Express News Service, Pune, February 4:
CATHERINE Jane Stork, also Catherine Jane Stubbs and formerly as Ma Shanti Bhadra, an Osho disciple, was sentenced on January 30 in Portland, US for her role in a conspiracy to kill the United States attorney for Oregon Charles Turner. In the 1980s, Stork was an important member of the Oregon commune.
In Pune, the official spokesperson of the Osho Commune Ma Sadhana said the commune has nothing to do with Stork or her indiction. Osho’s former medical advisor Swami Amrito added that he was glad the whole issue was over.
He said he had hazy memories of her since ‘‘I had interacted little with the lady.’’ Editor of Osho World magazine at the Osho World Foundation in New Delhi, Swami Keerti admitted to having met her fleetingly when she was part of the commune in Oregon. ‘‘The commune has had nothing to do with her since the case,’’ he said.
Stork, who was sentenced to time, already served a part of it when she spent three months in a German jail during a 1991 extradition battle. She will return to Germany on Tuesday and will be on five years’ probation there.
According to reports, she could have got life imprisonment, but federal judge Mallcom Marsh said he was convinced Stork “has seen the error of her ways.” She was the last of the seven followers to be convicted of the attempted murder of Turner.
According to the case, the commune members had plotted to take over the local county government in 1984 by spiking local salad bars with salmonella to incapacitate non-Osho voters. The action sickened some 750 people. A year later, Bhagwan Rajneesh’s inner circle conspired to kill Turner, after the attorney was appointed to head a federal grand jury investigation of the commune.
Stork and six other disciples were indicted in 1990. But Stork refused to leave Germany, where she is a naturalized citizen. In 1991, Germany declined an extradition request from the US and last year Stork voluntarily returned to Portland.
Sunday , February 05, 2006,