away in this sinister game. Considerations along these lines can be found in quite a few sources reporting from the events at Rancho Rajneesh.

Abhiyana writes
“A few months after their introduction, “loving reminders” were added after the Gachchami, disturbing their simple purity. The coordinator read from a paper such lines as:
Watch for undivine behaviour
Remember where you are and whom you are with
Remember the needful
Remember your body is your meditation/worship
Remember we are all Osho lovers
Orwellian new-speak if I ever heard it… it was 1984 after all! Though I was blind to it at the time, this was an obvious sign that the propaganda machine was revving up. Yes, it felt a little weird, but so what? A small price to pay for living in Paradise.
At Sheela’s next commune meeting, we were told to “refrain from negativity” and report anyone who was talking negatively aka “UDB” – undivine behaviour. Loving reminders were also issued as warning citations by the Peace Force to those who stepped out of line. They were passed on to the coordinators of errant sannyasins, who then decided appropriate punishments. I accepted all this Maoist-style indoctrination; something so beautiful and pure as reciting the Gachchami was corrupted into a political tool, and I just couldn’t see it…
Many of us knew some of the shenanigans, but only the culprits knew them all. The women leaders became increasingly shrill, arrogant, and prone to anger, and misuses of their power were evident daily, but I never imagined they were capable of doing what they apparently did.
Several friends left the Ranch, usually in the middle of the night. Many of those who had been with Osho longer than I – who were “closer” to him in my mind’s hierarchal structure – had turned bitter and delusioned. One late afternoon in November 1982, Shiva, aka Hugh Milne, was Osho’s bodyguard and photographer in India. On the Ranch, he was a shit-truck driver, pumping out septic systems. It was not a very glamorous job for an osteopathic doctor! One late afternoon, he gave me a ride to dinner, and told me he was leaving that night. He had taken enough shit (pardon the pun) from the Ranch hierarchy, and was in an incredibly dark mood. I chalked it up to his ego – being no longer an important man around town, as he was in Poona. Shiva was the first person I knew who was officially banned. Osho centers around the world were told not to allow him and other essentially “non-persons.” I understand now that this is typical cult behavior against people who leave the fold. I was to experience being “shunned” myself in a few years time. Shiva went on to write a highly derogatory book: Bhagwan: The God that Failed. Ironically, Shiva chose a beautiful picture of Osho for the front cover. That book would be catalytic during my “dark night of the soul” in a few years’ time.
I met my favorite Poona group leader Somendra, as he arrived on the Ranch. Somendra led the Leela group, where I had my first experience of being completely taken over by some sort of cosmic energy beyond the mind’s comprehension. Somendra was on his way for a private meeting with Osho. I hugged him, as his body shook like a leaf in my arms. He left after that brief meeting, expelled I heard later.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 308,313)

Veena writes on Nirvano and Sheela
“Nirvano was very upset about Osho going to the USA. She was not sure if she could adequately take care of him and, even at that stage, she didn’t trust Sheela. Laxmi and she had had their confrontations but underneath they worked in harmony together as both of them thought only of Osho. Sheela was a different ballgame. She was at first massively jealous of Nirvano and this turned to obsessive hatred. Nirvano bore the brunt of all this negativity directed towards her and, with her stress about taking care of Osho properly, her health started to weaken. Although I wasn’t living in Lao Tzu House I had permission to go there – I often did driving errands as she knew she could trust me. She confided in me how worried she was about a common female complaint, PMT [Premenstrual tension], and she felt bad that she couldn’t get control over it. I don’t remember exactly the occasion but Osho spoke about it once on the Ranch and said that one could take birth control pills, not for the normal function, but to help with the hormones, and how well this could help.
As we well know things started to go wrong during the last two years of the Ranch. Lives were threatened, murders were attempted, the locals had guns trained on Osho when he went out. We knew the house was bugged and Nirvano no longer knew who she could trust to take care of Osho. Sheela tried to get rid of the people in he house by saying we all had conjunctivitis (not true) so that she could move in and be Number 1. It was a tense, ugly, frightening situation. In the house we were being trained to cope with police or FBI raids – I was even given a gun and we took turns patrolling the grounds at night. It was horrible, and Nirvano’s health deteriorated. She started to get extreme mood swings just like women before their monthly period. Every woman reading can identify with this. But of schizophrenia there was never a sign.” (Veena.

Osho on betrayal
“On another occasion Bhagwan was to say that he would be betrayed by someone close to him. The truth, though it was ugly, was that just as we had within us the potential for the ultimate in consciousness, we also still carried with us – perhaps for the most part latent – jealousy, ambition, the desire for power, for recognition and being singled out as special, a sense of hierarchy and where we might fit into it, just as did the disciples around Jesus, Mahavira and Buddha. Perhaps it was part of the existential balance of life: where there was the ultimate in goodness, in awareness, there had to be a counterbalance of evil, or unconsciousness.” (Forman 1988, p. 140)

A few years later Osho says
“Just by chance, yesterday when I dictated my letter to Tom Robbins, I received the message… We were fighting in the Supreme Court of Oregon to prove that our commune in Oregon had been destroyed absolutely illegally, and that the government had taken control of the land without any reason or rhyme. And we have won the case in the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court has specifically made it clear that the government has been absolutely illegal to restricting the use of the commune’s land, its other properties. So now it is again on our hands.” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Chapter 15, p. 184.

Osho speaks in 1989 on the legality of events in US
“We had the greatest law firm in the whole world. Two of the attorneys are here: Anando, Sangeet, and I think Niren was here just a few days before – perhaps he may be here. We had four hundred people in the law firm, four hundred people continuously working on every aspect of American law and the Constitution.
If they had depended simply on law, there would have been no way to destroy the commune. But they dropped all law, all Constitution, they were simply mad! And that madness is not part of a cultured religion. It is not civilization.
We had not thrown out the Christian missionaries from India. They go on converting people to the Catholic fold – but if people want to be Catholics, it is perfectly okay. It is their choice. The government has no objection; it has given freedom of religion.
The American Constitution also makes it clear that the state should not interfere in religious matters – but they interfered. They crushed and destroyed our commune.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 6, p. 215.

A full chronology on the election plot constructed by Carter is included in: Appendix / Oregon.

Satyananda interviewed
“Con: Was fandest du denn das Schlimme dort?
Elten: Für mich war das mehr auf einer äesthetischen Ebene. Ich hab’ sehr viel Hässlichkeit beobachtet in der Art, wie manche . nicht alle – manche dieser Frauen, die dort Verantwortung hatten, ihre Macht ausgespielt haben. Das sieht immer hässlich aus. Ich hab’ immer gedacht: Frauen machen das anders. Aber sie machen es genauso wie Männer. Und bei Frauen wirkt es sogar hässlicher als bei Männern – dieses Gehabe, diese Breitärschigkeit mit dem Koppel um die Hüften und den Revolvern, das sah ja finster aus. Das fand ich ziemlich abstossend.
Dass man in dieser Kommune kein Mitspracherecht hatte, hab’ ich überhaupt nicht für verwunderlich gehalten. So, wie’s das in den Klöstern nich gibt, gibt’s das auch nicht in den Kommunen von spirituellen Meistern. Wir sind da in einem Lernprocess, in den wir freiwillig eintreten und aus dem wir freiwillig wieder austreten können – aber solange dieser Lernprozess in Gang ist, wär’s absurd, ihn zu stören mit Geschnatter, was man nun dauernd für rightig hält.” (Connection, 1990:4, p. 25)

Brecher writes
“But in Oregon there was less and less will to compromise. Lines were drawn and the stakes raised. Existing laws were reinterpreted and new special anti-Rajneeshee legislation passed. And meanwhile, back at the ranch, a bunker mentality developed among the top management.
For they weren’t just imagining enemies all around. There were very real enemies and clear and impinging threats. And they weren’t going to let up until their objectives had been achieved. That is, ridding the state of Rajneesh and Rajneeshee. That was the source of the often harebrained and totally off the wall plots – the crimes committed and schemed by Sheela & Co…
Despite Hamilton’s protests to the contrary, there were conspiracies galore against the Rajneeshees. And they eventually led to the destruction of the city-commune and the ongoing blackwashing of Rajneesh’s name, work and legacy in the state. However, and for what’s it’s worth, I don’t think Hamilton himself was on the inside track of those conspiracies. He was just a tool in the hands of those running the shows and ultimately responsible…
Opponents included ranchers, loggers, lawyers, public official, professional, liberals, conservatives, fundamentalists, aquarians, cowboys, academics, ministers. Like the Rajneesh, the prior residents of Eastern Oregon employed several organizational structures and identities. “The 1000 Friends of Oregon,” “Concerned Oregonians.” It was at first puzzling that these many groups, consisting of Oregonians who usually war (or at least contend) with each other (e.g. environmentalists and ranchers), could develop coalitions of such strength and focus.” (Brecher 2014, pp. 473-475)
(Note: Bob Hamilton, attorney general in charge of the organized crime section. Last paragraph is quoting Carter 1987, p. 169)

Mistlberger on political pressure
“Brecher reported that he interviewed two mercenaries who claim they were offered a contract to assassinate Osho; one of the men claimed to have been employed as a hired hand by the CIA previously in covert ops in Central America. Both these men believed that the CIA was behind the assassination contracts. The men eventually bailed on the plan believing that it would have been certain suicide for them to attempt to kill Osho in a commune of thousands of zealous followers…
All of these facts are important to bear in mind because anyone with a casual knowledge of Rajneeshpuram tends to believe that the commune self-destructed owing to internal, intensive corruption, and that was all there was to it. But in truth the commune was, from the beginning, besieged with legal challenges and a hostile reception from locals, media, and state officials. However, the response of the commune, as led at that point by Sheela, was fierce and combative. There was no ‘Taoist approach’ used, no yielding or practicing ‘no-resistance’. The approach was entirely contentious, ‘eye for an eye’. This approach was carried to ludicrous extremes however.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 279)

Sheela Leaving

In October 1984 Osho ended his period of silence and embarked on the first discourse series in America, ‘The Rajneesh Bible’. It didn’t take long for Sheela to realize this was a major challenge to her position as sole interlocutor between Osho and his people. No longer could she spellbind her listeners with what had happened during her afternoon secretarian meetings with Osho, and in the spring of 1985 she travelled to Australia and Europe visiting centers where she was received in style and returned to the spotlight. From her point of view the situation got even worse when Osho started his evening interviews with the press, not at Lao Tzu House, but at Jesus Grove, where Sheela had her encampment and where she had reigned in what some might call her own popish manner.

Palmer writes on the issue of succession
“As Bhagwan withdrew into self-imposed solitude and silence, and made Ma Anand Sheela his representative, he became increasingly unaware of the administrative decisions, the political struggles with local authorities, and even the innovations in religious life taking place in his commune. In 1981 Rajneesh granted Sheela limited power of attorney, and removed the limits in 1982. In 1983 Sheela announced that “He” would only speak with her. At this stage it appears that his knowledge of goings on in the commune was exclusively derived from Sheela. He claimed in a later press conference that she kept him in ignorance [16.09.1985]… Over the summer of 1984 she had announced that Rajneesh had created three samsads to offer spiritual guidance after his death. On August 19th of the same year Rajneesh flatly contradicted her in a deposition filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court:
‘I am not making anybody head of my religion because I don’t want any books to be followed by me exploiting people in my name. I am not going to be succeeded by anybody. The day I am dead I am dead. There is no question of any succession.'” (Palmer in: Aveling 1999, p. 378,383)

Marion Goldman writes on growing pressure
“After the election debacle, Rajneesh’s physician, who has headed the Meditation Resort and official Osho movement for three decades, talked to his guru about the futility of voter fraud and the damages created by seemingly endless confrontations with outsiders. He also documented Sheela’s wanton spending and some of her abusive behavior toward rank and file devotees. Sheela saw the writing on the wall and left for Europe less than a year after the county elections. She was soon extradited back to the United States, where she pled guilty to a number of charges and served twenty-nine months in a federal minimum-security prison before she left the country forever.” (Goldman 2014, p. 184)

Osho interviewed by Vidya 13.09.1985, one day before Sheela left
“Just the other day Sheela has written a letter to me that now when she comes back here she does not feel as excited as she used to. She feels happier working outside, in Europe, in Australia, in Japan or anywhere else. Perhaps she is not conscious – and this is the situation for all – she does not know why she does not feel excited here any more. It is because I am speaking and she is no longer the central focus. She is no longer a celebrity. When I am speaking to you, she is no longer needed as a mediator to inform you of what I am thinking. Now that I am speaking to the press and to the radio and TV journalists, she has fallen into shadow. And for three-and-a-half years she was in the limelight because I was silent.
It may not be clear to her, why she does not feel excited coming here and feels happy in Europe. She is still a celebrity in Europe – interviews, television shows, radio interviews, newspapers – but here all that has disappeared from her life. If you can behave in such foolish unconscious ways even while I am here, the moment I am gone you will be creating all kinds of politics, fight. Then what is the difference between you and the outside world? Then my whole effort has been a failure. I want you to behave really as a new man.
I have given Sheela the message that this is the reason: “So think it over and tell me. If you want me to stop speaking just for your excitement, I can stop speaking.”
To me there is no problem in it. In fact, it is a trouble. For five hours a day I am speaking to you, and it is creating unhappiness in her mind. So let her do her show business. I can move into silence. But that indicates that deep down those who have power will not like me to be here alive, because while I am here nobody can have any power trip. They may not be conscious about it; only situations reveal your power trip. And I can make it, show it to her. If she denies it, I can go to Europe and show her whether she feels happy in Europe or not, or whereever she wants to check about her happiness. But deep down this means that you would like me to die.
If you would like me to be silent, not to speak, so that you are in the forefront, then deep down that means… why just silent? Silent men can start speaking any moment; make him silent completely.
These are not conscious thoughts in anybody’s mind, but this is how the unconscious mind functions. And I want you to be aware of everything. Before I leave you I want you to be aware so that you don’t fall into the same pitfalls every society, every civilization, has fallen into.” The Last Testament (1986), pp. 322-24. 13.09.1985)

Sheela in meeting 13.09.1985
“Earlier that day, Sheela had called a meeting of her closest confidants, those who she was going to take with her to Europe. Among those at the meeting was Ma Yoga Pratima. “Sheela basically said that Bhagwan doesn’t care about the commune any more. He’s only interested in Rolls Royces and watches.” “He doesn’t give a shit about you people,” Sheela said at the Friday-13th meeting. “I’m leaving. I’m taking my friends with me. We’re going to go off and start businesses in Europe because we’re very successful business people. And anyone who stays here is an idiot. The place is going to fall to pieces after we’ve gone. So, who wants to come with me?”…
On Saturday afternoon, September 14, Sheela and about 15 others who were chained to her through love, hate, and deeds done, flew out of Rajneeshpuram. That night most of them flew on to Zurich, Switzerland. Some of those staying behind, who still didn’t know the intricate web of secrets behind the departure, cried and protested love to those who were leaving.” (Brecher 1993, p. 252)

Maneesha writes
“The following day – around 1:45 p.m. – I received a phone call from Mary Catherine, who for the past year or so had been an editor with The Rajneesh Times. “Maneesha, I’m down at Jesus Grove,” she said breathlessly. “I don’t know if you guys are aware of it, but Sheela is planning to leave. I think Bhagwan ought to be told.”…”Shanti Bhadra, Puja and Vidya are going too, and Savita will be following in a few days, I think,”…
In the event about fifteen or so people accompanied her, leaving within the next forty-eight hours: Homa, Rikta, Durga and her son, Ava, Samadhi, Yogini, Su and boyfriend, Savita and boyfriend, Vidya, Rajan and Anubhavo – the latter two men worked closely with Sheela – Puja, Shanti Bhadra and, as an after thought, her daughter…
Sheela and her entourage collected together and conveyed themselves to the Rajneeshpuram airport, where they boarded smoothly, no one having the presence of mind to search them, as we did those who were to leave the following day. I was amazed to hear later that a gathering of forty people or so saw the group off, that there were tears and fond farewells made, even guitar-accompanied songs as the plane took off in the direction of Seattle to connect with an international flight.” (Forman 1988, p. 455)

FitzGerald on Sheela’s leaving
“Sheela had been upset by this rebuke [from Bhagwan], and on Saturday she had left by plane with Ma Yoga Vidya, the president of the commune; with Puja; and with her own personal assistant and hairdresser. Thirty or forty sannyasins gathered to say goodbye to her at the airport, little knowing what she had done. The next day, a dozen other sannyasins had left, including Ma Prem Savita, the chief accountant; Ma Anand Su, the president of the Rajneesh Investment Corporation; Shanti Bhadra, the treasurer of the Rajneesh Foundation International; K.D.; and two municipal officers, one of whom was K.D.’s girlfriend, Sagun.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 109)

Shanti Bhadra on Sheela leaving
“Sheela did not go to see Bhagwan to tell him she was leaving. She wrote him a letter which Savita took into him, and listened to his response on the bug. Bhagwan said if Sheela wanted to live in Europe that was fine but she was not to take any money from the European communes and was to sign a formal letter of resignation from her many positions, and he asked Savita to be his new secretary. She was so shocked at his apparent indifference to Sheela’s leaving, she could not answer. Within hours of Sheela’s announcement more than twenty people had voiced their intention to leave…
Sheela left with a small entourage after a twenty-four-hour whirlwind of packing, answering people’s anxious queries, telling people not to cry, and signing dozens of documents the legal department and her secretary brought to her. The listening station in her house was dismantled and she took with her the most critical tapes from the tapping of Bhagwan’s room. Crying, flower-throwing sannyasins were at the airport to wave goodbye when she left. Sheela and her companions flew to Portland in the commune plane and then took a commercial flight to Europe.
That evening Savita went to see Bhagwan and declined his offer to be his secretary, saying that she too would be leaving once she had seen to it that financial matters were in good hands. She told him others would also be leaving and he asked her to prepare lists of suitable candidates for the various positions that would need to be filled.” (Stork 2009, p. 192)

Maneesha on Sheela’s exit
“And Sheela herself finally became little short of crazed, losing sight of why she had come to Bhagwan in the first place and what her role in the commune was. She was totally out of touch with those priorities essential to a sannyasin of Bhagwan, being instead preoccupied with political conniving and criminal ideas. She succumbed, finally, to not only trying to impose her own vision on the commune, and attempting to supplant the very one to whom she professed to be devoting her life, but when her fantasies did not materialize, she attempted to throw all responsibility for what she had done on Bhagwan.” (Forman 1988, p. 483)

Osho speaking on Sheela
“Then came the day when he roared like never before. He shouted that we were all behaving like sheep and that none of us had the courage to raise our voices against the vile things that were going on right before our eyes. He said that he no longer wanted sheep with him and, after having brought journalists from all over the world and put them in the front row, he denounced Sheela in a loud voice in public, exposing his secretary on whom he had bestowed so much power during his long period of silence. He said that she had betrayed the commune, manipulating the power she’d gathered by our consent, or to say it more accurately, our silence, manipulating the minds of his disciples for her personal enrichment.
He was pouring out lava for days and the lava was burning many of us, but above all it destroyed Sheela and her clan of greedy women who had been running the commune undisturbed, thanks to the silence into which the Master had withdrawn.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 241)

Sheela leaving
“On Saturday, she and a few other top disciples, after receiving a warm send off at Rajneeshpuram, flew on Air Rajneesh to Seattle, where they caught a flight to London-Frankfurt with connections to Zurich. By Sunday, other top Rajneesh officials had resigned their positions and left the ranch. This exodus came just as a federal grand jury was stepping up its investigations of commune leaders for racketeering and possible criminal violations of U.S. immigration laws.” (McCormack 1987, p. 218)

Sheela’s leadership and her leaving
“Sila [Sheela] fancied herself as a pope and we were the College of Cardinals, each having a separate sphere of being a leader. Although I never felt powerful in terms of leading people, I felt special because of my status as undercover agent…
The week before, Ted Koppel interviewed her [Sheela] on ‘Nightline’. Koppel threw her off the air because she started ranting, raving and swearing and wouldn’t stop. She even looked crazy…
The 15th of September 1985 came back into focus clearly. I was standing in a tiny room in Sila’s house, waiting to leave the Ranch for good, with a few others. I had to brush my teeth and pee, but I was afraid that even if I went to the bathroom, the others would leave without me. That whole day was saturated with terror. People were running around, afraid like me of being prevented from going. Bhagwan would excommunicate us, for sure. The enlightenment dream was gone.” (Longo-Disse 2006, pp. 189,296,222)
(Note: Department heads from Poona One made up Sheela’s inner circle at Rajneeshpuram and those were the ones who left)

Sheela leaving
“Osho asked the FBI to come to the Ranch and make the necessary enquiries about the wrongdoings of ‘Sheela’s gang’. The evening talks to the press were moved to the Mandir meditation hall where everybody could follow the interviews. This meant that we heard Osho speaking morning and night – and he brought many things to light…
We also heard of the poisoning by needle of Osho’s personal physician, Amrito, while he was sitting in discourse (he luckily survived, after being rushed to hospital); of the discovery of a secret escape tunnel in Jesus Grove; of bugged hotel rooms. Even the poisoning of a salad bar in a neighbouring town came to light, and that the conjunctivitis scare was a set-up job arranged so that Osho’s caretakers would be moved to the medical ward long enough to bug Osho’s room…
Osho spoke about Sheela and her gang morning and evening, about the same events again and again, ad nauseam. (Punya 2015, p. 324)

Sheela leaving
“After Sheela left, sannyasins who’d kept silent about her criminal activities started to come forward and Bhagwan went public with the whole can of worms in his daily discourses.
From September 16 on, he listed a host of crimes, including extensive wiretapping, attempts to kill members of his personal staff, a conspiracy to assassinate US Attorney Charles Turner, and a bid to influence a county election by spraying salmonella bacteria on salad bars in The Dalles, making about 700 people sick. To top it off, Bhagwan invited the FBI and the State Police to come to the Ranch and investigate his allegations.
Dumping my dump truck, I switched back to The Rajneesh Times as the story escalated and I soon realized how dangerous it was for Bhagwan to blow the whistle on Sheela…
Her wrongdoing was bound to reflect on him, since he’d appointed her as his secretary and given her control over the Ranch…
The extent of his knowledge remains unclear. Clearly, he didn’t instruct her to plant a bugging device in his own room, or encourage her to rub out members of his personal staff, but he’d allowed her to create a virtual police state and escalate the conflict with the outside world by fair means or foul…
Many journalists were annoyed and frustrated by Bhagwan’s refusal to take responsibility for Sheela’s misdeeds. He did apologize, just once, saying in public discourse, “The fault is mine, I was in silence.” But after that, he drove interviewers almost crazy by his unrepentant, unapologetic attitude. For me, it was fascinating, because it gave me new insight into the master-disciple relationship.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 104)

Roshani Shay in her chronology
“Jan 20: Recent visitors include famous songwriter, promoter and actress who is former wife of President of 20th Century Fox, both of whom are entertained by Rajneeshpuram resident film producer who is former wife of producer of “The Godfather”…
Sept 14: Ma Prem Hasya, 48, an American and wealthy movie producer from Hollywood who has lived at the ranch for several years is appointed new Secretary to Bhagwan.” (Shay 1990)

FitzGerald on The Hollywood Set
“Within a week, it came out that Rajneesh had replaced all the departing officers even before their departure, and had installed at the center of power a group of wealthy American sannyasins that Sheela had called “the Hollywood gang.” The new secretary to the guru and president of the Rajneesh Foundation International was Ma Prem Hasya, formerly Francoise Ruddy and a Hollywood movie producer (she and her former husband, Albert S. Ruddy, produced “The Godfather”). She had come to the ranch for the first time in 1982, with three friends, also from “the Coast.” The four had bought a few of the guru’s Rolls-Royces, and, having contributed a good deal of money, had lived a privileged existence on the ranch in private accommodations, apart from the commune. In March of 1984, Hasya had married the guru’s personal physician, Devaraj; and a member of her group, Dhyan John, had been made head of the organization that owned the guru’s Rolls-Royces. The group thus had direct access to the guru, and though Hasya was not known to be ambitious Sheela had for some time quite naturally regarded her as a rival. Dhyan John was now the president of the Rajneesh Investment Corporation, and a third member of the group, Swami David, was later made the vice-president of the commune. The new leaders quickly reassured commune members that in spite of what the guru had said (Bhagwan often used figures loosely) Sheela had not taken money from the ranch accounts, and that the Rajneeshee organizations were in good financial shape. In other words, Sheela, Savita, and the others had not taken with them all the keys to the safe.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 110)

Nirgun writes
“In the spring of 1984 a new group of residents appeared on the ranch. Rich, cultured, sophisticated, able to lavish gifts on Bhagwan, the Hollywood set drove Sheela crazy with jealousy. Hasya, John, Kaveesha and David arrived en masse and en Rolls Royces and lived together in a mountain A-frame. When Hasya and Devaraj became lovers she often came to Lao Tzu.
As coproducer of ‘The Godfather’, Hasya had won world recognition. But she put on no airs. Her brown hair flowed straight to her shoulders, framing a pale heart-shaped face and serene, attentive robes. Her own “castoffs” she gave to the girls in the house, and they delighted in the lush velvet and silks. Girls will be girls in castles or in communes, and the extravaganza of the Third Annual World Festival was close upon us.” (Hamilton 1998, p. 135)
(Note: Ma Prem Hasya was born Francoise, a Polish jew in France. Her father was killed during the war and she survived under a false identity with a Christian family with which her mother had placed her. In the summer of 1948 she went to Israel where she lived in a kibbutz, and later on her mother took her to USA. In 1976 she started reading Osho’s books. Her first husband was the millionaire Guilford Glazer. Her second husband was Albert S. Ruddy, producer of “The Godfather”. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner. 24.01.1989)

Vaidya writes
“One of the highlights of the Oregon years was the presence of the ‘Hollywood group’ led by the wealthy film producer, late Francoise Rudy. Wife of the famours Hollywood producer A.S. Ruddy of the ‘The Godfather’ fame, Hasya brought glamour and glitter to the Commune with her closest friends and Osho sannyasins with strong Hollywood connections. These were Ma Prem Kaveesha (Joyce Scholozman) who later headed The Mystery School during Poona-II, Swami Dhyan Yogi, also known as Dr. Yogi and by his legal name Dr. John S. Hollywood, Kaveesha’s nephew David and the super-rich Ma Shantam Avirbhava (belonging to the Kresge family, founders of the American retail giant, Kmart) who had gifted the silver Rolls Royce that Osho used in Pune…
It was Hasya who stepped in with her sannyasin friends from California to do the fire-fighting, interact with the press, advise and protect Osho from the fallout of the crisis, and communicate important decisions. She had been appointed as Osho’s International Secretary, as a replacement to Sheela, and was assisted in her task by newfound friend, the Canadian real estate developer and businessman, Michael O’Byrne who had taken sannyas as Swami Anand Jayesh. It was during this trying and frustrating phase that the Hollywood group provided a protective cover to Osho. Although Jayesh did not belong to their group, he had become indispensable because of his financial management skills and his close relationship with Hasya.” (Vaidya 2017, pp. 65,68)

Hasya writes
“I have been a disciples of Osho since 1977, 22 years to be exact. In those years I have been intimately connected with Osho. In September 1985 he asked me to be his International Secretary. Taking care of His international work, I was responsible for taking him out of America back to India. Then taking care of the world tour that followed. In short I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours taking direction on a myriads of issues concerning His work.” (Open letter from Prem Hasya, former member and in support of the Inner Circle. 02.03.1999)

The Hollywood Set
“The threat Sheela felt at not having total control on the commune was compounded by another group of sannyasins who entered the picture after the festival of 1983. They came to be known as “The Hollywood Set.” Hasya’s former husband was a movie producer, their company producing the popular film, ‘The Godfather’. Hasya had taken sannyas in Poona; John – a doctor and a successful businessman – followed suit later. Kaveesha had led Tantra groups in Poona, and David was a natural in interior decorating and clothes design…
Before they moved into the ashram to live, the group had used their contacts in Hollywood to help raise funds. Now they were invited to the commune to make a film about us. “We didn’t particularly want to live in a commune,” said Hasya, “but we did want to be with Bhagwan – that was the only reason for us being there.” Initially their relations with Sheela were affable: they were more than willing to make money available when Sheela needed it, and happy to do P.R. work on and off the ranch. Sheela liked having this group of intelligent, worldly, sophisticated and articulate sannyasins who could talk to press and present a “good image” to the public.” (Forman 1988, p. 325)

Ma Prem Hasya interviewed in Oregon Magazine, November 1985
“By all appearances, Hasya offers a soft contrast to her vitriolic predecessor. Unlike Ma Anand Sheela, Hasya packs no sidearms and has a voice and manner as smooth as her silk coat. As she settles into a seat in the shade for yet another interview, waving aloft a cigarette in need of a light, the Bhagwan’s new personal secretary emphasizes the dawning era of openness she is said to represent…
She and a handful of other disciples are said to be well known in Beverly Hills, where they recruited upscale new followers to Rajneesh’s flock at “tantra” sessions. Their headquarters was a mansion once owned by Joan Crawford. Hasya says her past efforts at Rajneeshpuram have been devoted to work on a screenplay – quite a contrast to the ten-hour days of “worship” in the Buddhafields contributed by lower-ranking followers. Observers at the ranch remember Hasya riding about in her personal Rolls-Royce, dining on fine Continental cuisine and enjoying private audiences with Bhagwan. Now installed in Sanai Grove, the compound known as Jesus Grove during Sheela’s tenure, Hasya is attempting to create a free-form organization resistant to power-grapping.” (McCormack 1985, p. 74)

Hasya and Sheela
“Hasya, by the way, was an elegant, 40-someting Jewish American from Hollywood, part of a wealthy California-based group that had recently joined our Oregon community. They’d agreed to supply fabric for Bhagwan’s clothing, which is probably why the plain, homely look of his hand-woven, early-Ranch robes was suddenly replaced by some of the most glitz, glittery materials Beverly Hills could supply. Hollywood is, after all, Hollywood.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 99)

Sheela in interview 2018
“Hasya [a female initiate woman from L.A.] was never my problem or anybody’s problem. The problem was the Bhagwan’s use of drugs. He was addicted to Valium and laughing gas, and the combination can be detrimental. It was also dangerous because the U.S. government is always looking for reason to shut us down, and drugs would be the easiest way to shut us down. I made this very clear and Bhagwan’s answer was, “you don’t interfere.”” (Sheela interviewed by Maika Rao. In: Vulture, 23.04.2018;

Osho and drugs
“Christopher Calder (who was an early disciple of Osho, though he left the community in 1975) claimed that Osho was a regular user of both valium and nitrous oxide. There are corroborating sources that confirm that view. Satya Bharti Franklin, in her ‘The Promise of Paradise’, reported a phone conversation with an early disciple of Osho’s named Deeksha who also claimed that Osho had ‘swallowed valium and Quaaludes by the handful’. Hugh Milne claimed the same thing about Osho and valium. All three of these had, at one time, been close disciples of Osho.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 374)
(Note: Christopher Calder claims to be Osho’s second Western disciple)

After Sheela had left the Ranch, Hasya was functioning as his international secretary, later in Kulu Manali supplemented by Neelam who was to become secretary and manager of his Indian household. (Interview with Hasya in The Rajneesh Times (German edition). Kulu Manali, 12.12.1985. Tape)

Maneesha on Hasya
“Hers was not an enviable lot. Anyone taking over from Sheela was bound to meet with a fairly cautious reception. I expect that was only natural, but I did feel for Hasya. From the little I knew of her, Hasya seemed too mature, sophisticated, too wise to the ways of the world to need or want to get caught up in personal power; and she was used to having large sums of money in her life. That would not go to her head and make her corruptible, I thought.
However else she might turn out – and who could foresee how she would handle her role? – Hasya didn’t have the abrasive personality of Sheela, the exhibitionism or crude, rather juvenile sense of humor. And she knew how to dress, thank God! I thought, looking at her, slim and elegant in a velour jumpsuit. What a contrast to the would-be “tigress” who used to deck herself out in leather clothes and bobby socks, and often wore a gun on her hip. But the biggest plus as far as I could see was that Hasya was a meditator – Sheela had not been, by all accounts, including her own.” (Forman 1988, p. 487)

Abhiyana writes on interview with Sheela
“After Sheela fled the commune, Osho made Hasya his new secretary – a thankless task if you ask me. At the end they flew Osho quietly out of the Ranch, most likely preventing a bloodbath, and financed Osho’s forthcoming “World Tour.” Sheela raved from Germany to an ‘India Today’ correspondent: “That Hollywood group are a bunch of rich southern Californians who sit around all day and sip coffee. Under them, Rajneeshpuram is headed for disaster. My management of the place was superb. But do these people have that kind of competence? Will they be able to make wise investments, generate revenues? We ran it like professionals, like a successful business enterprise. To me things in Oregon look pretty grim.” Sounds like something a fellow sociopathic narcissist could say: Donald Trump.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 330)

Samsara writes on Stern article and Sheela arriving in Europe
“Once the plane landed in Zürich, we met the driver Sila [Sheela] sent to take us across the border to Germany to a small inn. The fog mirrored the numbness in my mind as we drove into the village of Haüsern, in the Black Forest, where Sila and five of “the gang” had already gathered…
“Everything’s fine. Don’t worry about a thing. Sila’s been negotiating a contract for all of us with a very big magazine for an exclusive story. If it works out, we’ll have a fresh, new beginning”…
The reporters from Stern magazine were already downstairs. The attention they gave us, the feeling of being taken care of and understood felt great…
Stern Magazine was the unexpected angel-of-mercy-battalion. They wanted our story. In exchange they fed, clothed and took care of us for weeks…
Once Stern took over our lives, we were continuously on the move. I didn’t have to think too much about what would happen to me and I was too exhausted to care. Several nights later, no sooner had I fallen asleep, one of the Stern reporters woke me. “Go out by the back door. There’s a bus waiting outside. Get on the bus and lie down with the others. There are reporters around the house. Make sure they don’t see you,” he whispered to me. I looked over at Diana’s bed, which was already empty. The story about the group being charged with poisonings, arson and wiretaps had broken across the U.S. The bus left Haüsern and hours later we were told to get off and change into new, non-orange clothes. We were given food and then told to get back on the bus. With no moon, we couldn’t see anything. Hours later, the bus stopped at the northernmost coast of Germany, where we went by boat to an island. There we were informed we were to be sequestered in one of the local inns, to avoid the media so Stern’s exclusive wouldn’t be compromised. Thus began non-stop interviews and photos. Three days later the press discovered where we were and came after us in helicopters. Once again we were pressed to leave immediately. Huddled in horse drawn buggies we were driven to a tiny airfield where planes were waiting to fly us to Hannover. As soon as we landed, we were taken to Stern’s offices downtown, where it was decided we should set out within the hour to Italy by bus…
After a week in Italy, we went back to Haüsern and the original inn where we had first stayed…
Because of our lack of money, our survival was dependent on Stern. The story was coming out in weekly instalments and taking longer than we had all thought. It was costing Stern more money than they wanted to spend and we wanted to move on.” (Longo-Disse 2006, pp. 233,234,235,236)

Shanti Bhadra on Stern interview with Sheela
“Needless to say, the press were looking for Sheela to hear what she had to say about Bhagwan’s allegations. We were not long in the Black Forest [in southern Germany] when she was contacted by Stern, a popular German weekly magazine. Stern wanted an exclusive interview. Representatives came to the holiday house where we were and a contract was made. Not only did the magazine pay a generous fee, but in order to protect the exclusivity of the story, Stern agreed to take care of the entire group until the story went to press.” (Stork 2009, p. 202)

The interview with Sheela in Stern was watched on video on the Ranch by Maneesha, Devaraj and Chetana the day before Osho left Rajneeshpuram. (Forman 1988, p. 537)

Osho on dropping gachchamis, temples and worship
“Beloved Master, Today we got rid of the gachchamis. Thank you very much I want to suggest we drop also the words “temple” and “worship.” They are apparently an invention of our high priestess, Sheela.
Done!.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 22, p. 269. 06.10.1985.

Maneesha on the experiment in Oregon
“What I now understood Bhagwan to have meant was rather more subtle. For example, even then – in September 1985 – no doubt the rest of the world thought as a group we were in a shambles and accordingly must feel humiliated and disappointed. But that wasn’t my reality or that of my friends: The experiment was not only not a failure, it was an invaluable experience for a group of five hundred thousand sannyasins, and for anybody else ready and willing to see what happened there as a reflection of his own outer and inner world…
The main lesson I learnt was that I am responsible for everything that happens around me. I don’t need to be directly involved, I may not have any idea of particular incidents, but I am responsible for my environment – and that ultimately means for all that happens on my earth – because it is an extension of me, or I am just a part of it. It’s true: No man is an island. Before, I thought that unless something touched directly on my life, I needn’t feel involved, wasn’t responsible because it didn’t affect my safety, my freedom, didn’t encroach on my boundaries. I thought, “It’s not my business.” Now I saw the very idea of being able to define myself as separate from others was fallacious…
I personally didn’t feel Bhagwan was responsible: it was between Sheela and us. Bhagwan had never begged us to join him in the first place; if we were with him it was totally of our own free will. If a group of people wanted to live around him, and organized their lives accordingly, if out of jealousy, greed and ambition, they ended up trying to kill each other and the possibility of their continued co-existence – whose fault was that? And hadn’t Bhagwan talked so much, particularly in the past year, about his being responsible for himself, and us for ourselves? As a group, we seemed to move from euphoria to attempting to understand what had happened, and then to a childish, tantrum-like reaction…
He told us that he had made it clear to Sheela that he didn’t want to know the details of our daily lives over the period of his silence; this message too had been given to his household because he wished to be in isolation. But her freedom to act as his representative was abused and because nobody could contradict her, Sheela used Bhagwan’s name as a leverage to manipulate us.
This was the crux of it all to me: that people, countries, get the ruler they deserve. Yes, perhaps Bhagwan had selected Sheela as his secretary, but at that stage she was just raw material. She would take form according to her environment, the people in it, and in dealing with situations that came up, could act according to the wishes – conscious or otherwise – of the people who allowed her power. Sheela didn’t just take power: we gave it to her. My understanding is that this is the unconscious admission of those sannyasins who still – some two years later – prefer to throw blame on Bhagwan rather than Sheela: they cannot accept their own responsibility for the destruction of the commune. They will not blame Sheela because they must acknowledge that Sheela was, after all, only one of us. That leaves Bhagwan as the safest – farthest removed from themselves – target for their disappointment.” (Forman 1988, pp. 488ff)

Osho speaking on the September events. Excerpts:
17.09: I have chosen Hasya, president of the Foundation
18.09: Antelope had been changed into City of Rajneesh
20.09: Housing complex for AIDS patients was built in City Rajneesh.
– Sheela has left the commune fifty-five million dollars in dept.
– Sheela’s secretary Geeta continued to stay at the Ranch.
– Sheela took 25 letterheads from each corporation.
21.09: Sheela/Savita bank account in Switzerland, $43 mio.
02.10: Speaking on work versus worship. From Bondage to Freedom (1991)

Sheela concluding in ‘Tötet ihn nicht’
“Er wurde von seinen eigenen Leuten beraubt. Nun sind seine Sannyasins zu ängstlich und beschämt, um über Rajneeshpuram zu reden. Seine Leute amputieren ihn, in dem sie die wichtigste Zeit seines lebens nicht in seiner Biographie erwähnen. Diese phase seines lebens auszuradieren, verkrüppelt ihn nur. Das Ganze kann nicht vom Teil getrennt werden und der Teil nicht vom Ganzen. Niemand kann Bhagwan von seiner Schöpfung, von seinem Lebenswerk, der kommune in Rajneeshpuram abtrennen und niemand hat das Recht dazu. Die Zensur und die Rituale, die von Sannyasins nun nach seinem Tod durchgeführt werden, sind völlig gegen sein Leben, gegen seinen Tod und gegen seine Lehre. Diese inhaltslosen Rituale töten ihn. Hört damit auf. Tötet ihn nicht!” (Sheela 1996, p. 248)

Satyananda on the commune
“Die Kommune in Oregon – ein aufregendes, viel umstrittenes Experiment – scheiterte 1985 an Selbstüberschätzung und an ihrer Unfähigkeit, sich gegen politische, religiöse und behördliche Wiederstände friedlich und mit diplomatischem Geschick zu behaupten.” (Satyananda 2013, p. 205)

Satyananda on the Oregon experience
“Ein Meister…kümmert sich nicht um die Moral, sondern allein um die Erleuchtung seiner Schüler…So gab uns Rajneesh einen Geschmack von Faschismus. Seine Methode ist zwar unmoralisch, aber im Lichte der Zen-Tradition betrachtet, erscheint sie höchst effektiv und sinnvoll. Er schuf eine Situation, in der jeder Teilnehmer an dem Experiment Rajneeshpuram sein wahres Gesicht zeigen musste.” (Satyananda 1990. Quoted from: Süss 1996, p. 176)

Osho on fundamentalist Christians
“The commune in America was destroyed by the politicians, but behind the politicians were the fundamentalist Christians, the most orthodox group of Christian priests. Ronald Reagan himself is a fundamentalist Christian. And to be a fundamentalist Christian means to be absolute orthodox. He believes that every single word in ‘The Bible’ is holy, is from God’s own mouth. They were in conspiracy together to destroy the commune.
Just the other day I received the news that now they are making a memorial in The Dalles; bishops and politicians and all kinds of leading, prominent citizens are contributing money – a big memorial, a memorial that they have become victorious, that they have thrown away the evil forces who had created the commune. They have thrown me out, destroyed my work, and they are not satisfied with that; they want to create a memorial so that the future generations will know.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 26, p. 228. Punta del Este, 25.04.1986am.

Heading: Anti-Rajneesh monument at Oregon courthouse
“THE DALLES, Oregon – On the lawn of the Wasco County Courthouse, where trials of former Rajneesh commune members may take place, there is a new memorial statue bearing a strong anti-Rajneesh inscription.
The memorial, a statue of an antelope, has an inscription on its base reading: “Dedicated to all who steadfastly and unwavering opposed the attempt of the Rajneesh followers to take political control of Wasco County, 1981-85.” There is also a quotation from English political philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The statue was dedicated on July 13, and many elected Wasco County officials attended the ceremony. It was built with private funds, but Wasco County provided the courthouse lawn site.
Could the statue and its inscription about “the triumph of evil” be considered prejudicial? Wasco County Judge John Jelderks, who sentenced Ma Anand Sheela on state charges, thinks so. He told J. Weslev Sullivan of the Salem Statesman-Journal that he wondered “whether it would be possible for defendants in Rajneesh cases to pass that inscription on the way into the courthouse and still believe they could get a fair trial inside.”
Judge Jelderks told Sullivan that he is considering diverting future Rajneesh cases to another county.” (The Rajneesh Newspaper, 13.08.1986)

Maneesha commenting on Sheela’s leaving
“As soon as he had realized how Sheela was abusing her power, in the summer of 1984, Bhagwan had spoken to Sheela and those involved with her; seeing that she had not understood his message, he began discourses in October of that year. When events came to a head, had become really ugly, Bhagwan did not even need to say so: Sheela had made her own life so intolerable that she withdrew herself more and more from Bhagwan. She found excuses not to see him for her secretarial work and spent more and more time away from the commune, until finally, she’d submitted her letter to Bhagwan. He’d answered her letter – and she’d taken it upon herself to leave. And that was that. The FBI and state police of course were called in and conducted investigations into all of the allegations that surfaced over the ensuring days; but in a way Sheela’s crimes were simply symptoms of the diseased state of mind she’s got herself into…
Last: it is true that Sheela’s power was considerable. It is equally true that every one of us who were at Rajneeshpuram were there because we chose to be, and remained there because we chose to. We knew we could leave at a moment’s notice. So the only influence Sheela had was over people who had the choice to leave or not. The notion of power over someone has to be mitigated by the extent to which the person accepts it…
And because she was not a meditator, Sheela did not have the inner resources to handle with grace and centeredness the pressures and tensions brought to bear on the commune and her by the American government. No doubt the capacity to be corrupted was in Sheela, but it was certainly brought to the surface by politicians of the United States. Without the inner stamina to deflect ugly political attacks, she ended up with the same values as any politician – knocking off competitors, and resorting to tactics of manipulation, humiliation and appealing to other’s ambitiousness…
In fact, she attempted, and failed, to have Bhagwan sign a document in which he would renounce any right in the present or future to replace Sheela as his secretary.” (Forman 1988, pp. 498,507,512)

Nirgun on ongoing investigations
“Life soon got riskier. The American authorities had been looking for an informer inside the commune. Now they had the biggest and the best: the Bhagwan himself. I sat in discourse, dumfounded, as he invited them in to investigate Sheela’s crimes. They responded with a vengeance.
They came in droves, set up a trailer, manned it day and night. Oregon State police, Wasco County officials, FBI officers, the Attorney General’s deputy, National guardsmen, INS officers. They flew in, drove in, camped overnight; stayed for weeks. I counted fifty searchers on the ranch in one day. They ransacked offices and trailers, questioned, subpoenaed residents. Dug up suspect plots, brought in the Navy Seal divers to search the mucky bottoms of Krishnamurti and Patanjali lakes.” (Hamilton 1998, p. 161)

Gordon writes
“In the weeks after I left Rajneeshpuram the sannyasins divided their attention between restructuring the ranch and the ongoing legal dramas. Search warrants, issued on the basis of Lieutenant Renfrow’s affidavit [Affidavit for Search Warrant of Rajneeshpuram, compiled in late September], had unearthed several thousand tapes, presumably made by Sheela. Rajneesh and approximately one hundred sannyasins received subpoenas to appear before federal and state grand juries. K.D., looking gaunt and haggard, returned to the ranch for a few days amid rumors that he and several other sannyasins had received immunity in return for testimony on the poisonings and murder plots. On October 24, 1985, the state grand jury handed down indictments for the attempted murder of Devaraj. On October 28, Sheela, Puja, and Shanti Bhadra were arrested in Germany, where they were held for extradition. Meanwhile, the grand jury that had been investigating possible immigration law violation was rumored to be ready to indict Rajneesh and other sannyasins.” (Gordon 1987, p. 198)

Charges against sannyasins
“By the end of the Oregon experiment 25 sannyasins were charged with electronic eavesdropping conspiracy, 13 immigration conspiracy, 8 lying to federal officials, 3 harbouring a fugitive, 3 criminal conspiracy, 1 burglary, 1 racketeering (RICO), 1 first degree assault, 3 first degree assault and 3 attempted murder. A complex series of plea bargains followed. Sheela was fined $400,000 and ordered to pay $69,353 in restitution. She was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of four-and-a-half years for the attempted murder of Sw Devaraj, 20 years for first degree assault in the poisoning of county commissioner William Hulse, 10 years for second degree assault in the poisoning of commissioner Raymond Matthew, 4 years for the salmonella poisoning, 4 years for wiretapping and 5 years probation for immigration fraud. She served only 2 years in a federal medium security prison and was released for good behavior in December 1988. Ma Puja also received concurrent sentences: 15 years for the Devaraj murder attempt, 15 for the Hulse poisoning, 7 years for the Matthew poisoning, 4 years for her role in salmonella poisonings and 3 years probation for wiretapping conspiracy. Puja also served only 2 years of her sentence. Like Sheela, she served her sentence at the federal prison in Pleasanton, CA, and was released in December of 1988.” (Davisson 2003)

Vasant Joshi writes
“In an interview that Ma Anand Sheela, Osho’s secretary, gave in 1995 to Viha Connection, a monthly magazine published by the Osho Viha Meditation Centre in Mill Valley, California, she said, ‘I had nothing to do with meditation before; I have nothing to do with meditation now.’ In this forthright statement she sums up the very genesis of the calamity that was going to fall on Rajneeshpuram.” (Joshi 2010, p. 168)

Interview with Rudolf Bahro who visited Rajneeshpuram in 1983
Heading: Bhagwan und die Königin der Nacht.
“A: Wir wollen nicht vergessen, dass es sich – jedenfalls nach meiner Erfahrung – wirklich um eine religiöse Kommune handelt und nicht primär um Bhagwans Geschäft, nicht um Akkumulation als eigentlichen Zweck, nich um einen Zwangsstaat. Wenn Bhagwan eine Last für die Kommune ist, dann primär durch das Verhältnis wechselseitiger Abhängigkeit und Korruption auf psychischer Ebene. Falls er aber den Konflikt mit Sheela tatsächlich über seine Unersättlichkeit nach Reichtumssymbolen zum Ausbruch getrieben hat, rächt sich darin, dass er nicht genug hinter sich aufgeräumt hat. Es ist eines, die Idealisierung der Armut zu lassen, was ganz anderes, sich kapitalistisch entwicklungswütig gegen Armut, gegen Gandhi und für Reichtum, ja Luzus zu identifizieren.
Q: Was Bhagwan wie ein Zen-Lehrer seinen Sannyasin jetz als Lehrstück verkauft, ist letzlich ein Lehrstück über den Meister.
A: Das kann es nur für ihn selbst sein. Für jeden anderen ist “der Meister” eine interne Instanz, ein Partner des eigenen Selbst, und die Lehre ist, niemand kann seine Verantwortung abschieben.” (Interviewer: Kuno Kruse. Die Tagezeitung. 16.10.1985, p. 9)

Heading: Sheela’s Swiss account may hold $43 million
“”There will be an investigation into that whole side of things, but I’m not the one who is launching that,” Swami Dhan John said.
In regard to the Rajneesh corporations in Oregon, John said the current assets are in excess of $75 million, with liabilities estimated at $35 million.
“All the organizations are sound and operating “business as usual,” John said. “We re not anticipating any hiccups in our normal way of doing business.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:5. 27.09.1985)

Heading: Murder in the Vatican. A review of: In God’s Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I / Yallop (1984)
“Why did no one demand an investigation into the death of this most humane of popes [John Paul I. 29.09.1978]? Why didn’t Rajneeshees demand a thorough accounting of Sheela’s activities? Perhaps Catholics and Rajneeshees shared the motivations that support fascism everywhere; feeling their personal inability to live up to their ideals was an individual and private failing. They felt the Vatican or Sheela could do no wrong. Perhaps the Catholics too feared being cast from the fold, losing their support group and their ticket to heaven or enlightenment. (Ma Prem Atandra. The Rajneesh Times, 1985:5. 27.09.1985)

Niren to Maneesha
“Looking at that in retrospect my understanding now is that Bhagwan in fact gives a lot of room for the people around him to express themselves and do what they want to do and be who they want to be. He does not interfere – he’s incredible in that respect. I think he feels that we will not learn our lessons if he tells us what to do, so he leaves us to learn our own lesson; that in fact is what he was doing at Rajneeshpuram…
A lot of people perceived that what Sheela did ended the commune. When Sheela’s activities came to light, that created an atmosphere about us of ‘those people were criminals and they did terrible things,’ and there wasn’t any sort of reasoned analysis – that in fact most of the criminal activity had been directed against us! But her actions were used as a lever for public opinion. “So there was the government ready to end the commune, and the government took advantage of the situation. What Sheela’s actions did was to create an atmosphere in which it was made easier for the government program to work.” (Forman 1988, pp. 501,527)
and a book written by him is forthcoming (2018))

Heading: Late News Extra. No more Rajneeshism. Mala / Red clothes optional – Bhagwan tells disciples.
“Rajneeshpuram – In a surprise announcement Thursday Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh told his disciples they need no longer dress in the red, orange and purple colors of the sunrise, and that they need on longer wear the mala with his portrait.
Disciples can continue with both if they wish, he explained, but new disciples will not be issued with malas.
Bhagwan also said that there is no Rajneeshism and his followers should stop calling themselves Rajneeshees. He is pulling out of circulation the book entitled: The Book of Rajneeshism.
In an earlier interview with Bill Graves, a staff reporter for The Bulletin, Bhagwan said he had decided to take these steps in an effort to keep his movement from becoming institutionalized.
The book and the word Rajneeshee were developed by Ma Anand Sheela, his former personal secretary, against his wishes during his 3 1/2 years of silence, which ended last fall, he said.
“Sheela created this idea of sannyasins (disciples) being Rajneeshees,” he said. “So I have taken it back. Not only am I not a Rajneeshee, nobody is a Rajneeshee.”
Bhagwan said there was an “immense need” to have his disciples wear malas and red clothes to give them “identification and courage.”
But now they can dress as they choose and wear malas if they want.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:5. 27.09.1985)

Osho on dropping the mala and red clothing. Neo-Sannyas movement had started in Kulu Manali on September 26, 1970, and it ended in Oregon on the very same day after fifteen years, 26.09.1985:
“I want my people to understand it clearly. Neither your clothes, not your outer disciplines nor anything that has been given to you by tradition and you have accepted it just on belief, is going to help. The only thing that can create a revolution in you is going beyond the mind into the world of consciousness. Except that, nothing is religious. But to begin with, and with a world, which is too much obsessed with other things, I had to start sannyas also with outer things. Change your clothes into orange, wear a mala, meditate – but the emphasis was only on meditation.
But I found that people can change their clothes very easily but they cannot change their minds. They can wear the mala, but they cannot move into their consciousness. And because they are in orange clothes, wearing a mala, having a new name, they start believing that they have become a sannyasin. Sannyas is not so cheap. Hence it is time and you are mature enough that the beginning phase is over. If you like the orange color, the red color, perfectly good – it cannot do any harm, but it is not a help either. If you love the mala, if you love the locket with my picture on it, it is simply your ornament, but it has nothing to do with religion. So now I reduce religion to its absolute essential. And that is meditation. If you are meditating and if you are reaching higher and higher into your consciousness, thoughts are left behind. You experience that your body is just outside you, your mind is just outside you and you are standing in the middle, the center of the cyclone – in utter silence, in absolute beauty, in great light, in utter fulfilment. Except the process of meditation, everything is non-essential.
I don’t want my people to be lost in non-essentials. In the beginning it was necessary. Now years of listening to me, understanding me, you are in a position to be freed from all outer bondage. You can for the first time be really a sannyasin only of you are moving inwards.” The Last Testament. Vol VI, Chapter 12. In: Jesus Crucified Again. This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America (1988))

And Osho comments further on this issue
“With our coming to the West, now red clothes and the mala are no longer needed, because in the West they have never been symbolic of religion. They have done their work in India… now sannyasins should be absolutely normal beings, so you can live in the society without creating any kind of hostility or embarrassment for yourself, for your family, or difficulties in your job…
So now there is left only the essential quality, the most fundamental quality of religiousness. That is meditation. You have to go inwards…
So now that you no longer have any outer symbols, it is good, if you want to be a sannyasin, for you to remember only one thing: how to go into the discipline of witnessing; otherwise there is a possibility that wearing red clothes and the mala you are completely satisfied that you are a sannyasin. You are not. Clothes don’t make anybody change, neither does the mala make anybody go through a transformation. But you can deceive yourself.
Now I am taking all that away from you, and leaving only one simple thing. You cannot deceive: either you do it or you don’t do it. Without doing it, you are not a sannyasin. So the movement has come to its purest state, the most essential stage; it has to be dropped.
But it is a good coincidence that on the same date, I had started the sannyas movement, and on the same date I have made it absolutely purified of all unnecessary, nonessential things. But it is purely a coincidence, because I am not good about dates, days, years. Forgive me for that. I live in a timeless space. I don’t know what day it is, I don’t know what date it is.” From Bondage to Freedom (1991). Chapter 17, p. 207. 01.10.1985.

Maneesha on Sheela and her charge of crime
“On October 28th, 1985, Sheela was arrested in West Germany. Several months later she was charged with the following crimes, all of which she pleaded guilty:
* Tampering with consumer products (the salmonella poisoning).
* Conspiracy to illegally intercept communication (wiretapping).
* Attempted murder (of Devaraj).
* Assault in the first degree (poisoning Wasco County judge, William Hulse).
* Assault in the second degree (poisoning the Wasco County commissioner, Ray Matthew).
* Arson (planning the burning of the Wasco County Planning Office).
* Conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.

Maneesha on the political scheme
“At a press conference when Sheela was convicted, the United States attorney, Charles Turner, was asked why Bhagwan wasn’t jailed for the same crimes for which Sheela was arrested. He replied that the main priority had been to destroy the commune, that the authorities did not wish to make a martyr out of Bhagwan, and finally, that there was no evidence whatsoever to connect Bhagwan with those crimes.” (Forman 1988. Epilogue, p. 541)
(Note: Charles Turner may at that time have known about Bhagwan’s fatal incarceration in El Reno 04.11.1985. Turner had been appointed by Ronald Reagan, and he left office in the change of administration from George Bush to Bill Clinton)

Aftermath: Sheela sentenced
“She was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail on the federal charges and twenty years on the state charges, and was ordered by U.S. District Judge Edward Leavy to leave the country immediately upon her release from jail (estimated to be in about four years under state and federal parole guidelines). Ma Anand Puja, former head of the Rajneesh Medical Corporation, also pleaded guilty to most of the same charges and received a similar sentencing. Ma Shanti Bhadra, former treasurer of the Rajneesh Foundation International and vice-president of the Rajneesh Medical Corporation, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Devaraj and was given ten years, of which she was expected to serve two and a half. That December, David Knapp (formerly Swami Krishna Deva, major of Rajneeshpuram), was given a two-year sentence for ‘ex post facto’ informant for the authorities. Other Rajneeshees involved in various of these criminal violations were given probation.” (McCormack 1987, p. 221)

Heading: Posh prison for Sheela and friends
“PLEASANTON, California – The federal prison where Ma Anand Sheela and two of her friends wound up is called “Club Fed” by its inmates. According to a story in the tabloid National Enquirer, its “83 lushly landscaped acres look more like a college campus than a prison.” “Being there is more like a vacation than a jail sentence,” says Pleasanton Police Sgt. John Reasoner…
One journalist called a Pleasanton sentence “the mildest sentence anyone could get.” Why were Sheela and friends sent there? It’s anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, Oregon and U.S. authorities still claim ignorance about the whereabouts of the $43 to $55 million which Bhagwan said Sheela embezzled from Rajneesh organizations.” (Rajneesh. The Newspaper, 04.12.1987)

5.13 Bhagwan Arrested in Charlotte

Those who wish to have a better understanding of what happened during the twelve days where Osho was arrested and incarcerated in secrecy can do no better than read the books written by Maneesha, Max Brecher and Anando. Maneesha’s biography is the second volume in her trilogy presenting the factual events and her personal experiences of what happened. Max Brecher has conducted meticulous research into the political context of these events by visiting the actual jails and places in US, interviewing officials involved and studying the written sources available. Anando’s book was written when she was Osho’s secretary in Poona II and had access to a variety of sources.

* Bhagwan. Twelve Days that Shook the World / Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha). Rebel Publishing House, 1989. (Forman 1989)

* A Passage to America. A Radically New Look at Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and a Controversial American Commune / Max Brecher. Bombay, Book Quest, 1993. (Brecher 1993)

* Was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America? / Sue Appleton (Ma Prem Anando). Cologne, Rebel Publishing, 1988. (Appleton 1988)

Maneesha’s book includes: Map of route from Charlotte to Portland (Page xvi). Chronology of Events 1985 (Page xvii-xviii). Principal Characters, numbering 65 persons (Page xix-xxi). In Appendix One letters to and from Edwin Meese, some in facsimile. One letter is a confidential letter from Secretary of State Alexander Haigh to the American Consul in Bombay. Excerpt:


“This is the story of the American government’s conspiracy against Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, which culminated in his arrest and incarceration in several American prisons where attempts were made on his life. Finally, he left America. The story is complex but is still incomplete. The investigation is ongoing. J.F. February, 1989.” (Forman 1989, p. xi)

Brecher’s book includes: Foreword by Khushwant Singh (Page v-vi). List of 69 Interviewees (Page 398-403). Books (Page 403-404). Books by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Page 405-408) [Pages printed in reverse order]. Articles (Page 405-406). Newspapers (Page 408).

From back flap and cover:
“A Passage to America proves that there was more than one conspiracy against Rajneesh. It wasn’t just legalistic. It was also lethal. There were assassination plots. This book reveals this and many other previously-untold stories. By tearing through the wall of sensational press that has been built up around a man and his message, the author aims to re-open a closed case…
More than six years after the events and two years after the death of Rajneesh, A Passage to America is the first book to systematically explore the complex sequence of events which led to Rajneesh’s apparent demise. Based entirely on historical records and a hundred interviews conducted in the United States, Europe and India, A Passage to America is a piece of hard-hitting investigative journalism in the style of Woodward and Bernstein. It proves the previously unbelievable: that there was a multi-leveled U.S. government conspiracy against Rajneesh.” (Brecher 1993)

“A Passage to America is based on thousands of media reports from the period, legal, historical and religious research, and about 100 formal and informal interviews with government officials, and sannyasins in the United States, England, Holland, Germany, Greece, India and Italy. In a world where people, ideas, events and whole dimensions are tried by television, I am merely turning on the sound. Readers will “hear what has happened, what men have done, what they have the power to do: risks, adventures, trials of all sorts.” We will stray sometimes in these passages off the map and out of time into the heart and meaning of America itself.” (Brecher 1993, p. 22)

In her book ‘Was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America?’ Anando writes:
“Most of the material for chapter seven, about Sheela, was provided by Sangeet Duchane, an attorney who lived in Sheeia’s house at Rajneeshpuram. Duchane’s own book on Sheela, “Sheela: A Woman Replica of Adolph Hitler” is due to be published later this year (1988).” (Appleton 1988, p. 80)

Two endorsements on back cover of Anando’s book
“If crucifixion were still in vogue, of course Bhagwan would’ve been nailed up. But, since we’re civilized, they had to force him into exile instead. I’m sure they would have much preferred to crucify him on the White House lawn.” By Tom Robbins, 1988. Author of: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume.
“Nothing would stop them until the commune (of Rajneeshpuram) was destroyed. Most of all they wanted to destroy the Bhagwan, this non-Christian, non-Jewish, non-rancher who rode around in a Rolls Royce and wore funny clothes. They would have liked to see him dead. And they might have succeeded if his followers hadn’t stepped in in time to rescue him.” By Dell Murphy, author of ‘The Rajneesh Story’ (Murphy 1986)

From Anando’s timeline
Oct 23, 1985. A U.S. federal grand jury in Portland secretly indicts Osho and seven others on relatively minor charges of immigration fraud.
Oct 28, 1985. Osho arrested at gunpoint in Charlotte, without a warrant. (Anando’s timeline. Personal information. 2011)

Roshani Shay on arrest and incarceration in her chronology 1985
“Oct 28: They were said to be going to change planes and charter another jet to fly them to Bermuda this evening, says US Marshal Ray Abrams, even though the FAA says the flight plans filed were for Charlotte as a final destination with one Learjet landing in Pueblo, Colorado and the other stopping in Salt Lake City on the way; Portland INS official Houseman says Bhagwan was named in indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Portland on the 23rd; Houseman also says that the US Customs Service and FAA tracked the plane across the country and that he was unsure whether Bhagwan knew about the indictments; he says “I’ve heard reports that people at the ranch knew about the indictments.”… US Attorney Charles Turner said federal officials were negotiating with Peter Shey, Bhagwan’s attorney, for his surrender and implied it was Shey who “tipped” Bhagwan off to the indictments on the 27th, but Shey says he did not know about the indictments until today, that the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon has refused to comment on whether indictments had issued since June of 1985 and denies that Bhagwan was fleeing the country since he left in broad daylight, in a chartered plane paid for with a credit card and in the presence of two news reporters; federal complaints are filed accusing Bhagwan of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and a complaint against the six sannyasins arrested with him for harbouring him…
Oct 29: Feature on interview with pilots flying the Learjets to Charlotte says a US Customs Service agent at Rajneeshpuram had seen the plane depart and that he had been watching the airstrip for 2 weeks; US Attorney Turner had told the customs agent that Bhagwan’s attorney, Peter Shey, had called the afternoon of the 27th and said he knew abut the secret indictment and wanted to discuss bail; Turner received a call at 7pm on the 27th from the Portland lawyer for a ranch sannyasin (Ava) who had told him Bhagwan had left; one hour before landing in Charlotte the pilots were asked if they could take the group to Bermuda and the reply was no (see Statesman-Journal, Salem)…
Oct 31: Davis, CA Enterprise columnist says “I find it ironic that the very government that’s been trying to run you out of the country for the last four years now detains you when you’re trying to leave. They should have just let you continue on your merry way… I hate to say it, but if members of the Mafia wore beards, flowing robes, preached unconventional religious beliefs and lived in desert communes, they’d all be in jail by now.” in an “open letter” to Bhagwan…
Nov 1: Gov. Atiyeh says Bhagwan’s arrest was part of a contingency plan developed by his office…
Nov 4: Plane carrying Bhagwan and 66 other prisoners leaves Charlotte in the afternoon and arrives in Oklahoma City, OK about 7 pm; he is shackled, placed in a waiting automobile and thought to be taken to the Federal Correctional Institute in El Reno, 28 miles west of Oklahoma City, although officials there will not confirm; death threats against Bhagwan are acknowledged to have prevented the more normal bus transport from NC to Alabama before enplaning; authorities expect Bhagwan to arrive in Portland on Nov. 5…
Nov 5: Bhagwan spends second day in Oklahoma in an undisclosed location; marshals say the location is not the federal facility at El Reno and Bhagwan will probably be moved to Portland on Nov. 6…
Nov 6: Bhagwan’s attorney holds press conference saying that a team of four attorneys (Myles Ambrose of Washington, DC, Brian O’Neill and Peter Schey of Los Angeles, Jack Ransom of Portland) will defend Bhagwan, as federal charges of marriage fraud against the sannyasin lawyer [Niren] prevent him from participating directly in the case…
Nov 7: Bhagwan is flown to Portland (with a refuelling stop in Arizona, several other stops and a 13 hour flight) after 3 days in Oklahoma…
Nov 8: Bhagwan is driven to Rajneeshpuram late in the evening after stopping briefly at the Hotel Rajneesh in Portland for a shower; a bomb threat is telephoned to the MCJC about 4pm, and is said to have delayed his release by one hour; a “simulated bomb” was found; 2-300 sannyasins meet with Hasya and John to hear about Bhagwan’s release; they celebrate Bhagwan’s arrival in Rajneeshpuram about 10:30pm with music and by lining the road…
Nov 14: After leaving the court, Bhagwan is driven directly to the airport, boards a private plane at about 5:30pm (which flies him to Ireland and continues to Cyprus) along with about 12 disciples (including Hasya, Devaraj, Vivek, Chetna, Nirupa, Mukta, Hemlata DesRosiers and Bhagwan’s mother), some of whom will return to the US, some of whom will go on with Bhagwan to the Himalayas…
Nov 17: Life goes on as usual at Rajneeshpuram; an estimated 1500-3500 residents there; total investment in Rajneeshpuram said to have been $120 million; sannyasins say they will continue to fight the challenges to Rajneeshpuram’s incorporation in the courts; it is said to take $4 million per month to operate the commune; Bhagwan arrives in New Delhi, India at 2:10 am (via Allentown, PA; Shannon, Ireland; a one night stay in Larnaca, Cyprus followed by Bahrain refuelling) to hundreds of followers (200-600) throwing flower petals; he is said to be headed to a place near Manali named Kulu, 250 miles north of New Delhi in Himachal Pradesh state in the Himalayan foothills; he denounces America, saying “It is just a wretched country,” and a “hypocrisy” and says of India, “This is my country;” in the news conference says he was mistreated in jail and will not have another commune, after which he leaves for Manali; the international headquarters of the movement will be in Poona, India, but all communes will be independent…
Nov 18: Bhagwan and 20 or so sannyasins book the 24 room, well-guarded Span Resorts Complex motel near Manali for 10 weeks; The Press Trust of India quotes a source as saying that some sannyasins had met with the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh state earlier this year proposing to buy land in Manali…
Nov 20: Indian newspaperss reportedly say Bhagwan will not be allowed to buy land in Himachal Pradesh and that the Rajneesh Foundation owes $800,000 to $3 million in taxes from the pre-1981 period…
Dec 24: Judge Edward Leavy orders Niren to “reveal to a federal grand jury who told him a secret indictment [of Oct 23] had been issued against the Indian guru,” and that the information is not protected by the attorney-client privilege; the grand jury will meet again on Jan. 15…
Dec 25: It is reported that all 10 non-Indian aides to Bhagwan (including a Canadian cook, British maid, Italian carpenter, German engineer) have been ordered out of India and that 9 had left as of Dec. 16 when their three-week visas expired and were not extended; Ma Prem Hasya, Bhagwan’s secretary, is refused a visa extension as of today and said to be forced from India tomorrow (to Kathmandu, Nepal?)…
Dec 27 It is reported that Bhagwan plans to settle within the next 2 weeks on an island (one of three near Fiji) in the South Pacific, which would be privately owned, not under the control of any government and that he would “make his ‘last effort’ to build a commune,” there or in one of two countries in South America.” (Shay 1990)

National Guard near Ranch
“For two years continually there was a rumor that they were going to arrest me, but they would not dare to enter the campus of the commune for the simple reason that they knew that unless they killed five thousand sannyasins they would not be able to arrest me. And they were not ready to take the risk – killing five thousand people, most of them Americans, would condemn their democracy forever. They wanted me in some way to be out of the commune, so they could find me alone. That’s why they waited for two years. And we were hearing the rumor continuously, so by and by it became accepted that this was just a rumor, they didn’t have the courage. They had their National Guard just twenty miles away in the Amarican town, every day collecting more and more army forces, so that if there was a need they could be ready to kill five thousand people. But once they could get me out of the commune, things became easy for them.” Beyond Enlightenment (1986). Chapter 32, p. 764.

Contingency plan
“Knowing that the guru was about to be indicted for conspiring to evade immigration laws, the Bhagwan’s lawyers had been discussing with federal officials the terms for their client’s surrender. Meanwhile, the head of the local FBI office had drafted a contingency plan to “snatch” the Bhagwan from the ranch should those talks fail, which seemed likely.” (Miller 2001, p. 3)

Maneesha recalls
“We heard that the National Guard were assembled in Madras, that thousands of cots had been set up to accommodate them. On the other hand, this was denied by the governor of Oregon. Later we were able to confirm that two helicopters and twenty men were stationed at Redmond airport. It was all potentially rather unnerving. Tossed into this not frightfully festive sort of milieu was the presence of fifty investigators from various government agencies who had inundated the commune ostensibly in an attempt to sift out the evidence pertaining to Sheela’s crimes… Curiously, although Bhagwan repeatedly invited the FBI to interview him, for one reason or another – or for no reason at all – they didn’t. Three or four times appointments were set up and arrangements made for the interview in Lao Tzu House, but each time, at the last minute it was called off. It was rather curious. Why didn’t they take Bhagwan up on the offer to be interviewed? Why, on the other hand, were the police simply sitting on their butts during morning discourse as a means by which to learn of the crimes they ought to put on their day’s agenda for investigation? Why, with all the evidence that was being collected – enough to require fifty investigators to stay in the commune for weeks on end – were the criminals still at large? Why were the authorities not apprehending them?…
They visited the hotel, the townhouses that were bugged and Bhagwan’s room to test the apparatus on each location, and to take photographs: two vanloads of tapes were collected. They also took samples from outhouses in a remote part of the commune where, it was thought, suspicious chemicals had been discarded by Sheela’s group just before their flight.” (Forman 1988, pp. 531ff)

Brecher on e-mail from Niren 29.04.2012
“Swami Prem Niren, Rajneesh’s attorney, put it like this, “Sheela bugged Osho’s room including her conversations with him, for months. She took some tapes with her when she left. Thousands of tapes were later discovered by sannyasins and voluntarily turned over to the FBI.
“Sheela and the government had strong motivation to prove Osho’s involvement in her crimes. But they never produced a speck of evidence to indicate, let alone substantiate, anything of the sort. This failure to offer evidence, where there is strong motive and opportunity, is proof of the absence of evidence.”” (Brecher 2014, p. 524)

Heading: A Passage To America
“It is my belief that if Rajneesh had not flown out of Rajneeshpuram, there would have been a great deal of bloodshed. Mike Inman, former general counsel of the INS, said that the United States Attorney in Portland, Charles Turner, wanted “to storm the bastille.” Inman went into graphic details about Turner wanting to use the Border Patrol, and other rather grisly scenarios. Former INS Commissioner Alan Nelson – who recently resigned because of scandals of massive mismanagement at the INS – was so worried about Turner’s plans that he absolutely forbade all INS involvement in plans to arrest Rajneesh at Rajneeshpuram. Turner, of course, denies that he was planning a violent confrontation. But much of what he says, when taken in context with other material, is unconvincing at best.” (Max Brecher. In: Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:15)
(Note: In the interview Max Brecher continues and mentions the bombing of MOVE 13.05.1985 in Philadelphia, only few months before Rajneeshpuram had it’s turn in the spotlight)

Subhuti on outside pressure
“By September 1985, similar situation was building up at Rancho Rajneesh. Rumours about federal indictments against Bhagwan were circulating in the Oregon media. Attempts to work out terms for a peaceful surrender agreement, whereby Bhagwan and anyone else facing an indictment could voluntarily turn themselves in, were rebuffed by Turner. SWAT teams were being readied. Machine gun mounts were being fitted to helicopters. At least 15 armoured personnel carriers were strategically placed around the Ranch…
So why didn’t the inevitable happen? Why didn’t the Seventh Cavalry wannabes come charging into the Ranch with guns blazing, hell-bent on bagging the Bhagwan? It didn’t happen because Bhagwan pre-empted them. He suddenly left, taking all the heat with him.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 112)

National Guard in winter 1984-85
“Rumour had it that the US National Guard was stationed beyond the north boundary of the Ranch, on the ready. When we heard this we suspected it was one of Sheela’s bogey stories to keep us in check, but many years later I found out it was indeed the truth.” (Punya 2015, p. 319)

FBI agent and SWAT team member McPheters recalls
“On October 23, 1985, a thirty-five count indictment was issued by a federal grand jury convened in Portland, charging Rajneesh and is followers with conspiracy to evade immigration laws and illegal wiretapping activities. This required an FBI response. I was called in from Pendleton, Oregon, as part of the Portland SWAT team to respond to Rajneeshpuram to provide armed support for the agents who were to execute search warrants on the commune. We were joined by SWAT team contingents from neighbouring divisions in Washington and Utah…
We all attempted joviality, but none of us were kidding ourselves. This was life-threatening. We had been advised that if search warrants were executed on the Bhagwan’s residence, we would be greeted with automatic machine gun fire from the Peace Force, who we knew were heavily armed. We had advance intelligence they were set up on the hillsides above us and around us. In our position on the lower road, and from their vantage points in the surrounding hills, we could be prime targets. We had also been warned that there was a plan to create a human barricade of Rajneesh women and children surrounding the Rajneesh’s residence that would have to be addressed if we attempted to arrest him. We had been advised that the Bhagwan’s security people had more weapons than all of Oregon police departments. The tension was palpable. This was not going to be just another arrest we would be involved in. This would be a battle… maybe a battle to the finish.
At the last minute, and to everyone’s relief, negotiations took place that negated the need for hitting the Bhagwan’s place, and SWAT was called back. The party was over… at least for the moment.” (McPheters 2009, p. 153)

Heading: Story of National Guard deployment comes to light
“In an interview with Russel Chandler of the Los Angeles Times, Wasco County Sheriff Art Labrousse said that 30 to 50 men were stationed 25 minutes away from Rajneeshpuram with helicopters.
Brigadier General Iring Osborne, commander of the 41st Infantry Brigade, visited Rajneeshpuram on several occasions and was introduced as a member of the Oregon State Police. However, he was recognized as a general of the National Guard.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:10)

Osho says
“I always left in the right time. That’s what I say: existence manages things if you leave it to existence. I left Rajneeshpuram in America. The next day they were going to bring four helicopters – their helicopters were coming every day to find my house, and from the helicopters they were going to drop paratroopers to arrest me. Just a few hours before, I left Rajneeshpuram to go to a beautiful mountain resort that belonged to my sannyasins. They had been insisting for two years – it is strange that on the day I decided that okay, two years were enough. They had prepared the place; they just wanted me to rest there and the government was in shock – their whole program had failed.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Chapter 14, p. 153.

Vasant Joshi writes
“The next twelve days were the most bizarre in Osho’s life. This peaceloving, gentle mystic was dragged across the country, from one jail to another, for what should have been a six-hour plane journey to Portland…
The fact, however, remains that the US government was determined to deport Osho from the US by any means. US Attorney General, Edwin Meese, left no doubt on this point when he declared to drive him ‘right back in India, never to be seen or heard of again’. Nevertheless, as far as the law and human rights are concerned, many questions remain unanswered…
All the inhumanities have been clearly documented in a court declaration made by his personal attorney Philip J. Toelkes. Here are some relevant excerpts from a court document dated 7 May 1995 [here follows on two pages excerpts from this document]…
The US government had misused the legal process to attain purely political goals.” (Joshi 2010, pp. 179-184)

Peter Schey, a national respected immigration lawyer representing Osho, phoned Charles Turner on 26.06.1985
“Schey mentioned that he was particularly concerned about the health and safety of Rajneesh and submitted a medical affidavit attesting to his frail health. “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh suffers from three related medical problems: diabetes, allergic asthma, and lumbar disc disease. He is highly allergic to a great number of substances common to any public area. Exposure to many substances causes asthmatic attack, a major risk factor for dislodging his unstable lumbar disc. Subjecting him to arrest and the accompanying booking procedures may, in his physician’s words, be ‘potentially life threatening.'”
“Mr Turner told me on more than one occasion that, in the event that Rajneesh was indicted, he would give me sufficient notice,” Schey told me when I interviewed him at his home in Beverly Hills.” (Brecher 1993, p. 275)

Sven Davisson writes
“In the summer of 1985, Sheela retained a top immigration lawyer, Peter Shey, to represent Rajneesh in his ongoing battle with INS. Schey immediately began negotiating with U.S. District Attorney Robert Turner, who had already secretly convened a grand jury to investigate alleged immigration fraud at Rajneeshpuram. Schey wanted to insure that if indictments were handed down then the indictees would be allowed to surrender themselves to authorities at a location outside of Rajneeshpuram. Schey was confident that he had an agreement to this effect with Turner and that he, Rajneesh and any other indicted would be noticed 24 hours in advance and be allowed to turn themselves in to the court house in Portland. Despite this, according to INS deputy counsel Mike Inman, Turner had no intention of allowing Rajneesh or anyone else to surrender peacefully. Instead, in Inman’s words, Turner was set on “storming the Bastille.” According to Inman, Turner wanted “to utilize the Oregon National Guard, the FBI and the Immigration Services Border Patrol, and storm the compound with force, and go through the barricades and fences.” (Brecher, p. 275) Turner had developed a plan, according to Inman and others involved, of serving the warrants unannounced. INS agent Joe Greene testified under oath that Turner [had] no intention of allowing the Bhagwan to surrender at a neutral location. According to the plan, state and federal law enforcement, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, would show up unannounced at Rajneeshpuram and on a bull-horn inform the residents that they were surrounded and that the indictees had 1 minute to surrender. National Guard troops would be concealed in the nearby hills to provide back up if necessary. Given then generally accepted rumors that the commune was a “militarized camp,” this plan would seem to have been intended to provoke an armed confrontation.” (Davisson 2003)

Davisson continues on Osho’s arrest
“Turner’s plan was unexpectedly thwarted before it could be implemented, when on the afternoon of Sunday 27 October 1985, two privately chartered planes departed Rajneeshpuram Airport and began to make their way across the continent. Rumors were flying that arrests were imminent. In actuality sealed indictments had been handed to Turner the previous week. Rajneesh’s non-sannyasin attorney Peter Schey twice flew from Los Angeles to Oregon to discuss the rumored warrants and to arrange for the peaceful surrender of Rajneesh. On both occasions Turner denied the existence of warrants for Rajneesh or anyone other sannyasin. Turner claimed that he believed that a peaceful surrender was impossible and that by telling Schey he would be tipping Rajneesh off and allow him time to flee. Sheela had departed the commune the month before under a cloud of accusation and suspicion – the Bhagwan, himself, her principal accuser. Despite the fact that no indictments had been announced nor warrants served, frantic calls went out to law enforcement agencies across the country to apprehend the “fugitives.” The planes landed at a small airport outside of Charlotte, North Carolina for refuelling. Agents were waiting and the Bhagwan and his entourage were arrested without incident. Though they had been warned that the passengers would be heavily armed with automatic weapons and armour-piercing bullets, the agents found only one small handgun on the planes. At Rajneesh’s bail hearing the next day, prosecutors were unable to present an arrest warrant from Oregon. Despite this discrepancy, the judge denied Rajneesh’s bail. An unsigned, incomplete Oregonian warrant was later presented to the Charlotte court. Court records in Oregon hold a different arrest warrant, however, one that appears to have been forged after the fact and pre-dated…
One thing is certain, Rajneesh’s departure from Rajneeshpuram stemmed off the government’s plan for a major assault on the commune and, thus, likely spared several hundred lives. By late September 1985, 15 National Guard armoured personnel carriers were positioned in the hills surrounding Rajneeshpuram. In addition to the many FBI agents investigating the allegations made by Rajneesh, the state was ready to commit 800 state troopers if conflict erupted and the National Guard had another 600 guardsmen on standby as backup. By September 30, the National Guard had three HUEY helicopters at Redmond airport ready to carry FBI agents and Oregon State Police SWAT teams into Rajneeshpuram. Turner also successfully requested U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Investigative Search Teams (FIST) and Border Patrol from the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with “mass arrest.”” (Davisson 2003)

Shiva on Osho leaving the ranch
“The Portland INS authorities were well aware that if Rajneesh had any indication that charges were about to be brought, he would in all probability try to leave the country, just as he had left India in 1981. They worked in what they thought was complete secrecy, but the ranch had ways of knowing how rapidly the tide was turning. On the morning of Sunday October 23rd, Rajneesh learned from an informer high up in the grand jury bureaucracy that if he did not leave the country immediately, he would be arrested without bail within forty-eight hours, and indicted on some thirty-five counts. If convicted on all the charges he would be liable to 175 years in jail. The informer was able to say exactly who was mentioned in the supposedly sealed and secret indictment.
Once they knew that arrest was imminent, Rajneesh and his cohorts acted quickly. At 2pm a Lear Jet operator in Portland was called by the ranch and asked if he could have an aircraft at Rajneeshpuram within the hour. The pilot arrived mid-afternoon, and the $10,000 rental was paid by credit card. Another Lear Jet, which had just flown in from California, was already on the ranch. As darkness fell, the two white Lear jets took off with Rajneesh and eight sannyasis on board, including Vivek, Hasya, and a Swami called Dhyan John, who had risen to prominence in the six weeks since Sheela had left…
Frantic efforts were being made by the Rajneeshees both on the ground and in the Lear jets to charter a jet from Charlotte to take the passengers to Bermuda or Nassau straightaway, since these were the only places accessible from the USA where Rajneesh could stay without a visa, and the Lears were not able of making the ocean crossing. The best hotels had already been vetted in advance. When it proved impossible to hire a charter, they attempted at short notice to buy an aircraft outright, offering several million dollars cash to anybody who would sell.” (Milne 1986, p. 296)

Abhiyana writes
“Rumors of the National Guard being posted on the north end of the Ranch turned out to be true. Guard commanders told the Oregon governor they could mobilize 10,000 soldiers. Major Moine, head of the Oregon State Police, had a plan to send in 800 armed troopers, if the raid was given the go-ahead. If it took another Waco, Texas bloodbath to end this, so be it. I was part of a contingency plan where, upon a given signal, we would rush to surround Osho’s house with locked arms, facing outward. It was rumored the National Guard would land a helicopter on the lawn near his bedroom. A townhouse nearby was kept empty, in case Osho had to be hidden there from the authorities…
Just six days before, a federal grand jury in Portland issued a 35-count indictment charging Osho and seven others with conspiracy to evade immigration law. The indictment was “sealed” i.e., secret, but it was apparent that an arrest was imminent. Osho’s attorneys had offered a surrender at any time, but the state and feds refused, seeming to prefer a bloodbath instead. For that reason, I believe Osho was flown off into the night toward Bermuda.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 356-57)

In the following chronology of Osho’s time in custody some quotes from authors may not be placed at the correct day in the sequence of events.

* Day One. Monday, October 28th 1985: Arrest in Charlotte

– Osho and six sannyasins arrested between 1:30 a.m.-2:00 a.m. EST in Charlotte, North Carolina
– Preliminary bail hearing
– Osho and sannyasins taken to Mecklenburg County jail
– Sheela arrested in Germany 2:00 p.m. EST.

Hasya on Osho leaving the Ranch
“As an American, Hasya must have been aware of how something like this incident at Kent State could be repeated with us. Ever since we had arrived in Oregon, the hostility and the desire to get rid of us was very evident and we were probably seen as being now at our most vulnerable. Hasya reasoned that if Bhagwan himself were to be physically removed from the scene, that would surely abort any attempt to make a raid on the commune. “It seemed like a good idea,” she reasoned, “to give us all a chance to cool out and to get back to work. If Bhagwan were to take a vacation for a week or two, we could all take a deep breath and go on about our business.” (Forman 1988, p. 536)

Osho leaving the Ranch
“A few American sannyasins had suggested that Osho leave the Ranch until the waters calmed down, clearly not feeling safe with all the police, FBI and undercover investigators inside the Ranch. The idea was for Osho to go to the house of a wealthy American disciple, far from the Ranch, in North Carolina on the eastern coast of America. There he could rest peacefully until the situation had calmed and justice had run its course. But the trip didn’t go exactly the way these disciples thought it would.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 247)

Maneesha on Osho leaving the Ranch
“Two hours later I realized something was in the wind. Bags were being packed, conversations whispered between this person and that. Finally I gleaned that Bhagwan was going to be taken a plane off somewhere in a few hours, and with him were going Vivek, Devaraj, Jayesh, Chetana, Nirupa (who cleaned Bhagwan’s rooms) and Mukti (who cooked for him). Those of us remaining behind were asked not to spread word of Bhagwan’s departure: it would cause an upheaval in the commune, and his safety and ours were at risk. I attempted to continue with my editing work while figures flew in and out of rooms in preparation for departure. I paused to ask myself when I was going to see Bhagwan again; I had no answer but I was relieved he was leaving for a bit. It made sense: if he wasn’t here, there could be no showdown with the authorities. His going would definitively defuse the situation…
Bhagwan had robbed the vested interests of a coup. Having been on our trail for the entire period we’d been there, our opponents were too engrossed with maligning us to notice that we’d transformed a piece of no-man’s-land into the closest thing to an ideal city. Government officials would have loved to orchestrate a bloodbath, leaving behind shock and horror in its wake. Rather than encounter negative energy head on, Bhagwan had deflected the animosity and ill will directed at us so that it could only ultimately rebound on those who initiated it, leaving the intended target unaffected.” (Forman 1988, pp. 538f)

Nirgun on leaving the ranch
“Three weeks later Vivek burst into the kitchen. Her eyes were really wide, and flashing. I looked at her, startled. She was usually so cool.
“Nirgun!” Her voice showed her excitement. “Bugsy is going for a holiday. Can you help Nirupa pack?”
Going for a holiday? With all the rumors, and rumors of rumors?
“Where?” I managed, and she laughed. “I really don’t know,” she said. “Hasya has arranged it all.”
“Can I come?” I asked eagerly. Vivek flew across the kitchen and hugged me.
“There’s only room for a few on the plane, Nirgie,” she said, her eyes and voice soft. “But we’ll all be together soon. I promise you!” She gave me a little shake and ran off down the corridor.
I watched from the kitchen windows as the cars left for our airport, Bhagwan and Vivek in the first, Devaraj supervising the loading of baggage. They had just pulled away and Devaraj was piling bags into the second car with Chetana, Nirupa and Mukti when the telephone rang. It was a frantic Sukh, one of our lawyers, on the other end.
“Who is that? Nirgun, is it true that Bhagwan is planning to fly off the ranch?”
“He’s already left” I told him, and heard his sharp intake of breath.
“Nirgun, can you stop him?” His voice was almost a shout. “It’s very important!”
Stop Bhagwan? The idea struck me as ludicrous. But the urgency in Sukh’s voice – I dropped the phone, ran outside and yelled at Devaraj as he was getting into the second car.
“Raj” Sukh wants you to stop Bhagwan! Says it’s urgent!”
I saw the laugh on his face as he threw out his hands in a gesture of impotence, got into the car and drove away.” (Hamilton 1998, p. 164)

Niren recalls when Osho left the Ranch
“All of the attorneys looked at each other with shock and dismay. They told Hasya that leaving Oregon, or the United States, at this stage of the investigation could create serious problems and the perception of flight from prosecution. We strongly urged Hasya to try to reach the plane and to tell it to turn around. For the next several hours, repeated efforts were made to reach the people on the planes by phone and radio but they were unsuccessful. Repeated requests were made to the FAA for them to contact the plane by radio, but they never did. At about 11 pm Hasya received a call from Charlotte advising her that the planes had landed and that all of the passengers had been arrested.” (Niren: A Master’s Flight. Viha Connection, 2005:6)

Headline: Just an ordinary flight
“Portland – At 1:00 p.m. PST on Sunday, October 27, Premier Jets of Hillsboro received a call from Rajneeshpuram and requested them to send a jet to the ranch within the hour. Pilots Gary Nicholson and Andy Andrews arrived in their Lear 24 around 3:00 p.m.
Slightly more than seven hours later and 3,000 miles away, they landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, and were immediately surrounded by between 20 and 30 law enforcement officers who were pointing shotguns, sawed-off shotguns, high-powered rifles with scopes, and pistols, straight at them…
It started around 5:25 p.m. EST. The Lear 24 took off from the ranch with, according to Gary’s description, what seems to be Ma Chetana, Ma Nirupa and Ma Mukti aboard. Ten minutes before the takeoff, they were told that the destination was Charlotte.
Shortly thereafter, the pilots contacted Seattle Air Traffic Control and were given clearance to climb to 41,000 feet, their cruising altitude, and proceed with their flight plan to Charlotte, with a refuelling stop in Pueblo, Colorado.
Gary described his passengers as “gracious.” While in transit, they were in frequent communication with another plane, a Lear 35, which was carrying Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Ma Yoga Vivek, Swami Devaraj and Swami Jayesh. But at no point along the way were they contacted from the ground, he insisted.
When asked if they were intercepted by military aircraft, as was reported in some of the early press accounts of the flight, Gary responded with a flat “Negative!”
The Lear 24 landed in Pueblo around two hours after take-off and took a 40-minute refuelling stop. They took off again around 8:00 p.m. PST and headed straight towards Charlotte.
Shortly after taking off the second time, Nicholson and Andrews filed their return flight plan with Wichita Flight Service Station. They indicated to Wichita that they intended to leave Charlotte at 2:45 a.m. EST and return to Oregon via Pueblo. They thought they would be back in Hillsboro Monday morning.
After their arrest and detainment, both pilots were released and were allowed to return to the Portland area, where they arrived Monday night. Since then, they have been the subject of quite a number of interviews. Gary described his new fame as being a “bit hard on my family.”
When asked whether there was ever any plan to fly onwards either to Bermuda or somewhere else out of the country, Nicholson said there was no way he could fly to Bermuda, and no way he would.
It’s not that Bermuda is beyond the 1500-mile flight range of the Lear. Flying over the Atlantic, Gary said, requires high frequency navigation communications capability, and that’s not installed in his company’s plane. Plus, in order to leave the country, it is first necessary to clear U.S. Customs.” (Sw Satyam Anando. In: The Rajneesh Times, 1985:10. 01.11.1985)
(Note: See also Brecher 2014, p. 461, on this report)

AP press
“Monday October 28th… Charlotte North Carolina… Rajneesh held at gunpoint… Arrested no warrant… Charge illegal flight to avoid prosecution… Eight others charged harbouring concealing a fugitive… Prisoners in custody… Bail refused.” (Forman 1988, p. 540)

Gordon writes
“In the midst of all this, on Sunday, October 27, at approximately 4:00 P.M., Rajneesh and six sannyasins, including Devaraj and Vivek, left Rajneeshpuram in two Lear-jets, with more than $400,000 in jewelry and $58,000 in cash aboard, bound for Charlotte, North Carolina. At the Charlotte airport two more planes, chartered by Kaveesha’s sister Hanya, were ready to fly them to Bermuda. In Charlotte, Rajneesh and his companions were taken into custody by U.S. marshals. Rajneesh was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution and his disciples with aiding and abetting his flight and harbouring a fugitive.” (Gordon 1987, p. 198)

Heading: Anatomy of an Arrest: The Framing of Bhagwan
“It was shortly before 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, October 28, 1985, when 12 terrified, armed and dangerous law enforcement officers ambushed and arrested Bhagwan, eight sannyasins and four commercial pilots at Charlotte International airport in North Carolina. The federal and city law enforcement agents rifle-butted, shoved, kicked and handcuffed people who did not in any way resist arrest. One sannyasin was taken with one gun shoved up against his face and another at the back of his neck.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:20)

Osho remembers
“Finally, when I was arrested they had no arrest warrant because nobody was ready to issue one. Even the immigration department, which had put five and a half million dollars into research – their head refused to issue an arrest warrant because, he said, “Your research shows nothing. There is nothing that you can call a crime for which an arrest warrant is needed.”
They must have persuaded the city police of Charlotte to arrest me without an arrest warrant. They had nothing even verbally to tell me about what were the reasons that I was being arrested and six of my friends were being arrested. They had only a list saying that these people had to be arrested. And strangely enough, the names of these six people were not on that list. We told them, “Our names are not on your list. You are doing simply an absurd act. You can look at our passports. Your list contains other names, but we are not the right people.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Chapter 23, p. 255.

In Charlotte
“… I went back to my house. As I came in, my long-time friend Bhagawati was on the phone in the living room, papers and address books strewn around her on the sofa.
“Bhagwan’s been arrested in North Carolina,” she explained, tensely, “We’re contacting everyone we know in the media, internationally and here in the States.”
Bhagawati, one of a team of sannyasins who liased with journalists visiting the Ranch, explained that letting the world know about the arrest was their attempt to protect him from harm. The more global attention, the more careful the US Government was likely to be.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 113)

“A TV was installed in Magdalena for all of us to watch the news. My soul shrank when I saw the footage of Osho without the customary cap and robe but wearing a green prison uniform – jacket and trousers – which looked like it was made of very scratchy cotton. I had not seen his bald head for a long time and he looked delicate and vulnerable to me. But his expression had not changed. With fire in his eyes but still exuding his usual calm he gave interviews to the press. The many flowers outside his prison hospital ward showed worldwide interest and concern. Knowing him, he might have even enjoyed being a prisoner!” (Punya 2015, p. 326)

John Hogue recalls
“In late October 1985, I remember one day seeing Osho in one of his fine caps and robes driving his Rolls-Royce slowly past a line of thousands of his adoring celebrating disciples. The next day I saw him on television after the US federal agents arrested him, alone, sitting behind bars in faded and rough-woven prison dungarees. There was no car, no silken robe, no pearl-lined cap to cover his balding head, but I perceived that nothing had changed inside him. He was cool and relaxed. Now he was like the naked sadhu, but he exuded the same relaxed “such is the case” gaze he showed when richly attired.” (Hogue 2017, p. 42)

Heading: Get ready Portland, to fall in love… with the world’s most famous prisoner
“Charlotte, N.C. – …
Police – or assassins?
According to Ma Yoga Vivek, Swami Devaraj, Ma Prem Nirupa and Ma Dharma Chetana, who were among those arrested, they were surrounded by armed men in plain shirts and jeans as soon as they stepped out of their Learjet in Charlotte. The men were not wearing badges and did not identify themselves, so the sannyasins didn’t know if they were being arrested by legitimate authorities – or accosted by assassins. Chetana said that the sannyasins didn’t dare move a hand even to scratch their noses, because the agents were so nervous it seemed they might shoot at any movement.
Ma Hanya and Swami Prasad, who had been at the airport to meet the planes, said that this group of men shouted at them: “Federal agents – freeze!” This was even before the plane doors opened. Hanya said that the agents were “freaked out.” Later, when she was told to put her hands over her head, she hesitated because she was concerned that the agents might shoot even if she moved under their orders!
Vivek was impressed that in the midst of so much disorder, the sannyasins were calm through it all. The government men were so rattled that they even forgot to read the prisoners their rights until three hours later – after they had been photographed and fingerprinted.
At the airport, a blond-haired agent twice read a list of seven names to the sannyasins and asked if any of them were present. The list contained the names of the people who had been indicted including Sheela, Vidya and others. Finally Vivek told the man, “You’ve got the wrong people.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:11. 08.11.1985)

In an unpublished marketing synopsis Juliet Forman is interviewed on the contents of ‘Bhagwan: Twelve Days That Shook the World’. She’s answering questions on conspiracy, Osho’s threat to American values, his arrest, incarceration with attempts on his life and the media coverage of the events. Excerpts:
“Bhagwan was a direct challenge to Reagan’s political agenda, and his success was intolerable. That the American government felt antagonized by what Bhagwan was saying is no surprise. However, by then proceeding to punish him for exercising his right to speak, the U.S. government forfeited its right to regard itself as democratic…
According to an article that appeared in “The Oregonian,” of Monday, December 30th, 1985, (and this was later confirmed by Turner, too) the INS, whose case this was, wanted nothing to do with an arrest. Alan Nelson, commissioner for the INS, issued a memorandum on October 23rd the day the secret indictment against Bhagwan was handed down – directing his employees not to arrest Bhagwan. This, after four years of the INS investigating Bhagwan! Apparently this move was unprecedented. Law enforcement sources told the newspaper reporter that “It was unheard of for a federal agency to refuse to make arrests in its own case.”…
The book describes in detail the points that substantiate the idea that there was no arrest yet planned. We contend that it was only after Turner discovered Bhagwan had left Rajneeshpuram that he concocted the idea of a pre-planned arrest. In a statement to the Bend paper, “The Bulletin,” Turner revealed his delight over Bhagwan’s arrest, saying, “It allowed us to catch him in a very compromising position.” If an arrest really were planned for the following day – as the prosecution said in court – is it likely that Charles Turner, for whom Bhagwan had been a major irritant for years would be spending the afternoon before at his home, as we know he was?
(Since completion of this book, more evidence has emerged to prove that this is not simply a theory but the actual scenario. This will be included in a further book on the subject.)…
The role of the media is examined in the book; in particular the collusion between government officials and the Portland-based newspaper, “The Oregonian,” in an effort to initiate a smear campaign against Bhagwan. “The Oregonian” must have been in collusion with the government, otherwise, how was it possible that in its sunrise edition of Monday, October 28th, was listed the names of those on the “secret indictment” – an indictment so secret that even Bhagwan’s lawyers did not have access to it until the afternoon of that same day?…
[His lawyers] therefore persuaded him to agree to an “Alford Plea,” which in essence is a business deal whereby both parties, wishing to avoid a long, drawn-out and costly case, decide that the defendant will enter a technical plea of guilty to some crimes and not others, while still maintaining his innocence to the charges. It is not a confession of guilt – and this, one of Bhagwan’s lawyers, Brian O’Neill, went to pains to indicate in that final court hearing in Portland, on November 14th, 1985. His client, Bhagwan, was not pleading guilty to the alleged crimes, O’Neill said. The Alford Plea was simply an expedient means – suggested to Bhagwan by his lawyers – to eliminate the need for a court case that could theoretically drag on for years.”
(Interview with Juliet Forman. Unpublished marketing synopsis. 1989. 11 pages)

“Osho was arrested and finally deported on a set of trumped up charges. It was revealed at this time how the Christian fundamentalist group in President Reagan’s administration had, from early on, set out to infiltrate, undermine and crush our commune where ten thousand people lived and worked for nothing other than the love of one amazing man. While transporting Osho from prison to prison they probably poisoned him with slow acting radiation and thallium from which he was to die in pain four years later.” (Maxwell 2012, p. 177)

Heading: The Good Citizen. A poem by Ma Prem Atandra
“good citizens of Athens / on the morning Socrates died / paused, fork in air / declared the murder protective of democracy / went on eating // good citizens of Jerusalem / watching Jesus die on that darkened hill / sighed in relief, / reasoned away as coincidence / the gathering storm // good citizens of America / applauding Bhagwan in chains, / stride with darkness / across the land, / don’t see the diamonds they toss away / the roses crushed beneath the heel” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:10)

Incarceration in Secrecy

* Day Two. Tuesday, October 29th

– Osho and sannyasins in Mecklenburg County jail.

Headline: An interview with Nightline
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spoke Tuesday night, October 29, on ABC’s Nightline. Excerpts follow:

A: I was receiving many threats to my life. Few of my friends thought that they should take me to a safe place till the indictment comes, then they can fly me back immediately to Oregon. That was the reason. I was not flying from the indictment. I had no knowledge of it, when it was happening, because it was continuously happening for one year.
So I would have waited here. And the planes were ready to take me back any moment, so this was just a safety measure. I was not flying anywhere. I am a fighter, and when there is a fight, I am the last to fly from it…
Q: Well, your pilots had chartered a course for Bermuda. Does that surprise you?
A: I don’t know. I had no idea where they were taking me. I had only this much idea: that they want me to be in a safe place and ready to come back at the moment when the court wants me…
A: Truth is this: that I had no idea where they were taking me. And I had not even asked them. I was simply sleeping on the plane, and even from Rajneeshpuram the phone had come to the plane, but it was cut by the politicians somewhere on the way, and it never reached to us. Otherwise we would have come back immediately.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:10)

Question from Veeresh on health
“Hence, Veeresh, your concern about my health is not just an ordinary concern. Physically, I have been put in every possible situation so that an indirect death can happen. Because down the ages the politicians and the priests have learned one thing – that crucifying is not helpful…
That’s what they did with me in America. Ronald Reagan and his government tried in different ways to kill me, but never directly…
I am perfectly okay. As far as I am concerned, my consciousness is concerned, it cannot be better than it is. But about the body I can only say that up to this moment it is perfectly okay, I cannot say anything about tomorrow. America wants to kill it; they are ready to give half crore rupees, five million rupees, to any professional killer – and there are people everywhere who would like to kill me.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 17, pp. 358-72. 04.09.1986.

On a professional killer
“Two days ago a sannyasin informed me that a man has been jailed in America for one and a half years. And the charge was that he had advertised in 1984, while I was there, that he was willing to kill anybody if half a million dollars were made available to him. From this advertisement he was caught. And the sannyasin went to the jail to ask the man, “Did you receive any answer to you advertisement?”
He said, I did, I received it from a government agency. But I am a professional killer, and I know how governments work. They will promise you half a million dollars – and they gave me the whole plan…”
We had a small lake near the entrance of the commune, Krishnamurti Lake. They had given him a plan, knowing that I always went for a drive past Krishnamurti Lake… and that is a silent place; the commune is left behind, and for twenty miles there is nobody.
“So you plant a bomb there which functions from remote control. And you hide – we will tell you where. We will take you there by helicopter so nobody can trace it. And after the car and the person in it have exploded, we will take you away in the helicopter.”
But a professional killer knows perfectly well… He simply refused. He knows that governments do this business, but they never give the money. On the contrary, you perform, and then they give you a shot, so that all evidence is removed. That is a well-known fact all around the world.
Government agencies go on killing people, and they always kill the killer. In that way money is saved, and also the evidence is removed. Knowing this, he refused. But because he had advertised, the court sent him to jail although he had not committed anything.
This new evidence shows the interest of the American government in killing me. This sannyasin [Brecher 1993] is trying to find more and more sources. He wants to write a whole book about the conspiracy to murder me.” The Zen Manifesto (1989). Chapter 9, p. 234.

In Mecklenburg jail
“When Sheriff Kidd walked into the lobby of the jail later on Tuesday morning, he was instantly assailed by press from Oregon, from California, from France, from The Netherlands, who couldn’t get enough news about Bhagwan. A reporter from The Seattle Times was able to talk to Bhagwan in jail on Tuesday evening. The interview, published the next day, quoted Bhagwan as saying: “When I was arrested, I felt for the first time that I’m not in America but in the Soviet Union. I have been treated very badly by the US marshals’ office. They have unnecessarily put me in a place where I have suffered.” (Forman 1989, p. 126)

Osho on hand gestures
“The people who speak just from the mind will not have any gestures because the hand is not needed. The mind feels that words are complete, that words carry the meaning and there is no other dimension needed.
But if you speak from the heart then there is a problem. The heart continuously feels that what you are saying is not enough: something has to be added to it to make it complete and entire. And hands are immensely powerful as expressions. They complement the feelings of the heart. I certainly cannot speak if you tie my hands to the chair and I cannot move them. I will not be able to speak.
It became very clear for the first time in America… because my hands had never been tied. Only in America they handcuffed me and I suddenly felt that it is not just that my hands are cuffed, my heart is also imprisoned. And when there was a press conference…
The superintendent of the jail had fallen in love with me from the very first moment. I told him, “I will not be able to speak or answer if my hands remain cuffed. For the press conference at least you take your handcuffs away.”
I would have liked the whole world to see my hands in handcuffs: that this is democracy – that without any arrest warrant, without any cause showing why, without allowing the person to contact his attorneys, you can handcuff a person, you can put chains on his feet… and you are not even satisfied with that. They had put a chain around my waist – even that was not enough. They had put another chain to keep my hands tied to the chain that was around my waist so I could not even wave my hands to people…
But to understand the gestures of the hands you also need a certain group of people who are listening from the heart; otherwise those gestures are futile: the mind cannot make any sense out of them. It is from heart to heart that hands are allowing something to transpire which cannot be said but can be understood.” The Path of the Mystic. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 43, p. 450. Punta del Este, 25.05.1986pm.

On being in the medical ward
“I was in jail in America. They had put me in the medical ward, so that nobody could say that I had been tortured, harassed. In the medical ward there were six women nurses and a doctor, and one male nurse. It never used to be that way in the past. In fact, in this country you cannot find a male nurse; in this country ‘nurse’ means a woman. A male nurse looks awkward, unpsychological. I watched the way the woman doctor behave with me – with such respect and such love. And all the nurses… the oldest nurse – a very womanly woman, almost a Jewish mama – took care of me so much that during the three days I was there she dropped one of her holidays.” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Chapter 8, p. 87.

* Day Three. Wednesday, October 30th

– Osho and sannyasins remain in jail.

Osho on his treatment in jail
“And after I had been in the jail for three days, even the jailer himself told me, “You are strange. We have never seen anybody enjoying the jail so much.”
I said, “This is the first time I have been in jail, and I don’t want to miss a single moment. I am enjoying everything because everything is new; this is a totally different world.”
They had orders from above to torture me in every possible way, and they did whatsoever they could. But as time passed… one day, the second day they started asking questions to me… the jailer, the doctor, the nurses. When thousands of telegrams and telephone calls and telexes started coming, and thousands of flowers started coming from all over the world, and inquiries about me, they became aware that “This is a rare opportunity. We should not miss it. If there is something we have to ask…”
The nurses told me that the jailer used to come once a month to the hospital section. Now he was coming six times a day. The whole staff was coming and going to the hospital section just to see me… somebody wanted my autograph, somebody wanted a picture, somebody had brought his wife and children to have my picture taken with them. I said, “You are making my jail time such a joy.”
On the third day, when I left the jailers told me at the airport, “When you came you were looking tired; now you are looking more fresh. It is strange.”
I said, “Three days of complete rest”… because the whole day I was not doing anything except lying down silently. Sleep was impossible because they had arranged two television sets just by my side. They were going full speed, loudly from the morning till the middle of the night.
They arranged all the chain smokers… because they knew about my allergy, they had filled all the cells around me with chain smokers. So it was full of smoke… and continuous television. So there was nothing else to do but to lie down and just be inside, not to come out at all.
Strangely, for three days in the smoke, my allergy was not disturbing me. Otherwise, just a little perfume, a little smoke, a little dust, and I will have an asthma attack. But I left the body outside, and I slipped as deep inside as possible to be far away from the smoke… let the body tackle it.
The doctors said, “You are allergic to smoke, but there is continuous smoking and you are not affected.”
I said, “It is because I have not been in the body for three days. I have been trying hard to keep myself as much inside as possible… indoors.”
I was not eating much, because it was all non-vegetarian food and the orders from above were that no special treatment should be given to me. So they would not give me vegetarian food. I said, “Don’t be worried…” The inmates of the jail would bring me their fruits, their milk. And they would say, “You are not eating anything and they are not giving you vegetarian food. But we get one apple every day, one glass of milk every day… and we are twelve people. You don’t be worried: you can have twelve glasses of milk, twelve apples.”
But I said, “It is better not to eat. I will take a little bit of the fruit you have brought with such love and I will drink the milk, but I simply want my body not to function much. Digestion means making the body function. So let it sleep… almost dead, no function. I don’t want them to know that they can create my asthma.”
And for twelve days they tried hard, but they could not create any problem for me. And every doctor from every jail had to write that my health was perfect and fine. The situation was created to be totally destructive to my health. I lost eight pounds of weight, but there was no suffering. In fact, as I came out of the jail, Nirvano told me, “You are looking better than you ever looked before.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 36.

Peter Schey, member of the team of four attorneys defending Bhagwan and dean of Faculty of Law at University of California, was visiting Osho in the jails, all six jails according to Osho himself. The Messiah (1987). Chapter 3

Niren meeting Osho
“The first time I was taken to see Bhagwan, he was wearing blue jeans and a green Army shirt! I couldn’t touch him because there was this screen between us, so I namasted and sat down on the floor. But then Bhagwan couldn’t see me properly – on the floor over the other side of the screen – so he told me to get up and sit on a chair! “He looked tired. Clearly, he didn’t want to be there, and at the same time he was not disturbed in any way, other than he didn’t like it there and it wasn’t good for his body…
At first we met in the dingy little room I’ve already described, but after a couple of days the nurses would leave the nurses’ station and let Bhagwan and me be alone to talk; and they were always asking if we wanted something.”” (Forman 1989, p. 157)

Later on in Poona Two Osho talks on his attorneys
“Prem Niren, what happened with me in America and with my people has to become a historical fact, exposing both the religions and the politicians, and all their bogus talk and great words.
Niren himself was one of my attorneys. In fact he was my chief attorney, because he was my sannyasin and all the other attorneys were chosen by him; he was the coordinator. The others were paid, only he was working for love. You cannot depend on the paid people because their interest is in money; they don’t care what is true and what is not true.
Secondly, you can never be sure of their own prejudices – which I became aware of sitting silently for three days in North Carolina. They were all insistent that I should not say a single word. They were afraid that if I said anything, the case would become too long, complicated, and that I may say things which may become contempt of court and it will complicate things…
There came a situation when one of the best – Peter Schey, who is head of the department of law in a Californian university… Niren must have been his student, so he had employed him. He was one of the best experts, there is no doubt about it, but at a certain point Niren came running to me in the jail and said, “Peter Schey seems to be sick. A few things he is not willing to say under the oath of truth, so what should we do?”
I said, “There is no problem. Instead of Peter Schey, you simply go to the witness stand. Only you can overcome the prejudices of Christians.”
Niren did a beautiful job. And he brought in Peter Schey in a roundabout way in his witnessing. “Peter Schey told me..” and then he repeated the whole thing that was supposed to be told by Peter Schey. I was sitting by the side of Peter Schey and I could see his head down, afraid that this man was bringing him in. I could see their split personality: For money, they could not deny, but just for money they could not go against their prejudices either. It was a strange experience.” Satyam Shivam Sundram (1988). Chapter 14, p. 163.

Murphy writes
“Sannyasins in major cities all over the world staged demonstrations outside American consulates. Some appealed to the president, some to the U.N. Flowers began to pour in for the Bhagwan. He kept the first dozen roses; and then asked his jailers to deliver the others to a hospital or children’s home. His followers pled with his jailers to be careful of his delicate condition; and a nurse was assigned to look in on him daily. She checked his blood pressure and his temperature; but could apparently do nothing about his diet or the condition of his spine. She did become very attached to him. And his jailers began to like him, saying that he never complained or gave them any trouble.
The citizens of Charlotte, many of whom had never before heard of him, now became interested and curious. The Rajneeshees were quick to take advantage of their curiosity, sending speakers to hold meetings and offer his books for sale.” (Murphy 1986, p. 170)

The prison chaplain
“It would have been really intriguing to be a fly on the wall when the prison chaplain visited Bhagwan; that, Bhagwan has never mentioned, at least publicly, although apparently he was paid a visit.” (Forman 1989, p. 160)

Sidhai on Vivek returning to the Ranch
“A few days later, that same jet came back, alone with Vivek. She was arrested together with Osho, but bailed out soon. She talked to the whole commune one evening, said how He was, something like being in jail with Him was like sitting with Him in Mandir. He was the same. She was so cool. That was a beautiful meeting. It looked pretty clear to me that they did not want to let Him go for some time.” (Sidhai. http://raq1.aminet.or)

* Day Four. Thursday, October 31st

– Hearing in court.

In custody
“I can never hear the song ‘Route 66’, sung by the Rolling Stones and other performers, without thinking of what happened to Bhagwan. Barbara DeLaney, US Magistrate in Charlotte, ordered him to be remanded in custody and flown back to Portland to await trial on charges of immigration fraud. Normally, unconvicted prisoners are flown on commercial airliners, escorted by marshals. Instead, Bhagwan was put aboard a federally owned plane used by the National Prisoner Transportation Service to take convicted prisoners from jail to jail. He was flown to Oklahoma City…
In 1974, Karen Silkwood was campaigning for better safety standards for workers at the Kerr-McGee plant near Oklahoma City, which produced weapons-grade uranium for the US Government’s nuclear program. Far too frequently, the company’s workers were getting contaminated… It has been claimed that FBI or other federal agents collaborated with Kerr McGee in arranging her death.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 117)

Kerr-McGee versus Karen Silkwood & Osho
“During the case all tracks were covered up to put a lid on what was finally in 1979 ruled by the Oklahoma City judge, that Kerr-McGee was fully responsible for radiation damage, “whether or not government safety standards were met or negligence occurred.” The plutonium provided for Osho’s mattress was from this company, continuing an old close connection of misconducted operations between government officials and the powerful Kerr-McGee. The day after Osho had left Oklahoma City, Deputy Marshal Paul Mayfield, Oklahoma County Jail, left the Marshal Service to work for INS somewhere down the Texas-Mexican border. His trail was covered up.” (Evald 2000, p. 171)

“David had been taking care of arranging for Bhagwan’s robes to be sent from Rajneeshpuram, and wanted to deliver the robe, hat and socks that Bhagwan would wear in court today. He hadn’t wanted to leave the clothes for today at the jail any earlier because they might have just been shoved aside into some cupboard; he would deliver them himself this morning.” (Forman 1989, p. 217)

On removing his hat in court
“In the first court in America where my case was presented after I was illegally arrested, the woman magistrate was in a puzzle – because in America, you cannot wear your hat in the court. Wearing your hat in the court is insulting the court. Such are the different attitudes of East and West.
I could see that she was a little bit puzzled what to do. She sent an attendant to tell me, “Perhaps you don’t know that in the court you have to remove your hat. To keep your hat on is to insult the court.”
I said to him, “Go back to the magistrate and tell her that if she has courage, she should ask the question herself. Because according to me, to remove the hat is insulting and I will not insult the court.”
The man thought for a moment, went back to the magistrate. The woman was even more puzzled! She simply thought it was better not to get into an argument. Because it is not written in the constitution; it is just a formal tradition. I am not legally bound to remove my hat. I will remove my hat only when I see a buddha – not for a magistrate. Seeing the situation, the woman behaved sanely. She said to the attendant. “There is no need, just don’t raise the question again.” Different worlds, different symbols…” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 6, p. 80.

Brecher writes
“Beginning at around 3:30 p.m. and continuing until 5 p.m., there was an initial appearance hearing in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Barbara DeLaney, who had been appointed magistrate in April 1976 and was at the time the only female magistrate in North Carolina, presided. “Specifically,” she said, “the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was arrested upon a warrant issued upon an Indictment returned and filed by the Grand Jury in the District of Oregon.”
Bill Dieh, a short, rotund local attorney with a sense of flamboyance and sarcasm, said, “I’m representing in part six individuals who are charged with aiding and abetting flight to avoid prosecution of an Indictment that nobody knew about until today and concealing a person from arrest for whom there was no arrest warrant until today.” Both Diehl and Magistrate DeLaney were talking about an arrest warrant which neither had seen, which did not exist. To this day, it remains a mystery why they would make a blind concession on such an important point.” (Brecher 1993, p. 302)

From court hearing
“It had been a long and intense day, but it was not over yet, and an important witness for the defence was due to be called up: Jerry Olson. In the event of Bhagwan’s not being granted bail on his own recognizance, and his being in jail during his trial, Bhagwan’s lawyers wanted to present a proposal that would enable Bhagwan to stay at Rajneeshpuram. In this way his health and well-being would be assured, and the security measures would be such that the government need have no concern about him not appearing for trial…
[De Laney:] “I’m not going to any extraordinary lengths to release them on their own terms. They’ll have to go with routine operating procedure, which is or always has been, adequate to cover any situation, and flexible enough,” she concluded… It was now 5:10 p.m., and De Laney stated that the court would now recess, resuming again the following morning at 9:00 a.m.” (Forman 1989, pp. 282-288)

Osho’s local Charlotte attorneys, Ed Hinson and Bill Diehl
“That morning we tried to negotiate flying the Bhagwan back to Oregon on the same jets they had flown in on,” Ed Hinson told me. “Get them back right away and we’ll deal with the charges out there. At the Bhagwan’s expense. We made a reasonable, sensible offer. You put as many armed guards on these planes that you think you need to provide security and take them right back to Oregon right now. These people weren’t heavily armed. I think they found one revolver among the bunch. They didn’t appear to be heavy security type people at all. They weren’t dangerous in any way.
“We made the suggestion to Ken Anderson, the assistant U.S. attorney here. He thought it sounded offbeat, but reasonable enough to talk about. When we deal with local people and make a reasonable offer, we expect a reasonable response. That’s usually the way it works around here. But, the government came back with a ‘Hell, no!’ The government took a hard and fast position. ‘We move to detain him. We’re not interested in talking about shipping him anywhere. Period.'” (Brecher 1993, p. 300)

Interacting with staff
“He used to take me to his office also… “Just come, have a cup of tea in my office and we will discuss something.”
I said, “Listen, if the government comes to know, you will be in trouble.”
He said, “I don’t care because I’m going to be retired soon.”
And the world news media wanted to interview me in the jail. He said, “This is unprecedented, but I will allow the world press conference.” And he allowed it… in the jail were one hundred journalists: television people, radio people, newspaper people, magazine people, cable television people.
And he said, “I’m going to be retired. They can retire me a little earlier at the most. What else can they do? And there is no prohibition in the jail code saying that no press conference can be held inside the jail. So there is not problem.”
I said, “That’s perfectly good.”
He enjoyed the press conference so much, and whatever I said to the press people. His whole staff was there to listen: the doctor, the nurses, everybody was there. And from the next day on they started bringing their families to see me. I said, “What?” And their children started bringing their autograph books!
The nurses could not find anything for me to sign, but in the newspapers there were many pictures of me, so they started bringing cuttings of photographs from the newspapers: “We will remember that once you have been here for three days. This will be our memory… the most cherished memory. In these three days this place has not been a jail at all.”
The nurses were coming even on the day which was their day off. They said, “We will lose that day, but you may go any moment and we don’t want to miss any time.” The New Dawn (1989). Chapter 17, p. 201.

* Day Five. Friday, November 1st

– Second day of hearing.
– Osho detained, group of sannyasins released.

In chapter 19 ‘A Turner for the Worst’ in her book ‘Twelve Days that Shook the World’ (Forman 1989) she examines US attorney Charles Turner’s political pressure on Osho’s being and she refers to an article headed ‘Infighting Mars Rajneeshee Probe’ by James Long in The Oregonian (Monday 30.12.1985) and to Anando’s conclusions in ‘Was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America?’ (Appleton 1988). James Long’s article is in Appendix / Oregon.

Osho’s lawyer Niren takes the stand as witness; Niren’s full testimony can be read in chapter 20, pp. 324-350.
“On Thursday night, after the first day’s hearing, Niren and Bhagwan’s lawyers had discussed how the case was going late into the night. They realized they had to put on some evidence, but how best could they do that, through whom? They didn’t want to put Hasya – whose idea it had been to send Bhagwan on holiday – or Jayesh or Devaraj on the stand because they were under criminal suspicion, and having them testify opened up the possibility of self-incrimination. The government had been doing a lot of testifying from hearsay, and Niren, for his part, had been told some important things by a lot of people, so it was decided he would take the stand and be a kind of all-purpose witness who could talk about the sort of things that needed discussion.” (Forman 1989, p. 324)

Passport and phones
“I have never seen my passport. My people take care of it.
When I was in jail in America I had no phone numbers of my attorneys, or of the commune, or of my secretaries – because in my whole life I have never phoned. The U.S. Marshal was surprised and asked, “Who should we inform that you have been arrested?”
I said, “Whomsoever you like. As far as I am concerned, I don’t know anybody. You can inform your wife; she may enjoy hearing what her husband is doing – arresting innocent people without a warrant.”
I have such a different way of life that it sometimes looks unbelievable. I don’t know where my passport is right now. Somebody must be carrying it somewhere.” Socrates Poisoned again after 25 Centuries (1988). Chapter 16, p. 231. Crete. 27.02.1986am.

In courtroom after discussing with the attorneys in her chamber
“It was 5:20 p.m. when De Laney and the attorneys returned to the courtroom. With their entrance, the whispered exchanges between the group of six, among the press and in the audience faded into silence. De Laney took her place in the court and began to speak… to the government’s motion for the detention of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh,” she was saying, “I am going to allow the government’s motion for detention, and I do so based upon my determination that the Bhagwan by his conduct has evidenced a disposition, or predisposition for flight, and also the evidence has reflected that the Bhagwan has the ability to accomplish such flight, both in terms of financial resources and devoted followers who would, I think, do anything to assist him in avoiding prosecution and possible incarceration.” (Forman 1989, P. 352)

* Day Six. Saturday, November 2nd

– Osho in Mecklenburg County jail
– Group of sannyasins return to Rajneeshpuram

Osho in chains
“At the point of a gun they arrested me, without even showing the cause, with handcuffs, with chains on my legs, another chain on my waist – exactly arranged because they knew my whole medical history. We had presented my medical history to the government – that my back is bad. So the chain was kept on continually, because it was chained on every time I changed jails: five jails in twelve days. But it remained exactly on the point where it hurts. It was absolutely not accidental, because not even a single time was it in another place – and it could have been. I told them, “Just keep it loose.”
They said, “No. We will keep it the way we have been ordered.”
And they were worried that I would wave to people, even with handcuffs, so they tied my handcuffs with the chain on my waist so I could not move my hands either.” The Transmission of the Lamp. Talks in Uruguay (1989). Chapter 34, p. 326. 12.06.1986am.

David visiting Osho in jail
“When David and Nirupa visited Bhagwan on Saturday to bring him some Perrier water, Sheriff Kidd brought Bhagwan down to see them in his own office. “The thing that struck me so much,” said David, was seeing Bhagwan in jail clothes. He was absolutely magnificent. It was just as if he was holding court! He was just sitting in his chair, and he had the same regalness that he has when he is in his own clothes; there was absolutely no difference whatsoever. Although,” added David soberly, “his body looked weaker – it was obviously taking its toll.” (Forman 1989, p. 395)

Later on Osho spoke on the confiscation of his watches
“The U.S. government got hold of all my watches. I had distributed them to the sannyasins. Only forty-six watches were in the commune; otherwise people were using all those watches. Those forty-six watches got confiscated…
But they became so hypnotized by those watches… the governor, the attorney general and perhaps the president himself, because they had exhibitions of those watches in Washington, in Portland, in San Francisco. They were all unique pieces – each watch is one of a kind, it will never be produced again. For what were they having these exhibitions?” The Messiah. 1987. Vol I. Chapter 17, p. 334.

* Day Seven. Sunday, November 3rd

– Osho remains in Mecklenburg County jail

Maneesha writes
“It was Bhagwan’s seventh day in the Mecklenburg County jail. On the same day twenty-eight years earlier, in 1957, Wilhelm Reich had died at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. It turned into a visitor’s day for Bhagwan. As Bill Diehl said, “A number of the important people in Charlotte decided that someone of Bhagwan’s stature ought not to get away without seeing him – and he was in a place where they could find him!” (Forman 1989, p. 386)

Radha on Reich
“Wilhelm Reich was systematically hounded by the US government and died in an American jail in 1952, and it is strange – or perhaps, in a way, predictable – that Osho came close to suffering a similar fate.” (Radha 2005, p. 114)

Later on in Poona Two Osho recalls
“I asked the doctor, “You must have taken the Hippocratic Oath to save people’s lives. If you have any shame, any dignity…
You were present – you have been preventing even murderers from being put in this cell – and you did not say anything.”
He said to me, “We cannot do anything. Orders came from the top that every indirect method should be used – so if the person dies, we are not responsible.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Chapter 25, p. 247.

Threats to Life

Now begins the ‘hide-away-game’ with Osho being flown around without any contact with his lawyers and followers.

* Day Eight. Monday, November 4th

– Osho flown to Oklahoma, officially admitted to Oklahoma County jail at 8:25 p.m.

Maneesha on Osho’s whereabouts
“When Niren left on Saturday to prepare for the next hearing, in Portland, he had been given to understand by the marshals’ service that Bhagwan would be in Portland by Monday evening; meanwhile, he had much preparatory work to do. Hasya, too, left Charlotte on Saturday, assured that Bhagwan himself would be leaving on Monday. She couldn’t be informed exactly when or the route Bhagwan’s plane would take but, she was told explicitly, the flight to Portland from Charlotte was a matter of a six-hour journey. That didn’t give her much time: she wanted to get herself to Portland as quickly as possible before Bhagwan arrived to do all she could to facilitate his stay in Portland. As De Laney had refused to allow Bhagwan any security arrangement outside the standard provision, the Multnomah County jail was where Bhagwan would have to stay while in Portland.” (Forman 1989, p. 401)

Media coverage
“Of course over the past week the Charlotte media hadn’t had it so good for a long time: the last few days had provided sensational copy and an excuse to splash large photographs across the front page of Bhagwan and Kidd, Bhagwan and Sandy Carter, Bhagwan having his blood pressure taken, Bhagwan in prison greens, Bhagwan being interviewed.
‘The San Francisco Chronicle’ November 5th reported that Bhagwan, wearing a “flowing white robe and prison shackles,” left under “heavy guard.” A smiling Rajneesh,” the paper continued, waved to devotees and reporters before the plane lifted off at 5.15 EST, carrying the guru and 65 other federal prisoners.”” (Forman 1985, p. 403)

Brecher on flight schedule
“Rajneesh’s flight back to Portland was by no means routine. Prison transportation schedules were altered to take Rajneesh to Oklahoma City and changed again to keep him there. He was mysteriously lost to public view for days and would have been lost longer had his whereabouts not been discovered by a determined and enterprising Oklahoma City television report and Bill Diehl himself. And everything that happened and why it happened was, to this date, constantly covered up. What happened next, some people say, cost Rajneesh his life.” (Brecher 1993, p. 323)


Osho now on his Merry Go Round
“Having separated Bhagwan from his people, the government unnecessarily and almost certainly with deliberate intention, proceeded to chart a ridiculously circuitous course for Bhagwan’s return to Portland. Under the guise of being “protected” from death threats, Bhagwan, handcuffed and shackled at the waist and legs, was conveyed from plane to car, to prison cell, from prison cell to holding cell, to waiting room, to plane and so on, for a period of four days…
It was while Bhagwan was being taken on his “Merry Go Round,” he affirms, that the United States government attempted to kill him: indirectly, throughout the entire journey; with poison while he was in the Oklahoma County jail; through exposure to an inmate with herpes, at El Reno federal penitentiary; and finally, by a bomb threat in Portland…
When Bhagwan hadn’t arrived in Portland by Monday night, Hasya and Niren were alarmed, but anybody they could think to contact could not or would not tell them of Bhagwan’s whereabouts. It was extraordinary that an attorney should not be allowed to know where his client was, but the marshals’ service simply refused to disclose Bhagwan’s location.” (Forman 1989, pp. 404-407)

Entering Oklahoma County Jail
“When they arrived at the jail, Bhagwan was told to book himself in under the name of ‘David Washington.’ He refused. The marshals said if he didn’t, he’d have to stay outside in the cold all night. So Bhagwan told them to fill in the name and he’d sign it. They did. He signed with his familiar signature as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Xerox copy of that entry slip is in the possession of Bhagwan’s disciples. It shows, bizarrely, the name of David Washington, followed by Bhagwan’s trademark signature.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 118)

Max Brecher in interview
“What I’ve established is that Osho’s arrival in Oklahoma City was anything but accidental. It was deliberately manipulated by people high enough in power to re-route a large federal transport plane to Charlotte, North Carolina, pick up one guy, take him to Oklahoma City and leave him there in jail under a false name. That’s a strong indication that orders were coming from the very top of the Justice Department., All the press reports, all the officials, said it was accidental that Osho was routed through Oklahoma City. No way on earth was it an accident! That’s proven in A Passage to America. His winding up in Oklahoma was definitely planned.
And he would have been there much longer if it had not been for an enterprising and resourceful television reporter in Oklahoma City named Curt Autrey who tracked that story for three days. He even slept one night in the parking lot of the El Reno Federal Penitentiary, just outside the city. When Osho’s Charlotte attorney, William Diehl, flew into Oklahoma City, Diehl didn’t know where Osho was. Autrey led him to El Reno and Osho was flown out to Portland six hours later…
It is clear that Osho was damaged in that period of time. How it happened, who did it, is a little bit murkier. His memory of that time is uncertain. However, when Osho signed into the Oklahoma County Jail on November 4, 1985, the signature was his usual signature, in his very firm handwriting. When he signed out, less than 24 hours later, the signature was totally different. It was all shaky, wavy. You can see extreme trauma in the signature. So something definitely did happen to him in Oklahoma County Jail, before he was taken to El Reno.” (Osho Times International, 1993:7)

Osho on arriving in Oklahoma jail
“And in Oklahoma – Niren has been there – they simply denied that I have been in that jail. I knew that’s what they were going to say. I reached Oklahoma in the middle of the night; it was purposefully arranged so that the whole airport was dark and there was no traffic, and still they were afraid that somebody might see me. They took me out through a secret door, out of the airport.
At the airport the man who was giving my charge to the U.S. Marshall who was driving the car whispered in his ear… but I was sitting just behind him, and what he whispered made me certain about my intuitive feeling. The man said, “Remember one thing: this guy is world famous and all the world media are focused on him, so don’t do anything directly. Be very cautious whatever you do.” Now these words indicate with absolute certainty that they were ready to do something, and the instruction was given: it has to be done in such an indirect way that nobody will ever be able to find…
But I was not alone in the car. Another prisoner, a woman, was also sitting by my side. I told her, “Listen carefully to what is being said,” Niren has to find that woman, because all records have disappeared – records about me, records about that woman, because she will be the witness. When Niren reached there he found that on their computer there is no record. They have made their records on the computer since 1986. He had to force his way, insist that “I have an absolute guarantee that he has been in this jail and I want to look into the records in your basement.”
In the middle of the night they took me through the back door into the jail. There was nobody else, they eliminated any kind of witness, but existence has its own ways…
And the U.S. Marshal who brought me insisted that I could not write my own name, I had to write the name of David Washington. I should be called David Washington while I am in the jail, and I have to respond to this name…
Niren found the document and he has brought a photocopy of the document, but my signature is missing. Still, that document indicates one thing: “David Washington, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon.” And that is in the handwriting of the U.S. Marshall of that jail. My feeling is they have simply destroyed the form on which I have signed, knowing that it will create difficulty, and they have filled in another form.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Chapter 12, p. 129.

(Note: This chapter 12 has a lot of details also on other issues concerning Osho’s incarceration).

Osho commenting on the name game in Oklahoma jail
“On what grounds do you want me to sign under the name of David Washington? And do you think that I am not able to understand a simple thing? It means that even if you kill me, nobody will be able to find out where I disappeared – because even in the register, in your files, on my form, there is no mention of my name. I never entered this jail according to your records. So I am not going to sign as David Washington. And if you want – because I can see you are tired in the middle of the night, you want to go home – you fill in the form in your own handwriting. I will simply sign it with my signature.”
He could not figure out what the purpose was, so he filled out the form and I signed my signature, which is known all over the world. He looked at the signature and he said, “What have you written?” I said, “How can I write anything other than David Washington?” He said, “But I cannot see any sign of David Washington in it.” I said, “This is your problem, but this is my signature.” I asked him, “Before you leave I want to contact my attorneys, because this paper shows your intentions.” He said, “You can phone.” I said, “My God, I have never phoned in my life! And I don’t know the numbers of the attorneys. I don’t exactly know how the phone operates, so you will have to find my attorney’s phonenumber and get him on the phone.” Sermons in Stones (1987). Chapter 15, p. 369.

Sleeping and having breakfast
“Then he was told he’d have to carry his own mattress to his cell. Nobody else wanted to touch it. He did, even though it looked filthy and damaged. There was no pillow, so he curled up one corner and slept like that. In the morning, for breakfast [05.11.1985], he was given two slices of bread soaked in an odourless, tasteless sauce. Since he was hungry, he ate it. Soon afterwards, he was shifted to the El Reno federal penitentiary outside the city.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 118)

The pilot’s account
“I was talking to the pilot of the U.S. Marshal’s plane, because that plane was taking me from one jail to another jail, and the pilots and the air hostess became deeply interested in me. They started feeling that injustice was being done to me…
The pilot said, “This seems to be absolutely absurd. The plane is ready. I am ready. I am waiting; you are ready, you are waiting, and they are simply delaying for twelve hours, for the simple reason that you can reach the next jail in the middle of the night. And orders are given to us: ‘Go as slow as possible, there is no hurry.'”
But they saw me on all these twelve days handcuffed, my feet chained, on my waist another chain. And because all over there was media, to prevent me from waving my hand to the media they put another chain on my handcuffs, a small chain, and joined it with my waist chain so I could not move even my hands.” The New Dawn (1989). Chapter 24, p. 300.

* Day Nine. Tuesday, November 5th

– The “missing” day
– Osho taken from Oklahoma County jail to El Reno federal penitentiary.

Osho commenting in ‘Jesus Crucified Again’ (1988) on the change of bedding
“Bhagwan said that the marshal, “took me to the cell and told me to take one of the mattresses, utterly dirty, full of cockroaches. I said to him, ‘I’m not a prisoner. You should behave a little more humanly. And I will need a blanket and a pillow.’ He simply refused: ‘No blanket, no pillow; this is all you will get.’ And he locked the door of that small, dirty cabin.”…
Bhagwan recalls that he was woken on Tuesday morning, November 5th, in Oklahoma County jail, by the same man who had been so unpleasant the night before. Now he seemed quite a different character, offering Bhagwan a new mattress, a blanket and a pillow. He had also brought him breakfast – of sorts. When Bhagwan asked the jailer about his change of attitude, he was told to eat the food quickly because he would be leaving for the airport. Why was Bhagwan brought new bedding if he was within minutes of leaving? Possibly the official realized that if the press were covering Bhagwan’s story so closely, it just might come out how roughly Bhagwan had been treated the night before. Now at least he could claim to have given Bhagwan adequate bedding. A more sinister explanation is that Bhagwan was not going anywhere, but was about to sleep for several hours under sedation.”(Forman 1989, pp. 411-413)

Brecher on Forman 1998 and Appleton 1988
“Both authors presented direct and circumstantial evidence and asserted that Rajneesh was poisoned while in Oklahoma City. When Ms. Forman’s book was published at a September, 1989 press conference in Charlotte, U.S. Marshal in Oklahoma City Stuart Earnest was asked to comment on the charge that Rajneesh was poisoned. “That’s such a ridiculous claim it doesn’t deserve a comment,” Earnest said. (The Daily Oklahoman, September 7, 1989). (Brecher 1993, p. 330)

Breakfast and time lapse before arriving at El Reno
“The breakfast wasn’t exactly sumptuous: “Just two slices of bread soaked in a certain sauce – I could not figure out what it was… tasteless, odourless,” Bhagwan recalled later. That was the only food he was given there, and possibly it was through that sandwich that he was poisoned, and/or sedated.
Bhagwan has no memory of what happened after he had eaten the sandwich; it may have been in that gap of several hours that the plan to harm Bhagwan was put into effect. While still in Charlotte Bhagwan had been advised not to keep his watch with him as it could be stolen, so he’d given it to Niren. Now he was unable to check the time when he next woke, but by the time he was removed from the jail it was already growing dark. The sign-out form from the Oklahoma County jail had “David Washington’s” time of discharge as being 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5th, 1985.
Bhagwan was whisked into a car and told he was being taken to the airport. But after some time, remembering that the airport was only ten minutes away and that they had been traveling longer than that already, Bhagwan realized something was up. When he asked if this were a different route to the airport, he was given no reply. Finally, Bhagwan arrived at the El Reno federal penitentiary, some distance out of Oklahoma City, and there went through a routine admission and was assigned a two-bunk cell.
His cell-mate, a Cuban, immediately warned Bhagwan that he had a highly-contagious illness, herpes, and that everything in the cell was infectious. He had seen Bhagwan on television, and told him now that the jailers must have deliberately put the two of them together, in an indirect attempt to kill Bhagwan. He urged Bhagwan to try and get the jailer’s attention, to insist that he be moved. “It took almost one hour before the jailer came,” Bhagwan recalls. “I asked him, ‘For six months this cell has not been given to another person; you know perfectly well this man is dying: why have you put me here?’ “Immediately I was changed. They had no answer.” (Forman 1988, p. 413)
(Note: Notes called Bibliography to chapter 27 are missing in this copy of Forman 1988)

“Five years later, Bhagwan was dead at the age of 58 after suffering continuously from inexplicable physical symptoms, including acute bone pain, sudden collapses, nerve damage and extreme sensitivity to light, which forced him to wear sunglasses when giving discourse.
Before he died, Bhagwan asserted that he had been poisoned with radioactive material during his stay in Oklahoma City. Some of his disciples believe he may also have been given thallium or another toxic substance.
Short of a deathbed confession by a retired US marshal, nobody is ever going to prove anything. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened. It wasn’t enough for the Reagan Administration to get him out of the country. They wanted a necktie party. They wanted to read him from the book, string him up and kick his horse from under him.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 119)

Headline: Bhagwan held incommunicado
“Portland – Beginning from the time Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was taken from his cell in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday at midday, and until the time of this writing, U.S. Marshals have held him in secret without communication even with His lawyers.
One federal marshal in a television interview reported as unconfirmed said that there were medical reasons for keeping Bhagwan in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, halfway across the United States.
Television crews filmed Bhagwan’s departure from Charlotte showing Him in chains and required to climb a steep stairway into a government-owned 727 jet without being able to use the handrail and without assistance…
The community, said Niren, is concerned about the fact that Bhagwan’s attorneys have not been permitted to have contact with Him, and about the severe punishment He is receiving in being “dragged around the United States for ten days in chains” for a charge which is almost never criminally prosecuted.
Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland produced no new information about Bhagwan’s arrival. A spokesman for the office stated that to be transported in chains is “routine” and “normal.”…
Reports from Oklahoma City indicated that Bhagwan would not be moved before Thursday, According to law, the government has ten days within which to complete the transport. That deadline is Monday, November 11.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:11. 08.11.1985)

Fig. 11. The itinerant Bhagwan. The Oregonian, 08.11.1985.

Fig. 11. The itinerant Bhagwan. The Oregonian, 08.11.1985.

Anando raises in her book a few questions
“Why did the government push so hard, and against all the normal rules, for Bhagwan to be kept in custody?
Why didn’t the government take up the offer of Bhagwan’s friends to provide a plane in which the government could have flown Bhagwan directly back to Portland instead of shunting him around the country at great public expense? (the heavy security involved at each stop was “the biggest deal I’ve ever seen” admitted Marshal Earnest).
Why was Bhagwan’s location kept a secret, even from his own attorneys?
Why was the Oklahoma marshal told that Bhagwan would be in his custody for four days when transit prisoners are usually held overnight only?
Why was the regular flight schedule “changed” (if indeed it was) the night Bhagwan arrived in Oklahoma, leaving him stranded there for three days?
Why did the Oklahoma marshal tell the local press on the afternoon of November 6 that Bhagwan would be staying for another four days, and then send him off on the morning of November 7, after his attorney started making inquiries? He went on the regular prison flight – why hadn’t he been booked to go on it before?
What would have happened to Bhagwan if the intrepid Bill Diehl had not tracked him down?
But it seems that perhaps Diehl was too late. It looked like something had already happened to Bhagwan in Oklahoma. In fact several strange things happened there. But the significance of those events was not realized until much later.” (Appleton 1988, p. 30)

* Day Ten. Wednesday, November 6th

– Osho in El Reno
– Bill Diehl visits

“US Marshal Stuart Earnest said he expected Rajneesh to continue on his North Carolina-to-Portland trip today. ‘I can’t say that there won’t be a change of time and place. I can’t reveal what time we’ve been told to do what.’ Earnest said.” (Statesman-Journal. Salem, Oregon. November 6th.” In: Forman 1989, p. 416)

Bill Diehl recalls
“I learned that Bhagwan was at the federal facility at El Reno, and this US marshal, after initially indicating that I couldn’t see Bhagwan drove out there at midnight to meet me and open up the gates of the federal prison. So I went in, and Bhagwan was brought down to me.” Bill and Bhagwan were left alone in the waiting room to talk, and it was there that Bhagwan told Bill that he’d been taken to a lockup in Oklahoma City and that the marshal had admitted him under the false name of David Washington.
Bill was struck by how Bhagwan looked: he was obviously not being taken care of even as well as he had been in Charlotte. Although Bhagwan had his own way of dealing with the tremendous stress his body was under, Bill was alarmed at the extent to which the last few days had affected Bhagwan’s body. “I think he told me,” Bill volunteered, “that he was in with a bunch of Cubans, that there was a lot of smoking and that was uncomfortable, that he was in leg and hands irons in the prison itself! and that there was a lot of noise and he couldn’t sleep.” Bill realized it was vital that Bhagwan got back to Oregon – to an environment in which he could recover from this ordeal. But it seemed he was scheduled to remain in Oklahoma even longer than the original four days – or so ‘The Bulletin’ of November 6th had quoted Earnest as saying. “That’s what we worked on most of that night,” said Bill, “making arrangements for him to go. And we were successful in getting him on the United States marshals’ jet the next morning.” (Forman 1989, p. 420)

Niren recalls
“Two years later, prompted by the author’s need to obtain a more complete picture of what had happened to Bhagwan during his imprisonment by the US government, Swami Prem Niren was asked to retrace Bhagwan’s steps over that period of October-November 1985, visiting the jails he was taken to and conducting interviews with personnel in whose custody Bhagwan had been. In Poona, during October of 1987, Niren was told that Bhagwan’s doctors suspected Bhagwan may have been poisoned while in American jails; hence a mysterious illness that he was currently suffering, and which was to last seven week. For Niren, what had seemed like an interesting exercise for the sake of history became an inquiry into just where, when and how attempts were made on Bhagwan’s life.” (Forman 1989, p. 422)

In chapter 29, ‘Southern Discomfort’ (Forman 1988) all details from Niren’s meticulous research into the events are presented. The chapter finishes with the author’s considerations on the similarities between Kerr-McGee Cimarron Plutonium plant’s Karen Silkwood story and Osho:

“Niren grimaced wryly to himself at the parallels: Karen Silkwood was an innocent who was simply trying to correct something wrong, and the establishment killed her for her trouble. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was love and truth, Niren mused; he embodied those things and his whole life’s effort was devoted to creating peace and harmony. Out of his courage he had accurately addressed the corruption and the violence of politicians, and so they set out to destroy him and poison him. Is it possible that plutonium was used to poison Bhagwan? Certainly, the Silkwood story is an example of government misconduct and collusion between government officials and powerful interests. What happened to Silkwood makes it clear that if powerful individuals or government officials wanted to get rid of Bhagwan they would stop short of nothing to achieve their ends, and any attempt to find out what they had done would be met with a blanket cover-up.” (Forman 1989, p. 433)
(Note: Karen Silkwood died in 1974 and the plutonium plant in question was closed down the following year).

Anando’s research raises some questions
“It wasn’t until I began research for this book that I realized that the number did not add up. There were twelve days between the night of Sunday, October 27th when Bhagwan was arrested and the evening of Friday, November 8th when he was finally released. So a night and a day were missing. I asked Bhagwan about it but he said I must have made a mistake and should check again. I did. And found the mistake. There were three nights between Monday, November 4th, when Bhagwan left Charlotte, and Thursday, November 7th, when he arrived in Portland. Bhagwan remembers only two – one at the county jail (Monday 4th), and one at El Reno where he slept exceptionally well. I checked with El Reno – Bhagwan had spent two nights there, November 5th and 6th. But one of those nights was wiped from his consciousness – possibly by sleeping drugs.
It is a documented fact that right from his release, when he first started recounting his jail experiences and long before any suggestion of poisoning or foul play had arisen, Bhagwan consistently maintained that he had only spent one night in the El Reno penitentiary.
Why did Bhagwan ‘lose track’ of a whole day in Oklahoma? What happened there?
Why did the government smuggle Bhagwan into Oklahoma County Jail when federal transit prisoners are always taken to the federal El Reno facility?
Why was Bhagwan admitted to Oklahoma County Jail under the pseudonym of ‘David Washington’, and why is there no record of his stay on the jail computer?
Why was Bhagwan checked out of the county jail at 3:15 p.m. but not checked in to El Reno until 7 p.m.? El Reno was only a half hours drive away – Where was Bhagwan taken, and what happened to him, during those four hours on the afternoon of November 5th?
Why, when Bhagwan banged on the door of his cell in El Reno, did the warder take time to fetch the prison doctor before responding? Why should he think Bhagwan might need a doctor? No such concern for Bhagwan’s health had been shown previously – had the guards been alerted that Bhagwan might suddenly be seriously ill? What were they expecting to find?” (Appleton 1988, p. 36)

* Day Eleven. Thursday, November 7th

– Osho flown from Oklahoma, arrives in Portland, Oregon
– Admitted to Multnomah justice center

Osho’s route from Oklahoma where he left at 8:00 a.m. was via Tucson, Luke, Long Beach, Vandenburg, Sacramento and Seattle to Portland where he arrived at 7:30 p.m.

Brecher writes
“Was there a high-level US government conspiracy to slow-poison Rajneesh with thallium and medium-strength radioactivity over days or even weeks in Oklahoma City? That is a question which can ultimately be answered in a court of law where otherwise unwilling witnesses are compelled to testify. However, if there was a conspiracy, it was certainly partially foiled by the persistence of Curt Autrey and Bill Diehl.
The NPTS 727, which usually came into Oklahoma City twice a month came in twice in the first week of November 1985. After taking off with Rajneesh aboard it touched down in Tucson, Arizona, Vandenberg Air Force Base and Sacramento before landing at around 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at Boeing Field in Seattle. The U.S. Marshal in Portland sent up a special Beechcraft turboprop to pick up Rajneesh.” (Brecher 1993, p. 336)

Arriving in Portland according to The Oregonian, 08.11.1985
“Within two minutes of his arrival,” the paper said, “about 20 law enforcement authorities had Rajneesh in a car and on the way to jail. Eight Portland police on motorcycles led the way on a ‘
‘Code 3’ escort, usually reserved for the president or other dignitaries.” (Forman 1985, p. 451)

Multnomah jail
“A crowd waited to greet Bhagwan’s arrival at Multnomah jail. Within half an hour of his arrival in Portland, Bhagwan was being “processed”: fingerprinted, having his photograph taken, a medical examination and changing into blue jail overalls. He was then shown to his one-man cell. Bhagwan commented later that in this prison, and nowhere else, he had to strip naked to change, and after each occasion on which he had a visitor. When this happened on his admission he was not even provided a room in which to change. As for Bhagwan’s having to strip after having visitors, he felt that was simply an attempt to humiliate him and had to discourage visitors. No one would willingly give jail personnel an opportunity to try and humiliate Bhagwan; and they would rather forfeit the chance to see him than do so. Certainly, the sheriff of the prison, Fred Pearce, made a point of telling reporters that Bhagwan would not receive special treatment while in the center.
Niren and Hasya visited Bhagwan that evening for almost an hour. When Hasya emerged from seeing Bhagwan she told waiting reporters that his condition was terrible, that he was very shaky, his feet were swollen and he had difficulty breathing. In addition, his back was in a great deal of pain. It was outrageous, she told the media, that Bhagwan should be treated like a criminal even before he had been tried. Niren too was shaken by Bhagwan’s appearance. When he’d left him in Charlotte, clearly Bhagwan didn’t like being in jail but he was apparently being well taken care of by Kidd, and Niren had felt surprised and pleased at how strong Bhagwan seemed.
By the time he saw Bhagwan in Portland he saw his physical strength had really diminished and he couldn’t understand it because there was no apparent illness at that time; he wasn’t sneezing, he didn’t have a fever – nothing like that, “But he was very pale,” Niren recalled later. “You could almost see his bones through the skin on his face – it was very sharply etched, his skin almost translucent. The fatigue in him was like a deep exhaustion. And he was somewhat slow or sluggish in his movements. Bhagwan’s grace, his flowing movements, have always struck me, and he still had that grace but it was almost as if he was having difficulty moving; he was very, very drained.” (Forman 1985, p. 451)

Osho in January 1989 on his flight over Salt Lake City
“They dragged me from one jail to another. I covered almost half of America traveling in the government airplane. I passed over a city, and I loved the lights of that city. I have been telling Anando that when we have more houses – and soon we will have, because more people are going to come, and we have to make arrangements for them – then we will make our own street lights…
They [the Mormons] are the most intelligent people, and they have put such beautiful green and blue lights all over the city that I forgot for a moment that my hands were handcuffed, that my feet were in chains, that my waist was surrounded by a very thick chain. And my hands were not only handcuffed, they were fixed with the chain surrounding my waist so I could not even wave my hand to friends. Even walking was difficult, because they made the chains too tight on the feet.
When I saw the beautiful Salt Lake City underneath me in the night, I forgot completely. Everything is fresh and new; they have changed everything that used to be in the old cities. Their lighting has consideration for people’s eyes; it is blue, it is green, it is soft.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 2, p. 50.

Heading: Sunshine tells press of Bhagwan’s mistreatment
“The prisoners were aware of Him from His television appearances. He said one brought Him soap, another a toothbrush, another toothpaste.
Bhagwan said that his worst treatment occurred in the Portland jail, where He had no toiletries and none were provided for Him. He was refused even a comb for His hair before His court appearance, and He was told He could receive nothing from His people.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:11. 11.11.1985)

* Day Twelve. Friday, November 8th

– Osho in Portland court, given bail
– Bomb threat
– Osho returns to Rajneeshpuram
– Final court hearing on Thursday 14.11.1985

Hearing in courtroom according to The Oregonian, 09.11.1985
“”Half an hour before Rajneesh, wrists handcuffed behind his back, was led into the US District Court. Judge Edward Leavy’s white, oak-panelled courtroom for his 10:00 a.m. hearing, the five rows of pew-like benches were filled with 75 people. About a third were red-clad followers of the Indian guru; another third were reporters and media, and many of the rest were government agents and attorneys. Departing from the usual practice in Levy’s courtroom, US marshals opened the jury box for the press to permit more spectators into the courtroom. Marshals and federal protective service officers were evident throughout the first floor and inside the courtroom, where usually only one or two marshals are assigned. Wearing a knitted hat, ankle-length green robe and throngs, Rajneesh appeared calm and alert as he entered the courtroom.” (Forman 1989, p. 454)

Osho on letter from U.S. Supreme Court in Oregon
“Just today I received a letter from the U.S. Supreme court in Oregon. They could not prove the case for which they were harassing me for twelve days in jail; they failed to prove the case in North Carolina. The U.S. attorney has had to accept in the court that, “We have not been able to prove anything; still, we want everybody else to be released on bail but Bhagwan should not be released on bail.” This must be something unprecedented! They have not proved anything against me. Why should I not be granted bail? The reasoning was that I was capable of jumping the bail, whatever the bail would be – ten million dollars or twenty million dollars. Does it mean nobody in America who has money will ever be allowed bail?
Strange! The people who don’t have money cannot be allowed bail because from where will they get money for bail? And the people who have money cannot be allowed bail because they can jump. So bail is simply out of the question in America.
Simple logic can show the stupidities. Then finally they had to drop the case, but they had taken three persons on bail – Jayesh, Devaraj, Vivek – at twenty-five thousand dollars each. But you can see the cunningness! If governments are so cunning then I don’t think criminals are doing anything bad. Governments are criminals.
The letter that I have received today says that because these three people have refused to appear as witnesses, we are dropping the case. These three people have never received any summons to appear. Now, this is simply strange! We were waiting that these people should be sent for any day; our attorneys were waiting there. They said, “You give us the time and the date, and we can call our people and they will be there.” But because they had dropped the case, now they were afraid that they would have to return the seventy-five thousand dollars.
To keep that money, this letter has been sent: Because these three people have not appeared, their bail money is to be taken up by the U.S. government.
And they have confiscated my things, which they had said would be released when I am released – they were not given back. Then they told my attorneys, “After three days we will be releasing them.” They were not released; then seven days… months have passed and they go on postponing.
Now the case is dropped. Even the bail money has been transferred to the government account. What about my personal things? My attorneys are continually going to them, saying, “Decide something about his personal things.” They want to divide them half and half – half will be taken by the government, and half will be given to me. Strange! For what should the government get half? And we were ready even for that…
It seems on the surface, with all these things, that they are destroying my work, destroying my message. But they are wrong. This is the way, not of destroying any truth – this is the way the truth enters into people’s minds, gets their sympathy, their heart.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 27, p. 245. Punta del Este, 25.04.1986 pm.

Fig. 12. Cartoon from Osho's incarceration. The Register-Guard, 05.11.1985.

Fig. 12. Cartoon from Osho’s incarceration. The Register-Guard, 05.11.1985.

Niren recalls Osho’s decision to end proceedings
“After Osho was released on bail and had returned to the Ranch, He met with me, Jack Ransom, and Brian O’Neill, a prominent Los Angeles criminal attorney who we had hired to help with the criminal case. Osho asked all the lawyers their opinions about the case, and all the attorneys replied that the case against Him was very weak, and that He would probably win. I looked at Osho and said, “They want to get you. If they are ready to act against their own laws, as they have already done, they will not stop even if you win this case. They will try something else. Their illegal and violent acts prove to me that we cannot guarantee your physical safety.”
Osho was silent for a few moments and then said, “If they would fight fair fight and in court, I would fight this to the end. But my body cannot stand anymore of what they have done. Make arrangements for me to leave.”
Jack Ransom led the negotiations with Charles Turner. Turner, knowing he had a weak case, was very eager to make a deal. The hardest part for us lawyers was that the government case was so weak that we had a hard time finding facts that we could agree the government could prove, which is an essential element of the technical form of plea we were using. We finally agreed on facts about Sheela’s actions, with respect to which there was really no evidence that Osho played any role. But it was enough to get a deal done.” (Niren: A Master’s Flight. Viha Connection, 2005:6)

Maneesha on the players
“Edward Leavy, the judge who had presided over the bail arrangements of Devaraj, Vivek and Jayesh, was to be the judge for the hearing. Charles Turner was present as chief prosecutor, although he did not stay for the entire hearing and let the assistant US attorneys, who were Robert Weaver and William Youngman, do the talking for the prosecution. Peter Shey and Jack Ransom were in court, but it was Brian O’Neill and Niren who did most of the presentation of the case for the defence.” (Forman 1985, p. 454)

Judge Edward Leavy was much less compliant to the US attorneys than De Laney had been in Charlotte, and at the end of the hearing Osho was given bail and released with a cash bond of $500.000. He had to return to Rajneeshpuram and remain there until final appearance and trial at court.

Bomb in courthouse while waiting to be released
“As I reached my hotel [Hotel Rajneesh in Portland] the news came that a bomb had been found in the place where I was sitting,” Bhagwan said afterwards. “Now, in a jail, who can put a bomb? Ordinarily, nobody can even enter – three electrical gates you have to pass first – except the authorities themselves. And now it was clear why the whole ground floor was empty and why the man left me alone and went off. Later on I discovered that no signature of the boss was needed; only my signature was needed because I was receiving my things back. That was the whole thing – what did the boss have to do with it?” Bhagwan suspected that the government had planted the bomb there. It had been anticipated, no doubt, that the government would get what it wanted – that Bhagwan be detained in Multnomah jail until his trial. Once again he would be separated from his people, and they would have Bhagwan in their custody, to do as they liked. A simulated heart attack or asthma attack, death resulting from diabetic coma, more poison: one way or another, Bhagwan need not walk out of the jail alive. Perhaps the government, suddenly finding its plans thwarted and realizing that this was their last chance to do harm to Bhagwan as he was going to be released, quickly arranged to have a bomb planted in the room with Bhagwan: his death could be blamed on some crank or other. The story seems incredible: When was it all going to end?” (Forman 1989, p. 471)

Later on in Poona Two Osho says on his final hours in court
“Just today I have received the whole investigation report. I had asked them whether they have investigated how the bomb entered the jail with all their security and how it managed just to be under my seat. Now comes long report with so many contradictions and stupidities.
The report says that at four o’clock, just after the judgement was given by federal judge Leavy against me, an anonymous phone call came to the police station, to the jail, and to a television station, that a bomb had been placed under a certain seat in the visitor’s room. And the report says – that “we searched the whole place, we evacuated the whole ground floor. But it was only a threat, no bomb was found…
Looking at the police department’s report, it is absolutely clear that now they are trying to make it simply a rumor. But if it was a rumor, why did they evacuate the prison? And if they believed in the rumor and evacuated the prison, they should not have taken me in there. It is so clear…
So what they have been doing for investigation is finding out who phoned. They found out the locality from where the call had come, but in that locality there are many people and many phones. That is the end of the street. The investigation has stopped. Where to go from here?
Even a certain belief in an anonymous phonecall was stupid, because the jail was so secure and safe; it was perhaps the most modern jail in America. It opened only three months before I entered it.” Satyam Shivam Sundram (1988). Chapter 14, pp. 167,168.

Anando raises her questions
“That appears to have been the end of the matter as far as the police reports were concerned. But once again, a lot of questions are left:
Why was Bhagwan taken into the Justice Center and left alone in the ground floor reception and visitors area when that entire floor had been evacuated because of the bomb threat and the finding of “a suspicious device”? (He could have been kept in custody at the courthouse while his bond was being posted.)
Was it just a coincidence that the bomb threats were made soon after it was announced that Bhagwan was to be released on bail?
Was this a panic move made because Bhagwan was unexpectedly given bail? A move which was then foiled when Bhagwan’s bail was posted so promptly? The bomb was supposedly set to go off at 5:55 p.m. The Court usually recessed at 5:30, which meant Bhagwan would just have been arriving back in the evacuated reception area at about that time. Was the plan aborted because the court ended one and a half hours early, and Bhagwan’s bail was posted too promptly, well before 5:55 p.m.?
Why did Bhagwan’s jailer leave him alone for half an hour on the pretext of going to get his boss’s signature on Bhagwan’s receipt for his personal belongings? (There is no requirement for any signature on such receipts, other than that of the prisoner himself). Was the jailer checking out what to do now that Bhagwan was back in the jail ahead of schedule?…
What was an officer of the Portland Police Department Internal Affairs doing talking to the ‘suspects’, and asking for copies of the Sergeant’s reports?
Why was Sergeant Branagan taken off the case soon after he made plans to compare the voices of the suspects with the tapes of the bomb-threat call?
Why did an officer of PNB Security take over the case and, as far as can be ascertained from the records, bury it?
Was the whole bomb threat scene created by the government just to get some leverage with Bhagwan’s attorneys?” (Appleton 1988, p. 52)

Subhuti writes on Osho’s release and final curt hearing 14.11
“Next day, against the wishes of the US Attorney’s office, a federal judge in Portland released Bhagwan on bail. Soon he was back at the Ranch. He didn’t stay long. He wanted out. “They are attacking my body and I will not be able to do my work,” he told his advisors and agreed to a plea bargain.
The feds wouldn’t accept a plea of ‘nole contendere’ – no contest because they needed a guilty tag to make sure Bhagwan could be deported from the United States. But they accepted an Alford Plea, a little-known device that allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while admitting there is sufficient evidence to convict him – don’t ask me how that’s possible.
In court, Bhagwan pleaded guilty to two charges of immigration fraud. He was given a 10-year suspended sentence, fined $400,000 and deported.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 119)

Osho recalls
“The case finished within five minutes, because I accepted – there was no question of argument, and I said, “Any crime they say… I have committed. No need to waste the time of the court. You simply give your judgment.” My people immediately produced four hundred thousand dollars, and within ten minutes I was out of the jail. My plane had been kept ready, so that within fifteen minutes I could leave America.
I was wondering why they were in such a hurry, why fifteen minutes? My attorneys said, “They are worried that if you are allowed to stay here for two days or five days, you may go to a higher court and appeal that you have been blackmailed – so you have to leave America immediately.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Chapter 25, p. 248.

Home at the Ranch
“Aware of this, Bhagwan’s attorneys had approached Bhagwan with a new proposal and the determination was made that they should offer some kind of plea. “It’s a technical plea,” Niran pointed out, “not a true guilty plea – it’s called an Alford plea. What it means is: even though we don’t think he’s guilty, we will acknowledge that there are a set of facts on which, if offered in court, a jury could find him guilty…
That same day, Tuesday, November 12th, those of us living in Bhagwan’s residence were told that he would be going to court on Thursday in Portland, and not returning to Rajneeshpuram: he would be leaving for India.” (Forman 1985, p. 485)

Anando refers to report in The Oregonian, 30.12.1985
“The government attorneys had approached Bhagwan’s attorneys to make the deal. This is strange in light of the enormous trouble the government had gone to keep Bhagwan in its hands.
Why spend four days in court in Charlotte arguing that Bhagwan should not be released on bail because he may flee the country, only to negotiate two weeks later for his departure from the country upon payment of a fine which was less than half of the bail Bhagwan’s attorneys had offered to put up in Charlotte?
Why drag Bhagwan in chains and shackles across the country at great government expense, only to suggest a non-jail sentence deal with his attorneys?
Why arrest him in the first place and go through the farce of three court hearings, if the government’s aim was primarily to get him out of the country? (The government’s excuse for the arrest and detention was, it claimed, to stop Bhagwan trying to leave the country).
The answer may be found in some facts that The Oregonian newspaper unearthed and published on December 30, 1985. The Oregonian stated that, “The head of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service issued a confidential memorandum October 23 directing his employees not to arrest Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh after the agency had just spent four years getting an indictment against him. Immigration Commissioner Alan C. Nelson cabled the memo to US Attorney Charles H. Turner of Portland on the same day that a federal magistrate signed secret indictments for the guru and seven of his disciples…
For reasons not yet fully explained, Nelson on the day of the indictment sent Turner a seven-point policy statement that barred his agency from serving its own arrest warrants. It was one of several strange turns in the case, which was marked by serious infighting among federal investigative agencies and between federal and state agencies. Turner said he could not comment about Nelson’s no-arrest message. But other law enforcement sources said it was unheard of for a federal agency to refuse to make arrests in its own case.”
The Oregonian continued, “One party to the investigation said Nelson’s memo put Charlie Turner in a very difficult position. Sources said the crisis Nelson created with his no-arrest policy was magnified by stresses that already had cropped up in the investigation – notably the FBI’s earlier refusal to make the ranch arrests on Immigration’s behalf.”
In the end, The Oregonian reported, the agency that engineered Bhagwan’s capture (under pressure from the US Department of Justice) was Customs, a branch of the Treasury Department. No charges were ever brought by the Treasury Department against Bhagwan, and indeed there was never, at any time, any such suggestion.”
Why did the Immigration Service refuse to arrest Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on the immigration indictment handed down by the Grand Jury? Probably because the head of that department, better than any other, knew that there was no substance to the indictment charges, and that the government would look rather foolish trying to justify them in court.” (Appleton 1988, p. 58)
(Note: Full text of ‘Infighting Mars Rajneeshee Probe’ by James Long in The Oregonian, Monday 30.12.1985, is included in Appendix)

U.S. Attorney in interview
“We were trying to develop this case because we were using the criminal process to solve what was really a political problem. It’s not a very satisfactory measure. Clearly there was a very significant fraud but Rajneesh should have been kicked out of the country in the very first place. And using the criminal justice system to correct a problem, even though it’s criminal in nature, is not the best way to go about it in my estimation.” (Brecher 1993, p. 158)

Osho and American society
“The Puritan mind was happy to be rid of a man who could corrupt young people with terrible approaches to life like ‘Love-Awareness-Joy-Celebration’ and other teachings judged to be harmful to a society based on war and exploitation…
First they would arrest him, then find a criminal charge against him, and after poisoning him they would throw him out of America, in a word, they were simply saying, “No!”” (Rosciano 2013, p. 248)

From ‘Jesus Crucified Again’ (1988). Introduction by Sangeet Duchane, J.D., City Attorney for the City of Rajneeshpuram which was destroyed by the U.S. Government. Dated June, 1988. Excerpts:

“In the final discourse of Part III of this book, Bhagwan reveals that He was poisoned by the United States government during His twelve days in custody, and that He nearly died in November 1987 as a result. That was the government’s plan – to force Bhagwan into India, keep Him out of the press for a few years and then let Him die a slow, quiet death that would be difficult to trace to them. That must have been what Meese meant by “never seen or heard of again.”
Bhagwan did not cooperate with their plan. He did not die, and he is not quiet about the government’s actions. He tells the whole story in detail.
What is it about Bhagwan that drives public officials to attempted murder? What makes the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, a federal magistrate, and federal judge and Justice Department officials join in an assassination conspiracy? The answer was perhaps best stated by best-selling author Tom Robbins, when he said,

“… The authorities intuitively sense something dangerous in Bhagwan’s message. Why else would they have singled him out for the kind of malicious persecution they never have directed at a Filipino dictator or a Mafia don? If Ronald Reagan had had his way, this gentle vegetarian would have been crucified on the White House lawn.
The danger they intuit is that in Bhagwan’s words… there is information that, if properly assimilated, can help to set men and women loose from their control. Nothing frightens the state, or its partner in crime, organized religion, so much as the prospect of a population thinking for itself and living free.”

In this book Bhagwan exposes the priests and politicians and their complicity in the imprisonment of mankind. He speaks on the specific issues used by the government of Oregon and the United States to attack Him and His commune. Finally, He reveals the enormous effort by the American government to kill Him and destroy His movement.
After Bhagwan’s sentencing in federal court, one of His lawyers, Robert McCrae, said,

“They have done it again. They have crucified Jesus again.”

… and this time it was the Christians who erected the cross. But Bhagwan is still with us. His truth cannot be so easily silenced.” (Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Page xv-xx)

“A compilation in four parts, this book presents Osho’s sharpest and most pointed exposé of the fundamentalist Christian government of Ronald Reagan and its consequences for America and the world. This book should answer the questions of all those who are incredulous that the government of the world’s most powerful country could be so frightened of a single man that they would literally stop at nothing to silence him.” (Meredith 1991, p. 113)

Munjee writes
“In an era when fervent evangelists proclaim the message of the Bible, and politicians claim the U.S. is the standard-bearer for Jesus, deep down within, can anyone truly doubt that if Jesus were around today, he would be among those masses of suffering humanity in Central America, in Asia and Africa? Or that, unless He quickly worked those unique miracles of His, He would have all the secret services of the world after Him for being a “dangerous radical leftist”? (Munjee 1986, p. 465)

Maneesha on Osho’s health
“In 1981, while in the ashram in Poona, Bhagwan had suffered a prolapsed intervertebral disc which was so debilitating that he could barely walk. As already mentioned, he was flown to America in case surgery was needed. Happily, in a controlled environment, Bhagwan’s health began to improve and surgery was not required. In the subsequent four years, apart from an episode of “swimmer’s ear,” Bhagwan was in good health.
But after his ordeal in jail, on November 8th, 1985 Bhagwan looked extremely drawn and in a state of exhaustion. As the doctor most familiar with Bhagwan’s body, Devaraj says about his findings at this time: “Bhagwan was clearly unwell and felt generally very weak. His old back condition was now obviously aggravated with marked lumbar pains. In addition he had pains in both upper limbs, his appetite was very disturbed and food seemed to be tasteless and uninteresting to him. In addition, he suffered what he described as a ‘churning feeling’ in his stomach, and he had lost ten pounds during his imprisonment. He also complained of nausea and vomiting.
“Particularly puzzling was a profound insomnia and a sense of uprootedness. At this time he also complained of strange nervous-system problems, especially a tingling all over the body, vertigo and headache… trouble with his eyesight, a blurring of vision that he had never suffered from before. Since that time he has not been able to read even one book…
Throughout 1986 Bhagwan was to have a recurrence of the tingling sensation and the bone pain in his upper limbs was more marked. Signs and symptoms related to his spinal column became apparent, making it difficult for him to walk steadily. Insomnia, loss of appetite and weight loss continued.
In 1987 Bhagwan was still suffering from all these inexplicable symptoms; in addition, he was now strangely more susceptible to minor infections than usual. In autumn he contracted an ear infection. Devaraj commented: “What should have been a simple, superficial ear infection proved almost untreatable. His resistance seemed non-existent. The infection went deep into the tissues, requiring three episodes of local surgery and only finally healing after six weeks of intensive antibiotic treatment…
A simple infection had proved nearly life-threatening, requiring local surgery dangerously close to the facial nerve. “As this desperate situation developed, the whole picture of two years of chronic illness suddenly pointed to something more sinister: Bhagwan’s health had deteriorated only after his incarceration by the US government. ” (Forman 1989, p. 435)

Maneesha continues her discussion on the possibility of Bhagwan’s poisoning with thallium, plutonium or some other radioactive substance referring to papers in the following journals:

1. The Lancet, April 11th, 1987, p. 872
2. Quarterly Journal of Medicine, New Series XL111 No.170, April 1974, pp.239-319
3. Clinical Toxicology, 17 (1), 1980, pp. 133-146
4. The John Hopkins Medical Journal, 142, 1978, pp. 27-31.
(Forman 1989, p. 438)

Tom Robbins on Osho’s treatment
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ… If crucifixion were still in vogue, of course he would’ve been nailed up. But since we’re civilized, they had to force him into exile instead. I’m sure they would have much preferred to crucify him on the White House lawn…
I think Bhagwan is a great man, and his persecution makes a liar and a hypocrite out of anyone who claims there is religious freedom in the United States…
He’s obviously a very effective man, otherwise he wouldn’t be such a threat. He’s saying the same things that nobody else has the courage to say. Even I haven’t had the courage to say some of the things he’s said.” (Tom Robbins. In: The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Back jacket)

Max Brecher writes from his research on Alan Nelson
“Nelson had worked in the Alameda County District Attorney’s office – Oakland, California – with Edwin Meese III, the future U.S. Attorney General, and D. Lowell Jensen, the future assistant U.S. Attorney General, the number two man at the Justice Department. Along with others, Nelson, Meese and Jensen were sometimes referred to as the “Alameda County Mafia.” (Brecher 1993, p. 125)

Osho on his poisoning
“Only later on I became aware of it, when the British experts in poisoning looked into my symptoms and gave the verdict, that I was given a certain poison, thallium. It is not detectable either from blood or from urine; it simply disappears. I had all the symptoms – when the poison disappears, it leaves certain kinds of sicknesses in the body. This poison has been used against political prisoners. But if you give it in a bigger dose, the person dies immediately. That’s why they wanted twelve days, to give it to me in small doses so I would not die in their jails – they would be condemned by the whole world.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 1, p. 6.

Brecher on high-level interest in the case
“In January, 1989, I interviewed Alan Nelson, who was at the time the commissioner of the INS. A tall, genial man, he sat informally in shirt sleeves and smoked a huge cigar as he spoke. I asked him if there was high level interest in the Rajneesh case and if that interest included Oregon’s two U.S. senators, Mark Hatfield and Bob Packwood, U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Congress, and the White House.
“There certainly was interest,” Commissioner Nelson said. “This was obviously a major story throughout the country, and I think the Oregon senators were certainly interested and others. There was interest of the others you mentioned, White House and Justice Department. I think we had interest from a lot of, a lot of senators. So there was interest. And certainly a lot of opinions, mostly like: “This is a problem, and we need to do something about it.’ So I think there was a general consensus among the high-level interest that, yeah, this was a problem and something ought to be done about it.”” (Brecher 1993, p. 17)

Robert Weaver, former Assistant U.S. Attorney, in interview
“I think they just wanted us to do their dirty work for them,” Robert Weaver said. “The case was a politically difficult one. I had conversations with Commissioner Nelson and when these guys at the INS would sit down and talk about their two or three cases, Bhagwan was always on that list. It was always on the short list along with Sanctuary and the illegal aliens from Mexico. And the reason that all those things were on somebody’s short list was because they were getting inundated with inquiries from the White House, from Capitol Hill, from constituencies.” (Brecher 1993, p. 127)

Osho talked in Poona Two on his experiences in America
“The first man from outside America to protest against my arrest was a Zen master from Japan. He immediately phoned Ronald Reagan and phoned to me, informing me, “I have phoned Ronald Reagan, and I have told him that he is committing a great sin, he will suffer for it.” He has never met me, but in his monastery my books are read as scriptures – his disciples know about Zen from my books. Zen was born in Japan, but he has found a better expression, a more profound meaning in my words; so rather than teaching them through Japanese scriptures, he is teaching them from my books.
He said, “I am enraged. I am a man of silence. My whole life I have been simply meditating and doing nothing. But seeing you on television, in chains, handcuffed, being treated as if you are a murderer, I could not remain silent.” And that old Zen monk’s prediction is coming true. Ronald Reagan and the attorney general of America, Mr. Meese, are both going down the drain. Irangate is going to finish them completely.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Chapter 25, p. 252.

Osho on the Indian ambassador
“One of my secretaries was sitting in Washington continuously for twelve days, insisting to the Indian ambassador, “This is absolutely ugly that you are silent – it is a conspiracy. If an individual citizen of your country is arrested without any reason, who has not committed any crime… What is your purpose here? You should interfere.”
And he went on promising, “I will. I am in constant contact with Rajiv Gandhi. I am in contact with the American government and you need not worry.” And they did not do a thing!
And this man now [1988] says, “We are trying to keep Shree Rajneesh in such a situation that he cannot move out of India” – obviously. Twenty-one countries have passed laws that I cannot enter those countries; four other countries are going to pass… I have not even asked to enter their country. In India the strategy is that I cannot go anywhere even in India, because then the Indian government has its own ugly ways of doing things.” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (1989). Chapter 12, p. 119.

Devageet writes
“I have chosen… among many examples where I experienced Osho encountering worldly events in unexpected ways. There were others: Eighteen US federal agencies, including the military, conspired together forming strategies to stigmatize, marginalize, and destroy Osho and His vision; His encounters with the US immigration agency; His gunpoint arrest by US marshals and illegal imprisonment in North Carolina, the same night being televised nation-wide dressed in prison clothes; the torturous prison flight back to Oregon; the failed bomb in the Oregon courthouse. Mischievous? Outrageous? Or simply a sane man in an insane world?” (Devageet. In: Viha Connection, 2015:4)

At the time Osho left his body in January 1990, his personal physician, Amrito, was present with Jayesh near him. According to Amrito:
“I asked Him what I should say to you all. He said to tell you that since His days in the marshal’s cell in Charlotte, North Carolina, in America, His body has been deteriorating. He said that in the Oklahoma jail they poisoned Him with thallium and exposed Him to radiation, which we only came to know when the medical experts were consulted.
He said they had poisoned Him in such a way that would leave no proof. “My crippled body is the work of the Christian fundamentalists in the United States government.” He said that He had kept His pain to Himself, but “living in this body has become a hell.” (Laheru 2012, p. 178)

Sarjano writes on Jayesh
“The undisputed Boss of the most powerful gang, the one who was taking all the most important decisions (like to remove Osho’s portraits from everywhere [later on in Poona Two]) was one Michael O’Byrne, aka Jayesh, who had arrived at the Ranch – what a strange coincidence! – just after the first visit of the FBI to the Commune!
In those days there was a rumour going around everywhere, whispering that this guy was a CIA agent and that he had been infiltrated there by his bosses to have a first look at the Ranch’s activities. This guy had managed with a perfect strategy and refined seduction to get in no time very close to the Master, choosing after a few days to operate with a very simple game, which consisted in seducing Hasya, Osho’s new secretary and become her boyfriend.
Since she was living in the room attached to the one of the Master, he, as the servant cavalier of the Secretary, ended up meeting Osho several times a day.
His escalation continued undisturbed even in Pune, where he dropped the mature secretary to engage himself with Vivek, who had been Osho’s caretaker for the past thirty years.” (Sarjano 2016, p. 353)
(Note: During Poona Two Sarjano read an announcement before Evening Meeting in Buddha Hall on Jayesh forcing Neelam, Osho’s secretary for India, to leave the Inner Circle. On this event see Sarjano 2016, pp. 354-360)

The Vatican Connection

Any reader wishing to indulge himself in conspiracy theory may be having a ball going through this chapter. But he will find not only theory, but also hard facts based on documentation of the link between the Vatican and CIA during the 1980s. And documents are presented in the Appendix on White House interest in the collapse of Osho and his Utopian society in Oregon. For a start we may refer to an investigative documentary by one of the two reporters from Washington Post who disclosed the Watergate crime scene and its political implications.

* His Holiness. John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time / Carl Bernstein & Marco Politi. New York, Doubleday, 1996. (Bernstein 1996)

“An amazing story told with the nerve as a thriller and drawing on the full political insight of the authors. The primary sources of the book are Bernstein’s and Politi’s interviews with more than three hundred keypersons in the US and in the Vatican – conducted mainly between 1993 and 1996. What is revealed in these pages is by all means one of the most profound and consequential tales of our time.” (Evald 2000, p. 166)

* A Passage to America. A Radically New Look at Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and a Controversial American Commune / Max Brecher. Book Quest, 1993. (Brecher 1993)

“Brecher’s breathtaking documentary is based on a research method familiar with Bernstein’s story on the ties between the pope and the Reagan administration. During the year 1989 primary research material was produced by interviewing sixty informants, among them most officials involved in the case. Needless to say some keypersons – nine – refused to participate. But that did not impede the unveiling of a high level conspiracy, orchestrated in tuned harmony with the most sincere interests of the Roman-Catholic Church.
The book was finished already in 1989 but for certain reasons 20-30 publishing companies mainly in the West were approached without result. In India Motilal Banarsidas Publishers accepted the manuscript for publishing in 1991 but later happened to cancel the agreement. Somehow corresponding with the Indian government’s actual efforts to rebuild goodwill with the U.S. at that time. The launching of the book by Book Quest Publishers in Bombay 1993 for certain reasons did not trigger off any reviews in Western press. In an interview [with this author] in Poona, India, on August 30th, 1996, Max Brecher was summing up the stunning result of his fact-finding research: “With a certainty of 98% Edwin Meese – and with him Reagan – was involved as promoter of he operation. But all clues were blocked at the level right below him in the administration.”” (Evald 2000, p. 174)

Max Brecher writes
“While the INS, FBI, DEA, IRS and the U.S. Customs Service tried to coordinate their strategies and Attorney General Frohnmayer fretted about the separation of church and state, President Ronald Reagan was, in “the year of the Bible”, merrily moving towards establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Relations between the two were formalized on January 10, 1984.” (Brecher 1993, p. 145)

* Two Tales – One Story. A Review of Strategic Alliances and Spirituality / Pierre Evald (Anand Neeten). In: Allah to Zen. An Insight into the World of Osho. / Sw Chaitanya Keerti & Ma Chetan Unmani. New Delhi, Diamond Pocket Books, 2000. (Evald 2000)

This twin review of Bernstein’s and Brecher’s books (Bernstein 1996 & Brecher 1993) is to be found in full text in Appendix.

Abhiyana writes
“There is evidence that forces in Washington D.C. (U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese among them) and the Vatican (future Pope Cardinal Ratzinger) colluded to destroy the commune by arresting and deporting Osho, and make certain he couldn’t settle and start another commune anywhere else in the world. Ratzinger was quoted in 1981 as saying: “All sorts of Satanic cults by oriental godmen are out to seduce the faithful away from Christ.”” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 355)

Evald writes in his review
“The alliance between Washington and the Vatican was initiated by Brzezinski, himself being of Polish origin and in tune with ‘The Polish Pope.’ Already in the spring of 1981 the Reagan administration began an intelligence shuttle at the highest level with the Pope, and Casey or Walters would have their secret briefings in the Vatican with John Paul II, fifteen meetings over six years. Reporting directly to Reagan the chief of CIA was now on a undercover mission of global impact.” (Evald 2000, p. 168)

Osho and Ratzinger
“Being a long time entry on the Vatican’s list of forbidden authors – formerly known as Index Librorum Prohibitorum – Osho and his criticism of the papal institution was causing constant anxiety in the leading circles of the Roman-Catholic church. Among the sixty interviewpersons approached by Brecher during his 1989 fact finding research, cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the second most powerful man in the Vatican, revealed that he would only consider the matter if all questions were submitted to him in writing months in advance. According to information from someone ‘very close’ to Ratzinger, he ‘is known to have operated behind the scenes in the expulsion of Rajneesh from America.’ It is beyond doubt that Ratzinger got the creeps when ‘oriental godmen’ were threatening the church and seducing the followers away from Christ.” (Evald 2000, p. 168)
(Note: Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) was a list of books banned by the Roman Catholic Church, continuing the burning of books of the Middle Ages and formalized after the invention of the printing press which made the burnings overwhelming. Its 20th and final edition appeared in 1948, and the index formally came to an end in June 1966 by Pope Paul VI. Ever since the Vatican has found more sophisticated ways to censor and ban books considered irreconcilable with the Holy See. Authors included in the index were e.g. Giordano Bruno, Emile Zola, Emmanuel Kant and Leopold von Ranke)

Cardinal Ratzinger
“Historic footnote: Ten years later, a short article appeared in an Indian newspaper, by a reporter based in Mumbai, stating that the Vatican had also been pressuring Washington to get Bhagwan out of the US. The driving force behind this lobby, the reporter stated, as none other than Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who at the time was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the office of the Inquisition. When asked for the source of his information, the reporter didn’t deny having Vatican connections, but refused to be more specific.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 107)

The Sunday Mail, India, 24.12.1989 prints a report by Ashok Row Kavi on Ratzinger’s involvement and the Vatican being partly responsible for Osho’s expulsion from the United States:
“The Vatican’s involvement in the disciplining of Rajneesh was declared a fact on December 24, 1989, by Ashok Row Kavi, an Indian columnist for the Bombay Sunday Mail. According to Kavi, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of the Vatican’s modern inquisitorial office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “is known to have operated behind the scenes in the expulsion of Rajneesh from America.” The information allegedly came from someone “very close” to Ratzinger, “the man who controls the Vatican’s policy against other religions.”…
Six weeks after the Bombay journalist’s December 1989 cryptic shot at Ratzinger, and two weeks after Rajneesh’s death at the age of 58, Kavi readdressed the issue. He wrote that ten years before – in 1981, when the Rajneesh ashram in Poona was creating a furore throughout Europe and particularly through Ratzinger’s native Catholic Bavaria – Ratzinger said: “All sorts of Satanic cults by oriental godmen are out to seduce the faithful away from Christ.” Kavi said that the specific “object of these controversial statements” was Rajneesh himself. (Bombay Sunday Mail, February 4-10, 1990).” (Brecher 1993, p. 148)

Joseph Ratzinger (1927- ) was cardinal from Bavaria in Germany. He moved to the Vatican and became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in November 1981, was elevated to cardinal in 1993 and remained second in command during the papacy of John Paul II. In 15 meetings over six years with CIA’s chief Bill Casey in the 1980s he orchestrated not only in a ‘geostrategic dialogue’ the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 (Bernstein 1996), but most likely also the downfall of Rajneeshpuram in 1985. Ratzinger was from 1986 chairman of a restricted committee charged with drawing up a new universal catechism, and he is the author of a large number of highly recognized theological writings on a variety of topics. He was elected as new pontiff in April 2005 choosing the name Benedict XVI. In 2012 he became involved in the so-called Vatileaks case and as the first pope since 1415 in February 2013 he chose to abdicate before his death. We may here remember another keyperson behind the political pressure on Rajneeshpuram, Edwin Meese III who had to leave his office as Attorney General in 1988 due to unethical conduct. Osho’s hypothetical commentary on these events any reader may ponder upon as much as he or she feels inclined.
(Note: The state of affairs in the Vatican when Benedict abdicated and was followed by Francis is reported as follows: “Die Hardliner an der Kurie torpedierten all Reformbemühungen, nachdem Franziskus 2014 in seiner berühmten Gardinenpredigt in der Weihnachtsansprache bei seinem engsten Mitarbeitern schlimmste Kurienkrankheiten diagnostiziert hatte, die von existentieller Schizophrenie über Selbstherrlichkeit bis zum geistlichen Alzheimer reichten.” (Frankfuter Allgemeine. 29.01.2017, p. 48)

Heading: Pope Benedict Harassed Osho during 1980s – Let Truth be Revealed, Demand Osho Disciples
“As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict harassed Osho in USA, South America and many European countries during the eighties; 31 years later he has resigned due to mounting scandals in the Vatican and the Catholic Church.
“There is enough evidence that as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict harassed Osho and prevented him from staying in over 20 countries,” said Swami Chaitanya Keerti, a spokesman of Osho World Foundation, New Delhi. “Millions of Osho disciples across the globe want the truth to come out.”
Osho has declared, “There is every possibility that the Pope [at the time, John Paul II] suggested that I should be thrown out of America, that my commune should be completely destroyed, because this was the first time that a man from the East had taken so many Christians out of the Christian fold. And particularly intelligent, young, educated, sophisticated people… professors, doctors, scientists, electronic engineers, Nobel Prize winners, artists, musicians…”
Given the background of this harassment, Osho says, “The American government harassed me simply because of Christian pressure – in which there is every possibility that the Pope’s hand was involved, because Ronald Reagan had met the pope just a few days before I was arrested. He had just come back from the Vatican.” (The Sword and the Lotus (1989). Chapter 4, Question 3)

In this context, it is significant to note that before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II named him ‘Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faithful’ or the Vatican’s modern inquisitorial office in 1981, responsible for opposing Osho in USA and a number of other countries.
Now 28 years after hounding Osho out of the USA and 21 other countries, Pope Benedict resigned due to his deteriorated strength of the body and the mind, he claims. Perhaps he gave up due to scandals involving his butler revealing the nefarious activities in the Vatican, and more importantly, the scandals about child abuse, money laundering and financial irregularities of the Vatican,” said Swami Keerti.
In fact, the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) in Brussels issued a press statement claiming an upcoming action by a European government to issue an arrest warrant against Ratzinger and a public lien against Vatican property and assets by Easter.
“It is most pertinent to note that the legacy of every Pope is soon forgotten after his death or will be forgotten after the resignation in the case of Pope Benedict, but the legacy of Osho in his insights in books and discourses as well as his meditations continues to attract and transform the lives of millions of people today,” said Swami Keerti.
On 1 February 2013, on the basis of evidence supplied by ITCCS’s affiliated Common Law Court of Justice ( ITCCS concluded an agreement with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy. This arrest warrant was to be delivered to the office of the ‘Holy See’ in Rome on 15 February 2013. It allowed the nation in question to detain Ratzinger as a suspect in crime if he entered its sovereign territory. Fearing all this, it is no wonder that Pope Benedict resigned.
The Vatican’s involvement in harassing Osho was declared a fact on 24 December 1989 by Ashok Row Kavi, an Indian columnist for the Bombay Sunday Mail. According to him, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger “is known to have operated behind the scenes in the expulsion of Rajneesh from America.” The information allegedly came from someone “very close” to Ratzinger, “the man who controls the Vatican’s policy against other religions.”
It is no coincidence that American President Ronald Regan met the Pope in the Vatican just a few days before Osho had to leave Rajneeshpuram. After his arrest, Osho was poisoned by the American authorities while in prison. After extensive medical tests in Pune, it was determined that his ill health was due to this poisoning, wrote Kavi.
In his well-researched book, ‘A Passage to America’ (Bombay, Book Quest 1993) Max Brecher reveals that after Osho left the USA, a motion was introduced by the right-wing Christian Democrats into the political committee of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The motion called on ministers ‘meeting in the framework of European political cooperation to do their utmost to ensure that the Bhagwan Leader [Osho] is no longer allowed to settle in any Community Member State.”
Further, it expected all member states “to take measures provided for their legal systems to prevent his [Osho] residence on their territory.” The resolution died in committee, but at that time, all these European countries had, already on their own, or so it might seem, taken steps never to allow Osho within their borders, according to Brecher.” (Press Statement. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. Osho World, Delhi. 19.02.2013)

Carl Bernstein & Marco Politi writes that a number of issues were discussed in Ratzinger’s meetings with Casey and Walters
“The pope’s judgements, especially concerning Poland and Central America, came to carry real weight in the White House, the CIA, and the NSC, and above all with Ronald Reagan himself. He eagerly awaited reports from both Walters and Casey whenever they visited the Vatican. Other presidents had waited anxiously at their desks for bombers to return from their missions: Reagan waited for reports from the pope…
Parts of Casey’s visits were intensely private: He and the pope discussed religious matters, engaging in an intimate, spiritual conversation.” (Bernstein 1996, pp. 269,286)

Maneesha writes
“The United States worked to influence both the church and the Italian government. Firstly, independent of any American pressure, the Catholic church was obviously antagonistic towards Bhagwan. In 1986 a booklet of over fifty pages compiled by Cardinal Ratzinger was issued by the Vatican in regard to “sects,” and mention was made of Bhagwan. It contained instructions to priests on how to keep children within the church and how to help parents warn their children of the danger of such organizations. Simultaneously, the Vatican sent a letter to directors of all Christian papers requesting that Bhagwan no longer be given any coverage – neither positive nor negative. This information was given by a journalist to Videha, the sannyasin in charge of the Italian press office at that time. In the light of this, Bhagwan’s view that the Vatican had played a part in his being expelled from America in 1985 doesn’t sound in the least outlandish. His suspicion was endorsed when, in the Indian Sunday Mail of December 24th, 1989, an article appeared in which the following statement was made: “Cardinal Ratzinger is known to have operated behind the scenes in the expulsion of Rajneesh from America.”
So with the church already against Bhagwan, the CIA found a useful ally in the Vatican. In fact the US secret service has been connected with the Catholic church since the inception of the CIA itself, during World War II. The relationship still continues. According to writers Gordon Thomas and Max Gordon-Witts, in November 1978 [interestingly, the same month that the Jonestown disaster happened], there was a private meeting between Pope John Paul II and the CIA’s station chief for Rome. As a result of this meeting, an accord was reached whereby the pope was to receive regular weekly intelligence briefings from the CIA.
Would the CIA act against Bhagwan of its own initiative? In his book, ‘Inside the Company’, former CIA agent, Philip Agee, writes: “The Agency neither makes decisions on policy nor acts on its own account. It is an instrument of the president.” The CIA worked against Bhagwan through the Vatican, and also found allies in the press over which the Vatican had no power. During the period of Bhagwan’s arrest in America, the Italian press had received details of the charges of the indictment against Bhagwan, and reports that deliberately misrepresented facts so as to make it appear that Bhagwan was party to the crimes of Sheela.” (Forman 2002, p. 305)

Connections between CIA and the Vatican
“In ‘The Messianic Legacy’ (Corgi Books, London 1987) authors Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln write of the second world war: “As director of the OSS, [Office of Strategic Services] William Donovan was quick to realize the potential significance of the Vatican to intelligence operations. Thousands of Catholic priests were scattered across Europe, in every country, every city, virtually every town and village. Thousand of Catholic priests were also serving as chaplains in the armed forces of every combatant nation. This network was already engaged in intelligence activity, passing vast quantities of information back to the Vatican’s own internal intelligence department. One of the four section leaders of the Vatican Intelligence was Monsignor Giovanni Montini – later Pope Paul IV. Donovan therefore undertook to establish close links with the Vatican.”
Former CIA agent, Victor Marchetti, affirmed the relationship between the two, saying: “In the 1950s and the 1960s the CIA gave economic support to many activities promoted by the Catholic Church, from orphanages to the missions [Yallop 1984].” (Forman 2002. Appendix Eight, p. 455)

Yallop writes on Ratzinger
“Chief among Karol Wojtyla’s many advisors was the man who in December 1981 was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Office. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has earned over the years a number of other titles including Vatican Enforcer…
The list of some of the Catholic Church’s finest scholars and thinkers silenced by Ratzinger over the past 24 years is lengthy. Small surprise then that according to Clifford Lonley, editorial consultant for the ‘Tablet’ and long time internationally respected religious affairs author and journalist, Cardinal Ratzinger is ‘disliked and feared throughout the Catholic world’…
The pope not only wholeheartedly approved of this position during his regular Friday meetings with Cardinal Ratzinger, but greatly assisted in the creation of such documents [condemning homosexuality]…
When the pope met the Archbishop of Canterbury in October 2003, he lectured the Archbishop and then attacked him for ‘undermining Christ’s teachings’ and accused him of caving in to secularist pressure. The fact that the Vatican is awash with homosexuals was ignored by the pope, and the Archbishop diplomatically neglected to point it out to him…
Another theologian who suffered from what critic described as ‘Ratzinger’s excessive zeal’ was Father Jacques Dupuis, a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome who dared to see value in non-Christian religions. In view of the fact that the then Cardinal Ratzinger extends his contempt beyond non-Christians to include non-Roman Catholic branches of Christianity, finding them ‘in a gravely deficient situation’, a hard time from Ratzinger and his underlings was inevitable. It duly arrived. Dupuis, a seriously ill man at the time of his inquisition by Ratzinger in 2000, died in 2004…
What the Church subsequently got was Cardinal Ratzinger, the late Pope’s closest associate for more than 20 years. Pope Benedict XVI’s election demonstrated that there is indeed a life after death. The name on the headed notepaper may have changed. The management is the same. The conservative wing, to the intense delight of Opus Dei and the other reactionary elements within the Church, easily outmanoeuvred the reforming liberals and elected a 78-year old man more than three years past his normal retirement age with a medical history that included at least two strokes. His personal history includes volunteering – contrary to Ratzinger’s assertions, registration was not compulsory – for the Hitler youth movement. His own account of his later activities in the Wehrmacht also lacks clarity.” (Yallop 2007, p. 405-409,495)
(Note: David Yallop does not put forward his rationale for rejecting the evidence of the connection between Ratzinger and Casey – that is the Vatican and the Reagan administration – researched by Carl Bernstein & Marco Politi in ‘His Holiness. John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time’ (Bernstein 1996). Since his disclosure of the Watergate case Carl Bernstein has among other issues published investigations into the White House decision making process leading to the invasion of Iraq in 2003).

Maneesha mentions (Forman 2002, p. 306) a 1986-booklet of more than fifty pages compiled by Ratzinger in regard to sects in which mention was made of Osho. This booklet has yet to be verified, but Ratzinger has in other texts written on the influence not of Islam but of Eastern religions. In his ‘Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on some aspects of Christian Meditation’ Ratzinger writes on the problem with eastern methods:
“1. The expression “eastern methods” is used to refer to methods which are inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism, such as “Zen,” “Trancendental Meditation” or “Yoga.” Thus it indicates methods of meditation of the non-Christian Far East which today are not infrequently adopted by some Christians also in their meditation. The orientation of the principles and methods contained in this present document is intended to serve as a reference point not just for this problem, but also, in a more general way, for the different forms of prayer practiced nowadays in ecclesial organizations, particularly in associations, movements and groups.” (Ratzinger 1989, Endnote 1)

Osho talks on Vatican pressure on Italian authorities
“Sarjano understands it perfectly well – he is from Italy. He and other Italian sannyasins have been trying continually for one year just to get a three-week tourist visa for me, and the Italian government goes on saying next week… and one year has passed. Because the pope has put an embargo on the government; in no case should Bhagwan be allowed into Italy. These cowards are your religious leaders. And just now, Sarjano went there again to enquire, how many more weeks? They said, “Because one year has passed, that application is invalid; put in a new application.” So he has put in a new application, and I think that again it will take one year – before it becomes invalid again.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Chapter 25, p. 251)

Sangeet Duchane writes
“Osho apparently thought [In: The Sword and the Lotus (1989)] that John Paul II had met with Reagan in 1985, shortly before Osho was arrested, but this was an error. According to online records Reagan met with John Paul II in 1982 and 1987…
Joseph Ratzinger was the Archbishop of Munich and Freiling from 1977 to 1982, during a time when Stern and Der Spiegel were publishing articles with lots of pictures of naked people in groups in Pune and when centers in Munich, Cologne, and other areas of Germany were booming. Ratzinger was apparently worried that the appeal of Eastern mysticism would lure people away from the Church. Ratzinger was appointed head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church’s modern version of the Inquisition, in 1981. He soon became the second most powerful man in the Vatican and was elevated to cardinal in 1993. In Rome he focused much of his efforts on stopping what he called pluralism, or the seeking of truth and grace in religions other than Christianity. He claimed pluralism or “relativism” was a threat to true faith from the Third World. In a 1997 interview published in the March 21 issue of the French L’Express, Ratzinger called Buddhism an “auto-erotic spirituality” and said: “In the 1950s someone said that the undoing of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century wouldn’t come from Marxism, but from Buddhism. They were right.” Ratzinger spoke of the “seductions” of Buddhism and other Eastern traditions. According to John L. Allen, Jr., author of ‘Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican’s Enforcer of the Faith’, Ratzinger’s statements were so offensive that a group of American priests issued an apology to Buddhists…
So, what was Ratzinger’s relationship with Osho and sannyasins? Though he was often suspected of working behind the scenes in things like German legal disputes and Italian visa applications, nothing could be proved. The October 11, 1985 ‘National Catholic Reporter’ stated: “The cardinal, who ‘daily receives top secret information from every continent,’ does his best to take daily top-secret action on the basis of this information.”
The only assertion of a direct connection came from Ashok Row Kavi, former columnist for the Bombay Sunday Mail. On December 24, 1989 he reported that someone “very close” to Ratzinger had revealed that Ratzinger “is known to have operated behind the scenes in the expulsion of Rajneesh from America. In early February 1990, Kavi reported in a column that Ratzinger had said in 1981: “All sorts of Satanic cults by oriental godmen are out to seduce the faithful away from Christ.” Kavi claimed that Osho was the “object of these controversial statements.” Considering the quid-pro-quo relationship between the Reagan administration and the Vatican, the belief that Ratzinger was instrumental in having Osho thrown out of the US is plausible, but given the Reagan administration’s longstanding opposition to Osho, it’s unclear if they needed any encouragements. At the very least, there is evidence that Ratzinger felt justified in lobbying to have Osho removed from the US.” (Ma Prem Sangeet (Sangeet Duchane. In: Viha Connection, 2013:3 &
(Note: Sangeet Duchane was the city attorney for Rajneeshpuram and Antelope during the Ranch days, and she was Osho’s legal adviser and representative in Poona Two. Sw. Prem Niren (Philip Toelkes) was head of the legal team on the Ranch. Anando was Osho’s legal secretary during World Tour and later on in Poona Two she became his international secretary.)

Brecher concludes
“I looked for a direct link between the Vatican – specifically, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – and the conspiracies against Rajneesh in the US. And while I discovered a lot of circumstantial evidence indicating that there ‘might have been’ a link between one and the other, I didn’t come up with anything I or anyone else should think of as proof.” (Brecher 2014, p. 460)

– Anatomy of an Arrest.
Part One: Rajneesh Times International, 1988:19. 16.10.1988.
Part Two: Rajneesh Times International, 1988:20. 01.11.1988.
– Also in: Rajneesh Times International, 01.04.1988.

5.14 Leaving for Delhi and the Himalayas

Heading: Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh formally leaves commune in US state of Oregon
“Their guru left them Thursday, but followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh rushed to line up and wave goodbye as he drove in one of his shiny Rolls-Royces for the last time.
Nearly the entire town lined the road to Rajneeshpuram airstirp, waving and singing as the Indian guru was chauffered past them in a silver Rolls-Royce limousine. The guru’s personal secretary, Ma Prem Hasya, announced the departure at the last minute.
After Rajneesh was driven to a waiting twin-engine Cessna 414, he emerged from the limousine and returned the crowd’s farewell with his trademark namaste, a bow with his hands clasped together.
On the aircraft’s steps, he flashed a ‘V’ sign with his right hand before stepping inside. As the aircraft taxied for takeoff, he held the gesture so it was visible through the window.
After takeoff, the pilot circled over the ranch before the plane disappeared into the cold winter sky, carrying the man for whom this high Oregon desert commune was founded.” (The Associated Press, 15.11.1985)

Final court procedure
“It was around 4:00 p.m. in the District Court in Portland, Oregon. In the front of the audience-packed courtroom were Turner, Weaver and Youngman representing the prosecution; Brian O’Neill and Jack Ransom would be acting as Bhagwan’s attorneys. The whole procedure took little more than an hour. With the agreement drawn up between the two parties, the hearing would be not much more than a formality.
By the terms of the agreement, Bhagwan would be forced to plead guilty to two counts out of the thirty-five: Counts 1 and 34. Leavy told Bhagwan that the maximum penalty for Count 1 was $250.000, and for Count 34, $10.000; that in addition there would be $50 assessment. Weaver reminded Leavy that there would be the costs of the prosecution as well: $140.000, and then read out the remaining stipulations of the agreement.
1. The court was imposing a sentence of ten years imprisonment, with suspension of execution.
2. Bhagwan would be under probation for five years, under the condition that he left the United States and agreed not to return during the five-year probations period without permission of the attorney general of the United States.
3. The sum to be paid was $400.000 in fines and costs of prosecution.
4. Bhagwan was to depart from the United States within five days of payment of the fine.
5. The three suits filed by community members of Rajneeshpuram on their own behalf were to be withdrawn; also to be dismissed was the suit entitled ‘Rajneesh Foundation International, et al., v. Meese’.
6. All Bhagwan’s applications for permanent residency in the United States would be withdrawn.” (Forman 1989, p. 489)

Heading: Guru leaves U.S.
“He drove directly to Portland International Airport, where he boarded a private plane that had filed a flight plan for Teterboro, N.J., a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said…
Rajneesh pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to arrange sham marriages of his disciples and one count of lying to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service about his intent to remain in the United States permanently…
Rajneesh, wearing a striped blue-and-white robe, softly replied, “Guilty,” when Leavy asked for his plea to each of the two charges.
Rajneesh pleaded innocent last week to 32 counts of arranging sham marriages, one count of conspiring to arrange fake marriages and two counts of lying to federal authorities.” (Sally Carpenter Hall. In: Statesman Journal, 15.11.1985)

Leaving for the airport
“After the court hearing, around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 14th, Bhagwan emerged from the courthouse to be greeted by the dazzling lights of dozens of television cameras and a crowd of reporters. He entered the limousine that Avesh had brought from Rajneeshpuram that morning, and was driven straight out to the airport escorted by a huge police motorcade. Those sannyasins who were leaving with Bhagwan were following in other cars. Reaching the airport, Bhagwan’s car was permitted to drive straight out to the tarmac, where his plane was waiting. A larger group of sannyasins stood around the plane, with a dozen or more reporters and cameramen. Bhagwan slowly walked up the steps of the plane… Once he reached the top of the steps, Bhagwan turned. Dressed in a white and blue gown, Bhagwan raised his hands and waved slowly, smiling. As he did so, the evening breeze gently picked up the end of his long, white beard, so it was blown to one side. That one, small movement was inexplicably poignant.” (Forman 1989, p. 497)

Heading: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh leaves the United States
“He entered a Rolls Royce limousine outside the courtroom under heavy guard by the Portland Police and other police agencies. He drove straight to the Portland airport and departed in a two engine jet plane. Among those with him were Ma Yoga Vivek, Swami Devaraj, Ma Amrit Mukti, Ma Prem Nirupa, Ma Dharma Chetana, and Ma Prem Hasya. Swami Dhyan John and sannyasins who were at the airport returned to Rajneeshpuram immediately in the Convair.” (The Rajneesh Times, 1985:13. 15.11.1985)

Leaving the United States
“On the evening of November 14th, directly from Portland’s federal district court, Bhagwan was given a presidential-style motorcade to Portland International Airport, his stretch Rolls Royce surrounded by a sea of police motor-cycles with blue flashing lights. Highway ramps were blocked off. Media crews were chasing the convoy. It was quite an exit.
“I never want to come back,” he’d told the judge, Then, with a wave and smile, he was gone.
One of the Portland TV news channels gave extended coverage to the take-off, playing Joni Mitchell singing, “I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…” (Subhuti 2011, p. 119)

Brecher writes on Osho arriving in India
“Around 5:30 p.m. a privately-rented Gulfstream Two jet took off with Rajneesh and about 12 disciples on board. Later in the night, it landed at Allentown, Pennsylvania. Rajneesh and the sannyasins switched to a Jetstar 731 which was rented from Meta Buttenheim at Northeast Jets. The Jetstar 731 flew onwards through the night and refuelled in Shannon, Ireland…
The India-bound party spent that Friday night in Larnaca, Cyprus. They flew on the next day through Bahrain and landed in New Delhi’s Palm airport around 2:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, November 17.
About 500 disciples who had camped out at the airport for days waiting for him, threw rose petals in front of Rajneesh as he walked. Rajneesh was chauffeured away in a Mercedes driven by one of India’s brightest film stars, Vinod Khanna, also known as Swami Vinod Bharti.
About six hours later, around 8:30 a.m., Rajneesh held a one-hour press conference at the Hotel Hyatt Regency in South Delhi. “Good Morning, India,” he said. He was glad to be back in the land of the Buddhas, the land of the enlightened ones. Rajneesh described America as a “barbaric, uncivilized country.” (The Hindustan Times, November 18, 1985). After the conference Rajneesh was flown to Himachal Pradesh in Northern India to a resort halfway between Kulu and Manali in a place called the “Valley of the Gods.”” (Brecher 1993, p. 344)

Osho asking Laxmi to look for land in the Himalayas 1983
“But in December of 1983, even though she had left the commune to live elsewhere in America, Laxmi received a message from Bhagwan to find a place in the Himalayas and start a center there. Any sannyasin who’d lived in Poona knew that Bhagwan had said more than once that the sages of the past always went to the mountains to live, that they had a great affinity with the heights. I understood that given the choice, Bhagwan would prefer to live in the Himalayas.” (Forman 1989, p. 360)

Press Release. Excerpt:
“Bhagwan denied that His movement is falling apart. Through what has happened in the last month the sannyasa movement has become even stronger. Those who have left Him have come back again. “They have started again to love me.”
He said that Sheela isolated Him for three and one-half years. She had the power and represented Him. As He started to talk she became what she was before, a nobody. “Who was she anyway? A secretary – we didn’t have any other relationship but at that time I needed such people for my commune, so to say, unpolished stones. I knew that sooner or later I would have to do something to improve her.” (Press Release. 08.12.1985. In: Aveling 1996, p. 196)

Osho on the destruction of the commune
“The commune was destined to be destroyed. It was too good not to be destroyed. It was the alternative society. Mahavira and Buddha did not create any alternative society. They were part of this society, they remained dependent on this society. Their revolution was intellectual, verbal. My revolt was actual and existential. And the destruction of the commune in America does not mean that the idea of the commune will disappear. There are still communes around the world flourishing in many countries. More and more communes will be coming up.
America is going to repent; it has missed an opportunity. It could have supported the commune and made it clear to the world that it stands for freedom, that it stands for a new man, that it stands for a future humanity. It missed a great opportunity. By destroying the commune, it has destroyed its own credibility, its own democracy. It has proved itself simply nothing but a hypocritical society.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 29, p. 689.

Gordon writes
“The more I found out, the more I felt myself fighting a losing battle to give Rajneesh the benefit of the doubt. He was certainly responsible for the ranch’s arrogant attitude, the consolidation and sclerosis of power, the paranoia. He had decreed the religion of Rajneeshism and the centralization of the communes. He knew about the Share-A-Home program, the wild attacks on the Oregonians, and the authoritarian structure of the ranch. He not only knew there was no separation of church and state in Rajneeshpuram but approved officials and directed civil functions in the city…
Sannyasins who had been close to Sheela told me of tapes that she played when they questioned whether her orders were coming from their Master. And Sheela, though publicly silent, had spoken from her jail cell in California. She had told several people who were still close to her that “Bhagwan knew everything.”” (Gordon 1987, m. 241)

Marion Goldman writes
“The communal city’s disintegration and the revelations about dangerous activities both outside and inside the movement could have led to the movement’s complete disintegration or at least displacement of Rajneesh as its leader. Instead, most sannyasins accepted Rajneesh’s explanation and blamed his former personal secretary for the misguided and exploitative policies that doomed Rajneeshpuram and threatened the movement’s existence. The founder’s blaming Sheela, resettlement in Pune, and renaming himself as Osho and the group surrounding him as the Osho Movement allowed the movement to rise again.” (Goldman 2014, p. 185)

FitzGerald on closing down the Ranch
“After the guru’s final departure from the ranch, Dhyan John assured the remaining sannyasins that the commune would continue to exist, and spoke of various ways in which the ranch might be made profitable. But a week later Niren announced that the commune was closing down and the sannyasins should make arrangements to leave. He made the announcement just hours after K.D., who had returned to the ranch early in October and then disappeared from sight, turned up at the Wasco County Courthouse in the company of officials…
By the end of December, most of the sannyasins had departed the ranch, leaving behind them only a caretaking crew and a legal and administrative staff. Eighty-five of the Rolls-Royces were sold (there were ninety-three of them by now), and the ranch itself was put up for sale to pay off the Rajneeshee debts.” (FitzGerald 1986, II pp. 112,120)

Osho on dismantling the ranch
“But their fear of me continues… it has been two years since they destroyed the commune. First they had not allowed us to sell it, so that it became of less and less value. And people must have started stealing things from the commune – because how long can we keep protecting a commune of one hundred and twenty-six square miles? First we had sixteen people. Then we reduced it to eight – it was unnecessarily expensive. Then we reduced to four; now we have reduced to one.” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (1989). Chapter 12, p. 120.

Closing down the Ranch
“In a few months, I think about 1500 people arrived from Europe [to Bombay in late 1986], whereas we saw very few from America. Meanwhile, we learned that the Ranch had become a desert again; most of the movable structures had been sold. A few sannyasins were still there taking care of the remaining buildings, and the last one to leave the Ranch, in 1988, arrived in Pune Two only when absolutely everything had been closed. Of course he was a German…
My main assistant was the German doctor who’d been the last person to leave the Oregon Ranch, staying on for two years to take care of everything.” (Azima 2013, pp. 289,344)

Leaving the commune
“Despite everyone’s greatest fears or lowest hopes, Jonestown II at Rajneeshpuram was cancelled because of lack of interest. Most of the sannyasins cleared out quietly from the closing-down commune. There was a great deal of emotional upheaval and struggling to get back on their economic feet, but there were no reports of even a single suicide.” (Brecher 1993, p. 357)

Satyananda recalls general meeting
“Tiefstrahler flammten auf, und Bürgermeister Niren betrat die Bühne. Er wirkte erschöpft, war aber locker und fröhlich, so als wollte er eine Festveranstaltung ansagen. Aber auf dem Programm stand der Grabgesang auf Rajneeshpuram. Anfangs habe man noch geglaubt, dass es weitergehen könnte, sagte Niren. Aber inzwischen sei klar geworden das die Stadt nicht zu halten sei und dass die Kommune aufgelöst werden müsse…
Niren sagte, dass man die Situation von allen Seiten beleuchtet habe. Schliesslich falle es nicht leicht aufzugeben, was mit so viel Liebe aufgebaut worden sei. Aber wir hätten an der juristischen Front verloren. Es seien zwar noch viele Berufungsverfahren in der Schwebe, aber man könne sich den teuren Krieg vor den Gerichten nicht mehr leisten. “Lasst uns die Tatsachen ins Auge blicken: Es is aus! Wir bauen ab!” (Elten 1990, p. 54)

The end of the Ranch
“The end of the Ranch was a traumatic experience, but it was not a tragedy – not for me, anyway. True, it was shocking to watch the community fall apart, but it was a relief to leave Oregon and a joy to return to India.
The transition didn’t happen at once. First, the numbers on the Ranch dwindled until a skeleton crew was left, including myself. Then, as the Spring of 1986 rolled around, I drove an old school bus – part of the Ranch’s defunct transit system – down to the Bay Area, where a couple of hundred sannyasins had relocated.” (Subhuti 2011, p. 121)

FBI agent and SWAT team member McPheters recalls
“The Oregon Supreme Court ended all litigation against Rajneeshpuram in 1987. By then the commune was both empty and bankrupt. Even the seventy-four Rolls Royces used for the Bhagwan’s daily rides were sold to a Texas used car dealer at a public auction. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company owned the mortgage on the property and bought it back, after satisfying the back taxes. The Big Muddy Ranch was again sold and was later being used by a Christian youth camp, called “Wildhorse Canyon”, and operated by “Young Life.”” (McPheters 2009, p. 155)

Big Muddy Ranch
“In 1992 a millionaire industrialist from Montana named Dennis Washington bought the property, hoping to convert the ranch into an educational center. But when petitioning to change the zoning laws so he could use and improve on the buildings on the property, he found that the locals, still reverberating from the Rajneesh “invasion,” preferred to let the land and its amenities revert to tumbleweeds. For several years Washington used the property for cattle grazing and eventually tried, unsuccessfully, to sell it. He subsequently attempted to give the property away for free, yet memories of Sheela’s poisonings created rumors, all unsubstantiated, that stockpiled toxins had tainted the groundwater. In 1997 a Christian organization called Young Life finally accepted Washington’s donation and, after assuring locals that they were not extremists, were granted permits to renovate the ranch buildings in order to run summer camps for teens. In 1999, Big Muddy Ranch thus became Wildhorse Canyon Camp. Jay McAlonen, property manager for Young Life, expressed his determination that the camp be run in a way that would “help heal” a still shell-shocked community.” (Dempsey 2012, p. 104)

Big Muddy Ranch
“In February 1998 the Montana millionaire who had purchased the Big Muddy Ranch during foreclosure a decade earlier donated its airstrip, deserted shopping mall, human-made Krishnamurti Lake, and everything else to the evangelical Christian ministry Young Life. Bhagwan’s compound was destroyed in the summer fires of 1996, although the rest of the community was merely charred.” (Goldman 1999, p. 10)

Fire on the Ranch 18.08.1996
“A range fire sweeps through the former Rancho Rajneesh, destroying the Bhagwan’s former house, other Rajneesh buildings, and tens of thousands of acres of rangeland.” (McCormack 2010, p. 44)

Mistlberger identifies three factors behind the close down of Rajneeshpuram:
1. The presence of Osho’s disciples in this conservative part of America was never welcomed, doubtless aided by the fact that these were, by and large, intelligent, educated, attractive young adults, not drugged out hippies or adolescents with shaven heads chanting Hare Krishna.
2. The second major problem that faced the commune from the beginning had to do with Sheela’s psychological state and her questionable grasp of her master’s teachings.
3. The third major problem was ultimately the most serious. It was that a conflict was brewing from within the community itself between two key factions: The group of about a dozen lieutenants around Sheela and the Lao Tzu residents. (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 275ff)

Krishna Prem concludes
“Like the Kailash experiment many years earlier, that’s what it turned out to be: a dream. I watched Sheela build it and I watched Sheela destroy it – out of a lust for power laced with paranoia and a vision of herself as a modern-day ‘maharani’ of an empire in the high desert of Oregon. And it’s something for which she still accepts no responsibility.
Out of love for Osho, an amazing city was created, but since he was in silence and essentially unavailable to us – we could write to him but few of us believed the letters made it past Sheela – it had no beating heart. Sheela ruled by fear and coercion, with a coterie of selfish, hard-hearted, power-hungry women enforcing a single rule: submit in silence or leave. The religious quality which permeated Poona was completely absent, and this was incredibly painful for me. But, like my friends Pratima, Divy and Vadan, I survived. It was a stunning lesson in how power corrupts, in the heights of psychosis to which a deluded and deranged ego can rise, and hoe, like night follows day, chickens always come home to roost. Sheela ended up in prison and now runs an old folk’s home near Basel in Switzerland.” (Allanach 2010, p. 345)

Satya Vedant writes on the Oregon experience
“Rajneeshpuram was essentially an energetic phenomenon, where almost everything was transparent and yet nothing was tangible. Dramatic changes would take place at the physical, structural, emotional and energy levels. Never a dull moment, nothing was certain. It was a training in being here and now. What a gift!
Under all adversities, challenges and pressures the spirit at Rajneeshpuram remained alive. No one could destroy that spirit. What seems hard for people to grasp about the Rajneeshpuram phenomenon, however, is that it was essentially an experiment, not the ultimate answer. It was an experiment into the unknown. Nothing went wrong in the process, everything happened as it would in a dynamic, alive and human environment.
On Osho’s part, Rajneeshpuram is a leela – a playful manifestation of energy. Leela has no ultimate purpose, or end. It is sufficient unto the moment while it is happening. Such a dynamic, purposeless play can be very difficult to appreciate if one were to take it seriously or view it through one’s ego. In both cases, one may end up either condemning the phenomenon or outright destroying it. Rajneeshpuram was indeed a powerful expression of creativity. I learnt from my experience of Rajneeshpuram that creativity remains a source of joy only as long as we do not identify ourselves with what is being created. When we dis-identify ourselves, the very means becomes the end, every step and effort keeps us growing, and as Osho points out, ‘in tune with the existence’. (Joshi 2010, p. 175; edited in: Joshi 2017, p. 223)

Answering a question in February 1987 on Walt Whitman’s ‘Passage to India’ Osho comments on his experiences of spiritual work in Oregon and on World Tour offering some clues for his return to India and Poona
“He had something of the mystic in him. Although he was born in America, he had something of the East in him; hence. this ‘Passage to India’. India has been for centuries the symbol of the inner journey. It is not just a political entity – it is a spiritual phenomenon. As far back as we know, people have been coming to India from all over the world in search of themselves. Something is in the very climate, something is in the very vibe, that helps.
I have seen it – going around the world I was watching – and it was a very puzzling experience. And those who are here and who have also been in the commune in America, all feel it. So many letters have come to me: “It is strange… we were in the commune for five years, but we never felt the same joy, the same song, the same dance, that we are feeling here.” And I was also seeing the fact that because there has been no spiritual inheritance, the air is empty, dry. It does not have the juice that nourishes the soul.
And then I went around the world and I could see the difference. Perhaps, because for thousand of years the eastern genius has been consistently in search of the soul, it has created a certain atmosphere. If you meditate in the East, it seems as if everything helps: the trees, the earth, the air. If you are meditating in America, you have to meditate alone – there is no help coming from anywhere.
In Spain, in Portugal, there was every possibility to create another commune, but I saw the same thing would happen. The whole effort of five years in America was simply destroyed by the fanatic Christians – who don’t understand anything of religion – and the fascist politicians. In fact, they were afraid of the commune. It became their basic concern: the attorney general declared, “To destroy the commune is our priority,” and the commune was not doing any harm to anybody.
But I can understand: deep down the commune was vibrating on a different wavelength; it was not part of America, and it could never be part of America. Its vibe was so strong that there was no way to defeat it – because America knows nothing about spirituality; it has never gone deeper than the skin.
And moving around the world my experience was the same. The East has fallen politically, economically, but it still carries a shadow of its golden flights. And those who are in search of themselves will find here, in this poor third-world country, immense nourishment for their souls. Scientifically, technologically, it is not advanced; and poverty is growing every day, more and more. But still, in spite of all this, it remains the richest land in the world as far as the spiritual search is concerned.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Chapter 15, p. 148.

Urban on Rajneeshpuram
“While relatively short-lived, Rajneeshpuram was surely one of the most remarkable religious experiments in American history, growing in just a few years into perhaps the largest, most progressive, most lucrative, but also controversial utopian community of the twentieth century…
On the one hand, this was – at least in its first few years – an incredibly innovative, creative, and successful community that was experimenting with new forms of agriculture, recycling, energy, land reclamation, tourism, and business. Much of what the commune accomplished in the early 1980s was far ahead of its time and embodied the best of the American entrepreneurial spirit. On the other hand, the community also quickly came to embody the least admirable aspects of neoliberalism and American capitalism…
Both Rajneesh and Reagan enacted a highly choreographed and crafted stage presence that was tremendously persuasive while it lasted; yet both also left behind a series of scandals upon their respective departures from office (which occurred within two years of one another).” (Urban 2015, pp. 23,134,135)

Editorial in The Rajneesh Times
“What we did here was basically impossible. We scraped together millions of dollars, slogged through the seasons of mud and dust, and worked so many hours that the days began to dissolve into one another. However, Bhagwan was not responsible for what we did. He had insisted endlessly that we are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone. WE are responsible for everything. It is a hard lesson, in this freezing season as we watch the government crouched and ready to pounce from a thousand directions. We watch in astonishment the continuing betrayal of former leaders like Swami Kishna Deva…
The rest of us ‘who didn’t do anything wrong’, are guilty of being too innocent. We watched and sometimes cooperated while Ma Anand Sheela and her fascist gang ran roughshod over our friends, us, and anyone else who got in their way. But just because we were often wrong in our attitude doesn’t mean that the Oregon politicians and press were right. To varying degrees, for different reasons, we all misunderstood the nature of the experiment, the nature of the man who was among us. We all proved what Bhagwan said. We are asleep. So, whatever we see is dream, whatever we do is unconscious.
There was real nourishment, love and ecstasy at Rajneeshpuram. Otherwise, no-one would have come and no-one would have stayed. Things which might have taken us lifetimes to get round to we experienced at supersonic speed. Bhagwan is gone, but He is still in our hearts. I love Him more than ever, but less desperately.” (The Rajneesh Times. 29.11.1985)

Patipada remembers Rajneeshpuram
“No one will ever really know what happened at Rajneeshpuram. You may read many different stories, each one reflecting the way that person experienced it. But one must remember that each individuals’ viewpoint is colored by his own personality. If you take any given time in history and ask 20 people what they say, felt, understood, I am sure you would get many diverse answers. Rajneeshpuram is no different from any other movement in history in that respect. Rajneeshpuram is however, one of the greatest experiments to have happened on this earth. In my own opinion, it was a great success. Many people may feel that it failed. I for one, am very grateful to have participated in such an event.” (Patipada. In: Webber 1990, p. 57)

Osho on the commune as a device
“The commune in America was also a device. It did its work. It made people aware that to be joyous, to be loving is possible on this earth; you do not have to wait for heaven. And I can see, I can understand… a person who has never been dancing and singing here, when he enters heaven and a harp is provided for him – what is he going to do with the harp? He will be at a loss! He will ask, “What is it, and what am I supposed to do with it?”
Only my people will be immediately able to do something, whichever instrument is provided.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 9, p. 85. Punta del Este, 16.04.1986pm.

Monument outside Wasco County Court House
“On 13 July 1986 a monument was dedicated outside the Wasco County Court House. Beneath a statue of a stately Antelope read the inscription “Dedicated to all who steadfastly and unwavering opposed the attempts of the Rajneesh followers to take political control of Wasco County: 1981-1985.” Below this, the plaque carries a quote from Irish politician Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Above the statue flew a flag that had once flown above the U.S. Capitol Building – a gift from Congressman Bob Smith. Were the residents of Rajneeshpuram really “evil” and were the Oregonians really “good”? What is true of erecting monuments is also true of history, they are constructed by the victors. The defeated almost without exception go down as villains within the orthodox historical record. Only two members of the commune could rightly be described as “evil” – Ma Anand Sheela and Ma Puja. A few others committed evil acts.” (Davisson 2003)

“”Ich erinnere mich an eine Lecture in Oregon”, sagte ich, “in der ich Osho sagen hörte: ‘I gave you a taste of Fascism’. Für mich war dieser Satz wie ein Erkenntnisblitz.”… Heute kann ich sehen, dass die Ranch in Oregon das schärfste Experiment in Sachen Selbsterfahrung gewesen ist, das ich je gegeben hat.” (Satyananda 2013, p. 296)

An anthropologist’s understanding
“The argument that Bhagwan has provided a lesson in the importance of his path might seem rather far-fetched. However, as we pointed out earlier, Bhagwan cannot be judged in the same way as someone who is not making spiritual claims. Bhagwan could be working in mysterious and enlightened ways. The argument that an ignorant ‘blissed-out’ guru is a pretty poor one ignores the fact that Bhagwan’s withdrawal might have been appropriate. After all, Genesis says that Yahweh did nothing to stop Adam and Eve from exercising their freedom. The argument that Bhagwan is too poor a judge of character to be enlightened might equally well be applied to Jesus’ response to Judas: both might have been aware of their respective traitors, but neither did or said anything to prevent the treachery.” (Thompson 1986, p. 129)

Mistlberger on Rajneeshpuram and Osho’s message
“Rajneeshpuram survived for just over four years. During that time it accomplished many remarkable things – transforming dead land into successful and self-sustaining dairy and poultry farms, creating entire irrigation systems, power substations, transportation and telecommunications systems being just some of them – to the point that it has been commonly recognized as one of the greatest modern examples of intentional community…
What is of central importance is the message, not the personality, because the message endures. And, as is clear for any who bother to study Osho’s work and teachings, his message and legacy is a major key to unlocking the spiritual potential of humanity.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 274,94)

Vasant Joshi writes
“While Osho had worked on individuals in the sixties and on groups in the seventies, here in Oregon he was working on the collective unconscious, on the collective habits and patterns of our culture. These are the very impediments that have paralysed humanity and prevented this earth into turning into a living paradise. Osho’s work is precisely to help us make this possible.” (Joshi 2010, p. 166)

Satyananda writes
“Wir hatten eine Vision: Wir wollten eine avantgardistische spirituelle Kommune aufbauen. Wir waren erfolgreich. Tatsächlich besass Rajneeshpuram in vieler Hinsicht Modellcharakter. Die Kommune verwandelte die Wüste in ein Paradies. Sie lebte in Harmonie mit der Natur. Sie betrieb eine progressive Landwirtschaft ohne Kunstdünger und Pestizide. Sie entwickelte ein Recyclingsystem, das über 80 Prozent der Abfälle, einschliesslich der städtischen Abwässer, wiederverwertete. Sie war die einzige Gemeinde der Welt, die wirksame Vorkehrungen gegen die Ausbreitung von AIDS traf. Ihre Mitglieder waren Idealisten, die dem Leben vertrauten und Spass daran hatten…
So gab uns Rajneesh einen Geschmack von Faschismus. Seine Methode ist zwar unmoralisch, aber im Lichte der Zen-Tradition betrachtet, erscheint sie höchst effektiv und sinnvoll. Er schuf eine Situation, in der jeder Teilnehmer an dem Experiment Rajneeshpuram sein wahres Gesicht zeigen musste. Denn unter einem faschistischen Regime – viele Deutsche erinnern sich schmerzlich daran – zeigt sich, wer ein Rückgrat hat und wer feige kuscht, wer die Mächtigen umschmeichelt und wer seine Würde bewahrt und Verfolgung riskiert. Unter dem Faschismus kannst du sehen, aus welchem Holz du geschnitzt bist. Er ist wie ein Spiegel, er reisst dir die Maske vom Gesicht.” (Elten 1990, pp. 23,25)

Anando in interview 1989
“Melbourne born Sue Appleton, now a senior administrator at the ashram in Poona said, with what ‘The Western Australian Magazine’ described as “disarming candour”:
We stuffed it up. He talked about sex being a basic energy that could be transformed to find super-consciousness, but we jumped on the sex bit and fucked our brains out. He told us to meditate, but a lot of people never did. He had a vision of creating a beautiful experiment in Oregon, but we blew it.” (The Western Australian Magazine, 20-26 May, p. 10. In: Aveling 1996, p. 196)

Neelam recalls in an interview when she first met Rajneesh
“I was a 20 then, married and had a daughter. Initially we used to attend his discourses and meditation camps whenever he visited Ludhiana. In 1974 when the commune was established at Pune we used to go there in vacations. Finally, in 1981 we left for Oregon, USA to attend his commune where I stayed back along with my daughter,” she said…
On her experiences in Oregon she said that the westerners are better at planning. They lay emphasis on detail, but can not handle chaos. Indian, Italians and the Spanish are better at it. Interacting with them I learnt to express myself without being emotional, which we Indians lack, she said.” (Neelam. The Times of India, 08.11.2001)

Subhuti in interview 1997
“He could have just talked about meditation, how to meditate, and then he would have been an international spiritual hero – at least a Hindu saint, a universal nice guy. But he didn’t. He really went after them. And he even went to the United States and went after them there, which was a very, very dangerous thing to do, and he paid the price. That was another eye-opener for me, the way the American public responded to Osho’s arrest. As soon as the Reagan Administration managed to get Osho in chains, that was it – “obviously a bad guy, justice has triumphed, case closed.” Again, the black-and-white cartoon mentality.
Only one intellectual, Tom Robbins, protested. Everybody else either cheered or kept silent. Osho books disappeared from the book stores and for years US publishers refused to consider reprinting them. And for what reason? A case of alleged immigration fraud! But of course it wasn’t about that at all. Osho attacked the dominant social paradigm and they hated him for it – wanted to punish him for it.” (Osho Times International, 1997:11)

Brecher quotes from Yogini’s testimony
“I saw it [as] an incredible expanse of desert land. And there wasn’t a lot of people there at the time [March 1982]. There wasn’t a lot of sannyasins. It was – you know, the people [who] were with Bhagwan. But the people that were there were working very, very hard to begin a settlement which would see many, many thousands of other people coming eventually. And it was a very busy time. It was a really exciting time. It was a very beautiful time.
[Brecher:] In short, what’s to be lost and gained by challenging received wisdom and everyone knows that and at least wondering whether things at Rajneeshpuram were possibly far better “than we realized” or could ever have imagined, not worse?” (Brecher 2014, p. 525)

Abhiyana concludes
“We built a paradise, a city we thought would be, in Whitman’s words: “invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth.” But we hadn’t taken into account our hidden lust for power, holier-than-thou attitude, paranoia and childish obedience, nor the hostility of Central Oregonians in Christian America confronted with people who look and act differently. All these forces were getting ready to burst our dream. The bosses carried our collective shadow side, and some of them went to jail for it…
I believe Osho knew the gist of what was happening around the commune, if not all the sordid details. He clearly orchestrated events to help us and future generations see our hidden lust for power, right up to the destruction of the commune we spent so much blood, sweat and tears to build.
I also believe Osho began speaking again in order to salvage the grim situation his people allowed to happen, but it was too late to save the commune. Once Rajneeshpuram fell, it became a spiritual device. The collapse of our Utopian society, and the accompanied disheartenment so many of us felt, became a kind of sieve – a weeding out – of disciples who were not ready for the next step in this long, strange master-disciple dance. I barely passed through that sieve myself.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 318,364)

Azima drawing up perspectives
“It was a year that changed the history of human consciousness, a year in which America took on the karma of which America will have to pay, in many centuries to come, as happened to the Jewish people after they crucified the Messiah.” (Azima 2013, p. 276)

Sven Davisson writes
“Perhaps the facts, lies and enigma surrounding Rajneeshpuram will permanently occlude the full appreciation of what attracted thousands of people to him. All else aside, Rajneesh’s teachings represent a post-modern synthesis neither equalled nor paralleled in the 20th century. The breadth of his knowledge and his deft interpretation of ancient masters is unique. His influence, mostly unacknowledged, has been wide spread throughout both modern devotional spirituality and the New Age movement. Many a Rajneesh therapist, dehypnotherapist, has become popular guru or teacher. When one reads in a biographical sketch that the teacher spent years in India studying under an unnamed guru it is more often than not, Rajneesh to whom they refer.” (Davisson 2003)

Earlier in this section we’ve already quoted Osho for saying
“America is going to repent; it has missed an opportunity. It could have supported the commune and made it clear to the world that it stands for freedom, that it stands for a new man, that it stands for a future humanity. It missed a great opportunity. By destroying the commune, it has destroyed its own credibility, its own democracy. It has proved itself simply nothing but a hypocritical society.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 29, p. 689.

To what extent the present situation in USA is fulfilling this prophesy, I’ll leave it to the reader to decide. But I dare say that what we may be witnessing these years (2018), is what happens when an empire overstrains itself and falls into moral decay in the wake of political, economical and social disintegration.

Before jumping to conclusions I may suggest readers to have a look at the next ‘Part Six. World Tour’, where it becomes evident that the ordeal wasn’t finished with the closure of the Ranch in Oregon and the expulsion of Osho from the United States. When 23 democracies subsequently denied Osho entry during his travels, it wasn’t their own decision only. Some great western power proved continuously to be manoeuvring the whole affair from behind the screen as we’ll see.

Appendix. Oregon. 15 items


Part Six

World Tour and Bombay

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