Wild Wild Country: The Story Behind the Story

OSHO International Responds


White Plains, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/30/2018 -- "Wild Wild Country," the recently released six-part Netflix docuseries, is capturing worldwide attention. It recounts the extraordinary story of a group of people, inspired by the vision of the mystic, Osho, who creates an alternative community based on that vision in Central Oregon.

These events trigger a political and criminal confrontation between a revolutionary vision of a new way of living versus the establishment. Unfortunately, the docuseries fails to explore key aspects and so does not give a clear account of the real story behind the story.

The attempts to create a model city in the Oregon high desert was blocked on the fabricated basis – one of many to come -- that it was "farmland" where "offices" were not legal. Without that "city" designation, the residents of the Rajneesh community were very reluctantly obliged to buy property which had long been for sale in Antelope, a tiny "ghost town" 19 miles away and with 40 mainly retired residents, in order to have essential services. This was termed "the invasion" that was later used to justify ever-greater efforts to "get them out." In response, and what would be revealed on later, Sheela set out on her personal road to perdition, bending and breaking laws as she saw fit in an attempt to keep the community in place and growing.

Only after the community had been destroyed did the Oregon Supreme Court confirm what anybody could see with their own eyes: that the land was not in any sense "farmland." The court confirmed that the land could only support "9 cows" and that the city's original incorporation had been legal.

A critical moment came when Sheela fell out with Osho and as noted in the docuseries she decided, "He lost it". By now she knew what was best to implement what she thought was his vision, which was the beginning of the end. When Osho became aware of Sheela's criminal acts he immediately invited the FBI to investigate her crimes.

In the fall of '85, it was public knowledge that the National Guard and other levels of law enforcement were being mobilized. Repeated attempts by Osho's attorneys to cooperate with any warrant or allegations against him were rebuffed.

Osho defused the risk of violence at a stroke: he accepted the advice from those around him to leave. He flew out of Rajneeshpuram on the long journey across the country. His departure from Rajneeshpuram was a gift for the authorities who then claimed he was "fleeing" the non-existent arrest warrant. "Fleeing" whilst filing flight plans with the FAA, and taking the longest possible route across the US when Canada was only 20 minutes away?

The attacks on Osho's fragile health while he was being held by authorities required him to allow his lawyers to make a deal to leave the US, all the while maintaining his innocence of the trumped up charges.

Sheela who was at the center of this criminal enterprise received a slap on the wrist for her crimes and one wonders if Osho would not still be serving his prison term today had there been a trace of evidence linking him to Sheela's crimes.

In summary one could say that here was an Indian man, who wore a dress and an unusual hat, who drove a fleet of fancy foreign cars, round a city named after him in Sanskrit, where everyone wore red, worked for no money but with only the love of a vision of a different world based on meditation, where there was no support for the family, private property or any religion, and where everyone was a vegetarian – right in the middle of red-neck, cowboy country!

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