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> Osho is arrested

(Kidnapped, tortured and ransomed by the US Government*)

On 27 October 1985, Osho leaves the ranch by plane. At 1:30am on 28 October, the plane stops to refuel in Charlotte NC, where Osho and his attendants are held up at gunpoint, chained, and incarcerated in Mecklenburg County Jail—without a warrant. Photos of Osho in handcuffs and chains make world-wide news, and nationwide TV coverage.

*Note: since no signed arrest warrant ever existed; the entire process is criminal, see A Passage to America by Max Brecher (Book Quest 1993)

I always left in the right time. That's what I say: existence manages things if you leave it to existence. I left Rajneeshpuram in America. The next day they (government agents) were going to bring four helicopters—their helicopters were coming every day to find my house, and from the helicopters they were going to drop paratroopers to arrest me. Just a few hours before, I left Rajneeshpuram to go to a beautiful mountain resort that belonged to my sannyasins. They had been insisting for two years—it is strange that on that day I decided that okay, two years were enough. They had prepared the place; they just wanted me to rest there. And the government was in shock—their whole program had failed. mani14

You were unaware of the sealed indictment?
Absolutely. Absolutely, because they never informed me anything about it. press06

For two years, the rumor was coming they want to arrest me, they want to arrest me. It has become so routine that nobody cared about it. It was certain that they have not guts enough to come into the commune and arrest me.
They got the chance to arrest me, because I was going to visit in Carolina one of my sannyasin's house in the mountains, just for two three weeks and this was a good moment for them. As my plane left there was a journalist present on the airport. He immediately informed and we have the affidavit of the journalist that he was the informer, to his press. But his press informed the government. And they arrested me there; and that shows what cowardliness is. Arresting a man who has nothing but a robe on his body with twelve guns pointed at me, loaded at me. And they will not even answer, that where is the arrest warrant, they will not answer why they are arresting me, what crime I have committed. last428

I asked them what they are doing—they don't have any warrant, they did not know for what they are arresting me, and they were shouting, and I told them that "There is no need to shout. You just tell me why you are arresting," and they will not tell. They just handcuffed me.
I am not a criminal and nobody has ever treated me this way. I am willing to come with you, wherever you want…and if you want me to go back to Oregon, I can go back to Oregon, but I must know what is the reason. press08

It became known later on that the United States Attorney had asked the National Guard to arrest me. But they said, "Without any evidence, without any order from the court, we cannot do it." The U.S. Attorney General, Ed Meese, who has been accused of many crimes and has had to retire in disgrace, had even asked the commander-in-chief of the army…. And the commander-in-chief laughed. He said, "Never in history has an army been sent against a single individual. And not only that, but you don't have any evidence; otherwise why don't you ask a court first to give an arrest warrant?" They had nothing to persuade a court to arrest me.
And when I was arrested, I was arrested by twelve people with loaded guns, and I asked, "Where is the arrest warrant?" They had no arrest warrant. They had only a piece of paper on which a few names were written. I told them, "These are not the names of the people you are arresting. You can see our passports." Six sannyasins were with me—they are here—not a single name was on that paper. Still they would not listen. zenman09

When I was arrested in America, I was handcuffed, a heavy chain around my waist, chains on my feet. I could not even walk. And they were afraid that people would be there all over the street, and I may raise my hands, so they put another chain that connected my handcuffs to the chain around my waist so I could not move my hands. And they rushed so madly in their car…and the reason was that people were all around and they were waving and giving me the sign of victory. Then I understood why they were in such a hurry. Photographers were all around, press people were all around, and if they see that people are greeting me and they have arrested me without any arrest warrant, it will look like the whole talk about democracy is simply nonsense. The continuous propaganda about individuality, freedom of expression, is just to deceive the whole world."
The U.S. Marshal who was sitting in front in the car taking me inside the jail, told me, "Here, you are absolutely protected."
I said, "What about you? If being handcuffed, chained, is protection—then first give it to your president, to your governors, because their lives are in constant danger. In America, twenty percent of the presidents have been assassinated. It is not a small number. Keep all your presidents in jail! But don't talk nonsense to me." mess105

I have never seen my passport. My people take care of it.
When I was in jail in America I had no phone numbers of my attorneys, or of the commune, or of my secretaries—because in my whole life I have never phoned. The U.S. Marshal was surprised and asked, "Who should we inform that you have been arrested?"
I said, "Whomsoever you like. As far as I am concerned, I don't know anybody. You can inform your wife; she may enjoy hearing what her husband is doing—arresting innocent people without any warrant."
I have such a different way of life that it sometimes looks unbelievable. I don't know where my passport is right now. Somebody must be carrying it somewhere. socrat16

I was not allowed to inform my attorney, because they were worried: if the attorney comes then immediately the first question is bound to be, "Where is the arrest warrant?"
And I heard the U.S. marshal whispering in the ear of the driver who was to take me to the jail, "Remember, do whatever you want to do but don't do it directly. The man is known world-wide, and the whole news media is watching. If anything happens to him, it will be a condemnation of American democracy." upan17

In the first jail the sheriff of the jail asked me, "Perhaps you would never have thought that you would be in a jail."
I said, "I keep my future open. I can be anywhere…even in hell I will not be disturbed."
He took me to my cell. He said, "It is unjust. You have been arrested without any warrant, without even giving you any calls—you have not been allowed to inform your attorneys. This is simply unjust. In my whole life I have never seen something like this happening."
I said, "This is a good experience for you. Things like this can happen. To me it makes no difference whether the arrest warrant was there or not, I would have been here anyway. And these days I will be in the jail are going to give me a new experience and a new perspective of life which I would have missed."
He said, "You seem to be a little bit of a strange type."
I said, "I am. This is only the beginning. We will come to know each other more." socrat22

In jail Osho is put in a cell with another inmate. After the second day he is allowed to use the medical ward.

The first night in jail I was given a steel bench, without any mattress. They knew my back is in a bad condition, that I could not lie down on that steel bench. Neither can I sit the whole night; they would not supply even a pillow just to support my back. They refused—"That's all you can get."
The whole night I was sitting. Sleeping was out of the question. Sitting was difficult; my back was hurting tremendously. upan17

When I was in the first American jail, in my cell I had one Negro partner. He was a very pious fellow, although he was charged with murder and rape and all kinds of things. Pious people do all kinds of things.
He used to put his head on the Bible every morning, every evening. He would put the Bible on the bed, kneel down on the ground and put his head on the Bible. He was not educated, so he could not read. And just above the Bible he had all kinds of nude women in all kinds of insane postures which he had cut from magazines. The whole wall was covered with nude women.
I asked him, "Do you bow down to these nude women?"
He said, "No, I have the Bible."
I said, "You don't know how to read?"
He said, "No, I don't know."
"Who told you that this is a Bible?"
He said, "The jail authorities have given it to me."
"And what do you do when you kneel down?"
He said, "I pray to God."
And I said, "I have been watching you for three days continuously. The nude women laugh."
He said, "They laugh?"
I said, "I have been watching. Because you are putting your head on the Bible with closed eyes, you can't see—and it is only at that time that they all laugh!" He looked at me. I said, "What kind of religion is this?"
He said, "I am a devout Catholic."
I said, "Great. These are Catholic saints?"
He said, "I am sorry for that."
And I said, "You have been doing both things together. Every day I see you cutting some picture from some magazine—Playboy, Playgirl, Penthouse—and you go on putting them up. Don't you see the contradiction—that this is your repressed sexuality?"
A repressed sexuality can never be prayerful; the prayer will be polluted with repressed sex. A sexually repressed human being can never be in meditation. Those sexual pictures will arise from the unconscious. yaku01

The first three days in the American jail and the sheriff of the jail came to see me. He wondered what kind of man I am, because the inmates had become my disciples! I was talking to them about meditation. The nurses and the doctor—because I was in the hospital section—had also joined. Finally, the sheriff brought his wife and his children also: "We may not be able to see this man again, and what he is saying makes sense."
And the doctor—a woman, very beautiful woman—used to come to the hospital section only one time in seven days; otherwise she was engaged in other parts of the jail. It has seven hundred inmates. But for those three days, all the nurses were there, the doctor was there, the whole staff was there. The doctor said to me, "It has never happened. You have turned my office into your class! Otherwise my office is always empty."
Because my cell was very small…it was meant only for two persons. And there were twelve inmates in the hospital section. They all wanted to be with me as much as possible—six nurses, four staff people, the sheriff, the assistant sheriff, the doctor—so they moved me to the doctor's room. And she told me, "You need not use the bathroom that is meant for the prisoners. My bathroom is for you as long as you are here." splend21

The head nurse has never gone in her life to purchase things for the prisoners; they come on a fixed routine basis. But for me she used to go every day—and she was an old woman—to purchase fruits, vegetables, anything that was vegetarian. I asked her, "You are unnecessarily taking trouble. Things come, they are perfectly good. If they are good for other human beings, they are good for me too. Just take care because I am a vegetarian."
She said, "No, those things come mixed with non-vegetarian food. And you are here only for a few days." pilgr08

My attorneys who used to come there—Niren was my chief attorney; he is here—they could not believe I was looking so happy and so at ease and at home. I said, "I have never been able to rest so much. The inmates are taking care, the nurses are taking care, the doctor is taking care. And they are all interested in only one thing: the moment I am released and I go back to the commune, they all want to stay in the commune for a few days."…
"If you are allowed to be here for three or four months this will be your commune. You are really dangerous because all the people of my staff are coming with their wives and with their children to have a photograph taken with you."
The poor prisoners could not manage. They were coming with photographs cut from newspapers just to get my signature: "We will remember our whole lives that for three days we were with you, and in three days we have felt a change." People were not making noise. Everybody was saying, "Don't make noise, he will be disturbed."
I have never felt uncomfortable anywhere.
The question, basically is to accept yourself. It is a inner feeling, nothing to do with anything outside you. splend21

On 29 October, Osho gives three press interviews from inside jail with Nightwatch TV; Ted Koppel of ABC News Nightline TV, Washington, DC; and Channel 6 TV

It happened in America in the first jail where I was—the sheriff of the jail immediately fell in love with me. He was a really nice and beautiful old man. And when the court denied bail to me he said to me, "This is absolutely unjust—to keep somebody in jail whose crime is not proved; whose crime is not even tried: there has been no trial. And to refuse bail—it is just political, unjust."
I asked him, "Would you help me a little?"
He said, "I will help you all the way. What do you want me to do?"
I said, "I would like a press conference in the jail."
He said, "It has never happened in history—a press conference in jail by a prisoner."
I said, "Then let it happen, let it be a precedent! And if you feel it was unjust, then do something." He agreed. The press conference was called, but my hands were cuffed, and I told him, "It will be impossible for me to speak with my hands in chains." And not only were they in chains; they put a chain belt around my waist, and they locked the handcuffs to the belt, so you could not move more than this….
So I said, "I will not be able to speak at all. You have done a great favor to call the press conference"—and almost one hundred press people were there, all the television and radio stations and all the big newspapers. "Now, do me a favor—because I am not going to escape. I have chains on my legs; you can keep the chain on my waist. You can put chains all over my body, but leave my hands free. It is impossible for me to speak a single word without my hands being in harmony with what I am speaking."
He understood. He said, "I have seen you on the television, and I have loved your hands and I have loved it that they certainly express something." light07

I said, "Listen, if the government comes to know, you will be in trouble."
He said, "I don't care because I'm going to be retired soon."
And the world news media wanted to interview me in the jail. He said, "This is unprecedented, but I will allow the world press conference." And he allowed it…in the jail were one hundred journalists: television people, radio people, newspaper people, magazine people, cable television people.
And he said, "I'm going to be retired. They can retire me a little earlier at the most. What else can they do? And there is no prohibition in the jail code saying that no press conference can be held inside the jail. So there is no problem."
I said, "That's perfectly good."
He enjoyed the press conference so much, and whatever I said to the press people. His whole staff was there to listen: the doctor, the nurses, everybody was there. And from the next day on they started bringing their families to see me. I said, "What?" And their children started bringing their autograph books!
The nurses could not find anything for me to sign, but in the newspapers there were many pictures of me, so they started bringing cuttings of photographs from the newspapers: "We will remember that once you have been here for three days. This will be our memory…the most cherished memory. In these three days this place has not been a jail at all."
The nurses were coming even on the day which was their day off. They said, "We will lose that day, but you may go any moment and we don't want to miss any time." dawn17

The sheriffs…became very friendly and he told me, "I should not tell you, but thousands of telegrams, thousands of phone calls, thousands of flowers from all over the world, thousands of protests…the government is shaken.
"They had not expected that, in touching a single man, they were playing with fire. So one thing I can tell you—they cannot harm you. They will not even touch your body. On the contrary, instructions are that you should be given absolute security, that nothing should happen to you; otherwise we will not be able to show our face to the world."
And it was strange that they had to give me the same kind of security as they give to the president of America: five cars following me, five motorcycles following, and the roads blocked. They were afraid that anybody could do any harm to me under their protection—they would be responsible for it.
This man said to me, "This is for the first time in my life that we are not concerned about your escaping. We are concerned that nobody harms you, otherwise that harm will be on our heads."
On the first day—just two or three hours after I had arrived—somebody from Australia called him: "You must be worried because so many phone calls will be coming, telegrams coming."
The sheriff said to the man, "No, we are accustomed…this is a very special jail and we have had people of importance, of cabinet standing—that is, from the highest political structure. So there is not much of problem."
But after three days, with tears, he apologized to me. He said, "What I said to that man will remain heavy on my heart. I don't know his number; otherwise I would have apologized to him. You had been here only two or three hours, so I did not know about you. But now, after three days, I can say with absolute certainty that we have never had such a man in the jail. The whole jail is for you! Five hundred inmates are for you, the whole hospital department is for you—I am for you. And the whole world is focused on you. If something happens to you it will be really dangerous for America's image.
"So I want you to forgive me for telling that man that we have had many very important people. That was wrong. We have never had such a person, about whom the whole world is concerned. We have had people of cabinet standing; they were, at the most, of national importance, but nobody who had any international importance, and so much love."
The second day he asked me, "What are we going to do with the flowers? So many flowers are coming, and in this big jail, we don't have space."
So I told him, "Send the flowers to all the schools, colleges and universities, from me." He did that, and the response was immense. When I was taken from the jail to the airport again, all along the way were students throwing flowers.
In fact, the government must have been repenting that they made a stupid mistake. They unnecessarily made our silent movement a world-famous phenomenon. Now it is a household name around the world, in all the languages. light02

Among the many phone calls and telegrams I received, one phone call was from a Zen master in Japan. He had phoned the president, he had phoned the jailer, and he had told the jailer that he would like just a word with me.
He told the jailer, "You have committed one of the greatest crimes of the century, because we teach Zen through his books in our monastery. Although I am an enlightened master, I am not articulate. Whatever he says I know is right; but the way he says it, only he can say it—I cannot."
The jailer gave the phone to me, and the old man—I don't know him—simply said, "I know that wherever you are, you will be in bliss, so it is pointless to ask you, `How are you?' I just wanted to convey to you that those who know, are with you; and those who do not know, don't count."
By the evening the phone calls had become so many that they had to put two or three other phone operators on. The telegrams were so many that they had to arrange a few more clerks. And the jailer, in the night, told me, "You have created such a chaos in the jail! In this jail there have been cabinet ministers, candidates for the presidency, but we have never seen such love pouring in from all over the world. You can be certain that no government can harm you—the whole world's eyes are watching. They can harass you, but nobody can harm you—they cannot take the risk."
When that old voice said to me on the phone, "Those who know, are with you, and those who do not know, do not count," all these people—Bodhidharma and Mahakashyap and Gautam Buddha—were whispering in the voice of that old man. He is a living line. He has sent his disciples to India also, and one of his nuns used to come every year to the commune festivals in America.
Zen is still a living current, and it is the only living current. transm12

The Zen people are so much interested in me that there are many Zen masters in Japan—they have big monasteries, and they are teaching Zen through my books.
When I was in jail I received thousands of telegrams and telephone messages and letters. Many Zen masters protested, but not a single Hindu religious leader protested. Many Sufis protested. In India, Ajmer is the headquarters of the Sufis because the grave of one of the great Sufis—Nijamuddin Chisti is there. He was of such eminence that his name has not remained just that of an individual. Chisti has become a school, a specialist school of Sufis. And the man who is the head of Nijamuddin's Dargaha in Ajmer sent me a telegram—he had never seen me. He quoted a Sufi saying.
I don't know what the word baaj is in English—you will have to find it out. `Baaj' is one of the strongest words—he who flies the highest in the world—the saying says that. It is an ancient saying. He simply quoted the saying—that was the whole telegram. He wrote to me, "It is not the crows who are being caught and imprisoned, chained, it is the baaj who has the highest flight. It is difficult to catch him, but once he is caught then he is chained, imprisoned. So it is a blessing they have recognized that the baaj is in you."
I received letters from Hassid rabbis saying, "We are with you." But I did not receive anything from any Christian religious leader or any Hindu religious leader, and I can see the reason why they could not. They cannot have a rapport with me; they are dead and rotten. sword20

One of my attorneys in America—one of the best; he is the head of the law department at the University of California. He used to come every day to see me in all those jails where they went on taking me—six jails in all. The first day he came to see me, I was behind the bars sitting on a chair. Outside the bars was a chair for him—Peter Schey is his name, a very beautiful man. I felt that he was very tense physically, in his chair.
I asked, "What is the matter, Peter?"
He said, "Strange, I have never felt in my life such a thing. If you don't mind, can I sit on the floor?"
I said, "Peter Schey, you are a great attorney, dean of the faculty of law in a famous university. Why should you ask such a thing?"
He said, "That's what I have been asking myself—but allow me. Something happens when I come to see you that I feel it is not right for me to sit on a chair, I just want to sit on the floor."
I said, "If that makes you happy, sit on the floor."
The third or fourth day he asked me: "What is the magic? Because since I have been sitting on the floor in front of you just for five or seven minutes, I feel so relaxed the whole day. I have never known anything of silence. I'm a man of law, I have never felt my heart. For the first time, I have heard that my heart also beats. For the first time, love has come to me." I said, "Peter Schey, you have become a sannyasin!"
He said, "You have stolen my words, I was just going to say that."
There are things which are invisible. You can't see the air but you can't live without it. You can't see what transpires when a disciple becomes silent sitting by the side of the master. Once he has tasted that sweetness, he may not be able to convince anybody, but that is meaningless—he is convinced.
I asked Peter Schey, "Can you convince my other attorneys?"
He said, "That is impossible, because even I cannot believe what is happening. I don't have any logic for it, any reason for it. Perhaps your enemies are right who say, that you hypnotize people."
I said, "Perhaps they are right!" Because hypnosis, if it is done, becomes an ordinary thing—a street magician does it. But if hypnosis happens on its own accord, then it is of a totally different category. If you are feeling relaxed and silent, no other logic is needed. If you are feeling loving…love belongs to a higher order, to the highest order of law. mess103

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