With down-to-earth observations ("Girls will be girls in castles or in communes";) as well as unabashed admiration ("His words wash over me, impelling, compelling, like the surge of a Big One carrying me in on its crest";), Rosemary Hamilton recalls her years as the personal cook of Rajneesh in Hellbent for Enlightenment: Unmasking Sex, Power and Death with a Notorious Master (White Cloud $15.95). Raised in Kingcome Inlet until age 15, Hamilton left a well-paying and prestitigious social service career in B.C. to fly to Poona and join the guru's ashram in 1974. The spiritual leader, now known as Osho, died in 1990.

The novelist Tom Robbins once adroitly observed that the accumulation of 93 Rolls Royces by the 'sex guru' Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Portland was 'the greatest spoof ever staged on American consumerism.' North American media, however, mostly portrayed Rajneesh as an exploiter of weak minds, encouraging zenophobic persecution of his Oregon commune.


[BCBW 1998] "Religion"