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Former Guru’s Aide Released From Prison

December 31, 1989

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A former aide to Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has returned to Oregon following her release from prison in California, where she served time for food-poisoning and wiretapping convictions.

Ma Anand Puja, former secretary of the Rajneesh Medical Corp., was convicted of helping cause a 1984 salmonella epidemic that sickened about 750 people in the town of The Dalles. She was also convicted of helping install a wiretapping network at Rajneeshpuram, a ranch in the high desert of central Oregon that served as the guru’s world headquarters until he was deported in 1985.

Puja, 40, also known as Diane Yvonne Onang, was released Thursday from the Federal Correctional Institution at Pleasanton, Calif., after serving 39 months.

She spent Thursday night at a halfway house in Portland pending her release, according to David Looney, supervising U.S. probation officer in Portland.

She still has three years of probation to serve, said Baron C. Sheldhl, an assistant U.S. attorney in Portland.

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