Indeed, in spite of its length, Wild Wild Country confines itself to only a few viewpoints, and elides many crucial details of a truly unbelievable story. The six-part Netflix documentary series, which premieres Fri March 16, examines one of the weirdest episodes in the state's history, when Indian religious leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh opened a commune in central Oregon in the early s. It does provide a valuable and timely consideration of the at-times-justifiable xenophobia and intolerance that Oregon's conservative residents felt toward the Rajneeshees most of whom, it should be noted, were white.
Collections include hundreds of American Indian baskets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, photo archives partially available on-line , and local genealogical files available in the William G. The six-part Netflix documentary series, which premieres Fri March 16, examines one of the weirdest episodes in the state's history, when Indian religious leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh opened a commune in central Oregon in the early s. Apart from Stork, we never hear from any followers who disavowed Rajneesh later in life; we don't hear the heartbreaking stories of those who lost family members to the commune; the movie spends no time examining the nature of religious cults and their methods of indoctrination. Live raptor education programs engage all ages in issues related to habitat preservation. Sheela was behind some truly outrageous and terrifying behavior, and she's a fascinating, untrustworthy, and ultimately exhausting character, as the long hours of interview footage prove. If you plan to spend the day at the Discovery Center and Museum, you can relax during a lunch or coffee break at the Basalt Rock Cafe. It did not end well. At least they're not waving AKs in your face. Indeed, Wild Wild Country's greatest failing is that it doesn't effectively interrogate the corruption and hypocrisy of the Rajneeshee organization. The Oregon commune is now the site of a Young Life youth camp. It's a crazy story. We watch eerie archival footage of Rajneesh's pink- and maroon-bedecked followers, many of whom wear haunted, vacant expressions even as they chant and dance—but the filmmakers don't push beyond that, so we're meant to reach our own conclusions. The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and Wasco County. The filmmakers likely realized they'd landed a coup by getting her to participate, but it does seem like Sheela's being handled with kid gloves. For longtime residents, it's a familiar and painful story, one in which the Rajneeshees took over the government of the nearby town of Antelope and attempted to gain control of Wasco County. In addition to touring the many fascinating exhibits, visitors can spend time viewing films in the theater located on site. Rajneesh himself—while a provocative thinker about ideas of spiritualism and sexuality, and a deliberately hypnotic speaker who chews on the consonant of each word like it's an incantatory spell—was also a charlatan and exploiter of the easily influenced. Indeed, in spite of its length, Wild Wild Country confines itself to only a few viewpoints, and elides many crucial details of a truly unbelievable story. Even though she hangs herself with her own words on more than one occasion, Wild Wild Country should have provided more accountability and outside perspective. The area includes one of the oldest continuously occupied areas in North America over 11, years , immediate proximity to one of the largest rivers on the continent, and access to the Lewis and Clark and Oregon Trails. But in the end, it goes too easy on an organization that many would characterize as a cult. The site provides walking trails, a pond, and scenic overlooks. Rajneesh later changed his name to Osho—likely to avoid a connection with the crimes associated with him and his followers—and after his death, his name still commands a lucrative industry of books, stress management seminars, and a tourist-friendly meditation retreat in India. He wore a one-million-dollar diamond watch, lounged on a white wingback throne, and owned 93 Rolls-Royces, from which he'd wave to his devotees as he slowly drove by. The OPB film is mandatory viewing for anyone living in Oregon or with an interest in fringe religious movements. Exhibits focus on the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and eleven thousand years of cultural history. In , OPB's Oregon Experience made a masterful documentary, Rajneeshpuram , which expertly and concisely tells the entire hair-raising tale—which includes voter fraud, a hotel bombing, illegal immigration, an enormous cache of automatic weapons, and a bioterrorist attack of salmonella poisoning in the Dalles.
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