A Trespassing Ticket

Remembering Here&Now

Another one of Rajyogi’s strange adventures in the Peace Force.

landscape with P F badge

It was late 1984, and I was asleep in my room in Rajneeshpuram. I had been on patrol around the Ranch quite late and was now sleeping deeply… when I heard the phone ring. It was Barkha, our Chief of Police. She said, “Rajyogi, you need to get up. We have a problem; an outsider was gambling at the poker table at Omar Khayyam quite late. He left town and went towards Antelope but never passed the last guard hut, so he is still somewhere on the property. Sheela and crew have been all over the place looking for him. So, pick up Diresha at the station and find him, because Sheela is afraid he is here to cause trouble.”

I looked at my watch; it was 2 am.

I said, “OK Barkha, don’t worry, we will find him.” I got dressed and headed for the Peace Force Station. Diresha jumped into the car with me and we headed in the direction of Antelope.

We searched for hours, in every possible place we thought he might be. I was about to give up when I remembered this little side road up near the last checkpoint, and headed that way. We pulled into the side road and couldn’t see anything. We were about to turn around when I saw a tiny light in the forest nearby. I got out and walked over. Sure enough, it was a car. I opened the door and a man was asleep in the back seat. I grabbed his foot and shook it and said, “It’s Rajneeshpuram Peace Force, wake up, you are not allowed to sleep here.”

He sat up and said, “I am so tired. Please let me sleep.” I said, “A lot of people are looking for you. Please get back in your front seat and drive outside the Ranch, then you can sleep anywhere.” The guy looked like Gorden Gooch, a kid in my elementary school; with hair all fried up and eyes near to popping out of his head.

Then Diresha came up and said, “Barkha said you must arrest him for trespassing on private land.”

I replied, “Can you tell Barkha that we can’t arrest him; he is now out of our jurisdiction. We can only arrest him within the city limits of Rajneeshpuram.”

Diresha gave me the portable phone. Barkha was saying, “Rajyogi, I am giving you an order. You must arrest him. Give him a citation for Trespassing.”

I said, “Barkha, if we do that he can bring a court case against us for unlawful arrest, and he will win.” And she replied, “Sheela wants you to arrest him now.”

I said, “OK, Barkha. Do you give me your word that you will take responsibility for the arrest?” And she said, “Yes Raj, I will, I take full responsibility for the arrest.”

I said, “Okay,” gave the Motorola back to Diresha, and wrote the guy a Trespassing ticket, which told him to appear in court in 2 weeks, etc. The guy then headed out of the Ranch and I headed home – knowing this was going to cause a stink!

The next morning while on patrol I was called by Dispatch, and told that Diresha and I had to go to a meeting at Jesus Grove – along with all the Peace Force and Security personnel – at 2 pm. As I was walking into the meeting, full of Peace Force and Security people with several Moms, before I even got a chance to sit down Vidya said, “Everyone, this is Rajyogi who last night wrote a Trespassing ticket for a man trying to leave the Ranch, outside his jurisdiction, which could cause a court case against Rajneeshpuram.”

Then Su started yelling at me, “How can you be so stupid, this could cost us thousands and maybe more…” Then another Mom started yelling at me, how could I cause so much trouble to the Ranch and Osho: “What kind of an Osho sannyasin are you?”

I stood up and said, “I don’t know what the fuck is going on here, but it’s very strange. I got a direct order from Barkha last night to give that guy a Trespassing ticket. I had told her that I can’t do that as it is outside of Rajneeshpuram City limits, and we are only allowed to give tickets and arrest warrants inside the city limits. Barkha said that she was giving me a direct order to give the ticket and that she would take full responsibility. And there she sits not saying a word and letting all the guilt go to me. I am ready to leave the Ranch right now, this doesn’t feel fair to me… this is not what the Ranch is supposed to be!”

Su started yelling out, “Rajyogi calm down! It’s okay. We are not against you. Sit down and relax. We believe you. We will find out what really went on, so, meeting adjourned, everyone can leave.”

I walked out of the meeting wondering, What the fuck, why did they do that to me, they knew what happened… it was from Sheela and Barkha, that order for me to give the ticket. What is going on with these women? What are they up to?

The next day when I arrived at the P. F. station, Arpitam told me that they had fired our chief of Police, Barkha, and made Diresha the new Chief. I thought, What the fuck? They’ve now pinned it all on Barkha? And really it was Sheela’s fault!

That was the first time I felt something was not right with the people running the Ranch.

About a week later Arpitam and I were called into Jesus Grove and were told that we were no longer in the Rajneeshpuram Peace Force, but would be transferred to Antelope Peace Force.

When Sheela left the Ranch, one of the women close to her – Pathika, a tall dark pretty lawyer – told me that we were transferred to Antelope because it was much more dangerous there, and that Sheela had told her that in Antelope there was more of a chance to get rid of us… for we had been told to stop everyone with guns and deter them from coming to the Ranch.

I was definitely scared every time I had to do that, for most of those people would have loved to shoot us, but were too afraid.

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Raj lives on a small farm near Almaty, Kazakhstan, with his wife Aigul.

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