Satish offers an English Synposis of Sheela's book, and his Reflections
Sheela's book begins with the end of the Ranch. The Ranch was Rajneeshpuram - described by some as Osho's life work - and in this creation, Sheela was for four years the boss. The book indicates that by the end of the Ranch period Sheela felt more at home in Europe. She states that this was because of Osho's alleged demands for more expensive watches and Rolls Royces, and in addition major problems surrounding her role as the commune leader which were causing her serious headache. She claims she was worried about drug consumption by people in Osho's house, and the dangers this posed for Osho and the survival of the commune. Considering her options at this time (1985), Sheela wrote a letter to Osho about these issues.
Apparently Osho's reply was that she should go to Europe in order to work on obtaining more income for the commune. This angered her a lot, and she felt like things were getting too much out of (her?) control. At this point she decided to leave the Ranch.
She left to meet her lover in Zurich Switzerland, midst many people being unhappy with her, and the other twenty-five people that were her main Senior Management Team. . She arrived in Switzerland with no money, and she blames sannyasins for getting angry with her. The press - usually ever hungry for glorifying bad news and other personal problems - paradoxically come to her rescue and save her from the authorities by taking her to remote islands off the Italian coast, and other such secluded places.
Immediately after her flight from the Ranch she keeps being bugged for the fifty-five million dolllars she claims she doesn't have. (At the time there were mmany rumours that Sheela had left the Ranch with 55 million dollars. At the same time, she writes that she was planning to buy a hotel in the Black Forest - not a cheap place to invest).
It is at this time that she is arrested by the German authorities, in cooperation with the FBI. She claims that she is not a criminal. A bit later she is extradicted to an American prison where she claims she faced injustice, but managed to behave herself very well.
After getting a relatively early release from jail, she went to Germany to find her old lover but got her heart broken. She then took off for Portugal. This was the toughest time of her life because she says she was always living in fear of again losing her freedom. Also she was poor, depressed, sick, and sad.
Eventually she moved to Switzerland because of further threats by the American government to arrest her again. (She could not be extradicted from Switzerland.) On the way she happened to meet sannyasins and Sheela felt that these sannyasins were actually more in a prison than she was. At this time she was being accused publically by Osho for her alleged crimes on the Ranch.
Once in Switzerland she records that she started to work, taking care of old people.
Then the book returns to her experience of the magical old Bombay days, (save for the people loudly making love in the next room, which she hated!). She records the challenges of wearing orange and a mala, about Osho's life after the university, and about the move to Poona, of which she was a part. The new ashram in Poona grew larger, and she reports her opinion that the therapies and meditations were only created to be a source of income for the ashram.
She contours the time when Osho went into silence, becoming very ill. (1981). For this reason, the move to the USA became inevitable. This became the Ranch.
She makes the claim that "America made us have weapons, by law," a rather odd claim. She argues that because of the incessant security threats from the local rednecks, the commune had to build a strong peace force to protect itself. The secret tunnels and caches were organised she claims soely for Osho's safekeeping.
In her book, 'Don't Kill Him' Sheela fluctuates so often in the time line, that it is difficult to find a straight account of the different events. There are plenty of passages where she describes her intimate master-disciple relationship with Osho. In it she says how she did everything he instructed her to do, down to the tee - exactly according to Osho. She goes on to say that Osho chose her specifically for that, quote-unquote: to be his parrot. Strangely she also criticizes Osho's doctors for malpractices by treating Osho according to his own recommendations for treatment.
There is no part of the book where she admits to any wrongdoing. From salmonella poisoning to the final countdown on the Ranch, through her own attitude with the press, she seemingly points her finger of blame for the collapse of the Ranch at the blind people around Osho and to Osho himself. That's the basics of this topsy-turvy book, which includes as I have mentioned, lots of tasty morsels for the gossip-hungry mind. Throughout the book she also tells many stories to indicate how human Osho is, and proffers the view that he himself succumbed to materialistic and other non-spiritual attachments.
On page eighteen, line eighteen of the book you will find a quote from Sheela which demonstrates her own egocentric viewpoint: : "I was the heart, soul, and inspiration of the commune.(Ranch)"
I first read this book in 1998 and I had known Sheela personally on the Ranch as a teenager. Therefore I decided to verify her story by asking her a question about my personal interaction with her during the Ranch years. I sent her a letter asking her why I was drugged on the Mitsubishi Jet once on my way to Portland. She answered, "Truth is multi-dimensional -believe who you want to believe."
Her response to my enquiry and also her book left me with disappointment, as she was obviously unable to come clean, and instead gave me some esoteric diplomatic reply. Given also the book's reprints of some letters she wrote to Osho, it would seem she is only interested through the book in trying to validate everything that happened through her own eyes.. .