The central Oregon ranch that once served as world headquarters for free-love guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was sold at a sheriff's auction Friday for $4.5 million.

The lone bidder on the 64,000-acre ranch was Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., holders of the mortgage on the land 110 miles southeast of Portland.The Rajneesh Investment Corp. quit making payments on the property in 1986. Sheriff Art Labrousse sold the property in an auction held on the steps of the Wasco County Courthouse.

About 175 people, many of them residents of the county during the turmoil of the Rajneeshee years, gathered under gray skies to watch the auction that severs one of the last ties between the Indian guru and Oregon.