But why? Why did you want to destroy the commune? Our commune was not at all concerned with America. The commune was located in a desert, one hundred twenty-six square miles of desert which had been for sale for forty years. And nobody had purchased it, at any price, because what will you do with a desert?
But my people converted the desert into an oasis. That hurt America very much. My people were living with such joy, such laughter, and they were working hard. All their needs were fulfilled. They had the whole commune centrally air-conditioned; they had everything that they wanted, and there was no exchange of money in the commune. This made the American government completely mad.
They arrested me without any arrest warrant, and without showing me any reason for arresting me. Just a piece of paper on which there were a few names – “We have been ordered from above that these people should be immediately arrested.”
I said, “But you should look at our passports! My name is not on this paper; neither are the names of the six people who are with me on this paper. You are absolutely absurd. Just look at our passports and compare with your names; you are arresting the wrong people.” Still, we were arrested.
In fact, they had no evidence at all to arrest me. But they did not give me bail for twelve days. They arrested me in North Carolina, and the flight from North Carolina to Oregon, where the commune was located, was only five hours. It took twelve days for me to reach Portland, and they dragged me from jail to jail; in twelve days I was dragged to six jails.
Only later on I became aware of it, when the British experts in poisoning looked into my symptoms and gave the verdict, that I was given a certain poison, thallium. It is not detectable either from blood or from urine; it simply disappears. I had all the symptoms – when the poison disappears, it leaves certain kinds of sicknesses in the body. This poison has been used against political prisoners. But if you give it in a bigger dose, the person dies immediately. That’s why they wanted twelve days, to give it to me in small doses so I would not die in their jails – they would be condemned by the whole world.
And when they released me, I was ordered to leave America immediately, within fifteen minutes. My car was in front of the courthouse, and my jet plane was kept with its engine running at the airport; I should leave immediately. They were afraid that if I stayed one day more, I might appeal to the Supreme Court. And there was every reason for me to win the case, because none of their charges…thirty-four charges against a man who was in silence, had never moved out of his house. How can he commit thirty-four crimes? And they had no evidence of any crime.
When I saw democracy, American style, at work…it was absolute nonsense to talk about democracy. Their constitution is just a showpiece for the world. The country consists of criminals talking about freedom.