They are worried about our police being there. This is strange! In all these years our police have not done any harm to anybody. The people of Antelope want the police to be removed. I will remove the police if the state of Oregon takes the responsibility to see that no sannyasin will be harmed, that no property will be harmed, burned, damaged – because all the sannyasins are here the whole day working, and in the night they go to Antelope.
The police are there simply to look after the property; we have two-thirds of the properties of Antelope. I am willing to remove the police force immediately; just purchase all the lands and all the properties and then it is up to you to do whatever you want.
They say that we have increased the taxes…. It is very strange: only a dozen old Antelope people are there, and one hundred sannyasins are there – so who is paying the taxes? And those taxes are going into improving the city, its streets and everything that is needed.
Just purchase all the properties, and we will declare Antelope tax free. Then do whatsoever you want. It is your city – we have no concern with your city. We will declare it tax free. Let your roads be rotten, your water system finished, your fire brigade dismantled. Do whatsoever you want! We will leave the city tax free. And right now we are paying the taxes, not anybody else.
But one condition they have to remember: they have to purchase their properties back at a reasonable price, at the market price right now. I had offered that we would sell them at the same price as we purchased them, but the ex-mayor of Antelope gave an interview to the press and said, “I don’t trust.”
That is enough for me. Now the properties will be sold only at the market price, not at the price for which we had purchased them. And we have improved on the properties, renovated the properties, so their prices will be almost twice or thrice more.
And it can happen in one day. They can just ask their friends – who were ready to die for Antelope. Now they can help, this is the point of action. Ask the governor, ask the state – take all the properties back and we will vacate. And before vacating we will make it tax free.
As far as the name is concerned, we are going to change it immediately. There is no need to wait for it; it costs nothing. But we don’t want any kind of hostility. From our side the people who had created hostility have fled. So now these innocent sannyasins have nothing to do with it.
And I have told my sannyasins that you can use any color clothes you want so that you can mix with people more easily, so you cannot be discriminated against. You need not use your mala. You can return it or you can keep it as a memory.
But if you want to remain in orange, red, you can. But, particularly when you go out, certainly don’t use red, because it seems Oregonians in the past have been bulls. Why unnecessarily disturb the bulls? Let them rest. Red creates something in their psychology, and we don’t want to disturb anybody in any way.