Why Do Rajneeshees Wear Red On The Netflix Hit ‘Wild Wild Country’?

rajneeshees wear red wild country


If you’re hooked on the Netflix hit ‘Wild Wild Country,’ then you know that many questions swirl around this utterly bizarre tale. But there’s one question that might plague you throughout the show’s duration: why do the Rajneeshees wear red?

The Rajneesh movement was composed of the followers (known as ‘sannyasins’ or ‘Rajneeshees’) of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Throughout ‘Wild Wild Country,’ the Rajneeshees are shown wearing shades of red, orange, purple and other warm colors. Their red outfits lead to colorful news headlines like “It Was A Red Dawn In Oregon,” while local townspeople threatened Rajneesh’s disciples with the slogan ‘Better Dead Than Red.’

According to a 1985 report in the Los Angeles Times, Rajneesh decreed that his Rajneeshees wear red because the color represented the sunrise. Rajneesh’s philosophy included the idea of the ‘new man’ – so the symbolism of sunrise or dawn seems apt. The group’s sacred ‘Book of Rajneeshism’ was also red. In September 1985, as the movement crumbled, Rajneesh formally allowed his followers to abandon the red garments. Less than a month later, the commune’s leaders declared that Rajneeshism was a dead movement.

The Rajneeshes’ Wasco County community of Rajneeshpuram was full of red-wearing disciples during the group’s stay in Oregon. Retired Seattle Times reporter Carol Ostrom recalled getting stranded in the community during a snowstorm; she outfitted herself with clothing in “all colors of the sun” from Rajneeshpuram stores. During the community’s “final liquidation” sale in 1986, items for sale are said to have included from rose-hued thermal underwear and one of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s airplanes. Rajneesh died in 1990.

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