Netflix’s latest docuseries, “Wild Wild Country,” depicts the scandals surrounding a “crazy sex cult” that in 1984 committed the largest bioterror attack in US history.
The series traces the controversial history of the Indian mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the spiritual movement he founded in Mumbai in 1970.
In 1981, Rajneesh fled political resistance in India and led his thousands of followers (“Rajneeshees”) to construct a utopian city in the desert of Wasco County, Oregon.
When the new, expansive commune came into conflict with local ranchers and the Oregon government, many shades of trouble ensued.
The following is a brief history of the Rajneeshee movement and its controversies, as depicted in Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country” through six hour-long episodes of archival footage and interviews:
In 1970, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho, founded a spiritual movement and commune in Mumbai, India. His teachings — which featured “an odd mix of capitalism, meditation, ethnic and dirty jokes, and open sexuality” — earned him an international following and reputation as a “sex guru.”
In the early 1980s, Rajneesh faced increasing pressure from Indian authorities over his group’s sexual rituals and controversial practices. In 1981, he fled the country and gathered around two thousand of his followers to establish a utopian city on a 64,000-acre plot of land in Wasco County, Oregon.
Source: Oregon Live
The utopian commune, called Rajneeshpuram, immediately came into conflict with the small enclave of ranchers residing in the nearby town of Antelope.
“They’re invading,” an Oregonian says in footage from the series. “Maybe not with bullets, but with money and, um, immoral sex.”