What is interesting is that Rajneesh did think very well of Gurdjieff. Both were ringmasters of human circuses and excelled at keeping people off balance.
Gurdjieff was a mystic and he was one of the most
remarkable men of our times. Whenever a person went to
him for spiritual guidance, the first thing that he would do
was to make him drunk daily for fifteen days and study
him in his drunken state. And unless he studied him in a
state of drunkenness he would not initiate him into
sadhana or spiritual discipline.
He would make him drunk every day so that all his
repressed neuroses were uncovered before him and he
knew what type of a person he was and what he had
repressed in his unconscious. Then only he would
suggest the necessary sadhana – what he called Work –
for him. If the person refused to drink with him for fifteen
days, Gurdjieff would immediately ask him to go home.
Perhaps no other Master in the world has used drink in
this manner. But he was very intelligent and wise, and his
understanding of men was very deep and valuable...
In Search of the Miraculous, Vol. 1, ch. 6
Given what has later been learned about Transcendental Meditation as trance induction, it is very interesting that Rajneesh homes in on exactly this when speaking of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
In India nobody bothers about Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi because the people are so fast asleep,
snoring. They don’t need it. But when a country
becomes rich and people are not doing physical
labor the sleep is disturbed. Then either you take
tranquilizers or TM. And TM is of course better
because it is not so chemical. But it is still a very,
very deep hypnotic device...
Yoga: The Science of the Soul, Vol. 1 ch. 5
Now what is interesting is that of all the stuff Rajneesh read and spoke of, he said nothing about the work of Bandler and Grinder. He made it his business to talk by name of other psychologists such as Jung, Pavlov, Skinner, and psychiatrists such as Freud and Laing. He referred to Anton Mesmer the first on record in modern times to use trance for healing purposes.
But there is nothing about the creators of NLP. This is all the more interesting as Esalen's co-founder Robert Price visited Rajneesh in India and briefly consented to use a devotee name given him by Rajneesh.
And one of the few others of whom Rajneesh spoke in a complimentary manner was Esalen's grand celebrity, Fritz Perls:
One of the very important therapists in the West was
Fritz Perls. He used to say to his friends, patients and
disciples, that only children ask questions. That seems
to be perfectly true. Only children ask questions.
Have you ever walked with a child – just a morning
walk? And see – he will not allow you to walk at all. A
thousand and one questions...each step brings
questions. 'Why is this tree green papa?' Now who
knows why this tree is green...?
The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol. 2, ch. 6
And Ranjeesh was current enough to be aware of Werner Erhard and even utilize the slang term 'Est-hole' when referring to individuals too far gone in EST ideology.
And the list of names includes persons such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, all indicating that Ranjeesh was interested in the careers of persons who had demonstrated ability to influence crowds.
It may be that Rajneesh may have studied Bandler, Grinder and NLP as soon as its materials became available. It may well account for why so many sat through his miserably confusing talks and remain infatuated with him to this day.