The Greek government expelled Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the wandering Indian guru, and he left for Spain early today in his executive jet.
A spokesman at the airport control tower said that five of the guru’s followers also were on the aircraft, a French-made Dassault, when it took off for Madrid.
Spain will be Rajneesh’s fourth stop since he was ousted from the United States in November. He returned to India with a small group of followers, then traveled to Nepal.
“I have been very badly treated. My visa is still valid for another two weeks. Greece is just a fascist country,” he told reporters before departing.
“I thought this was a civilized country, but you are still as barbarian as 2,000 years ago when you sacrificed Socrates,” the white-bearded guru complained.
The self-styled “guru of the rich” was arrested in the seaside resort of Aghios Nicolaos in eastern Crete. He claimed that police smashed windows and threatened to blow up his villa, which is owned by a Greek movie director.
A government spokesman said, without elaboration, that he was being kicked out “for reasons of national interest.”
Metropolitan Dimitris of Petra, Crete’s resident bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, said: “His expulsion is a victory for the people of God and the local church.”
Rajneesh denounced both the government and the church in twice-daily public discourses at the villa, which were attended by about 450 followers and a few local people. He said Greece was ruled by “idiots” and described the church as “Byzantine and rotten.”