Episode 5: Foundations in the Desert

In Episode 5: Foundations in the Desert, we consider why Oregon was about the last place Bhagwan’s personal secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, should have picked for the new commune. Then we see how exactly one starts to transform a huge tract of agricultural land into a commune fit for an enlightened Master and thousands of his disciples. We also compare the stories that Sheela told her neighbors and government officials in those early days with what was actually going on at the commune. By the time Bhagwan arrives, there is great confusion — and anxiety — about what exactly these “Rajneesh people” have in mind.

Episode Notes & Sources

Episode 5 Transcript

Audio clips of Jayananda and Krishna Deva come from the May 1982 television program Town Hall: Fight for a City.

KD’s personal statement from the Oregon Attorney General files.

KD’s statement to the FBI.

KD’s trial testimony.


Farmhouse and Pond, Rajneeshpuram

Farmhouse and Pond, Rajneeshpuram

Krishna Deva (KD)

Krishna Deva (KD)

Break time at Rajneeshpuram. Krishna Deva at left; Sheela and Ma Prem Arup at the right.

Break time at Rajneeshpuram. Krishna Deva at left; Sheela and Ma Prem Arup at the right.


Music

Powerwalkin’ by Future Joust

All other music by Rusty King