Rajneesh (Osho)’s Fraud & A review of the movie "GURU - Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard"
15 May 2010 -- By Reza Ganjavi
Tonight I saw a new Swiss documentary movie about Rajneesh (Osho)’s, “GURU - Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard”. The thrilling movie depicted an ambitious and talented businessman / ex-philosophy professor, a crook, who abused people’s gullibility to rise to great heights materially and then his fall. Osho was a crook but the people who followed him were also responsible for the misery they led him onto. If he was a good man he would have said, don't follow me, but instead he encouraged them to follow him and give him lots of free service and lots of money and power and position.
The narrators were mostly his personal body guard and his secretary, both of whom broke up with him by the end of the saga.
Here are my notes from the movie and further research [and comments in brackets].
- Secretary: his book “from sex to supreme consciousness” got the attention of 600 million people.
- Followers started calling him Bagwan. He accepted it. [Followers make the guru].
- Rajneesh (Osho) gave them new name, new clothes, new image [but inside nothing fundamentally changed].
- Bodyguard: His moto was “Surrender to me and I will transform you. That is my promise.”
- Bodyguard: Rajneesh (Osho) encouraged him to have sex. Later in Pune, he could have any woman he wanted. He had sex with several different women every week. [I have a friend who went to Pune and reported the same promiscuous decadent behavior”.
- Rajneesh (Osho) claimed to be enlightened.
- Movie showed scenes of “therapy” with people doing all kinds of weird things. One therapy session involved a group of naked people dancing and so on.
- Movie showed Osho rubbing forehead of women in a party that resembled a masturbating movement while others danced and made strange moves and he moved woman to woman.
- Secretary talked about all the women who wanted to have sex with Rajneesh (Osho) [and probably did though she did not say so].
- Rajneesh (Osho)’s followers worked 12 hours a day with no pay. The commune in India had 5000 people living in it in 1981. And another 15000 worked outside and sent in money.
- Rajneesh (Osho) referred to his movement as “materialistic and spiritual” – and as a new experiment. [Indeed it was an experiment for him: how and Indian man from a little town can end up with numerous Rolls Royces and get thousands of gullible people to work for him for free. I just read that he had 93 Rolls Royces and drove with a different one everyday. His followers wanted to buy him 365 Rolls Royces so every day he drives in a different one].
- Secretary: Rajneesh (Osho) had the ambition to go in Guinness Book of World Records as the man with the most Rolls Royces. The movie shows that in Oregon while his people sweated everyday working long hours as construction workers he drove with a different Rolls and greeted them once a day.
- Visitors put flowers on Rajneesh (Osho)’s car. He ordered his secretary to sell flowers for people who want to greet him so they make profit from flowers too [smart businessman] “he knew Capitalism till the end”.
- 30 of them went to USA. As they landed, Rajneesh (Osho) declared “I am the massaiah America has been waiting for”. Secretary said Bombay was flirting, Poona was foreplay, USA was action.
- Secretary spent $5M buying land for commune in Oregon without checking zoning. It was zoned for 6 people. In 1 year, 2500 people lived there.
- Rajneesh (Osho) said: “only bring in people who are good at work”.
- Bodyguard: “many of the things that Rajneesh (Osho) did were criminal”.
- In 1982 they created a city. His city in Oregon became paramilitary and armed. There were armed guards at Rajneesh (Osho)’s talks. They started controlling the phones and reading all mail of the residents. The community became a dictatorship [no surprise]. If you complained you were kicked out or punished.
- They brought homeless people to win their vote but once law changed (to discard new registrations) they let go of them. At rumor of FBI/CIA being around she threatened that for every person killed she will order 15 killed in retaliation.
- Meanwhile Rajneesh (Osho) spent a long time in silence [no wonder, he’s got 1000’s of slaves working for him for free, and regularly new cars and massive amounts of donations, so why should he say anything to risk it!!]
- They set up arranged marriages to make foreigners stay.
- Rajneesh (Osho) felt so miserable despite all these riches that he was pumped with drugs including valium regularly.
- Rajneesh (Osho) admitted to being a showman.
- Rajneesh (Osho) was a convicted criminal who was deported from the USA. He was issued a thirty-five-count indictment in Multnomah County, Oregon in 1985 for immigration violations, making false statements on his visa application. He was fined $400,000 and was deported. Twenty-one countries denied him entry so he ended up in Pune where he died in 1990 at the age of 58.
- His books still sell very well because he speaks at a simple and shallow level most people who don’t want to or can’t dig too deep can relate to. The stuff I read were all too shallow, but if it works for people, so be it.
- After the movie, a newcomer to this told me: “his followers want to find themselves but they all look like they lost themselves".
Rajneesh Osho Corruption And a few notes in relationship to J. Krishnamurti
2010 - by Reza Ganjavi
I remember Rajneesh followers used to come to K’s talks in their colorful purple and red outfits and hippy looks. They were fond of K. Years later I read an article by Christopher Calder in which he wrote:
Listening to J. Krishnamurti speak was like eating a sandwich made of bread and sand. I found the best way to enjoy his talks was to completely ignore his words and quietly absorb his presence. Using that technique I would become so expanded after a lecture that I could barely talk for hours afterwards. J. Krishnamurti, while fully enlightened and uniquely lovable, will be recorded in history as a teacher with very poor verbal communication skills. Unlike the highly eloquent Rajneesh, however, J. Krishnamurti never committed any crime, never pretended to be more than he was, and he never used other human beings selfishly.
Osho was deported from the US as a convicted criminal. And the above paragraph is perhaps also the story of many K followers who are still going to gatherings. I have wondered if after 30 years of being glued to the stage, and now the video tapes, why is it that some are so confused about the very basics of his teachings (this is not a judgment but their own admission). Now I know. It’s perhaps because as Calder puts it, they listened to his voice but not to his words.
This subject reminds me of a discussion in evolutionary psychology where theoretically in their first interactions some men and women who are attracted to each other might think as follows: the woman thinks ‘what will my child look like’, and the man thinks ‘how can I get her to bed’. Osho misled a lot of people around the subject of sex.
In K circles, the communities have had their own share of this subject but handled it very well and nothing compared to the extreme nature of Osho’s decadent communes. I witnessed this subject most common in summer gatherings where people go in wonderful nature away from family and daily problems and meet others. I’ve suffered enough around this subject by the problems created out of mainly jealousy. K gave a good tip years ago during one of the summer camps. He said, don’t fall in love with each others’ wife or husband. That is so profound and it eliminates so many problems, and it is a principle that I’ve always lived by: stay away from married women.
On the subject of listening, intelligence is to listen not just to words but the silence between the words, not just the lines but also between the lines. The folks that Calder mentions only listen to sound of the lines and not to the lines themselves or what’s between the lines.
There is a lot of material on Osho in relationship to K but it’s not worth spending any time on. He apparently said K says what he says and K said it’s the other way.
There are many websites that have articles in which Osho talks about K. He praises K, and he criticizes K, and he completely distorts K’s message in his silly interpretations. For the most part the articles are pretty much drivel. They kind of remind me of UG Krishnamurti’s drivel. There is a big market today for drivel, nonsense, ‘spiritual’ entertainment.
There are better K copycats out there. Some have obviously integrated deeper truths in their lives. The best-selling author Eckhart Tolle learned a lot of his extremely successful teaching from J. Krishnamurti. And Osho’s books still sell very well. There are many others who pick a little piece of truth and market it well and make millions off gullible people. I have a couple of articles in the pipeline about two such cases. People prefer more superficial material than deeper. Deeper material takes more work, more diligence, more understanding.
Rajneesh was a great businessman. It is disconcerting to see that some people move up in the K circles by a shrewd strategy. What always works is the weakness Westerners have for Easterners.
To end this section, here are a few lines from Julian Lee, a former follower of Osho:
"Thousands of sincere western seekers were misled and harmed by the novel teachings of Osho. I have seen many of them in the aftermath. They always lack the satvic glow that comes from yogic sex restraint; they look like spent rakes aged well beyond their actual years. Even in their age -- when they might show some spiritual attainment -- many still crave sex, and all the ordinary base things. Despite Osho's "indulgence technique," they never got over sex addiction and lust.”
"Rajneesh/Osho is the worst thing that ever happened to spirituality in the west. He rode herd over a mob of naive, idealistic spiritual seekers”
“Osho was basically a kind of pimp who used the base desires of average people, along with their beautiful hunger for real spirituality, to build a financial empire and a following of worshippers who would do whatever he asked.”
"The saddest thing is what happened to all those children of Osho followers. Osho wanted them to grow up not knowing who their Fathers were; raised by a mob, with no particular person as Parent. I can't think of anything much more ignorant, or more cruel. Krishnamurti was right: Osho was a criminal."~~~
On 10/1/2010 8:25 PM, Shreeniwas wrote:
My very personal view. This could offend you if you are attached to these people.
I visited Rajneesh's Ashram in 1987. I found him very hurt, cynical and cruel. He is a glib
talker, a gifted stand-up comedian. There is nothing original about that chap. People close to him say he died of AIDS, he was a serious sex addict. The book " Bhagvan, the god that failed" clearly shows what a confused man he was. He stole most his message from Buddha, K, and others. If people follow him , nobody can save them. Though he is a shade better than UG. I have met that chap a few times. He was very jealous of K, class conscious, violent and stole everything from K , while not acknowledging it. He tried to persuade me to give him publicity, invited me to lunch a couple of times and gave me all his books. When I told him he was jealous of K and was desperate for publicity he got upset. I think these two guys are truly mad.
Regarding K, I was a person who doubted him, questioned him and publicly asked him questions about his comfortable life style.
What was remarkable was after my questions disturbed his meeting, caused much doubt in people who were listening, he did not allow anybody to condemn me. When I went back and said: " Sir I hope I haven't offended you by publicly saying those things... " He replied : " No sir, not at all, I am not that kind of person sir" My doubts never left me for long but what really matters now is not what or who he really was. He was loving, caring and genuinely sane till I last met him in Vasanth Vihar, one month before he died.
Many things he said have happened to me after 24 years , but they could all be coincidences too. What matters is if I can be harmless, understand the tricks of the ego.
On 9/27/2010 5:19 PM, Sitanshu Kumar wrote:
I have read rajnessh since i was fifteen, and having seen him in person when I was only four. Lately when I hear him, it seems his understanding of all major issues is faulty, if not plain wrong. But one thing I detect in him, he had a some kind of fearlessness, Wether it came from complete resignation, or something else, I do not know. He played around too much with sex and material things ( which is completely frivolous). I do not think anybody should read Osho at al. It may lead to madness.
As I was taking a walk in the morning, it came to me. Is there a superior being ?
In my realization there is not. Only a "clear" being. This bring is like glass or quartz crystal , without a mark. But all the light is amplified many times over. As I said I remember Rajneesh from when I was 4, he used to wear white clothes. I was about 50 feet. I did not feel anything thing extra-ordinary.
My earliest remembrances of K was when I was 5. I still remember him as a light bulb. A yellow light bulb. K was darker than Rajneesh, but a yellow light emanated from him. Of course as soon as he stepped, the whole congregation would become silent. Pin drop. As I have indicated earlier K had some sort of super clairvoyance. Any way I got side tracked. Rajneesh had good potential, but attachments got the better of him, indulged in a lot of delusionay thinking. Out friend Pathik did agree with me, that towards the end of his life, he was positively mad. Be-aware of the spiritual path .
As I was growing up fist chirst, then gandhi and then rajneesh and then K became a big figure for me ( in that order). As I have grown older, I realized that all men have drawbacks. But now, I do not see any spirituality in Rajneesh. He
was an armchair philosopher, most of the time reading books written by others. He also seemed to be living for wealth and sex, all that profane crap. Living for these things is profanity of life, not using them when required.
Sorry for expressing these for a man that is gone. He makes a good light reading for many, and they should continue. But I still maintain that seriously following him
can lead to madness. I did mention K and Rajneesh in the same paragraph, but I never think of them together. I still think is a joker but not as mad as UG krishnamurti.
REVIEW ON TRIPADVISOR FOR OSHO ASHRAM IN PUNE
“EmptyWallets, Not Empty Minds”
Reviewed January 5, 2014
As with all my reviews, I like to take a balanced view. My disclaimer is therefore important – I have never meditated before, and my preconceptions of what meditation should be are based, admittedly, on popular media – that of peaceful, immobile submersion into the one’s mind. Myself and my partner came to Osho for 3N 4D after landing the previous night in Mumbai, with the intention of spending our first few days in India recharging our batteries and getting over the 9 hour flight from the UK. We arranged transfers via Travel Masters, the company situated ‘in house’ at Osho, and it cost 3200 Rs. (or roughly £32) for the 3 hour journey to Pune in an AC people carrier.
*AESTHETICS - The overall design of Osho is quite something, if a little ‘grey’ – it’s pretty much the colour of every building and a minimalist architect has clearly had a great deal of influence over the design. How they have juxtaposed this the beautiful trees of the property though is inventive and creates a peaceful ambiance.
*COSTS – as many reviewers have previously commented, this place really is ruined by the blatant commercialism and extortionate additional costs. Our guesthouse room rate for 2 was 5300 Rs per night (incl. tax), which doesn’t seem so bad when looking at the website at the promise of “Ultra Luxe” facilities (which turned out to be an outright lie – see points below re the room’s shortfalls). On top of the room rate, you will have to pay the following: 1300 Rs. Registration fee that includes HIV test and welcome morning. Then a 1360 Rs daily admission fee to use the facilities (and actually access the hotel!), then up to 750 Rs each for one maroon robe for daytime, and another 750 Rs for a white robe for evening (see tips below on where to get these a little cheaper), 620 Rs for a maroon bikini or swimsuit if you wish to sunbathe or use the pool, 230 Rs each time you’d like to actually use the pool, even as a hotel guest (80 Rs on top of this if you leave the main complex and want to use the pool again the same day), 80 Rs per pair of white socks (compulsory if you wish to use the 2nd meditation room), plus costs we didn’t bother paying so I cannot give exact estimates, but included access to lockers, the costs of purchasing a white shawl and meditation cushion or chair for the evening meeting, blindfolds, ‘in silence’ badges and so on. I came away feeling like if they could charge you for air, they would.
*QUESTIONABLE ETHICS around the compulsory HIV test. Many others have complained on here about this too. My concerns are three fold. Firstly, there is no clear explanation as to why a HIV test is compulsory. A well hidden link on the website leads to a rambling and nonsensical essay written by Osho on the subject of aids. But that’s about it. There’s nothing in the meditation programme about the exchange of bodily fluids, nor does this seem to be encouraged, so why on EARTH do all guests have to take this test?! To me, it’s another clear excuse to extort more money under the guise of Osho’s ‘mystique’ and ‘teachings’. Secondly, in the UK (and I’m sure many other Western countries), HIV testing is carried out with an element on pre-counselling and always, always, ALWAYS has follow up counselling regardless of the outcome. I was given my test by a random in a white jacket in a tiny office and then was not told the outcome. Once everyone had completed their tests, they were given passes but myself and my partner were not, and we had to actually ask for us, which lead to a few moments of unnecessary panic – they had just forgotten to give us our passes – which was incredibly sloppy and ignorant to the emotional impact of the situation. From an ethical point of view, it is appalling that no pre and post test support appears to be offered. Suppose someone DID receive a positive test and hadn’t known they had HIV – what would happen then? Thirdly, when I was being very quickly whizzed through the sign up process on a PC with one of the workers (they collect far more information than I feel is necessary) I saw briefly my HIV result, and for some bizarre reason, my blood type! I’m sorry but this is not a hospital or any other kind of medical facility, and they have NO right to collect and store this information and certainly not without informed consent. At the end of this sign up process I was briefly shown the Ts and Cs (for literally 2 seconds) before the worker moved on to the next screen and asked me for an electronic signature. I’d SINCERELY like to read what was in those Ts & Cs and advise anyone else going to ask for sufficient time to read through them. Lastly, on the ethics front, it appears the staff have been leaving their own reviews on Trip Advisor to boost its rating – a lot of the positive ones funnily enough have only ever left one review, for Osho! So don’t be fooled by the majority of positive reviews on there – I have reported them as suspicious. It also says A LOT that no-one from the resort responds to negative reviews on here.
*POOR STANDARD OF ACCOMMODATION – we found our room to be incredibly small, with just enough room for a double bed, a very small table and a chair. There is also a built in wardrobe. And that’s it apart from the bathroom which was poorly lit, had small towels, and very little toilet paper was provided. The overall design was inconvenient with no light switches beside the bed (you have to get out of bed to switch anything off) and I also noted there was no fire safety information. Given there does not appear to be any stairs in the hotel block, only an idiotic ‘high-tech’ lift which buttons didn’t always work, that was a bit of a concern. Our room wasn’t cleaned one day because we had a lie-in BE WARNED housekeeping starts at approx. 7am and the housekeeping staff are not shy about slamming doors or loudly announcing their arrival – which can be heard by everyone in the surrounding rooms. For a meditation resort I would have hoped for a little more consideration, discretion, tact and overall, QUIETNESS in the mornings!
*QUALITY OF MEDITATIONS – now this is where my preconceptions of meditation come into play, but I found the ‘meditations’ just plain bizarre. The welcome morning got us practicing each of the main types, and I found them to be mostly just physically exhausting without actually clearing the mind. Dancing around, breathing heavily, screaming, talking gibberish, laughing, punching the air etc were (it seems, though we had NO explanation around the objective) all to do with releasing frustration etc, but once you’ve done that a few times, I didn’t have much more anger to get out (apart from all the anger at the standards of Osho itself, but screaming wasn’t going to solve it. I hope this review does.) There wasn’t much relaxation involved apart from that. I was also very disappointed that no yoga was offered, despite what the website said about classes before we arrived.
*POOR QUALITY OF FOOD – given how expensive the food is compared to normal Indian restaurant prices, we were especially disappointed by the quality of the food here. The self serve hot food was anything but – every portion of dhal I ate was cold. The expensive a la carte items were all served warm but had very small portions, which did not represent good value for money. All the curried items were bland tasting and not at all flavoursome.
*RUDE STAFF – others have commented on this too. The ‘living in’ Westerners were a bit happier than their native colleagues, all of whom did not smile at all. One of the hotel receptionists was usually spectacularly unhelpful and not at all welcoming in any way – he literally could not care less and left us standing there after a long journey whilst he chatted on his mobile. The ‘living-in’ folk were mostly ok, though there were a few odd sorts, including the two who did our welcome morning, a man and woman, the latter of whom was embarrassingly flirtatious with my partner – very disrespectful and totally inappropriate really. There was also a very odd older gentleman who we initially took to be a friendly sort, introducing himself almost as soon as we arrived. We saw him the next day and he explained he was departing the following day to go on a book tour to Dubai). He gave us his card and then we watched for the next 3 days as he badgered everyone who would listen to him about his book, and didn’t leave the premises. Very strange indeed.
My advice is if you are serious about learning meditation, or want a peaceful retreat, or really, have any common sense at all, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. There are plenty of Buddhist retreats in India that offer free accommodation and food. They may not claim to be western-style “luxury” but at least you’d get an authentic experience and wouldn’t just leave with an empty wallet, not an empty mind.