Déjà vu

Remembering Here&Now

Allen remembers being tested in Rajneeshpuram for a contagious eye infection…

Crags at Rajneeshpuram

It’s a dark room and I am standing in a line waiting to get tested. Behind the makeshift table scene and working with a red desk light that casts an eerie light around the small room, we get a red dye dropped into our eyes and then look into an ultra violet light to see if there is any evidence for having ‘pink eye’. As Anugiten looks at me and says, “You have it.” My heart sinks. I thought I was immune from this, being part of Sheela’s little militia and also helping to keep Bhagwan’s heating and air-conditioning going.

We are sent across the way to a group of 10 to 15 trailers with six or so people to a room, foam mattresses on the floor and quarantined. Hundreds and hundreds of us in a surreal setting that the mind couldn’t wrap itself around. How could half the Ranch residents have this?

Oh, but we can’t take a chance that Osho could get this; “Ah, ok,” so we surrendered and slept for days. Then it was over and back to work we went, wondering “what the fuck was that about?” – and then forgetting all about it as the next crisis supplanted the last.

The dark matrix of power and control that Sheela had installed was becoming more and more oppressive. The AG, Turner, The Dalles rednecks, 1000 Friends and others all became prime ingredients in the xenophobic stew we were being fed.

Meanwhile Osho started speaking again and one of the subjects he went into was Hitler and Fascism. I remember feeling my own smugness in thinking we were much too aware for that to happen and being disciples of Osho gave us our discernment degree anyway.

A National Guard Convair troop carrier was flying overhead one day. I recognized it from the Portland airport where the Air National Guard is stationed. “Fuck, these guys are rehearsing for an invasion.” My mind struggled for some place to land. This may not end well, think Jim Jones’s Jonestown in Guyana. Truth was becoming ever more illusive.

Walking past the large conference room in Jesus Grove, I looked in and saw the ‘girls’ in yet another meeting with Sheela. The gloominess of the energy in that room was disturbing and foreboding. I started having doubts and fears that I could no longer keep justifying. A darkness had settled into the canyons between the steep desert hills of the Ranch.

Airstrip at Rajneeshpuram

Sheela then left with her group and was gone. Osho put Hasya in charge and then came the revelations. What had we wrought? Then days of confusion and catharsis with people running into the hills screaming, venting, and crying. Some felt betrayed, bewildered or numb. I felt I had betrayed my own truth. The humiliation was devastating.

We carried on through a media circus, press interviews and a new administration. Reforms, street clothes, no mala and a new intolerance for any power trippers. But our cohesion and trust had suffered greatly in the aftermath, even as Osho would go on his daily drive-by darshan, dispensing stillness in the midst of the uncertainties and fears rippling through the commune.

Then one day two Lear Jets came in the morning and landed at our airstrip and I knew. A few hours later I watched them take off with a deafening roar and He was gone.

We are in quarantine now again
Soon we will have revelation
Then we will have catharsis
Then a new beginning
We have done this before – Lemuria, Atlantis, Rajneeshpuram…

PS Many of us experienced the downfalls of the human civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria in some of our past lives and are still carrying the traumas, betrayals, devastations, abuses of power, guilt and shame in our collective unconscious. When the Ranch imploded we were shaken to our core. There was no truth to land in. We had created our own cataclysm echoing that of eons ago. So as we were cast out of our little utopia we had nowhere to go but in, starting over with so many of our beliefs stripped away in the process. Pure Osho.


Deva Allen remained in Rajneeshpuram until end of 1986. He then established a construction company in Marin County, CA, where he still lives.

Image thanks to Arjava and Mahapatra via FB

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