Retiring Oregon Judge speaks

Judge shares bench secrets

Rajneesh era was most intriguing time on the bench

Sannyasnews often feels a cloak of respectability, forgetfulness and twisted logic hangs over the Ranch experiment. This short memoir from an Oregon retiring Judge helps to keep perspective firmly based in the mess we got into in those days, and that can only be really healed by accepting it and learning the lessons and not finding excuses.

Wasco County Circuit Judge John Kelly reflected.

“It is our job, as judges, not to influence what the jurors do. And that is why 25-40 percent of judges spend time with their hand over their mouth or part of their face so that they can avoid showing any emotion.” Kelly said thinking back on the 25 years spent overseeing trials that ranged from murder to custody disputes.

He remembers the 1984 attack on The Dalles town by a small but leading number of Osho’s so called disciples as the most interesting time of his years in the elected office. In 1981, the Rajneesh organisation had set up headquarters at the Big Muddy Ranch in south Wasco County, which was renamed Rajneeshpuram and inhabited by about 7,000 people.

Some unneeded acrimony quickly developed between a few of the leading disciples and the local authorities over the use of agricultural land for urban purposes.. They got very frustrated because they wanted to build more housing, etc but had had to stop due to legalities.

In the wave of that frustration they attempted a mad scheme to fix the democratic process through incapacitating voters in the Dalles on the day of the election. ( Someone called Ma Anand Sheela had decided that the best way to change the land use rules in their favor was to gain control of two county commission seats in an upcoming election.)

To succeed in incapacitating local voters, they sprayed salmonella into salad bars at 10 restaurants in The Dalles, sickening 710 individuals, with 45 of these patients hospitalized. No one died during the attacks but later two leading Rajneeshpuram officials ended up serving time in prison for these crimes.

“That was a hugely fascinating time in our history,” said Kelly, a native of The Dalles town.

He recounted that he had been in office only two months before being faced with a lawsuit to seize the assets of the Rajneesh organisation to pay for the judgments against them. He was spared ruling on the issue when the Oregon Attorney General intervened and determined that the assets could not be transferred.

“It was intimidating, but when you get to do something that big, it’s just fun,” said Kelly who retires shortly.

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53 Responses to Retiring Oregon Judge speaks

  1. Heraclitus says:

    Yeah, loads of sophistry around to explain that time. Like it was just a trick of Osho to give us a taste of tyranny. Bullshit. The old man fell asleep on the Ranch until late 1984, and all those “educated” sannyasins became simple minded trapped in the propaganda of “surrender”. It’s a difficult issue to explain with those attracted energetically to Osho in all the years since…
    One thought is that education never protects against tyranny… Look at Nazi Germany. Some of those Nazis loved literature and music… but then went about their work in murdering those like the Jews who had given so much to those disciplines.
    Good luck to Sannyas News in taking on the hackers!

  2. anugrah says:

    john kelly is not someone who you can turst .
    Falling of Rajneeshpuram was fun for him. He made lots of money those days with it and enjoyed all the power games he could play those days
    What good is that , can any one tell me ?

    he is just one of those americans who harmed osho and sannyasins those days

    he is sharing bench secrets when everything is gone. it is too late john kelly.
    do not waste my and yours valueable time.

  3. prem bubbie says:

    “… inhabited by about 7,000.” Not true Sannays News…please, in 1981, maybe a couple of dozen people lived there all in tents, at the maximum, some 4-5,000 people and only during celebration times, summer celebration to be more specific. On average, 1,000 maybe 2,000 people at the height of the townhouse building craze late 1983-84, before the court order to freeze all home building took effect. I was there, I know and was told many times the number of sannyasins during the festivals and after. The “residents”, those counted as actual citizens, wore brass beads and some had small brown beads. the rest were temps, or on the “RHT” program(Rajneesh Humanity Trust)…there there to help in the labor, daily chores, etc. and the fortunate few, those who just visited for the therapy groups, stayed in the Hotel or maybe an “A”- frame. Parmartha: please don’t over-exaggerate,overall, the number of sannyasins who were U.S. citizens were not that many, maybe a few thousand… nice to make a point… but tell it like it is.

  4. prem bubbie says:

    Anugrah is off the deep end -again… the judge “is not someone you can turst”. the rest of your opinion is based on thin air.. the man didn’t take office under ’85, that’s when these lawsuits to freeze assets were filed… It’s simple to deduct that he didn’t participate in many of the anti-ranch lawsuits. “He made lots of money…” again, where is your proof? out of thin air again… ” “Harmed osho…. ” Again, allegations, no basis in fact, just propaganda spun out to deflect criticism and away from finding out the truth….. Hot Air blown around by so many retarded sannyasins- now that’s an oxymoron!! so much hot air, never mind CO2 causing global warming just stupid, gossiping, idiotic sannyasins are the real cause of it. Anugrah, you would make josef goebels proud.

  5. prem bubbie says:

    Heraclitus- right on! for a moment, I could swear that your name was “Hairy clitus”…. wrong person… sorry.

  6. Lokesh says:

    Another year rolls in and SN rolls on.
    When reading Anugrah’s comment I was struck by its utter stupidity. If Shantam is the king of nonsense surely Anugrah is the crown prince of absurdity. What a dope!

  7. anugrah says:

    Retairing Oregaon judge or retarted oregaon judge

  8. Satya Deva says:

    he is just one of those americans who harmed osho and sannyasins those days

    Just the sort of biased, propagandist view that needs to be thoroughly undermined if anything is to be learned from that period.

    I’m afraid those, like Anugrah here, who insist upon wearing their orange-tinted specs are the enemies of truth.

  9. Lokesh says:

    Anugrah does not have orange-tinted specs he has dustbin lids…..oh yeah….and a badly dented helmet.

  10. shantam says:

    Heraclitus, your comment make sense. Many wise people have Pointing towards an absurd truth that “Education” cannot change something in people´s response.
    Few have thought, let us add a daily dose of Meditation with Education and may be it can bring better human beings out..

    Objectively speaking this has also proved not to the mark. Sannyas community is a living example.

    because of this…few are again thinking..Education and meditation too has limited effect, A Living Master, some kind of life couch is also needed..

    and we are back into the catch 22 situation.
    Surrunder even it is for a day or two, to some Avatara, some Sri Sri Bhagwan, Some John, some Andrew Cohan, some Meera..

  11. shantam says:

    Surely, Rise and fall of Rajneeshpuramit was an interessting period for the county judge-
    “He remembers the 1984 attack on The Dalles town by a small but leading number of Osho’s so called disciples as the most interesting time of his years in the elected office.”

    And that is IT !!

  12. Lokesh says:

    Surrender, meditation, devotion, love….give the process that gets you there whatever name you want, but what really matters is the persistance with which you return again and again to yourself. All else is just skimming the surface.

  13. shantam says:

    Just to blame Americans for the fall of rajneeshpuram is prejudiced. Something in the line, for all the problems of Pakistan, blmae India or America.
    When Pakis do that it is understandable..

    And when one looks at Osho´s movement NOW, i think it was a very good thing, rajneeshpuram failed.
    It must be a divine intervention.

    The community which cannot run 24 acres of real estate in cooperation with all the nuts and bolts chosen by Osho..can not claim the right of city or state admistration.

    Mouses of the scientist are the proof…

  14. shantam says:

    Lokesh, in one paragrpah you have phrased beautifully the universal truth. something similar has been repeated again and again during the last few thousand years in India.. including 2500 years of Vipassana…

    To inject this process of coming back to oneself, Osho had devised His Mystery School, His ashram was one of its kind to give the taste to the people of industrial world on an industrail level..

    Some how..the collective sannyas memory does not want to accept this…

  15. anugrah says:

    Rajneeshpuram failed because of our sannyasins greed and also because of local residence in portland who were not able to understand this unique experiment osho was trying to do.
    Regan adminstration was watching and monitaring the whole game long time and finally came in and distroy and sheela and her gang choosen to run away with millions of dollers and poor sannyasins who were living and working in ranch just out of love for osho were given 50 dollers or 100 dollers in the end to start new life in the world
    sheela , her gang and regan adminstration , all are responisble

  16. Shahriar says:

    I disagree. Yes there was opposition to Osho’s work but then individuals have been resistant to many new ideas which challenges their beliefs. Oposition to Osho was no different than oppostion to Ayn Rand, yes some people called the movement a cult and Osho and Ayn Rand cult leaders but it was not taken to the point where individual rights was violated.

    Also as far as Ronald Reagan, he was a religious conservative so he would have been opposed to Osho and his movement but I do not believe that he took it to the point of violating the individual rights of Osho or his sannyasins. I don’t believe that Osho was poisoned, he was simply kicked out because of crimes he commited. These conspiracy theories are bizzare.

    I think that Osho would have been more successful if he had not managed to get himself kicked out of America. I also think that had he been able to prevent Sheela and her gang that would have done much to improve the image of Rajneeshees in the eyes of Oregonians. Also if he had managed to die and be buried in America I think that his influence in the culture would have increased since it would have been difficult to ignore his ideas and his innovations in the field of philosophy for long. I don’t believe that there is anything like mystical enlightenment but for those who do believe in such a thing it simply goes to show that enlightened persons are fallible and that they do make mistakes.

  17. Lokesh says:

    Anugrah, you need to educate yourself. Your ideas are ill-formed and a bit childish. Try sitting silently for a few months and then the age of clarity might begin to dawn in your life.
    It is up to you. If you continue on your present path people will continue to laugh at you or simply raise their eyes to the sky and wonder how anyone could be so self-righteous while remaining so stupid.

  18. Lokesh says:

    Shantam, you say, ‘Some how..the collective sannyas memory does not want to accept this…’
    This unacceptance is universal and not limited to the sannyasin world. What people will not accept is that there is life beyond attachment to mind. There is nothing mysterious about that. People live through a false image they carry of themselves. Fear stops them from moving beyond their limited ego self because from the outside it looks like death.

  19. shantam says:

    That enlightened persons are fallible and that they do make mistakes. (Shahriar)

    I think this is the Zest of a contemporary spirituality..Bringing enlightenment in the realm of ground reality.
    May be unadulterated silence is pure divine, but the moment an enterprising starts our of it, all other possibilities of other human feelings enter into…may be not as strong as it is in the case of businessman or politicians. I think it is almost impossible to accept for the religious followers that their founder was a human being too…and was enjoying thoroughly the power over the other people.
    What to say about two main religions, even Buddha who was rejecting the idea of almost Reverend as God..and that too, in the form of a statue..

    Osho made a concentrated effort to reach over the people and make them sit at His feet. definately, motive was full with compassion and wisdom but it will be unture to say, he did not enjoy the fruits of His labour, similar one can say about Punja Ji, who almost got the attention as a bank dividend during the last few years of his ripe old age.

  20. shantam says:

    That enlightened persons are fallible and that they do make mistakes.

    Shahriar, when you can say about enlighent persons, i hope you will not forget that you, me and all of us has even thousand times more chance to commit mistakes and miscalculations…

    Just because some one reads Osho books and can write a wonderful thesis out of it, does not make him/her wiser than Bible or simllar books readers.

  21. Shahriar says:

    While I do not believe that consciousness is a by-product of matter I do not believe in the striving to achieve no-mind and am opposed to it as well as the striving to become egoless which I am also opposed to. I advocate for reason, egoism and the mind.

    As far as Osho, his achievements and his innovations are concerned I believe that his achievement and innovations are the product of the mind and reason and not the product of mystical revelation or enlightenment.

  22. Alok john says:

    There is almost 140 pages about the ranch experiment in ‘Cities on a Hill’ by Frances FitzGerald. Depressing but good reading. On the whole I agree with anugrah’s post of Jan 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm, though it could not have happened without a lot of ordinary sannyasins turning a blind eye to wrongdoing.

  23. Shahriar says:

    Actually Shantam, I would argue that it does. A person who reads Osho whose ideas are up-to-date and relevant to the modern world is certainly wiser than a person who reads and believes in the outdated and obsolete ideas which are in the bible. The ideas a person holds determines whether that person is a camel or a lion. And all human progress happens through those in whom the flame of intelligence and rebelliousness burns bright.

  24. shantam says:

    Alok John, have the sannyasins learnt from that.
    Do they still not keep the blind eye to the wrong doings?
    Not to engage oneself but remain aloof and indifferent is also one of the ways to remain blind….

  25. shantam says:

    Shahriar, Camel or lion is checked when the strong opposition force confront us..
    Right hand on the mouse, and left in the middle of the legs..everybody is a perfect lover..Always in control over the body mind soul..

    As i understand, if “Parvachanas”(Discourses) were all, there was no need of 108 meditation techniques, if 108 meditation techniques were all, there was no need of a Master, if Master is all..there was no need to create commune..

    and wonder is..still much remains open..

  26. Lokesh says:

    Shahriar, you believe this and that, and on the other hand you will doubt this or that. Either way it is a case of gathering information. Positive goes in the ‘I believe’ box, negative in the ‘I doubt’ box.
    Bottom line is that what you belive or doubt is manufactured my your mental process and you are using the same mental process to judge the validity about the state of a person’s state of consciousness….it does not work like that.

  27. Lokesh says:

    Shahriar to say that you are opposed to the egoless state. Well of course ‘you’ are. That is the whole point. You are stumbling around in the dark, man.

  28. ashik says:

    oh dear me
    25 years later these guys with their conspiracy theories still don’t get it
    For every action there is can equal and opposite re-action.
    If you watch Osho let the people around him and allowed it to develop into stupid childishness & possible insanity( my opinions).
    Does anyone expect love and rewards from a capitalist state for being anarchic?

    Apologies to everyone for being still around

  29. Shahriar says:

    The ideas I hold on to and the ideas which I doubt are the product of the mind certainly, and it is through reason that a person should verify the validity or invalidity of a certain idea. That is exactly how it works. The mind, reason is the source of all innovation and it is through reason and the mind that we know the truth.

  30. Lokesh says:

    Shariar, you say: it is through reason and the mind that we know the truth.
    Well, seeing as how you are being very reasonable and using the mind a lot (some might say being used by the mind) perhaps you’ll be so kind as to tell me what you think the truth is.

  31. Shahriar says:

    I would like to post a piece from the Isa Upanishad which Osho commented on in his book I am That:

    Into a blinding darkness go they who worship action alone.
    Into an even greater darkness go they who who worhsip meditation.
    For it is other than meditation,
    It is other than action.
    This we have heard from the enlightened ones.
    Meditation and Action –
    He who knows these two together,
    through action leaves death behind and
    through meditation gains immortality.

    This and Osho’s discourse on the Isa Upanishad are relevant here in my opinion.

    And I don’t think being an egoist is to be lost in darkness although I do think that a person who cannot see the spiritual in existence, however intelligent they may be like Ayn Rand or Charvaka is blind. I think to reject the existence of the spiritual is an evasion of reality. Although I do think that Ayn Rand and Charvakas philosophies are important and relevant because without reason to be our guide we would be lost in the darkness of meditation which is evident in the monks and ascetics whether buddhist, jain or christian. I think the right spirituality is the one that has been able to absorb Ayn Rands and Charvakas philosophy into them. A philosophy which rejects any division or conflict between body and soul, matter and spirit. (although there is a conflict between reason and faith.)

  32. Shahriar says:

    I think that truth has its foundations in a number of axioms and postulates, the three axioms of philosophy and the three postulates of science. I would also say that the concept of truth contains for me the spiritual.

    The three axioms of philosophy being that of existence, consciousness and identity. Existence exists, you are aware that existence exists and that to be is to be something that is to possess an identity. The third axiom is often expressed as A is A.

    The three postulates of science being that the external world actually is, that nature is uniform, and that there are things in the mind which stand for things and events in the external world. The first of course rejects the idea that the world is an illusion or that it is a creation of the mind as some philosophers believe. The second postulate means that things are related to one another through cause and effect and that nothing happens without a cause, whether the cause is known or unknown it exists. The third postulate means that should we ever accumulate completely a symbol for all objects and events then that would constitute the entire physical world. A corollary of this third postulate is that there is nothing unknowable in existence and that which is not known and cannot be known cannot be said to exist.

    You will see some overlap between the three axioms of philosophy and the three postulates of science. You will also see an overlap between these axioms and postulates and the trinity of the Christians.

    Of course there is also the spiritual which Osho expounds on in his discourses and talks.

    These for me constitute truth.

  33. Shahriar says:

    I don’t think that I am being used by the mind, the mind and reason are by their very nature tools and they cannot be other than tools. You can use them but they can’t use you.

  34. Lokesh says:

    Aw, Shahriar,….’You can use them but they can’t use you’….how mistaken you are.

  35. shantam says:

    Shahriar, when i read your posts, i try to imagine hundred thousands others, who have got the KICK because of Osho´s discourses..

    without doubt, through the sheer power of Words, Osho has created the best drug to push start the subjective mind..
    Through the verbal beauty of His words, one gets the experience of traveling without travelling, so beautifully he has described the mystery of underground worlds, that reader or listener his trasnported into that realm…

    As i have seen, many times such paper tigers make their pants wet..once the real life inner challenge descends..or few simply open the travel company..on the basis of Osho´s words..

  36. Chinmaya says:

    You can betray me; there are people who have done that. You can do any kind of harm imaginable — and people have done that. You can go against me, you can tell lies about me; still I will not be disenchanted, because in the first place I have never expected anything from you.
    I DON’T HAVE ANY EXPECTATION, ANY HOPE — I am just so blissful that I cannot contain it; I want to share it unconditionally. It is the conditions which create disappointment.
    I have worked with people for years and they have repaid me very well. I TRUST YOU BECAUSE I CANNOT DISTRUST; so there is no burden on you — you can betray me, but you cannot hurt me. I have trusted you, not because of you, but because of me. And I am still there, the same.
    To trust a person is possible in two ways: either because of his trustworthiness — then there is danger, there is risk — or because you enjoy trusting. The trustworthiness or unworthiness have no relevance.
    Who am I to bother about all this? One day I was not here — the society was there, man was there, existence was there…. One day I will not be here, so just for a few days in between…. And existence has not given me any job that has to be done. Why should I be serious? I am simply playful.
    I love to play; I played well. And people were good; as long as they could continue to be with me, they managed and continued — in difficulties, in troubles. When they found it was too much, they went on their own.”

  37. Alok john says:

    Ashik wrote :
    “If you watch Osho let the people around him and allowed it to develop into stupid childishness & possible insanity( my opinions).”

    Yes, but perhaps that is all the people around him were capable of. He had to “work” to raise the low consciousness of many of the people whom he attracted.

  38. Lokesh says:

    And still is, going by some of the idiotic comments being posted on here.

  39. prem bubbie says:

    Ashik: from what i personally experienced at the ranch and from speaking to those who were close to osho and sheela, and from those posting here over the last year who were insiders, I disagree with you…. being naive is okay for the search of one’s true nature but living on a day to day level(play, work, etc) with individuals who are more than a little screwy in the head(almost all sannyasins) is another story. Humans are predatory animals, it’s what we came packaged with, sure we have some specks of other “higher” qualities, but that’s it… If you have /had your eyes open all through your life, you might have learned a thing or two about life on earth and Nature itself…. There is validity to “conspiracy theories”… it’s closer to the truth than most theories floated. Your apology is accepted for still being around… now go back into your closet and don’t forget to bring your eye blinders.

  40. prem bubbie says:

    Shah-riar: you are seeking to be full of ego -aye? then you’ve come to the wrong place…. Do you have trouble translating osho’s lectures into Farsi? As you read, how does all of osho’s advice get turned into spaghetti in your brain? You indeed have a warped sense of reality… mass killings, egoism , the mind…. you seem to think all of that is the best of humanity….something to strive for… didn’t Hitler feel the same, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Julius Caesar, Alexander? they were all madmen, and there were many, many more that historians didn’t bother to mention… Yes, Shah-riar, you are an insane man…. hopefully mother nature will provide a remedy and spare the rest of us any future grief…. doubtful, for she too, is insane.

  41. shantam says:

    Lokesh, you almost write like a fifteen years old boy/girl, who feels nerved by the younger siblings, if not one or two but many.

    May be it will help you to remember between Osho and his army of siblings, some time there is a age gap of 25, 26 years on a physical level.
    The second sucessful one in the family firm of enlightenment is around 23 years younger than Osho..

    Just imagine th etimes, when young rebellious Rajneesh enters the parents house, many times it must be stinking with children´s pee pee and more…and also there were no Pampers at that time…
    Think about the pateince..and the same patience was shown in the formation of commune, with the idea…in the chain of evolution, people few steps ahead can help the others behind…

  42. prem bubbie says:

    All of these things being said about the ranch and osho had to deal with insane people. yes, but many were trained insane people, with degrees in psychology, psychiatry, sociology, engineers, architects; in fact, a very high percentage had post college degrees… so all of these insane people took a lot of time to get trained in the “higher reasoning” arts and sciences…. lot’s of schizophrenics were running around the ranch… things have gotten worse i’m afraid.

  43. prem bubbie says:

    ashik- “does anyone expect love and rewards from a capitalistic state…” yes, only if you’re christian based, especially in this country…If osho had either, stayed low key and hired a low key manager to run things, much like the Maharishi yogi and his place in Iowa), or if osho just waved the Christian flag and spoke lovingly about Christ, he would have just about gotten away with anything…. Anyone remember the Moonies? Rev. Sun- Yung Moon and his rose peddlers during the 1970′s? He has been in tight with the Washington politicians for about 20 years now, he owns a big newspaper in Washington, and has many right wing nut jobs working for him.. He was smart, that is if you’re interested in power and wealth, lot’s of schmoozing and bribes, he greased the right pockets… he holds mass weddings, mostly to get green cards for his Koreans friends , and gets away with it… now, look at osho, why was he deported? Immigration, sham marriages. I guess it wasn’t his style to have his disciples sell roses on a street corner, just selling dope and their bodies instead, and that big mouth of his along with sheela’s… That Nitrous can fuck things up good.

  44. prem bubbie says:

    Shantam… you still haven’t answered Prem Martyn’s accusations…. what is your real identity? Coward!!!

  45. Lokesh says:

    Yes it is true, Shantam. I can be impatient with fools who think they know what they are talking about, yet it is perfectly clear that they don’t. No excuses.

  46. Lokesh says:

    Bubbie is right Shantam….what is your true identity. You’ve kept it hidden long enough. Time to come out of the closet.

  47. Shahriar says:

    By prem bubbie: ashik- “does anyone expect love and rewards from a capitalistic state…” yes, only if you’re christian based, especially in this country…If osho had either, stayed low key and hired a low key manager to run things, much like the Maharishi yogi and his place in Iowa), or if osho just waved the Christian flag and spoke lovingly about Christ, he would have just about gotten away with anything….

    Shahriar: but then he wouldn’t have been Osho, that is why he is Osho and those charlatans are who they are. Osho is not a charlatan that is the difference, and he doesn’t compromise with falsehood either.

  48. prem bubbie says:

    it’s obvious Shah-meister, that you didn’t finish reading what i wrote…. that was one of my ending comments… btw, being a human being means one is living a falsehood, compliments of Mother Nature… now, Shah- baby, what are you going to do to Mother Nature- go to war with her? Fucking Bozo!!!

  49. prem bubbie says:

    I’ve seen video on the news that Northern Australia has been flooded out… “apocalyptic” floods- Noah and his Ark type of stuff… anyone hear anything about the Byron Bay commune? I heard a rumor that it’s floating out to sea… hope so.

  50. prem bubbie says:

    Hey Lokesh- how was your new year’s celebration? any hooch left over from the party? as for me, i just stuffed my face with cake, chocolate truffles, ice cream, then washed it down with cognac… champagne makes my nose run….hold on a minute… gotta belch……….. much better now, thanks… say, here’s a movie recommendation…. the new Oliver Stone’s movie… Sequel to “Wall Street”… nicely done i thought and the narrative towards the end of the movie was very fitting… much of what we’ve been discussing here… enjoy… see ya when i’m sober, again.

  51. Lokesh says:

    Bubbie, my Hogmanny was a quiet one, with my wife by the warmth of the fire.
    Both of us were sad to hear that Mexican Rupesh died of brain cancer in a hospice in his homeland. We’d been friends for 33 years and he was like a wee brother to me.
    Rupesh was for me a good example of a dynamic sannyasin. He loved playing his drums and many people in turn loved him for doing what he loved most. He was truly one of Osho’s musicians. A smile never far from his lips the world is a sadder place without him.

  52. Lokesh says:

    Never a dull moment. I just had a call from Mexico City informing me that Rupeh is still alive, meditating and all the nurses in the place are in love with him.

  53. prem bubbie says:

    I’ll whack my djembe a few times for the old geezer… we are all a few steps away from our brains turning to jello anyway.. say, was he one of the drum banging crew that used to play everyday during osho’s “drive-by’s” at the ranch? I played a few times with them- a bunch of Italians from what i remember. Osho really got off on those guys!!!