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And so, concerned about his image in the eyes of his people and the general public, Rajneesh briefly preferred to call himself "Zorba the Budddha" and then in October 1989, three months before his death, he adopted a "healing," Zen-sounding name, "Osho." The strategy has worked: today very few people who visit Osho centers, read or hear Osho's words, and practice his heavily cathartic meditation methods know much if anything about his problematic earlier life as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.Indeed, it seems that a relatively small but growing number of people actually, seriously view Osho as "India's greatest spiritual master since the Buddha," as his organizers like to extol or hype him, which is quite a grandiose claim in the spiritual marketplace.But sadly, there was also a lot of lunacy, immense dysfunction, and astonishing selfishness, pettiness, megalomania, callousness and corruption.He was/is remarkably interesting as a sensual ecstatic, intuitive mystic, unlicensed psychotherapist of en masse primal scream-cry-laugh "dynamic meditation" therapy, rebellious social-political-religious provocateur, successful self-promoter, cosmic joker, and relentless iconoclast who simultaneously lured his emotionally-dependent followers into making a big icon out of himself.
The crimes, as recounted by former disciples, included drug running, swindling and prostitution by many ashramites to pay for their lengthy stays in India or funnel money to the commune; extensive immigration fraud and tax fraud conducted by Rajneesh and Foundation leaders in India and then the USA; currency and gold smuggling when they moved to the USA in 1981; a slew of frivolous lawsuits launched to harass and intimidate local Oregon citizens from 1982-1985; failing to pay many of their loans in the USA; arson (one incident in India to defraud an insurance company, another arson attack in USA to destroy county records), racketeering, burglary, assault, conspiracy and illegal electronic surveillance (the largest such wiretapping-bugging operation ever uncovered); criminal bioterrorism sickenings of some 750 Oregonians and attempted assassinations of select outsiders and insiders in 1984-1985 by some of Rajneesh's top circle of people, led by his authorized lieutenant, Ma Sheela; and intermittent poisonings of scores if not hundreds of Rajneesh sannyasins from the late 1970s until Sheela and her "Dr. In all, just assessing the illegal activity in the USA from 1981-1985 (not to mention earlier crimes in India), 32 Rajneeshees were charged with crimes in Oregon; 23 pleaded guilty; 2 were convicted at trial; 4 still remain fugitives; 8 served prison time. --deliberately divided and broken families, --serial noncommittal relationships, --sham marriages to defy immigration laws, --mass abortions and sterilizations of women (many suffering from surgical complications) and vasectomies for men all ordered by the guru, --a few thousand very neglected children, --and, for too many periods of time, neglect by Rajneesh of the spiritual welfare and bodily-emotional-financial welfare of tens of thousands of young adults and older disciples who had given to this mesmerizing little man so much of their lives—their souls, minds, energy, money and years of labor.
Some of these selves or persons beautifully display a garden radiant with wholesome virtues....
While other selves, through some kind of Divine whimsy, display lovely flowers mixed in with lots of weeds!
No explanation is necessary for why our hero can hear a ringing telephone but not the movie's soundtrack, or why the space ship is menaced by the Negative Space Wedgie, but not by the opening credits drifting by outside the ship: it's something we accept as part of our Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
It's also a wonderful thing to play with, and that is what Medium Awareness does; the characters acknowledge and interact with elements and conventions of the medium that shouldn't technically "exist" in-universe.
In the late 1980s, India's so-called "Bhagwan" or "Blessed One" Rajneesh (née Rajneesh Mohan Chandra Jain, 1931-1990), back once again at his old ashram in Poona, India, tried to make himself and his religious movement more marketable to suit his longstanding global ambitions for this "first true religion," all other religious movements having been "false," "sick," "failures" in his view.