I don’t think I remember much promo about this show. Which is a shame because 1- It’s a Duplass brothers rendering and if you know me, you know I stan for the Duplass brothers and everything they do and 2. It’s a Netflix original and again, if you know me #teamnetflix4eva! Well, I suddenly start seeing it everywhere including some reality forums that I follow and I was on it like white on rice and was hooked immediately.
Wild Wild Country is a 6-part documentary that is about the unbelievable story of the expansion of a guru’s cult following in the 80’s who decided to leave India and expand into a settlement right beside Antelope, OR., with a population of 40 people. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was an Indian guru whose goal was to make people feel fulfilled and whole. He had a message of freedom in everything, including sexually, and did not believe in humility. He boldly stated that wealth was needed to maintain this life he spoke of. At some point, he had 90 Rolls Royces!! All the followers only wore a variation of red or orange clothing and seemed to be in a constant state of dancing and euphoria when the Bhagwan touched them (even when he stopped talking for 4 years)
Facing tax issues and looking for bigger fish, Bhagwan instructs his private secretary (who he appointed at age 17) and right hand woman, Ma Anand Sheela to go find a place for their people (Shinyassans as they are called) to settle and rebuild. Wasco County is the chosen place. With lots of land to play in, the Rajneeshees build the city of Rajnapuram from scratch. I’m talking power lines, water source, town homes etc and even build up to their own post office, police force, restaurants and shops.
The people of Antelope are not pleased with this disturbance especially with the loud sex noises that came with their new neighbors and hearing them practice how to shoot their firearms daily. It’s up to the viewer to decide if the citizens of Antelope are being a tad racist or if they had a reason to be concerned. But guys, a series of events unfold that I am not sure I would believe if this didn’t actually happen and these were some scary people! America being America, the shit hits the fans and the wheels are set in motion for an investigation to be opened and get the bad guys.
This docu-series. *mind.blown*.
I felt a little embarrassed that I have never heard this story. How even?? I like that the documentary seemed fair and showed people from both sides. Commentary was provided by just necessary people and there were no filler commentators. It was so strange seeing people almost 30 years later still strongly believing in Bhagwan even after all that was revealed. Only one person from that chapter seemed close to remorseful.
Ma Anand Sheela was the most compelling commentator and a huge get for this documentary since she was basically the driving force of the group. I found it interesting that in some of the most vile acts by the group, Sheela did not provide commentary on that. To be honest, she did not seem one bit sorry for anything that she had done back then and instead reiterated how the goal was always to protect Bhagwan. I’d be lying to you if I did not feel some begrudging respect for her because regardless of her evil ways, the bitch was BAD! (and unapologetic)
I could talk about this show forever because there are so many elements that could be broken down but I do not want to give any spoilers. What I am trying to say friends, is RUN don’t walk and go watch this show. The first ep might be a little slow but hang in there. It’s worth it.
If you have watched it and you like. Feel free to discuss with me at @taynementdotcom or leave a comment and tell me what you thought!