On 2 November 1982 disciples of Rajneesh won political control of the small town of Antelope, Oregon in its local elections. Earlier this year, the town’s residents attempted to vote Antelope out of political existence in order to avoid such a political confrontation between the natives and the newcomers. That attempt failed, however, and the recent election results are effective immediately. Rajneesh devotee Ma Prem Karuna was elected mayor, three devotees won seats in the six-person city council, and other followers were elected to the positions of city recorder, city treasurer, and town marshall. One wonders what the new marshall will do if Rajneesh breaks the speed limit once again, as he has reportedly done on several previous occasions. Will he follow his guru’s divine wishes or the civil code?
The established residents of Antelope fear the newcomers will raise city taxes so high that they will have to leave. But Mayor Ma Prem Karuna steadfastly denies that the new commune has any intention of forcing anyone out of town.--Jens Johansen