In 1981 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spent $5.75 million on a remote piece of property in Oregon and invested millions more to build Rajneeshpuram as a spiritual retreat for thousands of his red-frocked followers.
A few years later some of his followers were convicted of infecting salad bars with Salmonella, as well as other crimes: arson, wiretapping, immigration fraud, election fraud and attempted murder.
The state of Oregon has agreed to sell a 480-acre parcel surrounded by the former Rajneesh compound in central Oregon to a Christian youth camp that now owns the defunct commune’s land.
Rajneesh’s legacy is conspicuous today in the verdant hills of northern NSW, Australia, where many of his American and European-born followers have established themselves.
Claims of sham marriages between followers of controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Rajneesh in Australia are being investigated by the federal Government.
Leaders of a sect responsible for the Western world’s first bioterrorism attack have secretly recruited a workforce for a South Pacific island health resort.
A Perth-born follower of the Orange People cult has avoided jail after 20 years on the run as the self-appointed assassin in a plot to kill a US district attorney. Catherine Jane Stork, 60, was sentenced this week to five years’ probation in Oregon after surrendering to US police late last year so that she could visit her dying son in Australia. A former University of Western Australia lecturer, Stork – or Ma Shanti Bhadra, as she was known in the cult of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – was the last of seven followers convicted for the 1985 attempted
Cult case – Catherine Jane Stork receives five years in a plot to murder a federal prosecutor Citing his duty to mete out both justice and mercy, a federal judge Monday sentenced a former member of the Rajneeshee commune to five years’ probation for her role in an aborted 1985 plot to kill the top federal prosecutor in Oregon. “I’m convinced this defendant has seen the error of her ways,” said U.S. District Judge Malcolm Marsh, who has presided over Rajneeshee criminal trials for the past 19 years. Catherine Jane Stork, 60, described by prosecutors as a former top lieutenant
Catherine Jane Stubbs Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Kill U.S. Attorney in Oregon in 1985 WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ — Catherine Jane Stubbs has pleaded guilty to conspiring in 1985 to kill the then-United States Attorney for Oregon, Charles H. Turner, the Department of Justice announced today. At that time, Stubbs, aka Ma Shanti Bhadra, aka Catherine Jane Stork was a member of an international religious cult headed by the late Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Bhagwan) and headquartered on a 64,000 acre commune in Oregon. The guilty plea took place in Portland, Oregon, before U. S. District Judge Malcolm F.
Mill Valley victim was slain in 1990 A woman who was committed to a state mental institution for the brutal 1990 murder of a Mill Valley woman will remain at a locked facility, despite her assertions that her mental illness is in a medicated remission and she would benefit from an outpatient program. Marin Superior Court Judge Stephen Graham ruled yesterday that Friederike Marie Kruse, 56, should remain in Napa State Hospital, where she has thrived in a structured, bucolic setting. Graham questioned recommendations by mental health experts, who evaluated Kruse and said she met the criteria to be placed
AP, Dec. 21, 2002 http://www.cnn.com/ PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — A cult leader of the defunct Rajneesh Ranch in central Oregon pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to murder a U.S. Attorney and was sentenced to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. Phyllis McCarthy, 55, voluntarily flew from South Africa to plead guilty. In an emotional court statement Friday, the former president of the Rajneeshee commune described the cult’s grip as “psychological torture.” But McCarthy said she took personal responsibility for going along with the abortive 1985 plot to murder Charles Turner, who was then Oregon’s U.S. attorney,