Booking in Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian Guru Rajneesh, into jail
| Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian Guru Rajneesh, was the Indian guru who attracted thousands of followers at his Oregon commune in the early 1980’s before being deported from the United States.
November 8, 2007 -- Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, Indian Guru Rajneesh, was the Indian guru who attracted thousands of followers at his Oregon commune in the early 1980’s before being deported from the United States. The guru, who moved to India permanently in 1986, was deported from the United States in 1985 after pleading guilty to violations of the immigration law. Previously, numerous charges of wrongdoing had been made against him and his leading disciples.
In 1985, working as a jailer for the Oklahoma county Jail I booked Raghwan Shree Rajneesh into the Oklahoma County jail under a phony name of John Washington at the U.S. Marshal’s request. The U.S. Marshals left specific information and instructions concerning the Guru before leaving the jail. Baghwan was big news back then and nobody was telling anybody his whereabouts at the time due to security reasons. Baghwan was wearing a white turban on his head with three rows of diamond looking stones on it, when I asked him if the stones were diamonds, he replied, "no, they are synthetic jewels." He then requested a pillow for the evening, I replied we didn’t issue pillows.
He then became upset and demanded a pillow because the federals issued him one where he had been before, I told him we weren’t federal and that no prisoner in the county jail received one. He appeared very tired and that he answered all of my questions before being sent back to his assigned cell. Throughout the night he appeared to sleep well in his quarters. Due to the high-profile, sensitivity and security of this prisoner, he was allowed to sleep in his own cell with his clothing and his turban as a pillow.
He was placed under a special watch until his departure early the next day. A deputy the next day assisted the jail trustee when cleaning out the Guru’s cell for fear that maybe one of the diamonds had fallen off his turban. When returning the next day for work, I received a phone call from New York. The lady on the phone was requesting information from me as to what occurred during the time of the Guru’s incarceration and that she was writing a book.
At the time she told me what the name of the book was going to be and that she was going to place my name in it, to this day I cannot remember the name of the book, or have any idea how she got the information so fast that I had booked the Guru into our jail. I replied that I was not allowed to comment or give out any information. She then thanked me and hung up. As a jailer, I was shocked to think this guy had so many followers and had become such big news then. It only showed me that there are people in the world that will fall prey to any scam or follow any alleged spiritual leader for whatever cause. Jim Heitmeyer Retired