Wild Wild Country, a documentary about a guru sinister commune in 1980 s Oregon, is shocking spectators with tales of poison and paranoia
Anyone who has ever dipped a toe in the pool of new-age mysticism is likely to have come across Osho. The bearded Indian mystic has had his books translated into more than 60 speeches, published by more than 200 publishing houses – you’re likely to find his works next to the crystals and yoga mats in your local hippy shop.
Yet if you go on the Osho website, or are one of the 200,000 people that visit the Osho International Centre in Pune, India each year – you’ll hear nothing about the most eventful segment of their own lives, before he was rebranded as “Osho”, and known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Rajneesh, who died in 1990, was a popular spiritual leader in India, attracting thousands of followers- called sannyasins or” orange people”- to practise free love and take part in his unusual style of meditation: lots of primal calling followed by dancing as if Fatboy Slim had just come on to Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage.
By the 1980 s he was at odds with the governmental forces in India and so decided to buy a ranch in Oregon. The land was largely uninhabitable but he sent his followers ahead to create a utopia. They constructed a giant dam, an airport, an electricity station and a meditation centre that could hold 10,000 people. They called it Rajneeshpuram, and when it was ready, Rajneesh and his adherents relocated to the US.
The cult that formed was as paranoid as scientology, as bizarre as Jonestown, and as controlled as the Manson family. Yet until the release of Wild Wild Country , Netflix’s latest make documentary series directed by brothers Mclain and Chapman Way, it had not entered the culture conversation in the same style as those movements. Now it seems people can talk about little else. The six-part documentary, available to opinion now, scored 100% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes, and received even more glowing endorsements from other filmmakers, including Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning director of Moonlight , who tweeted:” I’m on my second watch of Wild Wild Country . I’ll likely make it through a third .” The cinema has spurred hundreds of articles revisiting the events as other journalists attempt to get in touch with former members or relive their sannyasins experiences.
The tenor of the excitement around the show isn’t just about the intimate footage the directors have unearthed, or the fact they secured in-depth interviews with nearly all the cult’s living leaders. Spectators also seem to be shocked that they didn’t already know this story. Jenn McAllister, a YouTuber with more than three million subscribers, had a typical reaction of those not yet born over the period:” I can’t believe that happened in the US and I never knew up to now .”
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com