June 21, 2000, The Indian Express
EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
Swami Sahajanand (Peter Kreutzfeldt), 25980, Westerland/Sylt, Germany, one of the five trustees of Osho International Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland, and an Inner Circle member of Osho Commune, has transmitted the following letter from Germany in retaliation to Ma Neelam’s accusations published on Tuesday that three persons in the commune are functioning in a dictatorial manner and the rest in the Inner Circle are stooges. Incidentally, the three ‘dictators’ Indian national Neelam names are Canadian national Swami Jayesh ( Michael O’Bryan), UK national Swami Amrito (Dr Geroge Meredith, now John Andrews) and Australian national Ma Anando (Sue Appleton):
”I joined the Inner Circle exactly a year after Osho left the body when some people left to settle in the USA to run a meditation centre there. So take this letter with a little caution, would you? Bear in mind, I’m one of what Neelam calls the ‘stooges’, the yes-sayers that were not part of the original Inner Circle.
”When Osho was in the body, I was director of the Rebel Publishing Ltd, Germany, a company set up at Osho’s request to produce his books in the quality he liked, in Germany. This was before India was capable of producing the same quality. Even at that time, when I was not involved in an Inner Circle and spending only part of my time in India, but working very closely with the key people in the Commune, I was often wondering why Neelam seemed to have a problem with the books being printed in Germany, something everybody knew Osho wanted.
”I was in charge of the upgrading and digitising project of all of Osho’s recorded audio and video which took place in London, Cologne and Zurich from 1991 to 1997. I was also in charge of international copyrights during the same period.
”Since 1987, I have been back and forth between Pune and the places where my projects took place. I worked very closely with Neelam. As a liaison I sat in at meetings about publishing in India when Neelam was Osho’s secretary for India. I also worked very closely with Neelam’s partner, Tathagat, who was very involved in the distribution of Osho’s books.
”I personally liked Neelam very much. But when I was working with Neelam, it was very arduous. Things always took a long time to get done – unless that is, if everybody just went along with Neelam’s view, which was very often the case. In fact, among many insiders – I am talking especially about Indian nationals – the ‘gracious queen’ had a very different image.
”In all this, I was surprised, and often shocked, at the patience others, especially the ‘dictators’, and more so Jayesh, showed towards Neelam in her full-fledged stubbornness. It is not that a tiny number of three dictators were pushing everybody through – it was that the teams were generally quickly (and of course sometimes not so quickly) coming to decisions, and Neelam was again and again stubbornly refusing to go along with anything that didn’t appeal to her ‘I-know-better’ attitude. Some things were left pending for years.
”I must say I should have suspected ‘quiet resentment’ often when I was still trusting in the understanding of unanimity in the spirit of Osho’s vision. I guess ideas of what organism means vary widely. For my part, I just saw it as a test of my own meditation and questioning of my own ideas of knowing better, and learnt patience, to an extent that I was later often the mediator between Neelam and Tathagat and some less patient and exasperated folks.
”I will just summarise here what my understanding is in contrast to Neelam’s:
- Osho wanted the club meditation. Neelam calls it the ‘commercialisation’.
- Osho assigned the copyright and did NOT want it back in India. Neelam was never involved.
- Osho wanted to charge royalties for his work and in 1986 wanted accounts for promotion funds. Later, I spent years meeting with these sanyasins who didn’t want to account for the promotion. In fact, while all regular publishers had no problem with the royalties, only those with special liaison with Neelam (especially one in France and one in Japan, both run by Indian nationals with close relations to Neelam) were stubbornly resisting. Ultimately, it turned out that Neelam was telling them that OIF (Osho International Foundation) was making the wrong decision. A decision she never had complained about in our meetings.
- And lastly, Osho himself confirms that ‘Neelam thinks she knows better than anyone – even me. She is stubborn type’ which I was shocked to hear about just recently; the ‘dictators’ that Osho had confided in, had seen no need to spread this pretty embarrassing statement about Neelam even within the Inner Circle.
”A lot of pieces of the puzzle are now falling into place for me. Neelam, the erstwhile ‘graceful queen’ (believe me, my impression, too) has turned into a frog; a politician who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She doesn’t understand Osho’s place. He talks of the potential of a committee (the Inner Circle) working in unanimity. He warns that all committees in history failed because of very characteristics displayed here by Neelam. She quietly undermines the process without openly showing it.
”She is not really interested in meditation or in anything from Osho. She just wants to use all the tricks in her arsenal to push through what she thinks is right. What is this? It’s a simple power game! Osho teaches us that what we think is right and wrong is imposed on us by others. The function of his meditations is to learn how to ‘unlearn’. Neelam seems to have missed that point.
”How do you think 21 Neelams would do in running a ‘real organism’, ‘free’ of ‘commerce’ and so on. They would be at each other’s throats and poison each other’s names wherever they went. And nothing would move. And they’d live in perfect harmony. Right?”
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