I was surprised by this dose of the original journalism from the oregonian. I was not properly aware of the extent of criminality at the core of the era of pune and later. Further, these articles make clear rajneesh’s contempt for his sannyasins and the way he exploited them economically. I was there, briefly, and it was obvious from the start that the whole scheme was a closet version of ‘slave labor’, an extraction of surplus value, in the language of leftists. But it was even worse than that: i thought that sannyasins volunteering to go to rajneeshpuram would at least get room and board in exchange for such labors. But no, they had to pay for the privilege of being exploited, and they had to pay a lot. That’s an even worse condition than serfs.
That’s disgusting, and it is hard to believe this wasn’t somehow deliberate. For all one knows there may be a factor of postcolonial revenge against westerners (??) but the more likely case is that this is simply a direct distortion of the legacy of ashram life, but turned into something almost viciously capitalist and fascist.