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A Rebel Book
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The story is repeated again. I was crucified - this time in America…and these seven weeks I have been struggling against the poison. And I am happy to declare to you that the crucifixion is over and I am resurrected.
It is symbolic that Jesus is crucified this time in America and is resurrected in India. It is symbolic in many dimensions. It is the victory of love over hate. It is the victory of life over death. It is the victory of East over West. It is the victory of truth over criminals like Ronald Reagan. It is the victory of consciousness over body.
It is certainly of tremendous importance that even after twenty centuries a man like Jesus will be crucified by Christians themselves. It was a conspiracy of the fundamentalist Christians of America and Ronald Reagan. Perhaps civilization is still an idea - it has not happened in reality.
I would like my people to transform themselves and through them I would like to bring authentic civilization and humanity to this beautiful planet.
There is only one religion, and that is the religion of love. There is only one God, and that is the God of celebration, of life, of rejoicing.
This whole earth is one and the whole humanity is one. We are parts of each other.
On May 30, 1988 - shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging the incorporation of the City of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, thereby validating the legality of the now-destroyed city, - Bhagwan spoke the following words to His evening discourses for the previous two weeks - one of many such periods which have occurred since His arrest and incarceration by the American authorities in November, 1985 - due to His increasingly fragile health. The strength of His message here, and His unfailing sense of humor, seem a fitting way to begin this book.-Ed.
I am wearing sunglasses in the night; it is due to the courtesy of President Ronald Reagan. His poisoning has created many after-effects. One of them is that my eyes have immensely weakened; they cannot face even the daylight. But even through my glasses I am perfectly able to see you.
In this connection a practical joke: I have received an invitation from one of the most important global promoters in the election of the president of American. They want me to run for the presidency and they are ready to promote me. Even though I am prevented - illegally, unconstitutionally - from entering America for ten years, certainly I can enter the presidential election. The law cannot prevent me. I can remain outside of America…. I have told Global Promotions to go ahead. It does not matter whether I win or I lose. What matters is that it will decide how many intelligent people live in America, how many people have a sense of humor and how many people have a universal sense of humanity as one.
If by chance I win the presidency, it will be really the greatest laughter in history. And it will be a beginning of a new day. I certainly hope there are people, irrespective of party or religion or prejudice, who will support me just for the sake of a good laugh.
These glasses will do good, they will look good on American television. At least my face will be more presentable than Ronald Reagan’s.
My fight continues against the illegality and the crime that has been done to me and to my commune and my people. You will be surprised that they went on delaying a decision in the Supreme Court of Oregon till they expelled me from America.
I was there for five years. They could not tell to me to go out of America; they knew I would fight in the courts. And every American is a foreigner - the real Americans have been killed, massacred, forced into forests, into small reservations. They even changed their name; they are called ‘Red Indians.”
Even Ronald Reagan is not an American; neither was Abraham Lincoln. So there is no problem: if other foreigners can be chosen to be the president of America, I am also eligible.
When they deported me, after that the Supreme Court of Oregon declared my commune to be victorious and the opposing party in the case - “One Thousand Friends of Oregon” - was defeated. They appealed to the Supreme Court of America and the Supreme Court has also given its decision in my favor.
The destruction of the commune and expulsion of me and my people have been absolutely undemocratic, unconstitutional. This proves an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. Now what is the point of being victorious in the court, the highest court in America, when they have crushed everything? - destroyed the commune, in which five thousand sannyasins worked for five years, ten hours, twelve hours per day, to transform a desert into a beautiful city.
A great experiment of brotherhood, of love, of peace - no crime, no court, no law. And five thousand people created all the roads, transformed the whole desert into an oasis. It was not a small place, it was one hundred and twenty-six square miles. It was almost a country.
What was the fear of the American politicians? The fear was of our creativity, our laughter; the fear was of our joy. For the first time in the history of the world, five thousand people have lived as a family. Nobody asked anybody’s country or religion or caste or race. Every year twenty thousand people around the world used to come to see this miracle. The American politicians became disturbed by the success of the commune.
There has been a great deal of research conducted by psychoanalysts on eccentric people. Their findings are very revealing. First, the eccentric people are more intelligent, more creative, more joyous than the ordinary mediocre masses; the so-called sane people are not so creative. Secondly, in every profession the eccentric person will rise higher just because of his creativity, sensitivity, intelligence.
The researchers have found that politics is the only profession where - except Abraham Lincoln - there has not been any eccentric person. It is a strange finding. The politician is very cunning, he is not clever. He substitutes cunningness for cleverness. He is not wise, because to be wise in this world is to be condemned by the masses and the politician cannot afford that. But all the great people - the poets, the painters, the sculptors, the scientists, the mystics - have all been eccentric. The finding is that the eccentric people don’t bother about the masses; they are more integrated individuals. They live according to their own light, they have their own style. You may condemn them, but you cannot make them compromise.
This research has given me an absolute certainty about why the American politicians became so much disturbed by a commune which was joyous, intelligent, singing songs with the trees and dancing with the peacocks. They became afraid because the comparison was clear: the more the commune is reaching towards higher consciousness, more liveliness, higher in every possible way than the ordinary masses, the more the politician was going to be asked, “Why is it not happening in the whole world? if it can happen in a small commune that people can live lovingly, dancingly, joyously, then what is missing in the whole world? Why are people so miserable?”
Just as Jesus was crucified, my people and the commune as a whole have been crucified. Even their own constitution could not support the acts of the politicians. And once something is disturbed it is very difficult to put it together again.
But we are doing the experiment again and we are in a far more successful stage now. Our people are more joyous, more meditative, more intelligent, uncompromising. This is the meeting of the eccentric people - but highly intelligent. My whole effort is to spread intelligence, love, freedom - without any boundaries, without any frontiers - around the globe. It can be done only by the individual - not by religions, not by political parties, not by any other kinds of organizations.
The whole thing depends on the individual rising to the highest peak of his being and potentiality.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the most profound religious teacher of our time, is loved and respected by millions. Whenever possible, thousands of His people gather around Him to bask in His presence, meditate and listen to His discourses. Thousands more listen to audio and video tapes of the lectures and read the transcriptions which are published in twenty-six languages. To these people Bhagwan is a Master and a gift.
For the politicians and leaders of organized religion, however, Bhagwan is in the words of Tom Robbins, “the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.”
Bhagwan is not wealthy. He has no political power and no army. He does not lead an organized religious group. He does not run for political office, give political speeches or write treatises on political issues. When He is not sitting silently. He simply talks spontaneously to His people. Yet like Jesus, Socrates and Mansoor before Him, He strikes terror in the hearts of those who wish to preserve the status quo.
From the moment of His arrival in America in 1981, the government of the Untied States began an effort to drive Him out again. Ronald Reagan, his administration officials, U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, and U.S. Attorney for Oregon Charles Turner mounted a campaign to destroy Bhagwan before He could expose them with His logic and clarity. They are all vehement fundamentalist Christians who believe in their divine duty to crush the non-Christian “Antichrists” wherever they may be found, even at the expense of human rights and human life.
The government’s effort was systematic and thorough, costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of man hours. It began in 1981 when the U.S. State Department officials in India sent telexes to immigration officials in Washington, filled with misrepresentations, rumor, and innuendo about Bhagwan. They were intended to prevent Bhagwan from receiving permanent resident status in the United States. At first the government denied the existence of the telexes, but when they were leaked to Bhagwan’s attorneys and exposed as lies, the government began an even more covert “investigation” into Bhagwan’s affairs. Immigration and Naturalization Service memos, which were later obtained by Bhagwan’s attorneys, stated an intent to continue the investigation until a basis for denial of Bhagwan’s immigration petition could be found, a blatantly illegal purpose. A letter on White House stationery stated that the investigation should continue until a basis for prosecution could be found.
After a great deal of delay, Bhagwan’s petition for immigration as a religious teacher was denied on the grounds that Bhagwan’s teachings were the “antithesis of religion.” The ruling was unconstitutional and in violation of the Immigration Service’s own rules, since the American government is not legally allowed to prefer one religion over another or make rulings on the validity of any religious belief or teaching. When litigation was threatened, the government quickly withdrew the decision for reconsideration. After another long delay, the government admitted that Bhagwan was indeed a religious teacher, but the Immigration Service illegally refused to rule on the remaining portion of His petition to give Him resident status.
Bhagwan’s attorneys then began to put legal pressure on the government, and the time for the government’s “investigation” into Bhagwan and the commune grew short. The government told the federal court it had many informants, but refused to produce any. Rumors began to circulate that Bhagwan was going to be indicted, but the fundamentalist U.S. Attorney told Bhagwan’s attorneys that he would inform them of any indictment, so that Bhagwan could arrange to face the indictment without the necessity of arrest. He lied. On October 28, 1985, Bhagwan was arrested in North Carolina for “fleeing” from a secret indictment that He knew nothing about. His attorneys were prevented by the Federal Aviation Administration from radioing Him to request He return in case an indictment was issued.
When His plane landed in Charlotte, it was surrounded by government gunmen and He and His companions were chained and led off to jail. Bhagwan offered to return voluntarily to Oregon to face the indictment, but the government refused. It insisted that Bhagwan must remain in custody. After a prolonged bail hearing at which it was established that Bhagwan was a world renowned religious leader with no criminal history, that He was willing to post a substantial bail, that the indictment against Him was for a minor immigration offense which is rarely if ever prosecuted, let alone a basis for pre-trial incarceration, and that the government had no real evidence of any crime against Him, the magistrate refused to release Bhagwan from custody. Bhagwan’s attorneys, top immigration and criminal lawyers from around the country, were shocked. They had never seen a hearing like that before. They offered the government a private plane to use to transport Bhagwan immediately back to Oregon, but the government refused.
Bhagwan was taken secretly from North Carolina, and for four days was stealthily moved from federal facility to federal facility, hidden from the press. The government refused to inform Him attorneys of His whereabouts. The federal courts said nothing.
AT last He was returned to Oregon and immediately released from custody to await His hearing. The government quickly made an offer that if Bhagwan would agree to leave the country for a period of five years and pay an outrageously high fine, they would not seek a jail sentence.
Fearing for Bhagwan’s health, and future government misconduct, His attorneys convinced Him to accept the offer and He left America. The Christian officials were jubilant, and celebrated their “victory,” openly admitting that they had intentionally caused the illegal delay in the ruling on Bhagwan’s immigration petition, so that it would be easier to force Him to leave the country. When asked by the press why Bhagwan was not prosecuted fully, the U.S. Attorney said that the purpose of the investigation, to destroy the commune and drive Bhagwan from America, had been accomplished and that there was no evidence against Bhagwan anyway! When Bhagwan’s attorneys tried to get copies of the video tapes of the press conference they were told the tapes had been “requested” by the government and would not be available. So much for the free press.
Once Bhagwan was out of America, He was hounded around the world by U.S. agents, who sought to convince other countries not to allow Him to visit or grant Him residency. Their main technique was to circulate telexes very similar to the ones used in 1981. Once again the government denied the existence of the telexes, and once again they were leaked to Bhagwan’s representatives.
Most people accepted the Christians’ explanation for their actions at face value. They had wanted to drive Bhagwan from America, and in the words of U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, drive Him “right back in India, never to be seen or heard of again.” They had not prosecuted Him further because they had not wanted to expose the weakness of their case, and said they had not wanted to make a martyr of Him. Still, many wondered that government had not sought more vengeance after the vehemence of its campaign to find something to use against Bhagwan.
Many questions remained unanswered. Why had the U.S. Attorney failed to inform Bhagwan’s attorneys about the indictment? Why were they prevented from reaching Bhagwan to inform Him of a possible indictment and advise him to return to Oregon, thereby avoiding any arrest? Why was Bhagwan refused bail in North Carolina, and then released immediately when He reached Oregon? Why did it take the government four days to transport Bhagwan the distance of a six-hour flight? Why was the government suddenly no longer interested in prosecuting Bhagwan once He had reached Oregon, when they had claimed in North Carolina that He was a dangerous man? Was it just harassment, or was there something more?
Then, as time passed and Bhagwan’s body gradually weakened, His health worsening in unexplainable ways, a horrible story unfolded. It suddenly became clear why the government was satisfied to have had Bhagwan in custody for twelve days.
In the final discourse of Part III of this book, Bhagwan reveals that He was poisoned by the United States government during His twelve days in custody, and that He nearly died in November 1987 as a result. That was the government’s plan - to force Bhagwan into India, keep Him out of the press for a few years and then let Him die a slow, quiet death that would be difficult to trace to them. That must have been what Meese meant by “never seen or heard of again.”
Bhagwan did not cooperate with their plan. He did not die, and he is not quiet about the government’s actions. He tells the whole story in detail.
What is it about Bhagwan that drives public officials to attempted murder? What makes the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, a federal magistrate, and federal judge and Justice Department officials join in an assassination conspiracy? The answer was perhaps best stated by best-selling author Tom Robins, when he said,
“…the authorities intuitively sense something dangerous in Bhagwan’s message. Why else would they have singled him out for the kind of malicious persecution they never have directed at a Filipino dictator or a Mafia don? If Ronald Reagan had his way, this gentle vegetarian would have been crucified on the White House lawn.
The danger they intuit is that in Bhagwan’s words…there is information that, if properly assimilated, can help to set men and women loose from their control. Nothing frightens the state, or its partner in crime, organized religion, so much as the prospect of a population thinking for itself and living free.”
In this book Bhagwan exposes the priests and politicians and their complicity in the imprisonment of mankind. He speaks on the specific issues used by the government of Oregon and the United State to attack Him and His commune. Finally, He reveals the enormous effort by the American government to kill Him and destroy His movement.
After Bhagwan’s sentencing in federal court, one of His lawyers, Robert McCrae, said,
“They have done it again. They have crucified Jesus again.”
…and this time it was the Christians who erected the cross. But Bhagwan is still with us. His truth cannot be so easily silenced.
|Part I||The Challenge||1|
|Chapter 1||First, a moment of silence||3|
|2||Our success is dangerous||7|
|3||The law of mediocrity||17|
|4||The ugliest manifestation of religion on the earth||37|
|5||In search of conviction, not truth||49|
|6||We can make this earth pollution-free||65|
|7||Happiness is infectious||77|
|Part II||The Debate||89|
|Chapter 1||Jim Jones is related to Jesus, not to me||93|
|2||Politics is a strange career||107|
|3||Truth is the enemy of the mob||117|
|4||The best government is no government||123|
|5||Who’s mixing church and state?||135|
|6||Education - the ultimate value||153|
|7||Just lines drawn on the sand||171|
|Part III||Crucifixion and Resurrection||177|
|Chapter 1||They have destroyed their own future||179|
|2||Just expose them - that’s enough||195|
|3||You cannot afford to miss this moment!||203|
|4||Remember it: I am here for you||211|
|Part IV||The Evidence of Conspiracy||225|
|Chapter 1||“I felt so ashamed to be an American…”||227|
|2||Lawlessness within the law||241|
|3||“His health has been shattered…”||251|
|4||“You have to think of thallium, don’t you?||265|
|5||A very interesting thing…||275|
|A new humanity and a new sunrise.||279|