Mystic and Indian philosopher Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who later took the name Osho, had a vision of establishing a utopian city. Thus, he purchased a huge property in rural Oregano to turn it into a divine ‘mecca’ for his followers. Along with his saffron-clad followers, he transformed this barren land into a city. Here are some facts about the ‘spiritual city’ that created quite a stir in the 1980s in the USA.
1. About the property
The city was constructed on a site of 64,229-acre. Located in Central Oregon it was previously known as Big Muddy Ranch.
2. What was the cost?
This property was purchased by Rajneesh in 1981 for $5.75 million. Compared to the present economy that is about $15.5 million.
3. The growth
It took just three years for the place to get filled with followers. The empty ranch was soon transformed into a fully functional city.
4. Modern-day infrastructure
Quite swiftly Rajneeshpuram emerged as a city equipped with essential urban facilities. It had a fire department, restaurants, school, malls, townhouse, public transport system, airstrip, and even a police force. They further added a post office with the ZIP code 97741.
5. Legal battle
Just within a year, the commune leaders engaged in an ugly legal feud with the neighboring town. The bitter hostility started and increased regarding the use of land. The commune was granted land for agricultural purposes but when it started growing as a city, it attracted resistance from the local residents. It increased when they took control of the city council of the next town.
6. The abolition
Following more legal battles and allegations of criminal activities, Rajneesh left his city behind to go back to India. The followers left the place too. It was later donated to Young Life, a Christian youth camp organization. They are running a summer camp at the place since 1999 after renaming it as Washington Family Ranch.
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