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Breaking the Spell
Breaking the Spell is Jane Stork's extraordinary life story. Equally moving and disturbing, it chronicles the rise and fall of the religion Rajneeshism and the Rolls Royce guru, and Jane's part in the events that led to its collapse.
Growing up in post-war Western Australia, Jane Stork had a conventional Catholic upbringing, and married her university sweetheart at age 21. Embarking on the familiar path of marriage and raising children, Jane's semblance of a normal life began to unravel as she entered her 30s.
She sought answers at a meditation centre, and quickly became devoted to the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, changing her name, adopting the orange robes of a "sannyasin", and uprooting her family to live first in an ashram in India and then in the Bhagwan-created city of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA.
It was here that Bhagwan's behaviour became increasingly bizarre. He began promoting a siege mentality among his followers, ordering them to amass firearms. He encouraged his secretary Sheela to use drastic methods to take over local governments and to punish the local communities who objected to their "utopian" city.
For Jane, what started out as a journey seeking spiritual enlightenment began to descend into darkness as she sacrificed her marriage and children, and eventually – through a monstrous act of attempted murder – her freedom.
Written with vivid immediacy and hard-won insight, Breaking the Spell is the incredible true story of a spiritual journey descending into madness, and the true meaning of redemption, self-determination and forgiveness.
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