»Bhagwan« Rajneesh and the Dilemma of his Religion

Peter Priskil, Fritz Erik Hoevels

This is the first unbelieving book about Bhagwan. His followers will not like it, but even less will all those crypto-believers in majority religions acquired by birth, who have taken the easy way. Without any prejudice the historian Peter Priskil compares Bhagwan to his famous Jewish precursor, the psychoanalyst Fritz Erik Hoevels extends his examination of Bhagwan's religion to provide a psychoanalytic study of religion in general.

This study should be of particular interest to the Asian public: the basically different characters of the Western and the Eastern systems of religion – particularly regarding their respective tendencies to persecute those who cherish different beliefs or have no belief at all – are examined here and traced back to their different psychic establishment in the individual.


  • Tribal, Christian and Tantrik roots of the religion
    of Bhagwan Rajneesh
    By Sanal Edamaruku
  • Bhagwan or the dilemma of a humane religion:
    A Psychoanalytical Study
    By Fritz Erik Hoevels
  • Jesus-Bhagwan: A comparison
    By Peter Priskil

Peter Priskil:

Dr. Peter Priskil is a historian and literary scholar in Freiburg. He worked for many years as an editor and translator in a scientific publishing house, specializing in medieval studies and Paleolithic art. Since the recent aggressions of the United States, he has spent several periods of time in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, starting in 1992. Another focus of his work is the application of authentic psychoanalysis to various fields of the so-called humanities.
Major works: Die Karmaten (The Qarmatians), Der verdrängte Humanismus (The Suppressed Humanism), Freuds Schlüssel zur Dichtung (Freud’s Key to Poetry), Der Kalte Krieg (The Cold War).

To the personal homepage of Peter Priskil

Peter Priskil has published numerous articles in the journals Ketzerbriefe and System ubw.

Fritz Erik Hoevels:

Dipl.-Psych. Dr. Fritz Erik Hoevels is a psychoanalyst in Freiburg.
Major works: Marxismus, Psychoanalyse, Politik (Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Politics), Wilhelm Reichs Beitrag zur Psychoanalyse (Wilhelm Reich’s Contribution to Psychoanalysis) and Wie unrecht hatte Marx wirklich? Band 1:Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft (How Wrong was Marx Really? Volume I: Society and Economics).
His study on the unconscious motives of the poet Arrabal was published by Hoffmann &Campe under the editorship of J. Cremerius. Numerous essays in the scientific journals Praxis der Psychotherapie, System ubw and Hermes. His Collected Papers on the Psychoanalysis of Religion (first published by freethought international/Indian Atheist Publishers) have been translated into five major languages, including English, Chinese, and Russian.
In 1974, Fritz Erik Hoevels founded the MRI (Marxist-Reichist Initiative), later renamed in the Bund gegen Anpassung (Alliance against Conformity).

Numerous articles published in the journals Ketzerbriefe and System ubw.

Available in English translation:

Availablie in French translation:

Available in Spanish translation:

Available in Italian translation:

Available in Polish translation:


Fritz Erik Hoevels is the editor of the book series Unerwünschte Bücher zur Kirchen- und Religionsgeschichte (Unwelcome Books on the History of Church and Religion):

  • J. R. Grigulevic: Ketzer – Hexen – Inquisitoren (Heretics –
    Witches – Inquisitors)
  • Hyam Maccoby: Jesus und der jüdische Freiheitskampf
    (Revolution in Judea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance)
  • Giordano Bruno Guerri: Zwei arme Schweine auf dem Weg
    zum Himmel (Two Poor Wretches on their Way to Heaven)
  • Jaya Gopal: Gabriels Einflüsterungen – Eine historisch-
    kritische Bestandsaufnahme des Islam (Gabriel’s Whispers – A Historical-Critical Analysis of Islam)
  • Leo Kaplan: Die göttliche Allmacht – Die religiöse Zentral-
    Phantasie im Lichte der Psychoanalyse (Divine Omnipotence – The Central Religious Phantasy in the Light of Psychoanalysis)
  • Theodor Reik: Die Pubertätsriten der Wilden (Puberty
    Rites of the Wild)
  • Hyam Maccoby: Der Mythenschmied – Paulus und die
    Erfindung des Christentums (The Mythmaker. Paul and the
    Invention of Christianity)

To the personal homepage of Fritz Erik Hoevels

Sanal Edamaruku, Fritz Erik Hoevels, Peter Priskil
»Bhagwan« Rajneesh and the Dilemma of his Religion
Indian Atheist Publishers
New Delhi 1993
147 p., 2 ill.
€ 4,90
ISBN: 978-81-7374-002-2
ISBN-10: 81-7374-002-X

Note: F. E. Hoevels' essay on the subject
is included in his »Mass Neurosis Religion«.