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The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult That Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soilby Win Mccormack
Synopses & Reviews
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, widely known as the "sex guru," fled India in 1981 and came to settle on a ranch in central Oregon, where he and his followers established the illegal city of Rajneeshpuram. In their effort to preserve the city, the Rajneeshees attempted during the 1984 election to take control of the Wasco County government by poisoning two county commissioners and over 700 potential voters in The Dalles, the county seat, with salmonella--the first act of bio-terrorism in U.S. history. Armed to the teeth with semiautomatic weapons, they threatened to defend the city to the death against any governmental intrusion, and hatched a plot to assassinate a U.S attorney. When the commune finally imploded and authorities arrived on the scene, they discovered that the Rajneesh nurse who had cultivated salmonella bacteria in the commune's biological warfare laboratory was also trying to cultivate a live AIDS virus--which deranged group leaders clearly hoped to unleash on the rest on the world. The Rajneesh Chronicles is a collection of in-depth investigative and analytical articles published in Oregon Magazine covering the entire period from the time of the cult's arrival in Oregon in mid-1981 to its dramatic disintegration at the end of 1985 (with an introductory chronology that extends the story up to the present). While most press treated the cult's antics as a humorous sideshow typified by the Bhagwan's dozens of Rolls-Royces, editor in chief Win McCormack and other of the magazine's writers systematically exposed the full range of the Rajneeshees' depraved behavior, including their involvement in prostitution and international drug smuggling, sexual exploitation of children, abuse of homeless people they imported into Rajneeshpuram to register as voters, and the use of brainwashing techniques bordering on torture. The tale of the Rajneesh has become an amorphous legend few inside or outside of Oregon actually understand. The Rajneesh Chronicles fully illuminates the shocking reality behind that legend.
Book News Annotation:
Beginning in 1981, thousands of members of a secretive and financially powerful religious cult led by the Indian guru Baghwan Shree Rajneesh began arriving in the tiny Oregon town of Antelope and the surrounding area--along with the guru himself and his fleet of luxury cars. Within short order, cult members took over the local government and began using its powers to help them create the religious city of Rajneeshpuram. Using reporting done at the time by Oregon Magazine, this thick book chronicles the rise and fall of the Rajneesh cult, paying special attention to its battles with its political opponents and alleged poisoning of government officials and residents of the nearby city of The Dalles. Raising important questions about tolerance and freedom of religion, this book will greatly interest anyone concerned with issues of religion in public life. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers were involved in nefarious activities including prostitution, drug smuggling, sexual abuse of children, and murder conspiracy. The Rajneesh Chronicles explains this behavior--and why the cult that committed the first act of bioterrorism in the U.S. was trying to cultivate a live AIDS virus.
The Rajneesh Chronicles is a collection of in-depth investigative and analytical articles published in Oregon Magazine covering the establishment of the city of Rajneeshpuram in Central Oregon in mid-1981 to its dramatic disintegration at the end of 1985. While most press treated the Rajneeshees' antics as a humorous sideshow typified by Bhagwan Shree Rajneeshs dozens of Rolls-Royces, editor in chief Win McCormack and other of the magazines writers systematically exposed the full range of the cult's depraved behavior, including its involvement in prostitution and international drug smuggling, sexual exploitation of children, abuse of homeless people imported into Rajneeshpuram to register as voters, and the use of brainwashing techniques bordering on torture. The tale of the Rajneeshees has become an amorphous legend few inside or outside of Oregon understand. The Rajneesh Chronicles fully illuminates the shocking reality behind that legend.
About the Author
Win McCormack is publisher and editor-in-chief of Tin House magazine. He has been in the magazine and book publishing business since 1976. He published Oregon Magazine from 1976 to 1988, and has also been involved in publishing Oregon Business, Oregon Home, Travel Oregon, Military History Quarterly, and Art and Auction magazines, and was involved in the start-up of Mother Jones. He is editor of the books Profiles of Oregon, Great Moments in Oregon History, and The Rajneesh Chronicles, and won a William Allen White award for his investigative coverage of the Rajneesh cult from 1982-1986. He writes on politics and wrote the article "Deconstructing the Election: Foucault, Derrida and GOP strategy," about the presidential election debacle in Florida in 2000, for the Nation. He holds a BA in Government from Harvard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon.
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