***** SPOILER ALERT *****
A spoiler alert to anyone who is planning on watching this on netflix coz this is one documentary that needs viewing with no knowledge about the subject matter to enjoy it like a story.
“Don’t forget everyone of us was a part of that scandal”
These lines by Ma Anand Sheela at the very end of this gripping series will haunt you for sure. I was never really big on documentaries because like many I assume they would be boring compared to the thrill rides that are fiction. But “reality is indeed stranger than fiction”. The journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh or later widely known as “OSHO” and his secretary Ma Anand Sheela along with a large number of “Rajneeshis” to america, their struggles, crimes and ultimate downfall is nothing short of a spectacle.
The documentary is brilliantly put together. The editing is top notch. You will find yourself switching loyalty through out the series. There is so much to dig around because every person you encounter has their own perspective and their actions though clearly inspired by their convictions will leave dazed and confused.
Of all the people you come across in this documentary, Ma Anand Sheela leaves a strong impact. When I saw the young Sheela in the first episode I couldn’t help but think her eyes were beautiful but by the end of the whole series I found them quite frankly, alarming. It reminded me of the grand vacuum of space, which is beautiful to look at but the more you stare into it, the more it starts to get to you.
I might sound completely biased but her lack of empathy combined with her intelligence and charm makes her sound like a true super villain. When the reporter asks her if she feels sorry for the mass poisonings, the way she answered ” People fall ill all over the world every day” sent a chill through my spine.
I dont wanna talk more about the people and the actual events because if you are unaware of this entire fiasco, I would rather you watch it for yourself. But as a movie lover, this is crafted very well. I kept thinking if they ever made a TV show out of this, with the right actors, it has the potential to be as good as breaking bad.
My pitch for Ma Anand Sheela is easily Radhika Apte.
But the thing I find quite amusing is how religion and faith plays a major role in this entire controversy. In-fact its hard to debate that there was no religious or racial bigotry involved once you go through the entire series.
John silvertooth, a resident of wasco county at the end explains that the ranch was later taken over by a billionaire who turned into some sort of bible camp that teaches kids about chastity. I find it particularly funny how a lot of these Christians made fun of rajneeshees and their beliefs while maintaining that their beliefs and norms are somehow rational.
Religious people making fun of these rajneeshees or scientologists etc, is the same as someone making fun of those doing cocaine while injecting heroine into their nerves, the drugs might be different, the delusion is still the same!