The Inner Circle and Presidium

This page is part of the historical background relating to "What Is an Osho?", a slick, sannyas-paradigm-shifting policy paper written by Amrito and circulated in 1998. A deconstruction of Amrito's paper is presented on this site, introduced here. A large subset of the background addresses various aspects of OIF's claimed right to control Osho's legacy, particularly regarding the legal muscle of copyright and trademark.This page demonstrates the lack of legal authority of the IC and Presidium. It is sourced from Osho Friends International. For more legal pages, see OFI or Legal Main Page.
Inner Circle and Presidium

What about the inner circle and presidium that Osho set up before He left the body? Do they have some control or authority? In short, no, they don’t. Before Osho left His body He set up the inner circle and the presidium as purely advisory bodies. He asked the members of those groups to assist the people doing His work around the world.

The inner circle and the presidium aren’t legal entities. That is, they aren’t set up as trusts or foundations. They are just casual, informal groups, and the people who serve as members are volunteers. They have no legal status of any kind.

Osho did not transfer any ownership rights to the inner circle or the presidium. As you can see in the Copyrights section, Osho had never transferred His copyrights to anyone during His life. If he had wanted to, He could have had the inner circle and/or presidium set up as a charitable trust and transferred His copyrights to the trust. Osho could also have transferred any interests He might have had in the name Osho to such a trust, but He chose not to do any of those things. Osho never transferred rights in a way that would set up any kind legal hierarchy.

Since the inner circle and presidium were never legal entities and have never had any ownership interests, they have no legal authority, and that was Osho’s choice. The members of these groups do not have the legal right to run the ashram/commune/resort in Pune, either, unless some or all of the legal entities operating in Pune have assigned legal rights to them, which is very unlikely.

The inner circle and the presidium have absolutely no legal connection to the Osho centers, and, it’s important to note, OIF is not claiming that they do. OIF is claiming that it, a Swiss entity, is the only one with the power and authority to control Osho’s many centers outside of India.

In years past at least one original member of the inner circle, Garimo, (Maria Ackerman, f/k/a Arup) has said that, “Osho left His work to us.” This is a serious distortion of the truth. As Osho never transferred any legal right to these groups, He clearly intended them to be advisory groups only. Osho said repeatedly that He left His real work, the spiritual work of realizing consciousness, to each individual connected to Him. Everyone connected to Him is a successor of His. No one individual or one group is the successor.

In traditional spiritual lineages, the successor of the Master had the responsibility for carrying on the Master’s work. Osho very clearly left the responsibility for carrying on His work jointly to all the people connected to Him. All of Osho’s words and all of His actions are consistent with this.

But nobody is my follower.
Nobody is going to be my successor.
Each sannyasin is my representative.
When I am dead,
you all -- individually -- will have to represent me to the world.
There is not going to be any pope.
There is not going to be any shankaracharya.
Each sannyasin, in his own capacity, has to represent me.
This has never happened -- but it is going to happen!
You are all my successors.
When I am dead, that simply means I have left this body
and entered all the bodies of my people.
I will be within you.
I will be part of you.
~ from From Death to Deathlessness, Ch 25