Thursday, June 24, 2010

149. "Misunderstood Prophet"

"Misunderstood Prophet"
December 22, 1958

Bearded, robed and barefoot, Krishna Venta (real name: Francis Heindswatzer Pencovic) stood before his Seattle audience and, with modest mien, announced that he was Christ returned to earth. As leader of the W.K.F.L. (Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Love) Fountain of the World, Krishna went on: "It is true, children, I have served time for committing that bad check . . . that I . . . was convicted for a so-called burglary . . .'' Many in the audience wept; some doubted. One challenged: "Are you the embodiment of Christ?" Replied Krishna: "I cannot lie to you to please you. I must tell the truth in the sight of God. I am the Son of God." With that, a wild female shriek rang through the hall: "I knew it!"

Last week Ralph Muller, 33, and Peter Kamenoff, 42, two former members of Krishna Venta's California-based cult, became convinced at last that the "Master" had indeed lied—and had indulged in considerable un-Christian intimacies with their wives as well. After complaining in vain to the state attorney general's office, the two turned up at the cult's headquarters in a canyon near the San Fernando Valley with 40 sticks of dynamite, cornered the 47-year-old, self-proclaimed prophet in his headquarters building, blew him, themselves, and five other adults and two children to kingdom come. The killers were identified by fingerprints taken from severed hands found in the rubble; Krishna's death was certified upon examination of his less mortal dental bridgework.

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