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.
has nothing whatsoever to do with virtue, honesty, intelligence,
wisdom. That fact is just one reason why religion and
politics should never be mixed." — Christopher Calder
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 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 Japanese culture.
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 worlds, 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 on 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
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 in order 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 was 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 afterwards. 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 he 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
Skeptics 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
actually 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 change in name 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. As
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 teaching.
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 own 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
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 M E, 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
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 his 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 to increase 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 of 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 actually 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 own
brand of 'spiritual communism.'
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. It is probable that 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.
After 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
own 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 things that were almost unbelievable. 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
In the 1998 preface to Books I Have Loved,
Osho's personal 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 own 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
personal 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 own 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?
Krishnamurti 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 God."
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
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 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 own disciples. In the year 1984, there
were 751 poison victims, including women and small children, at ten
restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon. Rajneesh disciples attempted
to take over the Wasco County Commission by making so many people ill
on election day that they could elect their own cult
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 own disciples.
Even members of Rajneesh's own staff were poisoned by Ma Anand Sheela,
Rajneesh's personal 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.
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 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 own powerful mind
and named it 'Rajneeshpuram.' He made himself the ultimate
dictator, his picture placed everywhere as in an Orwellian bad
dream. J. Krishnamurti described Rajneesh as a criminal, and
Rajneeshpuram a ‘concentration camp under the dictatorship of
Krishnamurti, the maverick anti-guru, was even more critical.
During the mid 1970s Rajneesh de-emphasized his own 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 'worlds 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
antidemocratic technique of forcing blind obedience did not work well
for Hitler, Stalin, or for 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 in an effort 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.
Rajneesh used people, spoke out of both sides of his mouth, and
betrayed the trust of his own 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 own 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 increases 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 now 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 own
mind, that made it true, with no real evidence required.
As conditions at the Oregon commune became progressively
more unpleasant, a number of 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 means.
Rajneesh's 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 jail house 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.
Rajneesh 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 to 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 own 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 own 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 own
religious organization which committed the most heinous germ warfare
attack in American history.
circled 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's response was that Rajneesh had spent all of the
money himself on his own expensive toys, and that Rajneesh was bad at
mathematics and 'can't count.' Clearly, 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 change
in name could wash away his sins.
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. There was no legally admissible evidence
that 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.
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. In order 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 own female disciples who he
used as his personal harem.
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 a number of Brahman Indian
yogis and Japanese Buddhist religious leaders had 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 house.
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 in order 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
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.
This spectacular meditation method was Rajneesh's trademark,
it remains a tremendously effective tool for naturally expanding
Rajneesh never did the technique himself because he didn't need
He developed the method simply by observing his disciples who
occasionally go into spontaneous body movements during his early
camps. When his judgment started to decline, he unfortunately
the third and fourth stages of the method into a pointless torture
The correct and most effective version of this meditation
has four stages, each lasting ten minutes.
Start by standing with your eyes closed and
deep and fast through your nose for ten minutes. Allow your body
move freely. Jump, sway back and forth, or use any physical
that helps you pump more oxygen into your lungs.
Stage #2) The
ten minute stage is one of catharsis. Let go totally and be
You may dance or roll on the ground. Screaming is allowed
encouraged. You must act out any anger you feel in a safe way,
as beating the earth with your hands. All the suppressed emotions
your subconscious mind are to be released.
the third stage you jump up and down yelling Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
for ten minutes. According to Rajneesh, the loud vibration of
voice travels down to your centers of stored energy and pushes that
upward. When doing this stage it is important to keep your arms
and in a natural position. Do not hold your arms over your
that position can be medically dangerous.
Stage #4) The
ten minute stage is complete relaxation and quiet. Flop down on
back, get comfortable, and just let go. Be as a dead man totally
surrendered to the cosmos. Enjoy the tremendous energy you have
in the first three stages and become a silent witness to the ocean as
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
statue with your arms still held awkwardly over your head. This
is not only uncomfortable to the point of torture, it can also be
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.
holds your consciousness on the surface, defeating the purpose of the
The point of the technique was to have three stages of intense
followed by a fourth stage of deep relaxation and complete let
go. Rajneesh could never have practiced the freeze
himself, not even in his youth. Asking his disciples to do it
showed that he had lost touch with reality. Rajneesh was a
human being, not a perfect God.
I advise students to only use
the enjoyable early
version of Dynamic Meditation. This wonderful technique was
to grow with the student and change as the student changes. After
few years of practicing the method vigorously, the first three stages
the meditation should drop away spontaneously. You then go into
meditation hall, take a few deep breaths, and immediately enter the
tranquility of the fourth stage. Rajneesh intended the method to
fluid, health giving, and fun. Those new students who wish to
with Rajneesh Dynamic Meditation should read the section on Cathartic
Handbook for further warnings and details before
this powerful technique.
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 Channel
Opinions expressed on
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unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself. I make no
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Bhagwan Rajneesh, and the Lost
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