Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Portland was one of several areas throughout the state of Oregon where the followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had a very visible presence during the early 1980s.  In addition to the Rajneesh Hotel at Southwest Tenth Avenue and Pine Street, they opened Zorba the Buddha disco on Portland’s South Park Blocks. On July 29, 1983, bombs exploded on the second and third floors of the hotel, injuring only the bomber.  The community most affected by the Bhagwan and the Rajneesh Foundation International (RFI) was Antelope in eastern Oregon, where the residents were overwhelmed by the influx of Rajneeshees who moved to the 64,000 acre Big Muddy Ranch near the Wasco County town.

Further Reading:
Graham, Rachael “The Saffron Swami,” Willamette Week. 1983.

Carter, Lewis F. Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpuram : the Role of Shared Values in the Creation of a Community. New York, N.Y., 1990.

Written by Trudy Flores, Sarah Griffith, © Oregon Historical Society, 2002.

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This entry was last updated on March 14, 2019