Monday, November 17, 2008

11. This author's problems with the Harvey article

Touching some of the high points only, this author's problems with the Harvey article lie in the fact that Mr. Harvey offers many "facts" that belie the truth that much of his research consisted of little more than swapping Krishna Venta legends with others. Case in point, Harvey states:

1. "Krishna Venta promised he would never die." Unless this refers to Krishna's belief in reincarnation, of which he did speak often, no surviving Fountain member with whom this author spoke recalls Krishna Venta ever making any such claim.

2. Pencovic's letter to Franklin Roosevelt was Pencovic's attempt to "show the President how to run the country." Things may have been different when Harvey wrote his article, but the letters as such are lost to time and their contents remain unknown.

3. Pencovic "spent several months in a state hospital for mental treatment." Records reveal he was there approximately one month, solely for "observation," and was declared sane.

4. "Frank Pencovic, at the age of eight, was sent to live with his relations after both his parents died." This is not factually correct.

5. "The local people were aghast at the strange collection of cultists" and that "[t]he community tried to have this new cult evicted but Krishna Venta fought it and won." In talking to the surviving members of the Fountain, this author has learned that the "local people," as Harvey calls them, indeed didn't know what to make of the "Barefooters" at first. However, when these same people realized the Fountain was so involved in its community's welfare, most everyone quickly warmed up to them. Moreover, it was not the community that tried to have the Fountain evicted. Instead, such proceedings were instituted the old fashioned way - by a landlord who'd been stiffed one time too many on the rent payments.

6. "In no time at all Krishna Venta was riding around in a bright yellow Cadillac and smoking dollar cigars." Both are great myths surrounding Krishna Venta. Everyone with whom this author spoke that knew the man, insisted Krishna Venta always drove station wagons, not Cadillacs of any color, and that he often smoked Camels, but never cigars.

Moreover, there are general problems with the continuity and timeline of events Harvey offers regarding Pencovic's/Venta's life, i.e., many events, such as dates of arrests, etc., are presented blatantly out of sequence.

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