Bhagwan Rajneesh/ Osho Rajneesh, the name itself has an aura about it.
The most enigmatic spiritual guru of India ;called as a sex guru by the western world ;much read about , much heard , much revered , yet a mystery.
Apart from the charismatic preaching of Osho about life and living ,we have also heard stories about Rajneeshees , their controversial way of life , their mantra of freedom and love. We have vaguely heard about Osho’s incredible popularity with the wealthy, his riches , his infamous stint with US authorities. But have never known beyond that.
“Wild Wild Country”is a mini series of 5 episodes about Osho Rajneesh’s stint in US that has always been shrouded in mystery.
It is a mind boggling but balanced account of what transpired in those 4 years, based on all real news footages interspersed with old media interviews and current interviews of stakeholders of both sides , those who investigated and those who were investigated.
The story begins in 1981 with Rajneeshees community buying 5000 acres of land in Oregon near a sleepy town of Antelope to 1985 when Osho returns to India to never set foot on US soil.
In between , we see the mind boggling journey of how an entire township( Rajneeshpuram) was developed equipped with their own town administration, heavily armed security ,police ,airport, bio lab, health care system. Rajneeshees’wild lifestyles was at moral contradiction with the locals who found it disturbingly intrusive.
Their ambitious plans to further develop a city, efforts to acquire the town of Antelope led to a lot antagonism with the locals. As their clout grows with arm twisting and aggressive attitude , so does their contravention with the residents, authorities and even law.
Eye popping facts are shown about immigration fraud ,acquisition of illegal arms, assassination attempt, rigging and manipulation of elections of Wasco County and the mass poisoning of town of Dallas.
Osho’s then secretary Ma. Anand Sheela, who was a pivotal figure in managing the commune during the said period , his disciple and lawyer Swamy Niren , some more ex Rajneeshees who were the inner circle have given their side of stories besides many others figures from US authorities.
Watch the series to know how falling apart of Ma Anand Sheela and Osho , their very public spat and bitter infighting ultimately gave the authorities a chance they had been waiting for. Ma Anand Sheela with two other Rajneeshees were sentenced to imprisonment. Osho himself was charged with many grave offences but finally left US in 1985 after a plea bargain with the authorities.
Besides being an extremely intriguing and eye popping inside story, I think it’s also the story about devotion , charisma, power ,greed ,betrayal and corruption. It leaves you spell bound and wondering if the man who could sway thousands with his preaching and charisma was oblivious of what transpired in the commune which he later called as a failed experiment !