Inside: Wild Wild County

Ken Eisner

We don’t learn exactly what drew so many affluent young people to the Bhagwan Rajneesh’s Indian commune or how that led to the takeover of a tiny Oregon town in the mid-1980s. But amidst impressive archival footage (seen in local coverage archived below) and contemporary sensationalism (as in the four-part sexploitation flick seen below) this fascinating series bears neutral witness to an entire city being built from scratch, then dismantled. Filmmaker siblings Chapman and Maclain Way give too much room to certified sociopath Sheela, and to third bro Brocker’s editorializing music. But whole worlds -- of rural prejudice, criminal opportunism, gun love, legal overreach, and genuine idealism -- are compressed in a still-too-skimpy six-plus hours. The late Christopher Hitchens (audio book excerpted here), who joined briefly, recalled an ashram sign reading “Leave shoes and minds at the door.”

Wild Wild Country Disco Sex Cult

Wild Wild Country: Disco Sex Cult

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Wild Wild Country News Archive

Wild Wild Country: News Archive

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Christopher Hitchens Audio Book

Christopher Hitchens: Wild Wild Country Audio Book

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