Bioterrorism In Oregon

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The Rajneesh movement was one inspired by the Indian mystic Osho. They are known as the Orange People, because of their wardrobe choices of red, maroon and pink. They were a very controversial group due to the founder’s anger and hostility toward traditional values. Many of them came to the United States, and they sought to bring positive aspects of their Indian culture to the west. The movement went to Oregon and caused tensions due to their hostile and aggressive behavior. Osho, the leader was being investigated for immigration violations. He was arranging illegal marriages so that immigrants from India could stay in the United States.

In The Dalles, Oregon in 1984 a total of 751 people got the salmonellosis virus. 45 of these citizens were so sick that they needed to be hospitalized. There was a huge investigation from the Oregon Public Health Division, as well as the Centers for Disease Control. At first, they did not determine these contaminations to be an act of terrorism. It was not until 1985, when Congressman James H. Weaver stated to the House of Representatives that he “accused Rajneeshees of sprinkling salmonella culture on salad bar ingredients in eight restaurants in the area.” 

This group was unhappy with the current government and had plans to assassinate the United States Attorney. When the FBI got involved and executed their search warrants in the Rajneeshpuram they discovered a sample of bacteria that matched the contaminated foods they found in the restaurants in one of the medical laboratory. Two head Rajneeshpuram officials were charged and convicted with attempted murder and were sentenced to 29 months of a 20-year sentence in federal prison.

The anger behind these attacks began when many thousand followers moved to the “Big Muddy Ranch,” and made it into Rajneeshpuram. They quickly took political control of the nearby town Antelope. They were denied building permits’ which led to animosity and them deciding to influence the 1984 county election. They planned to bring tons of homeless people in and register them to vote, as well as planning to sicken and incapacitate voters, hence the biological warfare. These are some sick and twisted individuals if you ask me.

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Gloria Caputa

Writer and Coffee Addict

Gloria is a veteran in this game, winning many writing contests and being published numerous times for her various stories. She came to work for us because she wanted more freedom with her writing, but also wanted to be apart of a team. She has a deep love for coffee and anything that has to do with the ?60s.