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Controversial New Religions$
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James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/019515682X.001.0001

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When Leaders Dissolve

When Leaders Dissolve

Considering Controversy and Stagnation in the Osho Rajneesh Movement

(p.119) 6 When Leaders Dissolve
Controversial New Religions

Marion S. Goldman

Oxford University Press

This essay considers the history and philosophy of the Osho Rajneesh movement, beginning in India in the 1970s through to the current phase. This serves as a background for examining the ways in which the movement stabilized after Osho changed his name from Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, retreated into the background, and died in 1990. Over the past decade, especially after Osho Rajneesh’s death, the movement’s delicate rebalancing has facilitated worldwide retention and recruitment of about six to eight thousand committed followers (known as sannyasins) and fellow travelers, as well as a far larger group of circulating affiliates and clients, whose allegiances are to Osho and to different, complementary spiritual paths.

Keywords:   Osho Rajneesh, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, sannyasins, religious movement

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