Thursday, February 19, 2009

84. Author unknown

This morning (after meditating on Adi Da) I drove up to
Burbank to the Valhalla Memorial Park, where Krishna Venta
is buried. Krishna Venta (born Francis Penkovic) was
another L.A.-based guru active in the 1950s. I guess very
few people have heard of him. He had a commune in the
desert by Chatsworth. I think it was called The Fountain of
the World or something like that. The guy wore white robes
and long hair and a beard years before the hippie movement.
He was probably the first American-born neo-Hindu guru in
these parts though he also claimed to be the Messiah. In
1958 some disgruntled followers accused him of fooling
around with their wives and blew him (and themseles) to
smithereens with a few pounds of dynamite. He's buried in
an unmarked plot. I had to ask a cemetary guide to locate
it for me and take me there. Then I told him the guy's
story, as apparently no one there had ever heard of him.
The guide also showed me Oliver Hardy's plot (of Laurel and
Hardy fame) which is nearby.

Krishna Venta is known to me only because he's mentioned in
a book about Charles Manson. Evidently when Charlie first
arrived in Southern Cal from jail in '68 or '69 he spent
some time at KV's commune and was fed and cared for by the
devotees, though KV was long dead. Then Charlie walked a
few miles over the hills and settled in at Spahn Ranch,
where of course he started his own commune and decided to
play the Messiah game himself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.