The inside story of the arrest and jailing of the controversial, world famous mystic, Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh. What really happened over those twelve days? Picking up the story of her years with
Bhagwan from where her first book (Bhagwan: The Buddha for the Future) ended, Juliet Forman
describes the arrest, imprisonment and attempted murder of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh by the Reagan
This is a vivid portrayal of one man who dared to expose the “hypocrisy called democracy” that is
America. It is he electrifying account of America’s response to a visionary who offered her a
blueprint for a new future. It is the shattering story of a modern day mystic – and his contemporary
What Price Freedom?
“There has never been anyone like him before. It is doubtful whether there will ever be anyone like
him again. Anyone who can turn over two dozen governments against him must have something in him.
One suspects it is intellectual honesty of a rare kind.
“There have been others like him at different times. A Walt Whitman, a Bernard Shaw, a Bertrand
Russell, iconoclasts in their own way and with an abundance of talent. But they, even while they
paid a certain price, knew where to stop. “Rajneesh pulls all stops. He is freedom without end.”
“I have found a better recorder than Ramakrishna has ever found in Vivekananda, or even Socrates has
founding Plato,” said Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh of the author, Juliet Forman, “When we are all gone,
her collections will be remembered for centuries.”
An extraordinary tribute from a master to a disciple who, for most of the last fourteen years, has
been deeply involved in compiling and edition books of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s discourses, which
are now available in over five hundred titles in more than thirty languages around the world.
More recently she has become a chronicler of the amazing events around Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. In
this, her second book, she covers the period of her Master’s imprisonment in the USA and the
attempts on his life – and this time, the disciple has written it down while the Master is still
Aesop’s Fable of the Wolf and the Lamb
A wolf came upon a lamb straying away the flock, but felt some compunction about taking the life of
so helpless a creature without some plausible excuse; so he cast about for a grievance and said
finally, “Last year, sirrah, you grossly insulted me!”
“That is impossible, sir,” bleated the lamb, “for I wasn’t born then.”
“Well,” retorted the wolf, “you feed in my pastures!”
“That cannot be,” replied the lamb, “for I have never yet tasted grass.”
“You drink from my spring then!” continued the wolf.
“Indeed, sir,” said the poor lamb, “I have never yet drunk anything but my mother’s milk.”
“Well, anyhow,” said the wolf, “I’m not going without my dinner!” – and he sprang upon the lamb and
devoured it without further ado.
What you are holding in your hands is not so much a book as a seismographic printout of a
revolutionary quake that shook the heart of the world for twelve days in October – November of 1985.
This was no ground – splitting earthquake; the skyscrapers didn’t tremble and swoon to and fro like
hyperactive prima donnas, the birds didn’t swallow their song and the groundhogs didn’t vanish
twenty – four hours before it was supposed to happen. No. It wasn’t even a mind quake that toppled
the ideological towers of the day like Galileo discovering that the earth was unfortunately no
longer the center of the universe. The twelve momentous days chronicled by this book were a soul
quake that bypassed the body and mind of man and shook the very heart of Western civilization. If
you read this book with an open heart you can feel it still shaking.
This book documents the illegal arrest and kangaroo – court bail trial of the Indian mystic, Bhagwan
Shree Rajneesh, and chronicles the zigzag trail of the days when federal agents manacled him hand
and foot and shunted him in and out of jails across America.
It took three hundred and fifty marshals with automatic weapons to herd one gentle, silent man from
plane to car to prison cell, to holding tank, to waiting room, to plane, to car. A normally six hour
journey was transformed into a one – hundred – and – forty – forty – hour nightmare where the US
government tried to murder Bhagwan three times: first with poisoning in an Oklahoma jail, secondly
through exposure to an inmate with herpes in El Reno Federal Penitentiary and finally by a bomb
attempt in Portland.
The unspeakable crime that warranted this multi – million dollar mass murderer’s treatment was a
minor immigration infraction – which Bhagwan did not even commit – That would normally be penalized
by a fifty dollar fine, if at all. Charles Manson was afforded better treatment than Bhagwan Shree
A soul quake is this thundering echo of two hands clapping – the two hands of truth and hypocrisy.
And, in the past, truth has usually hidden its light under bushels of protective camouflage. For
countless ages, truth has known that even a dim shaft of its light disturbs the religious props, the
witchcraft rituals and the perishable moral make –up of the “little man” of the masses who will try
in every way to stamp out the simple light of intelligence rather than open his eyes.
Men of truth, however, always move alone with the silent grace of a lion, and they whisper the
lightning bolt of their wisdom into the hearts of a few rare rebels. Whenever a man of truth has met
with the masses of hypocrisy it takes no Einstein to realize that the stone has always crushed the
beautiful petals of the flower. So Christ was crucified for denouncing the rabbinical priesthood as
“hypocrites” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” So Socrates was poisoned for “corrupting the youth”
and condemning the academic sophists of the day for the eloquent hypocrisy of their unquestioned
values. So Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was jailed and poisoned for daring to exercise his
constitutionally protected freedom of speech and boldly declaring that American democracy is
It too a thousand years for the eventual consequences of the wisdom of Socrates to prevail over the
tides of political paranoia; it took several hundred years for the vindication of the crucifixion of
Christ to rock the pillars of the Roman Empire; it has taken only three years to expose the criminal
heart of the American government in its murderous treatment of Bhagwan.
It seems that in these last 2,500 years only the outer forms, rituals and masks which veil the
persecution of truth have changed, while the underlying slag of unconsciousness remains the same.
Today’s silencing of freedom and truth is simply commercial disguised and bureaucratized. In the
days of Socrates, the political mafia of Athens could openly sentence him to death for the hideously
vague crime of “corrupting the youth.” Governments prefer not to be so truthfully direct anymore.
In the Ronald Reagan era, bureaucratic hamstringing has become the hemlock of the day. The
Constitution, Bill of Rights and Supreme Court rulings publicly uphold the myth of freedom of
speech, so rebels can no longer be openly assassinated.
The contemporary “outsider” who dares question those who wield the reins of power is now besieged by
the Lilliputian bureaucrats of the three – lettered mafia of the IRS, INS, FDA, FBI and CIA and
quickly and neatly trussed – up on courtroom charges, overdue book fines, income tax faux pas, minor
immigration infractions and generally not dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in the paperwork
jungle of bureaucracy. It’s the no-fuss, no-muss method of gagging the rebel by the new age paper
Bureaucratic assassination works with pure poisoned magic simply because it leaves no fingerprints,
look legal, begets no martyrs and produces the same desired effect. It’s also being used at a rate
nowadays that’s positively frightening. In the eight years of the Reagan administration the number
of American prisoners kept behind bars more than doubled. The old prison system became so cramped
and obsolete beneath this new flood of bureaucratic criminals that the Us government is now renting
prisons from the private sector.
In America today the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list is not made up of Machine – gun Kelly’s, Al Capons of
Baby – faced Nelsons. There are currently two hundred civil rights demonstrators spending time in
jail for taking part in anti – war demonstrations. The most dangerous men for the US government
today are the Wilhelm Reich’s, Arthur Millers, John Lennon’s and Bhagwans.
As Washington lobbyist, Steven Katz, put it, “The only difference between this administration and
the McCarthy era is color TV!” The Reagan Inquisition effectively castrated a host of fundamental
rights, but did it with a multitude of outraged denials – all the while giving eloquent speeches
nobly defending same rights. In Ronald Reagan’s America, the State compelled a six – year – old
Jehovah’s Witness to swear an oath of allegiance to the flag of a people whose Constitution
expressly forbid a government to tell its people what to say or believe.
In Ronald Reagan’s America, childhood classics like Huckleberry Finn and Alice in Wonderland were
ripped off the shelves of public libraries because they were considered too seditious for young
In Ronald Reagan’s America, Charles Darwin was a heretic, Wilhelm Reich was a pornographer, Martin
Luther King was a dangerous insurrectionist and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was one of he most dangerous
These twelve days were a litmus test of America’s hypocrisy, an expose that decisively revealed that
George Orwell’s prophetic and dangerous vision of 1984 as a totalitarian society puppeteered by an
omnipresent “Big Brother” did not come and go with the closing of that year – it came and stayed.
To read this book is to know in your gut that “Big Brother” is still here but his claws are now
meticulously manicured, his snarl of bigotry is cosmetically concealed beneath rah – rah – rah
patriotism and B – movie fanfare for the “world’s greatest democracy,” and his lust for power is
clothed in good ol’ boy common sense and a grandfatherly smile of goodwill. In the late 1980’s “Big
Brother” is definitely here; it’s just that he’s in drag. Totalitarianism has gone Hollywood.
Through this book’s exposure of the myth of democracy, its exposure of institutionalized crime,
Christian fundamentalist hypocrisy and the disappearing mirage of American human rights; through the
hilarious and tragic courtroom farce that turned the constitution on its head, and the mountain of
flowers that were showered upon a small North Carolina jailhouse from the four corners of the
world…floats the while cloud of beauty that is Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
At the center of this cyclone of persecution was the silent grace of an enlightened being who walked
like a could in chains, smiled with the innocence of a child, and spoke with the lightning and
whispered gentleness of those who abide in silence. All in all, perhaps the real story of this book
is the alchemical transformation this extraordinary ordinary man of peace stirred within the hearts
of those he touched, from black Bible- Thumping cellmates to small- town sheriffs.
“I don’t think he’s a danger to society,” drawled Sheriff Kidd after only a few days of keeping
Bhagwan in his jail. “I’m not certain he never taught violence; he never even talked violence in my
presence, nor did one of his people, not a single one of em…Everything he describes and talks about
is beautiful, I thought. I liked him because he was small in stature and big in heart!”
This is a book of inner and outer transformations. It’s a hall of mirrors capturing the thousand and
one images of the American heart and mind on both sides of the prison bars of so – called justice.
In this precious document, Juliet Forman has somehow magically caught the invisible tremor of truth
by the tail, spiced it with laughter an tears and woven it all into a delicious tale of intrigue.
These twelve days were a suspense thriller, a love story, a courtroom comedy – of – errors, a fable
made flesh and blood, a manifesto of political hypocrisy and a revelation of mankind’s vanishing
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