Upcoming interview with Hugh Urban

#1
Really looking forward to this! Big thanks to Hilary for putting it together :)

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Zorba the Buddha is the first comprehensive study of the life, teachings, and following of the controversial Indian guru known in his youth as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and in his later years as Osho (1931–1990). Most Americans today remember him only as the “sex guru” and the “Rolls Royce guru,” who built a hugely successful but scandal-ridden utopian community in central Oregon during the 1980s. Yet Osho was arguably the first truly global guru of the twentieth century, creating a large transnational movement that traced a complex global circuit from post-Independence India of the 1960s to Reagan’s America of the 1980s and back to a developing new India in the 1990s. The Osho movement embodies some of the most important economic and spiritual currents of the past forty years, emerging and adapting within an increasingly interconnected and conflicted late-capitalist world order. Based on extensive ethnographic and archival research, Hugh Urban has created a rich and powerful narrative that is a must-read for anyone interested in religion and globalization.

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Scientology is one of the wealthiest and most powerful new religions to emerge in the past century. To its detractors, L. Ron Hubbard's space-age mysticism is a moneymaking scam and sinister brainwashing cult. But to its adherents, it is humanity's brightest hope. Few religious movements have been subject to public scrutiny like Scientology, yet much of what is written about the church is sensationalist and inaccurate.

Here for the first time is the story of Scientology's protracted and turbulent journey to recognition as a religion in the postwar American landscape. Hugh Urban tells the real story of Scientology from its cold-war-era beginnings in the 1950s to its prominence today as the religion of Hollywood's celebrity elite. Urban paints a vivid portrait of Hubbard, the enigmatic founder who once commanded his own private fleet and an intelligence apparatus rivaling that of the U.S. government. One FBI agent described him as "a mental case", but to his followers he is the man who "solved the riddle of the human mind". Urban details Scientology's decades-long war with the IRS, which ended with the church winning tax-exempt status as a religion; the rancorous cult wars of the 1970s and 1980s; as well as the latest challenges confronting Scientology, from attacks by the Internet group Anonymous to the church's efforts to suppress the online dissemination of its esoteric teachings.

This book demonstrates how Scientology has reflected the broader anxieties and obsessions of postwar America, and raises profound questions about how religion is defined and who gets to define it.
 
#3
Alex Osho's no2 was probably more interesting and complex than him and is still kicking about (Sheela).
Could you please ask him about his ideas about what happened between the two.
Cheers
Blaise
 
#4
Really looking forward to this! Big thanks to Hilary for putting it together :)

View attachment 1373

Zorba the Buddha is the first comprehensive study of the life, teachings, and following of the controversial Indian guru known in his youth as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and in his later years as Osho (1931–1990). Most Americans today remember him only as the “sex guru” and the “Rolls Royce guru,” who built a hugely successful but scandal-ridden utopian community in central Oregon during the 1980s. Yet Osho was arguably the first truly global guru of the twentieth century, creating a large transnational movement that traced a complex global circuit from post-Independence India of the 1960s to Reagan’s America of the 1980s and back to a developing new India in the 1990s. The Osho movement embodies some of the most important economic and spiritual currents of the past forty years, emerging and adapting within an increasingly interconnected and conflicted late-capitalist world order. Based on extensive ethnographic and archival research, Hugh Urban has created a rich and powerful narrative that is a must-read for anyone interested in religion and globalization.

View attachment 1374
Scientology is one of the wealthiest and most powerful new religions to emerge in the past century. To its detractors, L. Ron Hubbard's space-age mysticism is a moneymaking scam and sinister brainwashing cult. But to its adherents, it is humanity's brightest hope. Few religious movements have been subject to public scrutiny like Scientology, yet much of what is written about the church is sensationalist and inaccurate.

Here for the first time is the story of Scientology's protracted and turbulent journey to recognition as a religion in the postwar American landscape. Hugh Urban tells the real story of Scientology from its cold-war-era beginnings in the 1950s to its prominence today as the religion of Hollywood's celebrity elite. Urban paints a vivid portrait of Hubbard, the enigmatic founder who once commanded his own private fleet and an intelligence apparatus rivaling that of the U.S. government. One FBI agent described him as "a mental case", but to his followers he is the man who "solved the riddle of the human mind". Urban details Scientology's decades-long war with the IRS, which ended with the church winning tax-exempt status as a religion; the rancorous cult wars of the 1970s and 1980s; as well as the latest challenges confronting Scientology, from attacks by the Internet group Anonymous to the church's efforts to suppress the online dissemination of its esoteric teachings.

This book demonstrates how Scientology has reflected the broader anxieties and obsessions of postwar America, and raises profound questions about how religion is defined and who gets to define it.
Would really appreciate your help in preparing for this one... lots of different angles to cover.
Alex, if you want to deal with new religious movements (NRMs) and controversies surrounding them, the source you should aquaint yourself with is CESNUR, probably the best congregation of social scientists and humanitarian scholars dealing with the NRMs and conflicts surrounding them:

https://www.cesnur.org/

The Journal of CESNUR is freely downloadable, and a valuable source:

https://cesnur.net/
 
#5
I haven't looked into Osho much before, but a few years back I compulsively read everything about the CoS that I could find online. I have a tonne of bookmarked links that I could share with you, Alex, but it would probably be overload. Instead, I can recommend this 2015 documentary on the Church, which is powerful, although it might at times stray a little into the "sensational" aspects mentioned in the blurb for Hugh's book which you posted above:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Clear_(film)
 
#6
I haven't looked into Osho much before, but a few years back I compulsively read everything about the CoS that I could find online. I have a tonne of bookmarked links that I could share with you, Alex, but it would probably be overload. Instead, I can recommend this 2015 documentary on the Church, which is powerful, although it might at times stray a little into the "sensational" aspects mentioned in the blurb for Hugh's book which you posted above:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Clear_(film)
thx. I don't think Hugh's book is sensationalized... he's more academic/scholarly. in fact, this is one of the points of the interview... ie maybe his approach is a little too distant
 
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