Facts about the Rajneeshee bioterror attack of 1984

Recently a series has come out about the Rajneeshee commune in Oregon.  Here are some facts about the Rajneeshee bioterror attack:

-Occurred in 1984

-The plan was to  incapacitate the community’s voting population so that the Rajneeshee candidates would win the 1984 county election in Wasco County, Oregon

-751 people were affected and 45 hospitalized from the poisoning


-The commune had purchased the salmonella from a medical supply company in Seattle, then grown cultures of the bacteria in their lab at the commune

-The salmonella was first put in water glasses of water of two county commissioners, and later spread on a salad bars in 10 restaurants, on food in grocery stores, and on doorknobs and urinal handles

-The Rajneeshees carried the salmonella in plastic bags full of a brown liquid

-Symptoms of salmonella include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever, chills, and headache

-It took one year for the Center of Disease Control  to confirm that it was poisoning, when the commune was raided and a sample of the bacteria was found in the commune’s medical laboratory

-The DNA of the salmonella from the salad bar infection matched the DNA of the salmonella that was cultured by the commune members in their lab

-The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory initially blamed the outbreak on poor hygiene by food handlers

-Local residents thought the Rajneeshees were behind the attack, and showed up in large numbers for the election, defeating the Rajneeshees despite the poisoning

-Largest bioterror attack ever in the United States

salad bar.jpg


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