Paul Wheaton and Jocelyn Campbell discuss the new Netflix documentary, Wild Wild Country, a six-part mini-series delving into the events surrounding spiritual guru Bhagwan Shree Rajineesh when he moved his ashram from India to Oregon in 1981 and what transpired after the move. Paul and Jocelyn begin the podcast with a review of the show, discuss the thoughts and reactions that they experienced while viewing the documentary and share some of their views on community.
Paul and Jocelyn explore the strained relationship between the Rajineesh religious community and their closest local neighbors in the town of Antelope, Oregon. Eventually conflicts between the groups leads to an extreme hatred between the two groups and an escalation of harassment and bad behavior on both sides.
Paul draws a loose conclusion between the “weirdness” of the Rajineesh and the perceived “weirdness” of Permaculture enthusiasts. Paul and Jocelyn continue on to explore their individual takes on what is or is not a “cult” and if the group of Rajineesh rose to the level of a cult. Conversation moves on to some facts about the Rajineesh community and their Antelope, Oregon neighbors. Jocelyn then spends some time commenting on how difficult it is to watch a community be so closed minded and hateful towards other people who are different from themselves.
Wrapping up Paul talks about how the entire attempt by the Rajineesh to create their own community and the problems they faced are more the norm than the utopian view that most people envision when they think of intentional community. Paul talks about the level of conflict and friction that can occur between people attempting a different type of lifestyle, like Permaculture, and neighbors, family and friends who are not on board with people who are attempting a way that is different than their own.
Jocelyn shares how fortunate they are to be able to be in a situation where she and Paul are able to live life more on their own terms. Jocelyn points out that building community and relationships is an important part of Permaculture but sometimes you just can’t build a positive relationship with some people.
Ending on a positive note Paul comments that he has brought himself to a place where he is strategically living in such a way to minimize the possibility of headaches and feels it going pretty well.
Credit: Eric Tolbert
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Eivind W. Bjoerkavaag
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