Rainer Paul, Der Spiegel, Germany
Mary Thornton, The Washington Post, USA
I would appreciate short answers whenever possible. You declared the end of Rajneeshism as a religion and had the book on that religion burned in all your communes. Why did you do it this week and not last year, and not one year from now?
That is a question which is absolutely illogical. Whenever I would have done it you could have asked the same question: “Why now? Why not before? Why not after?” Everything happens in its own time.
I had no religion before I went into silence. I have never been in favor of any organized religion. The moment the truth is organized it becomes untrue. It is no longer spiritual, it becomes political. But because I was in silence for three and a half years, the people who were running the commune managed to create a religion which is a very human tendency. Man wants to be in some organization. Alone he feels afraid. He wants to be part of a society, culture, religion, nation, civilization, but he does not stand on his own. He cannot declare his individuality totally free of all conditions. And that is my whole teaching. So it was basically against me that The Book of Rajneeshism and the idea of Rajneeshism and the idea of sannyasins being called Rajneeshees was created.
When I started speaking again, I became aware of everything that had happened in my absence, but I was waiting for valid proofs against the organization that had developed. I don’t hold any post, I don’t have any political power. My power is my love. I am not even a member of the commune. So naturally I had to wait, because if things have gone wrong…slowly they started coming to me, but yet there was no solid proof. People were poisoned, but the poison used was undetectable. Doctors said, “People have been poisoned but we cannot prove it. Efforts have been made to kill, but because it is undetectable there is no way to prove it.” So I had to wait, and as more facts started gathering, that every phone going out from the commune, coming into the commune, was being tapped, that every house was bugged, even my room was bugged – then it was time, because now there were solid proofs. And because those people became aware that now I was collecting solid proofs, the whole gang of twenty people escaped. And because bureaucracy everywhere is slow, we have given them space inside the commune: the state police are here, the county police are here, the city police are here, FBI top officers are here – but things are going so slow, as if they are giving time to the criminals.