On a quiet day in 1981, disciples of an obscenely wealthy religious guru named Bhagwan Rajneesh suddenly appear in the small, conservative Oregon town of Antelope, dressed in all red and with portraits of their leader hanging from their necks. This, of course, makes the townsfolk uneasy.
The Rajneesh followers spend over $125 million to build Rajneeshpuram, a 64,000-acre utopia, complete with a hospital, schools, restaurants, a shopping mall, and their own airport. The spokesperson for the movement is Ma Anand Sheela, a fearless disciple whose belief in the principles of Rajneesh are only outweighed by her feisty spirit. In order to stack the results of county elections in their favor, the Rajneesh bus thousands of homeless people onto the ranch. When these new recruits are denied voting rights by the state, Rajneesh leaders surreptitiously infect local restaurants with salmonella, resulting in the largest biochemical terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And that’s only the beginning…
About the Filmmakers
Chapman Way is a musician/filmmaker whose films have premiered at the Sundance, Tribeca, and Los Angeles film festivals. He is currently preparing the release of his sophomore album and beginning production on his next documentary.
Maclain Way debuted his documentary Battered Bastards of Baseball at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Netflix and released as an original documentary. The film later screened at the Tribeca and LA film festivals. In 2016, he directed an episode for Amazon’s first docu-series, New Yorker Presents.
Julie Lembi is a producer whose films have premiered at the Sundance, Tribeca, and Los Angeles film festivals. She is a graduate of her Creative Producing MFA program at Columbia University and beginning pre-production on her first feature-length film.