My Life in Orange
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru is an account of a child growing up in the Rajneesh movement led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The book is a firsthand account, written by Tim Guest years after his experiences, at the age of 27. The book was published in 2004 by Granta Books. The book's title is a reference to the term "the orange people", which was used to refer to members of the Rajneesh movement due to the color they dyed their clothes.
- My mother was working twelve hours a day in the Magdalena kitchens, she told me. After work she barely had time to see Bhagwan appear in Rajneesh Mandir before crawling exhausted into bed.
- My mother worked in Magdalena, cleaning pots and pans. This mountainous task was the only job in the kitchens which wasn't arbitrarily decided. The scrubbing of the hundreds of huge pans used to feed Rajneeshpuram was so arduous that no one was given the task for more than a week. On Sheela's orders, my mother did it for thirty days.
- At the same time as Bhagwan's arrest, Sheela, Puja, and Shanti Bhadra, three of the biggest of the Big Mammas, were arrested in a Black Forest hotel by West German police and extradited to the USA to face charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and first-degree assault. Sheela, it transpired, had formed a hit squad to carry out attacks, including the murder of District Attorney Charles Turney, Laxmi, Vivek, and an Oregonian reporter.
- The court heard that Sheela had instigated The Dalles salmonella poisonings. A team of sannyasins had been sent out with orders to smear salmonella from rubber gloves onto the salad bars of eight different restaurants. The court heard how the poisonings and murder plots were looked on lightly by some of the conspirators; after all, death was just another part of the journey.
- Bhagwan and the others were eventually arrested for fraud, but most of his followers were too zonked to care.
- "My Life in Orange by Tim Guest". The Guardian. 26 January 2004. Retrieved on 8 November 2011. — (book excerpt)
Quotes about My Life in Orange 
- A rightly disturbing record of malignant child neglect by people who sought a heaven, but made a hell.
- Kirkus Reviews staff (November 15, 2004). "Guest, Tim: My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru". Kirkus Reviews 72 (22): 1078–1079.
- A thoroughly enjoyable read and a fascinating insight into the workings of a commune along with the people, their beliefs and their attitudes. Both amusing and sad. Pretty much something for everyone.
- Haswell, Peter (May 12, 2004). "REVIEW: My Life in Orange". M2 Best Books.
- Guest writes with a reporter's sense of economy and restraint, letting absurd, even shocking details speak for themselves.
- Engberg, Gillian (December 1, 2004). "Guest, Tim. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru". Booklist 101 (7).
- This is an excellent study of what happens when a charismatic leader comes into contact with a group of rudderless, dispirited people. They follow him blindly. They let him get away with anything.
- Leith, William (February 16, 2004). "Spiritual fraud". New Statesman 133 (4675): 52.
- Guest makes an astonishingly mature debut (he is 27) and has the rare ability to describe childhood as a small child lives it; accepting, helpless, curious.
- Curzon, Montagu (January 10, 2004). "A child of the ashram". The Spectator 294 (9153): 35.
- The book is deep, yet light and readable, both for those who have had similar life experiences and who, I am sure, will find solace in this book, and for those with no such personal experience, who will find the narrative fascinating.
- Kendall, Lois (2004). "My Life in Orange — Book Review by Lois Kendall, Ph.D.". Cultic Studies Review 3 (1). Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
- Honest and vivid, this is an absorbing book about survival and good intentions gone awry.
- Tim Guest’s extraordinary account of his childhood in the communes of Bhagwan, the notorious Indian guru, is a survivor’s tale, poignant, funny and wise.
- The main failure of Guest's otherwise excellent book is the absence of character: even his mother comes across rather as a history than a personality.
- My Life in Orange, though slightly patchwork in its construction, is an absorbing piece of writing, all the more compelling for begging as many questions as it answers and for the author's refusal to ask for pity.
- Bedell, Geraldine (January 11, 2004). "The future was orange: Tim Guest's upbringing as a child of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh 'free love' movement in the Sixties left him anything but spiritually enlightened". The Observer (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
- The most extraordinary account of his [Tim Guest's] childhood and the bravest writing I've read in ages.
- Director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, Christopher Cook, quoted in — Barton, Laura (March 15, 2004). "My media: Christopher Cook — Interview by Laura Barton". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
- A postcard from the past that the Osho ashram may not rave about.
- Moving, superbly written account of growing up in the midst of ... cruel madness.
- Powers, Catherine A. (February 20, 2005). "Wriggling Out of the Ties That Bind". The Boston Globe (Globe Newspaper Company): p. D9.
- The book offers a glimpse into the thoughts of the followers, and examines the fine line between spirituality and insanity, between religion and cult.
- An intriguing and often humorous mix of straightforward 1980s nostalgia and cult delusion.
- Hegarty, Shane (January 29, 2005). "The Irish Times: Paperbacks". The Irish Times.
Further reading 
- Day, Elizabeth (March 28, 2010). "Tim Guest's childhood was spent in a strange Indian cult". The Observer (Guardian Media Group).
- Reference & Research Book News staff (August 1, 2005). "My Life in Orange: Growing up With the Guru". Reference & Research Book News 20 (3): 16.
See also 
- "My Life in Orange by Tim Guest". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). January 26, 2004. — excerpted portion
- "My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru — by Tim Guest". WNYC (WNYC Radio). 2008. — excerpted portion