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You are here You are here: Home Terrace Unconscious Procreation Book of Children The Book of Children

The Book of Children : Supporting the Freedom and Intelligence of a New Generation

The Book of Children : Supporting the Freedom and Intelligence of a New GenerationChildrens Liberation Movement

An exploration of the truthfulness and spontaneity of the child's spirit - the first volume in a new Osho series.

Children have a natural authenticity and freedom, a joyfulness and a playfulness and a natural creativity. By the time they grow up, most of those children have been sacrificed to the gods of "productivity' and good behavior to the extent that only a nostalgia for childhood remains.

As Osho says in this book, "It is the child's experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again - the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty. It is now a faraway echo; it seems as if you have seen it in a dream.' And while each generation may vow, with the best of intentions, not to repeat the mistakes of the past, they inevitably find themselves imposing their own inherited limitations on the new generation to come.

This book calls for a "children's liberation movement" to break through the patterns and create the opportunity for an entirely new way of relating as human beings.

It is a guide for grown-ups in becoming aware of the limitations of their own conditioning as they relate to the children in their lives. And, with that awareness, to be able to know when to nurture and protect and when to get out of the way, so that children can flower into their highest potential and greatest capacity for joy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. The Qualities of the Child

2. Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infancy

3. Conditioning

4. Parenting the New Child

5. Teenagers

6. Education

7. Reconciliation with the Parents

8. Meditation

9. Meditation Techniques

10. Paradise Regained

1 the qualities of the child

It is the child's experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again — the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty. It is now a faraway echo; it seems as if you have seen it in a dream.

But the whole of religion is born out of the haunting childhood experience of wonder, of truth, of beauty, of life in its beautiful dance all around. In the songs of the birds, in the colors of the rainbows, in the fragrance of the flowers the child goes on remembering deep in his being that he has lost a paradise.

It is not a coincidence that all the religions of the world have the idea in parables that once man lived in paradise and somehow, for some reason he has been expelled from that paradise. They are different stories, different parables, but signifying one simple truth: these stories are just a poetic way to say that every man is born in paradise and then loses it. The retarded, the unintelligent completely forget about it.

But the intelligent, the sensitive, the creative go on being haunted by the paradise that they have known once and now only a faint memory, unbelievable, has remained with them. They start searching for it again.

The search for paradise is the search for your childhood again. Of course your body will no more be a child's, but your consciousness can be as pure as the consciousness of the child. This is the whole secret of the mystical path: to make you a child again, innocent, unpolluted by any knowledge, not knowing anything, still aware of everything that surrounds you, with a deep wonder and a sense of a mystery that cannot be demystified.




2 pregnancy, childbirth, infancy

Enlightened persons don't have children; neurotic persons should not have. Just between the two, there is a state of mental health, of nonneurosis: you are neither neurotic nor enlightened, simply healthy. Just in the middle — that is the right time for parenthood, to become a mother or to become a father.

This is the trouble: neurotic persons tend to have many children. Neurotic persons tend, in their neurosis, to create a very occupied space around them. They should not, because that is avoiding. They should face the fact of neurosis and they should go beyond it.

An enlightened person need not have children. He has given the ultimate birth to himself. Now there is no need to give birth to anything else. He has become a father and mother to himself. He has become a womb to himself, and he is reborn.

But between the two, when the neurosis is not there, you meditate, you become a little alert, aware. Your life is not just of darkness. The light is not as penetrating as it is when one becomes a buddha, but a dim candlelight is available. That is the right time to have children, because then you will be able to give something of your awareness to your children. Otherwise, what will you give as a gift to them? You will give your neurosis.






Every child is being enveloped:
■ By the parents, by the society, by the teachers,
   by the priests, by all the vested interests.
■ Enveloped in many layers of conditioning.

He is given a certain religious ideology; it is not
his choice.
■ And whenever somebody is forced with no choice
   of his own you are crippling the person,
   you are destroying his intelligence.
■ You are not giving him a chance to choose,
   you are not allowing him to function intelligently
   — you are managing it in such a way that he will
       function only mechanically.
– Osho, the book of children, chapter 3

From: the book of children, chapter 3

The parents are [not] aware:
■ That they are exploiting the child,
■ That they are imposing a slavery on
   the child,
■ That they are destroying the child,
■ That they are making him stupid,
■ That their whole effort of conditioning
   the child as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan,
   as a Christian, as a Buddhist, is inhuman.

They are not aware of it,
but that does not make any difference as far as the facts are concerned.

■ The child is being conditioned by the parents in ugly ways,
■ And of course the child is helpless: he depends on the parents.
   ■ He cannot rebel, he cannot escape, he cannot protect himself.
   ■ He is absolutely vulnerable; hence he can be easily exploited.

Parental conditioning is the greatest slavery in the world.
■ It has to be completely uprooted, only then will man be able for the first time to be
   really free, truly free, authentically free,
■ Because the child is the father of the man.
   ■ If the child is brought up in a wrong way then the whole of humanity goes wrong.
   ■ The child is the seed: if the seed itself is poisoned and corrupted by well-intentioned
      people, well-wishing people, then there is no hope for a free human individual.

Society is your parents' writ large.
■ Your parents were nothing but agents of
   this society.

It is all a conspiracy:
   ■ The parents,
   ■ The teachers,
   ■ The policeman,
   ■ The magistrate,
   ■ The president — they are all together.

It is all a conspiracy:
■ They are all holding the future of all children.
– Osho, the book of children, chapter 3
What you think you have is not
individuality, it is only personality.
  • It is something cultivated in you, in your nature, by your parents, the society, the priest, the politician, the educators.
  • The educator, from the kindergarten to the university, is in the service of the vested interests, of the establishment.
  • His whole purpose is to destroy every child in such a way, to cripple every child in such a way that he adjusts to the established society.
  • There is a fear. The fear is that if the child is left unconditioned from the very beginning he will be so intelligent, he will be so alert, aware, that his whole lifestyle will be of rebellion.
  • Nobody wants rebels; everybody wants obedient people.

Parents love the obedient child.
■ And remember, the obedient child is almost always the most stupid child.
■ The rebellious child is the intelligent one, but he is not respected or loved.
■ The teachers don't love him, the society does not give him respect; he is condemned.
■ Either he has to compromise with the society or he has to live in a kind of self-guilt.
■ Naturally, he feels that he has not been good to his parents, he has not made them happy.

4 parenting the new child

If you look at the faces of children when they arrive, fresh from the very source of life, you will see a certain presence which cannot be named — unnameable, indefinable.

The child is alive. You cannot define this aliveness but it is there, you can feel it. It is so much there that howsoever blind you are you cannot miss it. It is fresh. You can smell the freshness around a child. That fragrance slowly, slowly disappears. And if unfortunately the child becomes successful — a celebrity, a president, a prime minister, a pope — then the same child stinks. He had come with a tremendous fragrance, immeasurable, indefinable, unnameable. Look into the eyes of a child — you cannot find anything deeper. The eyes of a child are an abyss, there is no bottom to them. Unfortunately, the way society will destroy him, soon his eyes will be only superficial; because of layers and layers of conditioning, that depth, that immense depth will have disappeared long before. And that was his original face.

The child has no thoughts. About what can he think? Thinking needs a past, thinking needs problems. He has no past, he has only future. He has no problems yet, he is without problems. There is no possibility of thinking for him. What can he think? The child is conscious but without thoughts. This is the original face of the child.

Once this was your face too, and although you have forgotten it, it is still there within you, waiting someday to be rediscovered. I am saying rediscovered because you have discovered it many times in your previous lives, and again and again you go on forgetting it.



5 teenagers

Why is the new generation such a problem to the parents?

Because the new generation is more intelligent. Intelligence brings problems. And it is natural that the new generation should be more intelligent. That's how evolution happens. Each new generation is going to be more intelligent than the preceding one. Your children will be more intelligent than you, and your children's children will be more intelligent than your children. It is a momentum, a gathering momentum. You are standing on the shoulders of the buddhas — the whole past is yours. For example, in my being, Buddha is a part, Jesus is a part, Abraham is a part, Krishna is a part, Mohammed is a part . . . in that way Buddha was poorer than me; Jesus was poorer than me. And some future enlightened person will be richer than me because I will be part of his being, but he cannot be part of my being. Evolution goes on gathering momentum.

Each child should be more intelligent than the parents — but that brings trouble, because that is what offends the parents. Parents would like to pretend that they are all-knowing. In the past it was easy to pretend because there was no other way to impart knowledge to the children than by oral communication from the parents. For example, a carpenter's son would learn all that he would ever learn through the father. The father would not only be a father but a teacher also. And the son would always respect and be in awe of him, because the father knew so much — he knew everything about all kinds of trees and wood and this and that, and the son knew nothing. He would have tremendous respect.

Age used to be respected: the older a man was, in the ancient days, the more wise — of course, because of his experiences. But now we have invented better means of communication. The father is no longer the teacher; now the teaching profession is a totally different profession. The child goes to school, but the father had gone to school thirty or forty years before. In these thirty, forty years there has happened a knowledge explosion. The child will learn something that the father is not aware of, and when the child comes home, how can he feel any awe? — because now he knows more than the father, he is more up to date than the father. The father seems to be outmoded.

6 education

What is learning?

Learning is not knowledge. Learning has become too much identified with knowledge — it is just the opposite of knowledge. The more knowledgeable a person is, the less he is capable of learning. Hence children are more capable of learning than grown-ups. And if the grownups also want to remain learners, they have to go on forgetting whatsoever they have learned. Whatsoever has become knowledge in them, they have to go on dying to it. If you collect your knowledge, your inner space becomes too heavy with the past. You accumulate too much garbage.

Learning happens only when there is spaciousness. The child has that spaciousness, innocence. The beauty of the child is that he functions from the state of not-knowing. That is the fundamental secret of learning: functioning from the state of not-knowing. Watch, see, observe, but never form a conclusion. If you have already arrived at a conclusion, learning stops. If you already know, what is there to learn?

Never function from the ready-made answer that you have arrived at from the scriptures, universities, teachers, parents, or maybe your own experience. All that you have known has to be discarded in favor of learning. Then you will go on growing; then there is no end to growth. Then a person remains childlike, innocent, full of wonder and awe to the very end. Even when he is dying he continues learning. He learns life, he learns death. And the person who has learned life and learned death goes beyond both; he moves to the transcendental.

Learning is receptivity, learning is vulnerability. Learning is openness, open-endedness.


7 reconciliation with the parents

Every child would be angry if he understood what the poor parents have been doing to him unknowingly, unconsciously. All their efforts are for the good of the child. Their intentions are good but their consciousness is nil. And good intentions in the hands of unconscious people are dangerous; they cannot bring about the result they are intending. They may create just the opposite.

Every parent is trying to bring a beautiful child into the world, but looking at the world it seems it is an orphanage. There has been no parent at all. In fact if it were an orphanage, it would have been far better, because you would at least have been yourself — no parents to interfere with you.

So the anger is natural, but useless. To be angry does not help your parents and it harms you.

Gautam Buddha is reported to have made a very strange statement: In your anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault. It looks very strange the first time you come across the statement that in anger you punish yourself for somebody else's fault.

Your parents have done something twenty years back, thirty years back, and you are angry now. Your anger is not going to help anyone; it is simply going to create more wounds in you. I am trying to explain to you the whole mechanism of how children are being brought up. You should become more understanding that whatever has happened had to happen. Your parents were conditioned by their parents. You cannot find out who was really responsible to begin with. It has been passed from generation to generation.

Your parents are doing exactly what has been done to them. They have been victims. You will feel compassion for them and you will feel joyous that you are not going to repeat the same thing in your life. If you decide to have children you will feel joyous that you are going to break the vicious circle, that you can become the dead end. You will not do it to your children or to any other person's children.

8 meditation

9 meditation techniques

Under Construction


10 paradise regained

This great experiment through which you are passing here is basically to achieve your lost childhood again.

When I say "your lost childhood," I mean your innocence, your eyes full of wonder, knowing nothing, having nothing, but yet feeling yourself at the top of the world. Those golden moments of wonder, joy, no tension, no worry, no anxiety, have to be regained, rediscovered.

Of course the second childhood is far more valuable and significant than the first. In the first the innocence was there because of ignorance, so it was not pure and clear and in your possession; it was just a natural thing that happens to every childhood. The second childhood is your greatest achievement — it does not happen to all. The second childhood makes you innocent without ignorance, the second childhood comes through all kinds of experiences. It is mature, centered, ripe.

You should be blessed that you are feeling like that. The second childhood is just exactly the existential meaning of meditation, and from there on is the great pilgrimage of coming back home — which you have never really left, which is impossible to leave, because it is you. Wherever you will go, you will find yourself there.

There is only one essential being in you which will be everywhere with you, without any condition. Even if you are in hell it doesn't matter, it will be with you; if you are in heaven it doesn't matter, it will be with you.

To find that essential core of your being is on the one hand utter innocence, and on the other hand is the greatest wisdom that has ever existed on the earth.

So your body may be becoming old, but if you are learning ways of being silent and peaceful and meditative and loving, you will not grow old. You will remain as young and as fresh as early morning dewdrops shining in the beautiful sunrise, looking far more precious than any pearls.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)
Birth Name: Chandra Mohan Jain
Born: 11 December 1931 Kuchwada village, Bhopal State, British India (Now Madhya Pradesh, India)
Died: 19 January 1990 (aged 58) Pune, Maharashtra, India
Nationality: Indian
Field: Spirituality
Training: Dr. Hari Singh Gour University
Movement: Jivan Jagruti Andolan; Neo-sannyas
Works: Over 600 books, several thousand audio and video discourses
Influenced by: Zen Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Bodhidharma, Krishna, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, Nagarjuna, Patanjali, Gorakhnath, Adi Shankara, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Meera, Ramakrishna, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Vedanta, Samkhya, Tantra, Sufism, Western mysticism, G. I. Gurdjieff, Human Potential Movement

1 Biography

Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru and spiritual teacher who had an international following.

A professor of philosophy, he travelled throughout India during the 1960s as a public speaker. His outspoken criticism of socialism, Mahatma Gandhi and institutionalised religion made him controversial. He advocated a more-open attitude towards sexuality, a stance which earned him the sobriquet of "sex guru" in the Indian and (later) international press.[5] In 1970 Rajneesh settled for a time in Bombay, initiating disciples (known as neo-sannyasins) and assuming the role of spiritual teacher. In his discourses he reinterpreted the writings of religious traditions, mystics and philosophers from around the world. Moving to Poona in 1974, he established an ashram which attracted a growing number of Westerners. The ashram offered therapies derived from the Human Potential Movement to its Western audience and made news in India and abroad, chiefly because of its permissive climate and Rajneesh's provocative lectures. By the late 1970s, there were mounting tensions with the Indian government and the surrounding society.

In mid-1981, Rajneesh relocated to the United States; his followers established an intentional community (later known as Rajneeshpuram) in Oregon. Within a year the commune's leadership became embroiled in conflicts with local residents (primarily over land use), which were marked by hostility from both sides. The large number of Rolls-Royce cars purchased for Rajneesh's use by his followers also attracted criticism. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Rajneesh revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles.[6] He was arrested shortly afterwards, and charged with immigration violations. Rajneesh was deported from the United States in accordance with a plea bargain.[7][8][9] Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Rajneesh to travel the world before returning to Poona (where he died in 1990). Osho's ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity and humour: qualities which he viewed as suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialisation. Osho's teachings have had a notable impact on Western New Age thought,[10][11] and their popularity has increased since his death.[12][13]

2 Teachings



3 Appraisal



4 Selected works



5 See also



6 Notes



7 Citations



8 Bibliography



9 External links









  This page is under construction   

Jane Stork writes of high cost of Rajneesh's free love

From: Cult Awareness and Information Centre

. . .

Stork was introduced to the teachings of the Bhagwan through a psychologist she was seeing because of personal and marital problems.

The psychologist worked in the public health system but had just returned from Pune, India, where the Bhagwan had established an ashram.

"I didn't even notice that (he) was wearing a long orange robe and had a string of beads around his neck," she writes.

Going to Pune

The psychologist became her mentor, and in 1978 Stork followed his footsteps, and those of many other Australians, to Pune. She was later joined by her husband and two children — Peter, 10, and Kylie, aged 8.

Stork says she was attracted to the Bhagwan as a reaction to the guilt of her Catholic upbringing and because of the lack of rules and regulations in his teachings.

But she soon discovered that the ashram wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Stork felt uncomfortable with many aspects of life there, including the group sex and partner swapping, as well as deliberate moves to fragment families and drive a wedge between husbands and wives, parents and children.

Around 87 per cent of residents had a sexually transmitted disease and women who became pregnant were told by the Bhagwan to abort and sterilise, Stork says. Stork and her teenage daughter were both sterilised.

"Women would write (to the Bhagwan) saying 'I'm pregnant. what should I do?'

"And he would always say 'abort and sterilise'," she says.

"He used to speak so lovingly about children, yet behind the scenes everybody's getting sterilised. There were no children born in the ashram."

Rajneeshees in Oregon: The Untold Story

raj oregonian cover-smFrom: The Oregonian, on April 14, 2011

The tale is stranger than fiction. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru from India, gathered 2,000 followers at a remote Eastern Oregon ranch.

Arriving in search of enlightenment, the Rajneeshees became a political and social force that collided with traditional Oregon. Ultimately, the conflict led to attempted murder, global manhunts and prison time.

Twenty-five years later, long-secret government files and now-talkative participants make it clear that things were far worse at Rancho Rajneesh than many realized.


The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil

From: Tin House Magazine


book-01 raj coverIn India, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh incited his followers to unrestrained sexual license and encouraged them to engage in prostitution and drugsmuggling to feed his endless appetite for money.

  • In Oregon, followers toiled day and night to build his fanciful city of Rajneeshpuram, while he lived in luxury and flaunted his wealth with an ever-growing fleet of Rolls Royces.
  • When the legitimacy of the city was challenged in court, members of his cult launched the first campaign of bio-terrorism in U.S. history.
  • While in a secret laboratory on Rancho Rajneesh, a deranged nurse attempted to create a live AIDS virus.
  • Here is the whole frightening story from beginning to end, told in real time dispatches from reporters on the ground.

About the Editor

Win McCormack is currently publisher and editor in chief of Tin House magazine. He has written on political issues for a variety of publications, including The Nation. From 1983 to 1986 he wrote a monthly column called Rajneesh Watch for Oregon Magazine, of which he was then editor in chief. The columns won the magazine a William Allen White Commendation for investigative reporting.


“Win McCormack has put a penetrating spotlight on Indian guru Bhagwan Rajneesh and his bizarre and very dangerous cult. An utterly fascinating work.”
—Vincent Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter

“Dense with facts, and meticulous in its explanation of cult psychology, The Rajneesh Chronicles will turn your knuckles white as you grip it.”—Willamette Week

Excerpts - 1

Bhagwan’s Child Rearing
Ex residents of Rancho Rajneesh make some shocking allegations
Win McCormack and Bill Driver

“I’m a child-protective social worker,” explains a formerdisciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a woman who holds a BA in psychology and a master’s in social work. She told Oregon Magazine a year and a half ago that “from a sociological point of view, in my opinion, there’s a tremendous amount of child neglect going on there at Rajneeshpuram. The children are discouraged from living with their parents. They have one of the lowest priorities of any con cern. They’re given very little attention.

“Most of the twelve‑, thirteen‑, and fourteen‑year‑old girls at the ranch were having sexual relationships,” the social worker also claimed. “It was a common thing.”

Over the past year and a half, most of the sources consulted by Oregon Magazine on this subject have corroborated both the social worker’s specific allegations and her general contentions about the up bringing of children at Rajneeshpuram. Some of the sources we con sulted, however, have challenged her position and hold a favorable view of the condition of the children at Rajneesh’s central Oregon commune.

Although many of our sources have made allegations about children in other Rajneesh communities, this article will be mainly confined to child‑rearing practices at Rancho Rajneesh since July 1981, when the commune was established.

According to a 1983 report by the Concerned Christian Growth Ministries of Australia, an Australian visitor to Rancho Rajneesh in 1982 alleged: “The ranch house has been converted to the children’s house and schoolroom. Children do not have to live with their parents; they belong to the community, and pride is exuded in the ‘modern’ approach used in their upbringing. Some children were running around naked in the schoolhouse, and it is not unusual for boys and girls to sleep together. Children are encouraged to experiment sexual ly with one another, and one sannyasin said children often watch their parents’ sexual involvement—‘in private, of course.”’

A teenage girl who lived at Rajneeshpuram from the ages of eleven to thirteen said in an interview that her female contemporaries there frequently had sexual relationships with older men. She claimed she knew girls at the ranch as young as ten who had had sexual relation ships with adult men. The girl also told us that children at the ranch had to work, “the same as adults.” She claimed she knew one four-year‑old who worked carrying messages around the ranch.

Allegations made to Oregon Magazine by street people who lived at Rajneeshpuram last fall during the Share‑A‑Home program are consistent with the statements of these other former commune resi dents. One street person said he saw children at the ranch “running around kissing and hugging. There wasn’t anybody around. I thought they should be in school, but I always seen them on the street.” Another said he saw Rajneesh children “feeling on each other, kissing on each other,” and fondling each other’s genital areas He said: “They roam free, they can do what they want. . . . There was one thirteen‑year‑old girl that was going with a forty‑five‑year‑old guy. He said he did [sexual] things with her with her parents right there. They call it ‘open love.”’

Another street person interviewed by Oregon Magazine after he left Rajneeshpuram said he witnessed a boy and girl, three and four years old, with their genitals exposed, simulating sexual intercourse. He said the girl’s mother was present while this was happening, and that she said: “It’s OK, that’s how you have fun.” Still another street person claimed that he saw a man “sexually molesting” a ten‑year‑old girl on a crowd ed bus at Rancho Rajneesh.

“I didn’t like what I seen,” he said, “and the woman I was with [a Rajneeshee] didn’t like it either. She finally went over there and told the girl to sit with us. Nobody else said a word.”

Some sources have reported that they witnessed physical neglect of children at Rancho Rajneesh. Two adults who lived there said they saw young children running around outdoors during the winter with out adequate clothing. One said she saw a completely naked four-year‑old girl playing outside in December. The other described the fate of a boy about two years old at the ranch:

“The first accident he had was when he fell down a stairway and really banged himself up badly. The next I can remember, he was run over by a pickup. The poor little thing, one side of his face was nothing but blood and pus and swollen and bruised. It was terrible. The only thing that saved him was the mud was so deep. He was out there amid the machinery all the time. It’s a wonder he didn’t get killed.”

Former disciple Susan Harfouche has described in print (“Memoirs of an Ex-Sannyasin,” Oregon Magazine, December 1983) a “little two‑year‑old baby I used to see wandering around the ranch by itself; bewildered big eyes, fingers in mouth, no smile, dirty, neglected.”

A 1982 report by Fred Kaatz, then manager of agency licensing for the Oregon Children’s Services Division, found the condition of chil dren at Rancho Rajneesh to be far better than the above descriptions suggest. Kaatz (who according to his report spent “several hours” at the ranch, “mostly in the company of from one to five leaders of the commune”) stated flatly: “I saw no evidence of what I considered abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children.” Kaatz did learn that chil dren as young as five were living apart from their parents at the ranch, but said in his report that this was by the children’s own choice.

University of Oregon psychology professors Norman Sundberg and Richard Littman, who are conducting an ongoing study of children at Rajneeshpuram, provisionally have reached similar, positive conclusions. Littman and Sundberg, who have not yet published their findings, administered a well‑accepted personality inventory test to children at the ranch. According to Littman, the results show the chil dren to be “better adjusted” and to have a “higher sense of themselves morally and intellectually” than is average for other American chil dren who have taken the test. He and Sundberg have formed “very favorable” personal impressions of the Rajneesh children’s emo tional and intellectual well‑being. They have not attempted to gather any data concerning possible sexual involvement by children at the commune.

A mother who recently returned from the ranch told Oregon Magazine that she found her daughter, who has lived with her sannyasin father in Raj neesh’s commune for seven years, in both India and Oregon, to be “really a very normal thirteen year old. She seemed vital, and definitely had her wits about her.” However, the mother complained that her daughter’s living quarters were off limits to her during her visit. She also said that her daughter, who was enrolled in the commune’s School without Walls program, was working as a scheduler at one of Rajneeshpuram’s restaurants while she was there.

In March, the Rajneesh School District temporarily lost its state basic school support when State Superintendent Verne Dun can concluded that the “school without walls” benefits a religious organization. The program, which involved students in hands‑on learning at various corporations at Rancho Rajneesh, was abandoned after Duncan’s ruling. Basic school support was reinstituted after the Rajneeshpuram School District decided to drop the hands‑on learning program and resume traditional classroom teaching.

What is the truth about the treatment and condition of children at Rajneeshpuram? Commune officials have a stated policy of refusing to answer Oregon Magazine’s questions. But some clues might be found in Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s publicly expressed attitudes about children and child rearing in general.

Rajneesh has long opposed childbearing by his followers, arguing that children consume so much of their parents’ energy that having them would impede his disciples’ quest for enlightenment. As a result, followers who become pregnant routinely have abortions, and many reportedly have been sterilized (see “Bhagwan’s Strange Eugenics”). Rajneesh’s attitude toward children seems to pervade all his commu nities. Sally Belfrage, an English writer who studied at his ashram in Pune (Poona), India, wrote: “Children are considered so objectionable that you can hardly believe that everybody was once one.”

Reportedly, most, if not all, of the approximately fifty children liv ing at Rajneeshpuram (out of a fluctuating total population of about 2,000) were born before their parents became disciples of Rajneesh. Regarding such children, Rajneesh has said: “The children will not belong to the parents but to the commune. Once children no longer belong to people, they will be more human.” His general child‑rearing principle is “Leave the children alone,” and he has suggested in lec tures that the younger the age at which people become sexually knowl edgeable, the sooner they will be able to overcome the sexual repress iveness of society.

In one discourse, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh waxed eloquent: “Let the children see, play, enjoy. While their parents are making love, let them be there. Let them be part of it, let them watch. . . . Let the children know. Let the children know many people loving. They will become more rich.”

Jim Phillips, a father who filed suit in San Mateo County, California, in 1983to prevent his ex‑wife from taking their then nine‑year‑old son to live at Rancho Rajneesh, comes down on the harsh side of the de bate about life for children there. The judge in the case initially ruled that the Rajneesh mother could take the boy to the ranch for a four week trial period. At the end of the four weeks, the judge seemed inclined to extend the time limit of the boy’s stay. After a private conference with the boy in his chambers about the boy’s experiences in Oregon, however, the judge suddenly changed his mind and ruled that the child could not visit “any Rajneesh ashram or ranch or any place under the control of the Rajneesh Foundation” for longer than forty‑eight hours at a time. The judge said in his ruling: “The lifestyle of the mother at the ranch is totally controlled by the Rajneesh group and is totally alien to the lifestyle of the minor when he is with his father.”

Says Phillips: “I looked at the judge’s face when he came out [from talking to his son], and I knew that he finally understood what’s really going on up there at that ranch--that it’s a kiddie‑land for adults, and the children are getting screwed over.”
Oregon Magazine, May 1985

Excerpts - 2

Bhagwan’s Power: The Human Potential Movement Gone Awry
Evil outside the limits of the human imagination
Win McCormack

“It’s an amazing phenomenon,” says Sarah T. (a pseudonym), a former disciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. She is referring to the movement she left a few years ago when she became exhausted and ill from overwork. “And I think people still don’t get that what’s happen ing up there [at Rajneeshpuram] is very, very powerful—more so than they’re giving it credit for being, even at this point. Because every person who’s a sannyasin, every person who’s up there in Oregon--particularly now—is a very different kind of human being than you meet out here [in the secular world].

“They have extraordinary gifts as people. They have extraordinary personal power. They have extraordinary capabilities and abilities, because they’ve learned to go beyond all limits.”

Sarah, a therapist whose professional discipline falls generally un der the rubrics of the closely connected humanistic psychology and human potential movements, first became interested in Rajneesh when she read a book of his collected discourses called The Book of the Secrets.In those discourses, originally delivered in Bombay in the early seventies, before the establishment of the ashram in Pune (Poona), India, Rajneesh drew parallels between the theories of the humanistic psychology and human potential movements and his interpretation of the Eastern sexual philosophy and practice of Tantra, which all share the theme of liberation from the emotional and sexual repressiveness of society. Sarah says that after reading the book she was “gone--right away I started having mystical experiences.”

“I had the feeling,” she remembers, “that this is what I had been looking for my whole life. And that I had come to the end of my jour ney. That this was it. Reading the book was like having somebody express my innermost feelings.”

The academic humanistic psychology movement, launched in 1961 by, among others, psychologist Abraham Maslow, sought to forge an alternative to the two dominant trends in contemporary psychology: Freudian psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Maslow believed that too much attention had been devoted in traditional psychology to patho logical behavior, and not enough to healthy individuals who were able to “actualize themselves” and to attain and live from what he called “peak experiences.” In 1962, the Esalen Institute was established in Big Sur, California, to offer experiential workshops designed to help people realize their “human potential” (the phrase comes originally from Aldous Huxley, an early ally and inspirer of Esalen). Human potential theorists, seeking ways to counteract what they saw as peo ple’s harsh psychological and social conditioning, found parallels among the emotional opening‑up process of Western cathartic psychotherapies, the peak experiences described and advocated by Maslow, and the altered states of consciousness produced by Eastern methods of meditation (and also by psychedelic drugs). The union of Western psychology and Eastern religion became one of the human potential movement’s goals.

Rajneesh, in the words of one observer—social worker and cult expert Hilly Zeitlin—“picked up all the pieces of the human potential movement.” Rajneesh’s juxtaposition of avant‑garde Western thera pies, such as primal, gestalt, and encounter, with such classic Eastern meditations as kundalini yoga and zazen lured hundreds of thousands of Western disciples to his ashram in Pune in the 1970s. After reading The Book of Secrets,Sarah’s next step was to attend a “Let‑Go” weekend at a local Rajneesh center. The workshop involved participa tion in massages, therapy games, encounter groups, and meditations from 5:00 a.m. until midnight. The effect of the Let‑Go weekend on Sarah was even more profound than her reaction to Rajneesh’s written word had been.

“I stopped thinking,” she says. “I was driving back home and there were all these twinkly little white lights on the windshield. I was seeing things. I don’t know even now what was going on.” Not long after ward, Sarah was on a plane to Pune.

Rajneesh and his group leaders in Pune took the various cathartic therapy and meditation techniques associated with the human poten tial movement far beyond their usual limits of duration and intensity. Groups in which participants did deep, strenuous, yoga‑style breath ing exercises--exercises that can overoxygenate the brain and cause dizziness and nausea--would last for hours a day over several days. The ashram’s therapy groups became notorious for episodes of emo tional, physical, and sexual violence. Sarah reports that she suffered physical injuries, including two cracked ribs and a concussion, in an encounter‑type group in Pune.

“You see,” reflects Sarah in retrospect, “some people like to be on the edge. It’s much more exciting than the monotony of everyday life. It’s like a drug. It’s a high. And you think that you’re moving forward. These people really believe that this is Jesus Christ up there, OK? That is the beginning. And he’s providing them with experiences, with situations that are taking them past anything they’ve experienced in their lives previously. There’s a rush to that, that I’ve never found anything to equal. It’s like playing a game of death—your death.”

One of the criticisms of the human potential movement has been about its tendency to overemphasize the human potential for good and to underplay the evil, or dark side, of human nature. The word evil has also been used by observers to express their feelings about the motivations of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

In her 1983 book, Miles from Nowhere, A Round‑the‑World Bicycle Adventure,writer Barbara Savage describes her experience of visiting Rajneesh’s ashram in Pune and hearing him denounce Mother There sa, who had just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her charita ble ministrations to the poor of Calcutta. Rajneesh called her a “sexual pervert who gets her sexual satisfaction from touching lepers.” Sav age says that she stood up in the audience to protest Rajneesh’s tirade against Mother Theresa, but that “one of Neesh’s strongmen grabbed me and literally threw me back down on the floor. After that,” she writes, “I was too frightened to move.

“I sat there and watched and listened to the man rave on,” Savage continues, “and I was suddenly overwhelmed by a great sense of evil. I mean that. I truly felt as if I was surrounded by this massive evil force. I tell you, Rajneesh was emanating evil. I was terrified beyond words. When the meeting was over, I fled.”

Nathaniel Branden, a well‑known humanistic psychologist in Los Angeles, had a similar reaction to some of Rajneesh’s published dis courses, particularly certain passages in The Mustard Seed. In an October 2, 1978, letter to a friend at Rajneesh’s ashram, Branden wrote that Rajneesh “explains and justifies the slaughter of millions of Jews throughout history on the grounds that the Jews killed Jesus.”

“Since I first began listening to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s cassette tapes, and reading his books,” Branden told his sannyasin friend, “I have been fascinated. Among all the Indian thinkers I have read, he strikes me as clearly the most brilliant. At the same time, almost from the beginning, I have had the growing feeling that this is a man who is deeply, deeply, deeply evil—evil on a scale that is almost outside the limits of the human imagination.

“The greater a man’s brilliance, the greater number of truths he has insight to,” Branden concluded, “the more dangerously destructive that man has the power to be—if his core is evil.”
Oregon Magazine, August 1985






















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the book of children

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the book of children - Chapter 3

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