In the 60s and 70s a sense of change was in the air. For many it was social change, for others it was spiritual. And for a large number of devotees of the spiritual guru Osho, it was an all out battle to build an entirely new community from scratch, in the desolate wilderness of Oregon. Netflix’s documentary Wild Wild Country takes you inside the continually escalating drama that developed in the 80s when Osho brought his Eastern mysticism fueled cult like spiritual community thingamajig and settled next door to a rural conservative Christian community in Oregon. The result was an all about battle for land and ideals.
If you grew up in the 80s you may have heard some of the wise and catchy sayings of Osho, the self-proclaimed rich man’s guru. His calm, magnetic personality attracted many affluent devoted followers who were more than ready to discard the trappings of modern Western materialism. These devotees dove headlong into an mashup of meditation, strange therapies and free love. This freaked out the neighbors next door.
Immediately Eastern mysticism/sexual revolution/strange shit clashed with quiet/rural/conservative members of small town Oregon folk.
The rajneesh community moved in, bought land, officially created their own city and began construction. They built A-frame houses, restaurants, hotels and a meditation center that would hold 10,000 people. They were here to stay and the Oregon citizenry could not have been more displeased.
When a Rajneesh hotel was bombed, the spiritual devotees didn’t turn the other cheek. They took up arms and used their police force to patrol the streets. The ensuing conflict took many turns, challenging your notions of spirituality, community and the idea of democracy itself.
Once you hop on this train, you won’t want to get off. Follow it until the end for a truly wild ride.