Netflix’s Wild Wild Country is, so far, the must-see television event of 2018.
Created by brothers Maclain and Chapman Way, it explores the incredible true story of Rajneeshpuram—a city established by cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his free-loving, red-clothed followers, or sannyasins, on a 64,000-acre ranch in rural Oregon. With the help of his top lieutenant, Ma Anand Sheela, Bhagwan and the Rajneeshees transformed the barren fields on the outskirts of Wasco County into a full-blown community replete with a shopping mall, fire and police departments, a school, an airstrip, and enough A-frame townhouses to hold 7,000 people.
Things soon got ugly, however, between Rajneeshpuram and those in the nearby towns and cities. After a Rajneeshee hotel was bombed, the sannyasins acquired a large cache of approximately 100 semiautomatic weapons—more than the entire Oregon police force combined—and a million rounds of AK-47 ammunition. Then, in an attempt to overthrow the Wasco County government, they bused in thousands of homeless people to Rajneeshpuram to vote, only to drug them with Haldol and later expel them; poisoned several city and local government officials; poisoned 10 restaurants in The Dalles, sending 751 people to the hospital in the largest bioterrorism attack in U.S. history; and burned down the county commissioner’s office. They also attempted to assassinate U.S. State Attorney Charles Turner, who was coming down on Rajneeshpuram.