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Editor Replies to Bodhidharma re the Sheela Saga

Bodhidharma, there were all sorts of people in the communes between 1981 and 1985, and even they were not the majority of sannyasins by a long shot, so generalisations about everyone being nieve dont work.

I dont know the exact true figures, but my guess is that there never were more than around 2,500 so called 'full commune members' through the five years in all five continents. There were many tens of thousands of sannyasins at that time. Many who lived outside the communes choose to, and were not at all nieve, Such sannyasins were street wise and even intuited that what was going on at the Ranch was spurious. Many of us who found ourselves part of the "experiment" were also not as nieve as you suggest. We knew that Osho wished to destroy all our egos and that the Ranch AS FAR AS WE KNEW THEN was a device to speed that up, that's why many of us "stuck it".

The rest of your letter shows up what I would simply call "soft" thinking. For example I dont accept your leela/play of a Fascist camp analogy for Rajneeshpuram at all. Sheela and her gang tried to murder Osho's Doctor, poisoned the food of cafes in the Dalles (the nearest town), conceived a plan to fly a plane into the Courthouse there to burn up records that Sheela wanted destroyed, and secretly bugged their Master's own room and the bed he slept in. And this may well be just the half of it. Let's have it straight. These were and are crimes, and they most certainly were not authorised by Osho and he did not know of them. As soon as he found out about them he began to create a situation whereby Sheela herself would have to "leave" the commune, which thankfully he quickly succeeded in.

As recently as last Spring, Sheela had a public meeting in Munich in which she again denied the Dalles poisoning. She did not blame Osho as the hidden hand as some have in the past, but true to her own well known obsessional concerns with cleanliness said it was that the cafes suffered from poor hygiene and this is what caused the food poisoning. What nonsense! And this after 20 years!

For goodness sake, Bodhidharma, people almost died. Osho's Dcotor almost died and was saved by quick thinking and very good care by fellow sannyasins. THIS IS NOT A LEELA, and the thinking that it was can in no way be a defence of these crimes.

Your other main point is that AT THE TIME commune members were all cowards and did not speak out about things that we felt were wrong. And very wise we were too. One rebel Zeno who did ended up in the commune house that cared for people with aids, having been falsely told she had aids. Some who were closer to events than most of us ordinairy commune members did exercise a form of courage. They left the commune, some in the middle of the night and without leaving a forwarding address!

I myself do not "complain" about what happened at Rajneeshpuram, I just want the truth about it to be told clearly and unequivocally, without recourse to some advaita nonsense, or some kind of defence of the undefencable. Many who comment on websites and chat boards about these years did not live through them or were not commune members and are not really qualified to comment. I think you did. I am therfore even more suprised that you cannot see that you are involving yourself in the sophist nonsense of a fool.

Parmartha (ed. Sannyasnews.com)