Wild Wild Country

Image result for wild wild country netflixWild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series on the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram
, a utopian experiment in rural Oregon by the followers of Indian mystic Osho.  The Duplass Brothers’ six part series was released in March 2018 and currently holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So strange and compelling is this ‘forgotten moment in American cultural history’, it’s hard to believe it really happened.

In 1981 followers of ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’, (later Osho) transform an isolated ranch into a self-sustaining commune based on meditation and free love. At its height, Rajneeshpuram is 7,000 strong and includes its own hospital, sewerage system and runway. Tensions with the local town and a terrorist incident lead to an SMG armed ‘Peace Force’. A prosecution effort escalates things further. Countless twists and turns follow, resulting in an incredible turn of events, federal investigation and nationwide scandal.

Image result for rajneeshpuram

Wild Wild Country uses archival footage from the 1980s and interviews from the present day. This includes the key players from both sides of the story, notably:

  • Rajneesh in Oregon: Netflix series Wild Wild Country ...Ma Anand Sheela: Bhagwan’s secretary and Rajneeshpuram’s de facto leader. Her  Machiavellian personality is central to the story. (Pictured).
  • Jane Stork (Ma Shanta B): Australian Rajneeshee and member of Sheela’s inner circle.
  • Philip Toelkes (Swami Prem Niren): Bhagwan’s personal attorney and devoted follower.
  • Jon Bowerman: local rancher and militant opponent of the Rajneeshees. Son of Nike founder Bill Bowerman.
  • Robert Weaver: Assistant to the US Attorney and a leader in the Rajneeshees’ prosecution.

Osho died before the documentary was filmed. Wild Wild Country doesn’t delve into his teachings, or life inside Rajneeshpuram, focusing instead on the characters and politics surrounding the commune. Though Osho does speak in the documentary, for most of Rajneeshpuram’s existence he kept a vow of silence.

Conversely the guru’s teachings are widely available today and under ‘Osho International’. You may have seen ‘spiritually aware’ friends share his quotes on social media. Osho International omits the Oregon chapter from its namesake’s official biography and criticised Wild Wild Country for ‘not giving a clear account of the story’.

Osho International claims:

“[the scandal surrounding Rajneeshpuram] was a U.S. government conspiracy, from the White House on down, aimed at thwarting Osho’s vision of a community based on conscious living.”

Image result for oshoWild Wild Country’s forte is its objectivity. It is hard to pick a side in the multifaceted controversy, where the story is being told from all angles and moral lines are blurred. Benevolent spiritual leader Osho may be, but he also boasts America’s biggest collection of Rolls-Royces. The conservative townsfolk who just want to be left alone also come across as intolerant stick-in-the-muds. For legal enthusiasts it is an excellent case study in land rights, bigotry and the separation of church and state.

A wealth of information is available online for those wishing to go down the rabbit hole after viewing. Wild Wild Country may only touch on part of the controversy, but does so with insight, tact and flair that Google can never match.

3 thoughts on “Wild Wild Country

  1. July 11, 2019
    Dear respected man and sir

    I follow every steps of my life till i know about osho and i am die heart follower of him ..
    Mam i would like to request you that can i have this picture hd soo i can put in my bed head side so that i could see him every moment and every phase of second although he is in my heart . I will be very grateful too you if you send that phone with size of 2 fit hight and 4 fit long. So that i can fall my life in him lep..
    Mam i wish hope you understand what i mean to say..

    Mam i wll great full to you …

    Osho follower
    Sachin Ghimire

    Bharatpur metropolitan city
    Provence 3, Nepal .


  2. Sachin Ghimire,

    Unfortunately I do not own the rights to that photo.You’re welcome to copy the image, which is from google, but I wouldn’t know how to go about printing it. You could try contacting Osho International? Sorry I cannot help but I hope you find what you are looking for.


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