A Look At Where Five of the Key People and Places in the Rajneesh Cult Saga Are Now

Things worked out reasonably well.

Ma Anand Sheela and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. (Multnomah County Archives)

In 1982, WW reported bleak prospects for Rajneeshees, and perhaps the world at large.

"The long haul doesn't look so swell according to the Bhagwan, who has predicted a worldwide nuclear war to erupt early in the next decade," we noted. "[Rajneeshpuram] Mayor Krishna Deva said during a recent 'Town Hall' forum that the disciples are considering ways to move their city underground before the inferno begins."

In fact, things worked out reasonably well. Here's what became of the key people and places in the saga:

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

(Image: Cathy Cheney/ WW)

He was deported from the U.S. in 1985 after pleading guilty to immigration law violations. He died in India in 1990 at age 58, of congestive heart failure. In his obituary, The New York Times estimated he had owned 85 Rolls-Royces.

Ma Anand Sheela

Ma Anand Sheela

After being released from prison, she moved to Switzerland, where she runs two nursing homes. Her interviews are central to the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country—and she's now giving more. She continues to claim that her guilty plea was only to protect the Bhagwan.

Robert Weaver

As a federal prosecutor, he brought charges against Sheela and the Bhagwan. He then went into private practice—with even more high-profile clients. He defended Tonya Harding in the Nancy Kerrigan case, and then-Mayor Sam Adams during the Beau Breedlove scandal. He's still practicing law in Portland.

Zorba the Buddha Nightclub & Restaurant

The downtown Portland disco, as WW later observed, "featured a hot scene and lousy service, since it was staffed by sannyasins who'd never waited tables in their lives." It is now the comparatively sedate Southpark Seafood.

Hotel Rajneesh

The 1983 bombing of the sect's Portland hotel was carried out by a drifter named Stephen Paster, who was linked to a radical Islamic group and now lives in Pakistan. The building on Southwest 11th Avenue, now called the Martha Washington, is publicly subsidized affordable housing.

In 1984, the Rajneeshees Bused 3,000 Homeless People to Live in Their Oregon Compound. Our Reporter Was One of Them.

A Look At Where Five of the Key People and Places in the Rajneesh Cult Saga Are Now

The Rajneeshees' Onetime Compound is Now a Christian Summer Camp. Here's What It's Like to Attend.

Thirty Years Ago, "Geek Love" Author Katherine Dunn Scored a Jailhouse Interview With Rajneeshee Mastermind Ma Anand Sheela. Fireworks Ensued.

A Photo Gallery of the Rajneesh Commune Thirty Years Ago, And What the Land Looks Like Today

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