[NOTE: This is a typed tape transcript and has not been edited or published, as of August 1992. It is for reference use only. The interviewer's remarks have been omitted where not relevant to Osho's words.]
INTERVIEW WITH USA TODAY
QUESTION: GOOD EVENING. FIRST OF ALL I'D LIKE TO REQUEST THAT YOU TRY TO KEEP YOUR ANSWERS AS BRIEF AS POSSIBLE.
A: That's perfectly okay. Just remember that your questions are surface and short.
Q: SHEELA HAS SURFACED IN EUROPE AND HAS SPOKEN WITH THE WEST GERMAN PUBLICATION, STERN, AND ALLEGES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT DRUG USE IS RAMPANT HERE ON THE COMMUNE. I'D LIKE TO KNOW, IS THAT TRUE?
A: That is absolutely wrong.
Q: SHE SPEAKS OF A DRUG IN PARTICULAR, CALLED ECSTASY. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A DRUG BY THAT NAME?
Q: SHE ALSO CLAIMS THAT SHE WAS HAVING A PHYSICAL LOVE AFFAIR WITH YOU UP UNTIL THE TIME SHE LEFT.
A: That is absolutely wrong.
Q: AT ANY TIME DURING...?
A: Never. She is just disgusting.
Q: SHE CLAIMS AS WELL THAT THE COMMUNE IS BROKE, THAT ALL THE MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT ON ROLLS ROYCES AND DIAMOND WATCHES.
A: That is absolutely wrong.
Q: WHAT KIND OF SHAPE IS THE COMMUNE IN FINANCIALLY?
A: Perfectly right.
Q: SHE CLAIMS THAT SHE FEARS FOR HER LIFE. SHE THINKS THAT YOU FEEL SHE KNOWS TOO MUCH AND YOU'RE GOING TO TRY TO KILL HER, OBVIOUSLY NOT PERSONALLY, BUT YOU'LL SEND PEOPLE. DOES SHE HAVE ANY GROUNDS TO MAKE THIS CLAIM?
A: She is afraid my people are going to kill her. That's because she has killed so many people, and attempted to kill many more: almost poisoned the water system of a whole city, The Dalles. She is afraid because of her own murders, her own crimes. She cannot give a single evidence that I have ever killed anybody.
And I was in silence for three and a half years, and in isolation. She was in total control of the commune. And if there was drug use, then she is responsible, because this was my instruction, that no drugs should be entered even in the campus of Rancho Rajneesh. I have seen her interview on video; she looks drugged.
And the drug, ecstasy, she is talking about; she must have been taking it. I do not need it: I know the real ecstasy, I am twenty four hours in it. Any drug can only create a hallucination. She is drugged, she is in a paranoia out of her own crimes; otherwise there was no need to escape from here. She had not even the courage to face me. She escaped from here without seeing me.
Q: SHE CLAIMS THAT YOU TAUGHT HER EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS, AND THAT YOU WERE FULLY AWARE OF THE THINGS THAT SHE WAS DOING DURING HER PERIOD OF LEADERSHIP HERE, EVEN DURING YOUR YEARS OF SILENCE.
A: I was only aware of what she was telling to me, not fully aware of what was happening. Now I am becoming aware that she was not telling the whole thing to me.
She was telling only nice things, what she is doing and what is happening. She was not telling the crimes that she was committing. And she has committed every kind of crime.
Q: DO YOU STILL FEEL AS YOU DID A WEEK AGO, THAT IF SHE DID WANT TO COME BACK YOU'D WELCOME HER?
A: Yes, I will welcome her. And I will tell her to confess all her crimes to the court, and we will ask the court that she is sick, psychologically sick. And her punishment should be to be sent to a psychiatric hospital, not to a jail.
Q: WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO MAKE THE ROLLS ROYCE SO MUCH A PART OF YOUR IMAGE?
A: I have not made anything. If my people offer me something with love, I cannot refuse. Although in a subtle way I have refused, because I don't own those Rolls Royces. They are owned by a corporation, a trust, so ultimately they belong to the sannyasins, not to me. Nothing belongs to me.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO DURING AN AVERAGE DAY FROM THE TIME YOU GET UP TILL THE TIME YOU GO TO SLEEP.
A: It is completely busy without business. Six o'clock in the morning I wake up.
Two hours in my bathroom and swimming pool, which I have always loved.
Then my breakfast, and I go to the meeting of the commune, my everyday discourse. By eleven I am back. I take my lunch, go to sleep for two hours.
Then for one and half hour I go driving in the mountains. That is the only time that I have for myself. Back again; two hours to the bathroom and the swimming pool. Then I take my supper.
And straight from the supper table I am here for any interview. Sometimes there is one interview, sometimes two, sometimes three. Now today your interview is one hour; then 8:30 there is a big press conference that will last at least two hours.
Then one hour for my secretary, for day-to-day problems about the commune.
Nearbaout twelve I go to sleep. And the day goes so fast...
Q: WHAT KIND OF DREAMS DO YOU HAVE?
A: I don't dream, because whatever I want to do, I do it. I have never repressed anything in my life; and there is nothing to dream about. The dream is a necessity only if you repress something.
Q: DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH EVENTS GOING ON IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD?
A: No. No, for five years I have not read any newspaper, any magazine, any radio, any television. My sannyasins are my only world.
Q: DO YOU KEEP A STRICT VEGETARIAN DIET?
A: Absolutely vegetarian. And just three thousand calories in the whole day.
Q: HOW IS YOUR HEALTH?
A: My health is better than ever.
Q: I'VE READ THAT BETWEEN THE YEARS OF 1947 AND 1957, WHEN YOU WERE LIVING IN INDIA, YOU MADE IT A PRACTICE TO RUN 16 MILES EVERY DAY. IS THAT TRUE?
A: That's true.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR DOING THIS AND WHY DID YOU STOP?
A: I had then very beautiful health and |I enjoyed my well-being. And that was my only exercise: running, jogging, swimming. You cannot conceive how healthy I was. I was 190 pounds in 1960, and people used to say that I had a body as if it is made of marble. But then I started travelling around the country spreading my word. And that created slowly deterioration of my health: every day changing food, every day catching trains in the middle of the night, getting down the trains in the middle of the night.
Everything got disturbed: my routine, my way of life. And that brought...
otherwise I was never sick. That started bringing strange things. One was an allergy for dust, perhaps the trains; Indian trains are dirty, dusty. Most of them are still running on coal.
Perfume of any kind started troubling, and finally all those allergies culminated into asthma attacks. Then humidity started affecting me, and I had to stop travelling.
It helped, but not perfectly. I wanted to move to a place which was cool, dry, not humid. And that was the reason for me coming to this desert in Oregon. It has suited me perfectly well.
Q: BHAGWAN, THERE'S BEEN SOME CONFUSION IN THE PRESS REGARDING THE QUESTION OF ARE YOU OR ARE YOU NOT CELIBATE?
A: I am not celibate, I have never been celibate. Why there should be confusion in the press?
Q: WELL, BECAUSE I THINK THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN CELIBATE SINCE 21...
A: No. Nobody can be. It is scientifically impossible. Anybody who is creating that kind of confusion does not know anything about physiology, biology, science. He is simply stupid.
Not only I have never been celibate, there has never been a celibate in the whole history of humanity. There have been pretenders, hypocrites. There have been monks who have been really homosexuals. There have been nuns who have been just lesbians.
That's why I call all the religions are responsible for this dangerous disease, AIDS. This is their greatest contribution to human growth.
According to me, celibacy should be declared criminal. All monks should be forced do marry the nuns; otherwise, face life imprisonment.
My whole teaching is: be natural, be simple. Don't go upstream. Just go with the stream, be in a let-go. It is a physical need.
Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ALL THE ATTENTION YOU'VE BEEN GETTING LATELY FROM THE PRESS? HAS THE COMMUNE AND YOURSELF BEEN PORTRAYED FAIRLY, BY AND LARGE?
A: It is almost fair. It cannot be absolutely fair for the simple reason because journalism has not raised itself into an art. It serves the retarded masses, and depends on sensationalism. It is criminal. That's why I say 'almost fair'.
Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE IMAGE THAT MOST OF THE OUTSIDE WORLD HAS OF YOU AS BEING AT BEST AN ECCENTRIC AND AT WORST A PHONEY OR A FAKE?
A: I don't think about the outside world at all.
Q: AS FAR AS THE COMMUNE THEN, DOESN'T YOUR CHOICE OF SHEELA AS THE DAY-TO-DAY LEADER, IN LIGHT OF HER RECENT ACTIONS, REFLECT POORLY ON YOUR CAPABILITY AS A JUDGE OF CHARACTER, AND ULTIMATELY HURT YOUR CREDIBILITY WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS?
A: No. My choice of Sheela was absolutely correct. In the beginning, to create this commune we needed a very pragmatic, practical, strong person. And she is. She was not a criminal when I had chosen her; neither was Judas a murderer when Jesus has accepted him as his disciple.
Something very basic is implied there. There are two possibilities: one is that the future is determined, so that you can know about it, what is going to happen tomorrow. But then all freedom of humanity disappears. Man becomes only a machine, a robot. The other alternative is, future is open. One who is a murderer today my become a saint tomorrow. And one who is a saint today may prove to be a rapist tomorrow. The tomorrow is absolutely open, and there is no way to predict it.
And I believe in freedom. I do not believe in God for the same reason, because if there is God, there is no freedom. He created man; man is just a puppet. He can any moment destroy him, there is no way to change the course.
God is whimsical. What he has been doing before he created man? According the Christianity he created man 4004 years before Jesus Christ. So just 6000 years before the world was created, and what that guy was doing for whole eternity?
He seems to be crazy, nuts. And suddenly he creates the world in six days! And then he creates such a big world in six days, you know you are going to have a mess. And seventh day he retired to rest and since then nothing has been heard about him, he is resting. Now any moment he can wake up and decide to destroy.
I do not believe in any God, because God is against freedom, against human dignity, against democracy, against every value which we have cherished for thousands of years. Only existence without God can be an existence beautiful, free, democratic, loving, growing. But then tomorrow remains unknown. You have to take the risk.
So when I have chosen Sheela, she was just a simple woman. She was just a waitress in a hotel. But because I went into silence, into isolation and she was my only communication with the commune, she got the opportunity of becoming a power. And power corrupts.
Q: BHAGWAN, WHY WERE YOU SILENT FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS?
A: Really I wanted to be silent forever. I had spoken for 30 years. There are at least 400 books of my discourses. It is enough for a man, and I was tired of speaking. It is out of necessity that I have started speaking again, because when I became aware that my silence is being exploited and Sheela and her gang is trying to create out of a meditation commune, a concentration camp, then I had to come out of silence.
She persuaded me not to speak because that may endanger my health. Again, because it is a question of breathing, speaking again I may start having attacks.
But I said that does not matter. If my whole commune is being destroyed, then I want to be in the commune and stop everything that is wrong.
And it was good that in time I was alerted. I would not have been alerted if Sheela has not tried to kill my own physician. She was trying to kill anybody who was a danger to her power; either he should leave or she will kill.
Many left; the chancellor of the university left, the vice-chancellor of the university left -- who have been devoted sannyasins. Many psychotherapists left.
And I was not even informed.
But this case was such that my physician lives with me in my own house. First he was given poison in a cup of coffee. Because he is a physician -- well-educated, has the best qualifications, is a member in England, the youngest member ever, of the Royal Society of Physicians, is a genius mind... he immediately suspected some poison has been given to him.
But nobody will listen to him, because why my physician should be poisoned?
The very idea was inconceivable. And the poison that was given to him was such that it is undetectable. So he went to the medical center, but they could not detect anything so they thought he is simply hallucinating.
Second time he was injected in the hospital while he was recovering from the first poison, and again he felt that it was poison. But nobody will listen to him, because the poison was undetectable.
Third time he was poisoned in a meeting of 10,000 sannyasins listening to me, and one woman came and inserted the needle. Now there are eye-witnesses. He immediately pulled his robe and showed people there was blood, there was mark of the needle. And he refused to go in the medical center here, because that was under one of Sheela's gang, Puja, who was a well-trained nurse.
He was in Bend Hospital. There also doctors said that he had no disease: 'All that we can think of is some kind of poison, but it is undetectable.' Then he started looking into books and found that there are poisons which cannot be detected.
And when Sheela left, we have found in her room literature on poisons, a book in which that same poison which is undetectable is *underlin ed. That is the only poison which is underlined in the whole literature.
So when my physician was poisoned, my caretaker was poisoned, then I thought that it is better I should come out of my silence and be available to my people and see what is happening.
As I came out of my silence, Sheela started going to Europe, to Australia, to Japan; and she will not stay here. And stories started coming to me, and she started making arrangements to escape. She was married here to an American.
She immediately go married to a sannyasin in Switzerland. Now that is a crime; she committed bigamy.
Then they realized that this is not right, so she went to Nepal, a small kingdom in the Himalayas, where in small villages you can bribe a magistrate just a small money and you can get any kind of certificate you want. So she got a backdated divorce certificate. But she was planning for two months, because she was looking for Puja also here for any Swiss sannyasin to marry her.
But all these things came to my knowledge as these people left. When they left, then the whole commune felt free of fear; and now there are so much coming up that it seems Watergate was nothing. She had bugged my own room, my caretaker's room, all possible rooms which she thought may someday be her competitors. She has bugged the room of my old ex-secretary. She has bugged Hasya, who is now the president of the Foundation -- her whole house, six rooms, all bugged.
(Tape side B) And the FBI people were here -- when they were looking in my room, the person who was showing them, they said, "Whoever has done this bugging has done it in a far more sophisticated way that it was done by Nixon."
And they had made all kinds of things like taping machines for every phone.
Every phone was tapped.
Q: IN THE ENTIRE COMMUNE?
A: In the entire commune. Either phones coming from out or phones going out; all were tapped.
Q: WOMEN HOLD APPROXIMATELY 80% OF THE SUPERVISORY ROLES HERE IN THE COMMUNE. I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW WHY.
A: For the simple reason because my feeling is that women have been deprived for thousands of years by men. You don't ask this question when 100% power is in the hands of men. You take it for granted. But you cannot take it for granted if 80% power is in the hands of women. I am simply trying my own way to compensate for all the crime that humanity has done against womanhood.
And I'm also trying to prove that woman can do far better in many areas than men. In many areas, man can do better. So it is not a question of who is superior and who is inferior; it is a question of division of labor.
Both are human and both have potentials and they should be given a chance.
And they are doing perfectly well.
Q: BHAGWAN, YOU'VE SAID IN THE PAST THAT IN YOUR OPINION, SUCH PEOPLE AS MOTHER TERESA -- AND THIS IS QUOTING DIRECTLY FROM YOU -- "SHOULD BE HANGED FOR HER VIEWS ON BIRTH CONTROL." DO YOU STILL FEEL THAT WAY?
A: Still I am right; they should be hanged as many times as possible.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR POLICY AS FAR AS BIRTH CONTROL GOES HERE ON THE COMMUNE?
A: In this commune, in four years, not a single child has arrived. The earth is already too much overpopulated. In Ethiopia people are dying, in India people are dying, everywhere there is starvation. Even in America 30 million people are undernourished. Now, anybody who teaches against birth control is a criminal.
Q: YOU'VE ALSO SAID, QUOTING AGAIN: "THE PEOPLE OF OREGON ARE GETTING VERY DISTURBED AND I'M GETTING GREAT JOY OUT OF IT" -- REFERRING TO THE HOSTILE HISTORY OF RELATIONS BETWEEN THE COMMUNE AND THE STATE. DO YOU STILL FEEL THAT WAY?
A: I enjoy everything. Now I am enjoying to withdraw everything that Sheela's criminal gang has done against Oregonians, of which I was absolutely unaware.
For example, City of Rajneesh will be again Antelope. I have asked my sannyasins who are the government there to change the name back, 'because this is absolutely unnecessary. You have your place; why hurt other people?'
And I have told the press that we are ready to vacate antelope completely, because we have enough houses and we don't need those third-rate 100 year old rotten houses. I don't want my sannyasins to live there like rats; they should be given back to the rates!
Just they have simply to pay back the money that they have taken from them. So antelope will be Antelope again; we are withdrawing our police forces from there. Why we should bother about anybody?
And as they start possessing their land and houses back we will vacate, we don't want. It was Sheela's mind, which became power-oriented, to overtake Antelope and when she succeeded in overtaking Antelope then came the desire to overtake the whole Wasco County, and for which she brought 3,000 street people.
And to me she said that she is bringing these street people just as a humanitarian gesture because we have more money than our needs. So we can spend two, three million very easily without any trouble.
I said, "If it is a humanitarian gesture it is perfectly good." But I was not aware that it is election time, I was not aware that she is bringing them for election. She brought those people here and she imported from outside3 America special drugs, tons of drugs to keep those people drugged, so whatever she says they will do.
And by mistake one man they drugged too much and he died. They simply threw his body out of Rancho Rajneesh. The police found the body but could not find where the man had come, who the man was and how has killed him. Just now I have been discovering from my people that it was Sheela's gang that did all that inhuman acts.
So I am withdrawing everything that she has done against Oregon, I am withdrawing. I don't want any hostility.
Q: BHAGWAN, DO YOU HAVE ANY FOLLOWERS WHO LIVE IN RUSSIA, THE SOVIET UNION?
A: I have many sannyasins there, but they have to live underground. And I don't want to live underground.
Q: CAN YOU TELL ME APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY YOU BELIEVE ARE FOLLOWERS IN THE SOVIET UNION?
A: No, that I cannot say because they are already persecuting 20 people that they have found. So I cannot say the whole number.
Q: IS IT TRUE THAT YOUR FOLLOWERS AROUND THE WORLD BOW TO OREGON EACH MORNING?
A: Certainly! Oregonians should be happy!
Q: DO YOU BELIEVE IN REINCARNATION?
A: I don't believe, I know. It is true. It is not a question of belief, and I don't want anybody to believe in it. I want to experiment with their own past lives, and there are methods available that you can go into your past lives and experience the truth of it.
Q: CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHO YOU WERE AND WHAT YOU DID IN SOME OF YOUR PAST LIVES?
A: That will be simply fiction for you. I(t does not make any sense to anybody. It only makes me certain that there is rebirth, reincarnation; that life continues beyond death. But anything that I say will be just like a fiction.
Q: NONETHELESS I THINK IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW IF THERE WERE A PARTICULAR ROLE OR POSITION THAT YOU DO REMEMBER.
A: No, I was never anybody special: Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte...
Q: DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THAT THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR?
Q: SO YOU'VE CHANGED YOUR VIEWS ON THAT?
A: I have not changed my views. The politicians are preparing for the end, the religions have already prepared for the end. But we are trying to prevent it, and I am hoping against all hope that we will succeed.
Q: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.