Ma Anand Sheela, of Oregons Rajneesh saga and Wild Wild Country fame, will star in new Netflix documentary – OregonLive

Posted: November 2, 2019 at 12:48 am


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Oregonians with long memories have never forgotten Ma Anand Sheela, and people all over the world saw her in action thanks to the Netflix 2018 documentary, Wild Wild Country. Now, the former top aide to the controversial Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is getting more Netflix attention as shes set to be the subject of a documentary filmed during her first trip to India in more than three decades.

The Associated Press reports that the documentary, scheduled to stream on Netflix India on a date not yet announced, follows Ma Anand Sheela as she visits the Rajneeshs cremation site in Pune, and also makes a trip to her family home.

When the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers came to Oregon in the early 1980s to establish a commune on the the site of what was then known as the Big Muddy Ranch, near Antelope, locals had strong reactions.

As the Rajneeshees exerted their influence in the area, many Oregonians were alarmed at the commune members free-wheeling behavior and the gurus habit of riding in Rolls-Royces, among other things. As the culture clash heightened, the goings-on at Rajneeshpuram, as the commune members had christened their Wasco County property, drew national media attention.

Tensions escalated to crimes, with the revelation that Ma Anand Sheela had been behind the 1984 mass food poisoning bioterror attack in The Dalles, which left more than 700 people ill after eating food contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

Ma Anand Sheela eventually served two years and five months in prison for attempted murder, arson, immigration fraud and the food poisoning in The Dalles. She was granted parole after 39 months and later made her home in Switzerland.

Related: Netflix documentary on Rajneeshees in Oregon revisits an amazing, enraging true story

The bizarre saga became internationally known years later, thanks to the Netflix documentary, Wild Wild Country, which recounted how the commune formed and collapsed amid the Bhagwans deportation from the U.S.

Related: Read The Oregonians original 20-part investigative series on Rajneeshees

According to the Associated Press, when she was asked about her past, Ma Anand Sheela replied, "I have nothing to apologize for."

-- Kristi Turnquist

kturnquist@oregonian.com 503-221-8227 @Kristiturnquist

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Ma Anand Sheela, of Oregons Rajneesh saga and Wild Wild Country fame, will star in new Netflix documentary - OregonLive

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November 2nd, 2019 at 12:48 am