Building Utopia: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
By Rusty King
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Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh rose from a precocious boy in India to a spiritual guru to tens of thousands of people worldwide. He became famous for his controversial teachings and lavish lifestyle, leading some to call him a cult leader. Building Utopia paints an immersive, unflinching portrait of Rajneesh and the people who chose to devote their lives to him -- including his top lieutenants, who fled his Rajneeshpuram commune in 1985 amid a cloud of criminal allegations. Building Utopia will captivate those familiar with Rajneesh, as well as those who have not yet discovered his fascinating and troubling story.
||CleanEpisode 9: Reign of Terror||The Rajneeshees extend themselves into the community in an effort to sway public opinion and make some money. But now their enemies have easy access to them — a vulnerability that is violently exploited on July 29, 1983.||2/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8: Making it Legal (?)||How could Sheela and Bhagwan establish their new commune in America when most of their members came from other countries? The answer rested in a sacred institution — one the sannyasins were not afraid to twist to their own advantage.||1/27/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMinisode 3: Noah's Ark||Bhagwan develops a bizarre — and potentially lethal — way to escape his silent isolation at Rajneeshpuram.||1/20/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: Inside the Compound||How do the Rajneeshees go about fulfilling their Master's vision of a new utopia on their ranch? We see what life was like for the hundreds of commune members who toiled from sun-up to sundown each day to make it happen. And later, we catch up with...||1/6/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMinisode 2: A Very Rajneeshee Holiday||It’s the holiday season in Rajneeshpuram! We’ll explore the Rajneeshees’ three major holidays and see how they were celebrated during Bhagwan's first year in America. This culminates in the First World Festival in July 1982, which attracted...||12/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: Between a Rock and Antelope||War is looming between the Rajneeshees and a town of just 39 people — a “ghost town,” as Sheela calls it. Bhagwan’s followers are about to go to battle with the people of Antelope.||12/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: Foundations in the Desert||As Sheela and the first Rajneeshees arrive at the Big Muddy Ranch in July 1981, we explore why Oregon was about the last place they should have picked for Bhagwan's new commune. To transform the huge tract of agricultural land into a commune fit for...||11/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: Buying Utopia - Rajneeshpuram||We visit the launching pad for Bhagwan’s American experiment: a castle in Montclair, New Jersey. Bhagwan's followers scramble to prepare for his arrival, and then he manages to get into some trouble while waiting for his next move. Later, we travel...||11/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMinisode 1: Dynamic Detours||Our first "minisode" provides some additional color on topics covered in the first three episodes. We’ll revisit Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh as a boy and look at the life-or-death events that may have turned him into the brash guru. Then we’ll sidle up..||11/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: Trouble in Paradise||As Bhagwan's dreams for the future continued to blossom, outside pressures, like the Indian government, threatened to squeeze the life out of his ashram. We'll also examine the efforts to find a new home for the ashram, led by two very different but...||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: Oasis in Poona||Today we'll take a grand tour of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s first ashram in the city of Poona, India. Within a couple years of its founding in 1974, it had expanded into one of the most popular — and controversial — ashrams in India, where people...||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: Finding the Master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh||We'll examine Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's early life and his first years as an enlightened master. We'll explore his initial efforts to organize his followers and how he was able to cement his master/disciple relationship with people from the West....||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Love Rusty’s style. The storytelling is captivating and the music is great.
What was it like?
In a time of free love, Rusty paints a comprehensive picture of the evolution of the man and his unique spiritual movement. With his eye for detail, Rusty sets the stage for each of the colorful characters in this melodrama and brings compelling evidence for the true motivations behind their oftentimes ruthlessly effective tactics. In a modern era of fear of the “other,” Rusty also analyzes the response of the local townsfolk in Oregon who found their way of life upended and their fragile sense of community shaken by the introduction of the maroon-clothed, enlightenment-seeking pilgrims.
This podcast is SO comprehensive all while being very entertaining. Rusty is such a great story teller!