Rajneeshpuram

2018, Religion  -   8 Comments
57
6.94
12345678910
Ratings: 6.94/10from 35 users.
Storyline

In its purest form, the New Age movement represented a spiritual journey towards peace, harmony and a break from oppressive societal norms. These admirable pursuits did not define the mission of one of the movement's most popular and controversial figures: Bhagwam Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual guru whose reign ended in an attempted political assassination and the second largest bioterrorist attack in United States history. The revealing documentary Rajneeshpuram exposes the inner workings of his commune, his sinister grab for greater power, and the explosive consequences of a false mystic run amok.

Rajneesh began his ascendancy in the 1970s when his spiritual teachings attracted the attention of a growing legion of followers. He formed a monastery in Pune, one of the most populated cities in India. Practitioners were encouraged to engage in open and frequent sexual acts, and to throw themselves into a series of meditation sessions that were marked by volatile movements, hyperventilation and sudden bursts of violence. Stoking the ire of powerful political parties in the region, Rajneesh sought to relocate and rebuild in a safer haven free from outside influence or obstruction. He settled on America, where giant swaths of the population were becoming more attuned to the philosophies of the New Age movement, in the unassuming community of Wasco County, Oregon.

The film casts an absorbing spell as it runs through the tumultuous events that followed the creation of Rajneesh's mammoth compound known as Rajneeshpuram. It's a labyrinthine tale of cult-like extremism. Alongside his ever-present spokesperson Sheela, Rajneesh fought an aggressive campaign to expand his commune far beyond the parameters of his original contract. He seemed intent on building his own town devoted to commercial enterprise, and lobbied for a prominent place in the community's political structure. When the local government and citizens of a nearby town stood up in protest, he set in motion a series of menacing plots that culminated in the poisoning of over 700 innocent victims.

Utilizing reams of fascinating footage from the period and a wealth of sharply informed research, Rajneeshpuram paints a vivid portrait of a power hungry guru who failed to practice what he preached.

Directed by: Fredrik Knudsen

More great documentaries

8 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Alan

    Netflix has a six part documentary called Wild Wild Country that is more detailed and balanced and does not include some of the more outrageous claims found here. There is a bias against the group in the film that colors much of the statements made. Having seen the Netflix doc which stills paints an unfavorable portrait, I'm left to wonder how much here is only painted in a bad light.

  2. Goke

    @MsRhuby
    there is the little problem of this not realy being Hinduism. Although Hinduism lacks a single doctrine or administration and is more like a cultural conglomerate of different religions to begin with, Osho was a jain (a non Hindu Indian religion) turned newage heterodox (mixing a lot of different religions) guru under a strong influence of modern (at the time) humanistic psychology.

  3. Inga

    The Osho people have mobilize, LOL. No, worries, there is six-part response coming up!

  4. Stuart

    A film maker with an axe to grind. One voice narrates the propaganda the entire film. Lousy "documentary."

  5. David

    Lazy documentary making. Stills with a droning voice over. No perceptible investigation or balance in the portrayal. Only a Good Guys vs Bad Guys approach. Truly a bad documentary with nothing to offer.

  6. C

    They were like the OGs of modern cult-based terrorism lol.... drugs man lol
    When they said it's now a Christian camp I literally replied Oh no - that's almost worse! lol

  7. MsRhuby

    Hinduism is evil and evil self destructs...no worries!

  8. norm

    You can not make this stuff up, although you can disguise this, all or in part or parts, for a satire which would leave people with a common prototype for many religious cults.