Rajneeshpuram: Inside the Cult of Bhagwan and Its Failed American Utopia

Author:   Russell King
Publisher:   Chicago Review Press
ISBN:  

9781641609029


Pages:   368
Publication Date:   31 December 2023
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Rajneeshpuram: Inside the Cult of Bhagwan and Its Failed American Utopia


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Overview

In 1981, ambitious young Ma Anand Sheela transported the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to the United States to fulfill his dream of creating a utopia for his thousands of disciples. Four years later, the incendiary Rajneeshpuram commune in Oregon collapsed under the weight of audacious criminal conspiracies hatched in its inner sanctum, including the largest bioterrorism attack in US history, an unprecedented election fraud scheme, and multiple attempted murders. Rajneeshpuram explores how this extraordinary spiritual community, featured in the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, went so wrong. Drawing from extensive interviews with former disciples and an exhaustive review of commune records, government and police files, and archival materials, author Russell King probes the charismatic power that Bhagwan (later known as Osho) and Sheela exercised over the community and the turbulent legal and political environment that left commune leaders ready to deceive, poison, and even murder to preserve their home and their master. Rajneeshpuram is a fresh examination of the Rajneesh story, using newly available information and interviews with high-ranking disciples who have never before shared their stories. 'Russell King has written the most definitive account of this grand American saga. Rajneeshpuram is rich storytelling.' — Chapman and Maclain Way, directors of Wild Wild Country

Full Product Details

Author:   Russell King
Publisher:   Chicago Review Press
Imprint:   Chicago Review Press
Dimensions:   Width: 15.20cm , Height: 3.00cm , Length: 22.80cm
Weight:   0.730kg
ISBN:  

9781641609029


ISBN 10:   1641609028
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   31 December 2023
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note Prologue  Part I: New Jersey, 1981  1. The Godman of Mumbai  2. Oasis in Pune  3. The New Commune  4. Exeunt  Part II: Oregon, 1981–1982  5. Foundations in the Desert  6. The Mirage  7. Between a Rock and Antelope  8. “Better Red Than Dead”  9. A Small Farm Town  10. Making It Legal  11. Bhagwan Takes a Trip  12. Truth and Consequences  Part III: Oregon, 1983  13. Religion at Its Highest  14. Children of the Commune  15. Horse Trading  16. Terror in the Buddhafield  17. God Versus the Universe  Part IV: Oregon, 1984  18. The Spook  19. The Enemy Inside  20. Sharpening the Sword  21. The Chinese Laundry  22. How to Win an Election  23. Something in the Water  24: Desperate Times  25: Sannyasin Hospitality 26. The Election of 1984  27. The Lost Discourse  Part V: Oregon, 1985  28. Desperate Measures  29. Downward Spiral  30. The Turning Point  31. Internal Affairs  32. The Garden of Epicurus  33. Master’s Day 1985  34. Catharsis  35. Plan B  36. Collapse  37. Glad News  Part VI: Flight, 1985 38. Cracks in the Dam  39. Life and Death  40. Meanwhile in Europe  41. Flight from Oregon  42. Wind Down  43. Aftermath  Acknowledgments  Notes Selected Bibliography  Index  

Reviews

Rajneeshpuram was my home in the '80s as a child and a teenager. Russell King's book powerfully tells the very dramatic story of this 'utopia.' Through his words I can feel the many voices he's interviewed and researched to try to tell this story from a place of wanting to understand 'what happened here.' As an ex-resident I truly appreciate that approach as many voices are included, and neither the good or the bad are being sensationalized. This story is not only about one or two people who gained a lot of notoriety at the time, and it touches on many lives and many emotional topics. There's always more to any story, especially one that involved so many players, and this book is a very well conceived introduction to it all. If anyone asks me for the most complete recounting of the story of Rajneeshpuram that I've seen, I would point them to this book. --Dickon Kent, former commune member Russell King has written the most definitive account of this grand American saga. Rajneeshpuram is rich storytelling, weaving together behind-the-scenes testimonies with factual precision. King has crafted an investigative brew of religious zealotry, xenophobia, local politics, personal betrayals, and warfare. This is a rabbit hole you cannot wait to go down; at times you'll ask yourself, 'Did all this really happen?' And the answer is, yes--it did. --Chapman and Maclain Way, directors of Wild Wild Country King's intense focus on the inside of the cult is fascinating, and paints a tense, claustrophobic picture of a society collapsing in on itself. -- Blogtown


Simultaneously horrifying and captivating, and readers interested in books about cults won't be able to turn away. -- Booklist Rajneeshpuram was my home in the '80s as a child and a teenager. Russell King's book powerfully tells the very dramatic story of this 'utopia.' Through his words I can feel the many voices he's interviewed and researched to try to tell this story from a place of wanting to understand 'what happened here.' As an ex-resident I truly appreciate that approach as many voices are included, and neither the good or the bad are being sensationalized. This story is not only about one or two people who gained a lot of notoriety at the time, and it touches on many lives and many emotional topics. There's always more to any story, especially one that involved so many players, and this book is a very well conceived introduction to it all. If anyone asks me for the most complete recounting of the story of Rajneeshpuram that I've seen, I would point them to this book. --Dickon Kent, former commune member Russell King has written the most definitive account of this grand American saga. Rajneeshpuram is rich storytelling, weaving together behind-the-scenes testimonies with factual precision. King has crafted an investigative brew of religious zealotry, xenophobia, local politics, personal betrayals, and warfare. This is a rabbit hole you cannot wait to go down; at times you'll ask yourself, 'Did all this really happen?' And the answer is, yes--it did. --Chapman and Maclain Way, directors of Wild Wild Country King's intense focus on the inside of the cult is fascinating, and paints a tense, claustrophobic picture of a society collapsing in on itself. -- Blogtown


Author Information

Russell King is a writer, investigator, and attorney. In 2018 he created the podcast Building Utopia: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, which explores the history of Bhagwan and his disciples using an immersive narrative nonfiction approach. A former partner at an international law firm, King draws on his experience piecing together factual narratives based on contradictory evidence to tackle this rich and complicated history.

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