Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931 – 1990) – Cult Leader …

Posted: March 7, 2019 at 2:43 am

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Rajneesh cult: Arson, attempted murder, drug smuggling, vote fraud, et cetera

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh born in Poona, India, as Rajneesh Chandra Mohan founded the Rajneesh Foundation International in 1974. He was one of the most controversial of modern gurus, in large part due to his take the freedom to do whatever you want view of life.

Bhagwan (The blessed one) earned a degree in philosophy, a subject he then taught for ten years before setting up his commune.

The commune, later at times referred to as the ultimate cult based on sex, attracted many educated Westerners who donated large sums of money.

Bhagwan was a skilled orator and a prolific author. He left behind hundreds of books and taped lectures which have allowed his followers (fractured though they are) to continue to market his teachings.

His own sexual preferences, a liking for pretty young women, were central to the cults lifestyle, which promoted a total lack of inhibitions. Like most cults with links to Eastern traditions, the Rajneesh utilized the emphasis on self to encourage his followers to reject the constraints of their past and adopt a free-love philosophy.

In reality the Rajneesh was brainwashing his followers by forcing them to work long hours and then take part in disorientating meditation sessions which would often result in a free-for-all orgy. Source: Sarah Moran, The Secret World of Cults. p.38

In 1981 he was deported from Oregon under a bevy of serious criminal charges associated with his ashram, or spiritual community.

Many people were unfamiliar with the story of this cult which committed the first act of bioterrorism on U.S. soil until the recent Netflix hit documentary, Wild, Wild Country.

[A]lso called OSHO and ACHARYA RAJNEESH, original name CHANDRA MOHAN JAIN, Indian spiritual leader who preached an eclectic doctrine of Eastern mysticism, individual devotion, and sexual freedom while amassing vast personal wealth. []

In 1981 Rajneeshs cult purchased a dilapidated ranch in Oregon, U.S., which became the site of Rajneeshpuram, a community of several thousand orange-robed disciples. Rajneesh was widely criticized by outsiders for his private security force and his ostentatious display of wealth. By 1985 many of his most trusted aides had abandoned the movement, which was under investigation for multiple felonies including arson, attempted murder, drug smuggling, and vote fraud in the nearby town of Antelope. In 1985 Rajneesh pleaded guilty to immigration fraud and was deported from the United States. He was refused entry by 21 countries before returning to Pune, where his ashram soon grew to 15,000 members. In later years he took the Buddhist title Osho and altered his teaching on unrestricted sexual activity because of his growing concern over AIDS. Source: Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree, quoted from an earlier edition of this Encyclopedia Britannica entry

[] the only known successful use of biological weapons in the United States was by the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh cult in 1984. The group contaminated salad bars in 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Ore., with Salmonella Typhimurium, causing several hundred people to become ill. Source: Biological and Chemical Warfare Q and A, ABC News, Sep. 24, 2001

Hinduism is not> by nature a proselytizing religion, however, in part because of its inextricable roots in the social system and the land of India. In recent years, many new gurus, such as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Satya Sai Baba, have been successful in making converts in Europe and the United States. The very success of these gurus, however, has produced material profits that many people regard as incompatible with the ascetic attitude appropriate to a Hindu spiritual leader; in some cases, the profits have led to notoriety and even legal prosecution. Source: Hinduism Outside India, From an earlier edition of this Encyclopedia Britannica entry

In 1988 thirty years after taking the title, Bhagwan, (which means the embodiment of God) Rajneesh admitted the title and his claim to be God were a joke. I hate the word I dont want to be called Bhagwan (God) again. Enough is enough. The joke is over, stated Rajneesh saying he was really the reincarnation of Buddha and claiming for himself the new title of Rajneesh Gautaman the Buddha, (Star Telegram, Dec. 29, 1988; Sec.1, p. 3). Later he took the title, Osho Rajneesh, a Buddhist term meaning on whom the heavens shower flowers. (Ibid, 1/20/90). Source: Guru Rajneesh Dead at 58, Watchman Expositor, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1990

Followers of Rajneesh were known as Sannyasins.

Sannyasin is a Sanskrit word that describes someone who has reached the life stage of sannyasa, or renouncement of material possession.

A sannyasin has turned away from all material possessions and emotional ties. They now live only to perfect their understanding of the spiritual world. This is seen as a state of sacrifice that leads to final liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, or moksha.

For many advanced yogis, becoming a sannyasin is the final stage of yoga practice. They can devote themselves wholly to the pursuit of the spiritual understanding that comes from yoga. Source: Definition at Yogapedia

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Ever wonder what ever happened to the guy whose religious followers were linked to the only episode of domestic mass bioterrorism in America? Well, in the case of the late, notorious Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, old renegade sex gurus never die. He just left his body somewhere in India in 1990 and later emerged as a thriving, modern-day publishing machine known as Osho.

Rajneeshs flock caught much of his meditative bon mots on tape, and now incessantly recycle these ponderings as spiritual wisdom under the author name of Osho.

Rajneesh is a self-proclaimed spiritual rebel who thrives in the controversy that he has created, particularly in India, by his trainings (such as the tantra group, and the often violent encounter group) and his denunciations of respected religious and political leaders. Tal Brooke, a former devotee of the popular Indian guru Sai Baba, after visiting Poona effectively summed up the scene there:

An object of media fascination and horror, Rajneesh is known for his bizarre revelations on sex. He has constructed a vision of the New Man that repudiates all prior norms and traditions. Man, by Rajneeshs thinking, is the hedonist-god, fully autonomous (barring the inner voice of Rajneesh), and free to carve out the cosmos in his own image. He is the sovereign pleasure seeker, self-transcender, who owes nobody anything. The family is anathema, children extra trash. And so long as the Neo-sannyasin has the money the fun ride continues. Afterward, however, he or she is usually a non-functional casualty. Homicides, rapes, mysterious disappearances, threats, fires, explosions, abandoned ashram children now begging in Poonas streets, drug busts all done by those amazing hybrids in red who believe they are pioneering new and daring redefinitions of the word love.

Christians working in a Poona asylum confirm such accounts, adding the breakdown rate is so high the ashram has wielded political power to suppress reports

The only proven incident of bioterrorism the United States has ever experienced, we learned, was a bizarre plot by the Rajneeshees, a religious cult, to steal a county election in Oregon in 1984. The Rajneeshees, followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a self-proclaimed guru exiled from India, had moved into a ranch in rural Wasco County, taken political control of the small nearby town of Antelope, and changed its name to Rajneesh. Next, the cult sought to run the whole county by winning the local election in 1984.

The amazing story of the Wasco County election scandal was revealed to the conferences riveted participants by Leslie L. Zaitz, an investigative reporter for The Oregonian, and Dr. John Livengood, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control. To win the county election, the Rajneeshees planned to sicken a good portion of the population in the town of The Dalles, where most Wasco County voters live. Their weapon of choice to keep local residents from voting was salmonella bacteria. Cult members decided to test the use of salmonella and, if successful, to contaminate the entire water system of The Dalles on Election Day. First, the Rajneeshees poisoned two visiting Wasco County commissioners on a hot day by plying them with refreshing drinks of cold water laced with salmonella. Then, on a shopping trip to The Dalles, cult members sprinkled salmonella on produce in grocery stores just for fun. According to reporter Zaitz, that experiment didnt get the results they wanted so the Rajneeshees proceeded to clandestinely sprinkle salmonella at the towns restaurant salad bars. Ten restaurants were hit and more than 700 people got sick.

In 1981, Wasco County school children learned a new word: Rajneeshees. Even before the start of the school year, a few lessons on this strange East Indian word and what it meant. Followers of the nomadic Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh purchased the rambling, 64,229 acre Big Muddy Ranch in Wasco and Jefferson counties in July of 1981 as the central commune for the Bhagwan and his devoted followers.

At first, the residents of nearby Antelope viewed the sudden appearance of the red-clad Rajneesh disciples, known as Sannyasins but more commonly referred to as Rashneeshees, as nothing more than a curiosity. It wasnt long, however, before they realized the seriousness and full intentions of the Rajneesh movement, or invasion, as some locals preferred to call it.

While the Bhagwans chief aide Ma Anand Sheela was declaring the movements plan to operate a simple farming commune in the desert, his other disciples were busy in the background developing grand plans for a huge resort city for up to 100,000 Rajneeshees.

Within a matter of weeks, construction began on a number of buildings within the newly-christened Rancho Rajneesh, including a shoppng mall, restaurant, a resort-like motel and commune service offices. In many cases, Bhagwan followers moved ahead without securing proper county building permits.

In the meantime, new recruits continued pouring into the desert commune -many of them wealthy European and American followers who were more than willing and able to finance the Bhagwans movement.

But the Rajneesh movement began to falter in October 1981 when two months after arriving at Rancho Rajneesh, the Bhagwan applied to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for an extension of his visa. Immigration officials began a full-scale investigation into the activities of the religious sect, focusing on the gurus intent in coming to the United States and a pattern of suspect marriages between the U.S. citizen and foreign followers.

The investigation turned up information that the Bhagwan and his followers left India in the spring of 1981 owing the Indian government more than $6 million in unpaid taxes. An Indian tax court voided the Rajneesh organizations tax-exempt status and assessed millions of rupees (Indian currency) in back taxes.

But the movement forged ahead in the Oregon desert. In April 1982, Rajneeshees, voting as a bloc, managed to secure enough votes to take over the town of Antelope, which was renamed Rajneesh. They also voted to incorporate Rancho Rajneesh the former Big Muddy Ranch as the town of Rajneeshpuram.

Though the six-hour series may seem like a lot, in reality, much was left on the cutting room floor in favor of focusing on some of the more sensationalized aspects of the group. Footage of what appears to be an orgy in the first episode is part of a 1981 documentary called Ashram in Poona, allegedly filmed in secret in India. Much of the media coverage of sannyasins from the early 1980s and today honed in on these segments of the documentary, referring to the group as a sex cult. But according to several former residents of Rajneeshpuram, this is a misrepresentation and argue that Wild Wild Country leaves out or breezes past many more important aspects of life as a sannyasin.

When you watch the hundreds of lectures that Osho gave, sex plays a very small part, Massad explains. His main message about that was that repressing sex does not make you a more spiritual person, as is so often depicted in traditional religions.

For Jane, what started out as a journey seeking spiritual enlightenment began to descend into darkness as she sacrificed her marriage and children, and eventually through a monstrous act of attempted murder her freedom. After serving time in the US, Jane started a new life in Germany, but soon realized she could never truly be free until she had faced up to the past. With an international arrest warrant hanging over her head, and a son who is gravely ill, Jane finally does so with devastating clarity. Source: From the book description

The cult that formed was as paranoid as scientology, as bizarre as Jonestown, and as controlled as the Manson family. Yet until the release of Wild Wild Country, Netflixs latest hit documentary series directed by brothers Mclain and Chapman Way, it had not entered the cultural conversation in the same way as those movements. Now it seems people can talk about little else. The six-part documentary, available to view now, scored 100% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, and received even more glowing endorsements from other filmmakers, including Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning director of Moonlight, who tweeted: Im on my second watch of Wild Wild Country. Ill probably make it through a third. The film has spurred hundreds of articles revisiting the events as other journalists attempt to get in touch with former members or relive their sannyasins experiences.

The tenor of the excitement around the show isnt just about the intimate footage the directors have unearthed, or the fact they secured in-depth interviews with nearly all the cults living leaders. Viewers also seem to be shocked that they didnt already know this story. Jenn McAllister, a YouTuber with more than three million subscribers, had a typical reaction of those not yet born during the period: I cant believe that happened in the US and I never knew until now. Source: Sam Wolfson, The Guardian

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Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931 - 1990) - Cult Leader ...

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March 7th, 2019 at 2:43 am