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Ronald Clarke collection on Rajneesh

Identifier: Coll 407

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a number of academic papers on the history, social, ethical, religious, and psychological makeup of the Rajneesh community. An extensive coverage of newspaper articles by the popular press mirrored by in-house newspapers, magazines and pamphlets. Of note is the extensive and award winning articles by the Portland Oregonian. It contains a small amount of correspondence between scholars and sect members.


  • Creation: 1983-1991


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Ronald Orville Clarke (1928-2001) was born in Medford, Oregon and grew up in southern Oregon and Corvallis. He did his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University and earned a Bachelor of Divinity in 1953 from Yale University Divinity School. He received a doctorate degree in Theology from the Pacific School of Religion at Berkeley in 1964. He was a Professor of Religious Studies at Oregon State University for over 30 years focusing on Values in Human Ecology, Religion and Society and Religion and Society during the last years of his tenure. Clarke retired in June 1993 as an emeritus professor of religious studies.

In 1983 he received a grant from the Oregon Committee for the Humanities to study the teachings of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. His study focused on the philosophical and sociological aspects of the sect in contrast to the sensational treatment being written about it in the popular press and media. He urged the Oregon public to exercise tolerance and civility towards the sect and was accused by some of being an apologist for the group. He summarized his findings in a lengthy report to the OCH.


1 linear feet (2 containers) : 2 manuscript boxes

Language of Materials



Ronald Clarke, Professor of Religion, Oregon State University, made a study of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The collection is made up of books, newspaper and magazine articles, academic papers, publications of the Rajneesh sect, and correspondence of those involved.


Collection is organized into the following series:

Series I: Academic Papers on Rajneesh Series II: Rajneesh subject files Series III: OSHO Series IV: Legal Series V: Correspondence Series VI: Articles and other publications

Separated Materials

Several issues of The Rajneesh Times were separated and moved the Oregon Collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Richard Yates.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Ronald Clarke Collection on Rajneesh
Complete Description
Richard Yates
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA