- NAME: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
- OCCUPATION: Criminal, Cult Leader, Religious Leader
- BIRTH DATE: December 11, 1931
- DEATH DATE: January 19, 1990
- EDUCATION: Hitkarini College, Jabalpur University, Saugar University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Kuchwada, India
- PLACE OF DEATH: Pune, India
- Full Name: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
- AKA: Acharya Rajneesh
- AKA: Shandra Mohan Jain
Best Known For
Indian cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh created the spiritual practice of dynamic meditation. He started the Rancho Rajneesh commune in Oregon in the 1980s.
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Rajneesh himself had also committed numerous crimes, including fixing a local election, poisoning politicians and commanding his own private militia to force the takeover of a town. During his trial for immigration fraud, Rajneesh pleaded guilty, realizing that a plea bargain was the only way he'd be allowed to return to India.
After pleading guilty, Rajneesh renamed himself Osho and returned to India, where his number of followers had significantly decreased. Osho spent the remainder of his life in India, Greece and Uruguay, among several other countries.
On January 19, 1990, Osho died of heart failure at one of his few remaining communes in Pune, India. Following his death, the commune was renamed the Osho Institute. Osho's followers continue to spread his beliefs by opening Osho Mediation Centers in major cities across the globe.
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Combine a charismatic personality with fringe beliefs and an appetite for violence, and you get some of history's most notorious cult leaders. Charles Manson terrorized frightened Americans in the late 1960s, convincing his followers to commit heinous murders in his name. David Koresh led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, leading to a standoff with the federal government in 1993 that resulted in the death of Koresh and 75 of his believers. Learn about these leaders, and many more, who inspired hundreds to follow their unconventional philosophies—often with tragic results.
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