Issue #9

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Issue 9: April 1968—September 1968


This issue covers what was very significant to the organization of Krishnaji’s work: his formal break with Rajagopal and KWINC, and the creation of The Krishnamurti Foundation Trust. This involved making the break public, and also quickly setting up mechanisms to keep informed those interested in Krishnaji’s speaking schedule, coming publications, and how to contribute to his work.

Also, the first moves were made to recover his copyright, a vital element of control Krishnaji needed to recover for his work.

Mary adds to her previous discussion of Krishnaji’s state of being before and after talking, and makes a link between that and “the process” that had existed in Krishnaji’s life.

We also see the first forays into finding a location for a school in England.

 The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist

Scott: We’re beginning this from April twenty-fifth.

Mary: Well, I think we left off when Krishnaji and I and Alain Naudé were in Paris living in the little house on the Rue de Verdun, and Krishnaji was there to give talks in La Salle de la Chimie in Paris. He gave five talks, and had young people discussions. I think he had four of those. The rest of his life was seeing people, as usual, and also the walk in the afternoon. We used to walk in the Bois, or at Bagatelle in the Bois; otherwise we’d do a bit of shopping. There were various people in Paris whom we lunched with, or they lunched with us. That year, we had a male chef who did the meals in the house, so we had people over for meals, and they were generally people like the de Manziarlys, Sasha and Mar, and also one day Mrs. Porter came for lunch.

S: Ah!

M: Mima Porter was the one who was suppose to give Krishnaji’s messages to Rajagopal, and something would result, she said. Well, in fact, nothing did result.

S: If I may just stop for a minute…when Krishnaji had these discussions with young people, did he have them in French?

M: No, no. He had them in English. They may have asked a question or two in French…I didn’t go to those. So I can’t tell you.

S: Where did the discussions take place?

M: Alain and I hired a room in the hotel where I had stayed previously, which was the Pont Royale, over near Rue de Bac, that section of Paris, and we just hired a room where they could meet.

S: Mm, hm.

M: I went to, I think, one or two, but I didn’t go to them all, and mostly as I recall, it was in English. If it had all been in French, I would remember. Krishnaji was speaking English, and obviously they understood that. Now, this is interesting because this is the year of the “manifestations,” as they called them in France; the student revolt.

S: Ah, yes.

M: Well, they very nearly overthrew the government.

S: I remember.

M: And we were told at that point by—who told us? Nadia Kossiakof. Do you remember her?

S: Yes, I do.

M: She, in those days, had to do with the publications of the French books. She was rather involved with the youth, students, the revolution, all those things, and she used to go to the Sorbonne, and apparently in one of their main meeting rooms, because the students took over the Sorbonne at that point, they had on the blackboard a saying of Krishnaji’s, [S laughs], the spirit of the meeting, apparently. We were told that, but we didn’t realize how intense the feeling was.

My recollection is that the day we left Paris, which was May third, I think, and we were driving along up the auto-route du Nord, toward Lille and Belgium, where we were headed, was the day that violence started. Students were pulling up the paving stones and throwing them.

Somehow I felt that Krishnaji’s presence [S laughs] was part of the ingredients of all this. But maybe I’m just imagining it.

S: Well, who knows? Two years ago there were again demonstrations in Paris, and someone showed me a photograph of a group of students carrying a banner with a quote from Krishnaji on it.

M: Really?

S: Yes. [Laughs]

M: Well, there you are. [Chuckles.] So, we got out just before the paving stones flew, and were unaware of it. We didn’t know till we got to Belgium what had happened.

What else? Oh, Blitz came over. Blitz had been to England and with Mary Cadogan had gone to see Michael Rubinstein because this was the time when people were beginning to say, “What do we have to do if Krishnaji wants to break away from KWINC?” So that was in the offing. But we went off, spent the night in Oostkamp, outside Bruges, at Château des Brides, which is a rather stately park and quite nice, something I found in Michelin, I guess.

The next day, we went into Bruges and stopped to see the Memlings.

S: Yes.

M: And in the city of Bruges there’s a statue by Michelangelo, which is quite beautiful. And then we went across one of those huge dikes. This is the dike of…oh dear, what is the name of it, where you drive right across it? It’s part of the outer protection of Holland. We were in Holland by now; and we were headed for Noordwijk, where Anneke had taken a house, which turned out to be right on the beach, or just above the beach. That sounded nice, but when we got there, we weren’t so enraptured. It was grim [laughs].

S: Was it?

M: The house was alright. It was a kind of rambling beach house with a lot of stairs, but it was cold and damp, and the wind came off the North Sea.

S: [laughs] Yes, I can feel it.

M: And after one night, we said, no, no, this is impossible for Krishnaji; it’s bad for him. And I tried every hotel anywhere around. Nothing. Not a room, not even one room. So we had to face it—we had to stay in this house, but it wasn’t one of the nicer places we stayed.

S: What were you going to Holland for?

M: Well, we were going there for the talks at Amsterdam.

S: Oh, in ’68?

M: Yes. And there was a little wood nearby, which was adequate to walk in; it wasn’t great. Anyway, we settled in.

I think the second day, or so, we went to see the tulips in, what is it called, Keukenhof.

S: Ah, yes, the Keukenhof, yes.

M: And that was lovely.

S: Yes. Was it at the height of the season?

M: Yes.

S: Oh, wonderful!

M: The tulips were blazing.

S: Yes, yes. [M chuckles.] And the daffodils there! Wonderful.

M: Yes, it was really lovely. So that was cheery.

And then I had to reconnoiter on how to get to the RAI in Amsterdam from that side, which was different, and Krishnaji came with me, and I got hopelessly lost [chuckles]. So I went again the next day and finally found the route. His talks were to begin on May eleventh.

On May eighth, Krishnaji, Alain, Anneke and I drove to Bussum to record Krishnaji answering people’s questions. We watched on TV as Krishnaji answered eight questions in about forty minutes. It was faultless.

The questions were read out by somebody and without a hesitation out came a superb reply.

S: Who chose the questioners or the questions?

M: I think the station people. Alain or I may have had a glimpse before-hand. I don’t quite remember, but Krishnaji hadn’t seen them. His ability to be, in effect, word-perfect on microphone was once again demonstrated [chuckles], which was nice.

S: So Alain and Anneke were staying in the house also?

M: Oh, yes. Yes, yes.

S: And she was doing the cooking, or…?

M: She was doing the cooking.

S: Was anyone else there?

M: No. Oh, wait, that’s not so. The chef we had in Paris arrived by train a couple of days after we got there. He did the cooking. So there was only the marketing to do.

S: How did you find that chef in Paris?

M: I think someone like Marcelle Bondoneau, or maybe Gisela Elmenhorst went to an agency and got a chef.

S:  Mm, hm.

M: His name was André. His presence meant it was less wear and tear on the rest of us. So, we went on with life in Noordwijk. We found a better wood to walk in, but still, it wasn’t wonderful. It was cold, and it was windy, and it rained, and it whistled. [S chuckles.]

Krishnaji’s birthday came along, but, as usual, we didn’t dare mention it. [S laughs.] That was the day he gave his first talk.

S: Ah, ha.

M: We got back for lunch. It only took about thirty-five minutes to go there, so it wasn’t bad. That was the beginning. I think that day Alain went to see some Dutch TV people, and while he was there, the owner of the house came to lunch [laughter in voice] because he wanted to see his famous tenant. As I recall, that was rather sticky. I don’t remember too much about it, but it wasn’t one of the finer moments. [Both laugh.]

Let’s see what else happened. We went to The Hague one day, and looked around. And, of course, people came to lunch; Doris Pratt came, Mary Cadogan came, and I think the Digbys came.

S: Mm.

M: But, anyway, we entertained [laughs] ourselves. I think Mary and Joe came.

After the fifth talk, coming home, one of those curious fainting things happened with him, where in the car he suddenly keeled over. But he came to quickly.

S: Who else would’ve been in the car? Was it just you, or was Alain there?

M: I think just me; Alain would’ve stayed on, but that was a particularly heavy day at the RAI, because not only was the hall filled, but the whole outer hall was filled with about 150 people watching it on television. And many people came up to him afterward; and he was in those days, and other days too, when he’d given a very intense talk, he would come out as though dazed, and he’d sort of stand, and the idea was to keep people away from him, but he always didn’t want people kept away. He didn’t want to be aloof.

S: That remained like that right through to the end.

M: Yes. So, people would come up and you could see him sort of…not recoil, but his body would shake from the effort to come out of the way he felt and reply to the person. I always wanted to stop people.

S: I know.

M: It was painful to see.

S: I know.

M: And I could see him standing there outside the hall and this was happening.

S: Yes, I’ve seen it. When he was on the stage and that “vast energy,” as he called it in his final days, was pouring forth, even when people asked really stupid or even aggressive questions, he was unshakeable. There was nothing that was vulnerable about him.

M: No, nothing. And even when people, you know, nutty people got up, he would deal with it and calm them down.

S: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

M: He was in total control, whatever happened.

S: And yet in the transition to his normal state, he would be tremendously vulnerable.

M: Yes. Someone coming up to him could be like a physical blow to him.

There were many, many times, and I suppose after talks was a particular example where you had to be absolutely quiet with him. So, it would happen for instance at Saanen, my job was to get him as quickly into the car after the talk as possible, and then he would sometimes want to just drive, just sit quietly in the car, and I’d drive and drive till he said, “Alright, let’s go back.” It was sort of coming out of whatever state of heightened action he was in. I don’t know how to define it. And then the fainting on this particular day might have been part of that, the actual need to decelerate, if there is such a word, or if leaving the body, which the fainting was, according to what he said to me, was the way to …was a manifestation of that.

S: Say that again.

M: Well, this fainting that he would do at different times seemed to be, or he said it was when I asked him, he said, “It’s leaving the body.”

S: Mm, hm.

M: And he always, in the beginning said, “Don’t touch the body”—in other words, just leave everything alone, and don’t attempt to intrude by a gesture or a question.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Just don’t say anything; just be there. And the only thing I ever did, which I’ve explained in these interviews before, is when he was going to fall, I moved so that when he landed on my forearm; it was no different than landing on a sofa, and I was trying to avoid his hitting his head on the steering wheel. So, that was different. I wasn’t doing something. I just put an obstruction in his way to protect him.

S: I understand. Yes.

M: But, those were the necessities: to not interfere, and not be nervous. That was also a thing, “Don’t let it worry you.” That was in the beginning when he said, “Don’t be afraid, if it happens, it happens; just be quiet, don’t be alarmed.” So, I think that there’s a link between his coming out of being almost unconscious, like not-knowing-where-you-are kind of thing; not that he didn’t know where he was, but gearing his mind down to ordinary perception of people and having to speak to people. He had to be quiet for a bit before he could get back into that other state, the normal state.

S: Now, Mary, this also, of course, has some relationship to what Krishnaji used to call “the process” and which has been written about so much, in the sense of going out of the body, the fainting.

M: “The process” was going out of the body, if I understand it, which anybody can criticize as partly avoiding the pain that was happening; when the pain got too bad, as it says in Nitya’s account, Krishna went away and left the body, which was exemplified by the little child voice, to cope with it. That seems to be Nitya’s description. I have no way of adding anything to that. Of course, going out of the body is not an extraordinary thing if you’ve gone into esoteric things.

S: Yes. It’s just that it seems to have some relationship to this state right after he talked, to this fainting, to several things that were part of Krishnaji, even…I don’t know, he said sometimes that he had a marvelous meditation, for instance, even though he didn’t do anything anyone would call meditation. So, there’s just these things which are worth mentioning and I don’t know, just recalling to the best of our ability…

M: Yes, recall. I don’t think anybody can explain this.

S: No, no.

M: And I don’t think our talking about it is an effort to explain it.

S: No. But it’s just important to get these things down.

M: To report what we observed, or were told by him.

S: Yes.

M: And how it seemed, bearing in mind that it may be my imagination, or my jumping to a conclusion that isn’t so.

S: Now, while we’re on this subject too, and I know we’ve spoken about this before, but the moments just before Krishnaji would speak were different to right afterwards, but somehow related. I also knew I was not to speak.

M: Yes.

S: I was not to speak unless Krishnaji said something to me; I was just to be there…

M: That’s right.

S: …and keep people away, but really just to be silent with him.

M: That’s right.

S: And Krishnaji went through something. It’s not as if he just came in and walked up on the stage. He went through something.

M: Well, the good example, in my experience, was at Saanen, where he walked into the tent while I parked the car, so that he got there on the dot, and all that had to be silent and exact.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And if he did speak to me on the way down, it was usually something like, “What am I going to talk about?” to which I never replied.

S: Mm, hm.

M: It was a kind of preparation, as it were. And, as you remember, when he got on the platform and whoever it was put the mike on him, he would then sit there and look for a while. It was like…I don’t know what, I don’t know how to describe it, but it was…it was something he went through in the beginning.

S: Yes, exactly.

M: And then, I know you remember, he very often began a talk with saying, “This is not a lecture; it is not entertainment.” He would give that preliminary thing, which was sort of like easing into something that he was then going to start examining. And I do think it was linked with what happened afterward, but it was different.

S: Yes, I know. All one can say is that it feels like it was linked, and yet it felt different also.

M: In the later years, after a talk, usually when we got home, he would lie down for quite a while.

S: How long?

M: It depended where we were, but, oh, at least a half an hour.

S: He didn’t lie down after the talks at Brockwood.

M: No.

S: Because he would come up and have something to eat here[1], a salad or something like that.

M: Yes, he’d go into his room or the bathroom and I, in the meantime, had put the salad and fruit on the table, then he’d come out and he’d sit down and eat it. But then he would sort of decompress by looking out the window and commenting on the people…

S: I know.

M: And that [chuckle], that was usually rather critically.

S: [laughs] Yes, I remember.

M: People…

S: …especially people who were parking on the lawn, or doing something ridiculous.

M: Yes, something. And then, after he had eaten then he’d go back to the tent and face people on a different level. But then when he came up after that, he went right to sleep.

S: Mm, hm, mm, hm.

M: Which isn’t surprising, considering what he gave out in those talks.

S: Yes.

M: I don’t want to try to make anything more than what we’ve just said.

S: No, no. Anyway, back to…

M: Back to Noordwijk.

Click below to listen to Mary speak:-

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The talks ended and we took off; Krishnaji was with me in the Mercedes, and Alain was in his Volkswagen with lots of luggage. We drove across Holland and into Germany via Arnhem, and on this trip, we met somewhere near Frankfurt, I think, and had a picnic lunch. Oh no, we had a picnic lunch alone; Alain went alone—you couldn’t keep track of each other on the autobahn. That was too difficult. So we drove and had our picnic lunch in a lovely wood, and then we drove on to Ettlingen, which was near Karlsruhe, where we had intended to stop, and we met Alain there at, I think it’s called, the Erbprinz Hotel; we had rooms there. It was a good hotel; Father had told me about it, a very good hotel.

S: Mm, hm. Mm hm.

M: I had booked rooms for us, but that was the time when we got there and went in for something to drink, I could tell that he didn’t want to spend the night, that he wanted to get on and get to Gstaad and finish with the travel. So, I said, “Well, if I can have a pot of coffee, I can drive to Spain!” I was doing all the driving. [S chuckles.] And so, they brought me the most wonderful whole big pot of coffee with lovely little cakes. Krishnaji had herb tea, and I drank the whoooole pot.

S: [laughs heartily]…and went racing off! [Laughs more.]

M: And felt I could do anything! And so we drove on. It was a 600-mile drive from Noordwijk to Gstaad, and we got there about 10 p.m., and Madame Duperrex, who was the concierge of Les Caprices, had everything ready, but she didn’t expect us till [chuckles] the next morning. So there we were, went up in that silly lift, but we couldn’t get into the flats. So, Alain went off and found out where she was, and she eventually came back about 11 p.m. and let us in. I had my usual flat. And Krishnaji stayed with me, and Alain had the studio, it was called.

S: Mm, hm.

M: But, we got there. It was a long drive.

S: [chuckles] Yes, that would’ve been.

M: And I remember the driving on the autobahn where every car was passing me, and I glanced at the speedometer and I was going 110 miles an hour. [S laughs heartily, M chuckles.] It shocked me so much, because it was as though we were going fifty.

S: Yes, yes.

M: [chuckles lightly] So that was how we got to Saanen. Now, what happens in Saanen?

S: So, what are the dates, just to keep some sense of chronology?

M: We left on the twenty-fifth of May, 1968.

The next few days we’re unpacking, and going for lovely walks.

And then we had news from London from Rubinstein on the twenty-eighth that the copyright could be recuperated.

S: Great.

M: That was a major jump.

S: Yes.

M: We also were talking about the school, and that over near Canterbury they’d found something. That means Dorothy and probably Donald Hoppen [2] and Montague. Eventually it was said, “No, Canterbury’s not possible.” But on that date, we heard that, yes, maybe we could have it in Canterbury. But that didn’t last very long because it was decided that the place near Canterbury wouldn’t do.  

And then I remember that on the thirtieth of May (this is refers to Paris) that de Gaulle called for a referendum instead of bringing in the troops to fight the students, which would’ve been a real revolution. He said we’ll have a referendum, and that deflated the students. Things subsided.

It was curious the other day—I was talking with someone and I said, “Were you in Paris during that time?” And he said, “Oh yes!” and what had happened, he rushed out in the street to see everything, and he told what it was like from his point of view. And I told what it was like from Krishnaji’s and my point of view.

S: Hm. I’d forgotten that.

M: Yes. So that’s something notable at that point. The news from Paris then got better every day, I mean, more quiet everyday.

It says here that Krishnaji dictated to the tape recorder a letter to the schools, which he didn’t usually do; he usually dictated to me. But he made a tape that day. Wonder what’s become of it? Then we went to get his car in Thun and to get my car serviced.

S: Well, that would’ve been to the Indian schools.

M: Yes, yes. We didn’t have a school. Yes, that was to India.

S: You don’t remember why he did that, because that’s an unusual thing to do, isn’t it?

M: Don’t remember.

Well then, much walking toward Lauenen, and I remember there was still snow under the trees, and it was warm, but the mountains were white, and under the trees where it was shady there was still snow.

S: Hm.

M: Beautiful, happy days. We drove to places like Turbach and walked up, isn’t that funny?

S: Yes.

M: Turbach, down by the river.

And it says here that on the fourth of June, California held its primary election, and Robert Kennedy was elected the presidential candidate in California, and we got the terrible shock the next night that he was shot. It was horrendous for me, and Krishnaji was pretty shocked by that as well. That was in a way because earlier that year when we had dinner at Barbizon was when Martin Luther King was shot.

S: Mm, hm.

M: And here it was again. Very ugly, violent.

It shocked Krishnaji very much.

Um, let me see. [Long pause.] We went into Geneva to do the usual ritual things in Geneva, Patek, etcetera—the familiar routine.

S: Jacquet and…

M: Jacquet and the neckties were ordered. [S chuckles.] And we bought bath-robes, those bath robes we’ve all got, towel bathrobes, and we spent the night in the Hotel du Rhône, and we also went to a movie, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner…it’s an old, well, old, it was new then, with…

S: Yes, I remember…Sidney Poitier

M: …Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier and Spencer Tracy. Uh [chuckles], Krishnaji and Alain went to see the homeopathic Dr. Schmidt, and they got good reports. And what else did they do? Oh, we went to another film the next day called Je t’aime, Je t’aime. I can’t remember what that was. It was a French film. [Chuckles.] So then we came back, stopping in Lausanne at the Grappe D’Or for lunch; rather pleasant meal, a place we liked.

Then, what happened? We got confirmation that regaining the copyright looks possible. So that was cheery.

John Kenneth Galbraith [3] came for tea.

S: Mm.

M: We’re still all in Caprices.

S: I didn’t know he…

M: Galbraith used to spend a bit of time in Gstaad, and Krishnaji met him before. I had, too.

S: Was he an admirer of the teachings?

M: Not so you’d notice, but he was interested in Krishnaji, and was very respectful of him. I don’t know how much attention he paid to the teaching.

On June twenty-fifth, we got news from Mary Cadogan that another possible school site had been found. But Krishnaji thought he ought to see it this time. I tried everything to get hotel rooms in London, but it was in the middle of Wimbledon, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, every hotel I tried, including Claridge’s, where at least I knew them, nothing doing; they hadn’t anything.

On the twenty-seventh, Krishnaji, Alain, and I drove to Evian and lunched beautifully at the Hotel Royal, then onto Geneva and checked into Hotel du Rhône, where we also had tea. Errands. Then we saw a movie, Prudence and the Pill.

The next day we returned to Gstaad.

On June thirtieth, Mary and Joe arrived, and we had tea. Hay fever was quite bad for Krishnaji and Alain.

The next day, Vanda arrived and opened Tannegg. I had Mary, Joe, Krishnaji, and Alain for lunch at the Palace Hotel. Narasimhan brought Jayalakshmi from Madras. She will stay at Tannegg.

July third, the Linkses left for Italy; Krishnaji came to Caprices in early evening. He had a fever of 101 degrees, but he wants to go to Geneva as planned. I packed for Krishnaji, and we left for Geneva and the Hotel du Rhône. Krishnaji lay in the back of the car. That night the fever continued, which worried me.

On July fourth, Krishnaji awoke without a fever, so the three of us took a 9 a.m. flight to London. Mary Cadogan, Blitz, and Jane Hammond met us and drove us to Ayot Place in Hertfordshire, which was thought of as a possible school. Dorothy and Montague and David Bohm met us there. We went through the whole place and then had a picnic lunch on the lawn. It was a Jacobean building. I didn’t particularly like it. The country around there was more built up, a bit more suburban, and there weren’t any good walking places. I don’t know where Krishnaji could’ve stayed in it. It wasn’t really big enough. I would’ve had to find another house for him somewhere nearby. But it didn’t come to that.

Alain dashed into London for an errand, then joined Krishnaji and me at the airport, where we caught a 5 p.m. plane back to Geneva and the Hotel du Rhône, where we had supper in our rooms. Instead of sleeping in London, we slept in Geneva, because of the hotel situation.

The next day, after breakfast, we returned to Gstaad. In the afternoon, Krishnaji did a TV interview for Holland.

The first talk in Saanen was on July seventh, and it was the first time we had the hangar-type tent.

Blitz and Michael Rubinstein arrived, and there was much talk about what was going to happen after breaking off with KWINC.

On July eighth, Rubinstein had breakfast with Alain and me. We were called to come up to Tannegg at lunchtime. Krishnaji met with me and Alain, and he was very upset by his morning talk with Blitz. We talked until 4 p.m. when Blitz, Rubinstein, Mary Cadogan, and Doris Pratt came for a meeting, and the decision was made then by Krishnaji to severe relations with Krishnamurti Writings.

On July ninth, before Krishnaji’s second talk, Michael Rubinstein got up on the stage  and read out to the audience a statement about Krishnaji’s dissociation from KWINC, and the formation of a new Krishnamurti Foundation to be based in England, which would reflect Krishnaji’s wishes and would ensure that his will would always prevail in it, as it should. If people wished to support his work, they may contribute to the new foundation. So that was that. Rajagopal’s name was not brought into things. It wasn’t explained why he disassociated himself.

There was a meeting the next day, the tenth. There was a fund in those days to provide for Krishnaji when Rajagopal was not providing. Krishnaji wouldn’t take money toward the end from Krishnamurti Writings and so, to look after him, there was a fund donated by several people, and Krishnaji decided to give away a large amount of that to buy Ayot Place. We still were thinking of Ayot Place. The meeting that day was of the foreign committees, and Krishnaji named the members of the new foundation which were to be  Blitz, Alain, Rubinstein, Mary Links, the Digbys, Dorothy Simmons, and me. When the foundation finally was actually made, it was changed, but that was his first choice.

There was another meeting on the eleventh with each foreign committee, country by country. And Rubinstein, Cadogan, and I met with them all together in the afternoon, and in the evening, at 7 p.m., we met with the U.S. people who had come to the talks.

The meetings continued the next day at Tannegg, this time with the Italian committee, the Swiss committee, the South African and the Finish representatives. Krishnaji, Alain, Cadogan, Rubinstein, and I were present at these meeting.

Then…let’s see. I’m trying to find out what day Krishnaji talked to those people from Ojai, and what’s-his-name taped it.

S: Blackburn?

M: Blackburn. Al Blackburn taped it. Krishnaji didn’t authorize the taping. I think he just didn’t pay attention. And this tape became a great matter of contention with Rajagopal because in it Krishnaji explained why he’d broken off. When we, later on, had the court case, Rajagopal wanted this tape destroyed. But, in the end, it was a trade-off to get back the manuscript of The Notebook in return for giving the tapes to Rajagopal and destroying any copies that existed. In point of fact, Al Blackburn, unbeknownst to us, kept one, but we didn’t know that.

S: Mm, where is that now?

M: Well, it’s now probably in the KFA Archives [chuckles].

S: Good.

M: I assume. I don’t know positively, but eventually, of course, after all this was over and Blackburn, I think, died, I think he gave it all in his will. Eventually, we got the tape.

S: What date was that tape made?

M: On July eighteenth.

Then there were more meetings from the thirteenth with Blitz, Alain, Cadogan, Krishnaji, obviously, and myself on plans for not only the school, but for a bulletin, and to let people know what was happening and to raise money through the bulletin and so forth. I mentioned that Mrs. Jayalakshmi was, during this time, in Saanen, and she would be at Tannegg for meals.

And the talks still went on. I eventually drove Mrs. Jayalakshmi back to Geneva, and she left for wherever she was going. Alain, I think, oh yes, it says here, Alain came on that trip, and we went to see the Royal Ballet with Fontaine and Nureyev dancing in Geneva.

S: Mm.

M: That was lovely.

S: What were they dancing?

M: I think Romeo and Juliet. Yes.

S: Mm. I saw them do that.

M: Yes, yes.

S: Extraordinary.

M: So, he and I drove back the next day, lunching at the Grappe D’Or [laughing; S chuckles], getting back to Gstaad in the afternoon. In the meantime, Krishnaji had his first meeting with the young people in the tent, a discussion. This was on a Wednesday, and the next day he had his sixth talk.

On the twenty-first, there was a tea for the foreign committees at Tannegg, and after that Krishnaji took me on a drive to Lenk in his car.

S: Did you go up to that little…no, you wouldn’t know that walk, never mind.

M: We didn’t walk. We just drove.

Then Mary Cadogan and I did a lot of business matters, which we discussed at length, but that isn’t very interesting.

Again, Krishnaji had a young people discussion. I ran into Vanda in the village in the afternoon, and she insisted I come up and walk with Krishnaji back at Tannegg through the woods.

On the twenty-fifth, Krishnaji gave the ninth talk. Lunch at Tannegg with Vanda, Krishnaji, Alain, and myself. I was usually up there for lunch. Vanda very kindly invited me.

And then the tenth talk. He gave so many talks in those days…[Aside to Scott:] This account is going to take us into the next century.

S: It doesn’t matter. [M chuckles.] We have the time.

M: There was a meeting. Krishnaji, Alain, and the Simmonses, and me. We discussed our staying at Ayot Place next year. I said I would look for a house for the three of us, and then Krishnaji, Alain, and I went for a walk and talked about a house. [Chuckles.]

On the thirty-first, Krishnaji began his public discussions in the tent. The Wingfield-Digbys were there and came for lunch.

On August second, Vanda left in the early morning, and I drove Krishnaji to the third public discussion. Before, she always drove him when she was there, at least in those years. Later on, she didn’t bring a car; she came by train, so I drove him.

So, more public discussions. Vanda asked me to stay up at Tannegg while she was away to run things in her absence. So, I moved up to Tannegg, partially. I mean, I didn’t like to sleep up there, but I would be there for meals and so forth, so I didn’t move things out of Caprices.

S: Which room did you supposedly stay in?

M: The one right opposite the front door. That was really the only room.

S: Well, there was a small one off the dining room.

M: No, yes, I didn’t use that one. Alain sometimes used that one, but he was down at Caprices at this time.

S: Who was cooking?

M: Oh, Fosca. Always Fosca. [Chuckles lightly.]

So the discussions went on each day. And then, a man arrived. Wait a minute. Oh, yes, this was—heh!—a Mr. Tomchuk. I haven’t thought of that name since. He warned Alain that a man called Fred Williams, who was really, in fact, I think I’m about to get a letter from him; he was a violent, awful man, and Mr. Tomchuk warned Alain that a violent letter about him had been circulated by Fred Williams, or sent by Fred Williams to Rajagopal, and that Alain should be careful; Fred Williams might assault him, hit him. So, Krishnaji sent for Fred Williams and told him to leave Gstaad.

Williams turns out to be…well, he once insulted Mary Cadogan most grievously. Then one year, not this year, he came to the chalet, and wanted to see Krishnaji, and I said no. He said, “Well, I want to give him a book,” and I said, “Well, I’m sorry, he’s resting and can’t be disturbed.” And so he produced the book, which was the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you know, the violent anti-Semitic book that was a famous forgery.

S: Yes, yes.

M: He said, “You read it,” and I said, “No, I don’t wish to read it. I know what’s in it.” And we had a bit of a backwards and forwards about that. And the other day [4], well, this isn’t important, I got a letter from Doug saying, “There’s a book that’s arrived and do you want me to send it on?” and I said, “Well, open it and see if there’s a letter in it for me.” And he said he would, and later when he told me that the book was from an F. Williams somewhere in northern California. I said I don’t know any such person. Afterwards, I thought, my god, I bet it’s the same man. And I bet it’s another anti-Semitic book.

S: Mm, hm.

M: Anyway, it was suspected that he was supplying, I guess, cocaine, or whatever the drug of the moment was, to young people in the tent.

S: Mm, hm.

M: The last discussion was on the sixth of August, and that day, Krishnaji had a meeting with Colonel Noyes. Do you remember Colonel Noyes?

S: Of course, yes.

M: …and the Blackburns and the Hookers. I don’t know what happened; I wasn’t there, I don’t think. Various people came. Nothing special. The Digbys came for lunch. We went for a drive in Krishnaji’s Mercedes [chuckles]. Alain went to Paris, I forget why. Something to do with Blitz. Oh, Blitz had gone to the U.S. and he’d seen the Vigevenos in Los Angeles, and he was trying to find out what was happening for Krishnaji in Ojai. Madame Duchet came for lunch. Colonel Noyes came to see K. Then David Bohm. Alain telephoned from Paris, but I don’t know what it was about. The Bohms frequently came for lunch.

[M chuckles.]

S: What are you laughing at?

M: ‘On this day, it was a free day, and with Krishnaji in his Mercedes we drove to Lausanne, and part way on the auto-route the car went 115 miles an hour like a bird.’

We had lunch at Beau Rivage, drove back through Montreux, Aigle, and Les Mosses. Alain came back from Paris, and we all three walked in the rain up Turbach. Supper and talk.’ [Chuckles.]

S: Mm, how nice.

M: Apparently ‘I went down to Caprices and did some ironing,’ which will be fascinating for history to know. [S laughs.] ‘Back to Tannegg. Doris Pratt for lunch and we went again in the afternoon up Turbach, across the stream, and down the other side.’ That was a long walk. There’s a bridge or something way up there.

S: Yes.

M: ‘The Galloways came for lunch.’ Now, the Galloways were a couple that had lived in India; he was Scottish, I think, and at one point, Krishnaji wanted him to head the Indian Krishnamurti Committee, or whatever it was called then, but nothing came of that.

Krishnaji came down to Caprices. He still had a lot of clothes at Caprices, so he came down to consider his packing [laughter in voice].

S: [chuckles] They’d been there for over a month.

M: Yes. And he kept the car down there because it had a garage he could use.

[Chuckles.] He was sort of living in both places.

Then on the eighteenth, ‘we packed at Caprices, and he went for a drive alone. In the afternoon, we walked up past the tent and up above the sawmill. The snow line was low on the mountains.’

On the twentieth, ‘we took Krishnaji’s and my Mercedes and Alain’s VW to Mr. Moser in Thun and left them. Krishnaji’s was to be traded for a new one in the spring.’ This is where he wanted to get a bigger one.

S: Right. Is this when the Green Beauty enters?

M: Yes.

S: No, is the Green Beauty from 1969?

M: Well, what happened was that we ordered it, and it came, but the next year’s model had something ugly on it, some chrome stuff that I didn’t like, and Krishnaji didn’t like— nobody liked. So he then got Stuttgart to agree to change the order for the following year’s one.

S: Right, so it was a sixty…no, it was a seventy then.

M: I guess so.

S: The Green Beauty is a seventy? Must be.

M: I thought it was a little later.

S: I did, too.

M: Well, that’s what it says here. It’ll be revealed in due course. [S chuckles]

Then we took the ferry and went to Beatus. You can walk from Moser’s place to the lake ferry—a steamer is what it is—and get on, and then a couple of stops down the far side of the lake is Beatenberg; there’s the hotel where we used to go for lunch. It was a lovely, warm, clear day.

The next day, it says here, ‘the Russian army aided by the East Germans invades Hungary. Bulgaria is occupied, and Czechoslovakia is occupied during the night.’ That was another historically horrible day.

We, however, ‘went to Geneva, checked into the Hotel du Rhône, and lunched at the Hotel des Bergues, went to Patek, rested in the afternoon, and had dinner in our rooms.’

On August twenty-second, the three of us took the noon plane to London and went to the White House Hotel. It’s up near Regents Park, just down the road, on, um, what’s that big road where the Friends…

S: Marylebone?

M: Marylebone; it’s down only a few blocks from where you go into Regents Park on Marylebone, east of Regents Park.

Krishnaji and Alain went right to Huntsman while I unpacked [S chuckles] and fixed supper. We had a little tiny kitchen; that’s why we went there. Later that evening we watched films of the Russian tanks in Prague. It was awful. Complete occupation, just overnight.

The next day ‘Doris Pratt lent me her car, and I drove Krishnaji to Huntsman. Sacha de Manziarly met him there, and we all lunched at the Ritz. We bought things at the health center for food. Then had a long meeting with Michael Rubinstein at the hotel. We walked in RegentsPark, and we got a tape from Blackburn in Ojai, after he and his wife had met Rajagopal.’

On August twenty-fourth, Krishnaji, Alain, and I met with the Linkses, the Bohms, the Simmonses, and Doris Pratt. Later, the three of us had lunch at the Royal Lancaster, then went to a movie in Leicester Square.

On the twenty-fifth we went too, oh! Nice day! The three of us went with Mary and Joe to Epping Forest for a walk, and then back to lunch with them at the Saint George Hotel.

Then the next day Krishnaji, Alain, Mary Links, and I lunched and drove to Ayot Place. The Wingfield-Digbys and Simmonses met us there. We went through the house again and drove back and had tea at the Linkses. Sacha de Manziarly came to supper with Krishnaji and me. Then [laughing], I went to Heals to buy beds and linens for Ayot Place. I remember that I picked it all out in case the place was bought while I was in California. Nelly Digby was to arrange for their delivery if it happened.

On the twenty-eighth, a threatening cable came from Rajagopal to Krishnaji. Blitz and van der Straten arrived for the first Krishnamurti Foundation meeting with the new trustees.

This is when we founded the KFT [5]. It was in Michael Rubinstein’s office. The KFT was legally founded with Blitz, van der Straten, George and Nelly Digby, Alain, Dorothy Simmons, and myself as trustees. Also present were Mary Cadogan, as the secretary, and Mary Links was there, too, but she wouldn’t be a trustee.

S: Mm, hm. How did van der Straten get in the picture?

M: Well, he was in Saanen, you see, all the time. They didn’t seem to come to meals very much because it doesn’t mention it, but, I don’t know, Krishnaji knew him and thought that he’d be a good trustee: a business man and interested in the teachings, and [laughing]  a vegetarian! And he thought he’d be a good trustee, so he invited him. Krishnaji appointed everybody.

S: Mm, hm.

On August twenty-nineth, after tea with Mrs. Bindley and a walk back across Hyde Park, at supper, Krishnaji, Alain, and I discussed Ayot Place versus something else. We  weren’t so pleased with Ayot Place. It didn’t seem a good idea.

The next day, the thirtieth, Dorothy and Montague Simmons came in the morning and Krishnaji told them to look further for a house. They went to agents and came back with information. K and I lunched at the White House Hotel. Jayalakshmi arrived from New York and came for supper.

On the first of September, ‘the Digbys came in the morning and will help with house hunting for a school. Colonel Noyes arrived from Ojai with an offer from Rajagopal to turn over most of KWINC. We talked to Rubinstein and Noyes is to call Rajagopal back.’ Krishnaji was suspicious, and he said, “Well, call him back and see if he means this.” ‘Krishnaji, Alain, and I lunched at Claridge’s, came back with Mrs. Jayalakshmi and her nephew for a walk. A photographer and Noyes came for tea, also Doris Pratt.’ It says here, ‘Rather confused meeting. Finally all left and Noyes went to call Rajagopal. Came back to report utter failure. K wants archives and Rajagopal refuses all concessions until he has met Krishnaji. Same incredible behavior. We had postponed our flights to the U.S. until Wednesday, and it’s too late to change back.’ We’d switched the flight to let Noyes make this call, and Noyes came back in a state of shock, white-faced. Apparently, so he said, Rajagopal had said, “What do you mean by giving me such a message? I never empowered you to go…” Now, Noyes had been on his way to India, and because Rajagopal asked him to talk to Krishnaji, he detoured to London especially to talk to Krishnaji and deliver the message. So when he goes back to telephone, Rajagopal says, “I never sent you. I never told you to go. I never empowered you to do anything.” This was

standard procedure.

S: Right.

M: So, it wasn’t a bit surprising to anybody on Krishnaji’s side.

The next day we lunched at Claridge’s, Krishnaji, Alain, Fleur Cowles [6] (that’s a friend of mine) and I. Michael Rubinstein and Doris Pratt came in the afternoon, and I finished packing.

September fourth, ‘Drove with Krishnaji and Alain to the airport. They took the 11:35 a.m. plane to Madrid and on to Puerto Rico. I took a TWA flight to New York.’ Well, then what I did was go to my brother’s and so forth and so on.

Krishnaji was to speak in Puerto Rico, and I had to see my mother and family and so forth, so I didn’t go with them. I waited in New York for them. Now let’s see, we’ll jump ahead because this is all about me, not about Krishnaji. I went up to the Vineyard.

S: Okay, so you arrived in New York, saw your mother in Martha’s Vineyard.

M: Yes, then went back to New York, flew to Malibu briefly, and then flew back to New York on the nineteenth of September.

On the twentieth, ‘I moved into the flat I had rented from my former sister-in-law, at 40 East 62nd,’ and I sort of set up the apartment and marketed and things, and had it cleaned. You don’t want to hear all this. Now, when does Krishnaji get here?

Krishnaji arrives on the twenty-third of September with Alain.

S: Okay. Alright, let’s end it there, then. We’re running out of tape.

M: Alright.




[1] All of these early discussions with Mary occurred at Brockwood, in the kitchen of her private quarters. Back to text.

[2] A young architect who was involved with building issues at the beginning of Brockwood. Back to text.

[3] Galbraith was a Harvard professor, an economist, author of many books, a leading proponent of American liberalism, and ambassador to India under Kennedy. Back to text.

[4] Mary is saying this on the day of our discussion, which was June fifteenth, 1995. Back to text.

[5] The Krishnamurti Foundation Trust. Back to text.

[6] An American writer, editor, and artist. Back to text.

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