Legal restraints

Legal restraints

Almost from the moment Osho arrived in the US, the government initiated one of the most intensive investigations ever conducted against one man. It seems that almost every government department was involved – Internal Revenue Service, Immigration, Criminal Investigation (the Attorney General), Customs and Excise, and Health, Education and Welfare. As the US Attorney for Oregon put it at a press conference in 1986, ‘Our first priority was to get rid of [Osho] and dissolve the commune.’

The press noticed. ‘There was no stopping the Attorney General, the Governor, the Immigration Service,’ wrote Oregon journalist Dell Murphy in her book The Rajneesh Story (Publisher: Linwood Press, Oregon), ‘…. nothing would stop them until the commune was destroyed. Most of all, they wanted to destroy [Osho], this non-Christian, non-Jewish, non-rancher, who rode around in a Rolls Royce and wore funny clothes. They would have liked to see him dead. And they might have succeeded if his followers hadn’t stepped in in time to rescue him.’

One of Germany’s leading national dailies Suddeutsche Zeitung,  reported in 1985, ‘The goal of the American authorities seems to be to crush the commune, no matter what the cost.’ (Marianne Heuwagen, November 4, 1985)

Tom Robbins, the US author (Even Cowgirls Get the BluesJitterbug Perfume) writes: ‘I think [Osho] is a great man, and his persecution makes a liar and a hypocrite out of anyone who claims there is religious freedom in the United States. If crucifixion were still in vogue, of course he would have been nailed up. But, since we’re civilized, they had to force him into exile instead. I’m sure they would have much preferred to crucify him on the White House lawn.

‘… He’s obviously a very effective man, otherwise he wouldn’t be such a threat. He’s saying the same things that nobody else has the courage to say. A man who has all those kinds of ideas, they’re not only inflammatory – they also have a resonance of truth that scares the pants off the control freaks.’

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