John McCall, The Seattle Post Intelligence
Jeanine Perrett, The Australian
Pam Abramson Newsweek Magazine
This is John McCall from the Seattle Post Intelligence. In the news conference Monday night you said you are not a savior or a prophet or a leader. Do you want the sannyasins to stay with you here at Rajneeshpuram?
They want to stay with me.
Sheela has told us in the past that her father raised you for a time before she was born. And this morning you said that you were miffed that she had not even said good-by to you when she left. What type of relationship you had with Sheela?
Just she was my secretary – no relationship.
Did you love Sheela?
No. I did not even like her.
I would find it ironic that you would appoint her your personal secretary when you knew she was not a meditator, when she was a hotel waitress, and that you didn’t even like her – why make her your strongest aide?
Those were her qualifications. To raise a commune, to change this desert into an oasis, a very pragmatic, practical, strong person was needed – and she was that kind of person. She was not interested in meditation, she was not interested in any kind of spiritual growth. These were his qualifications to be a secretary.
Now the situation is totally different. The commune is established. Now a different setup of people is needed. Each step needs different kind of people. Now I need meditators, people who are interested in spiritual growth: they should take charge.
But in the beginning they would not have been able to withstand with all kind of hostility that strangers are bound to face.
So there is no contradiction in it. I did it knowingly.