To arrest me is so easy…. There was no need to handcuff me, there was no need to put chains on me. You could just have told me, “You are invited to the presidential guesthouse – the jail,” and I would have gone with them. There was no question about it.
But you will be surprised…. They asked the FBI to arrest me, and the head laughed. He said, “A single individual who has not committed any crime, and you ask us to arrest him? We will not.” Even the head of the army was asked. He simply laughed: “Have you gone mad? Has the army ever been called to arrest a single individual who has nothing in his hands with which to fight? You will make us a laughingstock all over the world.” He refused.
All the government agencies refused to arrest me, for the simple reason that they could not show any reason why I should be arrested. They could not say that I didn’t have a visa, although my visa had expired long before. They could not say it because I had applied for renewing the visa, and they had not answered. They were afraid that if they said no, I was going to take them to the court, up to the Supreme Court, and it would take twenty years at least to decide the matter. So “No” they could not say; “Yes” they would not say.
So they did not tell the army or the government agencies that “The only reason to arrest him is that he has been living in America without any visa.” It was their fault, not mine. I had asked them again and again that “Either you say no, or you say yes” – but they could not say either.
They could not say yes because the Christian church was pressuring them that I should be thrown out of the country; once I am thrown out of the country, the commune will disperse. The commune had gathered out of love and gratitude around me, otherwise there was no reason to be in that desert.
We transformed the desert into a garden. It was for sale for forty years, and nobody was ready to purchase it – at any price. What will you do with that desert? But our creative people made houses, made dams, created small rivers. We had enough water in our reservoirs so that even if for five years there was no rain, we had reserves of water. We had planted so many trees that it was not going to be long before the trees would attract the clouds.
We were cultivating in the desert enough food for the commune. Five years more and the commune would have been absolutely independent. We had our own cows for milk, we had our own hens laying eggs for people’s breakfast. We had our own fields, we had our own greenhouses – because in the desert the sun is so hot, and unless you make a greenhouse…. We had our own greenhouses for vegetables, for fruits. And this all was happening while we were fighting with the government in every court. They were putting imaginary cases…but once they put a case against you, you have to fight it.
We had the greatest law firm in the whole world. Two of the attorneys are here: Anando, Sangeet, and I think Niren was here just a few days before – perhaps he may be here. We had four hundred people in the law firm, four hundred people continuously working on every aspect of American law and the Constitution.