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1985: Rajneesh city limits sign.

Good Riddance Rajneesh Mini-Memorial

Field review by the editors.

Antelope, Oregon

Rajneesh, a West Coast cult led by a charismatic Indian guru (and started in India), bought tens of thousands of acres of land near the town of Antelope, Oregon in the early 1980s. Their new utopia was named Rancho Rajneesh, but friction soon developed between the townspeople and the red-robed cultists. Things got worse when it was learned that the Rajneesh were busing in homeless people while simultaneously trying to poison the county council with salmonella -- an attempt to throw local elections in the Rajneeshee's favor (these schemes were later attributed to the Rajneesh's secretary, who may have kept him drugged as part of her Dr. Evil machinations).

Open warfare seemed possible, but then the guru tried (and failed) to flee the country. Rajneesh quickly collapsed. Thousands of leaderless followers that didn't scoot off to India melted back into American society, and the utopia was abandoned. Most of its surviving buildings were destroyed in a 1996 range fire, and in 1999 the property was sold to a Christian youth group.

All that remains to mark that time is a plaque at the base of the Antelope post office flagpole: "Dedicated to those of this community who, through the Rajneesh invasion and occupation of 1981-85, remained, resisted, and remembered."

Good Riddance Rajneesh Mini-Memorial

Main St., Antelope, OR
At the base of the flagpole outside of the town's trailer post office. South end of town, west side of Main St., between Union and Maupin Sts.
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