The Power of Faith

I’d never heard of the Rajneeshee Commune. Turns out, there’s a reason for that:

In a nearly unbelievable chapter of Oregon history, a guru from India gathered 2,000 followers to live on a remote eastern Oregon ranch. The dream collapsed 25 years ago amid attempted murders, criminal charges and deportations.

But the whole story was never made public. With first-ever access to government files, and some participants willing to talk for the first time, it’s clear things were far worse than we realized.

What follows is an inside look — based on witness statements, grand jury transcripts, police reports, court records and fresh interviews — at how Rajneesh leaders tried to skirt land-use and immigration laws only to have their schemes collapse to the point they decided killing Oregonians was the only way to save their religious utopia.

It’s a chronicle of madness, religion and death. Good morning!

Part 1 of 5.

Link via Warren Ellis.