MA Anand Sheela is known as the Indian-born spokeswoman of the Rajneesh movement (Osho movement).
Sheela’s story has become popular again since the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, but who is her ex-husband John Shelfer?
NetflixThe formidable Ma Anand Sheela[/caption]
Who is Ma Anand Sheela’s husband John Shelfer?
John Shelfer worked as a former New York bank officer before he met Ma Anand Sheela.
After their marriage, he changed his name to Prem Jayananda and became President of Rajneesh Foundation International.
He signed bonds for the financial arm of Sheela’s company.
Jayananda was an executive in Rajneesh Services through at least October 1982, according to information Rajneeshee attorneys gave to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.
During that same period, Jayananda was also vice president before becoming president of Rajneesh Investment Corp on July 22, 1982.
Rajneesh Services stationery identified Jayananda as “non-executive director” in September 1983, but his name was crossed off in subsequent correspondence dated May 1984.
When did Ma Anand Sheela and John Shelfer get married?
Ma Anand Sheela and John Shelfer tied the knot in December 1980.
Sheela was the right-hand woman of controversial cult leader and Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, more commonly known as Osho.
The couple later divorced after Shelfer admitted to fearing for his life during the marriage.
“Sheela wanted to bump me off from 84. Why?? It was after I refused to help her kill anyone.
“I knew a lot of what she had organized as far as dirty tricks go, and I did not want to be a witness to these in the state and federal courts. It could only hurt the commune and Osho’s reputation, and while I had little jeopardy, I would have had to spend years in Oregon in court at my expense and jeopardy.
“I left the ranch in late 85 after returning from Germany where I had been sent earlier in 85 by Sheela, ostensibly to be killed there,” he said
In 1986, she pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault for her role in the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack.
She was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison but paroled after just 39 months.
In 1999, she was convicted again by a Swiss court of “criminal acts preparatory to the commission of murder” in relation to a plot to kill US federal prosecutor Charles Turner in 1985
Do they have kids?
No, the pair did not have any children together.