If you’re as old as, well, your correspondent here, you’ll remember that in the early to mid ’80s, the Rajneeshee religious movement got a heck of a lot of column inches and TV coverage. Founded by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in India in the ’70s, the group, commonly called a cult, expanded into the West, including Australia. Adherents flocked to the Rajneesh’s banner for a number of reasons, but chief among them was the promise of unlimited free love. As one former “Orange Person” tells it, “You could compare it to the ’60s and the flower power – it was very open and very much about sex. He said go into your sexuality and explore it and don’t be trapped in relationships.”
However, while the Rajneeshee’s activities in Australia attracted a fair amount of moral outrage, they were nothing compared to what the order got up to in Oregon, which involved “…the first bioterror attack in US history, the largest case of illegal wiretapping ever recorded, and the world’s biggest collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles.”
It’s all covered in the new six part Netflix factual series Wild Wild Country by Chapman and Maclain Way (The Battered Bastards of Baseball).
“When the world’s most controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, a massive conflict with local ranchers ensues; producing the first bioterror attack in US history, the largest case of illegal wiretapping ever recorded, and the world’s biggest collection of Rolls-Royce automobiles. Over six episodes, directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way ( The Battered Bastards of Baseball) and executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass (Duplass Brothers Productions) take viewers back to this pivotal, yet largely forgotten moment in American cultural history, one in which our national tolerance for the separation of church and state was sorely tested. Wild Wild Country is historical filmmaking brought to life on an epic scale. It’s a tale so wild that seeing means barely believing.”
Wild Wild Country hits Netflix on March 16, 2018.