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1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack (wikipedia.org)
44 points by subroutine on May 13, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments



I can't tell if OP is posting because of the Netflix documentary or because they are unaware of the documentary but stumbled upon this anyway. Either way, I finished watching it a few weeks ago and thought it was extremely well done.

Honestly did not think they were nearly as creepy as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXIVM which has gotten news in the last few weeks because the founder was arrested in Mexico for suspicions of child molestation/rape as well as his top recruit Alison Mack from Smallville for their crazy sex branding cult masquerading as an executive training + female empowerment program.


I enjoyed Wild, Wild, Country as well. Although as a microbiologist I was only aware of the Rajaneeshee due to the salad bar attack and was surprised how little that was dealt with in the documentary as opposed to internal power struggles between Ma Anand Sheela and her rivals.

Yes, at least if you take the documentary's word, the majority of the Rajaneeshee including the Baghwan himself were harmless hippies and it was pretty much Sheela that was the problem.


Often, fictionalized or documentary movies based on historical events will come with a social media blitz promoting retrospectives on said events. You can often tell when the publisher is marked as e.g. "Buzzfeed With Dunkirk" on Facebook.


OP wrote in a comment chain elsewhere (link below) that the documentary did inspire this post:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17057295


Netflix recently released a 6 part documentary series titled "Wild Wild Country" that follows the sequence of events leading up to this incident: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Wild_Country


The Rajneeshis are famous in Australia for Ma Anand Sheela's "tough titties' comment on Australia's 60 minutes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Anand_Sheela#Rajneesh_movem...

> When asked by a reporter for Australia's 60 Minutes about local objections to Rajneesh's expansion into Western Australia, Sheela replied, "What I can say? Tough titties". In interviews for US television Sheela referred to local government officials as "bigoted pigs" and "fascists", causing one reporter to describe her as having an "acid tongue"


For more background, I found this video very insightful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwx9nqknu-c


India still manages to produce godmen like him. The latest one on the top of the list is 'Sri Sri Ravishankar'. Previous to him was one called 'Asaram', but he and his son are behind bars now, for raping several women.


I was a kid in Oregon when all that was going on. Crazy stuff. Many years later, I accidentally drove through that area with my Italian inlaws: https://blog.therealitaly.com/2007/08/31/the-wild-west/


I'm shocked that tiny The Dalles for some reason had 8(!) restaurants with salad bars. I guess salad bars were really en vogue in the 80s?


The attacks started at a Taco Time, which at the time had an open-air salsa bar. The attackers referred to their goo as "salsa" and their plan was to contaminate the salsa bar. After they got away with the initial attack, they expanded to salad bars, water sources, and other open-air offerings at restaurants.

Taco Time still exists, and even that particular Taco Time is still open, but they now keep the salsa tanks closed to improve hygiene.


Wendys and Pizza Hut had them.


Aside, First time I knew about this was from an hn post few months ago, which made me watch the Netflix series which came afterwards. Couldn’t stop wondering if Netflix marketing was floating this link here.


Not part of netflix marketing ha. But yes i recently watched the documentary and found it very interesting and thought hn might also.


:D I’m yet to finish the last two episodes. Very interesting docu-series with lots of old footage.


An unreal amount of footage! I cant belive with that much footage a documentary wasnt made sooner (or maybe one was that im unaware of).




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