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  1. #1
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    OR - Truth spills out/25 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed

    As an Oregonian (by choice), I've really been looking forward to this story. I'm hopeful that many questions will be answered. I'll add to the post each day. It will be interesting to see if any WSers have been impacted by this story which is literally stranger than fiction.


    http://www.oregonlive.com/rajneesh/i...e_than_we.html

    25 years after Rajneeshee commune collapsed, truth spills out -- Part 1 of 5

    "Editor's note: In a nearly unbelievable chapter of Oregon history, a guru from India gathered 2,000 followers to live on a remote eastern Oregon ranch. The dream collapsed 25 years ago amid attempted murders, criminal charges and deportations.

    But the whole story was never made public. With first-ever access to government files, and some participants willing to talk for the first time, it's clear things were far worse than we realized.

    What follows is an inside look -- based on witness statements, grand jury transcripts, police reports, court records and fresh interviews -- at how Rajneesh leaders tried to skirt land-use and immigration laws only to have their schemes collapse to the point they decided killing Oregonians was the only way to save their religious utopia."

    Part One at link

  2. #2
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    Oh WOW. I look forward to reading this too. I lived in Venice Beach for years and we had a small 'outpost' of Raji's living there. I got too know many of them very well and a few very weird scary stories leaked out, especially when someone decided to leave the group.
    I am dying to compare what I learned to the inside facts. Thanks for posting this.
    “Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn

  3. #3
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    Meeeee toooo. Lived in Tigard and Beaverton circa 1983... I remember a lot of Rajneeshee versus possum jokes (as in road kill). Didn't they poison a bunch of people in The Dalles? Can't wait to hear all the dirt. We knew they weren't quite right, but had to let it be. Good to know when your instincts are right.
    __________________
    Disclaimer: I have a JD, but I am not licensed to practice. Therefore, do not interpret anything contained in my posts as legal advice - they are my personal opinion only.

  4. #4
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    LOL Ziggy - I grew up in the Lake Oswego area and remember "Bag the Bhag" shirts. My mother thought it would be a good lesson in "cultural diversity" so she took my brother and me on a road trip to Antelope, Oregon and we spent a day with the Rajneeshees. They were very nice to us, had great sandwhiches and everyone was wearing red. Naturally, my brother and I were scared to death and my mother found that especially humorous. She was trying to teach as that "just because people are different it does not make them bad." Then they poisoned a salad bar or something in The Dalles. Sometimes mother doesn't know best.
    The best advice I give to my children: Tell the truth - whether you like it or not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LotsaLatte View Post
    LOL Ziggy - I grew up in the Lake Oswego area and remember "Bag the Bhag" shirts. My mother thought it would be a good lesson in "cultural diversity" so she took my brother and me on a road trip to Antelope, Oregon and we spent a day with the Rajneeshees. They were very nice to us, had great sandwhiches and everyone was wearing red. Naturally, my brother and I were scared to death and my mother found that especially humorous. She was trying to teach as that "just because people are different it does not make them bad." Then they poisoned a salad bar or something in The Dalles. Sometimes mother doesn't know best.
    Hi LotsaLatte, WOW, small world there! I grew up in Lake Oswego too but think I'm about 20 years or so older than you. Neato ;}

    I was living in Vancouver Wa when they were in their heyday in Oregon so only remember reading about them in the paper.

    They did have a profound effect tho on 2 of my sisters, one at Catlin Gable HS the other in college. Learning about these people from India inspired the older sister to take a year off from college and travel to Tibet and India, quite a road trip with a 3rd sister that lasted almost 6 mos. The people and culture affected her greatly and since then she has always been very interested in that part of the world and traveled there many times. She just got back from a 1 mo trip to India, although she says now she doesn't need to go back there again!!!

    My baby sister ended up becoming a Hindu. The Rajneeshee had a very charismatic female leader {Sheila ???} which Oregonians had never met the likes of before. I don't remember her being shown as a negative force at first and it was much later we learned of her true involvement.

    Off to read your link and take a trip down memory lane. Thanks. xox

  6. #6
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    LadyL is offline Sleuthing for Lonzie Barton & All Victims.
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    Thanks for this Missizzy. It's incredible that people like this exist in the world.

    Just an FYI: All five parts are already there at the link. Once you read each part, there is a link at the bottom for the next part.

  7. #7
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    Was this the Guru that took over that little town of Antelope? If so I remember seeing that story many many years ago. Apparently the towns people weren't diversity oriented enough and they started to protest.

    700 poison victims? Errrm...I am thinking 700 that could have eaten tainted lettuce but not 700 bodies. And poisoning salad bars....LOL.

    Great article thank you.
    Last edited by Sonya610; 04-17-2011 at 02:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    I remeber hearing about all of this! But it was years later, and was still talked about in my tiny town of Rogue River, OR.... Thats where I grew up. I watched a discovery show ( I think) About the food poisoning years ago, while I was on bedrest, pregnant with my second in Ptown. Very interesting read, thank you

  9. #9
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    Amazing when all put together like this. I remember not knowing what to think at the time. At the time, the concept of a commune wasn't scary to me, and I thought there might be two sides to the story. Had no concept of the size and population, though.

    Thanks MissIzzy for posting this!

  10. #10
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    Missizzy:

    Here is an OregonLive article written at the time the Rajneesh and friends were pulling out. It is interesting in conjunction with the newer articles. It is a very long article, thankfully all on on page. I also can't help but make some comparisons to those folks down in Clearwater, Florida.

    Also, in the newest articles, the best parts are the documents, the statements of Ava Kay Avalos, especially. I haven't gotten to the others yet.

    Rajneesh and company pull up stakes from Oregon as guru's vision in desert becomes a mirage
    Published: Monday, December 30, 1985

    Thanks for posting about this. I do have some foggy memories of the era and of someone I briefly worked with who was entering back into a multi-colored clothes society. Thankfully, I was never inclined to join things. Still am not.


  11. #11
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    I just checked back and now the entire series is available. It wasn't when I first posted. Scary stuff. It's still spoken about in Ashland and we're hundreds of miles away.

    That evil word.....power. Totally unchecked.

  12. #12
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    My goodness! I had never heard of these folks and I'm from OR!!!

    Sheela was/is a dangerous looney toon! I can't believe she served so little time.

  13. #13
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by LotsaLatte View Post
    LOL Ziggy - I grew up in the Lake Oswego area and remember "Bag the Bhag" shirts. My mother thought it would be a good lesson in "cultural diversity" so she took my brother and me on a road trip to Antelope, Oregon and we spent a day with the Rajneeshees. They were very nice to us, had great sandwhiches and everyone was wearing red. Naturally, my brother and I were scared to death and my mother found that especially humorous. She was trying to teach as that "just because people are different it does not make them bad." Then they poisoned a salad bar or something in The Dalles. Sometimes mother doesn't know best.
    WOW you are lucky to have such a cool Mom!! I was a free spirit stuck in CATHOLIC SCHOOL SUBURBIA as a kid, I would have loved to have come along on your family's field trip instead! : )
    George Eliot: "We constantly ask for God's mercy while showing none ourselves..."



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