Amrito gives his take on Wild, Wild Country

Osho’s Personal Doctor Gives His View on  Wild Wild Country

This first appeared in “The Cut” . As the Sheela cabal tried to murder Amrito it is important testimony, and a major flaw that the film did not try to interview him, oe see it as important.

The following interview has been edited and condensed.

Did the documentary makers ever reach out to you to be in the documentary?
No. I wasn’t contacted.

How did you feel about that? 
I think there are a few things which really got kind of overlooked which would’ve been nice to have been able to articulate, really.

What would you have wanted to add?
I mean, in a way, Osho’s really not a central part of the documentary at all. If you wanted to really tell the story properly, you’d want to know something about Osho, right? And all the coverage in a way totally misunderstands Osho. I saw Megyn Kelly the other day — it was actually disgusting, really, in terms of misrepresentation — she did an interview with the two guys who did the documentary, and it was kind of, oh you know: these ridiculous cultists, sex all the time, they were killers — sort of just pure misrepresentation. Well, hang on: You don’t say all of Chicago are killers because Al Capone lives there. Another thing is, [the reason we initially went to Antelope is] that we couldn’t get a phone line [where we were]. That’s what it came down to. It wasn’t this invasion of Antelope. I mean, who wanted to go to Antelope? Who in the hell wants to go 19 miles away from your friends, it took 25 minutes in a pickup on a really bumpy road.

Right.
There was no reason why [Oregonians] couldn’t have just left that community alone. They weren’t interfering with anyone’s lives. And in fact, turning a piece of barren desert into an oasis, that’s not a bad project. When you look at the world today you kind of wish there were a few more experiments like that going on. 

In a way, that seems like why the documentary is really resonating with people. People are watching it and saying “Well, the actual utopian ideal of Rajneeshpuram looks kind of appealing” — although of course there was this very ugly and awful stuff that was happening behind the scenes.

Let me just clarify that. The other part of the story which is really not clear, but you could pick up on it, is that over a period of time, basically Sheela split from Osho. She openly said, “I’m not interested in meditation at all.” So you’ve got a non-meditater trying to understand the vision of someone whose only interest is meditation. That’s a pretty strange starting point. And then, basically, she starts saying: “He’s lost interest in his vision, but I know what his vision is and I’m going to be the one to deliver it.” As time went by, she really started to push back and not do anything Osho wanted. By 1984, she’s really kind of going off the rails, really.

Why didn’t you leave after the murder attempt? 
I would never have thought of leaving. I’m there because this is the most amazing experiment ever, and primarily I’m there to be with Osho. So I would just do my best  later to keep my back against the wall, you know what I mean!?

Sheela has definitely been this sort of object of fascination, I think, for people who’ve watched the documentary. Can you give any insight into what kind of person you think she is based on the time you spent with her? 

Definitely courageous. No question. She was this kind of high-powered, fast-moving, quick-talking, quick-thinking, intelligent, courageous, go-getting person, and everyone went “Great! This is wonderful.” By sort of early ’81, Sheela’s really everybody’s favorite. It’s we who chose Sheela, and Osho who crowned her. And she’s an incredibly able administrator, able to get things done. Yet she had no sense of Osho’s vision. She thought Osho’s vision was to create a community. But Osho’s vision was to help people become themselves. He’s not interested in creating an alternative society. He’s interested in people who go into the normal life and live beautifully wherever they find. In my opinion, what Einstein was to the 19th century, Osho will be to the 20th century. Instead of being about the outer cosmology, it will be about the inner cosmology.

Why was she so out for you? She claims that you were planning to give Osho euthanasia and that you had got him addicted to drugs and so forth. Is that all a lie? And if so, why did she try to have you killed?

Yeah, of course. The key was, she attacked his household and everybody in it and found any excuse she could to do that. She constantly hated the fact that we had access to Osho. We were a constant threat to her total monopoly on power.

Were you frightened during all this?
No, not really. I mean, you know, I wasn’t dead, I’m alive.

To what extent were you aware of the stuff that was happening in the wider community? You know, the salmonella poisonings and the assassination attempts. 

No one would have dreamed of it. She had a very, very little tight community. No one had a clue. By the time she left, everyone was horrified. It was kind of a pretty major moment. She just got in that plane and, I remember, she flew off in the middle of September. 1985. That was it, she was gone. Everyone’s like “What?” Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, you know? “Wow, she’s gone!” “Hey, it’s party time.”

I’ve talked to a lot of people who were on the commune and there are sort of mixed feelings about the film. What was it like for you to watch the Netflix version of it? 

Some of it was very beautiful. Though you didn’t really quite understand how it sort of got going to start with. They lay a very beautiful foundation of the background, but the specifics were a little loose. Let’s start with “guru.” What is a guru? Osho has spoken against gurus and religious leaders, and [against] this game of hierarchy and how God is the ultimate dictator and this endless business of creating middle men. He’s very precisely clear, “My whole effort is to leave you alone with no mediator.” You’re here because of your interest in meditation. You’re not here to be friends with each other. You’re not here to create some group. You’re not here because of each other, you’re here because of yourself. The bridge is single-file. So the whole idea of a cult is absolutely antithetical to everything he presents.

Then [this notion of] a sex cult, I mean … Osho’s understanding is very simple: [Sexuality is] your vital life energy. Very simple. And it’s completely natural. In order to grow spiritually, whatever you wanna call that, you cannot repress sexuality. One thing that he was very, very strong on was giving responsibility to women. That was, in a way, the most beautiful thing.

Sheela, oddly enough, has kind of become this feminist empowerment meme on the internet.
Yes, I saw all the “tough titties” stuff all over the place. She was strong. I mean, as a woman, she would take no crap from anybody. In today’s world, good on her.

Were you able to feel any sympathy for Jane (Shanti Badra) , who is sort of the only character in the story who seems to feel like she was sort of brainwashed and then later deprogrammed?

Well, you’re watching someone who’s completely unconscious. She was unconscious then, and she’s unconscious now, and all you can do is look at this person and go, “Well, you were dumb then, and you’re dumb now.”

Also, by the way, we haven’t mentioned the other famous subject: of course, his Rolls-Royces.

Osho thought: In a society obsessed with stuff, I can write, I can produce 600 books on meditation and no one is interested. But Get 93 Rolls-Royces and the world will never forget. Basically, here is this nonwhite male from India who wears a robe and a funny hat, and drives around the city where everyone wears red and doesn’t get paid, they’re all vegetarians with no interest in the family or private property, right in the middle of cowboy country — you could see how the inevitable game unfolds. But by having cars, and driving these cars, and having 93 of them in the country which has the biggest and the best — you know, ‘make America great again’ — if anyone’s going to have the most cars, we have to have the most cars. And here’s the nonwhite guy, he’s got more cars than we have. So it turns into kind of a joke about consumerism. Fantastic.

I know there’s been some controversy about Osho’s death and that you were with him at the time, with some people alleging that there was foul play involved. Can you give your own account of what happened?

So I’m saying to Osho, “We need proper intensive care now, should I call the cardiologist?” And he says, “No, existence has its timing.” So then you’re a doctor sitting there, like “Well, the guy says no to any further medical intervention and it’s his body and one thing he’s always been quite clear about, everyone has a right to their own body, no one else has any right to interfere.” When people go, “Someone must have killed him,” it’s like -  that’s such crap.

Did you ever feel that your ethical duties as a doctor conflicted with your devotion to Osho’s teachings?

No. He was really scientific. I mean, in a way, this is a really funny role, but in a way I was a research assistant, that’s really what I was.

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32 Responses to Amrito gives his take on Wild, Wild Country

  1. Arpana says:

    Amrito comes across so well.
    He just sounds completely without airs and graces.

    • Klaus says:

      I feel similarly about Amrito.

      Read his book as ‘George Meredith – …’ and liked his open-hearted approach to Bhagwan after his medical studies and so forth. He stayed with it for his whole life.

      Also appreciate his approach to meditation, as can be viewed on youtube:
      OSHO Evening Meeting – Part 1: Introduction
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-PVA-D78Kg
      on ‘The art of right listening to Osho’.

      He seems to me to be a gentle man/person who does not ‘go overboard’ with the Oregon story and remains kind-hearted towards some persons who certainly failed – him as well as themselves.

      • Klaus says:

        “Well, the guy says no….”

        Isn’t that a cool recognition of the moment?
        Incredible, I find.

  2. Lokesh says:

    I found the article quite interesting. Really though, I have heard about enough about ‘Wild Wild Country’ to last me a lifetime.

    Amrito says, “If you wanted to really tell the story properly, you’d want to know something about Osho, right? And all the coverage in a way totally misunderstands Osho.”

    I do not entirely agree with that. What telling the story “properly” means exactly depends on one’s point of view. We would all have made a different movie and not one of those movies would have been the same. The point is the two brothers got out there and actually did it, which is a whole lot more than just talking about it.

    In general, I think sannyasins are hoping for too much from those guys. It is entertainment that is being presented, not a deep interpretation of Osho’s vision. People like Amrito have the funds and the people necessary to create such a series. But they do not get out there and actually do it and tell the story “properly”. I have my suspicions why that is. Really though, it’s none of my business.

    One thing is certain, the series got people around the planet talking and thinking about the whole ‘carry on up the Ranch’ issue. I see that as a good development.

  3. Parmartha says:

    I find it important information that the film makers did not approach Amrito.

    They gave an enormous amount of time to Sheela and Shanti Bhadra who admit trying to murder him, so why not approach him and get his side of the story?

    I like Amrito’s clarity about what Osho was about. He was about transforming individuals, and that is how I always saw it too.

    He is right to explain that Sheela had never meditated, and yet that was Osho’s whole trip. Given she tried to murder him he shows amazing generosity of spirit in praising some of her qualities.

    I can’t remember the exact timing, but Amrito must have known he was at further risk from the cabal in August/early September, 1985. He showed courage in not leaving at that time.

    He is perfectly right that most of the commune had no idea about things like the poisonings, including him and the household, the cabal had a very, very tight-knit, totalitarian way of working. This sort of observation was totally missed in the movie.

    As Swami Shanti reminded us in the last string, the cabal were active in trying to kill or get rid of most of the household, in particular Vivek, as Swami Shanti documents and references. It was not just Amrito they were after.

    A well timed post, as it balances out some of the crap that surrounds the tilt of the movie.

    • Sweetness says:

      I think the reason they did not contact Amrito (and other important people around Osho) is that the film is not about the life of Osho, but about the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram and the effect on the people of Antelope. And of course, this was Sheelas ‘show’ and Ma Shanti was one of her most important helpers.

      I would love a sequel though, to hear about these other people near to Osho in this story.

      Who knows…?

  4. Kavita says:

    To me, it’s a welcome surprise to see an interview from the Doctor.

    He is more courageous than Sheela in many ways!

    A prequel & sequel to ‘WWC’ would make a good trilogy, possibly including all the previously missed links.

    • bodhi vartan says:

      I understand that there is one more episode to come but it will be made up from footage that has already been filmed, with no new material.

      • sannyasnews says:

        That is our understanding also, so the criticisms of the present movie will not be met in the film-makers’ so-called final episode, like, for example, an interview with Amrito, and with many ordinary sannyasins we could think of who were never approached, including the Editor of our web-site!

  5. dean carter says:

    Parmartha, there was a lot of wheeling and dealing regarding all the above characters mentioned with the U.S. authorities. The Federal government’s agreements didn’t translate to the State of Oregon’s sentencing, I think due to “National Security” interests. So, I think the Oregon officials hadn’t a clue what was going on between the Feds and Osho, Sheela and co.

    No one has ever talked about this, as you say, how and why Sheela and her gang got off with such light prison sentences. She served only a few years in prison for offences that in this country would get a person 25-50 years.

    Many years ago I was approached by a young man who worked for the Bill Clinton campaign back in 1992. He told me that the Reagan Administration made a deal with Bhagwan’s and Sheela’s lawyers to let Bhagwan not serve prison time, to just be deported, and for Sheela and her gang to serve minimum jail time for whatever charges were brought against them.

    This was done because one of Reagan’s closest confidants and UN representaive, Jean Kirkpatrick’s son, was a sannyasin and resident at the Ranch. The Reagan gang felt that if this were to become publically known it would hurt Reagan and then Vice President George Bush politically, Bush later became president of the U.S.

    This young man told me that the Clinton campaign were having meetings on whether to decide to use this information against Bush during the 1992 presidential race. Ultimately, they chose not to use the info against Bush. Only a handful of people outside both campaigns and Osho’s and Sheela’s lawyers know about this.

    I thought I’d share this with you in order to show there is a whole lot of wheeling and dealing, lies, deceit and manipulation that goes on, with regards to politics, religious organisations, that the ordinary person doesn’t know about.

    • Parmartha says:

      Thanks, Dean.

      But do remember all sorts of things are made up around such things. Personally, I would have doubts about this story.

      Sheela and her two closest companions got very light treatment, and if one had any hope of contrition and truth from them one could ask them why, and this would have been a good question for the film-makers – particularly as their main interest was political throughout their movie. And a question to push.

      Niren, as Osho’s lawyer, could also be asked.
      What was the sannyas name of Kirkpatrick’s son? He could also be asked.

      • dean carter says:

        P, I trust the source completely. He lived in the small town in which the organic farm I was working at was located. He had just come from Washington D.C. and Clinton campaign headquarters. This was just after Clinton was elected and he had heard from locals that I used to live at the Ranch. He sought me out.

        We spoke at great length, mostly he was asking me about my experience at the Ranch. I remember telling him to get out of politics for it was a dirty business and full of shady, untrustworthy and deceitful people. I saw no reason to doubt him, so I consider the story true.

        You can also look up Jean Kirkpatrick and her son on Google. He’s a renowned Tibetan buddhist lama and his history with Osho, including his Ranch days, is available to be read by anyone.

      • dean carter says:

        P, here’s a link:
        https://localwiki.org/ann-arbor/Traktung_Rinpoche Traktung Rinpoche or Stuart Kirkpatrick

        • Parmartha says:

          Thanks, Dean.

          I may try and write to him about the story you were told.

          Some people around this story still suffer delusions of grandeur and consider it more important than it was, as it was so central to their own story.

          Your story has never been alluded to before and, having some political experience myself, I don’t think it would figure as a tool.

          • dean carter says:

            P:
            The people who would know would be those who worked for the Bill Clinton campaign in 1992, those in the then Reagan administration back in 1985-6, George Bush’s inner circle, and you’re right, Niren, Osho’s lawyer, would know.

            Whether he would fess up and tell the truth, I’m not so sure since he still lives in California, I think, and is still a lawyer. Fear of disbarment or lawsuits, maybe fear of criticism from the Osho community of sannaysins for playing politics and making deals behind the public’s back.

            It’s kind of like a politician taking a bribe. The rule is keep quiet and say nothing, for fear of repercussions.

      • dean carter says:

        Here’s a real good link:
        Traktung Rinpoche and his partner tell their stories, one in particular when they first meet. She discovers him to be a sannyasin.

        http://www.crazywisdomjournal.com/featuredstories/2016/8/24/at-the-heart-of-everything-is-dharma-getting-to-know-tsochen-khandro-and-traktung-rinpoche-of-tsogyelgar-dharma-center-and-white-lotus-farms

        • Klaus says:

          Hi Dean,

          Thanks for your comment!

          Sounds logical to me that the Reagan government interfered thus from high level.

          What really blows my mind is the story of Stuart:
          A Tibetan holy man seeks rebirth in an American family – mother UN ambassador, and father one of the founders of the CIA.

          Next, studies of comparative religion; next, sannyasin; next, meeting soulmate and settling in the USofA, practising in the Tibetan tradition.

          Now that is a CV.

          The author certainly made some cognitive mistakes about Osho. Anyways, who cares?

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      I´d subscribe to that, Dean, whosoever you are – and I´d subscribe to that, up to the present moments, unfortunately: “there is a whole lot of wheeling and dealing, lies, deceit and manipulation that goes on, with regards to politics, religious organisations, that the ordinary person doesn’t know about.”

      Madhu

  6. samarpan says:

    “Well, you’re watching someone who’s completely unconscious. She was unconscious then, and she’s unconscious now, and all you can do is look at this person and go, “Well, you were dumb then, and you’re dumb now.” (Amrito).

    I did not know Shanti Bhadra. Does anyone here who knew her share Amrito’s opinion? Why?

    • sannyasnews says:

      No one here knew Shanti Bhadra well except as one of Sheela’s ‘yes’ circle.

      But given that she acknowledged in the film that she did try and murder Amrito (Devaraj) and did describe it without even a hint of contrition, apology or self-criticism, it is no wonder he has such an opinion of her.

      How close she was to accomplishing this is also forgotten. Amrito spent a number of weeks in hospital, as we recall, whilst the poison was fought.

      • Arpana says:

        When you think about it, attempts to ‘poison’ Amrito, along with Jayesh, have never stopped; almost entirely driven by jealousy and envy as well. (Sheela lives on in those who are still trying to poison him/them).

        • swamishanti says:

          Yes, the idiots that try to justify Sheela’s actions in some way, and compare her with the power games of the OIF management.
          Or think that somehow she knew better because she was Indian and westerners were corrupting him!

          I mean, there really is no justification for poisoning people out of spite, like Sheela did with many people, or the attempted murders.

          Telling people they had AIDS when they did not?
          I mean, apparently, Shanti B and Sheela were trying to cultivate the HIV virus in their lab, for f’s sake.
          That is in ‘Life of Osho’, by Sam.

          • Parmartha says:

            Well put, SS.

            The thing around AIDS I had almost forgotten, yet it shows how crazy they had become by that time and Sam (Prem Paritosh) was certainly right to underline it in his book. It is an indicator that they had really lost their minds.

            And what more terrible thing to be told that you have AIDS when you don’t…

            These people deserved to be in prison much longer than they actually served….

            • swamishanti says:

              Yes, it must have been absolutely devastating for that sannyasin who was falsely told that they had AIDS and sent to live in the special isolated commune for people with the disease.

              And that person could have gotten infected by someone else in that place.

          • satchit says:

            “I mean, apparently, Shanti B and Sheela were trying to cultivate the HIV virus in their lab, for f’s sake.
            That is in ‘Life of Osho’, by Sam.”

            Cultivating the HIV virus. Is there any proof for it?

            Or is it enough today that someone writes a book and underlines something?

            • swamishanti says:

              The author researched Osho’s life thoroughly and read all of the books that were available on Osho at the time.

              When Sheela left the Ranch, much evidence was found in her bunker that she was researching ways to kill and was interested in different poisons.

              There are several sources.

              Osho called in the authorities at that point.

              • shantam prem says:

                For this point I will ask Sheela for lie detector test.

                Swamishanti, hopefully you have the balls to ask other players for the same; for example, whether Osho signed his will or the signatures are bogus.

                • swamishanti says:

                  These are two different issues here, the legitimacy of the Will, and the evidence that was found in the bunker under Jesus Grove after Sheela’s departure from the Ranch.

                  There was a false wall in the shower of Sheela’s house, which led to an underground tunnel and secret bunker.

                  There was a library of books on poisons and bacteriological and chemical warfare.

                  An A-frame somewhere on a remote part of the Ranch had been used by Puja as a laboratory where she had apparently been trying to culture the HIV virus, amongst other things.

                  One of Sheela’s crew returned to the Ranch on her own, I believe, if memory serves me correctly, and spilled the beans on some of this stuff.

                  I’ve got some old books stashed somewhere, maybe I’ll have a look sometime.

                  These things were shown to the police, who also discovered that the whole of the Ranch was bugged, not just the hotel and public telephones, the whole place.

  7. shantam prem says:

    So much oral evidence – wonder where are the photos and videos of weapons of mass destruction created by Bhagwan’s Sheela?

  8. shantam prem says:

    The too devotee doctor has never ever uttered a single time, “I have heard Osho saying…”

    In my opinion, such disciples are utter assholes who speak in absolute terms.

    Osho has spoken a story on similar lines, when blind people describe elephant through their touch.

    As I remember, almost every year Osho has told time and again, never say, Master has said so, kind of arrogant and highly objective statements.

    Osho as Einstein – utter crap!

    MOD:
    Shantam, WE’RE NOT SURE IF YOU’RE PRAISING OR CRITICISING IN FIRST PARAG!