Testimonial letter from Leonard A Voegtle

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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 Leonard A Voegtle. It is "Exhibit A-85" 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 will link to a pdf file of the original letter when the pdf is created. It has one page.

Exhibit A-0085-01, Coll 621 box1 f02.jpg

667 Stone and Shannon Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
15 July 1983

To Whom It May Concern:

This le tter is in support of the application for permanent resident status of Bhagwan Rajneesh of India.

I am a member of the Marist Brothers of the Schools,, a religious order of the Boman Catholic Church, to which I have belonged for thirty-three years. Having been Provincial Superior of the order in the United States, and then a member of its General Council or world-wide governing body in Rome, I am presently a judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal of the Roman Catholic diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.

While I have never had personal contact with Bhagwan Rajneesh, I have come to know of him and his work through my reading, and through listening to tapes he has made, but most particularly through my correspondence and conversations with a friend of many years, who has been his follower both in India and in this country, for at least a decade.

While I do not agree entirely with the theology or spirituality propounded by Bhagwan Rajneesh, nor with some of his techniques of indoctrination and group dynamics, as I understand them, it is never the less quite evident to me that this man exerts a tremendous influence on young people from a wide variety of nations and cultures. They have found in him a leader in whom they can place confidence, a teacher they can believe and whom they are willing to follow. In his teachings and the way of life he propounds, they have found something to fill the emptiness and hunger so many of them have experienced for years. For all of that, I believe he is worthy of attention and respect, totally apart from all differences of opinion about teachings and methods.

Time will prove whether his influence will be long-lasting or transitory, as is the case with all human institutions. For the present,. 1 believe he has been a source of good to many young people, and that positive influence deserves recognition. For that reason, I believe he represents no threat to the government or people of the United States, and should be favorably considered for permanent-resident status in this country. Experience shows we have granted it to many others far less outstanding and far less deserving than Bhagwan Rajneesh.

Leonard A. Voegtle, A.M.S.

(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.)