Saturday, April 14, 2018

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh!

Netflix is currently streaming a 6-part documentary about how central Oregon was "invaded" by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers, intent upon establishing a small city devoted to his teachings. These events happened in the early 1980s. Here's the trailer:

The documentary is constituted by news and documentary footage from the 1980s and by current-day interviews with followers of Rajneesh who were there, local people involved in events, and government officials at the local, state, and federal levels. 

In brief, the Rajneeshees bought a 64,000 acre ranch, arrived by the 100s and low 1000s in the early 1980s, got into conflict with the locals over land use as they proceeded on construct their city, which included a small airport, and had left by the mid-1980s after Rajneesh had been deported for immigration fraud. It's a strange and rich story, well worth your attention. I found it a bit unsettling, in part because I'd never looked at anything quite like this, this closely. This is one of those cases where, as the cliche has it, truth is stranger than fiction – assuming we can figure out just what the truth is.

Some links:


  1. Yes, evil. Evil all the way around.

  2. I must confess I watched it and switched off after a few episodes.

    The format is interesting take two sides let them fight it out and the viewer draws its own conclusion. I liked that aspect.

    The situation I know nothing about, found it bewildering, which did not motivate me to read round the subject.

    Required too much heavy lifting to make sense.

    But then I had turned Netflix on to relax and not have to think about things, so not in the frame of mind for watching something like this.

    1. Right. It's too strange and disturbing for relaxed viewing.