The Last Testament Vol 1 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 1 by Osho.
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Christopher Reed
The Guardian, London, England
Good evening. The Guardian in England is a liberal, serious ( as opposed to tabloid ( daily newspaper. I also work for a similar paper in Australia, The Melbourne Age, and a similar paper in Canada called the Global Mail.
I was here three years ago, and I'm absolutely amazed with the difference I find today. Astonishing, absolutely astonishing! So much so that I could hardly recognize any landmarks because everything was so different. Does it give you a lot of joy to see the place flowering, or don't you interest yourself in that?
I am absolutely interested; this place has to become one of the most beautiful places on the earth.
Do you think it will? You have your troubles…?
No troubles.
With the neighbors…?
We enjoy it.
I read in your paper that in your press conference you gave only a one-word answer when asked if you and the neighbors would ever coexist peacefully. You said, “Never.” That's a long time.
That’s true. In the first place, we don’t have any neighbors here. In these 126 square miles, we are alone, an island in itself. In the second place, I don’t believe in any compromise. If they are right, we will mix with them, we will drop our own philosophy of life. And if we are right, then they have to drop their prejudices. But I don’t believe in coexistence, I believe in existence; either we, or they. Coexistence is a political word, and coexistence is simply a cold war. Just to avoid – postpone – real war, politicians go on talking about coexistence. If I love you, we don’t coexist, we exist together. Only enemies coexist. I don’t have any enemies: if they are hostile, that is their problem – we are not hostile toward anybody.
I see you use the word coexistence. It has become political, indeed, but you are saying that you coexist in the sense that you have to live with these people, so you tolerate it; and you're saying that you would rather enjoy living with these people. Do I interpret you correctly?
Tolerance is an ugly word. To tolerate means you have already humiliated the other person, you are already higher, holier, more understanding. The people who talk about tolerance are the most intolerant people. I never tolerate; either I accept, or I simply forget all about the person. Why should I tolerate? He has the right to be himself, I have the right to be myself: there is no need for any tolerance. And they are hostile, we are not hostile. So we enjoy their hostility; that is the only entertainment in this desert.
But it's no longer a desert, as we have seen.
We will change it into an oasis – are changing.
But don't you think that a lot of people would misunderstand what you've said about tolerance, who haven't the benefit of sitting here and thinking it over, and discussing it and exploring the idea? They see it in print, and they have been taught all their lives in democracies, that tolerance is a good thing, that one should tolerate because otherwise the alternative is hostility, possibly leading to violence.
No, that is not the only alternative, they are wrong. Just listen to the sound of the word tolerance: there is hostility in it. Already you have accepted that there is no possibility of friendship, there is no possibility of being together lovingly. Tolerance simply means somehow to live and let them live. It is not a beautiful word, it is certainly ugly. There is no need for tolerance if there is no hostility, it is simply to cover up hostility. We don’t tolerate anybody, because we are not hostile in the first place. For example, Jesus says, “Love your enemies,” but that means first you have to create enemies; otherwise, how are you going to love your enemies?
There are people, though, in the world, that we'll probably never meet who start out life pursuing completely different goals with a totally different attitude, a different set of values from ourselves. Who's to say which is the better set of values? When you say, “Live and let live,” that also means tolerance, and therefore, in order for these two ideas to live and let live with each other, you have to adopt this ugly word tolerance and tolerate each other?
No, I accept their right to be themselves. I am not tolerating; I will criticize them if I feel it is wrong. It is out of compassion and love that I will criticize them, because I am concerned about them. Tolerance simply means: go to hell, we aren’t bothered. There are different sets of values, different ideologies, and I love the freedom for myself, and for them. They may be against me, that does not make any difference. I will fight for their freedom too, just the way I will fight for my freedom. But I will not tolerate, I will criticize them. Either someday they have to accept me, or someday I have to accept them. Tolerance means that we have decided that now there is no possibility of any bridge. So what to do? Just let them be, and you be. I am not…
So that's your use of the word never, then, because you mean infinity?
Infinity – to the very end of infinity, I will not tolerate anybody.
I see… When you mentioned different ideologies you said, ”Don't get institutionalized.” You say you fight that. And, “Don't become an organization, remain an organism.” In other words, you don't approve of institutionalized religion. Then I look at the sign on my hotel wall, and it says “Rajneeshism.” Perhaps it's semantics, but ism would suggest a structure ( an ideology ( which would suggest an organization. So if you have Rajneeshism, you're bound to become organized.
That is simply the poverty of language, there is no other word to replace ism. It is just out of necessity that my people have used that word; otherwise, there is no ism here, no organization here. We are living in an organic unity. But it is always a problem with language: language is old, language is coming from thousands of years, and you have to use that language. An ism needs a certain dogma; we have none. An ism needs a certain discipline; we have none. An ism needs a fanatic approach; we do not have any fanaticism. So it is just a necessary evil that we have to use the word ism. If you can suggest another word, we can change it.
Well, Rajneeshism has been described as a cult. Do you disagree with that?
You do?
Why would you disagree?
Because we are not a cult. Christianity is a cult, Mohammedanism is a cult, Hinduism is a cult. You have to understand my idea about cults. When the master is alive, it is religion; when the master is dead, then it is only a corpse. And that corpse becomes the cult. With Jesus, Christianity was a religion. Jesus gone, now it is just a dead weight over humanity. For two thousand years we have been carrying a corpse. I am still alive, that’s why I say this is religion, not a cult. And I tell my people: the moment I am gone, please disperse. Don’t keep any church behind me. We don’t want any popes, and we don’t want any Vatican, and we don’t want any dead thing to be carried by the coming generations.
I don't see that happening, to be quite honest. I don't see your adherents here ( your disciples, followers, fellows in your community ( I can't see them just dispersing like that, the day after.
That’s up to them; I cannot force them, I can simply say. I never force anything.
So your final wishes will be disobeyed, then?
Yes, if they want to disobey me, they are absolutely free. That’s the difference: I am not a prophet, or a messiah, or a messenger of God. My word is not the authority. They have to think over it and decide on their own and take the responsibility. But nobody can throw the responsibility on me.
Well, you're on record! When you talk about no organization and discipline, I must say, looking around, I see people I thought were chauffeurs, everyone wearing these sort of plum-colored peaked caps. They appeared to be uniforms, in fact, and a lot of people do appear… I don't mean just the choice of colors, but actually wearing identical clothes This would strike me instantly as organization of an extreme kind.
It is not. I have given these red clothes to my people so that I can recognize them and the whole world can recognize them. This is their identity card, all over the body, so there is no need to pull it out of the pocket and tell to people who you are. But it is not an organization, and I don’t think that there is any spirituality in the color red. You can see me: I hate the color red!
[indicating his feet] These socks were given to me!
I hate them! I have put my people in red because that is the only color I will not use.
I take the point. But I meant not the choice of a certain color: these people were wearing identical clothes, the same shirts. They matched, like an army.
If they love to have identical clothes, it is perfectly okay.
Do you think they do? Have you asked them?
I have never asked, that is their business. And if you look closely, they are using different shades of red; that is up to them what they do. And they are using different kinds of clothes, not similar. Yes, there are a few uniformed people that belong to the police department of Oregon. They want them to be in a certain uniform, so we have to put them in a uniform. But they belong to the police force of Oregon; you must have seen their caps and everything.
But they're in red!
Here they have to be red.
Then the police don't mind if they wear red?
Here they have to be red. Even if the governor wants to be the governor of Rajneeshpuram, he will have to be in red. This is just to shock people around the world. And it has proved of great significance. For example, thousands of people have come to me in all these thirty years. Those who became sannyasins, remain somehow related with me. Even if they come after thirty years, I recognize them, I remember them; and they also feel a certain connection with me. Others had also come, had loved me, but never became sannyasins. They are lost in the big world. I cannot recognize them, and I don’t think there is any communion existing between me and them.
This has been immensely helpful. I know where my people are and I know whether they are increasing or decreasing. I know what they are doing, and I know that I can suggest to them. I never order. I can advise; to take it or not to take it is their business. I am happy both ways. And, secondly, my red people around the world have shocked everybody. That is of great importance: the moment you shock somebody, he starts thinking about you, he starts inquiring about you. He becomes curious what is the matter, he starts reading my books.
So many people have come here and become sannyasins, and told me that the first experience was of a shock. But that shock led them to inquire, to read, and finally they ended up here. So this has been of tremendous significance, useful. And it has also made my people strong, because moving in red clothes in society you immediately become the focus, the center: you need some guts to face all kinds of hostility, it creates something like steel in you. My people have been expelled from universities as professors, from schools as teachers, from businesses, simply because they were wearing red clothes.
That's a harsh penalty for wearing red clothes.
But a person who is ready to renounce his job, a good salary in the university, just to be himself, becomes stronger. I don’t want my people to be ignored. Hostility is perfectly okay. Hate I accept, opposition I welcome. Even if they start shooting my people, there is no problem. But I would never like my people to be ignored.
I don't think you'll have to worry about that very much.
Talking about not wearing red, it would be true of course, that by not wearing red everybody looks at you, because you're the only person not wearing red? You did say that you're the great showman, and that would be part of the showmanship, would it?
It's very good! And your robes, they are also part of the showmanship?
Everything is part of my showmanship.
Do you design them yourself, or do you have people…?
My people design everything for me.
Oh, it's not your creation, then? I thought you chose them yourself.
No, no need, because I have so many intelligent people from every profession. We have the best legal experts, we have the best professors, scientists, carpenters, seamstresses, tailors; we have every kind of people. Our commune is absolutely self-sufficient. So I have my seamstresses who design, and they are doing so well that I need not interfere. I love whatsoever they are doing. I have my own jewelers – just look at my watch!
I saw, yes. I've even read about it.
My own people made my watch.
Oh, really?
And these are real stones, remember.
The diamonds?
They are not diamonds, they are real stones!
Glass, cut glass?
But idiots think it is a fake watch: it is real stones, authentic stones. They are fools, they think it is diamonds. Then they start thinking it is a fake watch. It is not a fake watch, it is as authentic, existential, as any diamond can be.
Does it tell the time as well, then?
The best! My people don’t do anything less than the best!
And you wear silk. Is that your preference? When I was here last, you were wearing a more woven, sort of natural-looking fabric.
My people were doing that.
Have you gone up in the world, to silk?
My people were weaving those clothes. I liked them, but then my physicians were not ready for me to use even synthetic wool, because I am allergic.
Oh, sure.
So I had to drop those beautiful dresses, and I had to move to other clothes. So this is my physicians’ change.
Rotten old silk!
Yes, whenever we change, we go higher.
I also read that you don't own your cars, that you are a guest here, in fact; and that… So really, you don't own anything.
I don’t have anything.
It strikes me that it's costing your followers a fortune to keep you in poverty.
That is true, but they enjoy it and they love it. If I refuse it, they will have heart attacks!
All the discussion that has taken place in the media about you and this place and agonized appraisals of the spirituality and the religion and its content, and how religious it is or is not… And you say that you're a showman. It struck me that perhaps people ought to take you at your word.
Every religious master has been a showman, and I have defeated them all.
But why do all the religious masters have to be showmen?
It helps their work, it attracts people to them, and those who come close know that the showmanship is just on the outside. Inside, there is immense work to be done.
Would you like to elaborate on that? Would you explain to me the immense work… You don't mean in a practical way?
That means meditation. That they have to become more conscious, more alert, and finally they have to come to a point where their unconsciousness becomes completely conscious. Sigmund Freud divides consciousness into three layers: consciousness, subconsciousness, unconsciousness. Meditation moves in the same way, from conscious to subconscious: the conscious overwhelms the subconscious and finally it overwhelms the unconscious. If Sigmund Freud was to look into one of my sannyasins, he would be surprised.
Even he, eh?
Yes, because there is no division, there is only single consciousness. There is no shadow, no darkness around. So that is the inner work and showmanship certainly helps. The other religious leaders never said they were showmen, they had no guts to say the truth. Don’t you think Jesus was a showman?
Oh, yeah, miracles.
Yes, miracles and walking on water, and bringing the dead back to life, and proclaiming himself the only begotten son of God. I don’t do any such stupid thing. But all religious leaders of the world have been showmen in different ways. The founder of Jainism, Mahavira, remained naked. Now, that is great showmanship, without clothes… You cannot think that he is a showman, but what is the point of being naked?
He never used any razors, blades. Every year he would pull out his hair, and thousands of people would gather there, tears in their eyes because their leader is pulling out his hair. Every year it was a great congregation of his followers. And what was he doing? Because he said that he would not use any mechanism – even a razor is technology. But he made great showmanship out of pulling out his own hairs. And this needs only a little practice, nothing much; once you have learned it, you can do it. I am the first religious man who is telling you exactly what is the case. I am exposing myself totally; I am not keeping any secret, no private life. All your religious leaders were somehow cheating, exploiting, deceiving.
I would absolutely agree. I personally am an atheist, so this is music to my ears. But you're saying you are the first one who is not?
I believe you, but would you like to explain the validity of the claim?
For example, no religious leader will accept that he is not celibate. All religions require celibacy, and celibacy is impossible – it is scientifically impossible.
Well, that's not quite true, is it, because the original Mormons were polygamous, weren't they? They made a virtue out of many wives and much sex, I presume. So not all religions… Many, but not quite all.
There have been a few religions who made that, too, a virtue, and that was for the same purpose. For example, Mohammed had nine wives. Now that too is showmanship. He allows Mohammedans to have only four. Only the prophet can have nine, he keeps himself special. So what other religions were doing with celibacy, he was doing with the number of women. The basic thing is the same: that he is special, higher, holier than thou.
But you're special too, aren't you?
You're the only man or woman here who enters a building on a path strewn with rose leaves, I thought that was fairly special.
That is their joy. I am not special, I have not asked them. If they don’t put flowers, I will never inquire what happened to the flowers. If they don’t dance, I will not inquire what happened to the dancers. I can dance alone – I just need the camera!
Showmanship, yes!
But I don't see how you can say you're not special in these circumstances.
No, I am not.
You are the only person who doesn't wear red.
Because I am not a sannyasin. I am nobody’s follower.
No, but in this context, that's another special thing, isn't it?
No, it is not. You are here also.
Two of us! Yes, well I am special for some of those same reasons: because I am not a sannyasin, I'm not dressed in red, I'm working.
No, you are not special. Every day journalists are here, you are not special. You are a guest only for one day or two days; I am a guest for a longer time, that is the only difference. I can leave this place any moment. I don’t even live in Rajneeshpuram, in the city, I live outside.
In Wasco County?
In Wasco County.
With all those nice neighbors!
Sure, but you may not actually seek being special, but nevertheless that's the case, isn't it?
I don't see how you can deny that, since an eyewitness would look at the crowd and say, “He's special, He's wearing blue.”
Anybody would get that idea that I am special, but I myself am saying I am not. I am just a guest here, and if they enjoy my being here, I can remain here. I don’t have any belongings, I haven’t had anything for almost thirty years – no bank balance, not a single cent; I don’t have even pockets in my dress. Even if I have to leave this place, somebody will have to arrange a ticket for me, because I don’t have anything. I think – I hope – the American government will do it.
I am reminded of another class of people ( very select ( who don't carry money, like yourself, and that's royalty. The queen never carries money, and that is a mark of being special, because other people have to do it for her, which elevates her in importance, doesn't it? So it makes her special.
They have to do it for her, and she knows she is special, and she has never said that she is not.
They don't have to, do they? I've never gone into it but they wish to do so, presumably.
She is special, she belongs to the royal family, she has the special blood – that is only stupidity and everything that she orders she gets. If it is not given to her there will be problems immediately. For me, there is no question of ordering anybody. I am not of royal blood, because I don’t think that any blood is royal; and she must be special, otherwise who would choose such an ugly woman as a queen?
Oh, absolutely! I know, shocking, shocking, national disgrace, her son as well ( awful.
Yes, he is retarded.
Well he is an upper class Englishman, so he must be.
And that retarded son soon will become your king
I know, I know. It's a shocking thought. There's hope yet; there could be a communist revolution, but probably not likely.
In England, you think, a communist revolution…?
No, I'm afraid not. Karl Marx thought there would be, he thought Germany and Britain would be the places where there would be communist revolution.
Karl Marx proved wrong on all the counts
Right… Another ism. You've said some really critical things about communism. Do you mean communism as the system in the Soviet Union at the moment, or do you mean the communism envisaged by Karl Marx and Engels?
I mean both: Karl Marx, Engels, they were simply bookworms. Karl Marx spent his whole life in the British Museum; he knew nothing about the real humanity, he knew nothing about the mechanics of how evolution goes on. He was only concerned with the British Museum. Before the museum opened, he was standing there, and many times he was carried out of the museum unconscious, because he worked so hard on the books that he was found unconscious and had to be taken in an ambulance.
Maybe he meditated too much, lapsed into the unconscious.
He never meditated for a single moment. If he had meditated for a single moment, communism would have a different quality and flavor to it. He was simply the mind, and meditation is a state of no mind. You don’t go for meditation to the British Museum. He was a scholar, a great scholar, but whatsoever he said did not prove right.
He was thinking that communism would happen in the richest countries, which was a logical conclusion of his philosophy, that where the division between the poor and the rich is bigger, the revolution will happen. And the revolution has happened in Soviet Russia, which he had never dreamed; revolution has happened in China. If he wakes up in his grave, he will not be able to believe what has happened. Soviet Russia was a poor country, China even poorer; his whole idea of class struggle went wrong.
In America, there is no possibility for communism, for the simple reason that most of the Americans are middle class. The super-rich are few, on one hand, and the super-poor are few, on the other hand; and the middle class is never for revolution. The middle class has too much to risk. Revolution is possible only when you have nothing to lose. The middle class has much to lose, and the middle class also has the hope that sooner or later they are going to enter into the higher, the super-rich. They cannot lose that hope by creating a revolution.
I am completely against Karl Marx, for the simple reason that no two human beings are equal: equality is psychologically wrong, physiologically wrong. Every individual is unique and incomparable. I am not saying that somebody is higher and somebody is lower, I am simply saying it is absurd to compare a marigold with a rose flower. It is not that the rose flower is higher and the marigold is poor; they are different. People are so different and unique.
I believe in the individuality of human beings, and I don’t want them to be counted in a class. That makes numbers of them and destroys their individuality: you are the proletariat, then the class is important, you are not. That’s what has happened in Russia. All individuality has been erased, and if anybody tries to be individual, like the man Sakharov, then he is immediately punished. You cannot be individuals – the nation, the society, the Communist Party – you can be a member, but you cannot assert your individuality. Now, Sakharov is one of the best physicists of the contemporary world, and he is suffering in Siberia. And he had not done anything.
Except disagree.
He had just signed a few petitions for other scientists who were suffering, and that was enough to finish the man completely.
With your belief in the individual, the United States would be the place for you, wouldn't it? Because it's almost the national philosophy ( it's been called the cult of the individual… But there are critics who say that it leads to lack of compassion, civic sense, social community in this country.
Compared with starving people in Ethiopia there are few poor, but the government lists thirty million people who are officially poor: who don't have a roof over their heads, the basic needs, three square meals a day. The reason for this has been given as the emphasis on individuality to the point that the community is neglected, hence private wealth and public squalor. Do you accept that, and is it a consequence you are able to live with?
Just wait, you have asked so many things. First, America is a hypocritical country, so whatsoever they say is one thing and the reality is totally different. In the four years being here, I have started believing that Oregon belongs to the Soviet Union, not to America. They are fascists, they are fanatics. They talk about freedom of expression, freedom of the individual, but we are denied everything.
You mean you, here?
Yes, they have been trying to destroy us in every possible way. It is not a democracy; it is only a pretension. Secondly, when the American government recognizes that thirty million people here are poor, you should remember that that is according to the American standard. Those thirty million people in India would not be poor, they would be middle class.
Yes, sure. It's relative.
It is very relative: to be poor in America is far better than to be richer in India.
Well, if I may say, I wouldn't agree: I agree with you that the poor person in America might be rich compared with the peasant in Bangladesh, but the peasant in Bangladesh is not necessarily being exposed every day to incredible riches. Here, it's the constant taunting, the contrast of the two, that makes for a lot of violence and dissatisfaction, does it not?
It is good. It is healthy, because it keeps them going on, bringing their intelligence, their potential. America allows them to struggle for themselves, and the contrast is there so they know people can make it; people have made their mark, and if they are failing they are responsible themselves. In the Soviet Union they will not feel like that, because there is nobody to be compared with. The Soviet Union is a poor country, still. It is not that the poor have disappeared and the poverty has disappeared from Russia. On the contrary, the rich have disappeared, and poverty has been distributed equally, so all are equally poor.
Man has a psychological necessity to have somebody ahead of him; otherwise, he is a lazy animal. If there is nothing to achieve, nobody to compete with, he relaxes into whatsoever situation he is in. Russia will never become rich for the simple reason that the Russians are all poor. They don’t have anybody there whom they would also like to be. In a free society where individuality is respected, it is the individual’s responsibility if he is poor. All opportunities are there for him not to be poor.
What you just said sounds to me very much like the words of a conservative Republican American politician. There's nothing wrong in this, but I'm surprised that, with your emphasis of compassion, humanity, love of individual, you could sound so much like people who are accused of having none of those things.
In fact, it is my compassion and love for them that I am saying it. I would like people to prove themselves. That is part of my compassion; I would like them to struggle and prove their mettle. I would not like them to become numbers, that is out of my love. And I am not a politician, Republican or Democratic, I am not a politician at all. But the poor have to be given a chance to rise.
Opportunities should be made available to the poor, but communism gives no opportunity. It forces equality, which is wrong. In that equality, the people who are genius creators of wealth disappear. Henry Ford cannot be born in Soviet Russia. Even Karl Marx cannot be born in Soviet Russia – impossible! They won’t allow such a man. It is my compassion; it is not my politics, it is my love. And people have the potential, you just have to give them the challenge.
And if the American government is failing with thirty million people, it is not the philosophy of individuality; it is the American government’s stupidity. They should make more opportunities available – and they can, but their whole energy is going into nuclear weapons. In America there is no need for anybody to be poor, but the American government is interested in nuclear weapons. They have another race going on with Soviet Russia which keeps Russia poor, which keeps America’s thirty million poor, and small poor countries also joining in the race out of fear.
This nuclear race is making the whole world a big Ethiopia. I would like the American government to completely stop piling up nuclear weapons. Those thirty million poor will disappear tomorrow. And it is so absurd to go on piling up more and more nuclear weapons, because you have already more than you need. You can destroy humanity seven hundred times, so what more you want?
And you believe, in the quotation from your book, you believe this is inevitable: the way things are going, there will be a holocaust, nuclear style. You gave a date for that between now and… Did you say 1990?
Just by the end of the century, because the way things are going and they go on continuing, at the most they can take fifteen years to reach to the climax and then have an explosion.
I can thoroughly accept your reasoning about the nuclear threat and the inevitability of a holocaust, but did you not also say that there would be cataclysmic events in California, of the kind associated with nature: catastrophes, floods, earthquakes? How do you know this?
That too is not a vision; I am not a visionary. That too is part of my reasoning. For example, in my childhood in India the seasons were absolutely fixed: on a certain day every year for thousands of years the summer has begun, on a certain day the rains have come; it was absolutely fixed, there was no question of change. But after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that changed. Now in India the weather is no longer certain, something great has happened in the atmosphere.
And these explosions go on. They go on trying in the oceans, at the poles, and if these explosions go on, there is a possibility that the eternal snow of the Himalayas may start melting. Even if the Himalayas alone melt, all the oceans will be raised fifty feet. And that is only the Himalayas. If the North Pole and South Pole also join together, and other small mountains follow, which is natural, then cities like Mumbai, Calcutta, Karachi, New York, San Francisco, poor Portland. All will be gone.
In fact, the weather in California has been different, I know through my own experience. In the last three or four years the usual pattern has gone awry. Is that why you selected California as the scene of the worst disasters?
For many reasons: one, California is in the most perverted psychological state in the whole world – more homosexuality, more lesbianism, more AIDS. Perhaps the ocean will not need to destroy them, they will destroy themselves.
It seems I'm getting all my information out of my hotel room; but I saw in my bathroom a notice that said that AIDS will kill two-thirds of the world.
Perhaps more.
I think that's an exaggeration, isn't it? I've never heard anybody say anything approaching that number.
It is not the maximum number, it is the minimum.
Yes, for the simple reason people are not thinking of it, because they are not aware of what AIDS is. They have only heard the name; they don’t see the implications of it and how it can spread like wildfire.
Well, how?
For example: first, wherever there is homosexuality, lesbianism, it is going to spread immediately. One contact with a homosexual is enough for you to get it. Not only that, even kissing a person who has AIDS is enough for the transfer.
Doctors disagree with you. They say absolutely the opposite.
They do!
No, there are doctors who agree. There is no problem in it: your mouth, my mouth, they all carry thousands of cells, living cells, and saliva is one of the things that carries AIDS to your mouth. Kissing should be absolutely prohibited.
Have you mentioned that to…?
I have mentioned it to my people: I have told them to start rubbing noses with each other. And there are a few experts who say that there is even a possibility that AIDS can spread just by breathing. It is not yet established and agreed by all, but the possibility is there; and if AIDS can spread through breathing, then it is impossible to avoid it. No precautions can be taken, unless everybody wears a doctor’s mask. Only Jaina monks do in India; they will be saved. They cover both their face and their nose, for different reasons – they were not aware of AIDS, but they will be saved.
You take a very pessimistic view.
Going back to the idea of cults: there is a psychologist who studied cults in the USA called Dr. Margaret Singer ( she's eminent and has impeccable academic credentials. She says cults have things in common, and some of the things she mentions could apply here.
One of the things is the creation of what she calls “group paranoia,” that it's in the interests of the people who are leading the cult to create the sense of group paranoia, because by doing so they achieve greater loyalty, greater commitment from the faithful. When I see the guns and the search, and I sign five documents as a visitor, and when I hear you on the subject of AIDS and nuclear war… It adds up.
But let me first… Just wait a minute. Let me first finish that impeccable lady. I love ladies, but not impeccable ladies.
But she has devoted many years of her life to the study of religious cults.
She is an idiot if she has spent so much time studying cults. Has she studied Christianity as a cult?
Oh, yes!
Oh, yes, she discusses that.
No, not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Buddhism, not Mohammedanism. In the cults they will study the Hare Krishna movement, Scientology, the Moonies. And remember the criteria they have: for example, if she says that the group has to be in a kind of paranoia, then she should come here and see. Nobody has any paranoia.
Well, I don't object to it, and I agreed before I came, but my luggage has been searched, and a dog has sniffed over my hired car. That doesn't even happen to me when I go to the White House.
That is because we have been persecuted by the Oregon government and the American government; the responsibility is theirs. We don’t like, we hate to search anybody! But what are they trying to do? To send drugs with somebody. They have not been able to find anything against us in four years; now they want to plant something. And once we became aware from very reliable sources that now they are trying to plant something, that they want to bring drugs or other things and plant them here, then we had to start that search.
That is not paranoia, that is simply precaution against idiotic politicians. We have done no harm to anybody, we don’t mean to do any harm to anybody. In fact, I hate anybody searching; it is a humiliation, distrust. I don’t want to distrust anybody, but what to do? They have tried even to bribe my sannyasins. And whatever I am saying to you may reach to them within just a few hours; they have planted their people amongst the sannyasins.
I'll bet there are a couple of FBI people sitting here, right now ( that could be possible, I agree.
So that’s why we had to be cautious; it is such a small commune, they can find anything and destroy it. We will make every effort not to let them do what they want to do. The dog is not searching you; the dog is searching the Attorney General of Oregon, so please don’t feel offended. Those guns are not for you; those guns are for those Oregonians who have been saying that they would like to shoot me, that they would like to destroy, burn the whole commune.
We will do everything; we are not suicidal people, nor do we hanker for any martyrdom. This is not another Jonestown. They forced the Jonestown people to commit suicide; we are not people to commit suicide. We love life, and we will do everything that is possible to prevent their doing any harm to us. Even if we have to invite Soviet Russia for our protection, we are going to do that!
But all the Attorney General of Oregon has done to you, it seems to me, is harass you with lawsuits. He hasn't sent any people with guns, he hasn't shot at you ( the man who blew up the hotel may have been a random madman.
No, he is not mad; because he jumped bail and for one and a half years he has been hiding. Now he has been caught again – he is not mad.
Well, mad people can run away as well as sane people.
No, mad people will not be so intelligent, the way he has been. But I’m not concerned with that, I am concerned with the attorney general and the governor. They had a secret meeting, they did not allow any journalists – they talk about freedom – and the meeting was about us. They did not even allow one of our representatives so that he could present the case from our side. And the governor told the press, “I will give you the information after our meeting.”
And whatsoever he said was an absolute lie, because the confidential secret file has been found: they thought that it had been burned, but it has been found, and it has been shown on television. In the secret file they say that the army should be kept on alert, that the army should be aware that if they are ordered, in three hours they have to reach Rajneeshpuram. And you ask me about these few toy guns that my people have! This man, Governor Atiyeh, told the press conference, “We are trying to cool down the atmosphere. We are trying to get the commune people and the people of Oregon to cool down, not to get too heated.”
This is what he gave to the press conference. And inside the conference, they decide for the army to be ready so they can reach here in three hours’ time. We have now filed a case against the state for conspiracy. Now we have the document – and what have we done, that they think they need the army and the military to reach here? So these few toy guns are just… My people love me and they want to protect me. But you should understand that it is silly – what can you do with these toy guns? In a nuclear age, these toy guns should be given to children to play with.
But I don't see that there's need for such weaponry because the threat hasn't been of that magnitude.
No? You think putting the army on alert and telling them to be ready any moment…?
Well, I don't know that. I haven't read that.
You don’t know that. Your ignorance does not mean that you have to make an opinion: then try to know it before you make an opinion.
I might ask for proof ( the document itself, if it was on a document ( then I would accept it.
Yes, you can see it.
[aside] Perhaps you have the full document? Okay.
But that sounds to me like what they call a contingency plan, isn't it?
Whatsoever they call it… But that means certainly they want to harm us.
Why do they want to do this?
That, you have to ask them.
They deny it. They say that they feel you may have contravened some legal matters, in the opinions of some lawyers.
We are in the courts, and we have won almost fifty percent of the cases. The remaining fifty percent we are going to win; because it is so true, they cannot…
But you don't think that will be the end of the matter, it seems?
They will appeal if they fail here. Or if we fail, we will appeal. It is not going to end easily.
But supposing they exhaust all the legal possibilities to the Supreme Court in Washington, and you win every single case, do you then think that will be the end of it?
Why not?
We will then invite them to drop bombs on us and finish us.
Oh, come on! I know the police did in Philadelphia, so I suppose, it's been done…
That’s what I will do: invite them, and finish it, I don’t have any trouble. But we are not going to leave this place alive. If they want us to leave this place, they will have to destroy it; and with it they will have to destroy their mask of democracy, respect for individuality, the Constitution and freedom of expression. All that will go down the drain with Rajneeshpuram. And it will be a good experiment to do something like Hiroshima; we will enjoy it, we will celebrate it.
I think Dr. Margaret Singer would be very interested in that comment you just made. I accept what you are saying about the suicide, but you do have one thing in common with Reverend Jim Jones. He also said, “We'll ask the Soviets for help, if we need it.” And he was referring to the American government. Does that bother you in any way that you share that same…?
No, he was a Christian, a Christian priest, and he had a congregation of the most retarded black people. There is nothing in common between me and him
Except that appeal to the Soviet Union.
With that appeal I am saying that we are not going to die as easily as they think: we will fight. Although we are such a small community, we will fight in every possible way. If legal ways are finished, then too we will fight; because basically we know we are being true, and they are being fascist. And we are not afraid – remember, they are afraid.
Tell that impeccable lady that we are not living in paranoia. The whole of Oregon is living in paranoia, they are afraid. Journalists have been telling me that people are afraid that we are going to take over Oregon. I said, “Oregon! So small a thing… We will not bother. We would like to take over the whole world.” And our way of taking the whole world is totally different; it is not war. I will just go on spreading my red people around the world, we will take it spiritually.
Well, I'm sorry that you take such a gloomy view of the intentions of the Oregon state government, but I find it difficult to believe that anybody plans the death of you or your followers because that strikes me as hyperbole.
You don’t know what has happened to me in the past, that’s why. Attempts on my life have been made in India: I have been given poison, a knife has been thrown at me before ten thousand sannyasins. It is a miracle that ten thousand sannyasins were eyewitnesses; and because the police got the information that something is coming, they had reached there before the person who was to throw the knife. So there were twenty police-officer eyewitnesses: still we lost the case. Ten thousand eyewitnesses, twenty police officers as eyewitnesses: still we lost the case, because that man was a Hindu chauvinist and the Maharashtra government is a Hindu chauvinist government.
But isn't there a world of difference between someone attempting to murder a political or religious leader ( after all, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated ( and the planned bombing of an entire community such as you have here?
I am saying it; because I don’t go anywhere, it is very difficult to assassinate me. It was easy in India because I was traveling. It is no longer easy to assassinate me. Because that has become impossible for them, that gives the possibility for them to destroy the whole community with me. But we are not afraid of it – that you have to remember.
Oh, I have no doubts about your resolve; it's your reason that bothers me.
Why do you think they hate you so much that they want to murder five thousand people here?
Because I am against all the religions, and, here particularly, against Christianity. I am against all the politicians, because I think the world has suffered for thousands of years because of the politicians. They are the greatest criminals around. I don’t agree with any kind of morality in which they believe; I think it is immoral.
I don’t believe in marriage, I think marriage is an ugly institution which has put the whole humanity in a madhouse. The problem is that I stand for totally different values and they are afraid because they have no argument. We have been inviting the Governor, “Come here. Let us have an open argument.” He would not come: for four years, he would not come.
That strikes me as unreasonable.
We are ready to have an open discussion: with anybody they can find to stand for their values, I am ready to discuss our values. That seems to be the human way to decide a thing. But none of them is ready to come here. They are in a paranoia; they think anybody who comes here is hypnotized. So, be aware!
Shall we change the subject? Or do you wish to go?
I was going to ask you one thing more: I admired your comment on the subject of women and your ardent support of feminism or equality. I see a lot of your people organizing here are women. Is that another of the things they have against you?
That too, certainly, because I am against all that man has done to woman. And in my own way I am trying to do a little compensation.
To someone observing the various views that you have, it is quite a mixture, because some of your views appear conservative, some appear quite radical, others appear reformist-liberal. How are you able to encompass so many things which some people would say disagree with each other? How can you be all those things all at once?
I am not a mediocre thinker. My consciousness is vast enough to contain all, all contradictions, but within me they become complementary to each other. So you can find anything you want in my writings. If you love me, you can find everything that makes your love deeper; if you hate me, you can find everything that makes your hate deeper. I give opportunity to all kinds of people to choose whatever they want to choose; I am vast.
Thank you, I've enjoyed our discussion.
Come again.

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