Just when I thought Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Ma Anand Sheela had faded from media attention, Searching for Sheela the Netflix sequel to Wild Wild Country debuts Thursday, April 22nd.
I understand why charismatic leaders are able to grab hold of people, how their dogma spreads. Most people want to believe someone else has the answers because it’s a lot less work and so much more comforting. Gurus also make dynamic subjects which is why viewers find them fascinating. I would love to see more production time spent on the ways in which these movements grow and spread, the toll they take on the vulnerable, and how fine the line is between mentor and guru.
I’m happy my book When She Comes Back about the loss of my mother to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh will be out just a few weeks after Searching for Sheela airs. I hope it will be a good counterbalance to the sensationalism, a deeper dive into the effect coercive leaders actually have on people’s lives.
My book is in pre-order now and if you send a copy of your paperback purchase receipt, I can send you the audiobook which I narrated as a gift. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you the audiobook right away.
You can preorder my book here.
I was a guest on the Storyworthy podcast this week and had so much fun talking with Christine Blackburn about covens, cults, kibbutzim, and Texas. She’s so funny and made me feel totally at ease. You can listen to our lively conversation here.
Next week I’ll be co-hosting an Eating and Body Image chat with three talented writers who are experts in the field. You can find us on Instagram Live next Friday 4/20 at 10:30 AM PT/1:30 PM ET.
This week on the podcast my guest is Andrea Wilson Woods who stepped in to raise her sister Adrian when their mother decided she no longer wanted to. Andrea later had to fight her mother in court and when Adrian was only 15 she was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. I hope you tune in to this episode. I am grateful for the conversation I got to have with Andrea and that she is doing such important work to fight cancer. You can listen to episode 74, A Life in 147 days, here.
Next week on the podcast Sabrina Osso is my guest. Growing up the violence she witnessed in her home left her quiet, shy, and often ill. By the time she was in high school the toll of that trauma left her suicidal. Fortunately, she was able to seek treatment in her early twenties and soon began to heal. Now she is the founder of a company dedicated to keeping homes violence free and works to keep families safe.
I have lots of articles and appearances in the works and I will keep you posted. Thank you for reading this far, I so appreciate it!
Please take good care of yourself.