Testimonial letter from CPA van Esch
This letter is one of a remarkable series of over 2700 letters amassed in 1983 to support Osho's attempt to get permanent resident status in the US at the time of the Oregon ranch. The image is reproduced here with the kind permission of The Oregon Historical Society. Information about their collection of these letters and other supporting material -- the "Jeffrey Noles Rajneesh Collection", named for Osho's immigration lawyer Jeffrey Noles, who compiled them in 1983 and donated them to the OHS -- can be found at this page. The wiki is grateful to the OHS for making access available for these documents. For more information and links to all the letters, see Testimonial letters.
This letter is from CPA van Esch. It is "Exhibit A-67" in the Noles collection.
The text version below has been created by optical character recognition (OCR), from the images supplied by OHS. It has not been checked for errors but this process usually results in over 99% correct transcription. Most apparent "errors" are correct transcriptions of typos already in the original. The image on the right in the text box links to a pdf file of the original letter, it has one page.
[some small parts cleaned up where photo of letter had cut off words on the right]
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,
I, C.P.A. van Esch, being duly sworn, do depose and say as follows:
Theology is a science which tries to understand on an intellectual level the manifestations of God through history. And of course it is at most concerned with the absolute peaks of religious breaking-through, as it happened in Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed...... and nowadays Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
In the words of each of those ’diamonds of mankind* the religious dimension of existence reveals very clearly. They are not theologians, but religous phenomena of absolute heighth. Also Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh speaks of religion in a religious way, and that is the only way to do it. And in a language people of our time can understand and recognize as revealance of religious depth.
I have studied theology and philosophy on the Catholic University of Nijmegen (Holland), and finished in 1971 with a Masters Degree (Theol. Drs). Philosophy of Religion and Eastern Religions were part of my specialization. It was from this interest I got in contact with the books of Bhagvzan Shree Rajneesh. And the difference with all contemporary religious teachers was, that he, biblically spoken, ’seemed to speak with authority’. It was religion itself which spoke through him, not in a traditional manner, but comming out of the roots of existence. From a point where all traditions vanished, and only remains religion as such And this seems to me? the importance of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh that he stands above all traditions which have devided mankind in areas of hostility. That he reveals love as the original dimension of all living beings, and gives advices to make it operational. Only in a meeting of cultural traditions a new mankind can grow. And a real meeting is only possible if one can go to trie roots of all traditions.
This is the absolute importance of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh for the whole wold: to make men conscious of the love-dimension all people originally belong to. He is a really meeting-point of cultures.
America which wants to go in the frontline of human development, has to be grateful to ha^e such a master-on its territorium. Only if freedom gets its chance something really new can happen. It is the greatness of America having chosen for freedom.
And so this is the only country in the world which can give a real chance to the experiment of Rajneeshpuram, without deriving from its constitutional base.
Let it be.
The above is within my personal knowledge, and if called upon as a witness, I would competendly testify thereto.
(Please note: We assume that the above letter is still copyrighted, but we regard its historical interest to constitute a Fair Use exception for publication in this wiki.)