Oregon Guru’s Assistants Quit Commune Under Fire

Associated Press

Several officials of this commune city, including the mayor, have departed following allegations made by the commune’s guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spokeswoman said today.

In a lecture about power Sunday, Rajneesh “made some quite specific allegations . . . that are to say the least a shock,” said Ma Prem Isabel, head of the press relations bureau. She declined to elaborate.

She said Rajneesh, 53, has scheduled a news conference for tonight to explain the exodus.

Ma Anand Sheela, the guru’s personal secretary, left Saturday and was on her way to Europe to join her daughter and husband, financier Swami Prem Jayananda. Her departure was followed Sunday by 10 to 15 people, Ma Prem Isabel said. They include Rajneeshpuram Mayor Swami Krishna Deva, Municipal Judge Ma Prem Homa, Rajneesh Investment Corp. President Ma Anand Su, Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune President Ma Yoga Vidya, Rajneesh Medical Corp. President Ma Anand Puja and City Council member Ma Deva Ratka.

“They are going to be doing things on their own,” Ma Prem Isabel said. Those who have left, she said, now are scattered around the globe.


“It is a big lesson for us. We are all looking at what power does to us. . . . People feel shocked and cheated somehow,” she added.