I was one of the first Westerners who went to India to meet Bhagwan. Apart from my job as his bodyguard, I also became his personal mannequin, osteopath, photographer and driver, and was in charge of training his guards. At the beginning of the seventies that was a very large income indeed, especially for a man of twenty-three. He informed disciples who were about to leave that henceforward they would have no peace.
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I was one of the first Westerners who went to India to meet Bhagwan. Apart from my job as his bodyguard, I also became his personal mannequin, osteopath, photographer and driver, and was in charge of training his guards. At the beginning of the seventies that was a very large income indeed, especially for a man of twenty-three.
He informed disciples who were about to leave that henceforward they would have no peace. I had reached my destination. Bhagwan advocated the freest of free love as an Important step on the path to enlightenment. Most of his followers were only too happy to give physical expression to his teachings in this respect and, while at the Poona centre, we enjoyed a surfeit of sexual activity. Bhagwan said on many occasions that he hated and despised poverty, In Poona he owned a succession of Mercedes and large American cars, and during his years in America he amassed over ninety Rolls Royces.
The irony was that the Rajneesh movement eventually became as totalitarian. At the same time be offered spirituality, a purpose, a goal, a crusade, so that there was at last a meaning to existence. By following him and adhering to his teachings we could, we were sure, become Enlightened Beings ourselves. During the course of this book I will show through my own experience the many unique qualities that Bhagwan possessed, qualities that inspired such devotion from so many who came into contact with him.
Normally it takes many hard years to attain enlightenment, but here was somebody who told us it could happen instantly. His voice is low, smooth and exceptionally beautiful. I and many others suffered severe malnutrition, continuous and varied tropical diseases and total exhaustion resulting from putting in a backbreaking hundred-hour week. I and about two hundred others had vasectomies or became sterilised in India, and any woman who became pregnant was encouraged to have an abortion or sterilisation, or both.
And what did it become? Totally regimented, alarmingly conformist in its own ranks, militaristic, a mini-empire ruled by a recluse with a penchant for very expensive toys. These are not small attributes, but they do not make him The Blessed One. All things have their season; all things grow, become fruitful, and finally wither away. It is time, I believe, to declare the end of this particular movement.
The hypnotic and psychic powers that Rajneesh once had seem to have deserted him. I left when I saw it was degenerating, and was not the utopia we had desired. This book is my personal story. At the same time it charts the progress of one of the most incredible movements of our time. It was a truly magical feeling. I was overawed, transported, and felt instantly that Bhagwan was inside my mind as nobody else had ever been able to be.
From the moment his delicate brown hands with their perfectly manicured nails touched mine, I knew I was in another world. He radiated a palpable sense of unconditional love which was simply electrifying. I was swept off my feet, enchanted, afloat in a sea of compassion emanating from this wholly original, unique being. I think we can find at least part of the answer in the sexual and social climate of the late s and early s.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, with his doctrine of free love, appeared on the scene when many young people were trying to throw off the constraints of a society they saw as repressive, self-seeking, empty, finished. Freedom of all kinds was in the air; everybody wanted freedom to express themselves, to live life in the way they saw fit, not in the way their parents and grandparents had laid down as correct. Those of us who were young wanted a chance to give free reign to our emotions, not bottle them, to get out of the straitjacket of fear and anxiety.
These reports were not exaggerated. This was necessary to avoid police involvement. This description seemed to refer both to his personal tastes and the content of many of his lectures. He became an arch advocate of the female orgasm, and he talked at great length about the clitoris, its function, and how it should be stimulated. Yes, that did happen. He also had sannyasi couples making love in front of him, nominally to give them advice on how to do it properly, though there was certainly a degree of voyeuristic delight.
To foster his own reputation in those days, Bhagwan had an enormous number of carefully-lit studio photographs taken of himself. These were dramatically staged and lit to give an appearance of spirituality and religious awe. I can well understand how Bhagwan became the School Debating Champion.
His words are like a love song sung 66 specially for you and none other. That is my promise — Rajneesh. The man was a genius in the art of communication. It was evident that our guru had far more of a hold over us than we were willing to acknowledge, or perhaps even to understand. Once you have experienced this feeling, you long to have it again. He had been given instructions to remove privileges, reduce food, free time and days off, and to forbid excursions. He seemed to enjoy making our regime more and more repressive.
He was a natural. Later on, when it became clear how Bhagwan operated, I was to understand exactly what they meant by hypnosis, but for the time being I did not want to admit to any doubts. Therefore I could not establish a bond of relationship with anyone. Whenever my relationship with anyone would begin to become intimate, that death stared at me. Since then, I have been alone. We cannot be so certain about the woman because she has no ejaculation.
She must have an orgasm, but invisible. And this is my observation of many people I have watched dying: that has been one of my hobbies from my childhood. Bhagwan did. When new and more stringent rules were applied, this was merely a sign that you had passed the first trial and were ready to undergo more. Ideally, you should take it all as a compliment. This was the beginning of a new collecting phase. He had already been through pens and gold watches, was now on to cufflinks, and would end with Rolls Royces.
Most people who have spent any time in a religious sect will have tasted this bliss, and it is what keeps them coming back more. Like so many who set themselves up as sexologists, his own sex life left much to be desired. Many of the women Bhagwan slept with told me that far from practising what he preached and making sex last for an hour or more, It was often all over in a couple of minutes. Most of his sexual pleasure seemed to lie in foreplay and voyeurism rather than in active performance.
He also had couples make love in front of him, a definite case of voyeurism. He was very emphatic that he wanted his body kept out of the photographs. He also, especially if things got difficult in one relationship, encouraged frequent changes of partner among ashram members. Admission charges were levied on all who came to the ashram. He had never been married, and he violently disapproved of the institution. The Bhagwan was also adamant on the subject of children, and did not want any couples having children while in the ashram.
As children interfered with the primary allegiance to Bhagwan, most women who became pregnant. In one of the autobiographies you can read about the excitement of twenty thousand people arriving for Celebration Day in I know for certain that the numbers did not exceed three thousand, since I managed the seating arrangements for the occasion. This applied not only to photographs of himself. By he had two white Rolls Royces in Poona, an unheard-of luxury in this land of poverty. If a particular brand of pen took his fancy, he would amass a collection of them, always ordering the most expensive diamond-encrusted ones from the top of the range.
Bhagwan was a real techno-freak, and loved every new piece of gadgetry he could lay his hands on. In this respect he was certainly following his own dictum that the way to transcendence lay through surfeit and overindulgence. This kind of stance flew in the face of established ashram behaviour. He was addicted to it. Now it does not matter whether I am famous or notorious. One thing I am certainly interested in is that everybody should think something about me.
He used to boast that he made life the hell for her, and this was certainly true. Bhagwan left because he wanted to go to America. Bhagwan felt the time was ripe for a massive enlargement of his empire. Sheela, be more intelligent next time. There were only three things that would enable him to stay in his body. One was to have a thousand more sannyasis at the ranch at the earliest opportunity — he felt more comfortable when he has surrounded by his own people.
The second was to plant a forest, and he third was to get him more cars. I took shots of small clear tubes being passed into his nostrils and being held in place by a specially handmade clip. His speech became increasingly slurred and slow. I had recently had a large dose of it myself for genuine dental work, and was aware of its ability to induce a euphoric, trancelike and almost out-of-the-body effect.
He now incorporated nitrous oxide inhalation into daily one or two hour sessions. This had apparently be going on for about six months before I got to hear about it.
I am flying already. That was why he needed thirty-five Rolls Royces — the number grew each week — and the biggest commune in the World.
The Scot who was the sex guru's bodyguard
The popular Netflix series Wild Wild Country documented how the charismatic but controversial Bhagwan Rajneesh relocated from his ashram in India to create a commune for thousands of followers on a 64,acre ranch in in the US State of Oregon. Over a five-year period there were legal confrontations and tensions with residents as well as attempted murder, election rigging, arms smuggling and a mass poisoning that still ranks as the largest bio-terror attack in US history. Image copyright Hugh Milne Image caption Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh inspired great devotion among his followers Hugh Milne, from Edinburgh, spent almost a decade at close quarters with the mystic, who is reckoned to have had 90 Rolls Royces. Over that period, Bagwhan Rajneesh inspired him, slept with his girlfriend and sent him to do hard labour. In the decade that Hugh was with him, Rajneesh presided over the rapid expansion of a movement from "20 followers to 20,". He grew up in Edinburgh, where his family were linked to the Kingston Clinic, founded by his grandfather James C Thomson, who promoted natural treatments such as hydrotherapy. In , after finishing his training as an osteopath, year-old Hugh went to India after hearing the teachings of Bhagwan Rajneesh on audio cassettes.
Bhagwan: The God That Failed
Mountain Girl My way! This is what I will write: some thoughts, some stories, some of myself. The way I see the way of life. It is just me, my views, my opinions, my way of saying, my way of writing. My spirit, my fire, my love and the freedom of being myself. Written by the former bodyguard of Bhagwan, known as Shiva, this testimonial deserves not to be forgotten. Needless to say the uproar this book provoked was not quite objective to the reality.
Hugh Milne, Bhagwan, the god that failed