The Signature of Poison/ Osho’s death

Osho himself certainly seemed to believe in 1987  he had been  posioned by Ronald Reagen’s America. See Jesus Crucified Again, This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America, Ch 1 which we quote parts of below.  There would seem to be little doubt that Osho’s health was not helped however by various other sources of poison. For example in one lecture in Rajneeshpuram in 1985,  Osho thought that Sheela had poisoned his milk.  Many who love Osho and continue to do so feel that his regular sessions with nitrous oxide from 1979 until 1988 would have had a major deleterious effect on his health and with similar symptoms to thallium which his Doctor felt he was suffering from.  For many years many disciples refused to believe that Osho, for whatever reason, partook of nitrous oxide, and even evidence of the sessions was suppressed.   Anyway, whatever the truth, here is a chance to comment in a responsible way at the end of this article..

In 1987 there seemed to be a crisis in Osho’s immune system… he said of his American jail experience:

I was taken from one jail to another jail. In twelve days I had to pass through six jails, all over America.

In Oklahoma my suspicion became a certainty, because I landed in the middle of the night at a silent airport, and the U.S. Marshal himself was there to take charge of me. He himself was driving the car, I was sitting behind him. The man who was giving the charge to him whispered in his ear – which I could hear without any effort, I was just behind him. He said, “This guy is world-famous and all the world news media is focused on him, so don’t do anything directly. Be very careful.”

I started thinking, What is their intention? What do they want to do indirectly? And as I reached the jail their intention became very clear to me.

The U.S. Marshal asked me not to fill in the form with my own name. I should write instead, ‘David Washington’ as my name. I said, “According to what law or constitution are you asking me to do such a stupid thing? I simply refuse, because I am not David Washington.”

He insisted, and he said, “If you don’t sign the name ‘Washington’ you will have to sit in this cold night on this hard steel bench.”

I asked him, “You are a reasonable man, well educated; can’t you see that it is a stupid thing you are asking me to do?”

He said, “I cannot answer anything. I’m simply fulfilling the orders from above.” And ‘above’ certainly means Washington, the White House, Ronald Reagan. Seeing the situation – I was tired – I told him, “Let us compromise. You fill in the form, you write whatever name you want to write. I will sign it.”

He filled in the form. David Washington was my name, and I signed my own signature in Hindi. He asked me, “What have you signed?”

I said, “It must be David Washington.” I said, “This will be a reminder to you that anything that you want to do – directly or indirectly – you will be caught. It is with your handwriting that you have written David Washington and it is my signature, which is world-famous and can be recognized without any difficulty. Your whole conspiracy has failed. I can see it clearly in your eyes, in your nervousness, in your trembling hands.”

The idea was that if I write David Washington and sign David Washington, I can be killed, poisoned, shot and there will be no proof that I ever entered the jail. I was brought from the back door of the airport, I entered the jail also from the back door, in the middle of the night so that nobody can be ever aware – and only the U.S. Marshal was present in the office, nobody else.

He took me to the cell and told me to take one of the mattresses, utterly dirty, full of cockroaches. I said to him, “I am not a prisoner. You should behave a little more humanly. And I will need a blanket and a pillow.”

And he simply refused: “No blanket, no pillow. This is all you will get.” And he locked the door of that small, dirty cabin.

Strangely enough, in the early morning at five o’clock he opened the door and he was a completely changed man. I could not believe my eyes, because he had brought a new mattress, a blanket, a pillow. I said, “But in the night you were behaving in such a primitive way. Suddenly you have become so civilised.”
And he offered me breakfast early in the morning – five o’clock. In no other jail I was offered breakfast before nine o’clock. I said, “It is too early – and why are you paying so much attention?”

But he said, “You have to eat it quick, because within five minutes we have to leave for the airport.”

I said, “Then what is the purpose of the mattress and the blanket and the pillow?”

He said nothing and simply closed the door. The breakfast was not much: just two slices of bread soaked in a certain sauce – I could not figure out what it was – tasteless, odourless.

Now, Dr. Amrito feels I was poisoned. Perhaps they poisoned me in all the six jails; that was the purpose of not giving me bail and that was the purpose in taking twelve days to complete a journey of six hours. A slow poisoning which will not kill me immediately, but in the long run it will make me weak – and it has made me weak. […]

Later Osho continued:

The European experts in England and Germany have suggested a name of a certain poison, thallium. It is a poison of a family of poisons of heavy metals. It disappears from the body in eight weeks’ time, but leaves its effects and destroys the body’s resistance against diseases. And all the symptoms […] are part of thallium poisoning.

The American experts have suggested a different poison which they think has been used by governments against rebellious individuals. The name of the poison is synthetic heroin. It is one thousand times more dangerous than ordinary heroin. All the symptoms are the same as with thallium, but the poison is more dangerous and after two years there is no possibility to find any trace of it in the body.

The Japanese experts, who have been working in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on atomic radioactivity, have suggested that these symptoms can also be created in a more sophisticated way by radioactive exposure – either while I was asleep, or food can be exposed to radioactivity and there is no way to find any trace of it. […]

It does not matter which poison has been given to me, but it is certain that I have been poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s American government.

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45 Responses to The Signature of Poison/ Osho’s death

  1. Lokesh says:

    This subject has been covered so many times that were it not a rainy day I would not bother responding to it. As it is, here is my take on it.
    Image wise, and Osho was very conscious of his public image, saying he was poisoned by the CIA sounds a lot better than admitting that a decade of Laughing Gas inhalation had severely damaged his immune system. Nitous Oxide is not the most interesting of drugs but it is psychologically addictive. It provides a short high that the user usually wants to repeat. I’ve used it several times in my drug-experimentation past and quickly became bored with it. Nitrous can also produce severe migrane-like headaches.
    The whole idea of Osho being hooked on a cheap drug like nitrous oxide brings into question a whole lot of things when taking into consideration that he claimed to be enlightened. His stance of drug-taking was basically negative. I only once heard him say it was cool for someone to continue smoking dope. Yet here we have Osho behind the scenes getting smashed on laughing gas. First question that arises was who exactly was getting high? Could it be that treating another human being as if he or she were a Buddha leaves that person wide open for self-delusion. So many times we see Osho’s name linked to Buddha and Christ, but the ones saying it are not enlightened and therefore how would they know who Osho was in the consciousness stakes. Of course Osho added to this image by such proclimations as being the master of masters etc. For all we know Osho might have fallen into the ultimate trap of seeing himself as having arrived at a place where self-delusion is impossible. He was not exactly getting feedback from anyone in his inner circle that would have questioned his enlightenment. Quite the opposite. It was as if people believed he could do no wrong. Even today sannyasins rationalize in all kinds of irrational ways why Osho did some of the ridiculous things he did. The ultimate rationalization being that it was all done in the name of awakening us from the sleep of ignorance.
    I don’t believe Osho was poisoned by thallium. Basically because he did not actually have the symptoms of being poisoned by this toxic element. I think the Reagan administration probably viewed Osho as a nuisance rather than a national threat. Here too Osho perhaps overestimated his role on the world stage. He really was not that important in the greater scheme of things. There is nothing particularly unusual about being shifted around differant penal institutions in the USA. It happens all the time. If they had really wanted to get rid of him there are dozens of better ways of doing it than poisoning him with thallium. The whole thing reeks of sensationalism. Osho’s biggest enemy was perhaps himself and the social isolation that comes with being the knower surrounded by seekers. It could well be the case that like a rock star who has everything he simply became bored with it all and got into drug addiction. He would not be the first and won’t be the last.
    Recently I’ve read the autobiographies of famous rock stars who became addicts or alcoholics. There are definate parallels between stardom and gurudom.
    Ultimately, I prefer to focus on all the good that Osho did in his life. The thing is, people enjoy bad news more because it feeds their addiction to negative emotions. Which is probably the reason that you managed to read this far. I hope you are satisfied.

  2. Prem says:

    I guess it depends how you percieve whether enlightened people `should` use drugs or not.Lord Shiva enjoyed the marijauna plant a lot but no-one doubts his enlightenment.

  3. Parmartha says:

    Good point Prem.
    Clearly in India whatever drug “Soma” was in the ancient times, was then used by many spiritual adepts three thousand years ago.
    The issue seems to me to be whether Osho wanted this activity to be a public activity, and if so, why has this been suppressed for over 20 years? Many Osho devotees completely failed to acknowledge, and in a fundamentalist way, this part of Osho’s way of life for at least 10 years after his death. It was only after 1999 when Devageet wrote a few articles in Viha Connection that they would even contemplate that Osho was just a little bit like those ancient soma rishis and not some clean living “good” man! It reflects the essential Calvinism of all devotion, which is often missed.

  4. alokjohn says:

    As Lokesh says this subject has been brought up many times, and we have no new information.
    Just to give my opinion for anyone reading….
    Parmartha and Lokesh were never in regular daily contact with Osho.
    But his doctor and about 20 others were. All these people consistently say he was poisoned by the Americans using thallium and radiation. If you use a low dose of two or three poisons you do not get quite the same symptoms of each poison used separately. The US Government is intelligent and sophisticated enough to do this. The Government was very angry with Osho. Osho called president Reagan an arsehole and through the cars made fun of American values. The US Government has a history of using poison; there were 200 attempts on Castro’s life including poisoning his cigars.
    Also I think it is unlikely that the twenty or so people close to Osho who all say he was poisoned by the Americans could keep silent for 21 years without one of them breaking ranks.

    If you say Osho was not poisoned
    by thallium and radiation, then you have to say his doctor was lying or was a fool. Which is it?

  5. bill e. williams says:

    Alok john: those 20 or so people had a vested interested in osho and being in his inner circle. those people were interested in control, control of the lower caste sannyasins, those who had no wealth or connections. those people would have lead sannyasins over a cliff if it meant that they would be on the top pecking order. Thallium poisoning’s symptoms are/were NOT the same as osho’s symptoms. Osho was sick way before he claimed poisoning by the U.S. government, he was sick when he arrived to the U.S. in 1980, and his health deteriorated since that time until his death.. Sannyasins are very clever, just ask Sheela and her gang… just as clever as any government especially the U.S. government. Stop being in denial and being a “Yes” man, always question and challenge authority, or are you too afraid to do so?

  6. Parmartha says:

    Alok it is not fair to say this subject has been overvisited. It was never actually mentioned until 1999 except by outsiders such as myself and Prem Paritosh. It was only after Devageet’s article in 1999 and other articles from the dental team in Viha Connection magazine did it ever even get discussed as such.
    The relationship between a teacher or shaman and the halluocogenics of his choice are of interest and have a valid place in the history of mysticism. The fact that Devageet has a 800 page two volume book ready for publication, and that at least one other member of the Dental Team is due to publish a full book on the subject within 12 months indicates this. Devageet’s book was written at Osho’s request.
    Devageet and members of his dental team are likely to speak with authority, but as Devageet said recently in an entry on the sannyasnews noticeboard his book is likely to ruffle some feathers.

  7. alokjohn says:

    Bill, I am not a yes man. It is a tricky judgement. Parmartha goes on about N20 but none of the articles tell us how frequently or how much he took.
    I somewhat judge by character having seen many of the twenty people in the flesh. I think I am a good judge of character. I still say the fact that none of the twenty has broken ranks in 21 years is good evidence.

  8. shantam says:

    “I still say the fact that none of the twenty has broken ranks in 21 years is good evidence.”
    Alokjohn, how you are sure about these twenty not breaking ranks in 21 years. Are you reading the Osho Times of 1991?

  9. alokjohn says:

    Shantam, I meant none of them have contradicted the poison story.

  10. shantam says:

    This is very true, Alok. and looking at the circumstances and the religiously charged atmosphere of USA, 1984, all the roads lead to the fact that Osho was poisoned in a most scientific form of murder. Why those people should have remorse, after all, they just took away the anti Jesus of their time. A clear cut operation!

  11. shantam says:

    Osho, His life and death and His work will always remain part of many people´s life. I am one of them.
    From time to time, days after Osho´s death, such rumours were also put forward that Osho´s death was part of insider´s self interests.
    I doubt this theory completely and have always stood against the character assassination of few people. Functional differences apart and ego conflicts aside, i don´t doubt the intention, love and loyalty of Osho´s closest people, Indian or western as i have seen them since 1985..
    From the rajneeshpuram time, Why Sheela will turn such a bitch, and where she felt resentment and slighted by Osho, i cannot understand from the conventional character analysing.

  12. Parmartha says:

    This is going slightly off-topic which is a more general theme.
    No-one here has for example discussed Osho’s view in September, 1985 that his milk had been poisoned by Sheela’s gang. The micro politics of the situation in 1984/5 at the Ranch was going completely crazy. Puja the Head Medical person reporting directly to Sheela, deliberately had people mis-diagnosed with aids when they were inconvenient or rebellious and sent to a remote part of the Ranch, Osho’s personal physician was poisoned, and someone went to jail for this, etc. So it may well not be just in Osho’s imagination.
    On the other hand the fact is, as one poster here says, that Osho was in perennially poor health. When I first met him in December, 1974 he was clearly struggling, and came and left darshan resting heavily on the arm of Vivek. There could well be truth in all the stories around Osho’s encounters with poison, or none. If none, then his early death in common sense terms could have easily been predicted given the difficulties of diabetes, asthma, degeneration of the back bone and his failing immune system. Osho put the state of his body down to the shock it experienced at enlightenment, and that it was some kind of miracle that he was still in the body anyway. He was apparently in good physical health before 1953 and even partook in wrestling contests according to some reports.

  13. Satya Deva says:

    I’m just wondering whether the answer has to be either one thing or the other, ie poisoning by the US government or years of taking nitrous oxide. Why not both?

  14. Parmartha says:

    It is a very difficult matter Satya Deva for a disciple, and even more so for a devotional disciple. After all, Osho himself believed he had been poisoned by the US gov, and it seems that he also thought for whatever reason that there was poisoning of his milk by the Sheela gang.
    Osho never alluded to nitrous oxide directly, and many still consider that to be part of his “private” life. However I became convinced this was not a privacy matter when I read the three so-called nitrous books as there are clear sentences there where the dental team are encouraging him to take less of the gas, and the very publication of those books in 1985, not wanted by Sheela or Vivek, were clearly meant to be digested by disciples.
    Further I was very surprised when I turned up in Pune in 2000 to see how dominant (I dont know whether it is still) Osho’s almost space craft like dental chair was in the foyer to the what was then called the samadhi. It was clear to me that he had not left instructions for the matter to be kept private.

  15. Satya Deva says:

    Do you mean to suggest, Parmartha, that there actually exist sannyasins who allow their devotion to Osho to get in the way of their ability to make a more than wholly subjectively-biased assessment of this matter (or even, perhaps, other matters)?

    IE to allow what amounts to an emotional attachment to cloud their God-given faculty of – and I’m so sorry to have to write these dreadful words – rational discrimination?

    To even, perhaps, go as far as to actually want the ‘Wicked (unloving) Dad’ (American government) to be wholly and entirely responsible for prematurely terminating the earthly existence of the ‘Good (non-judgmental, all-loving, totally infallible, and ‘perfect’) Dad’ (aka Osho)?

    How do you manage to sleep at night?!

  16. Parmartha says:

    I sleep well.
    Maybe you misunderstood SD. I dont experience this as a problem but I can see those I would call devotees struggle with their common sense, and also with the grains of calvinism that is endemic in their devotional psychology. How can the Master be wrong? or perhaps misled by his advisers, etc??
    That is what is wrong with the master/devotee paradigm, but we who reckon to be disciples, if not devotees, also have to struggle with the fact that Osho adopted that paradigm – or at least until 1985 when he started calling us all friends, and sometimes admitting to mistakes which bind us all in a common humanity.
    Energetically and mystically I have no doubts about my connection to Osho. However I dont think this has to include ignoring common sense or clear errors that Osho made in the temporal world.
    Many treat the whole poisoned in the US of A story like an immovable truth, not because it seems to have flaws when closely examined, but because OSHO himself seemed to believe it. As you say this is the desertion of individual discrimination which in itself took us out of the caves, and out of the tribe into the partial civilisation we have the good fortune (compared with all our ancestors) to inhabit.

  17. alokjohn says:

    I do not think I have “deserted my individual discrimination.” I always use my intelligence. Einstein said “Common sense is the set of all beliefs acquired before the age of eighteen.”

  18. Satya Deva says:

    Einstein’s definition of common sense might be true. Or, it might demonstrate his lack of common sense…

    Take a look at his love life, for example…

    You can’t just throw in a random quote from anyone, however eminent its source, and take it as ‘gospel’. That tends to demonstrate a lack of ‘intellectual common sense’!

    I acknowledge and appreciate you have an ‘exceptional mind’, Alok, but if you view yourself as completely unaffected by an emotional bias (with roots deep in childhood trauma) that underpins the conclusions in your analyses of ‘Osho issues’, then I suggest you are rather deluded.

    Moreover, what sort of ‘common sense’ arises from such a dysfunctional background?


  19. Satya Deva says:

    And Parmartha – I didn’t misunderstand your comments, mine were purely of a humorous, even satirical nature!

  20. Satya Deva says:

    Why is it so very hard to accept that a Master, however great, is not necessarily ‘infallible’ when it comes to everyday, ‘earthly’ concerns?

    On a purely physical level, they can become ill, feel physical pain; and on a mental level they are not ‘omnisciently clairvoyant’ regarding the outcome of situations, they can misjudge people’s characters, they can be ‘quirky’, and so on…

    None of which denies their status in consciousness, in impersonal love, or makes them any less ‘great’.

    Can’t help thinking a refusal to face this is a refusal, at some level, to ‘grow up’, a wish to remain stuck in a comfortable little world of basically childish fantasy, where the Master is an all-protecting, all-knowing’ ‘perfect’ parent-figure. Christianity and other religions have much to answer for, I’d say….

  21. Satya Deva says:

    Psychoanalytical term for this is transference, of course.

    But as it often appears like ‘perfect devotion’ it tends to go largely unchallenged in spiritual circles.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t have its therapeutic uses. Somewhat related, or example, might be that soon after arriving in Poona I had dreams where my parents were wearing orange clothes! Which ‘Bhagwan’ reckoned was ‘very good, things are happening!”

    And it can take many years, a lifetime (or more?!) even, to overcome whatever ‘load’ one has inherited by being born into a particular family situation.

    But part of the learning, of ‘moving on’, is surely to recognise where one is with regard to these projections and transferences, how they might well be affecting our choices, views etc. from ‘below’, unconsciously.

  22. shantam says:

    Satya deva, Can you explain with examples, regarding “Perfect devotion” in connection with Osho. I think very seldom Osho projected himself as a divine deity. Most of the people came to Him because of His audios and books and the powerful insights regarding our interior world and the possible techniques to penetrate this unexplored terriotory.

    On the other side, belief in some power higher than us, has some kind of therapeutic use and can boost the overall confidence of individuals and society.

    Just take the example of Jesus or Buddha or Krishna…billions of people in thousands of years have taken the march of Human evolution to its new peeks. Jesus and Holy Bible has supported this journey during every dark night.
    It makes me so happy to think that these forfathers of us did not fall into the trap of finding some living Master or Massiah…

  23. Satya Deva says:

    Shantam, it’s not so much a question of how Osho presented himself – although up there on a ‘throne’, with ‘servants’ looking after his every need, diamond watches etc. he appeared very much the ‘spiritual King’ – it’s about what some (perhaps many?) chose or still choose to project on to him, ie some sort of total ‘perfection’. In spite of compelling evidence to the contrary.

    As for your other remarks re organised religions, well, I don’t see their relevance to the point I’m making.

    (And, btw, belief is for fools, or for those unable or unwilling to find out for themselves).

  24. Satya Deva says:

    Also, Shantam, you appear to be promoting ‘consolation’ as a valid spiritual value. Isn’t that the path of
    mediocrity, so beloved of the collective “billions”, which perhaps has its “therapeutic” uses to the troubled mind – although based on lies – but which is surely unworthy of an Osho sannyasin?

  25. shantam says:

    It amuses me to see when people want to cirticise Osho, they always chose the Rajneeshpuram phase. No doubt, the fiasco of ranch has broken the knees of one of its kind spiritual movement. This chapter of Osho has reduced the impact of Osho in the wider arena and no amount of His books without Osho´s photo on them can bring Him back to the family discussion rooms, like before when every family in the west has the one knew one some young person will get attracted to this Indian with hypnotic eyes.
    But it makes me surprised too when ex sannyasins who have taken the shelter in the teachings of other mystics of our time, throw their volleys on Osho about the Rajneehpuram phase.

    Pune one and Pune two are the phases where Osho has shared the best of both worlds with humanity. Ipod is suing Samsung for design copy, same way Samsung can sue Nokia and Nokia can sue most of the development in the world is just repetition of the similar products..

    I wonder when some one will be able to design something like Mystic Rose meditation or speak so sweetly and easily about inner world that after reading few books many people have become themselves the masters of inner journey!
    Disciples like always are so desperate in their search, that it makes no difference whether the experience is real or just stolen from Travel catalogues!

    • dharmen says:

      Shantam, The Mystic Rose is indeed a wonderful process but do you know it probably served another purpose: when Osho came back to Pune, after his world tour, the ashram was presented with a massive back tax bill and at that time the coffers were far from full. Osho came up with the Mystic Rose and the recommendation that every sannyasin should do it, within 12 months the tax bill had been paid. All kudos to Osho, I say, he probably saved the day.

  26. alokjohn says:

    SD, Einstein’s statement about common sense is a witty statement, that is all. I would not use the phrase “common sense” because it can mean almost anything. Maybe one of the things Parmartha means by common sense is “Of course Osho was not poisoned in jail. The US Government would not do such a thing.” If this is what he means, I just suggest his knowledge of history and politics is limited.

    SD, you write….
    “Can’t help thinking a refusal to face this is a refusal, at some level, to ‘grow up’, a wish to remain stuck in a comfortable little world of basically childish fantasy, where the Master is an all-protecting, all-knowing’ ‘perfect’ parent-figure.”

    These are typical psychoanalytical values that are proffered by analytic therapists in the UK. There are values here….”It is a good thing to grow up” whatever being grown up means. Another value is “It is a good thing to move on.”

    The trouble is an analytic therapist would say what you wrote about anyone, without knowing the person. I never met Osho so I cannot see how he could protect me or parent me. I think analytic psychotherapy is a subtle cult, really, telling people how to live and what values to adopt.

    Osho was not all knowing. He knowledge of science was poor. But I think when it comes to spiritual matters and understanding the human condition, he really was in a class of his own. But an analytical therapist would say, this is a childish fantasy, such a person cannot exist.

    By the way, analytical therapy originates with Freud. You know Freud taught that all reports of child abuse were fantasies, presumably because he was a doctor on the make and did not want to confront abusers. Jeffrey Masson’s ‘The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory’ (1984) is worth reading on this.

  27. Satya Deva says:

    You know, Alok, I’m not banging any sort of drum for psycho-analysis. I had psycho-analytic-type counselling many years ago, for over 3 years, very supportive but absolutely impotent when it came to moving me forward. A few sessions of dynamic meditation did more for me than all those hours of talk!

    But no need to throw out the baby with the water, despite its and its founder’s flaws. Transference, for example, is a key therapeutic concept, in and out of conventional psychotherapy, and is not to be so lightly dismissed. Indeed, it was the very first thing taught in his courses by one of the great British pioneers of ‘growth movement’ therapy, Glyn Seaborn-Jones ( the most intellectually gifted man I’ve ever come across, btw).

    As for ‘growing up’ and ‘moving on’, well, I guess much depends upon how much one remains locked in to self-defeating negative or infantile childhood patterns of thought, attitude and emotion.
    Ultimately, perhaps the best barometer for this would be the degree to which one feels ‘bound’ by fear – ie of the neurotic sort. Others might have their ideas about us, but only we really know.

    Fair enough, if you don’t believe Osho is somehow there, ‘looking after you’, as a ‘good parent’, but would you say that you have, at some level, an aversion to seeing him subject to criticism, beyond a certain smallish degree, as he’s just too personally – emotionally, not just intellectually – significant to your overall sense of well-being?

    Surely, we need to know, if possible, our own bias, ‘how we tick’, when assessing tricky issues (like the poisoning/laughing gas)? Otherwise, we run the risk of becoming just another ‘believer’, trotting out what our dearly-held beliefs are comfortable with.

  28. alokjohn says:


    I just don’t agree with the idea that it is never possible to make a rational intelligent judgement about someone. You seem to believe that every judgement has emotional roots in the unconscious, an idea derived from Freud. Whilst I agree this does happen sometimes, I think if you have examined your unconscious enough, this can be avoided.

    I don’t like to see Osho criticised because I think he was a great Master with a lot to offer people. I write partially for any newcomers who happen to read this. If a newcomer reads that Osho died of N2O poisoning, which is a very speculative idea, he might reject Osho, which is a pity.

    If it was proven, in the future, that Osho died of N2O, then I would have to accept this. In the meantime however, I think the balance of probability is that he was murdered by the Americans, so I defend this.

  29. Parmartha says:

    It can also be said that Osho died of natural causes, as I remember a Heart attack was mentioned on the death certificate. Not so uncommon in men of 59 who have lived a life largely without exercise.
    Osho was a great Master as you say Alok, but I dont think he was interested in the quantity of numbers he reached, but the qualities of maybe a much fewer number where he saw potential.
    He was clearly very interested in the early days in those who came up from Goa with their litany of drugs experiences, and what I felt were looking for something that would give consciousness changes without the damage that all drugs involve – namely meditation.
    I agree that the Nitrous stories are likely to put off many newcomers, but not I suspect those who come with a hallucogenic past themselves, and who Osho always seemed to have a lot of time for – I suspect because he thought they had potential. And this continues to apply.
    The Rolls Royce stories continue to put new people off, as they always did, especially in a place like America. Osho was in the business of finding the goats amongst the sheep, and moving the sheep on…

  30. chinmaya says:

    Exercise was the way of Osho life, in Budhha Hall amidst sannyasin, though pattern was different to what we do in our daily routine. His mental exercises too were very high. His body has become a hollow bamboo with minimum weight as required to continue living. His thoughts with thoughtlessness and remaining in meditative state had finished his body from inside. His own willingness to depart from this earth, he would have applied one therapy and said bye bye to his sannyasin. He spent quality life than large number of years.

  31. diane tirith says:

    I would suggest to everyone who has not done it yet, newcomer or not, to read the book “The guru papers”, very interesting for seekers old and new, to understand how entering an authoritarian relationship, with one person, the Master, that knows all, is enlightened, so knows better than you what is good for you, is perfect, so cannot commit any mistake, and on the other side the disciple that “surrenders” to the master has INEVITABLY a destructive outcome for both partners. The master becomes more and more isolated in his perfection and unchallengeability, losing contact with normal life and ending up needing to recur to addictions. And the disciple, after the first excitement due to opening up to the higher power, and the reflected feelings of being powerful and protected by it, not to mention the fellow feeling with the other seekers, and the meaning brought by this in a life which probably felt meaningless, finds him/herself in an illusory world which gets very easily shattered by the confrontation with reality, and on the way to become cynical and closed. This means that you cannot accept anymore the inputs that would help you to live your life in a more meaningful and open way. If you are honest with yourself, at some point you have to get out of the illusion, or life itself brings you out. Or you become one of those disciples (I know a few of those and I see some here as well) that have to reassert, at least publicly, the perfection of the master, and so keep lying to protect their vested interests.
    I don’t think there are easy solution to this conundrum, except watching, watching, watching and trying to respond to situations at the best of our possibilities, selecting in each situation what is good for you or not, and of course making a lot of mistakes and living the pain that comes from them.
    Personally I find it very difficult not to close to the “good” sides of Osho’s teachings as well, I have to constantly remind myself not to throw away everything just because of my own mistakes or stupidity in “surrendering” or because of some addicted or clever disciples.

  32. Lokesh says:

    Diane, spot on. The Guru Papers is a fantastic book. I’ve reread it a dozen times and used it as a reference book in my work as a writer. All intelligent sannyasins will derive much from reading it and help put into concise word forms some of the traps and pitfalls involved with hanging out with gurus and other charismatic authoratarian figures.
    To say that Lord Shiva’s smoking marijuanna bears some relevance to Osho’c addiction to laughing gas is stretching it a bit.
    There seems to be a resurgance of interest in Osho’s past at the moment. Perhaps due in part to the release of the GURU movie, which would be quite understandable.
    My morning began with reading a newly released 54 page statement, given to the FBI in 1985 in Oregon. It was given by one of Sheela’s gang to the investigators. Poor Devaraj must have guts like tarry boilers after all the toxic gunk they poisoned him with. The statement reads like a cross between Micky Mouse goes paranoid and the memoirs of Charles Manson. Totally insane!
    During the times that I spent with Osho one-on-one I was always particularly impressed by his incredible abilities in the realm of reading me like an open book. He had a way of cutting into the heart of a person that I’ve seen no other equal of in my sixty years of living. Time after time I watched him do it with others and it never ceased to amaze me.
    I was never friends with Sheela back in the mid-seventies but I did meet her socially at a couple of parties. She struck me as a particularly spoiled and pampered woman and I instinctively did not like her. It was therefore that I was quite surprised to see her rising so fast in the ranks of Osho’s minions, eventually peaking out as Osho’s mouthpiece in the ranch times.
    Bringing my last two paragraphs together it makes me wonder why Osho did not pull Sheela up long before he did, perhaps only due to damage control. There were dozens of people who were better equipped in the leadership role than she was. Yet he chose her. I think it was personal, otherwise why else. Anyone who thinks it was all a device created by Osho for our awakening has to be delusional…although ultimately it will have been although not due to any conscious decision made by Osho. One only needs to watch the scene in GURU, where Osho accuses Sheela of having murdered her first husband. Very personal, very nasty and unenlightened in the extreme.
    Yes, Shantam has a point, about how the ranch is a stain in Osho’s story and that there are many other sides to his life that should perhaps receive more attention. Or should they? Osho placed Sheela in charge, knowing full well what she was capable of and publically voiceing the opinion that she had not taken things far enough. He was wrong to do that because amongst other things Sheela deliberately poisoned little children. That was and is diabolical and bears the mark of a criminally insane person. So how did that come about? Osho was supposed to be enlightened, meaning, among other things, that the unconscious bore no sway over him and that he could look into the unconscious of the unenlightened and see, as clearly as reading an open book, what was going on inside of the people’s unconscious mind. This can only mean one or two things. Osho was either a fraud posing as an awakened being, or he simply let things take there course knowing full well that ultimately none of it really matters in the big picture. And there the story must end, because from that point it must forever remain a mystery to be lived and not a problem to be solved.

  33. Parmartha says:

    I enjoyed your post Lokesh, but have a few doubts. My experience was a bit different, I never thought Osho was in fact a very good judge of character in the normal sense, even with me!
    Sheela was actually family of a sort for Osho, and you know what families are, especially Indian families! So it was not a surprise to me when this little bossy person who I also knew a few times in Pune one clawed to the top of the tree.
    I wonder whether your faith in Osho’s judgement is actually part of the Guru papers thesis, that people give extraordinary qualities to their gurus which they dont actually possess?
    I would in normal terms criticise Osho for his lack of judgement and perhaps lassitude at the Ranch – but he was ill and suffered, and I know in illness it’s easier to let others do the business.
    The latest releases that I have been able to read, but have not read all 53 by any means!, indicate that my own judgement over the years that Sheela was criminally insane was correct – and explains what went down at the Ranch. It is not a mystery to me. As time progressed she got more insane, and her plans on the voting, and the busing in homeless people was up there in Freud’s casebook.
    I was there for some of the Ranch time, and closely involved as a commune member, so there is more to heal. I think you, like the author of “Life of Osho” Prem Paritosh basically kept well away from the whole Oregon period and did not visit the Ranch. if so, congratulations – in that I feel your judgement was indeed good!

  34. Paramiti says:

    This poisoning thing is all very simple…
    i have known for years…
    it goes like this…

    up until Bhagwans Birth ..
    and then Laxmi’s prompting..
    begging and nagging Him to start initiating people..
    Jesus was practically the most powerful Master..
    staying barely ahead of Mohammad…
    studying this fact ..
    Master knew..
    if He was going to succeed long term in the Master Business..
    He had to devise a Superior plan
    which would direct More Focus on Him..
    than any of the other previous Masters..

    So in His pondering ..He asked Himself..
    what Exactly gave Jesus that Edge over Mohammad?
    The Crucifixion of course!!
    M U R D E R
    People Love the Underdog who was Murdered..
    Mohammad was Not murdered..
    therefore …not as appealing and popular worldwide as Jesus..
    for in america…
    all our modern day heros were murdered..
    or conspiracy surrounds their deaths..
    Abe Lincoln..JFK..John Lennon..Marilyn Monroe..etc..
    lets face it..
    Murder is Appealing..
    perhaps even Intoxicating..
    for certain..its Exciting..
    much More Exciting than natural normal death…
    it also draws sympathy and compassion for the victim..

    and as we All Know..
    Master was no dummy..
    all His plans are very well thought out and completed to Fruition…
    He began by uncovering
    and Revealing..
    the truth of how Jesus was taken Down Off the Cross Before the usual time …
    Scientifically He would Not have been dead yet..
    also ..the Bible states..
    that when He was taken down..
    and pierced by a sword..He bled..
    Master pointed out..
    Dead Men Dont Bleed…
    Now Master very scientifically ..
    Stole Jesus’s Murder Victim Thunder..

    We also remember clearly ..
    that our Master was in no way modest…
    He called a spade a spade..
    He just happened to be the spade a lot of the time..
    and rightfully so..He Was!!
    He was Confident and Frank…
    and He was determined to Outshine all the other Masters..
    Including the Christ Child ..
    who really had a lot going for Him
    in the sensationalism department…
    and Master wanted to be certain..
    that when He died..
    His life would be at least ..
    Somewhat.. as Dramatic and Tragic..
    to Ensure this ..and carry out His Master Plan(Literally)
    He took the opportunity to tell His sannyasins and the world..
    yet A N O T H E R LIE…
    Lets not forget..
    Lying was one of Master favorite pastimes and fun hobbies..
    some people keep fish..
    some people knit or crochet..
    some people garden…
    some people build furniture..
    some people race cars..
    some people play golf..
    Master Lied…OFTEN…

    have any of you ever asked yourself this one simple question?
    why would a man who was Blessed with the Intelligence of Pure Genius..
    a man who was a vegetarian to His very core of being…
    EAT a Unknown White Cream Sauce Ever???!!!
    i have not eaten meat since i was a kid..
    i would not trust any such thing given to me in a restaurant..
    at my parents house..
    at a friends house..
    Much LESS in JAIL??!!
    Master never ate a white cream sauce without knowing what it was..
    bc He despised Eating animals..
    to Him it was like living a horror movie to eat meat..

    i know Him..
    i think i know Him pretty well..
    and the first time He said this nonsense about cream sauce and toast…
    i thought to myself..
    there He goes again..
    Having fun with His Favorite Hobby..
    L Y I N G….
    wonder if He will talk about it long enough to make another book..
    certainly He did..
    bc Talking On and On was Another Favorite Hobby of His…

    Now You Know..
    The Rest of the Story….

  35. Paramiti says:

    i agree with the comment by Parmartha previous to mine..
    $heela was Family..
    that influenced His choice..
    emotionally and politically…
    perhaps He would need help from her family in america..
    and Her father was willing to help with anything…

    i do not think Master thought that well of her from day one..
    He did think she didnt care about what matters in life..
    He did know very well that she was irresponsible ….
    He did take Notice at least of her irresponsibility to her own spiritual growth..
    on the other hand..He wanted the America Experiment..
    and whenever He started in on a project …
    He would enlist the Best ppl for the job..

    to succeed at something like the Ranch..
    you need ppl with personalities like $heela…
    you need ppl who are interested in power..
    you need nasty bossy ppl like her…

    take into account
    that Master even declared ppl enlightened who were not..
    just to get them to contribute to His Scheme..
    Master used whatever and whomever He could ..
    to get the job done..
    He knew His time was very limited..and after the age of forty or so..
    i think He felt each day for Him …was living on borrowed time..
    He was Very Physically Ill and no way to control or stop that…
    He had limited time and had to work with the ppl and resources at hand..
    and Quickly..
    Master was not so much about today’s sannyasins..
    us…His first sannyasins..
    as He was about leaving a Legacy for future sannyasin generations.
    He was Before His time…
    as all Masters are…

    when He was at the Ranch ..
    He was appearing to hold it together physically..
    but if anyone was aware enough..
    they could see that Master was no longer full of fire and passion
    as in the years before..
    He was becoming more and more frail
    He looked to me as if a strong wind could crush His frail body…
    in a way..He looked helpless..and like a baby..
    until i would make eye contact with Him..
    there was All His Power in the end..His eyes..
    His hands and movements didnt have a shadow of force and passion…
    He went from a young passionate man(bald but young)
    to an old old frail ..very ill man…
    this happened rather quickly..
    the first being when He arrived in oregon..
    and the second being after His arrest…

    strangely He thought He was getting better in oregon..
    yet He appears sicker and older and frailer..not better…
    He was the most Beautiful Gorgeous man when He died..
    Considering He was not even Sixty years old at the time??!!!
    Bhagwan looked like He was at least 20 years older.. if not more…
    Mamie Van Doren was born the same year as Master
    and when He died 21 years ago..He looked Then..
    like He could be her grandpa Today!!

    He was so ill in those last 6-8 years ..
    and He tried His best to make do…
    He trusted $heela NOT to be Insane..
    i think that is fair…
    her own daddy did not know..
    all he would say is..
    $heela is wrapped up in all this and wave his hands about..
    meaning..she is Obsessed with the Ranch…
    i think it concerned her daddy..
    but it was his kid ..
    and Even he didnt know she was going to try to murder ppl…
    her mum didnt seem to know or care..she seemed to be in her own internal world..
    and didnt seem to even realize $ was obessessed.or maybe didnt see it that way..
    this is my personal perception of her parents…

    and for Master… He Knows Eternal Truths..
    one of those truths is..
    it is Best to trust than to doubt..
    we are far better to trust someone until they betray us..
    than to not ever trust in the first place…
    and More than that..
    it is my opinion..
    that once one is Enlightened..
    it is Impossible to begin by doubting someone..
    first one must be given the benefit of the doubt…

    and further…
    being Enlightened does not mean one knows it all..
    it gives one access to Infinite Intelligence ..
    but it does not make one a God…
    nor does it mean one is psychic..
    and as Parmartha pointed out..
    it does not even ensure you will be a good judge of ppl..

    i think Master was a good judge of ppl who were similar to Him..
    or similar to those he was close to..
    one can only know that which one has experienced thur self or others…
    i think He was a good judge of what Talents each of us had/has..
    i think He had a Knack..a Knowing of what ppl had a talent in..
    He knew $heela’s talents and i think He was right on about her talents..
    what He Failed to see..perhaps bc He was so ill at the time..
    and close to death within only a few years..
    was that the Evil at the Ranch was Very Very Very Apparent..
    the feeling of being ill at ease..not at peace..
    which was very contrary to the Buddha Field He wanted to make it…
    i was constantly on guard there ..
    the feeling of dis ease and looming evil..
    was so thick you could cut it with a knife..
    and $heela was full of paranoia…
    she didnt want anyone in her sphere to breathe without her permission…
    there were quite a few laws being broken there..
    and i guess that was why she was so afraid..
    afraid of letting Master down maybe???
    i dont think $heela did what she did bc of power or greed..
    i think she wanted to please Master..
    maybe i am wrong as can be…
    but my first inclination is to think…
    she loved Him the only way she knew how..
    and her emotional love was dangerous…
    bc she was in no way mentally stable…

    i always Strongly disagreed with women running things..
    i do not agree with womens lib either..
    to me it is the sexes standing on their heads..
    but Master wanted to pay women back for the oppression..
    i dont think it was a good idea..
    men can be evil yes..
    but they are generally not so sneaky or manipulative…
    they lay their evil cards on the table..
    as a rule..
    you usually know what you are dealing with…
    women are often snakes in the grass..
    they can destroy something before you know what has happened…
    before you see it coming…

    with all the suffering Master endured..
    i never saw him cry…
    but once i thought He was going to..
    and that was over what $heela had done..
    i have Never Know anyone More Responsible than Master…
    yet after the $heela drama..
    i think He felt He failed us all..
    then..the last straw..
    i think He felt He failed Vivek..
    His heart could take no more…
    He meant well…
    and then it turned out as it did…
    God Bless Him :(

  36. Satya Deva says:

    Another point from Paramiti’s posts is the radical idea that Osho lied about being poisoned by the US government in order to provide a more ‘attractive’ story – myth, perhaps is the right word here – with which to entice future generations to his ideas and ways…

    Well…Who knows?! I’ve certainly never come across this one before and it’s definitely food for thought all right…

    And yet – something tells me that it’s just a bit too far-fetched, even for Osho, who never wanted to be the founder of any ‘religion’ and who is recorded as having said, on his death-bed, that he preferred to be remembered “as a nobody”.

    Besides, the power, the major selling-point of Christianity is the story, the belief, that Jesus ‘rose again from the dead’, thus ‘proving’ he was – is, they would tell us – not like us, not of this world, but ‘truly’ of God. Don’t think Osho could top that one, somehow…

    Mind you, this laughing gas business does place him right up there in the small pantheon of ‘crazy Masters’, places him firmly in the happy little group of the ‘disreputable’, the ‘amoral’, the true ‘laughing boys’ of this very Earth and Beyond!

    PS: Isn’t it conceivable that apart from pure pleasure he also took this stuff to provide relief from physical pain?

  37. Satya Deva says:

    I wonder how much conclusive evidence there is that Osho was a victim of poisoning…
    IF he was actually lying about it then it must have been to deflect, at least partly, attention and criticism, amidst the post-Ranch fall-out, away from himself and his people and on to wicked old Reagan and his gang. Thus assuming the public identity not only of fearless critic and lampooner of worldly authorities, but also of their innocent victim.

    Elementary political strategy really, I suppose.

    But it seems we’ll never know the truth, despite the stridently proclaimed title of Maneesha’s book, ‘Jesus Crucified Again – This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America’.

  38. sannyasnews says:

    the book you mention is not Maneesha’s, “Jesus Crucified Again…” – this is largely a selection of Osho extracts from 1984/85 from lectures he gave at that time whilst still in America. The third part of the book is from extracts from lectures Osho gave on his so-called “World Tour”, and also when back in India. It was “edited” by someone called Ma Deva Sarita. To my surprise it was first published by the so-called “Rebel Publishing House GmbH” in Cologne, not from Pune.
    Like many books coming from the “official” Rajneesh/Osho organisations it does not include the date of publication! This absurd procedure was and still is justified because they see Osho as not part of time itself, and therefore cannot be said to be published in any given year, etc. !

    ‘What someone dies of’ is actually very elusive even in western medicine. There are medical thesis on this in the Lancet etc…. Apparently many mistakes are made even after autopsies, etc. Maybe sometimes human beings just “give up”!
    Thank you for your on topic post.

  39. Lokesh says:

    Lets get this straight. Osho consumed a lot of N2O. Rupesh, who died recently in Mexico, told me about a period on the ranch where one of his jobs was to deliver metal gas cannisters to Osho’s house. Rupesh being a lazy Mexicano at heart, complained about how heavy the gas bottles were. I enjoyed Rupesh’s story and also how he was so non-serious about the whole thing…like Osho was hooked on laughing gas, ha-ha-ha, what a crazy master,
    I’ve used N2O and although giving quite a sensational high, it would not be a drug of choice for me as over time it produces nasty headaches. It is pretty much established that long term use can produce nerve damage. Even back in the seventies, Osho was not a well man. He wasn’t exactly the type of person who enjoyed a strenous and sweaty workout in the gym. Personally, I found it quite remarkable how he managed to hang on to his body for so long. I somehow cannot quite believe that he was poisoned by the American government. One thing we have that definately counters that theory is that there is not a shred of evidence to support it. Yes, I daresay Osho belived it himself, but he was not immune to believing in things that had no foundation in consensual reality. His predictions about AIDS etc were way off, yet he wanted us to belive something that was not true. There are many other instances of this but I’m sure you catch my drift.
    Osho really did little to take care of his health and did quite a lot that damaged it. End of story.

  40. Kavita says:

    Lokesh . . thanx for sharing Rupesh’s story . . :)
    would like to share there was a time in between mid 50′s – early 70′s . . when Osho traveled a lot and stayed at a sannyassins / friends . . during this time he stayed at Sw Satish’s family home in Jallandhar & he shared with us that Osho would carry a bull worker in his trunk & he has photos of Osho which do show that he sweated it out . . I feel Osho never stuck to anything /anyone for too long . . I do wonder why he stuck to NO2 . . anyway this is not a book to say ‘ End of story ‘ . . :)

  41. sannyasnews says:

    Note from Editor:
    Just in case readers do not know what is a Bull Worker. It’s a German invention from the 1960′s where one could do a full round of 24 exercises. Details at

    On the Ranch Osho was said at the time to swim every day and he mentioned this in one Press Conference. There has been no independent mention of this. Do any readers know whether Osho’s compound contained a swimming pool, and whether Osho used it regularly?

  42. Kavita says:

    Editor of Sannyasnews . . Osho has mentioned about his swimming in a river in Golden Glimpses . . its not common to have a swimming pool in India even now . . anyway here below is a link to that . . in case if you havent read that . . :)

  43. sannyasnews says:

    Thanks Kavita.
    We were thinking of the Ranch period, 1982 to 1985 when Osho alluded to swimming every day and we are asking whether there was a swimming pool in Osho’s compound there.
    Osho’s health did improve in Oregon. Medics rightly point out that asthmatics almost invariably have improved health in desert air.

  44. Lokesh says:

    To put forward the idea that Osho took care of his health is preposterous. Exercise is number one in the health stakes and Osho didn’t get any of that…hey but hold on….did anyone check if his Rollers had power steering?…driving a five ton gas-guzzler can provide a strenous work out if a Rolls does not have power-assisted steering…perhaps we’re on to something here. Then again, with a little imagination, I can see Osho pushing a 100kilos on the bench press in in air-conditioned cave. Some of those hats he wore must have weighed a few kilos…providing an excellent neck muscle work out…those fancy mudras must have built up his fingers…I’ve heard that shaking hands with Osho was like jamming your hand in a car door…did anyone see Osho shaking hands with like Arnold Schwarzenneggar or any other body builder types? Kavita, get your Sherlock Holmes outfit on…this is a serious investigation. Could you try and get hold of some photos of Osho working out with his bullworker back in the year dot. I heard he also had x-ray specs as a child. Perhaps it was due to this that he developed his ability to see right through people. This is all so exciting! Live is a mystery to be solved not a…I’ve forgotten how that mantra goes.

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