I visited the Oregon Ranch in May, 1984 and saw Bhagwan Shree Rajeesh/Osho twice in his drive-by's. This was a field trip sponsored by Oregon State University for a class comparing/contrasting Rajneesh and Gandhi. We were treated respectfully and given several tours. In between activities, we had full run of the place with no security guards in evidence. We had a discussion meeting with one of "the biggies", Teertha and we met Bhagwan's adoptive father, "Bapuji". We met Ma Isabel and several other "high ups", who appeared to be very competent and, well, "happy to see us" even though were were just a bunch of students most of whose interest was simple curiosity, not "Enlightenment Through Bhagwan".
I am convinced of Osho's enlightenment simply from hearing and watching his discourses, as well as reading those discourses in book format. As one reviewer put it in words to the effect, "In hearing Bhagwan, it is as if we are hearing Enlightenment speaking of itself".
That's my impression - in regard to his explication of religion and spirituality - which, after all, was his core mission. I pay less attention to the peripheral stuff he said on sexual relationships/marriage, childbearing, HIV, politics and a host of other non-religious subjects. But on spirituality, he always seemed spot-on, profoundly wise, relevant, and - most impressive of all - extremely easy to understand even when speaking on very esoteric ideas.
Osho's arrest and exportation from the US was an example of illegal behavior that matched or even surpassed anything done by "Sheela and her gang". Arrested without warrant, Bhagwan was spirited away for a series of days when not even his lawyers knew his location. Bhagwan's simple claim was that on one of these days, he was given "a piece of plain bread smeared with a tasteless red sauce". During that time, his signature became nearly unrecognizable. These two facts, for me, do
support his later claim that he was poisoned sometime during those lost days in the hands of some overzealous, criminal "Feds". At first I theorized that, coming from India, Bhagwan would not be familiar with most American foods, so he might not recognize the "breakfast" he was handed. However, nothing in my long American culinary experience matches his description of plain bread spread with tasteless red sauce. The only red sauces I know of are definitely not tasteless, since they are either spicy-hot like salsa, or very sweet like jelly, jam, or syrup. This single meal is very suspicious, but it tends to support the alleged model of illegality that the government applied to Osho's arrest and deportation.
Moreover, it was Osho himself who exposed Sheela's crimes and who voluntarily invited the FBI to the Ranch to perform a full investigation into all the "Ma-archy's" shenanigans. Included in this evidence were tapes Sheela had recorded of ostensibly "private" conversations between herself and Osho. Osho turned these tapes over to the FBI himself. Obviously, Osho knew that they contained nothing incriminating of himself. And indeed, the government never found anything against Bhagwan, except for some trumped-up charges that he "arranged illegal marriages". The point is, Sheela's crimes were Sheela's crimes,
and Osho never had any idea of what they were and how extensive and destructive they had become. As he said at the time, "Enlightenment means I have come to know myself. It does not mean that I know when crimes are committed or that my own room is being bugged."
Osho was, yet at the same time, was not, "a nice guy". He said that the Master's work is surgical - it hurts. The Master gives you nothing, but is constantly taking things away from you, cutting and cutting, until the core Buddha Nature is exposed and the sincere seeker must face his/her own "divine" nature and act accordingly. He sometimes compared himself to the helpful but terrifiyingly, intensely fierce Bodidharma, and with good reason. Bhagwancould be as tender as a mother and as savage as an Atilla. The only thing that really matters - at least to me - is the degree of success he had in communicating Dharma, "God", "Spirit", Advaita, Taoism, Kabbalah, and all things spiritual. I believe his success rate in these realms alone
A very nice, intruiguing article about Bhagwan's time in Oregon can be found here:http://www.ashe-prem.org/two/davisson.shtml