Nirbija updates his earlier article and adds his personal opinion about the events.
Months after my first article was published, friends gave me the feedback that I had not considered Osho’s role and responsibility in these events. Maybe I should have stressed my purely personal point of view more clearly. Yes, in the article, Zen in Chains, I am taking Osho’s side in the events of the arrest.
I see it as a powerful conspiracy of the US administration against an innocent man who had loved his sannyasins and fellow travellers unconditionally and still guides my steps as my spiritual master. Who could tell Osho‘s side of the story if not we sannyasins and eye witnesses? Have any number of western journalists bothered to take that view? Have they quoted his statements or even read his books? Can one not call that blindness a basic partiality?
First, Osho publicly took responsibility for the crimes of a handful of leading commune members, saying a few days after Sheela and her team left:
“The whole fault was mine, that I was silent. I had my reasons to be silent. I wanted to be silent forever, because words don’t convey… it is not real communion that happens through words. I wanted to communicate through silence. So my reason was there to be silent, but I cannot say that it was not my fault. I knew that something like that is possible, but I also knew that I can start speaking any moment when I see that things have come to a peak and they have to be stopped.“ (Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Ch 5)
Secondly, even if Osho had exposed the criminal activities of a few top commune and city organisers earlier, would that have stopped the ongoing legal attacks of a dozen US government agencies and Oregonian lobbies aiming solely to deport him at any cost?
Two books now present facts that anybody interested can check out for themselves. There is clear evidence that Osho and the Ranch residents were unwelcome from the very beginning.
The first book gives the legal background of the arrest written by Osho‘s lawyer Philip Niren Toelkes: USA v. Osho – A Legal History of the US Government Persecution of a Minority Religious Community, Oregon 1981-1986. The book has 273 pages and buyers have access to more than 1700 supporting documents. On the website, it is stated: “The book presents incontrovertible documentation and the applicable law proving the US Government’s illegal program to get Osho out of the US and destroy his Community in Central Oregon.”
The second evocative book is Max Brecher‘s recently revised A Passage to America. The independent American investigative reporter wrote his 525-page volume documenting this crime against humanity still during Osho‘ s lifetime. It has 1540 footnotes, so be prepared for details!
In an absolutely illuminating podcast interview with host Swaram from Love Osho Podcast, Brecher stated that according to his research, there is absolutely no evidence for, let alone proof of, Osho’s involvement in any crime. In addition to the book, Brecher has transformed this historic event into a film script and is looking for a producer. Asked about the consequences of Osho‘s worldwide character assassination, he rated it as a loss for humanity: “Osho has so much to share with the world. His major theme of Zorba the Buddha combines the spiritual and physical. Living an earthy life to the limit but also transcending the physical and mental. And basically, he – Osho – has been tarred, feathered and dumped in cement shoes at the bottom of the media ocean. So the major loser is the world.”
(Note by Nirbija: Max Brecher rewrote his statement in Swaram’s interview and sent it to me.)
Sources and related articles
- Zen in chains – Nirbija remembers that 35 years ago, Osho was arrested in the USA (2020)
- The long-awaited documentation of USA v. Osho – A Legal History of the US Government Persecution of a Minority Religious Community, Oregon 1981-1986, written by Prem Niren (Philip Toelkes)
- New book, USA v. Osho, brings up many more questions – A view on Niren’s recently released book, subtitled, A Legal History of the US Government Persecution of a Minority Religious Community, Oregon 1981-1986
- Max Brecher – What really happened to Osho in the USA (Part 1 & 2) – Podcast interview with Brecher giving an investigative account of the complex sequence of events that led to Osho’s deportation and the collapse of the Rajneeshpuram commune
- A Passage to America – Review by Bhagawati of Max Brecher’s revised and updated book (2013)