The commune of the disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon disbanded in the fall of 1985. This study examined former Rajneeshpuram residents’ affiliation with the movement and personal relationship with Rajneesh 16 to 24 months after they had departed. Two mail surveys were completed by 231 former residents. Respondents continued to affiliate with the movement, and their attitudes toward their experience of living at Rajneeshpuram continued to be positive. The retrospective, positive accounts of living at Rajneeshpuram are congruent with the Rajneeshees’ attitudes toward life events, the method of departure from the commune, and the continual use of the movement as a reference group. There were systematic differences in the descriptions of disciples’ relationship with Rajneesh written when they lived at Rajneeshpuram as compared to those written after they departed, which may indicate the transient nature of charisma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)