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“Wild Wild Country” will lead us to discover the history of Osho, in which faith, politics and identity will come together in a highly explosive mix, which will allow us to better understand some situations that still torment the Middle East today. Available on Netflix
Wild Wild Country
The head of a controversial sect creates a utopian city in the Oregon desert, but the clash with the locals becomes a national scandal.
The fear of “becoming Indian”
The series tells the story of Osho Rajneesh and his namesake religious movement, initially present only in India and then grown up to move to the USA. This move will cause incredible problems for the (modern) natives who, given the organization and diversity of the new arrivals, will feel like those other Indians colonized by them in the past, deciding to induce a real resistance “to the oppressor” .
The absolutely irrational stance by the Yankees will cause growing tensions in the community, prompting Osho’s personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela to be guilty of various crimes, including, most seriously, the attempted poisoning of an entire town.
The Rajneeshpuram war
In a short time, in fact, the situation will degenerate into a real war between indigenous and new arrivals, with the latter who, in order to maintain their autonomy, will participate in local elections, even managing to change the name of the town in Rashneesh. Staying always on the alert, however, will cause tensions to grow even within the same community, leading then to collapse.
Constantly dealing with the Middle East, I cannot fail to observe an impressive closeness of methods between what Osho’s followers did and those who later became “Israelis“. Both groups, in fact, will start with the idea of having found a sort of “promised land”, actively working both to make it so, and to keep their autonomy inviolate there, an element for which it is allowed to take up a rifle. Another impressive thing, then, is the very rapid transformation of the bureaucracy and toponymy, managing to create in a short time a “historical” and all-encompassing reality, capable of taking over both commercial and police activities.
Birth and death of a faith
Another aspect that I find fascinating is how this series shows us, de facto, the process of birth, death and “evolution” of each faith, allowing us to better understand even absolutely Islamic events such as Fitna. Within the docu-series, in fact, we will see not only a detachment of “objectives” between Osho and his secretary, but also and above all theological. The latter, in fact, considered her guru as a real divine representation on earth, so much so that she literally went mad once she discovered that Rajneseesh had started talking about her own death.
In the series we can perfectly observe Sheela’s grievances and disgust at hearing from Osho himself to burn his holy books and that he himself did not consider himself a “religious leader”. “Wild Wild Country” will lead us to discover an incredibly fascinating and little-known story, in which faith, politics and identity will come together in a highly explosive mix, which will allow us to better understand some situations that still torment the Middle East today.
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