In 1981, the Rajneesh were a prosperous cult living on a 60,000-acre ranch in Wasco County, Oregon, under the leadership of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian mystic who encouraged his followers to do all of the drugs in the world and have sex with everything, and also to provide him with a literal fleet of Rolls-Royces as well as a private jet and a helicopter. The Rajneesh eventually grew so large that they took political control of the nearby town of Antelope and renamed it Rajneesh, because apparently that was the only fucking name they could think of for anything. However, the group started to think bigger than Antelope, which had been little more than a retirement community. They wanted control of the entirety of Wasco County.
Samvado Gunnar Kossatz
Because the last thing you want when organizing a tent orgy is space issues.
There was only one problem: The Rajneesh weren't too popular with the vast majority of the people in the area. If a Rajneesh candidate went up for election, that candidate would be outvoted into oblivion. If only there were some way to remove the electoral population, the Rajneesh would have a real shot. As it happens, there was.
By pure coincidence, a major outbreak of salmonella suddenly struck Wasco County. In total, more than 700 people became seriously ill, resulting in the local hospitals being overwhelmed. Fearing a full-on vomitpocalyse, the CDC quickly rushed to the scene and traced the outbreak to the salad bars of several local restaurants. Federal investigators were unable to figure out what had caused the outbreak until a year later, when Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh himself told them that his followers had deliberately poisoned the county to try to whittle down the pool of potential voters so that Rajneesh candidates could win seats in various local offices. Bhagwan was apparently angry with some of his lieutenants and had had enough of Oregon, because he immediately took off for India, presumably in his helicopter.
You know your cult sucks when even your cult leader wants nothing to do with your cult.
During a raid on the Rajneesh compound, investigators found a state-of-the-art biological research lab containing samples of salmonella that the group had purchased from a nearby medical research supplier. In addition to spiking local salad bars (including a Shakey's Pizza), the group had planned to dump their salmonella into the local water supply like the League Of Shadows. They also planned to get their hands on some HIV and shoot a federal prosecutor, neither of which would have resulted in anything good for the people of Oregon.
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