Friday, February 27, 2009

90. A KV ad on reincarnation...just because it's Friday...

89. German language blurb on KV from 1949

This is one of the many articles that circulated worldwide in June 1949 when Krishna was arrested and jailed for not supporting the children borne of his first marriage.

The author does not claim to be a German scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but the piece essentially says:

* Krishna Venta is a man from Los Angeles who claims to be the Messiah;

* He also claims he has 145,000 followers;

* He was jailed recently following his ex-wife's complaints that he has failed to child support his two minor children, which is embarrassing for a messiah; and

* He has since been bonded out of jail on bail.

Any German translators out there are more than welcome to correct me in this regard! I promise I will not take offense whatsoever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

88. Krishna Venta mentioned in Tom Cruise biography

Krishna Venta is referenced in the unauthorized biography of Tom Cruise by Andrew Morton.

On page 97 of the book, the author says of L. Ron Hubbard's efforts to get his church going in California in 1954, "He faced stiff competition in acrowded field. In Los Angeles alone there were one hundred or so cults, one of his fiercest rivals being Krishna Venta, who told his disciples that he had arrived on a spaceship 240,000 years ago.Hubbard's philosophy was much more subtle, promising the spiritualequivalent of the alchemist's dream, turning pewter into gold."

87. Manson weighs in

The above website reports that in an "open letter to President Reagan," dated 08/06/1986, Charles Manson stated, "Put the trees back fast before pollution destroys all life. I saw it dying in Death Valley. That's why Krishna Venta blew himself up at the Fountain of the World in Box Canyon, California, when the Feather River Project cut his fountains of water off."

Uh, wrong...

86. Leslie Van Houten, 2002


Yes. Manson got Pat and I out of the ranch area shortly after the murders and he told us to go stay at a place called Fountain of the World, which was an abandoned religious site in Box Canyon. And we stayed there for I don't know how long, and then we ended up in the desert.

85. Ghost towns

More erroneous facts can be found at

"I'm new to this site and saw a few posts regarding C. Manson locations. I have extensive knowledge of the Manson Caves and all locations involving the "Family". Regarding the chatsworth/simi valley area, there are places like the Manson Caves; Skull Rock (where LSD induced human sacrifices were taken place); Spahn's Ranch (including the rock C.M. carved his initials in the waterfall and bathing area and the wave cave which is in that famous pic of some of the "Family" squatting in. I have pics of these places too. I only have one scanned and saved though (me coming out of the Hell Hole entrance of the caves). The caves are not in Box Canynon like I've read on this site. They are in the hills above Santa Susana pass. And this isn't the best time to go climbing up there with the rain. The Skull Rock (Fountain of the World cult) is in Box Caynon. The cult still lives in the house which is still on the property of the skull rock. The caves were actually Krishna Venta's (F.O.T.W. cult leader who was dynamited in the caves) caves. C.M. and the "family" learned of the caves from them."

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.

82. "The Guru"

At one time the following was posted at, and demonstrates just how lax some writers have grown in the past years with their basic facts regarding Venta.

The Guru
A possible influence on Charles Manson may have been FrancisHeindswatzer Pencovick a convicted burglar who had served time inprison and who became Krishna Venta mystic guru in 1948. In some-wayshe was a precursor of Manson.

As Krishna Venta, Pencovick claimed to be the reincarnation of JesusChrist and set up the headquarters of his cult in a canyon near theSan Fernando Valley in California, not far from where Manson wouldlater set up his community. Like Manson most of his followers wereyoung women. Venta was killed December 10, 1958 in a suicide bombing(the bomb consisting of 47 sticks of dynamite!) carried out by RalphMuller, 33, and Peter Kamenoff, 42, cult members who had come todoubt that the divine Master was in fact the true messiah after alland had simply been making it up all along as well as indulging insome decidedly un-Christian practices with their wives. Aftercomplaining in vain to the state attorney general's office the twomade their suicide attack on the cult's HQ the blast killing not onlythe 47 year old self-proclaimed prophet as well as themselves butfive other adults and two children. The death of the incarnategreat "universal consciousness" being confirmed by examination of hisrather more mortal dental bridgework.

Although there were many differences between Manson and KrishnaVenta, and their respective "followers", like him Manson's downfallcame as a result of the actions of some of his own "cult" members, inManson's case after their murdering of several rich and famouspersons - supposedly in his name and the testimony of one of themthat he had ordered the killings.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

81. Another copyrighted photo

Left to right: Ethel Martin Ray ("Sister Elvira"), Martin Baker ("Priest Paul"), and Sister Bitzi.

Priest Paul and Sister Elvira would both die in the bombing of December 10, 1958, and Sister Bitzi would relocate to the Alaska Fountain for a time. (See Is that Oak Ridge Boys tune creeping into anyone else's head? Giddy-up-a-oom-pop-a-oom-pop-a-mow-mow...

Please note the copyright notice/watermark on this photo (Corbis), which may be purchased care of:

80. Copyrighted photo - 2 of 2

Please note copyright notice on this photo.

79. Copyrighted photo - 1 of 2

Please note copyright notice on this photo.

78. One view of the Fountain today

The Fountain doesn't look too bad from this angle. Otherwise, today, it looks like a cross between the city dump and a scrap yard!

77. Just a photo of Krishna Venta in glasses...

76. Photo I purchased from eBay...

Thus far, this is the only Fountain-related item I've seen on eBay other than a magazine.

75. Just a random photo of Asaiah Bates

Thursday, February 12, 2009

74. Keith Green and the Fountain of the World

Another interesting tidbit regarding the Fountain is that, prior to embracing Christianity and embarking on a career as a Christian singer and songwriter, the late musician Keith Green (1953-1982)( performed virtually every Saturday night at the Fountain's talent programs. (It was sort of an "open mike night" at which pretty much anyone who had nerve enough to get up in front of the audience would be allowed to perform.) Word has it that Keith Green was invariably the big hit at any of these shows! This factoid is even mentioned in (at least older editions of) No Compromise, Green's biography, as written by his widow.

Charles Manson is also known to have performed a time or two at these Saturday night shows circa 1968 and 1969, although the reception to his music was reportedly only lukewarm at best.

See also

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

73. Maya Angelou and the Fountain of the World...sort of...

On Page 53 of the book Brother Asaiah, Martha Ellen Anderson writes that at the Fountain there was a female member, "Sister Cathy, a white girl who had been married to a black gentleman called Bailey Johnson, whose sister has become one of the great black writers, Maya Angelou."

Friday, February 6, 2009

72. Paper, paper everywhere...

Since I've been working with it this afternoon, I thought I'd share with everyone a couple of photographs of the stacks of documents I've received in the past couple of months from various former members of the Fountain of the World. Right now it all looks like this:

However, with any luck, it will soon look like this:

Oh, and here's a freebie of another tub containing the rough drafts of the various sections of my book on Krishna Venta:

And this doesn't even include the books (hardbacks and paperbacks alike), the electronic documents and data, and all of the hours of interviews that I've amassed!

[Note from February 17, 2009: the documents depicted above were organized on February 7, 2009. The moderator of this blog is now in possession of just under 1,200 documents regarding Krishna Venta and/or the Fountain of the World.]

Monday, February 2, 2009

71. Perspective (Buddy Holly)

Just to give the blog readers some perspective as to when in America's history the death of Krishna Venta occured, I'll offer the following: tomorrow, February 3, 2009, will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, which occured just 55 days after the assassination of Krishna Venta.

70. Kamenoff & Muller

The above photograph is courtesy of the April 1957 edition of Coronet magazine and depicts (left to right) Peter "Elzibah" Kamenoff and Ralph "Jeroham" Muller - the two men who killed Krishna Venta - in better times.

From an article titled "The Fire," this photo's caption says, "[T]wo bearded members of the Fountain of the World faith take over cooking duties at a forward fire camp."