APca 07/14 0149 Rajneeshee Arrested SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A fugitive follower of Ind

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

APca 07/14 0149 Rajneeshee Arrested SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A fugitive follower of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was captured Monday night in Santa Cruz, where she was visiting her gravely ill parents, a Portland newspaper reported. Ma Deva Kranto, also known as Gail Ellen Murphy, was arrested in Santa Cruz on a wiretapping conspiracy charge filed during the closure of the guru's commune in central Oregon in 1985, according to The Oregonian. Kranto, 45, was taken into custody after the FBI received information that she was flying from Italy to San Francisco via New York to visit an ailing relative, Assistant U.S. Attorney Baron C. Sheldahl told the newspaper on Monday. Kranto was released on her own recognizance after an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Patricia Trumbull in San Jose. A removal hearing for her transfer to Portland was scheduled July 23. Meanwhile, she was ordered to surrender her passport and report twice weekly to federal probation authorities, Sheldahl said. Kranto was one of 21 defendants named in a five-count federal indictment handed down in December 1985 that alleged a massive conspiracy to secretly intercept and record all incoming and outgoing telephone calls at the commune-city of Rajneeshpuram. Ma Anand Sheela, Rajneesh's former personal secretary and several others pleaded guilty to the wiretap conspiracy charge. Sheela was sentenced to a 4 1/2-year prison term, which she is serving at a federal correctional facility in Pleasanton, Calif. However, 16 other defendants, including Kranto, either fled or had already left the United States and could not be extradited, Sheldahl said. He said some of the defendants were known to be living in West Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The wiretapping indictment alleged that the eavesdropping operation began as early as November 1983, when some of the cabins at Rajneeshpuram were bugged with electronic listening devices. The operation was expanded in March 1984, with bugs installed in some of the rooms of the Hotel Rajneesh and again in April 1985 when the rest of the hotel was bugged and eavesdropping devices were placed in some residences in the commune, the indictment alleged. Last page !


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank