“Osho, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the Lost Truth” by Anthony Thompson.
Mr. Calder, according to his own information, became a disciple of Osho back in 1970`s during the time that Osho resided in the Woodlands apartments in Mumbai, then Bombay. He came to India in November 19 1970. Osho gave him the name of Sw. Krishna Christ “I was Rajneesh’s second Western sannyasin just behind Ma Yoga Prem. Check out a first addition copy of “The Silent Explosion.” I came up with the title and wrote the introduction. My sannyasin name was Swami Krishna Christ.” (Calder 2006). He did not particularly appreciate the name and he complained to Osho about it. Here is an excerpt from a letter from Osho to Sw Krishna Christ, in answer to his complaint about the name, reproduced from “A Cup of Tea” (letter 327):
The ego is the seriousness, the disease, and the tao, the egoless existence,is the bliss, the ecstasy. That is why I have given you a name so absurd! But I have given it to you knowingly. I have given it to you so that you may never be identified with it.The name is so absurd that you will have to remain nameless and nobody behind it, and the name is such that not only others but you yourself will be able to laugh at it. Swami Krishna Christ!
His name then was Walter Pfuetze. In 1971 his adopted father took a group of students to Woodlands Building in Bombay and met Achayra Rajneesh face to face. That is why his name was listed in early books as Swami Krishna Christ, aka “Walter Pfuetze.” He changed his name in 1976 to Christopher Calder because he did not like German names. Besides he was British and was interested in the artist Alexander Calder. Somewhere along the way he got disillusioned and disappointed with Osho and wrote fiery articles against him
I am not a disciple and I do not consider Osho my Master, but I cannot hide my admiration for the old man. I think his contribution to expanding human awareness has no parallel in human history. There have been other masters, but no one has been so effective in reaching so many people during his lifetime as Osho did. Also, his insistence on laughter, enjoying life and humour as religious qualities makes him stand alone in the world of mystics. Finally, he helped to liberate, sexually and from social conditioning vast numbers of spiritual seekers that would have, otherwise, ended up ranking with some ascetic, repressive guru, and thus contributing with more repression and self-torture to this world.
Mr. Calder quotes Osho on many occasions. The way he does this is malicious and clearly his intention is not that of an expert detached observer, but that of a resentful lover. His intention is to create an image of Osho that becomes a pass way for his own feelings of anger and hurt. To be hurt or angry is Mr. Calder’s prerogative. However, to twist facts, quotes and ideas to spread the understanding that we are facing an evil character is just a manipulative and indirect way of giving an outlet to his own personal vendetta.
In my understanding it is utterly nonsense to pick up a few statements from Osho’s more than 8500 hours of talks and evaluate him based on that. I can’t believe that a person like Calder, who claims to know him since ages, can do it. And a funny thing is, Osho himself never denied being contradictory, on the contrary he glorified it. So, to this day to take a quote from Osho means nothing in itself. You can get the man to advise you on gardening, wallpapers or sex. Out of a whole chapter referencing a quote means nothing. Calder quotes (without a direct book or chapter reference) that Osho loved Hitler. I have searched the entire library of his talks and that quote is nowhere to be found. Supposedly he took this quote from the discourses “I am the gate”. And certainly Mr. Calder appears as one of the Editors of the first edition. No where he said “I loved Hitler”. What he says is something that is of public domain, and that is that Hitler had an alliance with Tibetan esoteric groups. In fact the Tibetans supported the third Reich. Where do we think “the swastika” came from? It is an old esoteric symbol used both by Jains and Tibetans. The Nazis just turned it around.
The only thing that I have found is an interview in Der Spiegel. I have seen the video (The Last Testament, july 19, 1985), and Osho says to both journalists, Erick Widdeman and Reiner Weber, when he is asked about Hitler “I love the Man. He was Crazy”, jokingly to see their reactions. To what both German journalists look shocked. Later he adds that “he considers the man to be completely immoral and a murderer”, and he compares him with Mahatma Gandhi. Not to speak positive about Hitler, but to show how immoral Mahatma Gandhi was, in his view, for being against technology in a poor country like India and preaching celibacy and self-torture. Now, the article in Der Spiegel, edited of course, shows Osho comparing Hitler and Gandhi as saying both were great men. “Hitler was like Gandhi” can be read as the article heading. That is the way how things get distorted by the yellow press.
I have found some other Osho quotes about Hitler and Gandhi and his arguments about it. “Just think: if Adolph Hitler had been a cripple or had amoebas or was continuously getting hepatitis, the world would have been saved. In fact, Adolph Hitler was against smoking, against alcohol. He was a pure vegetarian like Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, both men have many things in common. Both believed in going early to bed and both believed in getting up early in the morning. Both believed that vegetarian food is great. Both believed that smoking is bad, alcohol is bad. Both were great saints! Both were equally dangerous and psychopathic. The only difference was that Mahatma Gandhi had the Jaina characteristic very much developed in him — he was only ten percent Hindu, ninety percent Jaina — so he tortured himself. Adolph Hitler had the Mohammedan characteristic developed in him: he tortured others, he didn’t torture himself. But both tortured. Whom they tortured is not of that much significance. They both were enjoying torture. … “(1980, Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing)
To torture oneself or to torture others, both are diseases — the very idea to torture. Somebody is an Adolph Hitler, he tortures others; somebody is a Mahatma Gandhi, he tortures himself. Both are in the same boat — maybe standing back to back, but standing in the same boat. Adolph Hitler’s joy is in torturing others, Mahatma Gandhi’s joy is in torturing himself, but both are violent. The logic is the same — their joy depends on torture. Their direction is different, but the direction is not the question, their mind has the same attitude: torture. You respect a person who tortures himself because you don’t understand the logic of it. Adolph Hitler is condemned all over the world and Gandhi is worshipped all over the world, and I am simply puzzled. How is it possible? — because the logic is the same. (1977, Tao: The Pathless Path)
In addition, there are of course innumerable times where Osho describes Hitler as a pygmy, as occupying the lowest rank a human being can sink to, etc.. Misquoting Osho, or quoting him out of context, is one of the favourite and most despicable pastimes of Mr. Calder.
A quote of two lines means nothing out of a context nowadays. As an example: Osho said “esoteric means bullshit” from the talks “From Bondage to Freedom” in 1985. And “everything that is valuable is esoteric” from the talks “Beyond psychology” in 1986. Osho himself once said “You need not agree with what I say; you can only agree with me directly. There is no need to come through what I say. I say a thousand and one things and I contradict myself everyday. If you start agreeing with me you will go mad! You can’t agree; nobody can’t agree with a what I say. You can only agree with a few points but those will not be all that I say. Contradiction is my method. I go on shattering. I go on shocking, offending people; that is my method, to shatter people’s beliefs” (Osho, 1980, The Open Secret).
Therefore, I think Osho’s words need to be taken not as a comprehensive philosophy, but rather as a seductive invitation to self-explore and understand the nature of mind, body, emotions, and the role of meditation in this search. Besides, the discourses were given many times as responses to individuals, and in several occasions he was answering not only the question but the questioner himself/herself. I can remember his speaking against the women’s lib movement to a radical feminist and then saying the exact opposite to a male chauvinist south American. Or talking about god to an atheist and then saying it was a lie to a catholic priest. (“The Ultimate Risk”, 1980 by Satya Bharti)
The “Cult” Story
Mr. Calder speaks of the sannyas movement referring to it as a “cult”. I do not agree with his statements of Osho´s movement being a cult. This is why: Some of the pre-requisites to have a cult is to have a systematic body or set of beliefs – a complete belief system that explains everything in terms of itself. As Mr. Calder’s knows, and has consistently argued, Osho contradicted himself a lot. It is practically impossible to create a cult out of his words. The only consistent idea in his talks is that of awareness and meditation. The rest is simply not systematic enough to do anything with it. If you are going to join a sect, you need to have something to believe…some promise of paradise or future enlightenment. You don’t join a sect that tells you that “you are already a Buddha, enlightened” (from “The heart sutra”) and that you just “need to come back home. However you are, you are beautiful the way you are” (from “The Goose is Out”).
My understanding is that Osho´s work was mainly deprogramming people against their self-constructed ideas about love, spirituality, growth, relationships, etc. In fact if you want you can find statements where he speaks of karma and reincarnation and then another statement where he says there is no soul, no reincarnation (see “Reincarnation a Misconception” discourse given in 1989) , and that karma is just a way of social control. He speaks of god and then says there is no such a thing and it is just a” teddy bear” for fearful people.
Second, you need rituals that people, old and new, can join to. And nowadays there is nothing like that. Even the celebration of his death and birthday, and his pictures, or the “sannyas giving” have been removed as official celebrations in the Osho resort in India. Anyone can go there and verify and see if there is any “blind cult” happening.
Third, a cult does not admit dissent, and Mr. Calder and I have been writing and discussing on a sannyas owned website quotes he took from Swami Anand Parmartha´s (Editor/Sannyasnews) article. There are also discussions criticizing Osho on sannyas websites. Sannyasins tend to be variously free, open minded, closed, fanatics, or careless… as any human being can be. But there is no official enforced dogma on believing or agreeing on anything. The proof of this is that sannyasins are the single group of spiritual seekers that you can find practically at the feet of any master, or new therapy or mind expanding method. You can see them in shamanism, ayurveda, Kalindi´s, Diamond logos, work, etc, etc, in addition to their ranking with different therapeutic schools.
Fourth, you need someone to believe in, some saviour, and Osho himself advised his disciples not to believe in him unless it was their direct experience. And repeatedly he told his disciples he was “no saviour or prophet or only begotten son of god, just an ordinary human being, like you” (Osho 1985, Interviews with the Press). Or “a Master is not someone who has achieved anything. a Master is someone who has discovered that there is nothing to Achieve”(Dying for enlightenment, 1979, By Bernard Gunther)
My research shows that Osho was no ” Deepak Chopra”. The man was a rebellious iconoclast who did and said what he thought was his truth. He demolished the Catholic Church, Islam and any form of organized religion; he spoke against mother Theresa, Gandhi (precisely for being against technology, which Osho strongly advocated, not as Mr. Calder’s affirmation in his article).
Osho, was a man who saw no use for rituals, discipline and all the self-torture that is going on in the name of renunciation or spirituality. The development of self-awareness was his flag. Moreover, he spoke against Indian traditions. Reason enough for the attempted murder against him in early eighties in Poona, by a fanatical Hindu during a public talk.
He thought of the meeting of east and west, of materialism and spirituality. “Zorba the Buddha”, he called his “new man”. And certainly he did not live the life of an ascetic. But beyond all, he helped his disciples and friends to be independent and rebellious individuals.
Mr. Calder’s Sources
Most of his sources, as I said before, were the books written by two angry ex-disciples Sw. Shivamurti (Hugh Milne) and Ma Satya Bharti. I have personally interviewed some people mentioned in Milne’s Book and they have reassured me that many stories of his book are complete fabrications, like the story of the mango uses in tantra groups and the fact that he was Osho´s personal bodyguard. Milne was not Osho´s personal bodyguard. He was Laxmi´s. (Osho´s secretary at the time). Osho´s bodyguard was Sw. Vimalkirti. Milne was just guarding the Darshan sessions when Osho spoke to his disciples. He was the ashram osteopath, and had somehow a special position in Poona one, which was not where he found himself later in The Ranch in Oregon. He had to drive a bulldozer and obey the orders of Ma Anand Sheela, Osho´s new Secretary. He was the one who reported to have seen Osho inhaling Nitous Oxide in his house. He failed to see that that was the anesthetic being used in a dental session and not the recreational endeavor of the master. Actually, Hugh Milne´s book should have been called “The Secretary who failed”, because all the problems reported in the book were with Sheela not Osho.It is interesting to note that Hugh Milne (sw. Shivamurti) had psychiatric problems. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, and ended up consulting witches and trying to kill himself. (Milne 1986)This is Mr. Calder´s source, and key witness, together with the introduction to one of the books that Osho dictated from the dental sessions and under the effect of this anesthetic.
When I confronted Mr Calder with the quotes from Devageet, he just wrote that “Devageet was a crazy man” and so was I. Therefore my disagreeing with his second-hand information made me into a “fanatic cult follower”. The other source of information is the Book “The Promise of Paradise” by Satya Bharti Franklin. He was an early disciple who wrote two previous celebratory books about the life in the ashram and his experiences with Osho. In this book, he speaks about the rumours of Osho touching, or having sex with his disciples early in Bombay. That is where Mr. Calder, together with Milne´s stories constructed the idea that “ ( He ) stated that he made love to his young female disciples because it would ensure their enlightenment in a future life” (Calder 2007).This is sheer invention. Mr. Calder is not a witness to this account. Unless, of course, he was holding the camera while the master spoke this words and had sex in the privacy of his bedroom. I strongly doubt Mr. Calder was invited as a voyeur to such sessions.
I do not think that Osho was celibate, moreover he admitted not to be so, but still I have not find one single disciple to testify to have had sex with the man. I have however found accounts of people who heard other people saying they had sex with him and I have no reason to doubt that. Again, he did not preach celibacy. In fact he considered it a disease. A quote of Osho himself speaking about his sex-life. It is in The Last Testament, Vol. 1, 22 July 1985 pm in Jesus Grove, and goes like this: Q: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CELIBATE? A: Right now I am celibate, but if my health gets better I am not going to be celibate. I have never been celibate. I do not do anything against nature. Right now I am celibate not because celibacy has any value, but just because I am sick. I don’t have any energy to make love to a woman and do all the gymnastics, no. I have enough energy to talk to my people, to talk to you. If I get healthy again, I promise you, I will not be celibate.
The Sheela Story
Both Milne and Bharti had serious conflicts with Sheela´s fascist style in the Commune in USA. They both assumed that Osho was behind her actions. In fact she usually said that the “order comes from the chief” to convince someone to do something they felt their consciousness would not allow. So people thought it was a “devise” from the master. Now, Osho and his personal staff have clarified that many “orders” did not only not come from Him, but were deliberate moves on Sheela´s part to expand her power to areas where it was weak, such as the inner circle of the personal staff around Osho.This area that was not under her command in the commune. In fact the attempted murder of Osho´s doctor was a move in this direction.Many people were expelled from the commune in Oregon and big international and prosperus communes like Medina in England and Sushila´s in Autralia, were closed down because they were too successful and independent from Sheela ´s regime. Osho knew nothing about it (we must remember he was not speaking in public or having personal contact with his disciples) and to all of them it was said that it was Osho´s order.Sheela´s fascist style developed over time as a response to the intense antagonism that the commune created around them . There were 17 state agencies trying to get them out of there; the sign announcing the nearby commune was used as shooting target by the local resident of the area; the hotel they bought in Portland was bombed, and even there is convincing evidence that the CIA hired someone to kill Osho. All this has been documented in the books “Passage to America” by Max Brecher and, “The way of the heart” By Judith Thompson, and “Rajneesh garden”, by Dell Murphy. Also, it can be checked in Juliette Forman´s account of the time and Ms Appletton´s Book. I do not justify Sheela´s behaviour and I think she was criminally minded. But it certainly creates a context to view what these guys were facing. For a complete story of Osho´s commune see: http://www.ashe-prem.org/two/davisson.shtml
Also, in his article, Mr. Calder joins, or at least holds morally responsible, Osho´s arrest and deportation from USA with Sheela´s crimes. What he fails to see is that all those crimes, the salmonella poisoning, the intent of murder of Osho´s doctor, Devaraj, and the plot against the attorney general, the bugging of the commune, including Osho´s own room, were crimes committed by Sheela and her associates. These crimes were exposed by Osho, and it was him who invited the FBI to investigate them in his own commune. This ultimately lead to the capture of Sheela and her friends in Germany. If he had kept silent, no one would have ever guessed or known about them. We should know that the salmonella poisoning in The Dalles was attributed to “improper food handling” by the authorities. Now this is referred to by the media as “The only American case of Bio-terrorism”. We could argue that Osho had a poor eye for choosing his secretary or that she changed over time, or that he should have been more involved in controlling what she did in his name, but we can not accuse him of crimes that include him as a victim, such as the wire-tapping of his own room. To think of Osho as omniscient or infallible is nothing but a god-like father projection. He was a human being. Wise, awake, but a human being. He himself said when a journalist asked him “if he was enlightened, how he did not know about theses crimes?”. His answer was “enlightenment means I know myself. It does not mean that I know that my room is being bugged” (Osho, Interviews with the press, 1985)
Osho´s factual “criminal” records As far as criminal records is concerned, Osho´s criminal records (as Mr. Calder mentioned to me) and reasons for his deportation are just two charges of immigration fraud. He was accused, First, of arranging sham marriages. And second, of lying on the tourist visa application, in the sense that he stated he did not intend to stay in the States and later he tried to stay.
It is just not possible for Osho to have arranged any marriage due to the fact that he did not see any disciples in private. Marriages were certainly arranged to allow foreign sannyasins to live in the commune. But these are the sole responsibility of the people involved. To hold Osho responsible for this is just stupid. it is like charging the Pope for any Catholic staying illegally in Rome. n relation to the second charge,according to his attorney, Niren, and the research he did, no one in the whole history of the United States has been even prosecuted for such an “offence” and, what to say about the half a million dollar fine that he was forced to pay for his release. To come to the US on a touirist visa with the “hidden intention” of eventually applying for a permanent one is not a ” crime” that anyone, ever, has been charged with.
The attorney general said when he was asked why Osho was not accused of the same crimes as Sheela that “I did not have any proof whatsoever linking Rajneesh to Sheela´s crimes.” And “all we wanted was to dismantle the commune”. And he forgot to add that the complaint that lead to Sheela ´s arrest was filed by Osho himself.
(This is a shortened version of a longer article which appears at http://beyond-truth.blogspot.com/2008/02/lost-case.html)