Netflix’s trailer Looking for Sheela is out and sure, the Wild Wild Country fans can’t wait to witness the life journey of controversial figure Ma Anand Sheela. Ma Anand Sheela’s story is intriguing, scandalous and obnoxious. The documentary Wild Wild Country introduced us to different characters, but the central and most fascinating was that of Sheela. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s right-hand man and his personal secretary, Sheela, was unlike any other antihero – ruthless, powerful and intelligent.
Produced by Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment, Looking for Sheela is one of the most anticipated documentaries of 2021. You get more eager to watch the documentary when you hear Sheela Ambalal Patel say: “I have bigger scandals than show business.” The latest project delves further into the world created by the Wild Wild CountryThe documentary is all set to hit Netflix on April 22, 2021. But before we get to see another chapter of her life, let’s introduce you to some interesting facts about this powerful figure.
10 Interesting Facts About Ma Anand Sheela Before You Watch Looking for Sheela
1. The first meeting with Bhagwan
Ma Anand Sheela, named by her parents Sheela Ambalal Patel, was introduced to Bhagwan by her father when she was 16. Wild Wild Country she said she and her father had gone to Bhagwan’s apartment and immediately felt devoted to him. When Bhagwan hugged her, It was at this point that death would have come, I accept. My life was complete, “ she said.
2.1984 Rajneeshee bio-terror attack
In 1984 hundreds of people became ill with salmonella. Sheela was accused of sprinkling the bacteria on salad bars in restaurants. The specific event is known as the Rajneeshee Bioterror Attack, in which 751 people were victims of the act. To date, it’s considered the biggest bio-terror attack in America, per Vice. It is believed that in order to increase the cult’s influence and misrepresent the voter percentage in order to win the open seats in the election in Wasco Country, Sheela made up the whole thing, according to Quint.
3. Sheela loved Bhagwan Rajneesh and why she left him
In Wild Wild Country Sheela related that when she first met Bhagwan, she felt that her life purpose had been achieved. Talking about how she fell in love and the reason she left him, she told India Today, ‘It had to be done, right? It’s like needing a doctor when you’re sick. If people are not sick, what do you need a doctor for? I had had enough of him. I was in love with him all these years but things just crystallized during that time. There were no specific cases that escalated the matter, but it kept building up until I reached a stage where I decided to go alone. He is a desperate man. I took care of all his needs so that he had no worries, had no complaints and was able to look good. And I was under tremendous pressure to run that huge outfit. Our monthly budget alone was two and a half million dollars, and I ran it in style. “
Ma Anand Sheela and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a still from Netflix’s Searching for Sheela
Accused of theft of $ 55 million from the cult
When Sheela and her followers left Bhagwan, there were allegations that she had fled with $ 55 million in funds from the organization. She set the record straight, she told India Today, “I had nothing to do with the missing money. In any case, the new financial adviser to Rajneesh Municipality has now dropped these allegations and stated that no money was missing. are blown on the fleet of Rolls Royces, planes, watches and expensive jewelery bought for the Bhagwan. ‘
6. The conspiracy of eavesdropping
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a thorough investigation for about three months after Sheela and Bhagwan split up. During their search, the FBI confiscated thousands of cassette recordings of intercepted communications, according to LA Times. In July 1985 she pleaded guilty to wiretapping telephones and eavesdropping on other conversations in the guru’s commune.
7. Sentenced to 20 years in prison
After the bio-terror attack in Rajneeshee in 1984, Ma Anand Sheela fled to Europe as a fugitive. She was charged with crimes such as arson, attempted murder, wiretapping and mass poisonings, according to Outlook India. In 1986, she pleaded guilty to attempted murder and sexual assault for her role and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, after serving 39 months in prison, she was paroled for good behavior and fined $ 470,000.
Ma Anand Sheela for Netflix’s Searching for Sheela
8. Ma Anand Sheela runs two nursing homes in Switzerland
Ma Anand Sheela, who lives in a village near Basel in Switzerl, runs two nursing homes in Matrusaden and Bapusaden. Inspired by her parents, with the goal of serving others, she bought and started these nursing homes to care for the elderly with mental illness. “It is the love of my parents that I have received and it must be shared with people. They were my inspiration to create nursing homes, “ she said to Vogue.
9. Married three times
Sheela was married three times. Her first husband was Harris Silverman, a United States citizen. After his death in 1980, she married John Joseph Shelfer, another American. After Shelfer’s death, she married Urs Birnstiel, a Swiss citizen who eventually died of AIDS in 1992, according to Vogue.
10. Started her own business
After all the hustle and bustle, Sheela started her company Sheela Birnstiel GMBH, a company that acts as hotel management consultants. “We are somewhere in West Germany and there are 25 of us, including five children. I am still in close contact with my parents in Baroda and would like to visit India one day,” she told India Today.
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