Sannyasnews Editor replies to Guardian Article
FROM: Swami Anand Parmartha
Letters to the Editor (Guardian)
I write to correct errors in an article entitled "When is Doomsday?" by Helen Pidd on April 3rd. The movement around Osho was and is in no way a doomsday cult. In fact it was and still is known for it's positive attitude to life in which dancing, music and celebration have been and are encouraged.
Osho himself taught a totally non-fundamentalist approach to life, always stressing that belief had nothing to do with religiousness, only the actual experience of God had any relevance. Pity that Helen Pidd did not stress that - in this age where young men and women throw away their lives and kill many other innocent people - as a result of religious"beliefs". That is where the main criticism of religion (and not just Islam) should lie in the current religious madness. As for something unpredictable between 1993 and 1999, I think it fair to say that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism during that period was certainly not anticipated as a major anti-life force at the time Osho spoke in 1982, and Osho's prediction was about that.
Finally you should apologise about an error of fact. All the good histories of the Oregon desert commune between 1981 and 1985 make clear that a small group of power-mad women led by someone called Ma Anand Sheela took over the isolated Commune whilst Osho was in mystical silence and living in a separate compound. They did indeed attempt to manipulate local elections, and unknown to almost all communards did poison salad bars with the idea of making people sick on an election day in1984, in the hope of winning political power in the local government of Oregon. They were later arrested and served prison sentences. Their crime is abhored by all those whose only interest in being with Osho was, and is, to move further into silence and mystical union with the 'source' of all life.