Chapter 29: Power Corrupts People
NBC Network News
Would you please assess the damage caused to your community by the revelations over Sheela and also if you could tell me what steps you are taking to insure that something like this does not happen again?
It could happen because I was silent in all these three and half years. Since I came to America I have remained silent, in isolation. That’s why the whole thing happened. Otherwise thirty years in my life, nothing like this has happened before. So it was simply the gap that Sheela unconsciously took advantage of. She was my secretary and when I had chosen her my secretary she was just a simple human, loving being; no politics in her mind, no power tricks. But three and half year remaining the head of five thousand sannyasins, millions of dollars.
Power is a very significant factor. It can bring your unconscious desires to the conscious level. It does not corrupt you, it just brings your corruption to reality. Without power you cannot do anything; with power you can do anything. And that’s what happened.
Now I have decided not to stop speaking and be direct in communion with my people, as I have been always. And there has never been any problem.
Secondly, I have taken many steps because in my absence - I may die tomorrow - and the same thing can happen again. So I am decentralizing power. It will not be in one man’s hand. There will be several corporations of equal status, several presidents of equal status and there will be corporations completely free and independent from the religious foundation. For example, university should be an completely independent organization on its own. Decentralization of power, changing the people more often so they don’t start taking their position granted, as if it is a life-long position. It is better to have some difficulty because a person in a year becomes acquainted, capable, doing better. But I would like to take that risk, giving the position to a new person, and the old relaxes back, takes any other job in the commune. So it will be a kind of rotation and a short period of power which you cannot corrupt the commune, because you know within six months you will be part of the commune and somebody else will be in your place.
And I am making my people more aware, for the simple reason because my teaching is of doubt, skepticism, agnosticism. It is not based on belief, not on surrender, not on faith. But because I was silent, this is what they were told, that to create the commune you have to surrender yourself. And Sheela is Osho’s representative and whatsoever she says, she is the spokesman of Osho. Now there is going to be no spokesman for me. As long as I am alive, I am my own spokesman.