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The Rajneeshpuram religious community established in Oregon attracted national attention when the group leaders were arrested and subsequently deported. The spiritual leader of the internationally based sannyasin religious group, guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, founded Rajneeshpuram as a model of sannyasin community formation. The sannyasin deny the legitimacy of all human institutions, accepting neither any general code of conduct nor any shared system of beliefs. This book is a narrative account of the controversial methods of group formation and control practiced by the sannyasin and of the events that resulted in the violence between the settlement and the surrounding community that led to the group's dissolution. Based on first-hand observation and interviews, the book describes the conditions of life in the settlement and the causes of conflicts both within the community and with outsiders. The author argues that the sannyasin method of group control, relying on confrontation among members, the threat of banishment, and charismatic authority, restricted the sannyasin in resolving conflicts with outsiders for whom these methods of control were ineffectual. The first treatment of the subject informed by sociological scholarship, this study provides unique insight into the importance of shared values in regulating group processes and relationships with other groups.
Reviews & endorsements
"The strength of this book is in itis non-judgmental analysis of conflicting social groups." Religious Studies ReviewSee more reviews
"This book is a superior analysis of a minority religious group. Based primarily on archival and secondary sources, the author traces the antecendents, development and collapse of Bagwan Shree Rajneesh's Oregon colony/commune from the viewpoints of its members (sannyasin) and opponents. There is also a discussion of the groups' doctrines and practices." Journal of Church and State
"This is the most detailed study to date of the history, institutions, and marketing stratagies of the Rajneesh Movement." Sociological Analysis
"The book presents a wealth of information and conjecture abou the Rajneesh movement worldwide, beginning around 1970, as well as about the four-yea communal experiment in Oregon. The study's limitations...should not discourage readers who want to know more about one of North America's largest and most publicized, if short-lived, experiments in utopian community." Utopian Studies
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- Date Published: March 2010
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521135139
- length: 344 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The Oregon colony at peak development
2. Manufacturing and marketing a new religion in India
3. Organizational forms for exporting the Rajneesh movement
4. Transplanting the Poona colony to Eastern Oregon
5. Political and institutional overextension
6. Desperation defenses of Rajneeshpuram
7. Aftermath and what it might all mean?
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