An excerpt from White Star’s recently published book, ‘The Experience of the Ultimate’.
The year is 1984. Lino has been living on the Ranch for two years and after several job changes, been working in the security department for six months and became Security Coordinator. She is only 23 years old and it’s a huge responsibility. It also puts her in constant contact with Sheela and her sidekicks Vidya and Su, whom she later calls in her mind ‘The Big Bitches’. It’s the two of them who really run the day-to-day workings of the Ranch.
Su and Vidya send me to Portland for two weeks to set up a security system at the Rajneesh Hotel, the one that got bombed. It’s weird to be back in Portland where I grew up, in such a different context. It’s also weird to be there in sannyasin garb, as there is such open hostility towards us at that time.
Along with a sannyasin-run hotel, there’s a Rajneesh disco in Portland. It’s a successful business, and the money from it goes to the Ranch to help pay for the numerous projects we have going on. It’s modeled after the many European discos that exist at this time which are hugely successful – long lines of people waiting to get in and written in the city guides as the hot night spots. At the Portland Disco, live music is played, people dance (not just sannyasins) and drink. And get up to all the things partying people get up to – snorting coke in the bathrooms, packing secret weapons, etc. So, not only is there a need for security in the hotel, but in the disco as well.
When I walk down the familiar streets of Portland, I feel disconnected from it. People scream obscenities at me; someone tries to hit me with their car. I hadn’t been aware that we sannyasins were quite this hated. Across the street from the hotel, a guy sits parked in his car, day and night, with a rifle across his lap. The police can’t do anything about it, they say, unless he actually points the weapon at someone. By then, I think, exasperated, it would be too late. There are bomb threats everyday called into the hotel. I have the dubious honor of taking the bomb dog through all the rooms, looking under the beds, and behind the curtains for bombs. I’m directly in the line of fire, but I don’t think about it. I just do it quickly and get it over with. None of the bomb threats are real, as it turns out, but we must take each one seriously.
I dress in ‘normal’ clothes, blue jeans and a black turtleneck, and spy on the guy who has the rifle. He just sits there, though, looking through binoculars at the hotel. It’s creepy!
I put on a non-red disco dress and infiltrate the disco, dancing and partying and keeping an eye secretly on the patrons, looking for anything threatening. One night, three guys follow the sannyasin members of the band walking back to the hotel and beat them up so badly, they have to go to the hospital.
I have to deal with the police. I can identify the guys, I saw them come in; didn’t like the looks of them and took their picture with a camera hidden over the entryway. The guys are arrested and ID’d by the band too. I’m up at all hours dealing with it, and in the hospital looking in on the sannyasins.
Su calls every hour or so from the Ranch for an update. “I’m glad you’re there, Lino,” she says to me, and I know she means it.
I sit in a security room in the hotel watching the hidden cameras set up around the hotel for anything suspicious. I set up shifts there for other guards and get an ‘alarm button’ installed behind the front desk for receptionists to push if they are threatened.
After three weeks in Portland, I’m told to come back to the Ranch, and I’m relieved. I’ve had enough of “the Outside World” as we sannyasins who live on the Ranch call it and am ready to go back to Paradise. As we drive via Mt. Hood into eastern Oregon, my heart soars. I’m going home again.
I go back to another demanding job. The third Annual World Celebration is fast approaching. We need to have tougher security at this festival because now Bhagwan has received death threats. We’re well aware anyone can simply wear red clothes and a mala and pretend to be a sannyasin and secretly be up to no good.
Also, there have been cases in the previous festivals of sannyasins going a little bit crazy and doing weird things. It’s not that sannyasins are any more prone to it than other human beings, just that in a crowd of twenty-thousand, some weird things are bound to happen. Bhagwan’s energy affects me profoundly; it must do the same to others, and to someone who’s a little unstable, it can really throw them off and set off psychotic episodes.
I’m given the task of setting up security for the Festival. It’s a huge job. We’ll need more guard posts, and guards surrounding Buddha Hall [Rajneesh Mandir, ed.] and lining the roadways during the drive-by. All these posts need to be manned, some of them for 24 hours. We must pull people from all the different departments, train them and give them a pep talk (a lot of folks are less than thrilled about having to do security during the Festival). I’m up till 2 am every night trying to organize everything. I’m efficient in my work, but I have to check everything I do with Su and Vidya, which takes ages. And they often don’t agree with my decisions. They don’t know the people as well as I do, and I groan and inwardly roll my eyes every time they request a change and I have to re-do my whole schedule. They don’t seem to follow any particular logic on why they don’t want certain people on certain posts or they make derogatory comments about people that I think is way off-base. I wonder what they say about me behind my back.
Vidya has heard about my psychic flashes when I was on the guard posts. I think she’s going to bash me for it when she brings it up, but she has decided it can be useful. During the Festival, she gives me the job of driving a car down the long line of sannyasins right before drive-by and seeing if I notice anyone weird or feel any negative energies.
Mostly, I really don’t. Once a girl faints from the heat, and another time a mentally handicapped sannyasin steps out into the road right in front of Bhagwan’s car. Bhagwan has to stop abruptly but he doesn’t seem to care. He gives a gift to the sannyasin, beaming at him and everyone laughs joyfully.
I also have to guard during the morning satsangs and evening darshans. I stand at the edge of the Buddha Hall and watch the hills for signs of movement. Everyone else is sitting, so I have a direct view of Bhagwan. As I stand there in awareness and alertness, I feel exactly like the day I had the flashback to the lifetime as a guard. I know I would jump in front of a bullet to save Bhagwan and I am prepared to do it. Guarding Bhagwan feels like the completion of some old karma or destiny.
I am also given the job to sit in the security hut that guards the driveway to his house. This is considered a very important job, a bodyguard to Bhagwan, and super vigilance is required. This guard post is the last check-point before someone can enter Bhagwan’s personal space, and there are a small number of people on the list.
I notice my name is still on the list from when I worked in the garden, and chuckle.
In any case, we bodyguards get to greet Bhagwan with the people who live in his house if we are off-duty during the drive-by.
One of the evening darshans, I stand close to where Bhagwan gets out of his car to walk into Buddha Hall. He pauses to give me a big smile and special greeting. Though I’m supposed to be a stoic guard, tears of devotion pour down my cheeks.
Excerpt from White Star’s recently published book.
Image of Hotel Rajneesh: The Oregonian
Read the review by Iena SpiritWalker Robinson: The Experience of the Ultimate
White Star is an internationally acclaimed clairvoyant, medium and Medicine Woman. In 1981 she took sannyas and was given the name Ma Prem Lino. She was a resident in Rajneeshpuram, joined Osho on the World Tour in Nepal and lived and worked in the Pune 2 ashram. She has appeared several times on American TV, is in Who’s Who, has been voted one of the top 20 psychics in America and has had the title of Medicine Woman conferred upon her by other Native American medicine men and women. divinelightministries.com