Personality in a Religious Commune: CPIs in Rajneeshpuram

Norman D. Sundberg, Carl A. Latkin, Richard A. Littman, Richard A. Hagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From 1981 to 1985 in the high desert of Oregon, followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh built a city on a 100-square-mile ranch. They attracted red-clothed Rajneeshees and controversy from around the world. As part of the only large-scale program of surveys and systematic research on the ranch, a sample of 67 Rajneeshees (34 women and 33 men with a mean age of 35) took the California Psychological Inventory (CPI). The mean t scores on the 20 profiled scales of Rajneeshee men and women were similar to one another and dissimilar to the norm group on several scales. They scored particularly high on In (Independence) and Fx (Flexibility). In general they were high on the interpersonal style sector and mildly low on the sector covering conformity and socialization. A new method for producing a prototypical person's results, the quasi-individualized, profile, is illustrated. On the recently developed structural model of the CPI, Rajneeshees were strongly norm doubting (Deltas and Gammas), and about evenly split between Deltas (internalizers) and Gammas (externalizers). Downfall of the commune may be at least partly attributable to imbalance of life-style types, which, if true, leads to questions about the personality mixture needed in new and creative organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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