Not at all – it is a victory. “Defeat” does not exist in my vocabulary: it is absolute victory. The criminals have escaped without even facing me, and now they are hiding in the Black Forest in Germany and on some island. Their whole life they will carry the guilt and suffer. If they have any dignity and any intelligence, they should come back. Our doors are open; we will accept them, we will never ask them anything. But whatever they have done, they have to face the law. That is their problem. Our respect, our love, remains the same. But for their criminal acts they have to take their responsibility. And it is better that they take it sooner, and they go to the court and confess everything, whatever they have done, and ask the court for whatever punishment is necessary. We can tell the court that these people are not basically criminal, just psychologically sick, and the whole commune will ask that they should not be sent to jail but sent to a psychiatric hospital where they can be cured. That’s all we can do for them, and that will be the best for them. As far as we are concerned, we are perfectly victorious.
About the FBI’s action – this morning you told about some manifestation at U.S. embassies. Will you really use this threat against the U.S. embassies in the world, or not?
It will depend. I have made it public so that they should be aware before they take any action, because the politicians in Oregon are trying their best to protect the criminals and destroy the commune. This we will not allow. We may be only five thousand here, but around the world we have one million sannyasins and at least two million sympathizers.
Sheela says you are only thirty-five thousand…
She is lying. And that’s the nature of crime. Once you do something wrong, then you have to go on lying more and more. To protect one lie you will have to tell one thousand and one lies; still the lie remains a lie. If the Oregon government wants to see it, how many sannyasins are there, they should take the step: they should protect the criminals, against their own constitution, and we will show our strength around the world.
So my statement was just to make it clear that it is not going to be an easy job. Just because we are a small minority here it does not mean that you can just bulldoze the commune and there will be nobody around the world protesting. In every country we have our people, and they will protest against all American embassies, against their own government, and force the governments to disconnect their relationship with America. This is not a democracy, it is simply a hypocrisy.
So it is a clear challenge, and I am ready to fight with them in the Supreme Court. I challenge the attorney general of Oregon: Face me directly in the Supreme court. I am not a legal man, so why be afraid of me? But even law cannot help against truth. I will stand for the constitution of America against the Americans who are prostituting it. And we are really excited – if they do something like that we will enjoy the whole trip, every inch of it. I don’t think they have the guts to do anything. They are such cowards that against a small community they keep the army on alert, as if we have nuclear weapons here. America is the greatest nuclear power. What fear can you have of five thousand meditators? They have put their national guard just close by, in Madras.