Rajneesh, and the Lost
Truth by Christopher Calder
The hype - "Don't advise me. Everything is clear before my eyes." — Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) The reality - "Adolf
Hitler’s violence with the Jews was far more peaceful, because he
killed people in the most up-to-date gas chambers, where you don’t take
much time." - "Thousands of people can be put in a gas chamber, and
just a switch is pressed. Within a second you will not know when
you were alive and when you died. Within a second, you
evaporate." - "The chimneys of the factory start taking you, the smoke
– you can call it the holy smoke – and this seems to be a direct way
towards God. The smoke simply goes upwards." — Osho's words from his 1985 book, From Death to Deathlessness.
During official testimony at the United States District Court in
Portland, Oregon, Ma Ava (Ava Avalos) stated that Ma Anand Sheela had
played a tape recording of a meeting Sheela had with Rajneesh about the
'need to kill people.'
The tape was played to Rajneesh's inner circle of sannyasins in order
to strengthen their resolve to carry out criminal acts. See the court statement. Ma Ava stated under oath that "She
(Ma Anand Sheela) came back to the meeting and ... began to play the
tape. It was a little hard to hear what he was saying ... And the
gist of Bhagwan's response, yes, it was going to be necessary to kill
people to stay in Oregon. And that actually killing people wasn't
such a bad thing. And actually, Hitler was a great man, although
he could not say that publicly because nobody would understand
that. Hitler had great vision."
- "The difficult thing for people to understand is that cosmic
consciousness may feel wonderful, but it doesn't mean anything.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with virtue, honesty, intelligence, and
wisdom. That fact is just one reason why religion and politics
should never be mixed." — Christopher Calder
I first traveled to India in November of 1970. In December of
that year, I met the spiritual teacher known as Acharya Rajneesh, who
was 39 years old. His personal secretary, Ma Yoga Laxmi, welcomed
me into his three-bedroom apartment located in the city of
Bombay. I sat on the floor before Rajneesh with several of his
orange-robed initiated Indian disciples, known as sannyasins.
With a long beard and large dark eyes, Acharya Rajneesh looked like a
painting of Lao-sue come to life. Before meeting him, I had spent
time with a number of Eastern gurus without being satisfied with the
quality of their teachings. I wanted an enlightened guide who
could bridge the gap between East and West, and reveal the true
esoteric secrets without the excess baggage of Indian, Tibetan, or
Rajneesh was the
answer to my quest for those deeper meanings. He described for me
in vivid detail everything I wanted to know about the inner world, and
he had the power of immense being to back up his words. At 21
years old I was naïve about life and the nature of man, and I assumed
that everything he told me must be true. Rajneesh spoke with a
high level of intelligence, and his powerful presence emanated from his
body like a soft light that healed all wounds. While sitting
close during a small gathering of friends, Rajneesh took me on a
rapidly vertical inner journey that almost seemed to push me out of my
physical body. His vast presence lifted everyone around him
higher without the slightest effort on their part. The days I
spent at his Bombay apartment were like days spent in heaven. He
had it all, and he was giving it away for free.
Rajneesh at his best in the late 1960s
Rajneesh possessed the power of direct energy transmission, which is
known in India as 'shaktipat.' In his early years, he used this
power nobly to bring comfort and inspiration to his disciples.
Rajneesh claimed to have the 'third eye' power of remote viewing.
For many years I believed that claim to be true. Many gurus boast
of having mysterious psychic abilities to attract new disciples and new
money. Rajneesh's habit of getting his helpers to investigate
visitors so that he could impress them with his knowledge of their
personal lives adds to my skepticism about the effectiveness of his
third eye. It was a fact, however, that those who came near him
experienced his incredible cosmic presence. One or two
face-to-face meetings with Rajneesh were all it took to turn doubting
Western skepticism into awed admiration and devotion.
One year earlier I had met another enlightened teacher known to the world as Jiddu Krishnamurti.
J. Krishnamurti could barely give a coherent lecture, and he constantly
scolded his audience by referring to their 'shoddy little minds.'
I loved his frankness, and his words were true, but his subtly
cantankerous nature was not very helpful in transferring his knowledge
to others. Listening to J. Krishnamurti speak was like eating a
sandwich made of bread and sand. I found the best way to enjoy
his talks was to completely ignore his words and quietly absorb his
presence. Using that technique I would become so expanded after a
lecture that I could barely talk for hours afterward. J.
Krishnamurti, while fully enlightened and uniquely lovable, will be
recorded in history as a teacher with very poor verbal communication
skills. Unlike the highly eloquent Rajneesh, however, J.
Krishnamurti never committed any crime, never pretended to be more than
he was, and never used other human beings selfishly.
Life is complex and multi-layered, and my naive illusions about the
phenomenon of perfect enlightenment faded over the years. It
became clear that enlightened people are as fallible as anyone.
They are expanded human beings, not perfect human beings, and they live
and breathe with many of the same faults and vulnerabilities we
ordinary humans must endure.
ask how I can claim that Rajneesh was enlightened, given his scandals
and disastrous public image. I can only say that Rajneesh's
magnetic presence was identical to that of Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was
recognized as enlightened by every high Tibetan Lama and revered Hindu
sage of the day. I do sympathize with the skeptics,
however. If I had not known Rajneesh personally, I would never
believe it myself.
Rajneesh pushed the
envelope of enlightenment in both positive and negative
directions. He was the best of the best and the worst of the
worst. He was a great teacher in his early years, with an
innovative meditation technique that worked with dramatic power called
Dynamic Meditation. Rajneesh lifted thousands of seekers to
higher levels of consciousness, and he detailed Eastern religions and
ancient meditation techniques with luminous clarity.
One false move, one grand error
Acharya Rajneesh was born to a Jain
family on December 11th, 1931, in the village of Kuchwada in central
India. The term 'Acharya' means a religious teacher, and
'Rajneesh' means moon. Rajneesh's actual legal name was Chandra
Mohan Jain. The name 'Rajneesh' was just an unofficial nickname
acquired in childhood.
Late one night
in 1971, the man I knew as Acharya Rajneesh suddenly changed his name
to 'Bhagwan Rajneesh.' The famous enlightened sage, Ramana
Maharshi, was called Bhagwan by his disciples as a spontaneous term of
endearment. Rajneesh simply declared to the world that everyone
should start calling him Bhagwan, a title that can mean anything from
'divine one' to God. 'Shree' is an honorific term for master, so
his most notorious full name, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, can be translated
as God Master Moon. Rajneesh became irritated when I once
politely corrected his mispronunciations of English words after a
lecture, so I felt in no position to tell him that I thought his new
title was inappropriate and dishonest. That name change marked a
turning point in Rajneesh's level of honesty and was the first of many
big lies yet to come.
Rajneesh lived in
an ivory tower, rarely leaving his room unless to give a lecture, his
life experience cushioned by throngs of adoring devotees. His
isolation became even more complete when he moved from his Bombay
apartment to a large estate in Poona in 1974. Like most human
beings who are treated as kings, Rajneesh lost touch with the world of
the common man. In his artificial and insulated existence,
Rajneesh made one fundamental error in judgment which would destroy his
In Poona in 1975,
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spoke to a disciple who occasionally strayed
from Rajneesh’s approved message. Bhagwan said, "What you tell
them is true, but what I tell them is good for them." This was
his useful lie theory. Rajneesh calculated that the majority of
Earth's population was on such a low level of consciousness that they
could not understand nor tolerate the real truths. He thus
decided on a policy of spreading seemingly useful lies to bring
inspiration to his disciples and, on occasion, to stress his students
in unique situations for their personal growth. This was his
downfall and the prime reason he will be remembered by most historians
as just another phony guru. Rajneesh's teachings were full of
intentional lies and unintentional falsehoods, which were born out of
his own ignorance, gullibility, and Indian cultural conditioning.
His psychic presence, however, was 100% real and extremely powerful.
Acharya, Bhagwan Shree, Osho,
all the empowering names taken by Rajneesh could not cover up the fact
that he was still a human being. He had ambitions and desires,
sexual and material, just like everyone else. All enlightened
humans have desires. All enlightened men have had public lives
that we know about, and all have had private lives that remained
secret. The vast majority of enlightened men do nothing but good
for the world. Only Rajneesh, to my knowledge, became a criminal
in both the legal and ethical sense of the word.
Rajneesh never lost the ultimate existential truth of being. He
only lost the ordinary concept of truth that any normal adult can
understand. He rationalized his constant lying as 'left-handed
Tantra,' but that too was dishonest. He lied to save face, to
avoid taking responsibility for his own mistakes, and to gain personal
power. Those lies had nothing to do with Tantra or any selfless
acts of kindness. What is real in this world is fact, and
Rajneesh misrepresented fact on a daily basis. He was no simple
con man like so many others. Rajneesh knew everything that Buddha
knew, and he was everything that Buddha was. It was his loss of
respect for ordinary truthfulness that destroyed his life's work.
Rajneesh's health collapsed in his early thirties. Even before
reaching middle age, Rajneesh suffered reoccurring bouts of
weakness. During his youthful college years, when he should have
been at a peak of vigor, Rajneesh often had to sleep 12 to 14 hours a
day due to an unexplained illness. Rajneesh suffered from what
Europeans call ME, and what Americans call Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
His classic symptoms included the obvious fatigue and lack of physical
endurance, strange allergies, recurrent low-grade fevers, photophobia,
insomnia, body pain, and extreme sensitivity to smells and chemicals, a
condition called 'multiple chemical sensitivity.'
In the 1970s, Rajneesh often complained of becoming lightheaded
immediately upon standing. This is called orthostatic intolerance, yet
another common symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Rajneesh's trademark chemical sensitivity was so severe that he
instructed his guards to sniff people for unpleasant odors before they
were allowed to visit him in his quarters. People with Gulf War
Syndrome, MS, and other neurological and immune system illnesses are
also often highly sensitive to chemicals and smells. Rajneesh's
poor health and strange symptoms were a product of real neurological
and immune system dysfunction, not some supernatural sensitivity caused
by his enlightenment. Rajneesh also had Type II diabetes, asthma,
and severe back pain.
constantly sick and frail from the time I first met him in 1970 until
his death on January 19th, 1990. He thought he was getting a
different cold or flu every week. In reality, he suffered from a
chronic neurological and immune system illness, Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, with flu-like symptoms that can last a lifetime.
Rajneesh used prescription drugs, mainly Valium, as an analgesic for
his aches and pains and to counter symptoms created by the dysfunction
of his autonomic nervous system. At his peak usage, Rajneesh took
the maximum recommended dose of 60 milligrams of Valium per day, a dose
so high that it is usually only prescribed for the short-term treatment
of the seriously mentally ill. Patients who take Valium regularly
build up a resistance to the drug over time, and higher and higher
doses are needed to maintain its stress-relieving hypnotic
effects. Rajneesh also inhaled nitrous oxide mixed with pure
oxygen, which he claimed increased his creativity. The nitrous
oxide probably did relieve the sensation of severe exhaustion and
suffocation patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often feel, but it
did nothing for the quality of his judgment. Naive about the
power of drugs, and overconfident in his ability to fight off their
negative effects, Rajneesh succumbed to addiction.
Rajneesh had miraculous mental power, but he was an ordinary human
being physically, and he could not tolerate the devastating effects of
large doses of tranquilizers. On top of Rajneesh's physical
illness, his massive intake of Valium caused paranoia and greatly
reduced reasoning skills. Valium addicts often think the CIA or
some other unseen villains are plotting against them, so it is not
surprising that he imagined that he was poisoned by the United States
Government. His reasoning powers became so damaged that he
considered moving to Russia to combine his totalitarian form of
spirituality with Russian communism, an idea no sane man could
entertain. He publicly called for the assassination of Russia’s
president Gorbachev, because Gorbachev was moving Russia to
Western-style capitalism instead of Rajneesh's brand of 'spiritual
Rajneesh was a
physically ill man who became mentally corrupt. His brief
experimentation with LSD only made matters worse. Rajneesh's drug
addiction was a problem of his own making, not a government
conspiracy. Rajneesh died in 1990 with heart failure listed as
the official cause of death. Probably, the physical decline
Rajneesh experienced during his incarceration in American jails was due
to a combination of withdrawal symptoms from his Valium addiction, and
an aggravation of his Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to stress and
exposure to allergens.
Rajneesh's humiliation and downfall in America, he declared that he was
'Jesus crucified by Ronald Reagan's America.' In truth, Rajneesh
was a drug-addicted guru who self-destructed because of his wrong
actions. Comparing himself to Jesus was doubly dishonest, as he
had no respect for Jesus. He once proclaimed to the American
media that everything Jesus said was 'just crazy.'
Former Oregon Congressman Jim Weaver
wrote, “I went through the abandoned city of Rajneeshpuram and
saw almost unbelievable things. Ma Anand Sheela's headquarters, a
group of mobile homes pieced together, was a hive of secret doors and
hidden tunnels, her private room a command post with electronic
listening gear tapped into every room in the development. The
Bhagwan's parquet-paneled quarters had nitrogen oxide spigots by his
bedside, and was surrounded by huge bathrooms with multiple showers."
In the 1998 preface to Books I Have Loved,
Osho's dentist, Swami Devageet, states that Osho dictated three books
under the influence of nitrous oxide. They were Books I Have Loved, Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, and Notes of a Madman.
Referring to his nitrous oxide use, Rajneesh himself stated that
"oxygen and nitrogen are basic elements of existence. They can be
of much use, but for reasons the politicians have been against
chemicals of all kinds, …all drugs." Ma Anand Sheela, Rajneesh's
secretary, publicly stated on the CBS news show 60 Minutes
that Rajneesh took 60 milligrams of Valium every day. Hugh Milne
(Swami Shivamurti), Rajneesh's head bodyguard, also confirmed
Rajneesh's heavy Valium use. The FBI knew that Rajneesh was a
Valium and nitrous oxide addict from their investigations, and that
fact was published in newspapers around the USA, including articles in
the Oregonian and the New York Times.
There is no doubt that Rajneesh became a drug addict except in the
minds of passionate followers who don't want to admit the painful truth.
Rajneesh once jokingly referred to himself as 'the rubber hose Buddha,'
because he was always inhaling nitrous oxide through a rubber
hose. Rajneesh did not seem to realize that becoming a drug
addict not only devalued himself as a teacher but to some extent
discredited the very concept of anyone becoming a 'Buddha.' If
even an enlightened Buddha needs drugs to get high, then what value is
there in becoming 'enlightened' at all?
was a rebellious anti-guru Indian teacher unrelated to J.
Krishnamurti. He stated that "People call me an ‘enlightened
man. I detest that term. They can’t find any other word to
describe the way I am functioning. At the same time, I point out
that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all. I say that
because all my life I have searched and wanted to be an enlightened
man, and I discovered that there is no such thing as enlightenment at
all, and so the question whether a particular person is enlightened or
not does not arise. I don’t give a hoot for a sixth-century-BC
Buddha, let alone all the other claimants we have in our midst.
They are a bunch of exploiters, thriving on the gullibility of the
people. There is no power outside of man. Man has created
God out of fear. So, the problem is fear and not
Upon his death in 1990, there was media speculation that Rajneesh had
committed suicide by taking an overdose of drugs. As no disciple
has confessed to giving Rajneesh a lethal injection, there is no hard
evidence to support the suicide theory. A compelling
circumstantial case could be made for such a scenario, however, with
suicide provoked by Rajneesh's constant ill health and sorrow over the
loss of Vivek,
his greatest love. Vivek was a beautiful English woman who met
Rajneesh in Bombay in 1971, and who stayed with him as his number-one
girlfriend until his death. Vivek took a fatal overdose of
sleeping pills in a Bombay hotel one month before Rajneesh's
passing. Pointedly, Vivek decided to kill herself immediately
before Rajneesh's birthday celebration.
Rajneesh had threatened suicide at the Oregon commune several times,
hanging his death over the heads of his disciples as a threat unless
they obeyed his orders. On his last day on Earth, Rajneesh is
reported as having said "Let me go. My body has become a hell for
me." The rumor that Rajneesh was poisoned with thallium or
radiation by operatives of the United States Government is entirely
fictional and contradicted by undeniable fact. One of the obvious
symptoms of both thallium and radiation poisoning is dramatic hair
loss. Rajneesh died with a full beard and no baldness other than
his ordinary male pattern baldness at the top of his head.
The only proven cases of illegal poisoning related to Rajneesh were
carried out by Rajneesh's disciples. In the year 1984, there were
751 poison victims,
including women and small children, at ten restaurants in The Dalles,
Oregon. Rajneesh's disciples attempted to take over the Wasco
County Commission by making so many people ill on election day that
they could elect their cult candidates.
Rajneesh's disciples poisoned the restaurant's customers by
contaminating salad bars and coffee creamers with salmonella
bacteria. Forty-five of the victims became so ill they had to be
hospitalized, making the case the largest germ warfare attack in United
States history. Rajneesh disciples were later suspected of trying
to kill a Wasco County executive by spiking his water with an unknown
poison. A Jefferson County District Attorney, Michael Sullivan,
also became ill after leaving a cup of coffee unattended as Rajneesh’s
disciples filled the courthouse. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh never
apologized to any of the people who were poisoned by his disciples.
Even members of Rajneesh's staff
were poisoned by Ma Anand Sheela, Rajneesh's secretary. Sheela
had the habit of poisoning people who either knew too much or who had
simply fallen out of her favor. Sheela spent two and a half years
in a Federal medium security prison for her crimes, while Rajneesh
pleaded guilty to immigration fraud and was given a ten-year suspended
sentence, fined four hundred thousand dollars, and deported from the
United States of America. As part of his plea bargain agreement,
more serious charges of racketeering were dropped.
See The Cult Behind The Largest Bioterrorist Attack In U.S. History on YouTube.
Rajneesh felt that teaching ethics was unnecessary because meditation
would automatically lead to good behavior. The actions of
Rajneesh and his disciples prove that theory to be completely
false. Rajneesh taught me that you should do as you please
because life is both a dream and a joke. This attitude led to the
classically fascist belief that one can become so high and mighty that
one is beyond the need for old-fashioned values and ethical behavior.
In Oregon, Rajneesh declared to the media that "My religion is the only
religion!" Diplomacy and modesty were not his strong
points. He seemed to believe that only his thoughts and ideas
were of value because only he was "enlightened." This was a grand
error in judgment.
Rajneesh left India
in 1981, in part to escape paying a four million dollar Indian income
tax bill. According to his chief bodyguard, Swami Shivamurti,
when Rajneesh took his first footsteps onto American soil he declared
that "I am the Messiah America has been waiting for." After a
brief stay in a newly acquired castle-styled home in Montclair, New
Jersey, Rajneesh bought the sixty-four thousand acre Big Muddy cattle
ranch near the small town of Antelope in eastern Oregon for six million
dollars. Rajneesh created his Oregon desert commune from his
powerful mind and named it 'Rajneeshpuram.' He made himself the
ultimate dictator, his picture placed everywhere as in an Orwellian
nightmare. J. Krishnamurti described Rajneesh as a criminal, and
Rajneeshpuram as a ‘concentration camp under the dictatorship of
the maverick anti-guru, was even more critical. During the
mid-1970s Rajneesh de-emphasized his meditation methods and started
selling Western-style group therapies as a way to gain income. It
was difficult to make money from authentic meditation techniques
because they are all easy to learn and can be done alone without the
aid of a teacher. One of the groups Rajneesh sold to students was
the 'Tantra' group, which was just male and female disciples having sex
with each other. U.G. Krishnamurti publicly called Rajneesh the
'world's biggest pimp' because "He made money from the boys and the
girls, and he kept it for himself." In 1971 Rajneesh told me
directly in a face-to-face meeting that U.G. Krishnamurti was
'realized.' After much public criticism from U.G., Rajneesh
counterattacked by calling U.G. a 'phony guru.'
Guru wars aside, the totalitarian atmosphere of Rajneeshpuram was the
main reason I did not stay at the commune beyond two brief
visits. I was interested in meditation, not in a big prison camp
where human beings were treated like insects with no intelligence of
their own. When you decapitate the intelligence of human beings you
create a situation that is highly dangerous and destructive to the
human spirit. You cannot save people from their egos by demanding
anti-democratic technique of forcing blind obedience did not work well
for Hitler, Stalin, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Germany, Russia,
and the Rajneesh Oregon commune were all destroyed by authoritarian
imperial rule. A diversity of opinion is always healthy because
it acts as an effective counterbalance to the myopic arrogance of those
who would be king. Rajneesh never understood this truth of
history and referred to democracy scornfully as "mobocracy."
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was an imperial aristocrat, never a generous and
open-minded democrat, and he put his contempt for the democratic
process into highly visible action in Oregon.
In an attempt to subvert a local Wasco County election, Rajneesh had
his disciples bus in almost 2,000 homeless people from major American
cities to unfairly rig the voting process in his favor. Some of
the new voters were mentally ill and were given beer laced with drugs
to keep them manageable. Credible allegations have been made that
one or more of the imported street people died due to overdosing on the
beer and drug mixture, their bodies buried in the desert. To my
knowledge that charge has not been conclusively proven.
Rajneesh's voting fraud scheme failed, and the derelicts and mental
patients were returned to the streets after the election was over,
used, and then abandoned.
people, spoke out of both sides of his mouth, and betrayed the trust of
his disciples. This betrayal caused Vivek, his longtime
girlfriend, and companion, to commit suicide by taking an overdose of
sleeping pills. Rajneesh even lied about her death, slandering
his greatest love in her grave by falsely claiming that she was
chronically depressed due to some intrinsic emotional
instability. Vivek was never depressed during the years I knew
her, and she was the most radiant woman I have ever known.
Vivek was a glowing student of meditation, but her only meditation
method was being with Rajneesh and absorbing his tremendous
energy. When her one true love collapsed into insanity, she took
her own life out of overwhelming grief. Rajneesh drove her to
suicide because she could not understand nor tolerate his mental
decline and collapse. Rajneesh lied about her death to avoid
taking responsibility for his bizarre behavior, which was the
underlying cause of Vivek's despair.
Rajneesh was a brilliant philosopher, but he was a lost babe in the
woods when it came to the world of science. Worried about
worldwide overpopulation, Rajneesh pressured his disciples to undergo
sexual reproduction sterilization procedures. Unfortunately, he
did not consider the demographics of population growth. The
current population expansion is largely a phenomenon of poor Third
World nations, not a problem originating in the USA, Canada, and
Europe, where birth rates are declining. North America and Europe
are only experiencing population increase due to legal and illegal
immigration from Third World nations. Having his Western
disciples medically sever their reproductive capabilities only added to
this imbalance, and many former disciples regret they complied without
question to his thoughtless edicts.
Discouraging followers from having families is a common device of gurus
to keep disciples from spending money on children rather than handing
their cash over to the guru himself. Childless disciples make
better workers and are usually more subservient. Thus, sexual
sterilization fit into Rajneesh's business plan and his desire to
create an army of followers who felt that 'only the relationship to
guru is important.' Rajneesh was the son of an ambitious Jain
businessman, and he was more like his father than he ever
realized. Rajneesh's enlightenment was overlaid on top of a mind
attuned to business and making money. Personality is genetically
transferable, just as height, weight, and eye color.
In the 1980s, Rajneesh declared that the AIDS epidemic would soon kill
three-quarters of the world's population and that a major nuclear war
was just around the corner. He thought he could escape nuclear
holocaust by building underground shelters and slow the spread of AIDS
by having his disciples wash their hands with alcohol before eating
meals. His more reasoned admonition was for his followers to
always use condoms. To enforce his sexual rules, which also
involved elaborate instructions on the use of rubber gloves during
sexual encounters, Rajneesh encouraged his disciples to spy on each
other, reporting the names of those who failed to conform to his
The disaster of Rajneesh
appointing himself the singular great brain of the universe was
compounded by his lack of real-world reasoning skills, and this was
apparent even before he started taking large amounts of Valium and
inhaling nitrous oxide. Rajneesh had no understanding of the
scientific method. If he thought something was true, in his mind,
that made it true, with no real evidence required.
As conditions at the Oregon commune became progressively more
unpleasant, several disciples escaped by hiding in the back of outgoing
trucks. Their quest for freedom upset Rajneesh, who demanded that
the disillusioned must now ask his permission to leave. Rajneesh
then dramatically threatened suicide if others escaped by stealthful
Rajneesh could dish it out, but
he could not take it. He constantly put his disciples through
great physical hardships, which resulted in serious illness and even
death for some, yet he lived in luxury and could not endure physical
discomfort without complaining loudly like a baby. After his
arrest on October 28th, 1985, at the Charlotte International Airport in
North Carolina, Rajneesh was interviewed by ABC television news.
He began his jailhouse interview by crying in a shrill voice about his
less-than-royal accommodations in the slammer. His high-pitched
whining was so weird and annoying that Saturday Night Live, NBC's
late-night comedy television show, used the footage sarcastically as a
joke about 'God' complaining.
pretended not to know that he was leaving the United States during his
attempt to escape an impending federal arrest warrant on racketeering
and immigration charges. Rajneesh's defense was that he was
innocently sleeping when police boarded the private jet he had hired to
fly to Bermuda. He said that he thought Bermuda was just another
American state, and that he was going on vacation to rest and escape
'death threats.' The authorities later learned that a disciple
with ties to the United States Justice Department had tipped off the
guru about his impending arrest. His disciples had not even known
that he had left the commune until they learned from the media of the
arrest of Rajneesh and several followers at the North Carolina
airport. The sad truth was that he had secretly abandoned his
disciples, leaving them to face the music on their own.
Rajneesh's luggage was searched and found to contain a bag of cash, a
box of expensive jewel-encrusted watches, and a handgun.
After being jailed and then deported from the USA, Rajneesh angrily
declared America 'a wretched country' and branded Americans as
'subhuman,' ignoring the fact that it was he, an Indian, who pleaded
guilty to felony immigration fraud, and that it was his religious
organization which committed the most heinous germ warfare attack in
the world looking for a new home in a new country but was rejected by
all. Upon returning to his ashram in Poona, Rajneesh pouted that his
automobiles and watch collection had been taken away. He claimed that
Sheela was responsible for all of the crimes committed in Oregon and
that Sheela had extorted millions of dollars from his commune.
Sheela responded that Rajneesh had spent all of the money himself on
his expensive toys and that Rajneesh was bad at mathematics and 'can't
count.' Rajneesh's purchase of 91 Rolls-Royce automobiles and
jewel-encrusted watches cost the commune millions. Rajneesh then
changed his name to Osho, as if a name change could wash away his sins.
Rajneesh was never criminally charged in the germ warfare attack
because the tape-recorded evidence against him stating that poisoning
people was not against his philosophy was illegally obtained by Sheela,
and thus inadmissible as evidence. No legally admissible evidence
implicated Rajneesh in the plot to have a disciple fly an airplane full
of explosives into an Oregon courthouse. Luckily, the disciple
who was asked to perform that task was not as dumb as the plotters, and
he fled the commune without committing any crime.
Rajneesh, on so many levels, was just an ordinary man. Pretending
to be a great Tantric in his early years, Rajneesh handed out
ridiculously bad sexual advice at a time when he had very little
firsthand experience himself. During his Bombay years, he asked a
couple to have sex in front of him so that he could watch. The
couple wisely rejected his request. Rajneesh asked women half his
age to strip in front of him so that he could 'feel their
chakras.' To facilitate this practice, he installed an electric
lock on his bedroom door that could be activated from a button on his
desk. He grabbed the breasts of two of my female friends and felt
the chakras of a third. I soon began to realize that like so many
other girl-grabbing Indian gurus that had made the headlines, Rajneesh
on the human level was just an ordinary sexually immature Indian male.
While in Bombay, Rajneesh made one young woman pregnant through an
aggressive and unasked-for seduction. This was not rape by any
definition, but rather a case of psychic overpowering, which is not
against any law because no legal system recognizes that psychic powers
exist. The woman was highly upset and forced by circumstance to
have an abortion. To protect his image as a guru, Rajneesh lied
about his involvement and claimed that the girl had imagined the whole
affair. The young woman told the American Embassy her story, and
that incident marked the beginning of Rajneesh's troubles with the
United States Government. In Oregon, Rajneesh publicly bragged to
the American media that he had sex 'with hundreds of women.' All
of Rajneesh's sex partners were his female disciples who he used as his
The last time I
visited the Rajneesh ashram in Poona was in 1988. It was
literally like a loud convention of German Brown Shirts.
Rajneesh, now known as 'Osho,' was still very popular in Germany due in
part to his comments in the German magazine Der Spiegel, which were
widely interpreted as being pro-Hitler. Rajneesh declared that "I
have fallen in love with this man, meaning Adolf Hitler. He was
crazy, but I am crazier still."
the early 1970s in Bombay, Rajneesh stated that Adolf Hitler had been
telepathically supported by an occult Buddhist group that Rajneesh was
in contact with. During World War II several Brahman Indian yogis
and Japanese Buddhist religious leaders enthusiastically supported
Hitler and the Axis cause. In Poona, he gave a lecture in which
he stated that Jews had given Hitler "no choice" but to exterminate
them. In his last years, Rajneesh said that he wanted his
disciples 'to take over the world' and that he had studied Hitler to
gain insight into how to accomplish the task.
In Oregon, Rajneesh guards were armed with handguns and military-style
assault rifles. In Poona, his guards beat up an annoying local
resident, his hands held behind his back as the guards pummeled him.
Rajneesh was never an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi, but he had a
fascination with United States Army General George Patton.
According to Swami Shivamurti, Rajneesh watched the movie, Patton, over
and over again on his big screen projection television at his ranch
Late in life, Rajneesh finally
admitted that there is no reincarnation, just as J. Krishnamurti did as
he grew older. Rajneesh said that reincarnation was a
misinterpretation. This admission meant that his previous frequent
claims of being a famous guru in past lives were pure fiction, designed
to impress and manipulate his followers. Rajneesh's main
teachings were based on souls, reincarnation, and achieving freedom
from rebirth through spiritual practice. His massive drug intake
seemed to act as a truth serum at times, allowing admissions of facts
that he had previously kept secret to remain in control of his cult
empire. The course of his life and his drug-induced admissions proved
to me that his most basic teachings were false.
In his last days, Osho argued with his doctors to ignore their medical
ethics and give him even more nitrous oxide. The God Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh had fallen down to the stumble-drunk Osho, and a substantial number
of his disciples were so addicted to his artfully seductive words and
false image that they could not even see what was happening right in
front of their own eyes. In a final bizarre act, Osho ordered his
dentist to remove most of his teeth for no legitimate medical reason.
Rajneesh as a boy Osho
Former disciple Sarah T., a pseudonym born out of embarrassment, stated in the The New Republic's article Bhagwan's Sexism
that "several putative “therapy” groups in which she participated at
the ashram were nothing less than out-and-out sex orgies.
One Tantra group consisted of three days of sexual
intercourse between members of the group. Another former Rajneesh disciple Roselyn Smith revealed that "Rajneesh—although
reputedly being too sick to have sexual intercourse any longer, Ma Yoga
Vivek, supposedly told friends at the Pune ashram in the late 1970s
that she had to be back home every night at 11:00 pm “to masturbate
Bhagwan.” The Bhagwan was not a God, just a mortal human using other people to please himself.
It would be wonderful to believe that enlightened men were perfect in
every way. That would make life simpler and sweeter, but it would
be fiction, not fact. Cosmic consciousness adds emphasis and
ecstasy to life, but it does not change the final outcome of our lives.
There is no other 'spiritual' world for us to escape to. We are
all here together sharing this one very physical world, which is formed
by living cells and Time-Energy-Space, not by souls, reincarnation, and
karma. Meditation can enrich our lives and bring us ecstasy and
serenity, but we should not oversell it and create religious cults
based on ignorance and wishful thinking.
Dynamic Meditation: (warning)
This spectacular meditation method was Rajneesh's trademark, and it
remains a tremendously effective tool for naturally expanding
consciousness. Rajneesh never did the technique himself because
he didn't need to. He developed the method simply by observing
his disciples who would occasionally go into spontaneous body movements
during his early meditation camps. When his judgment started to
decline, he, unfortunately, changed the third and fourth stages of the
method into a pointless torture test. The correct and most
effective version of this meditation technique has four stages, each
lasting ten minutes.
Start by standing with your eyes closed and breathe deep and fast
through your nose for ten minutes. Allow your body to move
freely. Jump, sway back and forth, or use any physical motion
that helps you pump more oxygen into your lungs.
The second ten-minute stage is one of catharsis. Let go totally
and be spontaneous. You may dance or roll on the ground.
Screaming is allowed and encouraged. You must act out any anger
you feel in a safe way, such as beating the earth with your
hands. All the suppressed emotions from your subconscious mind
are to be released.
In the third stage you jump up and down yelling Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
continuously for ten minutes. According to Rajneesh, the loud
vibration of your voice travels down to your centers of stored energy
and pushes that energy upward. When doing this stage it is
important to keep your arms loose and in a natural position. Do
not hold your arms over your head as that position can be medically
The fourth ten-minute stage is complete relaxation and quiet.
Flop down on your back, get comfortable, and just let go. Be as a
dead man surrendered to the cosmos. Enjoy the tremendous energy
you have unleashed in the first three stages and become a silent
witness to the ocean as it flows into the drop. Become the ocean.
Rajneesh unwisely changed the
third stage of the method to rigidly holding your arms over your head
while shouting Hoo! Even worse, he changed the fourth stage to
freezing in place like a statue with your arms still held awkwardly
over your head. This method is not only uncomfortable to the
point of torture, but it can also be medically dangerous for those with
an underlying heart condition.
Freezing in place makes deep relaxation impossible as it keeps your
mind's controlling functions fully operational. This holds your
consciousness on the surface, defeating the purpose of the
exercise. The point of the technique was to have three stages of
intense action followed by a fourth stage of deep relaxation and
complete let go. Rajneesh could never have practiced the freeze
method himself, not even in his youth. Asking his disciples to do
it simply showed that he had lost touch with reality. Rajneesh
was a fallible human being, not a perfect God.
I advise students to only use the enjoyable early version of Dynamic
Meditation. This wonderful technique was intended to grow with
the student and change as the student changes. After a few years
of practicing the method vigorously, the first three stages of the
meditation should drop away spontaneously. You then go into the
meditation hall, take a few deep breaths, and immediately enter the
deep tranquility of the fourth stage. Rajneesh intended the
method to be fluid, health-giving, and fun. Those new students
who wish to experiment with Rajneesh Dynamic Meditation should read the
section on Cathartic Dancing Meditation in Meditation Handbook for
further warnings and details before experimenting with this powerful
Christopher Calder firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested reading and videos:
THE NEW REPUBLIC - Bhagwan’s Sexism
Bhagwan The God that Failed (Kindle) by Hugh Milne
U.G. Krishnamurti on Gurus - the Monsters
J. Krishnamurti - Official YouTube Channel
expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary
student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I say,
you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it
for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility.
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