Rajneeshpuram news summary 1981-1986 (source document)

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Author of this list of news clippings is Max Brecher, the author of A Passage to America, presented here with his kind permission. Stay tuned for an abridged version.

News clips have been selected for relevance to the story of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) in America, Rajneeshpuram, and the reaction of American society and politicians.

(Caution with 3 "Sunday??" dates: usually nothing happens on Sunday, so these dates could be incorrect.)

1980

October 21 (Tuesday): Shannon Ryan is the next to last of 8 who take sannyas that evening and becomes Ma Amrita Pritam, Beloved of God. "Amrita means the immortal, the timeless, the deathless. It represents god because god is immortal, timeless, eternal, deathless. It represents the real." Rajneesh tells the tale of the Sufi and the king and the ring with the message, "This too shall pass." "To remember that we belong to the eternal, to remember that existence loves us, that we are beloveds of existence, is enough to get rid of all anxieties, anguishes, tensions, worries. Then life and death are the same, success and failure are the same. Then what happens does not matter. What matters now is of a totally different dimension: the beginningless, the endless, the immortal. To continuously remember this is the whole secret of sannyas." (I'm Not as Thunk as You Drink I Am)

1981

January 10 (Wednesday): Feature on Shannon Ryan (Ma Amrita Pritam) in Los Angeles Times. "After the Jonestown massacre, U.S. consular officials in India were ordered to visit the Rajneesh retreat and retreats of several other gurus with significant Western followings to measure the potential for a similar disaster. A consular official in Bombay concluded: 'I don't think we have any Jim Jones here, but if one of those guys suddenly turned sour, his followers would do just about anything he asked. That's the unsettling thing.'"
January 12-18 (Monday to Sunday): Ma Anand Sheela (Sheela Patel Silverman) visits Chidvilas Meditation Center in Montclair, New Jersey, where Ma Amrita Pritam and Swami Samir are resident. It has been in operation about a year. In the 1970's Sheela had lived in Montclair with her husband, American Mark Silverman, and taken some courses at Montclair State College.
April 30 (Thursday): Sannyasins buy 30-room Rhine-style Kip's Castle, built by Dutch industrialist 1902-1905, which straddles New Jersey's Montclair and Verona townships, for $370,000. Depending on accounts, castle has 7.2 acres or 15. According to The Oregonian series, "For Love and Money", the castle was purchased on Tuesday, April 21.
June 1 (Monday): Rajneesh leaves India on Pan Am Flight 1, with stops in Frankfurt, Germany, and London, England.: The Herald News of Northern New Jersey prints story on Kip's Castle, opening with the line: "While the bhagwan has never left his native India ...."
June 12 (Friday): According to July 6, 1985 The Oregonian article from the "For Love and Money" series, the search for American land, which was decided in November 1980 and begun in earnest in mid-May 1981 in the form of Helen Byron, is reaching climax on this day as Sheela and Jayananda (John Shelfer) visit the Big Muddy for the first time and decided almost immediately to buy it. The recent history of the ranch includes a Thursday, September 4, 1980, deal when Roy L. Ryan of Dumas, Texas, president of North Plains Land and Investment Co. through a shuffle of papers and some cash bought the ranch from Reuben Evans of Bend. Ryan gave Evans $139,590 and a title to
another ranch in Waco, Texas [I wonder where that was exactly! MB] (a deal of about $3 million) and mortgaged the Big Muddy for $2.5 million to Mercantile National Bank of Dallas, Texas. Expecting to resell it immediately, Ryan was in trouble when the $2.5 million came due on March 25, 1981. Nevertheless, he brazenly asks $7 million for the property and eventually gets $5.75 million. When the deal is closed on Friday, July 10, 1981, so many lawyers, middlemen, wives and witnesses were in the room, that it was standing room only.
June 19 (Friday): Dagmar Techow, a Hamburg-based writer for Neue Revue, discovers that Rajneesh is living at Kip's Castle. "She noted the compound in India is protected by machine-gun-toting guards who claim they are protecting their leader." Newark, N.J. Star Ledger, June 19. Techow later "accused Bhagwan of leaving his residence in India to escape an $18 million income tax evasion charge against the Rajneesh Foundation. Star Ledger, June 23. [Cf. Patricia Maggier, German TV station reporter calling to tell Antelope Mayor Margaret Hill to get them out of there.]
July 2 (Thursday): Story on Rajneesh in Verona Cedar Grove Times shows Rolls Royce with India plates, MZA 1300, still on them.
August 12 (Wednesday): 35 people attend a meeting at Antelope School and worry about what's going to happen on the Big Muddy. "An Antelope woman, Donna Spint [sic, "Donna Quick Smith"], said she was concerned that the ranch owners would begin selling printed material now distributed through the New Jersey center. She said she considers the material pornographic. Jefferson County District Attorney Michael Sullivan said he would like her to furnish him with the materials she considers pornographic to see if it meets with the criteria for pornographic material under Oregon law. Mayor Margaret Hill [who came to teach at Antelope school in 1966], who had a brochure advertising sale of items from the Montclair center, said if not pornographic the material was 'at least far out.'" Bend Bulletin
August13 (Thursday): Some are worried about property values going up and others are worried about property values going down.
August 29 (Saturday): Rajneesh flies on rented Learjet 35 (cost $15,500) to Redmond and then arrives at Rancho Rajneesh.
August 30 (Sunday): Los Angeles Times feature on Rajneeshpuram - then called Ville de Rajneesh .dateline Antelope, by Russell Chandler and its New Delhi correspondent, Tyler Marshall. Antelope and Shaniko are depicted on the map as ghost towns. "'This has been the biggest thing to hit Antelope since a guy was gunned down at the John Silver [sic, Silvertooth] Saloon 70 years ago,'" a Madras farm implement dealer said. "The amazing growth rate over the last few years of his followers - more than 100,000 are estimated to have taken Sannyas, or initiation - may well make Bhagwan one of the most important - and most watched religious leaders of the next several decades." "A diplomat with contact among the Poona ashram's small inner circle before its departure claims that he was informed that Bhagwan has already married a Greek-born naturalized American disciple [Mukta] and hopes to use the marriage to gain permanent U.S. residence. That story has been printed in a German magazine and repeated on NBC television news." (But like so much else, it wasn't true.)
August 30 (Sunday): The Oregonian article says the local people haven't seen "so much excitement since the sheepherders and the cattlemen were feuding decades ago. 'This town is so conservative, the women stand in one group and the men stand in another,' said Ray Reynolds, 57. 'That's the type of community it is, and we like it.'" The Reynolds live in Portland but own property in Antelope.
September 1 (Tuesday): Antelope residents think they see Rajneesh on their streets for the first time. The Oregonian, Sept. 4
September 4 (Friday): Wolfgang Dobrowolny's 1978 documentary, Ashram, highest grossing Germany documentary of 1980, opens in San Francisco.
September 27 (Sunday): Margaret Hill talking of Antelope, said that at one time there were 490 people in the town and that H. L. Davis, Pulitzer Prize winner for 1935 novel, Honey in the Horn, was editor of the Antelope Herald. Bend Bulletin
October 6 (Tuesday): Sheela addresses attendance record audience (80-85) at Madras Kiwanis Club.
October 14 (Wednesday): Rajneeshees submit petition in The Dalles to incorporate their own city. "'It is sort of a foregone conclusion that the petition will be approved,' said Sue Profitt, Wasco County clerk. Judge Richard C. Cantrell said, 'There are no problems as far as the court is concerned. As long as they are legal, they have just as much right as any other citizen.' Although new towns may seem rare, according to the Oregon Blue Book, 11 cities were incorporated in Oregon during the 1970s." Bend Bulletin
October 19 (Monday): Sheela addresses 140 people in Madras at Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Bend Bulletin, October 22
October 23 (Friday): BSR applies for extension of stay in US to March 1, 1982, based on medical reasons.
October 27 (Tuesday): Sheela addresses capacity crowd, consisting mostly of professional people and businessmen, at Riverhouse Motor Inn. Asked how many people would live in the city in the next five years, Sheela responded, about 1500-2,000. "Whatever we will need to get that oasis more and more beautiful. "Chuck Austin, a Bend real estate agent consultant said, 'From what I understand of her philosophy, it's counter to what I believe. It's probably a challenge to the rest of us to examine our values.'" Bend Bulletin, October 28
November 1 (Sunday): The Oregonian editorial. "Rajneeshpuram would not be the first Oregon community settled by a religious, ethnic or cultural group, but all others were opened to settlement by outsiders long before revenue sharing. The community of interest in Rajneeshpuram is understandable: a group of people sharing one religion, a common lifestyle, and seeking to cultivate agricultural land that, until their settlement, was only marginally productive. In fact, that sounds like the way many cities throughout the United States got their start. In addition, many company towns have become cities. Before 1906, the Oregon Legislature incorporated cities. In 1941, the law was changed to allow formation of cities by 150 persons if they so desired."
November 4 (Wednesday): About 250 people, including 26 Rajneesh disciples, crowded into the Wasco County Court House for 2 hour public hearing. By a vote of 2-1, The Wasco County Board of Commissioners voted to allow an incorporation election of Rajneeshpuram. The Oregonian, November 6. The Bend Bulletin described it as "the biggest crowd the second-floor circuit court room has seen in quite some time."
November 10 (Tuesday): KATU-TV Portland's program, Town Hall, filmed in Antelope. Aired November 14.
November 22 (Sunday??): Governor Vic Atiyeh invited to Rancho Rajneesh.
November 24 (Tuesday): BSR applies for permanent resident status as a religious leader and teacher.
December 20 (Sunday): About 200 attend Yule celebration in Cascade Ballroom at The Dalles' Portage Inn, given by Sheela and John Shelfer (Swami Jayananda). "A brief study of area elected officials, however, showed that a number of them had been invited to the party and several of them plan to attend with their spouses." The Oregonian, December 16. Bend Bulletin, December 22: 200 followers of Rajneesh said to be on the ranch.
December 31 (Thursday): Kip's Castle up for sale. Neighbors breathe a sigh of relief. "'I think the townspeople are relieved. The majority of residents I've talked to are glad the Rajneesh followers are moving to Oregon,' Bert Kendall, Montclair's township manager, said. Residents feared their children would be snatched off the streets by members of a 'cult' they compared to Rev. Jim Jones and Jonestown." Star Ledger

1982

January. 1 (Friday):Bend Bulletin lists Rajneeshpuram as the number 2 story of 1981.
March : Pat Lear, aka Ma Amrit Chinmayo, growing cool towards Rajneesh, living in Woodland Hills, California with boyfriend.
March 11 (Thursday): Governor Vic Atiyeh, campaigning in Central Oregon, addresses Rajneeshee situation at Madras Kiwanis meeting. On March 12, he states in a radio interview [KPRB Redmond, Oregon] that his sympathies lie with the Oregon residents. "'This has created a tremendous amount of emotional trauma and deep concern by long-time Oregonians,' the governor told an interviewer in Redmond. 'I'm provincial. I admit it. I was born and raised in Oregon, and of course my loyalty is to Oregonians.'" The Oregonian, March 14, 1982. Atiyeh's remarks continued: "My sympathies are with those residents who are concerned with Rajneesh. They are concerned with a tidal wave of people into a community that has been quiet and peaceful for many years. [The followers'] moves are intimidating, and I think that is what is scaring people.'" Bend Bulletin, March 15, 1982. "Atiyeh, who is of Syrian descent, suggested in a radio interview last week that followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh should leave Oregon if longer-term residents did not like them. 'It is very clear that their presence has been extremely disturbing to the longtime residents,' Atiyeh said of the rajneesh's followers last week. 'Their presence is so different. If I moved into the neighborhood and they really didn't like me, I see no reason why I should stay.'" The Oregonian, March 17, 1982.
"A Democrat candidate for governor said at Bend that Gov. Atiyeh 'disgraced himself and owes an apology to those people' for his remarks about the Bhagwan's followers. "Lane County Commissioner Jerry Rust disagreed with Atiyeh. 'I think it is unfortunate when the chief elected officer of the state says essentially that if you move into a neighborhood and the people think you are different or don't like you, you should pick up and leave.'" Oregon Journal, March 16.
March 27 (Saturday): Shots fired by four Prineville men at Rajneeshee in Antelope. "Basically, it was an obscenity attack at the minority religion, that's what was alleged to us by the victim,' said Wasco County sheriff's patrolman Sgt. Larry Tellinghausen." Bend Bulletin, March 28
April 8 (Thursday): "'I think they'll fall apart from the inside,' Mrs. [Donna Quick] Smith said at a Redmond Rotary Luncheon Thursday. 'Someone from the top of that machine will get greedy. Cults have a history of corruption.. They [Rajneesh leaders] put the kids on a low-protein diet, then give them long hours of tedious work. Eventually any thought that might invade the mind is pushed aside by the young people. We see them [the young followers] sleeping all over town. They'll knock on people's doors, just to keep dry or warm or to get a ride to Madras,' she said." The Redmond Spokesman, April 14
April 13 (Tuesday): "Better dead than red" bumper stickers are pictured in the Bend Bulletin.
April 15 (Thursday): Over 100 media representatives present for Antelope disincorporation election, fails by a vote of 55-42. More media than voters. Bend Bulletin editorial says "vote was an outrage to Oregon."
April 20 (Tuesday): Donna Quick Smith says the Governor should call out the National Guard during first world festival to protect Antelope residents.
May 1 (Saturday): Three Rajneeshees in boating accident in John Day River, one dead. Swami Prem Anbara, (age 29) aka Jim S. Colpitts of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. River at 1. times the normal flow, but not at flood levels. Approximately three missing and presumed dead in other Central Oregon rivers, including Deschutes, at same time. (Colpitts' body found more than 2 weeks later on Wednesday, May 19 on small island in Gilliam County.)
May 3 (Monday): "Before we judge their settlement in this country we had better think back to how the Indians were dealt with when the 'West' was settled. I'm all for freedom of choice, religion, etc. I'd much rather they voted us out than having to decide this matter with weapons. So far on the whole they've proved to be more peaceful than we were when the country was originally settled." Michael Curtis, militarily trained nuclear, biological warfare expert. Bend Bulletin
May 18 (Tuesday): Rajneeshpuram incorporation election held. The vote is a resounding 154-0 for.
June 18 (Friday): It is reported that 300 National Guardsman have been placed on call for Rajneeshee festival, and also letters from Governor show that he personally opposes festival. "About 300 Oregon National Guardsmen will be 'on call' for the duration of a religious festival scheduled next month near Antelope by followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, according to an internal memorandum by Bob Oliver, assistant to Gov. Vic. Atiyeh. "Oliver said in the memorandum that guardsmen from Bend, Redmond, Hood River, and The Dalles could be assembled 'if the worst came about.'"
June 24 (Thursday), aired Friday, July 9: Merv Griffin program, Sheela and Rosemary McGreer
July 2 (Friday): One inch of rain makes mud out of roads entering Rajneeshpuram. About 1800 tents have gone up and 6,000 people from around the world are expected. Rajneeshees spending about $3 million on the festival. A car full of women, one Trisha Ryckman from near Central Point and an ordained minister of the Light of Life Ministry, shouted curses in the name of Jesus Christ and blocked Rajneesh's Rolls Royce on the afternoon drive. (Daily Tidings, Ashland, July 3.) Later, Ms. Ryckman tried to sue Rajneeshees. "Ms. Ryckman, who opposes the Rajneesh's religious movement, said she believes 'disastrous social problems' will arise from it. She said Jesus is the one and only Lord, and that her opposition to the Rajneesh is part of 'a war between God and Satan.'" (Medford Mail Tribune, July 29, 1982)
July 24 (Saturday): 210-acre range fire one mile north of Antelope brought under control by 200 fire-fighters, 50 of whom are sannyasins. Seven pieces of Rajneeshee equipment are used to fight blaze: "The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. about a mile north of the town. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Will Bartlett said the blaze was believed to have been human-caused." The Oregonian, July 26, 1982
August 30 (Monday): A forest fire, which began on Warm Springs Indian Reservation on Friday, August 27 and ravaged 7,700 acres of brush and timber land, was brought under control with the help of 250 US Forest Service and Indian fire-fighters and an 8-Rajneeshee pumper unit.
September 6 (Monday): Rajneesh gives interview with Kirk Braun.
October 6 (Wednesday): Russian article in Komsomolskaya Pravda filled with Sturm und Drang and quotes from a French journalist. Rajneesh is depicted as fascist exploiter of spoiled capitalist brats. Young West German documentary film maker, V. Dobrovlny [sic, "Wolfgang Dobrowolny"] "putting his life at risk, secretly filmed a few scenes of cruel beatings which took place at the 'trainings' in the Poona commune." (Ashram. The secret filming were somewhat staged.)
October 14 (Thursday): Rajneesh travels to Portland for an interview with INS' George Hunter.
October 31 (Sunday): Airing of CBS' 60 Minutes segment about Antelope and Rajneeshpuram.
December 16 (Wednesday): In a Medford Mail Tribune editorial it is said that the director of the Oregon State Penitentiary refuses Rajneeshees the right to teach prisoners meditation.
December 17 (Thursday): Census: Rajneeshpuram 600, Antelope 70. Ranch residents outside city, 100.
December 21 (Tuesday): INS denies Rajneesh's application for status as permanent US resident. "The INS made itself look silly by insisting that he couldn't be a religious leader because he had vowed not to speak in public. That might have been a case of discrimination, but the INS [eventually] gave in on that point." Democrat Herald, Albany, Oregon. June 6, 1985
December 31 (Friday): Radio Station KYXI rates Bhagwan as Newsmaker of the Year. Associated Press lists the Rajneeshee story as story Number 3 in Oregon

1983

January 2 (Sunday): Rajneeshpuram reports 700 residents. UPI mentions Rajneeshee story as one of the major events of 1982. The Bend Bulletin selects it again as the second biggest story of the year.
January 3 (Monday): Jewish Federation Council Community Relations Committee, based in Los Angeles, passes a resolution urging the INS to deny Rajneesh's visa application, claiming he is the leader of a "cult with a history of anti-Semitism" and one who would "serve as a destructive element in American society."
January 12 (Wednesday): INS suspends deportation order for Rajneesh.
January 23 (Sunday): Jack Anderson's Confidential television segment on Rajneeshpuram aired.
February 16 (Wednesday): Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Sullivan poisoned.
February 27 (Sunday??): Rajneeshees file one of many freedom of information act (FOIA) requests, which is delayed for 1.5 years and then denied.
March 15 (Tuesday): Klamath Falls State Senator Fred Heard defended freedom of religion before a group of Bend Senior Citizens. "'I'm arguing a very unpopular stand,' said Heard. 'I'm arguing for freedom of religion.'" Bend Bulletin, March 16, 1983
April 8 (Friday): Unidentified INS memo says that pressure from INS may possibly cause the Rajneeshees to pick up stakes and leave America. (See August 4, 1984.)
April 14 (Thursday): Bill Driver article in The Dalles Weekly Reminder. "'More and more people are saying it's time to quit talking,' said one disgruntled resident recently. A story is going around Antelope that sums up a growing sentiment in the area. A local reportedly approached Krishna Deva (Dave Knapp) recently and asked, 'Dave, you're a psychologist. Just how much more of this crap do you think I can take before I crack and start pulling the trigger?' One local stated during a city council debate over the American Legion's proposed barbecue that anyone 'coming around that barbecue pit is gonna be shot.' John Silvertooth Stewart, the only non-Rajneeshee on the city council and an object of a great deal of local criticism for working so closely with them, stated during the last council meeting that he had been informed of threats against him. The danger, however, doesn't come from the people who are making all the noise. It comes from the people who have already 'given up talking.'"
April 27 (Wednesday): Horse belonging to the head of Rajneeshpuram's Peace Force, a former Jefferson county Deputy Sheriff, is wounded by an unknown gunman.
May 18 (Wednesday): Attorneys for Rajneesh file rebuttal with INS, consisting of 3 videotapes, 51 photographs, 48 pages of brief, and 628 pages of evidence.
May 23 (Monday): 750-1000 "Concerned Oregonians" attend anti-Rajneesh rally in The Dalles. Attorneys from One Thousand Friends of Oregon are, obviously, also in attendance.
May 26 (Thursday): Preliminary initiative petition filed with the Secretary of State's office by 2 Albany women, Reba J. Boies and Melissa S. Baker, and one Eugene man, Cliff Everett, 63, Gov. Atiyeh's leading challenger in the 1982 Republican gubernatorial primary (17,537 votes for him, 202,075 for Atiyeh, Eugene Register-Guard, July 13, 1983)."Request for an initiative petition which will: expel the Rajneesh cult from Oregon. Whereas, all power is inherent in the people .they have at all times a right to alter, reform or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper - Article I, Section I. Therefore, a majority vote by the people approving this initiative petition identifies the Rajneeshees as an alien cult that has invaded Oregon and threatens our governments - and herewith commands our governor to expel immediately from Oregon all members and vestiges of said cult. Any attempt by a judge or any public servant to obstruct enforcement of this directive will be a disobedience to the people, hence a violation of our Oregon Constitution and therefore be punished as treason." 47 signatures are obtained in the first hour. They will need 62,521 signatures by July 6, 1984 to get on the ballot by November 1984 {83,361 to be a constitutional amendment).
[Dave Frohnmayer: Mike McCracken, a legislator from Albany, asked our office whether it was legal under the first amendment for Rajneeshpuram to receive revenue sharing. A significant component of the anti-Rajneesh sentiment was in Albany.]
June 10 (Friday): Oregon Attorney General's office decides that the initiative to expel Rajneeshees should be rewritten, because it provides "no specifics on how to accomplish their goal". Attorney General's staff said the proposal as law "would violate the religious provisions of the U.S. and state constitutions", but that wouldn't interfere with the proposal being put on the ballot. The constitutional issue would be determined by the courts after.
June 14 (Tuesday): Thirty people protest in favor of deporting Rajneesh in front of Portland INS.
June 23 (Thursday): Anti-Rajneesh petition given an approved ballot title. Governor Vic Atiyeh gives speech to the Greater Portland Convention and Visitor's Association in Portland and stressed the importance of tourism to Oregon's economy. After the meeting Sheela invited Atiyeh to Rajneeshpuram. He shook hands and smiled at her and said, "I know you're sincere and I accept your invitation sincerely. Sheela has extended invitations to the governor to visit on other occasions, but this was the first time he accepted." The Rajneesh Times, June 24 (But, of course, he never got around to it.)
June 24 (Friday): The Oregonian guest editorial by Dr. Ted L. Shay, professor of political science at Willamette University, recounts some of prejudices against Rajneeshees beyond the fear of Jonestown. Most of the women didn't wear brassieres. The Dalles Ministerial Association agreed that the Rajneeshees are human beings, June 1983. A Madras Woman wrote, "We are fearful of what may happen to our children." Albany man wrote, "Why should intelligent, taxpaying citizens of Linn County need or desire an understanding of the Rajneesh movement?" The disciples are branded as "mindless, brainwashed, zombies". "Bhagwan is a phony." "Bhagwan's utterances are utterly meaningless", or "They are a bunch of religious nuts." "Our Bible teaches us to fight against any and all that teaches other than our Lord's word." "The guru and his demons should be deported immediately." "Finally, a letter writer to a Beaverton newspaper quoted an unidentified Bombay correspondent who urges Americans: 'Don't entertain any scruples. If necessary, slaughter them.'"
July 4 (Monday): Thirteen non-Rajneeshee residents remain in Antelope.
July 8 (Friday): Approximately 35 cars and pickups drive through Rajneeshpuram in a planned media event.
July 23 (Saturday): New anti-Rajneesh group, Americans for Constitutional Rights (AFCR), attracts about 700 people to its first meeting in The Dalles. AFCR holds its first state-wide meeting in Gresham two days later, on Monday, July 25, and 200 come.
July 29 (Friday): Three bomb blasts, one at 1:22 a.m. and two at 2:57 a.m., in Rajneeshee's Portland hotel. One of the culprits, Stephen Paul Paster, age 34, from Los Angeles, is caught no-handed. Two men believed to have been with him, Robert D. Greenwood and Edward C. Lindsey, also from California, remain at large.
August 3 (Wednesday): Rajneesh Portland Hotel receives a call from Seattle stating that someone has discussed hiring a person to kill Rajneesh.
August 6 (Saturday): Two Californian men arrested and taken to The Dalles on extortion and criminal conspiracy charges involving a year long series of threatening letters. Richard Vernon Alexander, Jr. (also known as El Rashid), 45 of Sacramento, and Abraham Capers Jr. also 30 (in one article he is described as being 19 years old) of Sacramento. The Oregonian, August 8. (See Alexander's $1,5 million suit against Rajneeshpuram on July 31, 1985.)
August 8 (Monday): Despite protests from his father, James Phillips, a San Mateo boy is allowed to continue visiting his mother, Bogar Phillips. (Apparently, a sannyasin woman.)
August 18 (Thursday): The Dalles Grand Jury votes not to prosecute the two above-mentioned California men for extortion.
September 7 (Wednesday): Rajneeshee Disco in Berlin firebombed. $70,000 in damages, but reopened 10 days later.
September 18 (Sunday): The Oregonian feature on Bill Bowerman, 72-year old former head track coach of the University of Oregon (24 years) who brought jogging from New Zealand to America, coached the 1972 US Olympic track and field team, and has trained more sub four-minute milers than anyone else. Developer of the waffle sole Ð crippled, no kidding, by too much glue sniffing Ð he is the now millionaire co-founder of Nike ("Just Do It", Bill), a Beaverton-based company that is the largest producer of athletic shoes in North America. He is described as the "Guru of running" and a "single-minded", plain spoken descendant of Homesteaders and pioneer stock. His mother was born in Fossil. He bought a ranch near Coburg last September (1982) for $1 million.
September: The wife of Stephen Paul Paster, the man accused of the July 29 bombing of Hotel Rajneesh in Portland, posts $2,000 bail and he is released.
October 6 (Thursday): Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer files his church-state case against Rajneeshpuram and calls a press conference.
October 9 (Sunday): The Oregonian editorial: "Legal issues about the incorporation of Rajneeshpuram as an Oregon city must be resolved, but it would be more appropriate for the state to be the conciliator seeking answers rather than assuming the role of adversary."
"Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer issued an opinion last week that incorporation of Rajneeshpuram violates constitutional standards on separation of church and state. His judgment appears based on at least some flawed assumptions of fact, which may undermine his legal conclusion. At the very least, his whole approach further polarizes the Oregon political and social climate for the religious minority forming a community on an Eastern Oregon ranch. The Rajneeshees still seem to be guilty until proven innocent, a condition that has characterized their association with the state since they sought a home here."
"His work would have had greater weight, however, if he had bothered to check the facts before basing it on the assumption that only the faithful may reside at Rajneeshpuram. Also, it would have been more helpful had the thrust of his effort been an attempt to guide the Rajneeshees on how to distinguish municipal from religious functions in order to have a legal city within both federal and state constitutions. Instead he produced a generally negative document."
"Many constitutional authorities believe members of a religion can create cities, just so long as they treat religion and civic affairs separately and do not presume to exclude those of other persuasions."
"Like many minorities past and present, the Rajneeshees are obvious political targets. But they are entitled to fair treatment in Oregon, and Frohnmayer should respond to the questions he raised by trying to help them achieve their civic goals within the letter and spirit of the law."
October 13 (Thursday): It is reported that Senator Robert Dole from Kansas is interested in "what's drawing people to Rajneeshism. Dole, according to an assistant, Ann Lindgren, is interested to learn more about the Rajneeshees following calls from several Kansas constituents. According to Lindgren, several persons in Kansas are concerned that their children have become involved with the Oregon-based cult." The Dalles Weekly Reminder (Dr. John Wally (Swami Dhyan John) and Dr. Bill Barnum, see below, were from Kansas.)
October 23 (Sunday): 1202 residents in Rajneeshpuram.
October 24 (Monday): A report states that there have been 70,000 visitors to the ranch since March 1982 and estimates that 80,000 will come in 1984. The Wasco County Treasurer's office states that the Rajneeshee tax bill is $95, 607.66. Last year it was $33,656.33.
October 30 (Sunday): A national cult awareness group, Citizens' Freedom Foundation, holds its annual conference near Los Angeles.
November 1 (Tuesday): Week Night TV show in Seattle quotes non-Rajneeshee rancher as saying "If shooting starts around here, I think it will catch on pretty fast and there's a lot of people who want to get their licks in."
November 1 (Tuesday): Roy S. Haber, formerly deputy chief in Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Department, publishes an editorial in The Oregonian against Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer's church-state case against Rajneeshpuram. "None of Frohnmayer's individual conclusions, whether they legally are sound or not, are a basis for holding that the city is unconstitutional. He attempts to do what is called bootstrapping in the law. When the basic premises are not sufficient in themselves to warrant some legal conclusion, naive practitioners will attempt to lump the parts together, hoping that somehow the whole is mysteriously greater than its parts.
"For example, if only members of the Rajneeshee religion can use the streets, that may involve a question of civil rights violations warranting a federal court intervention....These citizens have a perfect right, as citizens, to incorporate their city. It is because the opinion fails to treat them as citizens, but only as adherents of the faith, that it is able to make the illogical jump to the conclusions that the city is unconstitutional. There is, by the way, no legal authority cited in the opinion for the proposition that the city is unconstitutional.
"Finally, a large percentage of the original small towns in this country were settled by groups of people of one faith who were fleeing religious persecution. In some instances, they purchased all the lands as a group and incorporated their areas as cities or towns. In other cases, they owned the land individually but were all members of the same faith. Under the Frohnmayer opinion, these people would not have been given the franchise for their own cities."
November 3 (Thursday): It is reported that Johnson County Associate District Judge Janette Howard in Olathe, Kansas has dismissed a suit by Lorna Jean Barnum of Shawnee, who claims that the Rajneeshees persuaded her husband of 19 years, Bill Barnum, to divorce her. The suit had been filed against Rajneesh and his followers after the divorce went through in January 1983. Her husband had been earning more than a $100,000 a year, and was convinced by his ex-business partner, Dr. John Wally, also a Rajneeshee, to join up. The grounds for the dismissal were that Kansas courts had no jurisdiction over the Oregon-based group. Statesman-Journal
November 7 (Monday): Larryann Willis, an Oregonian national committee-woman who heads the Northwest Regional Finance unit for the party, said that the Democratic National Committee has accepted her recommendation about the Rajneeshees. That is, not to accept any campaign funds or support from supporters of Rajneesh. "She also said in a news release that during a visit to Washington, D.C., she looked into the progress of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service investigation of the Indian guru's request for permanent residency." Bend Bulletin.
November 10 (Thursday): A Moro woman reports that she received call from Ann Lindgren from Senator Dole's Washington office, asking for information about Rajneeshees. The Dalles Weekly Reminder
November 14 (Monday): An anti-Rajneeshee speaker travels to Park County, Montana to talk to residents concerned about the Church Universal and Triumphant.
November 22 (Tuesday): Three INS investigators make unannounced visit to view Rajneesh's drive-by. On board are Tom Casey and Rick Norton. According to Greg Leo Ð which might not be true Ð George Hunter was also with them.
November 25 (Friday): Two telephone bomb threats, one from Tuesday, November 15 and another from Friday, November 18, are reported.
December 1 (Thursday): Lead pellet fired through second storey window and into room of Hotel Rajneesh in Portland.
December 2 (Friday): Rock thrown through window in Zorba the Buddha disco in Portland.
December 9 (Friday): "Wasco County Undersheriff Jack Robertson said today his department has even received a request to call out the National Guard and have the Rajneeshee police officers ejected from Antelope." Bend Bulletin
December 12 (Monday): 1000 Friends now has 8,000 members.
December 18 (Sunday):1000 Friends' Rajneeshpuram Alert has been mailed to 500,000 households since September. Director Henry Richmond says the mailing has produced membership or donations from 3250 households and the membership is now 8,500.

1984

January 1 (Sunday): Anti-Rajneesh initiative petition (see May 26, 1983) now has 31,000 signatures. Bend Bulletin rates Rajneeshpuram as number 1 story of 1983. Associated Press and The Oregonian rate it as number 3. The Oregonian rates Rajneesh and Sheela as 1983 Persons of the Year.
January 5 (Thursday): The Dalles Weekly Reminder rates Rajneeshpuram as the number 1 story of 1983.
January 16 (Monday): The international edition of Time reports Rajneeshee disco in Berlin attracted 250,000 customers in its first year. The Cologne disco has 20,000 customers per month (240,000 per year). Rajneeshees operate 13 discos and 15 restaurants in Germany, doing an annual business of $6 million. May 11: Of 50 vegetarian restaurants in Germany, 20 are Rajneeshee. 50,000 Rajneeshees in Germany, 5,000 living in communes.
January 20 (Friday): An FBI agent in Portland states that his agency will block Rajneesh Peace Force from using the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
January 24 (Tuesday): Stephen Paul Paster, the man accused of the July 29, 1983 bombing of the Hotel Rajneesh, doesn't show up for preliminary hearing and a warrant is issued for his arrest.
February 2 (Thursday): Sheela's father, a naturalized US citizen, announces that he adopted Rajneesh on (Sunday) January 12, 1936.
February 15 (Wednesday): With Robert Krueger as district director, INS approves Rajneesh's request to be classified as a religious teacher, saying that the documents submitted on May 18, 1983 played a key role in their decision. However, a decision on permanent residency is not expected in the near future.
February 17 (Friday): Rick Norton, then deputy assistant commissioner for INS investigations in Washington, DC, calls Joe Greene in Miami and asks him to move to Portland and coordinate the Rajneeshee investigation. The Oregonian, Monday, December 15, 1986. In the same month, according to a Tuesday, February 28, 1989 interview with Charles Turner, US Attorney in Portland, INS General Counsel Mike Inman comes to Portland and asks Turner's office to make Rajneesh case criminal and take it before a Grand Jury.
March 4 (Sunday): One of the nation's foremost constitutional lawyers, Laurence Tribe of Harvard University, currently defending the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church in tax evasion case, has volunteered to serve as Frohnmayer's unpaid volunteer in the church-state case. Deputy Attorney General Bill Gary "said the Oregon attorney general's office likely will join in urging the Supreme Court to hear Moon's appeal .... Marla Rae, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said the state also has retained Jesse Choper, dean of the law school of the University of California, in its suit against the city. She said Choper was a professor for both Frohnmayer and Tribe at the law school in Berkeley." Bend Bulletin
March 9 (Friday): Sheela announces Rajneesh's prediction that AIDS will kill two thirds of the world's population over the next 10 years. (So much for Delphic and other oracles.)
March (?): Ma Yoga Laxmi's interview with John Feher in INS' New York offices.
March 17 (Saturday): A Wamic man brings 60 picketers to Antelope to protest Rajneeshee presence there.
March 25 (Sunday): A Christian couple from India plan to establish halfway house for burned out Rajneeshees in Madras. (Oregon, I suppose.)
March 30 (Friday): INS District Director in Portland, Robert Krueger, retires. He is replaced by Carl Houseman. At the retirement party at Red Lion Inn, he is offered a night's stay in Portland's Hotel Rajneesh.
April 15 (Sunday): The same Wamic man coordinates and leads a nearly 200-strong protest march through Antelope. Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer entertains Republican Party of Oregon by singing The Guru in the Sky.
June 8 (Friday): Ranchers between Rajneeshpuram and Antelope have been hanging coyote carcasses on their fences. Complaints made to State Department of Agriculture and the Fish and Wildlife Division of the US Department of Interior are met with response that there is no law against the practice.
June 9 (Saturday): 15,000 Baby rainbow trout are put into Krishnamurti Lake. Visitors to ranch include ex-governor, Robert Straub, as well as 55 members of ACLU.
June 11 (Monday): A Rajneeshee woman reports that a local rancher menaced her on the way to Antelope.
June 23 (Saturday): Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Robert Brown in Seattle announced that the Navy has agreed that their pilots will alter their flight course to avoid Rajneeshpuram and a new air route will be established in 30-60 days. Rajneesh attorney Swami Pratho Subhan has been complaining to the Navy since March about their low-flying planes and was assured on Friday, May 11 that military flights would steer clear of the city. But they have continued, Subhan said. Bend Bulletin
June 30 (Saturday): A Gresham church announces a six week sermon series on the New Age Movement, which alleges that both the Rajneeshees and The Guardian Angels are both part of that movement.
July 30 (Monday): A Nevada man files suit in Wasco County Circuit Court against Rajneeshpuram Municipal Judge, claiming that he was issued a citation for careless driving on Saturday, June 4 (presumably 1983), Tuesday, August 2, and Friday, August 26.
August 4 (Saturday): San Francisco Chronicle article with INS memo. (See April 8, 1983.)
August 19 (Sunday??): Rajneesh breaks public silence, gives deposition in defamation case. "I take the oath on the sacred book of our religion of Rajneeshism that I only speak the truth and will only speak the truth now." "I am not making anybody head of my religion because I don't want any books to be followed, I don't want people exploiting others in my name. I am not going to be succeeded by anybody. The day I am dead, I am dead. There is no question of my succession." (From "For Love and Money")
August 26 (Sunday): Eugene Register Guard article, "Talk of War", by Sally Hale, "investigators privately voice apprehension over the level of animosity between the Rajneeshees and Oregonians and question whether the law could be enforced peacefully should the legal tide eventually turn against the Rajneeshees."
"'I don't know the state of mind out there,' said one investigator who spoke on condition that his name not be used. 'I think if any federal agency went in there they would have to use a great deal of caution.'"
"'If somebody's coming to destroy because of their bigotry, because they think this is how they want us to live, we'll meet them with three times their force,' she [Sheela] said."
September 24 (Monday, Friday actually): The Economist article. "The conflict has its irony because there is something particularly American about the Rajneeshees, despite their exotic name. On an as yet smaller scale, their venture recalls the movement of the Mormons to remote Utah in the mid-nineteenth century after they were driven out of the mid-west. Like the Mormons, the bhagwan's disciples have created a town in the desert. They are committed to staying." [Cf. similar argument used in Portland Business Journal, Monday, February 11, 1985]
September 26 (Wednesday): At least 40 people from state and federal agencies meet behind closed doors at the Justice Building in Salem. The press are told about it, but not allowed to come in, and nothing is "officially" told to them after.
October 18 (Thursday): Charlotte News (North Carolina) editorial on Rajneeshees.
October 20 (Saturday): A mass meeting is held at Rajneeshpuram. Afterwards, 100 plus unruly homeless people are bussed out.
November 1 (Thursday): Wall Street Journal editorial on Rajneeshees. The Guardian Angels, who, according to the Gresham church mentioned above, are with the Rajneeshees part of the same New Age Movement, declare war on them and insist that they pay the return tickets for the homeless.
November 2 (Friday): "There have been many threats made against the Bhagwan's life that can be dismissed as the ravings of disturbed people. But the latest threat seems to be more than this. His disciples say that a 'federal mediator' [John Mathias] has told them 150 armed men are planning an attack on Rajneeshpuram in which they will kill the Bhagwan and wreak havoc on the commune." Australian Herald, Melbourne (On Wednesday, March 8, 1989, I met John Mathias in Seattle, and he offered to sell me his story.)
December 10 (Monday): A caravan of between 18 and 30 cars from Save our State make quick trip to reception gate at Rajneeshpuram and are turned away.
December 28 (Friday): Major Kenneth Lamkin retires. Discussing Rajneeshees, he said, "The problems were more potential than actual." According to John C. Williams, Lamkin's ability to communicate is why he's done so well with the Rajneeshees. Lamkin has never shot at anyone and no one has ever shot at him. One time he stopped a little old lady out of Woodburn for an expired license plate, and she was so nice that he only gave her a warning. Later, he found out that she had a gun in her purse aimed at him the whole time and would have shot him had he given her the ticket. The Oregonian, December 26
December 28 (Friday): Victor Loiler, a 40-year old Bend cabinet maker and former missionary to Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize, has been going down to Rajneeshpuram since August. "'Every man is going to have to bow down to his knees (in front of God), and that includes Mr. Rajneesh himself....The demonic forces here are amazing. Satan is very much alive here. They're out here for the lust of their own flesh. They're out here to do what they want to do. And they're out here to do it in their own way. What they need is the gospel so they can come back to life.'" Bend Bulletin, (A similar argument appeared in The Young Guardians, Kiev, Ukraine, in April 1985, and, has been appearing throughout the millennia.)
December 30 (Sunday): UPI selects Bhagwan and Rajneeshpuram as the top story of the year. It was also voted top story by Oregon editors and broadcasters in an Associated Press poll.

1985

January 1 (Tuesday): Rajneesh number one story of 1984.
January 14 (Monday): A fire causes extensive damage to the planning office in The Dalles.
January 16 (Wednesday): According to Joe Hertzberg, of Portland public opinion research company, The Attitudes Group, the prejudice against Rajneesh and town is a state-wide phenomenon. Studies conducted by the firm at the end of October 1984 reveal "a magnitude of prejudice I have not seen in my 11 years of research," Hertzberg said. Two-thirds agreed that the Rajneeshees would lie to protect Rajneeshee interests, and about half said they would not believe Rajneeshee sworn testimony. Seventy per cent said Rajneeshees are using legal system unfairly, and the same number disagreed that they are not hurting anyone and should be left alone. AP story in The Oregonian. Eugene Register-Guard editorial of Friday, January 11 says, "Most Oregonians had no preconceived notions about the Rajneeshees before they showed up in the state three years ago. They didn't know anything about them. Their opinions have been formed by Oregon's experience with the group since.... An informed, rational adverse judgment is not a 'prejudice.'"
February 11 (Monday): A Portland Business Journal editorial by Carl Abbott, professor of urban studies at Portland State University, in favor of Rajneeshees reminds readers that a federal army tried to overturn Mormon control of Utah in 1857. "The real point of the comparison is not to describe specific parallels in the careers of two groups that are otherwise dissimilar, but to point out that the impulse to create isolated and 'perfected' communities is deeply seated in the American character. For the 18th and 19th centuries alone, historians have counted more than 300 separate settlements based on some combination of secular theory, spiritual purpose, and religious belief. It seems clear that the Rajneeshees have the resources and leadership for short-run success. Unless they decide to move, they are in Oregon to stay through the 1980s." (A similar argument used in The Economist, September 24, 1984)
February 23 (Saturday): Thirteen months after he was nominated, Edwin Meese III is sworn in as attorney general of the US. (That means it was really rough going.)
February 28 (Thursday): Article in Charlotte News (North Carolina) about Rajneeshees.
March 2 (Saturday): Article in Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) about Rajneeshees.
April: The Young Guardians, Kiev, Ukraine article by F. Illyuk, on Rajneesh depicts an "Imperialist Puppet show" and a Kiev woman, Larisa Beletchenko (Ma Kali) who "had a family and a good job. Everything, it seemed, was okay. And it would have been okay. But, suddenly, she experienced the 'blessings' of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh....With the cold calculation of a capitalist dealer, he patiently awaited his time to greet the world with his divine 'Hello!' It took him almost 20 years." The article then launches into an historical economic interpretation of spiritual movement. Rajneesh is compared to Rasputin. According to Blitz, a Bombay weekly magazine, Rajneesh has connections to the CIA. The above-mentioned Ma Kali has to pay to come to summer festival and is handed a bunch of anti-Soviet literature before she leaves.
"He has often called upon the world, meaning the United States, to help the people of the Soviet Union to free themselves." Rajneesh's missionary activities in Eastern "Old" Europe are done under the control of the State Department and the CIA. "Also Bhagwan hides his connections with the White House, trying hard to cover them with his cloudy sermons, but one can see through this religious blanket, a religious politician, who is supported by imperialism and holds its position.... The first meditations Larisa held in a flat belonging to someone else. They gathered sometimes at midnight so nobody would see them. Beletchenko tried to hold each meditation in a different place because all this is illegal. Her behavior resembles the tactics of the American special services. And, it's not surprising because that's who gives the last instructions to Bhagwan's emissaries. Beletchenko's 'divine conversations' with god were interrupted by the organs of justice. When showed proof of their illegal activities, all of them swore innocence." (See Victor Loiler mission statement above.)
May 13 (Monday): After 12 hour siege, Philadelphia Mayor Wilson P. Goode orders that a bomb be dropped on MOVE, a back-to-nature black African "cult" on Osage Street in the City of Brotherly Love. "In a pre-dawn strike, hundreds of policemen surrounded the evacuated city block as city Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor warned over a bullhorn: 'Attention, MOVE. This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States.' As evacuated residents looked on in disbelief, the bomb triggered a six-alarm fire - the worst in the city's history - that reduced most of the tree-lined blocks to smouldering rubble. The $5 million toll: 53 (61) houses destroyed, 250 homeless and at least 11 Move members dead, four of them children. Said Gerald Arenberg, executive director of the American Federation of Police: 'They broke every rule in the book.' MOVE members were said to be loud, profane, unsanitary, disruptive, obnoxious. These are not capital offences. In fact, until a few weeks before the police assault, the mayor acknowledged that he had no legal basis even to evict MOVE adherents. So they weren't evicted; they were murdered.... But in the city of brotherly love and elsewhere, the niceties of the Fifth [sic, First] Amendment gave way to the doctrine of Clint Eastwood [his roles, not the man] and William Rehnquist: Constitutional rights endanger public safety, and the bastards deserve what they get." Maclean's, "Attention, Move. This is America", Monday, May 27, 1985. Meese commended Goode's action as "a good example for us all to take note of.... The situation that gave rise to the tragedy was caused by the criminals, not the police." A helicopter flew over and dropped bomb from 60 feet. There was a tremendous orange flame. New definition of urban renewal. On Monday, October 28, 1985, the MOVE story is still buzzing in Jet, Time and Newsweek. Osage Street is about three miles directly west of the same Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution was ratified.
Mayor Goode was re-elected the next time around.
May 29 (Wednesday): Despite FAA regulations and repeated protests to Whidbey Air Force Base, a Navy A-6 buzzes Rajneeshpuram. By a 36-10 vote, the Oregon House approves Bill 3021, which is designed to restrict summer festivals at Rajneeshpuram. The bill would grant counties authority to regulate and approve gatherings of 2,000 plus people for five days or more on land which is not primarily zoned for that purpose. The Oregonian, May 30
June 3 (Monday): Rajneesh Foundation International and 12 Rajneeshees file a class action suit against Edwin Meese III, the State Department, Secretary of State George Schultz, and INS officials: Alan Nelson, Ruth, Carl Houseman, George Hunter, Joe Greene, Tom Casey, John Shaffer, John Feher, and Charles Wood. Sheela says the suit is being filed because she has received a confidential call from the US Attorney's office in Portland saying an indictment and arrest warrants for her and Rajneesh are coming down and that they will be arrested between Tuesday, June 11 and (Thursday) 27. [According to Richard Norton, she was right.] She said Rajneesh had not been told of phone call or lawsuit. The Oregonian, June 4
June 26 (Wednesday): Stephen Paul Paster, wanted for the July 29, 1983 Hotel Rajneesh bombing and jumped $2,000 bond, is arrested around 10 p.m. in his car at a shopping center in Englewood, Colorado. "Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said his office would seek Paster's extradition if the suspect doesn't voluntarily agree to return to Portland to face the state charges." Paster's house had been under surveillance since Sunday, June 2 after federal agents tipped them that the Northwest fugitive was in their area. A house search turned up several handguns, shotgun, and a semi-automatic pistol. Also found were written materials on construction of electronic bombing devices and several passports under different aliases. The Oregonian, June 28.
June 30 (Sunday): The Oregonian series, "For Love and Money", begins. The women are described as "dowager duchesses" by Michael Barnett in Zurich.
July 3 (Wednesday): Japanese sannyasin drowns in Krishnamurti Lake.
July 20 (Saturday): Rajneesh's world press conference.
July 31 (Wednesday): Richard Vernon Alexander, arrested at Rajneeshpuram on August 6, 1983, files a $1.5 million lawsuit in Eugene federal court against Rajneeshpuram.
August 1 (Thursday): Alexander files similar suit in Portland for $2.6 million.
August 5 (Monday): Rajneeshee lawyers file complaint against US Secretary of State and US State Department as follow up on FOIA request filed on February 27, 1983.
August 7 (Wednesday): News article says pilot sometimes "talks about strafing the Bhagwan with his Cessna 150." (CCN?) Bail is set for Stephen Paul Paster, accused of bombing Hotel Rajneesh and who has already jumped bail once. Paster said he, wife(now pregnant again) and two children had been followed by Rajneeshees and feared for their lives. That's why they fled. "Under Oregon bail laws, a defendant can be released by posting 10 per cent of the bail and by promising to pay the rest upon failing to appear in court as ordered." The Oregonian, August 8
August 8, 9, 10? (Thursday-Saturday): Swami Siddha and Ma Prabodhi leave in the middle of the night.
August 13 (Tuesday): West 57th Street previews with story of Rajneeshpuram.
September 8 (Sunday): Glimpses of a Golden Childhood, Notes of a Madman, and Books I Have Loved released. Scare at the OK Mandir. There is an internal, Sheela-based plan to poison everyone eating the boxed salads.
September 14 (Saturday) Ma Anand Sheela and "her fascist gang" leave Rajneeshpuram.
September 16 (Monday): Rajneesh said in press conference his followers might be willing to drop some of their lawsuits against others if lawsuits against them were dropped.
September 18 (Wednesday): Krishna Deva and 12 others, who fled a few days earlier, request permission to return. Swami Lazarus of Sweetwater, Texas, dies.
September 20 (Friday): Rajneesh tells Stern reporter he will stay in America until he gets permanent residency and will then travel to Germany. Rajneesh says he received slow poison in his milk from Sheela. Again, it is said, that KD has asked for permission to return, and will be welcomed back. Klamath Falls Herald and News editorial, while not letting Rajneesh escape from Sheela's crimes, "Still, with Sheela gone and Rajneesh sounding conciliatory, relations with the sect may be taking a turn for the better. Anything's possible in the bhagwan's strange kingdom---and almost anything would be an improvement."
September 22 (Sunday): Large Charlotte Observer article on Rajneesh, a reprint from Chicago Tribune (Rogers Worthington).
Sept. 23-28 (Monday-Saturday): US Attorneys' Conference in Washington, DC. Sometime during this week Charles Turner meets. with D. Lowell Jensen, Steve Trott and Alan Nelson.
September 24 (Tuesday): Krishna Deva is alleged by Rajneesh to be hiding in California somewhere, "trying to make a deal as a politician. He is trying to make a deal with the attorney general seeking immunity." He doesn't have anything to sell upwards except Rajneesh and the city itself. Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer says that Rajneesh has made statements which show that Rajneeshpuram is a "theocracy." KD's sister, Prem Kavido, is the mayor of sister city of Antelope, City of Rajneesh. There is an alarm in the community when it is rumored that Governor Vic Atiyeh will call out the Oregon National Guard. Calling the governor's office, she (?) has been assured that no such action was imminent. The Oregonian, September 27.
September 25 (Wednesday): German police say that the Sheela on the island of Juist is not Ma Anand Sheela. Later, that report is contradicted. Sheela is worried that a hit team is out to kill her. Rajneesh says he will "'never leave the United States - unless I get my green card, and then perhaps I may go for a world travel to meet my other sannyasins. If America wants me to leave, they should give me my green card first.'" Gardner [FBI] and John Williams at Rajneeshpuram today. Governor Vic Atiyeh says: "'My concern now is centered on the people at the ranch, those that are really being the victims of leadership.'" He said he remained "'concerned for their safety,' despite the shake-up of the commune's leadership. 'As the governor of the state, I'm just kind of sick and tired of this whole thing, and my patience is worn very thin,' Atiyeh said." The Oregonian, September 26
September 26 (Thursday): Rajneesh says sannyasins no longer have to wear the colors of the sunrise and sunset, or the malas. He will have the book of Rajneeshism destroyed and sannyasins will no longer call themselves Rajneeshees. September 27: Two Portland attorneys meet with Rajneeshpuram residents to advise them of their rights. "Lt Russell Thiess of the Oregon State Police, remembering the early years with the Rajneeshees, said that for the first couple of years the OSP received excellent cooperation. Just prior to the street people situation, attitudes noticeably changed, he said. Now he see what appears to be a turn-around in attitudes since Ma Anand Sheela left the commune." The Dalles Weekly Reminder, September 26
September 26 (Thursday): "The INS investigation has lasted more than three years, and sources close to it hint that indictments and deportation orders will result within the next three weeks. Last spring, [March] the U.S. Court of Appeals gave the INS six months to begin prosecuting for visa fraud or to grant the non-Americans their citizenship. That period ends Oct. 3. Willamette Week has learned that Rajneeshpuram Mayor Swami Krishna Deva contacted federal officers in Seattle two days before he, Sheela, and others disappeared; he wanted to know how indictments and/or subpoenas would be served at Rajneeshpuram." Willamette Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 2
September 30 (Monday): 4000-6000 of The Book of Rajneeshism burned at crematorium. Sheela's red robes included. Rajneesh calls an end to his religion and that should negate the AG's church-state case. Rajneesh and Frohnmayer appear on ABC's Nightline.
Oct. 1 (Tuesday): Rajneesh says that authorities have plans to arrest him and that 100 National Guard are on alert in Madras. Officials of INS, State AG's office, and US Attorney all said they have no plans to make arrests this week. "Gov. Vic Atiyeh said today he has not placed the Oregon National Guard on alert to protect commune residents. Atiyeh refused to rule out the use of troops. Swami Anahata, who works for Rajneeshpuram press relations office, said that although it appears authorities will not be making arrests today, 'everybody expects this (arrests) to happen at some point.'" Bend Bulletin, October 2
October 1 (Tuesday): INS District Director Carl Houseman is "taking a hard look at Rajneesh's request for religious worker's residency in light of the guru's recent insistence that his movement is not a religion." Bend Bulletin, October 9 (He and his predecessors have been taking that hard look since November 24, 1981.)
October 2 (Wednesday): Stephen Paul Paster finally convicted of bombing Hotel Rajneesh. Corvallis Gazette Times notes that Wasco County tax collector says Rajneeshpuram pays $200,000 in property taxes.
October 3 (Thursday): Rep. Bob Smith wants INS to begin deportation proceedings against Rajneesh. "Without the religious foundations on which Bhagwan's continued residency were based, I can see no reason why deportation proceedings should not begin immediately,' Smith wrote. Smith also addressed letters to Meese and Secretary of Treasury James Baker about revoking tax-exempt status." Bend Bulletin, October 4. Krishna Deva and Ma Sagun return to Rajneeshpuram. Deadline for INS to make determination in Subhan cases extended indefinitely.
October 3 (Thursday): The Dalles Weekly Reminder: "Precautions", by Gary Barrett: "With extensive precautionary measures in place, 79 subpoenas were handed out Monday [September 30] at Rajneeshpuram by state and federal authorities....Law enforcement task force officers began moving into place Monday on the outskirts of Rajneeshpuram in case they were needed to handle opposition from commune residents. National Guard helicopters from Redmond were posted at strategic locations in case they were needed to evacuate law enforcement officers facing open hostility....Plans also called for possible imposition of a virtual state of martial law under Oregon Revised Statutes 401.055, which gives the Governor authority to declare a state of emergency should that need arise during the course of the investigation."
October 4 (Friday): Oregon State Police Superintendent John Williams says indictments and arrest warrants are forthcoming.
October 6 (Sunday): Krishna Deva and Ma Sagun leave Rajneeshpuram. "'I have a real desire to make friends with everybody out here,' said evangelist Bob Bailey of Bend. 'I don't want to offend anybody -I mean, I have been friends with some really bad people. I have counseled murders and robbers.'...'This is better than the FBI,' one sannyasin said." The Oregonian, October 7
October 8 (Tuesday): "In the past few days, state officials have been going crazy because of rumors started by Rajneesh officials. The hottest rumor is that the governor will soon call out the National Guard, presumably (as the rumor goes) so federal immigration officials (or someone else) can arrest the Bhagwan. The governor says there is no truth to that." Eagle Point Independent News
October 9 (Wednesday): Oregon Department of Justice and the State Police notify state Emergency Board that they may seek up to $932,000 as early as December. Wasco District Attorney Bernard Smith says state Grand Jury will "meet on a daily basis rather than once every two or three weeks as is normal." Possibility of Grand Jury being retained if investigation is not completed by December 31. Bend Bulletin, October 10. "We're guessing that this particular phase of the investigation is a four to six-month process,' before the grand jury either issues indictments or closes the case, said Marla Rae, executive assistant to Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer. The Oregonian, October 15
The Dalles Weekly Reminder, Thursday, October 10, 1985, Gary Barrett, "Quest for Immunity Dilutes probe," "Immigration officers are not present at the ranch during the investigation, 'They are cooperating by not getting involved at this point. They aren't going to deport or remove anyone who can help us with the criminal investigation,' he [Wasco County Sheriff Art Labrousse] said."
"Meanwhile, immunity from prosecution in exchange for evidence of crimes at Rajneeshpuram is being handled by top level officials involved in the investigation." "Swami Krishna Deva, the former mayor of Rajneeshpuram, may be one of those who could receive immunity. No one is admitting that Deva asked for immunity and no one is saying he will get it, but Oregon State Police Superintendent John Williams is quoted as saying that immunity for Deva was 'close -I would say something might be coming through on this.'"
October 11 (Friday): Ma Prem Hasya, producer of The Godfather, and Swami Dhyan John address capacity crowd of 400 civic leaders at Portland City Club. Hasya said that Rajneesh would have to be flown to Portland so Rajneesh could answer questions before a federal Grand Jury. John said the commune pumped $2 million into the economy every month. They answered questions for an hour.
October15 (Tuesday): The Dalles Grand Jury begins. It is said that 15,000 trees will be planted at Rajneeshpuram this year. Dhyan John says three DC-3, purchased for $300,000, have been sold to a Texas woman for $175,000, and that commune is seeking to purchase a $500,000 jet.
October 25 (Friday): Salem Statesman Journal: "paranoid cohesiveness binds the Rajneeshees together."
October 26 (Saturday): Swami Prem Prasad lectures to a Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah News and Press, Oct. 27. Savannah, Evening Press. Oct. 27.
October 27 (Sunday): After 1 p.m. Premier Jets of Hillsboro, Oregon is contacted wanting to charter Learjet on VISA card. Rajneeshees ask them if they could fly to Bermuda and were told they did not have the navigation and communications gear for such a trip. "'Did you see in the paper where it said the plane was heading to Seattle and made a sharp turn because federal agents were in pursuit? What was that? Where did that come from?'" asked Gary Nicholson, 31, Oregon pilot. The Charlotte News, October 29.
October 28 (Monday): Shortly after midnight, Northeast Jet Vice President Meta Buttenheim, in Allentown, Pa. was called requesting two Learjets to fly to Bermuda. He said they could not be flown towards Charlotte until 4 a.m. The response was not good enough and no bargain was made. "Buttenheim said that Northeast Jet was relieved that it did not become involved with Rajneesh." "'They didn't know it, but we had them surrounded when they came down to refuel. If they had seen anything, they never would have cut off their engines. It was just like in the movies.'" said Deputy US Marshal Ray Abrams. Allentown Morning Call, October 29
October 28 (Monday): INS Director Houseman said "authorities hoped to avoid a 'volatile situation' at Rajneeshpuram by getting Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to give himself up at the time he fled." Houseman went on to say that "federal authorities feared trouble might arise if they went to the Central Oregon commune with a police force to take the Indian guru in custody on immigration charges." Bend Bulletin, October 28 (Both Carl Houseman and Joe Greene eventually wound up together in Minneapolis, Minnesota.)
October 29 (Tuesday): Rajneesh on Nightline, says he would move commune back to India when he is finished with the case.
October 31 (Thursday): "'Why, from the attention the newspapers and broadcasters are paying to the bhagwan and Sheela, you'd think they'd cornered somebody who sold all our national defense secrets to the Russians.'" Max Monda, a fictional character in Ron Blankenbaker column. "'The Oregonian is the biggest paper in the state, and I haven't seen it this excited since it tried to sell the public on a sales tax. The rub, when you get down to it,' said Max, 'is that the more the authorities mess around with the bhagwan, the more chance they'll wind up making a martyr out of him.' Martyr? 'Sure,' said Max. 'Don't kid yourself. The old police mentality will do it every time. What did those federal agents think they were up to when they hauled the bhagwan off that airplane in chains .bringing Adolf Eichmann to justice?'" Salem Statesman Journal
November 5 (Tuesday): Election Day. City of Rajneesh voted back into Antelope.
November 12 (Tuesday): Judge Edward Leavy sets Tuesday, February 18, 1986 trial date for Rajneesh.
November 14 (Thursday): Rajneesh leaves the United States. Change planes at Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Airport (ABE) fly off on a Jetstar 731 from Northeast Jets. Flying first to Shannon, Ireland and then to Larnaca, Cyprus.
November 15 (Friday): Rajneesh spends the night in Larnaca, Cyprus.
November 16 (Saturday): Rajneesh flies from Cyprus to Bahrain onto New Delhi, India.
November 17 (Sunday): Rajneesh arrives in New Delhi, greeted by about 600 disciples. Cult Awareness Network meeting at Capitol in Washington DC where 50 people attend and are addressed by Patricia Ryan, who says she's afraid that Rajneesh's followers "will themselves commit mass suicide." Washington Post, Nov. 18
November 18 (Monday): Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer's church-state case slated to go to federal district court.

1986

November 17 (Monday): "Rajneeshees' impact on Oregon begins to fade," The Oregonian. "Wasco County District Attorney Bernard L. Smith said that Rajneeshee experience resulted in a substantial level of disillusionment for residents of a county where business had always been done on a handshake and strangers had been, if not welcomed, given a chance to prove themselves.
"'The thing that bothers me the most and makes me the most angry,' said County Judge William Hulse, 'are the things they tried to do to the people of Wasco County - the salmonella, the water poisoning, thinking of running a plane into the courthouse - vicious things when all the time we were doing our damnedest in here to try to get along with them.'"


see also
The Oregonian: Chronology of major events