“Wow, I’m Still Alive!”

OUR OREGON SAGA:
THE AMAZING SUCCESS OF THE NON-MASSACRE
By Subhuti

 

 

Osho is in the news. The release of Netflix’s series, ‘Wild Wild Country’ has triggered renewed debate over the mystic’s decision to travel from India to America in 1981, together with the building of Rajneeshpuram, our spiritual commune, on a 120 square mile ranch in Oregon.

Media reviews have focused on whether the documentary series has accurately told the story. Most give it a thumbs-up of approval. Some say it wasn’t harsh enough on “the Rajneesh” and the disruption we caused. Others say it failed to show the loving atmosphere among Ranch residents, the huge enthusiasm with which we created our own town, and the transforming power of Osho’s ‘Wild West’ experiment.

For me, as someone who lived and worked at the Oregon Ranch from its beginning until its very end, the most surprising revelation came suddenly one night, after watching the final episode.

I realised, with a certain amazement: “Wow, I’m still alive! I didn’t get killed!”
Not only me, of course. Nobody was killed, on either side. Considering the intensity of the emotions that were stirred, the firepower of artillery on both sides and the determination of the Reagan Administration to get rid of us, that was nothing short of a miracle.

 

The strange thing is, I didn’t feel this astonishment while on the Ranch, in the autumn of 1985, as the controversy grew to its climax. I should have felt it, but I didn’t. I didn’t believe my life was in danger. I felt immune, cushioned by a naive belief that Osho, as an enlightened being, could handle anything and we would always find a way to come out on top.

It is only now, having watched the documentary and listened to comments from lawyers, politicians and federal officials, that I understand how close we came to a bloodbath.
Not that anybody intended to trigger a shootout. But the way the pressure built up made it almost inevitable.

I was reminded of the tragedy at Waco, Texas, which happened a few years later, in 1993, when a gun battle broke out between the followers of spiritual leader David Koresh and federal officers who were raiding his compound. After initial casualties on both sides and a siege that lasted 51 days, the FBI started destroying the Koresh ranch buildings and using CS gas. A fire engulfed the property, killing 76 members of the Branch Davidian group.

To me, surrounded by friends on the Ranch and carried along by the upbeat, cheerful atmosphere that pervaded our community, nothing seemed less likely. We worked during the day, we danced in the disco at night, we joked about the changes engulfing us.

 

For sure, I was surprised by the sudden departure of Osho’s secretary, Sheela, and shocked by the revelations of the crimes that her loyal lieutenants had allegedly committed.
But I was also happy Sheela had gone and appreciative of the new Ranch administration, led by a wealthy group called “the Hollywood crowd”, including Osho’s new secretary, Hasya, whom I knew personally and liked.

The drama unfolding around me seemed almost like a PR game. I watched with a kind of detached, journalistic amusement as Osho invited the FBI and state police to investigate his claims about Sheela’s illegal activities.

The cops came in and seemed friendly enough – at least in the beginning. But the atmosphere soon changed when police obtained warrants to forcibly raid Ranch buildings. At about the same time, I began to hear rumours of federal indictments being issued to arrest Osho and other commune leaders.

I went to a community meeting where Niren, doubling up as Osho’s lawyer and town mayor, advised us how to behave if, or when, a massive invasion was staged by law enforcement troops. We were to stand still, or move around very slowly, making no sudden movements, and if arrested, utter the magic words “I want to see a lawyer.”

Niren delivered his warning in jokey yet somehow serious manner, and we all laughed, maybe a little nervously. It was still a game, but not quite as funny as before.

 

What I didn’t know was the degree of determination and aggression with which the arrest of Osho and the destruction of our community was being pursued. This became apparent only afterwards, when I heard Charles Turner, US Attorney for Oregon and head of the operation, in a television interview, describe Osho as “a man of consummate evil.”

Turner didn’t take part in the Netflix documentary ‘Wild Wild Country’, but his deputy, Robert Weaver, was happy to recall his own involvement. He echoed the sentiments of his boss. “This was not motivated by greed, this was evil,” Weaver told the movie makers, when describing the rapid construction of the Rajneesh community in Oregon. Clearly, these federal attorneys weren’t impartial. Rather, they were trying to use the law to get rid of us. Their efforts to shut us down were driven by a Christian-based crusade against an “evil cult” that was contaminating the all-American way of life.

Both Turner and Weaver were feeling political heat from Washington DC. According to Turner’s own statements, he was being pressured by everyone, including US Senators and the White House, to find a way to remove our community.
Meanwhile, local immigration officials in Portland were reportedly enraged when they were told by their boss in Washington, Alan Nelson, not to take part in the coming raid.
According to one insider, “guys were kicking chairs” in their frustration, because the INS, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, had felt particularly humiliated by our repeated accusations of bias and prejudice. They wanted a chance to pay us back.

This gives a clue to the intensity of feelings at that time among many American politicians and law enforcement officials. We had been so provocative, so “in-your-face” with our flamboyant lifestyle, it was hardly surprising they were upset with us. Moreover, the sight of an Indian guru driving a fleet of 93 Rolls-Royces around the Oregon countryside, while giving discourses called “The Rajneesh Bible” and dismissing America as a “hypocrisy not a democracy” did nothing to cool tempers.

Osho described President Ronald Reagan as a “third-rate cowboy actor” and we on ‘The Rajneesh Times’ newspaper joined in the fun. We published an old photo of Reagan, while he was still a movie actor, with his companion Bonzo, a chimpanzee, with whom he’d made several really bad movies. So Reagan and Bonzo were featured on our back page, with Bonzo sitting on Reagan’s knee, apparently reading a copy of ‘The Rajneesh Times’ – thanks to our creative graphic designers.

We still thought it was a game. But, without knowing it, we’d been fuelling the flames of a wildfire to critical ignition point. It was about to go out of control.

The key to the impending shootout was a decision by US Attorney Charles Turner not to agree to a procedure of voluntary surrender, whereby, after the delivery of the indictments, Osho and other accused would be allowed to travel to Portland and peacefully surrender themselves, according to a prearranged plan. At the time, it puzzled me why Turner was refusing to negotiate. It seemed like such a sensible thing to do, to avoid triggering a bloodbath.

Then, in his interview with the movie makers, Niren made it clear. He explained that one of the standard ploys of capturing high-profile targets like Osho was to make a forcible arrest, so they could use handcuffs and chains, then parade their prisoner before the flashing lights of the news media. I noticed this, later on, with the arrest of Jim Bakker, an American TV evangelist, and with the capture of Saddam Hussein, after the invasion of Iraq and the massive manhunt for its fugitive leader.

The sight of a man in chains triggers a collective response in millions of people, as they watch such dramas on their television screens:
If you’re in chains, you must be guilty. If you’re a prisoner, you must have done something wrong.
In simple, black-and-white, cowboy terminology: “Look! The good guys got the bad guy.”

God knows what would have happened if the Ranch had actually been invaded by a large police force with the intention of arresting Osho. Maybe it would have passed off peacefully, even though SWAT teams were being flown in from Seattle and National Guard helicopters were on standby, getting ready for the assault. But then again, maybe not.

The whole world is aware of the trigger-happy nature of American gun culture, not least because of recent school shootings, in which many students have been killed. In the year 2015, more than thirteen thousand people died in the United States as a result of gunshot wounds – a typical annual statistic. Law enforcement officers are not exempt from this tendency. More than a thousand people were killed by US cops in 2017, a disproportionate percentage being black people, triggering nationwide protests by African Americans.

Also, it needs to be said that the American government has repeatedly shown vindictiveness towards those who oppose its policies, even on an international level.

Three incidents come to mind:
In 1986, when French President Francois Mitterand refused to allow American bombers to fly through French airspace on their way to attack Libya, some of their bombs just happened to be dropped perilously close to the French Embassy in Tripoli.
In 1999, during Nato’s war with Yugoslavia, an American bombing raid “accidentally” dropped five guided bombs on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three people, in what was seen by neutral observers as retaliation for China’s support of Serbian leaders.
In 2003, during the Allied invasion of Iraq, a camera team from the Al Jazeera TV news station was wiped out on a rooftop by an American bomb, in what was seen as payback for Al Jazeera’s controversial screening of interviews with American prisoners captured by Iraq.

It’s not that America is any worse than any other nation, when it comes to dirty tricks. But it certainly conflicts with the message of freedom, democracy and justice that the United States proudly flaunts in the faces of other countries.

Even when force seems legitimate, it often misfires. In 2010, a special US Navy SEALS team tried to rescue British aid worker Linda Norgrove, held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The raid took place at night and the American soldiers wore night vision goggles, which gave them a huge advantage over the militants. They quickly succeeded in killing many of the kidnappers. Then, at the last moment, when almost all the Taliban militants were dead, one trooper decided to blindly throw a fragmentation grenade, accidentally killing Linda Norgrove, who had broken away from her captors and was hiding in a gully.

I’m sure you get the point. Gun culture in the States is as dangerous to its own citizens and allies as it is to its foes.

In this atmosphere, the confrontation on the Oregon Ranch seemed to be heading towards a violent climax, with a high probability that somebody, either intentionally or accidentally, would trigger a shooting war.
It wasn’t just the cops who were armed. The Rajneesh Security Force had an arsenal of semiautomatic rifles and was trained to protect the community. If that force had resisted the invasion, the final body count could have been extremely high.

Towards the end of October, 1985, federal indictments against Osho were issued. Someone close to Turner tipped off the Rajneesh lawyers, who called the US Attorney and again tried to make a deal. But Turner still refused to discuss voluntary surrender.

How the decision was made for Osho to leave the Ranch is not clear to me, but apparently the close circle of sannyasins around the mystic, including Hasya, his new secretary, urged him to allow them to take him somewhere safe.

On the evening of Sunday, October 27, 1985, Osho left the Ranch, taking all the heat with him. His departure was noticed and Turner was informed.

To the American authorities, Osho was now a fugitive in flight, his unexpected departure proof enough of his guilt. Federal officials went into ‘chase’ mode and tracked the mystic’s plane as it flew across the United States. The focus of attention switched from the Ranch to Charlotte, North Carolina, where Osho was arrested at gunpoint – allegedly without a warrant – at the airport. He was believed to be on his way to Bermuda. Instead, he was taken to jail.

This was the point at which, while the threat to Osho’s personal well-being escalated, the threat to our lives evaporated. Suddenly, no one was interested in invading the Ranch. After all, they had “bagged the Bhagwan” and put him in handcuffs and chains, parading him, as they wished, before a crowd of journalists.

Much has been said about Osho’s court hearing in Charlotte and his subsequent journey back to Portland in the custody of US Marshals, so there is no need for me to go into detail here. It is suspected, as Osho himself claimed, that he was subjected to poisoning and radiation while being held in prison in Oklahoma City.

Back in Oregon, faced with charges of immigration fraud, Osho agreed to a plea bargain and was deported from the United States. With Osho gone, the Ranch became economically unsustainable and soon we were being asked to leave.

Charles Turner had been absolutely right in his assessment that, once Osho had been removed, the Rajneesh commune would collapse.

So, that was the end of our Oregon saga. As Netflix’s promotion of its documentary declares, the story is full of drama, with many unexpected twists and turns. But while the documentary focuses on the conflict, the final impression, for me, came afterwards in a different way than I expected.

As I watched the credits roll on the final episode, I felt happy and slightly astonished – to be alive.

Because nobody died, on either side. We all survived. People got upset, angry and mad. People got harassed and poisoned. People got arrested and jailed. But nobody died. Given the level of confrontation, the American gun culture and the charged emotional atmosphere, that is almost unbelievable.

Niren, as Osho’s lawyer, in one of several interviews he’s made over the years, said that the mystic’s decision to leave the Ranch the way he did, was “a real bad idea”.

Maybe for Osho, it was. But it probably saved my life and many others.

Thirty-two years later, that’s a reason to smile and feel grateful.

 

Author’s PS: As several readers have pointed out, Osho was the major victim of the US Government’s effort to destroy our community. If, as Osho claimed, he was indeed poisoned and exposed to radiation while in jail in Oklahoma City, and if this contributed to his death, five years later, then of course he was the main casualty.

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49 Responses to “Wow, I’m Still Alive!”

  1. Lokesh says:

    Interesting enough article. I draw two conclusions:
    No matter how objective one tries to be, reflections such as the above are still usually coloured by one’s unique take on events. I’m surprised to read how Subhuti delivers an over-dramatic description of his own situation on the Ranch. As in, I quote, “Wow, I’m still alive! I didn’t get killed!” and “As I watched the credits roll on the final episode, I felt happy and slightly astonished – to be alive.”

    Really, man, he is the first person who was on the Ranch I have ever heard come away with such hype. The Ranch was not exactly the Vietnam War.

    • bob says:

      Right on, Lok. Everyone wants to be the Brave Warrior. Bloated hyperbole helps a lot.

      • sw. veet (francesco) says:

        Are you touched by the doubt, Bob, about the fact that to indicate the lenses used by others may not imply to be aware of the lenses used for himself?

        You could return the dark cynical glasses to the owner, beating a lot of sun on Balearics.

        • Lokesh says:

          Veet, I am not being cynical. You are.

          I pointed out that Subhuti was exaggerating his situation. Nobody was killed on the Ranch so why would he say, “I realised, with a certain amazement: “Wow, I’m still alive! I didn’t get killed!”"

          This is pure nonsense, the product of a need to sensationalise events. A typical journalistic need to hype events up to make the reader feel they are reading something exciting. Although said in the positive it is actually a negative statement.

          It is well established that journalists like to deliver negative news. Why? Because negative news sells, because it stimulates certain areas in the reader’s brain that gives them a mild buzz.

          Had there not been a lot of negative press about the Ranch it would have stood a better chance of surviving. Unfortunately, nobody in the general public would have enjoyed to read reports of The Bhagwan and his followers leading a peaceful and harmonious existence. No, they want to read about sex orgies, armed confrontation, 99 Rolls Royces etc. There is nothing cynical about seeing the hard facts of life, just a need to call a spade a spade.

    • sw. veet (francesco) says:

      It is very plausible the relief experienced by Subhuti, it does not seem at all an exaggeration, a dramatisation.

      Perhaps the romantic idea of an America (USA) where the justice embodied by his Hollywoodian heroes triumphs, John Wayne above all, in the 80s was not yet scratched by the escalation following the events of September 11th.

      But Subhuti does not seem so naive, for example I think he could distinguish between a film set and the harsh existential reality of a place like Ibiza.

      • Lokesh says:

        Veet declares, “It is very plausible the relief experienced by Subhuti, it does not seem at all an exaggeration, a dramatisation.”

        This statement confirms for me that poor Veet is not the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer. It also illustrates Veet’s overriding need to prove my observations wrong, even if it means talking nonsense. There is nothing at all plausible about Subhuti’s amazement at surviving the Ranch. Nobody on the Ranch was killed by the locals or government forces. It’s pure hype.

        • frank says:

          I was struck, watching the docu-series how, as someone put it, Wasco really was very close to Waco. The US officials would rather have had a shoot-out than miss their opportunity of parading Osho in chains on prime-time TV, thus sealing the verdict for Joe Public.

          Nevertheless, Subhuti`s 35-years later ‘James Bond escapes from Dr. Evil’ fantasy is just so typical of just about everybody interviewed in the movie. Sannyasins and the other side alike.

          Getting deluded, inflated, grandiose, going off on one is like drugs (and frequently runs in tandem) – it`s a great buzz, but hey – don`t forget to come down!!

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          Lokesh, the difference between your thesis and mine is that I have no prejudices about the source, Subhuti; adding that there is no counterfactual for both that a bloodbath was about to happen or not. And with the not inconsiderable implication that you think that Reagan would stop in front of the obstacle of the Posse Comitatus Act, being more moderate than Clinton (husband).

          Do you think that in those years the average American imbued with Reaganomics propaganda was interested in separating the biographical nuances of David Koresh from those of Chandra Mohan Jain?

          If after seeing the documentary Subhuti has perceived what he wrote I can not decide whether he is speaking as a journalist or as a spokesperson for the politically correct Sannyas.

          In the same way, knowing you a little better and appreciating the ‘how’ more than ‘what’ you write, the same critique of fictional reality can be applied to you.

          Unwittingly, you’re slipping into the same attitude as Shantam’s about everything identifiable with the Resort, albeit when you get on stage you are more creative than him. But you’ve already noticed this, every time you become the target of his underwear.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege

          • Lokesh says:

            Veet, if you want to believe the hype, go ahead. You won’t be alone, that’s for sure. .

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              The problem, Lokesh, arises only because unlike Bob I think your first comment did not live up to your hype.

              Since I was not at the Ranch I can not draw the two conclusions that you draw, eventually I can only detect contradictions or anachronisms, after thanking for the sharing of those who have been a direct witness of these, for me, important events.

              Subhuti did not make your mistake by defining “current” a consideration perceived today but imagining it moved into the past, he said that TODAY, after seeing the documentary, he drew that conclusion, and based on the explanation given.

              He, unlike me and you, lived on the Ranch, he only put that experience in perspective, probably mediated by the awareness of today, with respect to the sequence of social and political events that since then up to our day have unveiled the unconstitutional nature of the country of freedom.

              Not having first-hand evidence, you brought no arguments about the situation inside the Ranch, for or against the thesis that Sheela’s gang was a real threat to American public order, and not even to contest the political-social analysis that in his opinion made a bloodbath very likely.

              But if you had made the premise “I know that asshole, so…” then everything else would have been plausible, not just for your eyes.

              Maybe you saw right and you kept away from the fascism that dominated the Ranch, but what about those who have felt on their own and other flesh that fascism and have kept silent? Should I be more cynical and not caring about this?

              You say it’s the first time you hear these considerations about ‘surviving’, but the documentary has just been published! And then who would you ask to know, on the basis of the documentary and of what we know today of the lies of the falling empire, who else perceives himself today as a survivor?

              Do you really want to check if someone of ‘your Sangha’, after seeing the documentary, and on the basis of what we know today, may have perceived the same thing as Subhuti?

              I do not think so, you’ll stay away, as you did with the Ranch and its suckers. If you do not judge by cynicism, perhaps you do it out of laziness.

              • frank says:

                This is my fantasy self in the saloon in Antelope.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JbLkZCJS9U

                • bob says:

                  Fantasy? Look again at the clip, 00:34-00:40, top of the screen. This was my saloon, and Frank ‘just happened’ to walk in one day. The Tao will be served….

              • Lokesh says:

                Veet, how do you know Subuhti does not suffer from paranoid delusions? Or maybe he led a sheltered life that made him prone to exaggerating things that appeared threatening. You do not know.

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  “Bitter people are not interested in what you say, but what you hide.”
                  S. L. Alder

                  I don’t know that, Lokesh, apart from his articles I shared only a few jokes in the Commune sauna with him.

                  A psychiatric diagnosis requires more work than an ethical/aesthetic judgment, but I can try a counterfactual.

                  “Anyone not paranoid in this world must be crazy…Speaking of paranoia, it’s true that I do not know exactly who my enemies are. But that of course is exactly why I’m paranoid.”
                  Edward Abbey

                  If it is true that at the Ranch there was a structure and a despotic climate, those who were aware of this, remaining far from Oregon, proved to be wiser at that time and should be more balanced today than those who suffered that fascism.

                  “It is better to be deceived hundreds of times than to live a life of suspicion.”
                  C. H. Spurgeon

                  But if there was not all that fascism at the Ranch, or if it was there but did not disturb the climate of celebration and general trust, then the paranoids of that time and the unbalanced ones of today should be others.

                  “I think you’re the opposite of paranoid. I think you walk around with the insane delusion that people like you.”
                  W. Allen

                • Lokesh says:

                  Veet, I was joking.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      “No matter how objective one tries to be, reflections such as the above are still usually coloured by one’s unique take on events.”

      That´s true, Lokesh, and you rightly speak of “events”. “Events” are often something where real life experience is neither wanted nor has ever happened. Good to talk over when there is ´party-time´.

      You and your wife, sitting ´couch potato watching´ the Netflix series, assuring each other “how lucky” you are, and have been “so intelligent” not to go there at all, are so easy to imagine, as I came to know quite many sannyasins who declared the same.

      And yes, you´re right too, declaring quite stylishly: “The Ranch was not exactly the Vietnam War.” So true.

      For me though – even when appreciating very much your regular contributions and insights in this Chat in general over the time – I´m simply not able to give you or others an authority to judge, sometimes cynically, about stuff you or others have not first-hand experience of.

      (To not get stuck in a ´survival-pattern´ and a PTSD chronically since 1984 is still for me a pretty much daily issue and topic of meditation).

      The 14m vid, a Freddie Lee, who has seen the Netflix series as well, which I watched before posting this morning, was very much enjoyable, as this young man picked up the essence and didn´t mix up in any way with the spectacle he has been watching on telly.

      And how beautiful is THAT.

      Madhu

      • Lokesh says:

        Madhu says, “You and your wife, sitting ´couch potato watching´ the Netflix series, assuring each other “how lucky” you are, and have been “so intelligent” not to go there at all, are so easy to imagine, as I came to know quite many sannyasins who declared the same.”

        Yes, perhaps it is easy for you to imagine this, Madhu. Because it certainly sounds to me like you are imagining things. My wife and I experience no need to feel lucky about such things, or assure ourselves how intelligent we are. I never said that and thus it is shown that you are being manipulated by imagination into believing things that never actually took place. I would have thought that, taking into consideration your age and experience, you would have known better. Obviously you do not.

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          Yes, thanks, Lokesh,

          Guess your response was easily to be expected, when I project more than some real life experiences with former sannyasin friends onto you and your wife on Ibiza Island. And that did happen, true.

          Neither I’ve ever had an exchange of a transparent real life communication with you, nor you with me.

          Good as a reminder for both of us, I´d suggest.

          Madhu

          • Lokesh says:

            Yes, Madhu, and just in case you are unclear of the definition of ‘couch potato’:
            A lazy and inactive person; especially one who spends a great deal of time watching television.

            We are not lazy and inactive people and we do not spend a great deal of time watching TV.

            • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

              No, you are not lazy and inactive, not at all, Lokesh; but as you need to have ‘the last word’, I´ll feel the need to share with you that – at the other end of the chat line – me too is a sensitive human entity, just like you are.

              And that you are not free of projecting either. Just not as much ´identified´, maybe? As you, or you both (?) could or maybe would claim?

              I once heard Byron Katie put the question to the audience: “Do you want to be right, or do you want love to happen (reconcile)?”

              That´s a very good ´one´, isn´t it?

              Madhu

  2. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    Aaah…Wow, yes, you´re still alive and well too, Subhuti, and your smooth tongued, journalistic, very skilled article here might well bring it into the Huffington Post, The Guardian, or elsewhere, besides into SN/UK.

    Why – in spite of your article about and around the Netflix Story – I would prefer a youtube stance re the same matter, of a Freddie Lee, a very young man (freddiesmodernkungfu.blogspot.com) describing what he loves about Osho´s Teaching and what he shares about the Netflix stance, I will try, as to my best capacities, to share with you:

    You say:
    “For me, as someone who lived and worked at the Oregon Ranch from its beginning until its very end, the most surprising revelation came suddenly one night, after watching the final episode.”

    I didn´t live on the Ranch “from its very beginnings until its very end”, but long enough in the years ´83, ´84, and then ´85 ( Cleaning and Laundry Department – first in RIMU, then all over the place) to say that which SD here called an (internal) deterioration process was clearly perceptible and touchable, and that it was almost impossible to share some nightmarish nightmares I had in more than a few rare nights in my tent or then later in one of the Townhouses as a participant and not an observer.

    One could be lucky not to be declassified as “very much indulging in negative thinking”…

    Never – also in former times – did I share your simplistic view:
    “But I was also happy Sheela had gone and appreciative of the new Ranch administration, led by a wealthy group called “the Hollywood crowd”, including Osho’s new secretary, Hasya, whom I knew personally and liked.”

    From those ´celebrities´ I´ve been only falling in love years later with that amazing beautiful woman in Pune Two, Avirbhava, you know, who ever so often loved to go on shopping tours, shopping for large-proprtioned unicorns, butterflies, dragonflies etc. for the Buddhafield Evening Meetings with the Master in Pune then – and what about her big giggle, laughter and joy, almost like a soul-sister to a Sadhar Gurdhiasi…

    On the Ranch, most the others of the Hollywood’ clan were well known not to participate in any ‘worship’ and they also had their special tables in the restaurants. By not mixing and merging with everyday-nobodies of the experiment they may have missed some valuable spiritual or emotional experience? But anyway, the latter is none of my concern.

    You also conclude, Subhuti:
    “It’s not that America is any worse than any other nation, when it comes to dirty tricks.”

    I absolutely agree!

    Madhu

    • bob says:

      I agree with your agreement, Madhu. Osho had it right (from Poona One’s ‘Tao: The Three Treasures’): “Power doesn’t corrupt, but corrupted people are attracted to power.” Corrupted by 7 years old, at the latest.

  3. Kavita says:

    Somehow after much thought , to be objective one needs to be not closely related or better still not related at all to the subject in consideration & also to see more than the two or more sides to it .

    Well I/ many sannyasins can’t totally be objective about this subject however much detached we may consider ourselves !

    After watching the 6th episode again , thought the only thing probably may have been , Sheela gave the Way brothers a warm-feel-at-home-treatment in cold Switzerland !

    • bob says:

      Kavita, right you are. We are all clouded from real objectivity by our unique place in this time and space cosmos.

      Here’s a recent transcript from one of the Way Bros. interviews re Sheela:
      “Gizmodo: One of the characters you talked to was Sheela. How did you approach her? Was she eager to talk?
      Chapman Way: Yeah, we approached her pretty soon off the bat. As soon as we started transferring the footage we saw what an integral character she would be to this whole saga, so to speak. And also, just as a documentary film-maker, she was such a rich character. She was very feisty, she spoke her mind, and very strong-willed. So I think we were immediately drawn to her just watching the archive footage. And so we reached out to her, kind of not sure what her response would be or if she would even be interested in revisiting this.

      Within the first few minutes of getting her on the phone it was clear that she felt like she’s never really been given an opportunity to walk an audience through her series of events – how she saw it how it unfolded. On our end, we weren’t really interested in doing a traditional true crime narrative – you know, doing an interrogation-style interview or trying to get her in a ‘gotcha’ moment – we were really just interested in having a conversation with her and having her walk us through exactly what happened from her point of view. And so, I think we kind of just really hit it off with her and really connected with her.”

      And Parmartha, a slice you might have interest in:
      “Chapman Way: We did tons of pre-interviews with sannyasins who we didn’t end up filming for one reason or another – we tried to keep the talking heads to a minimum so you got to know the characters….”

      The full transcript of the interview, done by Paleofuture/Gizmodo, is on OshoNews. Seems they are quite sympathetic to the sannyasin view – they might even have themselves enjoyed “having a few beers, gambling at night, and doing a little river rafting in the day” (paraphrasing the actual quote…go read the interview, it’s quite out front for the boys, as to the making of the film).

      • Kavita says:

        Thanx, Bob, for mentioning this interview – it was was really more revealing. Link below…

        https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/wild-wild-country-is-the-best-documentary-about-a-homic-1823700550

        Here’s another interview: – https://www.npr.org/2018/03/24/596723300/religion-libertarian-cults-and-the-american-west-in-wild-wild-country

        Anyway. found one more & later found these reviews, in case anyone interested to go through…

        http://www.indiewire.com/2018/03/wild-wild-country-netflix-review-1201940304/

        https://www.hindustantimes.com/tv/wild-wild-country-review-netflix-s-unbelievable-inside-look-at-osho-s-sex-cult-will-haunt-you-for-days/story-p94SlUL8JcFtECqfROfVJM.html

        I am sure there shall be more episodes worth making & viewing! Probably when existentially the O’Byrne brothers* shall be ready to tell their side of the story!

        *Swami Jayesh & Swami Yogendra. Actually, the ‘O’ is no more used by Jayesh, he calls himself Michael Byrne!

        • bob says:

          Let’s try to keep these names as clean and clear as possible, as we’re starting to get an overload of people in this drama, and it’s becoming difficult sorting out who’s who here…

          As far as I can tell, the two Irish Catholic Canadian boys who somehow inexplicably manoeuvred their way into the positions of peak power in the Osho world, were the O’Byrne brothers. Mike and D’Arcy. Mike became Jayesh, who you never see anywhere anymore, kinda like Howard Hughes or Greta Garbo. D’Arcy morphed into Yogendra, who seems to be always doing some Tai Chi stuff outside at the Resort with a bald head. Jayesh dropped the ‘O’ from his father’s surname, maybe trying to set a good role model for the rest of the world in the Osho trademark battle: “stay away from using ‘Osho’, don’t even use ‘O’ – see how I did it?”

          Don’t confuse these guys with ‘Brian’, who the Monty Python group created decades ago as the main character in their spoof of Jesus – Frank subsequently tagging Ozen Rajneesh with this name here on sannyasnews. Brian “Ozen” Rajneesh is now eating burritos and engaging in revenge porn in Mexico, though neither of these things has been proven conclusively as of yet.

          Su is not Shanti B, she is Su. Dropped the ‘e’ from Sue, as it sounds more Sanskrit, I assume. Shanti Bhadra spiked Doc Devaraj in the ass with the devil’s cocktail. The good doctor survived, thankfully, allowing him to change his name to George Meredith, and write a book on his life with his master, Bhagwan, who was Chandra Jain, but was known as Rajneesh, and became Osho. Still with me? George became Doc Amrito – why, I don’t know. If that wasn’t enough, he also became John Andrews.

          Ma Sunshine became ‘Sunny’ (clever, huh?), David Knapp became Krishna Deva, known as K.D., a hero of the Ranch – even wearing top hats sometimes. He then reverted to David Knapp again, a turncoat giving State’s evidence to the feds. I don’t know if he was called D.K. at that time, but it’s possible, quite possible.

          Let’s try to keep all these actors and actresses as identifiable as possible, lest this whole thing turn into a revisit of Dostoevsky’s ‘Brothers Karamazov’, where the reader spends most of his time trying to remembering who’s who as they slosh through to story, and forgetting about what the story is about.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            “Let’s try to keep all these actors and actresses as identifiable as possible, lest this whole thing turn into a revisit of Dostoevsky’s ‘Brothers Karamazov’, where the reader spends most of his time trying to remembering who’s who as they slosh through to story, and forgetting about what the story is about.”

            You came late, probably too late, Bob. Did your ´homework´, and/or have a good connection to others doing ´theirs´. Your very last sentence is in my eyes the best, to take it as a reminder, but who will take it (?), yourself included (?) – and sure enough, me too, as to my best capacity.

            Thanks,

            Madhu

            P.S:
            Btw, Osho was very much enchanted by the read of Dostoyevsky´s ´Brothers Karamasov´; he talked about that, don´t remember just now, when and what….

            P.P.S:
            I got today a book of a German author, Julie Zeh, a writer I am very fond of. The psycho-thriller (her last piece) is called ‘Empty Hearts’, in (German: ‘Leere Herzen’).

            And don´t you be worried, here, Bob; she is NOT into esoteric mish-mash, not at all. She is worried and contemporarily worried, and has more than some intelligence to view what´s going on on ´public stages´…speaks about the gang-stalking perpetrators world, in which more and more humans are not only slightly confused but into Terror all the way…you can google her, if you like to; just for a change….

      • Parmartha says:

        Thanks, Bob, for letting me know that they did tons of pre-interviews with sannyasins, which they then discarded.

        They chose to interview at very great length two people convicted of attempted murder, and who were clearly still in denial…I don’t go along with the view that these producers were so special….

        • frank says:

          For the representatives or gruppenfuhrers of what is tirelessly presented as a “Sex-Cult”, did you notice how unsexy Sheela`s gang were?

          Seeing Sheela and her gang reminded me of when I was at school and got interested in reading about the history of the Nazis and how they wanted a blond-haired, blue-eyed, athletic, perfect-specimen, master race. Then I read about and looked at the pics of the leaders: Short stumpy, skinny, dark guys, club feet, halitosis, flatulent nutters etc. (and the one who was blond was an obese, multi-drug addict). I remember thinking: wtf?

          Sheela, although` quite good-looking in a boyish way, doesn`t seem to have had much of a sex life. Huge `the stud` Milne certainly rated her as a 2 or a 3, or maybe less, in his little black book.

          Meanwhile, she was disastrously lusting after the one guy she couldn`t get and getting off on poisoning any proper-sexy chick who flashed her eyelashes at him.

          The other members of her gang (PC trigger alert) were a dykey-looking bunch of fag-hags, with only a few gays, hairdressers and wimpy guys allowed to tag along. They were more interested in getting their kicks by Freudianly sticking adrenaline-flavoured needles in people`s asses, and when beavers finally do get a mention, they are being poisoned and mashed up!

          In Jane Dork`s book she spills the beans about how she walked in on, shock horror, her husband kissing the neighbour. You have to agree with the newspapers that such depraved antics would be enough to send any righteous Christian who had joined a sex cult into a murderous orgy of poisoning!

          ‘Wild, Wild Country’ was worth a watch and I go with most of the comments here on SN.
          But I couldn`t help feeling that Sheela and Shanti B took those boys for a bit of a ride. Let`s face it, those old girls managed to blag, con, dodge, pull-the-wool and soft-soap Osho,
          sannyasins, FBI, CIA, Swiss govt. and a bunch of others, so I don`t think they were ever going to be troubled by a couple of overgrown college kids with a camera and a mic!!

          • bob says:

            Good post, Frank. All true, and yet, funny as hell, in a strange way.

            Also, this is a good place to compliment you on your Epic Rap between Gurdjieff and Raman Maharshi a few weeks back. I wasn’t exactly rotflmao, but being a musician of sorts, I had a beat and rap rhythm playing in my head as I read it straight through. A real gem, bro.

            • frank says:

              Cheers, Bob,
              Glad you liked it.
              I had wondered where you had got to.
              Thought you might have retired to China or od-ed on donkey dick soup!

              • bob says:

                No, no…neither…there’s miles to go before I sleep. DD soup I had forgotten, but not China.

    • dhyan pramod says:

      Yes, Kavita, you are right, it’s not easy for a sannyasin to be detached and objective about this subject.

      I for myself have watched the whole series twice and am hungry for more. The directors have perhaps done a good job in trying to be impartial but still I feel that this is a case of selective presentation of facts and history. The documentary fails to cover some very important aspects of the whole story. The way Osho was inhumanly treated and prosecuted by the state against its own laws and constitution should also have been presented.

      Also, I wonder if there would have been a big difference had someone else other than Sheela been Osho’s secretary at that time.

  4. Parmartha says:

    It is often put out that the non-massacre at the Ranch was somehow Osho’s doing, or even “Existence’s”!

    I was not as naive as Subhuti at the time. I had a radio, and knew the National Guard were over the hill.

    I also knew we had plenty of ammo, but as I remember, and I would like to know the exact figure, only 22 people were authorised to use them or had access. But I also had a feeling that as Sheela had left by that time they would not use them.

    The Lear jets turning up just before the National Guard were likely to move in, was Hasya’s doing, and not to do with the commune, but certainly to get Osho out of there in a hurry! For example, Niren had no idea that this was happening, and actually thought it was a mistake when he heard it had.

    But things sort of looked like Osho was thinking of the commune in removing himself. I prefer the view that Existence was responsible, if I was pushed on the issue!

    • sw. veet (francesco) says:

      Having a radio in itself, Parmartha, does not make you less naive than Subhuti, it depends on which channel you were listening to.

      If you were tuned 24 hrs on ‘Open Society channel’ you might have expected a handful of cowboys led by John Wayne himself, who would have freed you from the psycho sect, 98% in denial that it was such.

      If I was pushed on this issue, in my book those who pretend not to use lenses at best are optimists, at worst they are Mr. Magoo.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan

      • satchit says:

        “Right, SD.

        I think it was a taste of what ‘the Master is beyond morality’ means.”

        Satyadeva says (at ‘Having Been A Child On The Ranch’ topic, 27 March, 2018 at 11:45 am):

        “Could you expand on this, please, Satchit, specifically in terms of what happened at the Ranch?”

        As there is no comment function anymore at that place, I answer your question here, SD.

        My feeling is that Osho not always spoke the truth. Saying that he did not know what was going on and also in the interactions with Sheela.

        Maybe being enlightened does not mean being an honourable man, but more embracing the inner dark forces.

        • shantam prem says:

          Satchit, many sentences of your post are worthy of being written in bold, in the true colour of Osho.

          • satchit says:

            Shantam, I give you now the permission to give sannyas.

            • sw. veet (francesco) says:

              If you, Satchit, think that Shantam is consciously superior to the moralists who believe that “Where Bhagwan is, Nothing wrong can take place”, how do you explain his struggle proclaiming “Where Bhagwan WAS, Nothing wrong SHOULD take place”?

              Is he a false flag, playing the role of the ‘worst’ enemy, the best friend of the Resort?

              • satchit says:

                Veet, you seem to be a bit jealous towards Shantam.

                Do you want me that I also give you permission that you can give sannyas?

                • sw. veet (francesco) says:

                  I can not ask your permission unless you first tell me if you are looking for a moralist, an immoral or an amoral, and in case you have considered the implications of attributing one of these categories to Bhagwan.

            • shantam prem says:

              This far you have not reached yet, kid.

  5. Dhyan Ji says:

    Blessings, everyone, nice to see my article here, however, I did not give anyone permission to publish it. Could whoever published it please contact me?

    I would also like to say that these are all my own words. I have a very deep understanding of life and my work is for the awakening of humanity. Now I am my own Master and I just started to give Sannyas after a vision Osho shared with me. Remember, Osho was a reflection of the potential that awakens in all of us and this was his gift.

    If you wish to read more from me you can go onto my blog on my website or add me on facebook. On another note, I would like this photograph changed as it’s been spilt in half and my friend Sam is on the other half.

    Namaste & lt;3

    MOD:
    lt;3 – MEANING, Dhyan Ji?

    • shantam prem says:

      Hope Lokesh gives the reply on behalf of backbencher seekers. Bloody sannyas is as outdated as ‘Bhagwan’.

      When Osho dropped the Vagina and Penis word to drop completely from the Hindu grip, I wonder why someone did not ask, “What about Sannyas and Swami thing?” They too are integral part of Hinduism.

    • Lokesh says:

      Dhyan says, “I have a very deep understanding of life and my work is for the awakening of humanity.”
      Great sense of humour.
      Dhyan continues, “I just started to give Sannyas after a vision Osho shared with me.”
      Wow, far out! That’s the best one I’ve heard in ages.

      • frank says:

        Hi Dhyan, like I said:
        Getting deluded, inflated, grandiose, going off on one is a great buzz, but hey – don`t forget to come down!!

  6. dhyan pramod says:

    I wonder if Sheela was the biggest villain of the story.

  7. shantam prem says:

    Casually I have seen few pages of Subhuti´s contemporaries at facebook. They are gloating with satisfaction and showing praise for the right rebuttal by one of their own.

    Surely, Subhuti is a creative writer with professional training. Every journalist, every writer knows who are the target readers. His piece is not written for wider world, mostly such pieces get place in the letter to the editor columns.

    In his social circle, his reputation will surely improve, also, as a disciple, you have to defend at any cost.

    That is the shadow side of being sentimentally involved with the cults. You have to defend the ball manipulation action of your team and esteemed coach.