any impact at all, can assert itself only for a moment before being modified. Pure
charismatics do not collaborate with the process of routinization. If their movements are to survive and achieve stability, they must have a change of temper that
permits their retinue to take over, or they must be displaced in some way. They
must die early, as Jesus and Joseph Smith did, or be neutralized. Both William
Irvine and the movement he founded were lucky. His church, having expelled
him, is a viable movement today. As for Irvine, he moved to Palestine to await the
coming of the Lord, and died there at a ripe old age.
Revised version of the presidential address delivered at the 1987 annual meeting of
the Association for the Sociology of Religion, Chicago. Marion S. Goldman, Edward W.
Mann, J. Gordon Melton, Donald Pitzer, and Joe V. Peterson have made valuable suggestions, and a few important corrections, which I have incorporated in this revision.
It did cause considerable instability in Jewish communities of central and eastern Europe and may have laid the groundwork for the emergence of Hasidism.
In addition to my own observations and readily available newspaper accounts, I am
indebted for my knowledge of Rajneeshism to the work of Edward W. Mann ( 1991). See
also Gordon ( 1987), Milne ( 1986), and Strelley ( 1987).
I personally witnessed the respectful, even adulatory, treatment accorded Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi by a group of scientific admirers at a small gathering at his residence during
the Second International Symposium on the Science of Creative Intelligence, held in August 1971 on the campus of Humboldt State University in California. This group, which
included one Nobel laureate, disagreed with Maharishi on a key issue concerning genetics,
but they did so in the mildest and most helpful manner imaginable. See below for more
observations on this gathering.
The division of new religious movements into two worlds can also account for why
some members experience spiritual and psychological benefits at the very same time that
their leaders are engaged in a variety of "dirty tricks."
I am indebted to Joe V. Peterson for this information.
Butler Katy. 1983. "Events are the teacher: working through the crisis at San Francisco Zen
Center." Coevolution Quarterly (Winter): 112-23.
Crow Keith W. 1964. "The invisible church." Master's thesis, University of Oregon.
Gordon James S. 1987. The Golden Guru: The Strange Journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Lexington, MA: Stephen Greene.
Joshi Vasant. 1982. The Awakened One. New York: Harper & Row.
Mann W. E. 1991. The Quest for Total Bliss: A Psycho-Social Perspective on the Rajneesh
Movement. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.
Milne Hugh. 1986. Bhagwan. The God that Failed. London: Caliban Books.
New English Bible. 1971. New York: Oxford University Press.
Oregonian. 1987. "Sheela: 'I knew I was to take the rap'." Portland Oregonian (August 1):7.