Questions from SannyasNews. Answers from Jayananda, Sheela’s second husband who was with her for the Ranch period.
1. To what extent do you see Sheela as villain/ victim?
Sheela was a victim of stress and the ego. She did not start out as the person she became. The one that betrayed the ideas of the commune and of involvement of consciousness was a totally different person to the earlier Sheela.
2. Do you believe Osho used her, or was he working on her and getting something done that he wanted doing. Working on her and through her ?
Of course, Osho used all of us, as sannyasins, to work on ourselves and to serve the commune.
3) Do you have any insight into why Sheela had Osho’s room bugged around 1983/85?
She was resentful of Osho choosing to communicate with other members of the community. She want to control all aspects of his life and the commune.
4) Do you feel that Sheela was guilty of crimes as ordinarily understood.
Yes, her rational was it was for the better good of the commune. In reality it was to justify her actions. It was to cement her control - remove any impediment to her total domination of the community.
For example the poisoning of the Dalles - was in order to elect members of the community to the governing board of the county. This would have removed the hold on the community’s ability to issue building permits. This in its turn was brought about when she insisted on building the Hotel on land we had previously zoned for exclusive farm use. That action had caused the county and state to lift our ability to self rule. That further justified her planning and carrying out the burning of the county’s planing office where the proof of her actions were documented. This was of course very futile, as there were copies in numerous files resting in lawyer’s offices around the state.
the attempted murder of Amrito,(also Vevek)
She wanted through removing Amrito and Vivek to control Lao Tzu with her own people……
Can any of these crimes be put down to Osho’s promoting or instruction?
Not a chance.
5) Sheela had never had any executive position in ordinary life as we understand it, would it have helped if someone had been Secretary with previous experience of such organizational power?
6) Was Osho’s apparent Trust in Sheela a family thing? Osho’s father and Sheela’s father having
had apparently some fairly close connection in the past?
7) Do you feel like describing how it was to be Sheela’s husband, or was this just a perfunctory function? Do you consider her mental health as usually understood dipped badly from 1982 from your personal experience?
Long declining story. Worthy of comment which Niren documented via video which will be archived in Pune and perhaps in Oregon.
8) Do you have any insight over what happened with Sheela’s first husband?
He died in Pune in early 79. Later that year was when we got together. She was still grieving when I met her in November of 79.
9) Niren, Osho’s then lawyer during the Ranch period is gathering an archive of Sheela’s rise to power, and her years in power. Do you have any knowledge of where this will be lodged and can be accessed?
Certainly in Pune. Where else has not been decided.
10) Was the appointment of Sheela as Osho’s Secretary to replace Laxmi a sort of random happening based on Sheela’s ambition, or did Osho want to finish Laxmi’s tenure. She had seemed to do a good job up until her demise?
When Laxmi was unable to find land for an expansion of the commune in India he turned to Sheela and I. By spring of 80 he had turned over all Laxmi’s affairs to Sheela willingly, and with the belief the Sheela could be more helpful than Laxmi. (in America). He further kept Laxmi busy in India for as long as he could, until reluctantly she was invited to the Ranch. However he did not give her any work, but she was told to relax and enjoy meditation, and that it was not necessary to become involved in Commune affairs there.
11) Any Osho involvement in what happened?
During 1980,81,82 I often accompanied Sheela on her nightly visits to Osho. I sat in on many of these sessions. I heard about many of the sessions that I did not attend up to the end of the Ranch. In all this I never saw Osho’s hand or knowledge in what amounted to Sheela’s dirty tricks.
Her strident behaviour was related to, and known to Osho ,,, – but when she explained her actions and causes to Osho - she made it to appear that she was defending the community and sannyasins from threats coming from outside. When in reality it was her actions that too often were precipitating and magnifying the threats from the outside. When the outside world did not bow down to the demands and requests she was making, she would represent it to Osho as an attack on our community and or on sannyasins. Those who lived there and enjoyed the Ranch soon learned it was Sheela’s way, or the highway. The outside world never learned that lesson, and it turned out that we all had to hit the highway.
John “Jay” Shelfer