Antigua Says Rajneesh Would Not Be Welcome
Mar. 08, 1986
ST. JOHNS, Antigua (AP) _ Immigration authorities on this east Caribbean island denied reports that Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had arrived after being barred from Britain, and said he would not be welcome.
Jeremiah Joseph, immigration service superintendent for the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, said Rajneesh would be ''declared persona non grata if he ever lands here.''
He said immigration officials at all ports of entry had been instructed not to allow Rajneesh to enter the country.
The guru, 54, arrived in London Thursday and was held overnight at a detention center at Heathrow Airport, according to a spokesman for the British Home Office. The spokesman, who was not identified in accordance with government rules, said Rajneesh flew out about 1 p.m. Friday on his private jet after being refused entry because of his conviction of violating U.S. immigration laws.
The spokesman said Rajneesh was headed for the West Indies. Press Association, the British domestic news agency, quoted an unidentified official at Heathrow as saying the plane was thought to be headed for Angtigua, a former British colony.
Rajneesh had established a commune in Oregon but left last November after pleading guilty to two charges of violating U.S. immigration laws. He received a suspended sentence and paid $400,000 in fines and court costs.
Since then, he has traveled to India, Nepal and Greece. Greek officials expelled him Thursday after angry Greek Orthodox clergymen threatened to stone his followers.
The guru is known as the ''swami of sex'' because his philosophy includes a relaxed view of sexual relations. He claims to have 500,000 followers worldwide.