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SERIES: Sects Sell – The Rajneeshees

Launched in January 2019, Sects Sell is my weekly opportunity to explore a cult and experiment with a mid-century-ish, retro style of advertisement. New pieces are posted every Friday on this page and on Instagram – follow this and other work at @bridgetmakesstuff.

Ad Inspo:

This is inspired by the large letter postcards that were genuinely prevalent from the 1930s – 1950s and are now kind of ironically prevelant, usually in a way that mocks Florida. The general characteristics are large block letters, sometimes filled with secondary images, and the words “greetings from…”

Interesting fact I had not previously know: in this era, most postcards were made of linen, not paper, and it was common for those linen postcards to be textured. I’m guessing it felt a bit like thick money which, in related news, is my stripper name. COPYRIGHT.

This link will tell you to some examples from around the world.

Cult Inspo:

If you’ve never heard of the Rajneeshees, it is my strong recommendation that you watch Wild, Wild Country on Netflix ASAP. It’s very long, but it’s so. so. good.

Look how freaking creepy this documentary looks!

If you refuse to participate in your own education, the Rajneeshees are a cult that started in India, came to America medium illegally, bought a ranch in Oregon, and terrorized the adjacent town of Antelope by rigging their elections and sprinkling their salad bars with poison. As far as I can tell, their values are extreme capitalism, taking whatever you want, and yelling quite a bit while clothed and then, later, nude.

There’s also a lot of infighting and selling each other down the river slash out of the country and listening to these people explain themselves on Netflix has been a highlight of my time watching television with my roommate, Hannah.

The most infuriating thing is that the horrifying leader, the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, decided later in his life that he wanted to be called Osho. And they just fully switched over, nbd. And NOW a lot of white girls you know are probably posting inspirational quotes attributed to Osho! The man that was like, “absolutely, get AFTER that salad bar poisoning so we can be the king of antelope and continue our substandard construction!,” probably.

Look at what a creep this guy is!

Like. If that doesn’t make you want to change your mind and watch WWC, I don’t know what to do with you.

Anyway, this postcard is of their ranch, Rajneeshpuram and tbh it’s pretty spot on.

Look at what happens when you make your yoga followers build their own houses and stuff!

If you’ve seen the doc, I encourage you to try to find the syringe hidden in someone’s pocket. You can do it if you haven’t seen the documentary, but you won’t know why it’s shocking and/or hilarious.

Tell me what you think!