This week Netflix released an Osho documentary series. It explores the deeply controversial following of the spiritual guru’s alleged ‘cult’. The six-part film ‘Wild Wild Country‘ reveals through archival footage the building of a secret utopian city. From political bio-attacks, attempted murders and the attractive ideology underpinning the whole movement ’The New Man’ it’s a wild ride.
Wild Wild Country, a six-part Osho documentary on the Rajneesh commune’s ill-fated attempt to build utopia in a tiny ranch town. In 1981, religious guru Bhagwan Rajneesh and 2,000 orange-clad disciples purchased a 64,000–acre ranch in Wasco County, Oregon. They spent more than $125 million to build a utopian town, complete with its own hospital, schools, restaurants, police force, shopping mall, and airport. The commune hoped to grow to 50,000 inhabitants and was mostly self-reliant. The followers practiced sustainable permaculture, organic farming, solar panel energy distribution, and riverbank restructuring. Their biggest indulgence was buying the guru almost 100 Rolls Royces —93 in total.
The Way Brothers spent four years splicing together archival footage and interviewing the key figures in the Osho guru’s movement. It bodes many questions. Were the followers manipulated by a false ideology? Why did the followers resort to violence? Were they victims of religious discrimination? Or did they simply get so caught up that they warped the genuinely beneficial wisdom of a rare and valuable mystic?
“Unless meditation is achieved, love remains a misery. Once you have learned how to live alone, once you have learned how to enjoy your simple existence, for no reason at all, then there is a possibility of solving the second, more complicated problem of two persons being together. Only two meditators can live in love – and then love will not be a koan. But then it will not be a relationship, either, in the sense that you understand it. It will be simply a state of love, not a state of relationship.”