Issue #12

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Issue 12—May 1969 to December 31, 1969

Introduction to Issue 12

The introduction of the last issue was really the introduction to both Issues 11 and 12.

The only thing to draw the reader’s attention to in this introduction is the growing tension in the school and the entourage, and Alain’s departure.

Mary: Alright. Shall I jump in?

Scott: Jump in!

M: So, we’re living at Brockwood, and Anstee was helping me get the furnishing for it. I’m oriented now.

On May twenty-fourth, it says, ‘to West Meon on errands. Then, worked on the shelves in Alain’s room,’ I must’ve been putting things away, I can’t remember what it was. ‘After lunch, Krishnaji, Alain, and I in both cars drove to Blackdown for tea with the Linkses.’

S: Where did they live in Blackdown?

M: Well, south of Godalming. It was out in the country, but that’s the nearest town. It was a nice house. I don’t know why they sold it eventually, or they gave it…I forget, I think they sold it.

S: But, it was their little country retreat.

M: Yes, their little country place.

Anyway, on the twenty-fifth, ‘Finished Alain’s room.’ I was doing something with the shelving in there, putting shelves in. ‘David Bohm and Donald Shoemaker came for lunch.’ Who was Donald Shoemaker? Well, anyway, he came to lunch.

S: Which room was Alain’s?

M: Where you and Kathy [1] wound up.

S: Right, right. I remember.

The next day, ‘I washed the kitchen walls. Unpacked cabinets. The Chinese-Indonesian family of possible student came.’ That’s Tungki.

Over the next several days, I went to London and Winchester to find things to furnish the West Wing, and do odd jobs around the house, including on the twenty-ninth, when ‘Krishnaji and I began weeding the lawn.’ Heavens.

S: [chuckling] That must have been a task!

M: That was…yes. [Both chuckle.]

On the thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji, Alain, Donald Hoppen, and I drove to Broadway in the Cotswolds at 10:30 a.m. We lunched at the Lygon Arms, then visited Gordon Russell’s furniture factory…’ [Pause.] ‘Found nothing.’

S: But that’s where the school dining room tables came from, wasn’t it?

M: Yes, that’s right. ‘Drove back to Brockwood through lovely country.’

Then various things, like my mother and step father visiting. Nothing major except the first and second of June, Krishnaji and I continued to weed the lawn. And on the second, ‘Took Alain to Winchester. Did errands. Alain brought back Desikachar from the airport when he arrived from Madras. Also, a Mark Schmidt also arrived from the U.S. to become a teacher at Brockwood.’

On June fourth, ‘Drove to London early. Had my hair cut. Lunched with Mary Links at Le Méridien. Shopping. Errands. Mercedes light fixed. Anstee at 4 p.m. Bought two more sofas and a chair. Tea with Mother and Huges at the Hotel Goring.’ That’s where they were staying in London. ‘They fly to New York Friday. Back to Brockwood by 8:30 p.m. Krishnaji began a new book.’

S: Is that to read a new book?

M: Oh! Yes, it wasn’t writing, it was reading. I don’t know why I didn’t put what the book was, but I didn’t.

On the fifth of June, ‘Had fifth yoga lesson with Desikachar. Very good with the leg.’ In other words, he didn’t do what Iyengar had done, which hurt my leg.

The next day, ‘Mother and Huges fly to New York. Krishnaji washed the car. The kitchen is finished. I began cleaning it. The Linkses brought Alain, who had spent the night in London, back to Brockwood, and they had tea.’

On June seventh, as well as work in the house, ‘There was a meeting after lunch with Krishnaji, the Simmonses, Alain, and me about Brockwood policies.’


Editor’s Note: We can read this code for difficulties about school policies between Alain and the Simmonses.


S: Stopping a minute here: you’re mentioning you having lessons with Desikachar.

M: Yes, I began.

S: Was Krishnaji having lessons at the same time?

M: Oh, yes. He’d come to work with Krishnaji, and I was just lucky.

S: Right, yes.

M: So, June eighth. ‘A warm day. Yoga at 4 a.m. Drove to Dorking to lunch with Ginny Travers [2] and children. Back to Brockwood for supper.’

Then the next several days there was nothing special, just more work to find things for the house. A trip on the eleventh with Krishnaji to London for tailor, dentist, haircut, etcetera.

It seems that on June twelfth, ‘Krishnaji’s right foot was swollen and sore,’ which continued the next day. Also the next day, ‘An unhappy discussion between Krishnaji, Alain, and Dorothy Simmons. Alain called me in the night, talked to him for hours.’ He and Dorothy didn’t get on at all. And it was over that student, that Indian boy. Alain felt he was his guardian or something. The father had given him permission to put him in the Brockwood School, and Dorothy didn’t want Alain interfering. They didn’t get on at all, and Alain was very emotional about these things. This was the year that Alain finally left.

S: Right, right.

M: And I was trying to, you know…

S: Make things work, yes.

M: June fourteenth. ‘Alain rang Dr. Schmidt.’ That’s the Swiss homeopath who says that ‘Krishnaji has gout. The Digbys and Mary Links came in the afternoon for an editorial meeting. Joe Links came with Mary’s grandchildren, Anna and Nicky. We had tea. After supper, Krishnaji, Alain, and Dorothy had another meeting about Alain to which I didn’t go.’

The next day, ‘Another long talk with Alain. Walked alone in the afternoon.’

June sixteenth, ‘Talked early to Alain, then Krishnaji. Then we had a three-way talk with Krishnaji, Alain, and me, at which it was resolved that Alain promised not to talk about leaving or to leave.’ Well, that didn’t last, but anyway, that’s what happened in June. ‘Winchester in the p.m. On return, I took Krishnaji for a drive toward Droxford along the lanes. Breathtaking countryside.’

June seventeenth, ‘It was raining. Yoga lesson number twelve. Krishnaji came with me to Alresford and Winchester. After supper, Krishnaji talked to Alain and me about the danger of destructive forces.’

Editor’s Note: Readers will remember in Issue 8 that Krishnaji’s understanding of “good” and “evil” were not abstract notions, but real and palpable; and that “the good” was often under siege by forces wanting to destroy it.

There are no other notes of this day’s discussion, that I know of, on “the danger of destructive forces” that Krishnaji wanted Mary and Alain to understand; but Mary often subsequently expressed that she felt that the forces that compelled Alain to leave the important work he was doing with Krishnaji were more than anything easily understood. 


S: Mm, hm, mm, hm.

M: Then, there’s more about decorating and buying antiques for the house. Oh, on the nineteenth, ‘Mr. Knight, brought a desk for Krishnaji.’ That’s the desk you have now. It was fun going to the antique dealer’s.

S: Of course.

M: Then let’s see…Krishnaji’s foot was better so he could walk. He was also practicing his driving so he could get his English drivers license. Then on the twenty-second of June, ‘Krishnaji held first talk and discussion at Brockwood in the big room. About 165 people came, including two boys, Terry Agnew and Alan Hansen from Sonoma. Sandwich lunch afterwards.’

Krishnaji drove me to Winchester and beyond, practicing with the Mercedes for the driver’s test. We had our first meal at the new long table in school’s dining room. Krishnaji played a game of throwing the Frisbee on the lawn after supper.’

S: The big room you mentioned where the public discussion occurred, is that currently the big sitting room at the school?

M: That’s right. In the school.


Editor’s Note: One hundred and sixty-five people in that room would have meant the room was absolutely packed, with everyone sitting very tightly on the floor.

S: Right. And the school’s dining room is where the new tables were laid out.  

M: Yes; when we bought Brockwood, where the dining room area currently is was a billiard room. In my mind’s eye, I see billiard tables. I guess they were taken away. But that had been nothing but billiards, because their dining room was the paneled room.

S: Yes, yes.

M: So, on the twenty-third, ‘Alain went to town. I had a yoga lesson. Krishnaji spoke of a committee to supervise everything someday. Heh-heh. [Both chuckle.][3]

The next day, ‘Krishnaji talked to two new teachers, Mark Schmidt and John Digues as well as the Simmonses, Alain, and me about the school.’

On the twenty-fifth, ‘Alain took me to the 8:50 a.m. Alton to London train. I met Mr. Knight, went to Christie’s and then Sotheby’s, Mallets, Partridge, etcetera,’ they were all antique places. Christie’s and Sotheby’s you know. ‘Spent the rest of the day doing errands. Had tea with Fleur and her sister and caught the 5:20 p.m. train back.’ In those days, we always went to Alton, till we discovered Petersfield was more convenient.

On the twenty-sixth, ‘Anstee came in the morning and he slightly darkened the glaze, and gave final okay to the painter to go ahead.’ That was the drawing room.

S: Yes. We should say it was a very special old-fashioned painting technique that was used. And people won’t realize that. Called scumbling or stippling.

M: I can tell you how to do it.

S: Good. Tell us.

M: Well, you painted the room the color you wanted, and then to get the stippled effect, to make it look like parchment, you take a thick painting brush that’s very tight and doesn’t bend.

S: Right, with short, stiff bristles and you tap it.

M: That’s right; up and down and all around.

S: Right, tapping the ends of the bristles, and you don’t drag it, like normal painting. You just tap it with the end of the bristles. And this makes little tiny dots.

M: But they do it very regularly, and that gives a textured effect.


Editor’s Note: Click here to see an example of this method of painting


S: Right, right. But, now, isn’t it that there is one color underneath it, and one color on top of it, so that when you do that banging effect, it actually shows through the surface color to the base color, or something like that?

M: The word “glaze” keeps coming into my mind.

S: Yes, that’s the surface one. That’s the surface one.

M: But it doesn’t have to be colored. It’s kind of like honey, almost. I mean, it’s just the substance of it—there’s not pigment in it.

S: Oh. Anyway, it’s a very old fashioned technique. And you had to have…

M: An old, old, old painter.

S: He had to come from London, right?

M: He had to come from London, because local painters just couldn’t do it.

S: Yes. I remember, there were these two wonderful old painters who worked on The Krishnamurti Centre in 1987, wonderful old, old painters, who would come in their white overalls [M laughs], paint all day long, and take them off at the end of the day, and they were immaculate! [M laughs.] There was not a splash of paint on their fingers or clothing! [Both chuckle.] They were also painting at an incredible speed, and absolutely not a drop spilled. [Both laugh.] And I showed them that room, and they were…

M: They knew.

S: They appreciated the work of the West Wing. They said they could’ve done it, but they said the West Wing was done by someone of the old school who really knew how to do it properly, and [M chuckles] there weren’t many left.

M: That’s right. And when we had the fire…

S: I remember.

M: …I had to repair some of that.

S: Yes.

M: I got it through a lady who paints for Anstee, what’s-her-name.

S: Oh, that lady. I remember her.

M: Yes, she was providing…

S: Right.

M: …decorating help. I mean not decorating, but furnishing.

S: Right, yes.

M: And she got me the painter; this old fellow, and she brought him down from London to do it.

S: Yes.

M: ‘School meeting in the afternoon; Krishnaji, Alain, the Simmonses, Digues, Schmidt, and me. Tensions are everywhere. Alain was very tense. Had a yoga lesson.’ Everybody was tense, particularly Alain.

S: Yes.

M: The twenty-seventh of June. ‘Talk at breakfast with Alain. Then, he and Brant Cortright left by car for Paris en route to Saanen.’ Brant Cortright was a student, I think. Krishnaji and I went to Winchester in the afternoon. Got his temporary driving permit.’

The twenty-eighth of June ‘A lovely day. Gentle day. Meeting on school matters in the morning. We will accept Marcus Lavarra and Alan Shapiro as students. Mirror for the drawing room arrived, and so did the desk for Krishnaji.’

Oh, here’s something fun. June thirtieth: ‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji passed his driving test in Winchester and now has a lifetime license!’ That was a triumphant day! Because, if you recall, he’d gotten turned down in California, and he was unhappy that he’d flunked. So, he said he’d get one in England, but to be on the safe side, he engaged an equally aged gentleman to give him driving lessons, so he’d learn the English driver’s laws and techniques. And [S laughs] this day, what happened was that the teacher, a little old man, came, and he rehearsed Krishnaji, though he didn’t tell him that, by having Krishnaji driving all through Winchester. He said, “turn left here” and “stop here” and “turn right here”, and all that. He knew exactly the pattern that the inspector would take Krishnaji.

S: Right, right.

M: And Krishnaji did it flawlessly. So the old man got out, and the inspector got in, and they went over the exact same route.

S: Oh, perfect.

M: And Krishnaji got it. And he came back very happy, because everyone had said to him, “Oh, nobody ever gets it the first time, and they’re very difficult.”

S: Right.

M: And he was quite put out at having flunked in California. [S laughs.] He came back, you know, just triumphant!

S: Good.

M: It was a splendid day. [Both chuckle.]

July first. ‘Krishnaji and I to London by car. Took him to Sulka, where Mary Links met him while I went to fetch bedspreads, etcetera, and with Anstee to find Japanese shades. Met Krishnaji and Mary and L’Aperitif for lunch. We went to Lobb afterward. Then Krishnaji and I drove back to Brockwood.’

July second, ‘Packing, etcetera. Krishnaji washed the car in the afternoon, and while backing into the garage, his foot slipped on the accelerator and the back of the car was slightly demolished [chuckles as she reads this] against the garage door.’ I was upstairs doing something, and he came up looking stricken! Stricken!

S: Oh, yes.

M: I thought he’d hurt himself. I blurted out, “What happened? Are you alright?”, you know. He couldn’t speak he was so shocked.

S: He’d hurt the poor Mercedes.

M: Yes. [S chuckles.]

July third. ‘Krishnaji is still shaken by yesterday’s car episode. Dorothy Simmons in the Land Rover drove Krishnaji, me, Desikachar, and Narendra to the London Airport.’ Narendra was the bone of contention between Dorothy and Alain.

S: Right, the Indian boy. I remember.

M: We ate sandwich lunches there, and then Krishnaji, Desikachar, and Narendra flew to Geneva where Alain was to meet them, and Dorothy and I came back to Brockwood. The Mercedes had been towed to Southampton, and they will let me know the damage tomorrow.’ There didn’t seem to be very much.

S: So, Alain had already gone.

M: He’d gone. Alain would have taken Krishnaji to Vanda at Chalet Tannegg because she would’ve been there. She always came in July.

S: Right, right.

M: The fourth of July. ‘Krishnaji and Alain in Geneva to see Dr. Schmidt for a check-up, and then they went to Gstaad. I put things away at Brockwood, paid the bills, etcetera. Two months to fix the Mercedes! The house is so quiet. There’s scarcely anyone here. Alain called from Gstaad, got me an Avis rental car.’

The next day ‘I put everything away in locked cupboards for Krishnaji and Alain. Packed for myself. Went to Winchester to get a plane ticket.’

On the sixth of July. ‘Donald Hoppen drove me to the London Airport. I took the 2:40 p.m. Swiss Air flight to Geneva. An Avis VW was waiting, and I drove to Gstaad and found Chalet Trois Ours.’ That was the year I rented part of Chalet Trois Ours, which is just below Tannegg, as you come up the hill.

S: Yes.

M: I took a flat in it. About half of the house.

S: Right.

M: ‘Went to Tannegg to see Vanda and Krishnaji. Unpacked a little at Trois Ours. Alain came in later.’

The next day ‘I had the twenty-sixth yoga lesson with Desikachar at Tannegg. I lunched there with Vanda and Dorothy. Talked to Vanda till 4 p.m. Did errands in the village, and finished unpacking.’

July eighth. ‘Lunched at Tannegg with Krishnaji and Desikachar. Krishnaji held a discussion with the young people at the Schonried School.’

Krishnaji held another young people’s discussion on the tenth.

On July eleventh, ‘Early lunch with Krishnaji and Alain. Then, we drove to Thun, where Krishnaji got his new Mercedes sports car! [S chuckles.] I drove back with him. Exhausting afternoon, and on into the night with Alain. He was being impossible.’

July twelfth, ‘Lunched at Tannegg, with Vanda, Krishnaji, Alain, Brant Cortright, and Narendra. Alain saw de Marxov at 2:30 p.m. and I had him to tea to discuss Alzina.’ Alzina, I’ve been into that with you.

S: Yes, but who is de Marxov?

M: de Marxov was the person in charge of Alzina. Alzina was an account that was for Krishnaji to use as he chose.

S: Right. Yes.

M: Frances McCann was behind it. And de Marxov was broker or businessman or investor. He was quite an elderly man.

July thirteenth. ‘Drove Krishnaji to Schonried, where he spoke to young people. We had lunch at Tannegg, Vanda, Krishnaji, Alain, and a Mr. and Mrs. Raul, a UNESCO man from Paris. Had a nap. Then, a looooong conversation with Alain on all the difficulties. Had a violent headache.’ He was so being difficult, and I was trying to keep him with us, because I thought he had very useful capacities and skills in bringing young people.

S: Yes, you’ve always said that.

M: And I felt that was important.

S: Yes, it is.

M: He wanted to storm off, and I wanted to hold him there, for Krishnaji’s sake, the work, and everything.

S: Yes, yes.

M: And this particular day, we had this awful conversation that really baffled me, and suddenly, I got a blinding headache so severely that I almost fell over, and it shocked him out of his tirade.

S: Right.

M: But it was most unpleasant.


Editor’s Note: Mary always maintained that Alain had been so good for Krishnaji’s work as he was the one who brought groups of young people, and got Krishnaji to speak at universities. In fact, no one did that after Alain left.


The next day, ‘Lunch at Tannegg with Vanda, Krishnaji, Alain, and Desikachar. At 4 p.m. I went with Krishnaji in his new Mercedes. He had his hair cut. Then, we went for a long, peaceful drive across Les Mosses.’ You remember Les Mosses?

S: Yes, I do.

M: ‘And back via Le Pillon. Krishnaji asked me to talk to Vanda about Tannegg next summer.’

July fifteenth, ‘The  thirty-third and last yoga lesson. Desikachar leaves tomorrow for England. Then, meeting with Krishnaji and Noyes…’ Colonel Noyes, do you remember Colonel Noyes?

S: Ah, yes.

M: ‘…the Hookers, etcetera, about the Live Oak School.’ Noyes was running a little school in Ojai. ‘Lunched at Schonried, in the young people’s chalet.’

The next day, ‘Desikachar left. Vanda went to Geneva and met her son-in-law. Krishnaji took me for a drive to Lenk, and then we lunched alone. Astronauts Armstrong and Collins took off on Apollo 11 for a moon landing.’ That’s going on.

July seventeenth, ‘Drove Krishnaji to the opening Saanen talk. The question and answer period was broken up by an angry Norwegian boy.’ That was before your time.

S: No, no, it wasn’t. I mean, I wasn’t there that year, but that Norwegian kept going forever.

M: Yeah, I know.


Editor’s Note: Lest the reader think there was any substance in the outbursts, this Norwegian and a female confederate were invariably off subject and seemed only intent on showing off or drawing attention to themselves. There were clearly psychological issues involved. They were simply disruptive.


Anyway, ‘the Simmonses, Donald Hoppen, Alain, and I met afterward with Krishnaji who offered Donald de Vidas’s job in the Saanen Gathering. He is to think it over.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji had a meeting with Mary Cadogan and Alain. Vanda and I had a brief talk and agreed to all share Tannegg next year.’

On the nineteenth, ‘There was a Saanen Gatherings Committee meeting at 10:30 a.m. with Krishnaji, Alain, de Vidas, Mary Cadogan, Doris Pratt, and me, plus Donald Hoppen, who can’t accept Krishnaji’s offer to run Saanen in de Vidas’s place because he needs one more year in the U.S. for his final qualification there as an architect, but he will help. de Vida’s resignation was accepted as of the end of this season. But he has not resigned as head of the French group, as his letter implied. Lunched at Tannegg. Krishnaji, Vanda, and I talked about young people’s housing next year. Vanda and I talked alone about sharing Tannegg and its costs next summer. Went to a movie alone in the evening.’

On July twentieth, ‘I drove Krishnaji to his second talk. Lunched at Tannegg with Krishnaji, Vanda, and Alain. Alain and I dined with the van der Stratens, and at 8:30 p.m. news came that the astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin had landed a capsule on the moon.’

The next morning. ‘Went to Tannegg at 6 a.m. to watch on Krishnaji’s television, Armstrong followed by Aldrin, setting foot on the moon. Vanda left for Florence after lunch. I moved up to stay at Tannegg.’ When she went away, she had me come and run things. ‘Watching at 6 p.m. TV shots of the astronauts taking off from the moon to rendezvous with the main capsule and the waiting astronaut Collins.’

On the twenty-second, ‘Took Krishnaji to his third talk. Robert Weikoff and his fiancée, Favienne van der Straten, came for lunch. Desikachar’s wife had a baby girl!’ Gosh, he got back just in time. ‘But it didn’t live.’ Oh dear.

S: Yes.

M: ‘John Digues not to be a Brockwood teacher. Fetched Krishnaji up the hill after he walked down it.’ [Chuckles.]

On the twenty-third, ‘9:30 a.m. meeting, all the committees of other countries. The Simmonses stayed for lunch. Krishnaji took me for a drive and a walk toward Lauenen.’

Krishnaji held the fourth talk on the twenty-fourth. ‘Came back and watched TV of the perfect landing and pick-up of astronauts in the Pacific.’

On the twenty-sixth, ‘Krishnaji had taped discussion with Swami Venkatesananda.

Then, there was a meeting of Mary Cadogan, Donald Hoppen, Ms. Keller of the Swiss Committee, and Mr. and Mrs. Graf. Latter three are to handle the Saanen business matters for the Saanen Gathering Committee. Cragnolini, Senior Navarra, and Bruno Ortolani came for lunch. A secretary, Ms. Anderson, arrives. I brought her up to Tannegg to take dictation.’

S: This was the secretary that was to help you?

M: Yes. But I’m not good at dictating.

July twenty-seventh, ‘Krishnaji to the fifth talk. On return, Mark Schmidt made a fuss about Dorothy Simmons’s remark.’ I don’t know what that was. ‘Suzanne and Hughes van der Straten came for lunch. Then, at 4 p.m. there was a Brockwood meeting. Krishnaji, Alain, Simmonses, Schmidts, Donald, and Laurents’—were they there in your time?


Editor’s Note: It seems extraordinary that in such a small school, there could have been so much conflict, and that Krishnaji would have to be pulled in. But Mary’s diaries, and many conversations with people who were present at the time, confirm that this is what the beginning of Brockwood was like.


S: No.

M: He was a Frenchman who taught yoga, and he had a wife and a child, and they eventually went off because it was decided that there couldn’t be little children underfoot at Brockwood.

The next day ‘I became signatory for Krishnaji of his account. I went for a drive with Krishnaji. Mrs. Travers…’, that’s Pamela Travers, ‘…Frances McCann, and Ted Santos for lunch. Donald rang and asked to see Krishnaji, and came at 2:30 p.m. I fetched the Simmonses, who were disturbed over the friction yesterday. Krishnaji is upset too.’ This was a bad summer, I mean overall.

On the twenty-ninth, ‘With Krishnaji to his sixth talk. Meeting afterwards with the Simmonses, Donald, and finally Alain. All ate lunch late.’

On the thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji and I to Thun in the Mercedes while it had its 500-kilometer service. We took the lake steamer to Spiez and back, having a picnic lunch on-board. Then, drove to Interlaken in a borrowed car. We got caught in traffic. Came back in the Mercedes, slightly late for Krishnaji to go to a Spanish tea.’

On the thirty-first of July. ‘With Krishnaji to the seventh and last of the Saanen talks. There was an interview. Marketed. More interviews. Krishnaji walked almost to Saanen, and I picked him up and took him to say goodbye to Swami Venkatesananda. Donald came to supper and talked to Krishnaji.’

First of August. ‘A long talk with Alain at breakfast. Vanda arrived from Florence. She is coming with Alberto’, that’s her son, ‘on Monday. David Bohm and the Hammonds came for lunch. There was a tea for all the foreign committees. Krishnaji walked to Saanen afterwards and I picked him up. Madame Duperrex…’ She’s the very, very nice concierge of Les Caprices and also Trois Ours’. ‘…suggested renting Chalet Trois Ours to someone else for August’ because by this time, I was taking care of Tannegg with Vanda away.

S: Of course, of course.

M: She was very nice and said she could rent it to someone else for August, because I’d taken it for the summer. ‘Talked to Alain, who came to supper.’

The next day ‘Krishnaji spoke to an encampment of young Theosophists. There was a meeting of the Dutch Committee. There was a discussion all afternoon between Krishnaji, Alain, and me.’

On the third of August, ‘Krishnaji came to breakfast with Alain and me, and talked till almost 10 a.m. Then, we dashed to the tent for the first of the public discussions.’

August fourth, ‘Krishnaji held the second public discussion. Simmonses, Donald, and Alain to lunch. Talked afterward without Alain. Then there was a meeting of the Saanen Gathering Committee after which Alain came to Tannegg. Krishnaji talked to him with me there for three hours. Alain will no longer be his personal assistant. He is to work away from him.’

The next day was the third discussion. In the afternoon, I took Krishnaji to Schonried for a discussion with young people. At 5:30 p.m., the Simmonses and Donald came, and Krishnaji told them of Alain’s change of work.’

Editor’s Note: It doesn’t seem right to proceed without underscoring the amount of talking Krishnaji was compelled to do in four  days.

  • Long talk with Alain at breakfast.
  • David Bohm and the Hammonds for lunch.
  • Tea with the foreign committees.
  • Speaking to an encampment of young Theosophists.
  • An all-afternoon discussion with Mary and Alain.
  • Krishnaji speaks to Alain and Mary from breakfast to 10 a.m.
  • First public discussion.
  • Second public discussion.
  • Simmonses, Donald, and Alain over lunch.
  • Saanen Gatherings Committee meeting.
  • Three-hour discussion with Alain.
  • Third public discussion.
  • Afternoon discussion with young people.
  • Late afternoon discussion with Simmonses and Donald about Alain.


On the sixth, ‘there was the fourth discussion. Supper with Vanda, her son Alberto, and Melanie Wyler.’ Melanie Wyler was the daughter of Willie Wyler [4], an old friend of mine from the movies.

S: Right.

M: August seventh through ninth were the fifth through seventh, and last, public discussions.

On the tenth there was a long talk between Krishnaji, Alain, and me about Alain’s new work for Krishnaji. All sounded well. After the walk there was a phone call from Dorothy that Narendra was leaving Brockwood to go with Mark Schmidt. Krishnaji disapproves. A cable was sent to his father. Narendra was at the base of the Alain’s ill temper.

S: And what was he doing, Narendra was going off with Mark Schmidt?

M: He was going with Mark Schmidt somewhere, I don’t know why.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji, Alain, Vanda, and me in discussion on the Narendra thing, all morning. A second cable was sent to the boy’s father.’

On August twelfth, ‘Krishnaji and I took a picnic and drove in his Mercedes down to the Col de Pillon, Les Avants, and then back via Bulle.’ You know, down to the lake and then up to the mountains again.

August fourteenth, ‘With Krishnaji to the bank to put his account from AN to MZ account,  “trust account”’—that was to authorize me to handle it. ‘Frances, and Pietro came to lunch, also Madame Duchet. Walk with Krishnaji.’

Then Krishnaji has a series of personal interviews, and I had a lesson from Alain on running the Nagra as I would have to do the taping from now on.

On August eighteenth, ‘Last talk between Krishnaji, Alain, and me on his plans. Krishnaji and I went to Thun to leave his car with Mr. Moser’s garage for the winter. We had a picnic lunch by the lake. Returned to Gstaad in Alain’s VW. Posted tapes to the Lilliefelts. Packed. Alain, Vanda, and I had supper. Alain goes to Italy tomorrow, so does Vanda. Alain said goodbye to Krishnaji, and then to me.’

August nineteenth, ‘Vanda left very early for Florence. Alain also left early for Italy. Krishnaji and I left at 11 a.m. and had a picnic lunch near Rolle on the lake. Continued to Geneva and the Hotel du Rhône. It was such a relief when Alain left.’ You know, this drama and tension that was going on was terrible. When we drove down to the lake, I remember we were, huhhhh [deep breath out], you know, relieved.


Editor’s Note: While Mary is expressing relief at the moment when the source of tension was finally relieved, it was in fact a deep sorrow for her that she continued to express even decades later. Not only did she feel that Alain was important for Krishnaji’s work, but she had a genuine affection for Alain and an appreciation of his company. There had been the understanding for many years that Krishnaji, Alain, and Mary would be a lasting team; a living, loving unit that would spend their remaining years together. Mary never lost her affection for Alain.


S: Yes, yes.

M: On the twentieth, ‘Krishnaji and I carried three tape recorders and a camera. Flew to London at 12:30 p.m. Dorothy and Montague met us. One of the shipped bags was lost. Arrived at Brockwood at 5:30 p.m.’

The next day, ‘I unpacked. Mary Links came for tea. Explained some of the events of the summer, Alain, etcetera. She is disturbed. Also, she doesn’t want to do the Bulletin anymore. The Mercedes won’t be ready for three weeks.’


Editor’s Note: Mary and Joe Links remained close to Alain, and were of the opinion that Dorothy was a large part of the reason Alain was no longer part of the work, but that Alain had suffered all the consequences. I remember the Digbys voicing something similar.


On August twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji dictated a conversation. In the night I kicked something and the next day I had a sore foot. In the afternoon, Alan Hooker drove me to Winchester. The foot was x-rayed at the hospital. A slight fracture of a toe.’ Huh.

On the twenty-fourth, ‘Krishnaji dictated another “conversation” to me. We walked around the garden.’

August twenty-fifth, ‘Krishnaji has a cold. I went to London by train. Met and then made the rounds of the King’s and Fulham Road.’ That was, you know, picking up things for the house, all the different antique stores.


Editor’s Note: All with a slightly fractured toe.


S: Mm, hm. Yes, yes.

August twenty-sixth, ‘To Winchester with Donald about a TV set for Krishnaji. His cold is better, but he’s very tired. He stayed in bed all day. I moved furniture, and changed rooms around. Krishnaji’s study goes to the school.’ Krishnaji’s study was what became the school library, the end of the building, under my room. ‘Alain’s study goes to the school and his bedroom becomes a guestroom. The present guestroom becomes the dining room, and the dining room becomes an office.’

S: That’s right. That was a little room that became your office.

M: That was my office eventually.

S: Right, which you never used.

M: Never used. [S laughs.] I used it a little bit. It was just easier to do it in my room.

August twenty-seventh, ‘Krishnaji stayed in bed all day resting. His cold is improving. I did desk work.’ Let’s see…he seems to have stayed in bed until lunch on the twenty-ninth when ‘Krishnaji got up for lunch. Saral and David Bohm came. There was a discussion with Krishnaji about the school.’

August thirty, ‘In the afternoon, Krishnaji and I drove in the Hooker’s small car, now bought by Brockwood, to Blackdown to have tea with the Linkses.’

On the thirty-first, ‘Krishnaji dictated to me in the morning. The Digbys came to lunch. After tea, they left, and Krishnaji and I walked down the lane across a golden field. How lovely this country is. Worked on learning to use the Nagra.’

September first, ‘Krishnaji dictated to me. Frances McCann arrived to stay through the talks. I went to Heathrow to meet and bring back the Biascoecheas, who are also staying here through the talks.’

The next day Krishnaji held a discussion with the school at 4 p.m.

On September third, ‘I went with Krishnaji and Donald to London by train to Sullivan and Woolley. Then, Krishnaji and I went to Huntsman, then to L’Aperitif, where I saw Winny Portarlington.’ Lady Portarlington was a great friend of my Aunt Dorothy, and I knew her as Winny. ‘We came back on the 4 o’clock train.’

On the fourth of September, ‘the tent is up in the field.’

On September sixth, ‘Krishnaji gave his first talk at Brockwood in the tent in the field. Ginny and Bill Travers came and lunched afterwards with Krishnaji, Suzanne, and Hughes van der Straten, and me in the West Wing dining room. First meal there.’ I’d forgotten that. ‘Trustee meeting at 3:30 p.m.’

On September seventh, ‘Krishnaji gave the second Brockwood talk in the tent. The Bohms and van der Stratens lunched in the West Wing. Krishnaji invited David to be a trustee. There was Indian music in the afternoon. I spoke to Sidney Roth about TV films of Krishnaji.’ Sidney Roth was the man from Chicago who was paying for filming Krishnaji, and he must’ve come to Brockwood, I guess.

On September eighth, ‘Meeting at 11:30 a.m.: Krishnaji, school members, and the Bohms.

The following day, ‘Krishnaji had a discussion in the tent with about sixty people. It went well. We ate the cafeteria lunch that was on sale. Walked with Krishnaji around the lanes.’


Editor’s Note: Unlike every other place that Krishnaji spoke around the world, the kitchen at Brockwood Park felt it was right for them to feed people who came to hear Krishnaji. The small kitchen staff with a few volunteers consequently sold lunches and snacks to any who wanted it; preparing meals for sometimes six times as many people as when the school was fully occupied.


September eleventh, ‘I spoke to Alain who arrived in London, and will see him Monday. Krishnaji held the second discussion in the tent. We lunched there again.’

On September thirteenth, ‘Krishnaji gave his third Brockwood talk. We lunched in the tent. At supper we were forty with sixteen nationalities. Mercedes was delivered after ten and a half weeks.’ That was from when he pushed it into the garage.

The next day was the fourth Brockwood talk.

On the fifteenth, ‘I drove to Blackdown and saw Alain and Mary Links. I brought Alain his belongings. We lunched in a pub. Then they went to London and I went to Guildford to the garage that fixed the Mercedes for a mirror adjustment. Back to Brockwood by suppertime.’

On September sixteenth, ‘Krishnaji decided against the scheduled public talks in Rome and so will go there later, staying here until about October twenty-first. In the morning he dictated a conversation to me. We walked in the afternoon.’

The next morning, ‘Krishnaji dictated a very subjective conversation to me, #93.’ Well, he was dictating those over a period of years…they were called conversations, but it was just a dictation. In p.m., Krishnaji drove me in the Mercedes to Ringwood and Netherbrook antiques’…that was the antique store I wanted to go to. ‘Came back via the New Forest. A lovely afternoon.’

Over the next two days, Krishnaji dictated two more conversations to me, #94 and #95.

On the nineteenth, ‘Krishnaji’s head is bad.’


Editor’s Note: “The head is bad” was Krishnaji’s expression for times when he would suffer terrible pain in his head. They did not seem to be headaches or migraines or anything commonly understood. “The process” almost always involved such pain.


On September twentieth, ‘Pupul Jayakar arrived. I met her at Winchester. She spent the day and night here. I took Krishnaji and her for a drive in the surrounding country.’

On the twenty-second, ‘David Bohm came and there was a discussion with Krishnaji, staff, and students.’

On September twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to London. He had a Huntsman fitting and haircut. We had a picnic lunch in Hyde Park.’ You know, we just drove to London as though it was driving to Alresford. It was nothing in those days, no traffic.

S: Yes, yes. Well, without traffic, it’s not very far away. It’s only about 60 miles away.

M: Yes, and the parking was easy.

S: Yes. No longer.

M: It became impossible.

S: Yes.

M: Anyway, we went. ‘We had picnic lunch in Hyde Park then looked at some furniture in Mallet’s on Bourdon Street and then left him for an hour with Mrs. Bindley. Left some papers at the Digbys for Alain, who was staying there. Krishnaji and I left at 3:30 p.m. and got back to Brockwood in record time.’

On the twenty-fourth, ‘Mr. Graf of the Saanen Committee was at the house. There was a meeting to decide on a tent versus a building for 1970. We chose a tent.’ In those days, I think we thought of building something permanent…

S: Yes.

M: …with rooms for teachers to come and stay. [S chuckles.] We chose a tent. ‘Met Michael Rubinstein at Alton. He lunched with us. I took him back to the train later.’

On the twenty-fifth, ‘I missed the 8:55 a.m. train from Alton, but got to London in time to have my haircut. Krishnaji came by a later train alone’ which worried me…I’m saying today that it worried me, whether it worried me then…[S chuckles]. ‘We met at Huntsman, after which we went to the Digbys for lunch. Did errands, and saw a chair. Took the 8:55 train back.’ The chair was something more for Brockwood, maybe.

There doesn’t seem to be anything until the twenty-seventh, when Krishnaji dictates another conversation.

On the twenty-eighth, Krishnaji held another discussion with the staff and students. It was a good one.

On the twenty-ninth, ‘Krishnaji dictated conversation #97. In the afternoon, Krishnaji washed the car.

On the thirtieth, ‘To London by car.’ Where I did various things for the house, then at ‘4:30 p.m., there was a Publications Committee meeting at the Digbys’. The Hammonds, Mary Links, and Mary Cadogan were there. Got back to Brockwood after 9 p.m.’

On the first of October, ‘there was a school meeting with Krishnaji at 11:30 a.m.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji dictated conversations #98 and #99 to me. He washed the car. And we walked.’

On October third, ‘with Krishnaji in the car to London. Stopped at Anstee’s to see tables. We went to Huntsman and Sullivan, then picnicked in Hyde Park in the car. Then, we drove to Beckenham, where we visited the new Krishnamurti Foundation Trust office, where there was Mary Cadogan, Jane Hammond, and Ms. Reid. Jane Hammond guided us back as far as Cobham and so home.’ I didn’t know how to get out of Beckenham without going to London.

S: Yes. Quite right. [Laughs]

M: On October fourth, at ‘11:30 a.m. another school discussion with Krishnaji and David Bohm. After lunch, Krishnaji and I drove to Blackdown. Walked and had tea with the Linkses. Drove home in marvelous late afternoon light and rising mists, such a sense of peace and beauty.’

The next afternoon, ‘we went for a wandering drive to Woodlands, Selborne, Pulborough, Hooke, and back via Petersfield.’

On the sixth and seventh, Krishnaji did another two dictations to me. Also on the seventh, Krishnaji held another meeting with the school, and talked about responsibility and authority, and Dorothy Simmons’ responsibility in particular.

Then nothing much until the tenth, when ‘with Krishnaji to London. Huntsman, bookstore, lunched at L’Aperitif. I bought a Phillips tape recorder for Krishnaji to take to India. Went to the health food shop and back to Waterloo to catch an early train home. Krishnaji postponed our trip to Paris by two days.’

On the eleventh, ‘a quiet day. We went for a walk and cut ivy from trees along the lane.’

On the twelfth, there was another school discussion with Krishnaji.

On the fourteenth, I went to London to get Krishnaji’s visas for France and Italy, and did more antique shopping.

The next day, Krishnaji dictated another conversation. It also says, ‘walked in the afternoon. Pondered Mercedes.’ But I don’t know what that means. Who did the pondering and what for?

S: I think it had to do with if the Mercedes remained a British car, then you had to pay some import tax, which was very heavy.

M: It was very heavy, and that’s why I kept cars for a long time in Switzerland, to avoid it: the tax was terrible.

S: Yes, it was.

M: For the sixteenth of October it says, ‘Krishnaji and I to London by car. We went to Huntsman and Krishnaji had a dentist appointment at 12 p.m. Teeth are all fine. We went to the Mercedes agency for advice. Then, had a picnic lunch in the car in Hyde Park, and Krishnaji went to see Mrs. Bindley and we drove home via the Heathrow, Camberley way.’

The next morning Krishnaji dictated a conversation, and at 3:30 p.m. a trustee meeting began that lasted the rest of the day.

On October eighteenth, ‘Krishnaji dictated conversation #105 to me. In the afternoon, Krishnaji, Donald Hoppen, and I walked the boundary of Brockwood to consider conceding a piece land to the previous owner, Mr. Morton. Rajagopal telephoned Krishnaji from Ojai.’

Nineteenth of October, ‘Krishnaji had another discussion with the school on authority.’

On the twentieth, ‘Went to Winchester about custom and excise on the Mercedes. Then we went to Guilford about the Mercedes’ last fixing.’

The following day, ‘Krishnaji held another discussion with the school. In the afternoon, he washed the car and gave another private interview.’

On the twenty-second of October, ‘Krishnaji and I to London by train. He had fitting while I fetched his Air India ticket. We met at L’Aperitif where we lunched with Mary L,  Winny Portarlington, Ian Mingies’—that’s a friend of Winny’s—‘and Martin Batteisby. ‘Then, Krishnaji and I returned by train to Brockwood.’

On October twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji had discussion with school at 4 p.m.’

On the twenty-fifth, ‘Krishnaji held a discussion with the school in the afternoon on love, pleasure, etcetera. We went for a last autumn walk. After supper, Dorothy brought another Labrador puppy, female, 8 weeks old, and golden. A lovely puppy [S chuckles] named Whisper.’

October twenty-sixth, ‘Krishnaji and I left Brockwood. Dorothy drove us to Heathrow. We took Air France flight to Paris, at 3 p.m. after eating a picnic lunch in the car. We have rooms at Plaza Athénée. Unpacked and took a walk. Supper in our rooms. Today was most beautiful autumn day ever at Brockwood, and Paris was gentle and a soft gray.’

My diary for October twenty-seventh says, ‘Lobb was closed. We bought books, went to the Jeu de Paume [S chuckles], walked through the Tuileries to the Louvre, saw the Victory of Samothrace…’ That was lovely because, if you remember the Louvre…

S: Oh yes, the Winged Victory. Yes, of course.

M: The Winged Victory. It’s up at the head of a great marble staircase.

S: Yes, yes.

M: We went in, and for me, the sight was: Krishnaji, very small at the bottom of the stairs, looking up with just total enjoyment of this marvelous statue, and the whole scene was quite wonderful.

S: And Krishnaji kept a black and white photo of the statue near his bed at Brockwood.

M: Yes, he did.

S: And I have that photo.

M: Have you?

S: Yes. He kept that photo, and I know he loved that statue.

M: Yes, he found it wonderful. All those really ancient Greek things he had great feeling for.

S: Yes, yes. But that in particular. It was just a black and white photo, but it was nicely lit. It was an old postcard.

M: Postcard. I think I remember that Naudé sent it, actually.

S: There was no writing on the back.

M: There wasn’t?

S: No. There was no writing or postage on the back. He got it. Well, maybe Alain Naudé bought it for him.

M: Yeah, I think he did. But I’m not…

S: And sent it in an envelope.

M: Anyway, this is the day we went. He was here on the steps, in front of the statue, and I was over to his left, but I was out of the frame, as it were. We’d come in from the left.

‘We had lunched at the hotel. And then went to the cinema, and the movie was Once Upon a Time in the West’ [S laughs, M chuckles], which he liked because it was a western.


Editor’s Note: Krishnaji’s preference for movies was westerns and thrillers, and he would make a face and a disparaging remark whenever a romantic scene appeared. His taste in reading was thrillers.


S: Yes. Of course.

M: ‘We walked back, stopping to buy a bag at Vuitton and shoes at Mancini,’ that’s a good shoe store. ‘Marcelle Bondoneau came to tea with me, and G.V. Rao came to see Krishnaji. We had supper in our rooms.’

S: When you say had supper in your “rooms,” if I may ask here, would you both have it in one room, or would you have it in separate rooms?

M: Oh, no. We’d eat together. We’d tell them to bring the supper to his room or my room, whichever.

S: Right. Exactly.

M: They were identical rooms.

S: I know. It’s just that when you say “rooms,” you mean that you had it in one of your rooms.

M: One of our rooms, yes.

S: Right, right.

M: I don’t want to imply that we were sharing a room.

S: No, no, no. We’re not doing that. [Chuckles.]

M: So, that’s where we had our supper.

October twenty-eighth, ‘We went to Lobb’s. Krishnaji ordered four pair of shoes, and then we went to Au Vase Etrusque,’ which is sales of china that I was buying for Brockwood; two sets and those white place settings.

S: Where is that?

M: It’s on the Place Madeleine. Then, ‘We lunched at Conti,’ that’s the Italian restaurant that he likes so much. Monsieur Conti was an ebullient, cheerful man.

S: Where is that?

M: It’s up near the Étoile on Rue…I can see where it was, but I can’t remember the name of the street. ‘Then, we went to a movie, The Wild Bunch.’

S: Ah, ha. [Both chuckle.]

M: ‘Donald appeared at the hotel with letters from Vigeveno and Alain. About the Vigeveno one, Krishnaji had me telephone Erna in California, and then he sent a cable to Rajagopal.’ Vigeveno wrote these awful letters, but really I think Mrs. Vigeveno did it.

S: Right.

M: Krishnaji never quite blamed him because he thought that he was being manipulated by his wife. Doesn’t say here what any of this was about, so I can’t tell you, but it was one of many unpleasant communications. ‘Went to Madame Welser for Krishnaji to help her.’ She was a French woman and an invalid, she used to come to Saanen, hoping that he could help her, heal her. ‘Then, we came back to the hotel and had supper in our rooms.’


Editor’s Notes: Although Krishnaji did heal people, and sometimes had spectacular results, this was not something he was known for, and in fact often asked people not to talk about it. I once asked him what he did when he healed people, and it is one of only two questions I ever asked him (and I asked him thousands) that he wouldn’t answer.


On October twenty-ninth, ‘Accompanied Krishnaji to Orly. His 1:30 p.m. plane was postponed till 3 p.m., so we lunched there, and then he left for Rome. I went to see my father and stepmother for dinner at Conti’s.’

S: Didn’t you and Bud and I and Kathy go to dinner at Conti’s?

M: I think we probably did.

October thirtieth. ‘Telephoned Rome. Spoke to Vanda and to Krishnaji. I shopped at Dior, lunched with Father and Olive at Le Doyer. Then, dined with them and Thomas…somebody…at the Tour D’Argent.’ That was a friend of Father’s.

The thirty-first of October. ‘Left the Plaza Athénée, lunched with Father and Olive at the Ritz, spent the afternoon with Lacerta,’ that’s an old friend. She was German or Austrian, and her father was a herpetologist, and Lacerta is the name for lizard in Latin. Anyway, she lived in Paris, so I went to see her. ‘Had a light supper at Father and Olive’s. Then, took the 10 o’clock boat-train for London.’

November first. ‘Arrived in Victoria station, caught the train from Waterloo to Winchester, was back in Brockwood by 11:30 a.m. I did sorting of papers all afternoon.’

The next day I was putting things in order for the winter, and packing because on the third of November, my diary reads, ‘Finished packing. Dorothy and Doris drove me to Heathrow, having sandwiches in the car as we did with Krishnaji on Sunday.’ I then flew to New York.

Now the rest of this is mostly about my life away from Krishnaji, but there are some Krishnaji-related things, and I’ll mention those.

November sixth. ‘First letter from Krishnaji written and sent from Rome.’ Then there was a meeting with someone from Harper and Row—they were one of Krishnaji’s publishers—and Curtis Davis of NET about the films of Krishnaji they made.

Malibu House 10001

Mary Zimbalist’s house in Malibu

On the tenth, ‘I took a noon plane to Los Angeles. Amanda met me; Filomena and Cracker,’ (Cracker was our Siamese cat) ‘welcomed me to Malibu.’ Um, ‘Malibu has had two inches of rain and looks beautiful. Also talked to Erna about the meeting between the attorney general’s man and our lawyers, which was postponed.’

On November fifteenth, I got the first letter and cassette from Krishnaji, written in Delhi.

The next day, ‘I drove to Ojai to lunch with the Lilliefelts. Spent the afternoon with them and saw the new Krishnamurti Foundation of America office.’

On the twentieth, ‘I drove to Claremont and met the Lilliefelts and Sidney Roth at the Blaisdell Institute.’ We were setting up Krishnaji talking at Claremont College again. ‘Lunched with Mr. Rempel’—he’s the man that ran the institute—‘and then saw the film made last year of the discussion between Krishnaji and Huston Smith.’ Rempel had had to do with that.

Malibu House 20001

Inside house in Malibu

November twenty-first. ‘Letter #3 from Krishnaji in Delhi. The Lilliefelts and Roth came to lunch, and we discussed filming Krishnaji.’

On the twenty-third, ‘Brant Cortright came to discuss Krishnaji’s speaking at Santa Cruz.’ That was a student. He’s appeared in the record before. Oh, ‘he told of meeting Rajagopal and possible eavesdropping. I wrote to Krishnaji.’ Rajagopal was always surreptitiously recording conversations.

The next day I got two letters from Krishnaji. They often didn’t come in the same sequence as they were mailed.

November twenty-fifth, ‘Erna came, and we went to Santa Monica auditorium about Krishnaji’s talks there. Then to see the videotape of Krishnaji that the Claremont students made last year.’

I see I typed Krishnaji’s conversation dictations in here.

On December first, ‘Letter and cassette #2 from Krishnaji. He goes from Delhi to Rajghat tomorrow.’

On the fourth, ‘A letter from Krishnaji in Rajghat. He went today from Delhi to Bombay.’

The next day I got a cable from Krishnaji.

On the eighth, I wrote a report on Brockwood for the Bulletin.

On the thirteenth, ‘A letter from Krishnaji in Bombay enclosing a letter to KFA trustees about Rajagopal.’

Kitchen - Malibu House

Kitchen – Malibu House

On the fifteenth, ‘Alain’—that’s Naudé—‘telephoned and arrived from London last night. He is staying with the Morrises. Alain came for tea; took him back afterwards to where he is staying.’ The next day Alain came to supper.

On the seventeenth, ‘Cable from Krishnaji about an attempt by Rajagopal to telephone him in Bombay. Spoke to Erna and Saul Rosenthal’—that’s our lawyer—‘as Krishnaji’s cable asked me to tell Rosenthal,’ so that’s why I called him.

Mary's Bedroom - Malibu House

Mary’s Bedroom – Malibu House

The next day, ‘Call to Bombay came at 6 a.m. Could scarcely hear Krishnaji’s voice, but he said he is leaving India January twelfth.’ Uh, ‘I drove to Ojai for trustees meeting with Erna and Ruth Tettemer. Returned for a quick tea with Alain.’

S: Yeah.

M: December twentieth, ‘Cable from Krishnaji. He’s canceled the Rome talks and is coming here February first.’ He would’ve gone, as usual, to Brockwood first, I guess. And I see that I’m still working on typing Krishnaji’s conversation dictations.

On December twenty-second, ‘Typed all morning. Letter from Krishnaji in Bombay about Rajagopal. Erna Lilliefelt and I to see Rosenthal and Leipziger’—Leipziger was another colleague of Rosenthal—‘about a January meeting between them and Rajagopal and his lawyer. Erna and I came back. Alain came for his luggage and then left. And then Rajagopal telephoned me and talked for half an hour. I wrote to Krishnaji until late.’ Rajagopal would sort of grow hot and cold with me, and then he would say, “we’ve known each other so long” and be sort of that way.

Krishnaji's Bedroom - Malibu House

Krishnaji’s Bedroom – Malibu House

December twenty-third, ‘A letter from Krishnaji, and Alain came to supper. Krishnaji goes to Madras on that day.’


Editor’s Note: The relationship between Alain and Mary remained cordial for the rest of Mary’s life, but Alain would not be traveling with Krishnaji again. The exact nature of Alain’s work has never been clear to me other than he was, in some way, to help arrange for Krishnaji to speak in different places. I have no sense of how effective this was.


The next day, ‘A letter from Krishnaji about Rajagopal. He’s coming here February first.’

On December twenty-seventh, ‘To Ojai with Krishnaji’s letters and to talk to the Lilliefelts.’

Then the last day of the year, ‘Letter from Krishnaji, posted in Madras.’ End of 1969.



[1] Kathy was my wife for most of the years I was at Brockwood, and played a pivotal role in the video recordings of Krishnamurti, and starting the first adult center for Krishnamurti’s work. Back to text.

[2] Born Virginia McKenna, a British stage and screen actress who married Bill Travers. She had been a friend of Mary’s since the 1950s. Back to text.

[3] Krishnaji suggested this until the end of his life, but there was never any agreement among the Foundations about it. Back to text.

[4] William Wyler was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He won an Academy Award for directing Ben Hur, which Mary’s husband produced. Back to text.

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