This is a collective effort and not the work of one person. But to defend itself against the consistent and troubling allegations made herein by over 70 people, Krishnamurti Foundation Trust has chosen to make 100% false accusations against our team and our lead investigator. Once called out, the Trust failed to provide any evidence to back its preposterous fake claims. Their lawyer pulled out of the case after we demanded evidence to support the Trust’s fake attempts to intimidate and discredit us.
Then the Trust filed two meritless dishonest reports with the police. Both police agencies refused to investigate the Trust’s dishonest report due to lack of evidence. And we obtained proof that the Trust lied to the police. Compare that to Krishnamurti’s teachings on importance of truth. So be careful about the Trust’s attempts to tarnish our team or our lead investigator’s reputation, and demand to see evidence for their fake claims which they fabricate to cover up for their mismanagement, misconduct, failure of key duties of some trustees, and deep rooted governance issues.
“We have to think about the people who come afterwards. They're going to find something that isn't what it should be because our generation just let it slip away." ~ Former KFT/Brockwood Park Employee
MISMANAGEMENT OF KRISHNAMURTI FOUNDATION TRUST (KFT) / BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL
Based On Over Seventy (70) Testimonies & Letters
Research, Analysis and Reporting by Reza Ganjavi (MBA, BSCS, BA Phil), and Team of Former Trustees, Students, Parents, Staff, Volunteers, Supporters, and Close Friends of Krishnamurti
“If you complain to the Charity Commission, we will sue you.” ~ KFT Trustee
“The Trustees failed in their duty of care.” ~ Ex-Parent
“Management as it is understood in other organisations and institutions does not apply at Brockwood” ~ Member of Old Boys Clan and Management Team
“Mina had no teaching, pastoral, or pedagogical experience whatsoever; she was arrogant and was given power and authority that was not befitting her qualifications, or lack thereof.” ~ Ex-Parent
"Nasser I met once on a zoom call. It took me one minute to see through his egoic charade—I knew from that moment that he was going to wreak havoc on Brockwood." ~ Ex-Trustee
"Raman was involved at every stage with Nasser without having an official role." ~ Ex-Staff Member
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE TO THIS VERSION.. 12
New Discoveries of Trustee Conflict of Interest. 12
Troubling New Testimonies, e.g., Report of Child Having Anal Sex In School Library. 12
Trust’s Preposterous Police Reports & Lying to the Police. 12
Departure of Gisele Balleys 13
Preemptive Superficial Changes at the Trust Including Antonio’s Role. 14
Trust’s Futile Defense: Blame Words of 70+ People on One Person; And Bill Taylor’s Lies 14
WHO WAS J. KRISHNAMURTI?. 14
PROBLEM STATEMENT, OBJECTIVES. 15
PROJECT TEAM.. 16
PUBLIC INTEREST. 17
RESEARCH METHOD. 18
RELATED DOCUMENTS. 18
Statement Of Reza Ganjavi About His Engagement As Lead Investigator Of The Mismanagement At KFT. 18
Statement Of Reza Ganjavi About His Interaction With KFA, Before and After Grohe Gang Takeover – Which KFT Falsified To Disparage Activist Taskforce 18
Friedrich Grohe and his Gang's Influence Mongering at Krishnamurti Foundations. 19
Report of Two Fake Police Reports KFT Filed to Quash Criticism; The Police Refused To Pursue The Cases. 19
Police Misconduct In Falling For KFT’s Lie Upfront; It Was Proven Later That KFT Had Lied To The Police. 19
Letter Requesting Investigation of KFT. 19
About Nasser Shamim's Cowardly Behavior. 19
Emails to Raman Patel. 20
Investigative Report On Friedrich Grohe and His Gang. 20
Response to Bill Taylor. 20
Letter to Mr. J. Krishnamurti About His Foundations Years After He Died. 21
Quotes About J. Krishnamurti 21
REGULATORS, ETC. 21
TESTIMONIES & ANALYSIS. 22
ANAL SEX IN THE LIBRARY. 23
TESTIMONY OF LADY GGG. 24
Mina’s Arrogance & Lack Of Competence. 24
Lack of Proper Safe-gaurding / Pastoral Care. 24
Trustee Wendy Smith Lying (December 2022) 25
Trustee Wendy Smith Allegedly Falsely Accusing Parent (December 2022) 26
TESTIMONY OF BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL'S SECRETARY / INWOODS' PARENT. 27
Favoritism, Tribalism.. 27
Nasser Allegedly Laughed Off Staff Member In Pain. 28
Strange, Strained, Tense Place. 28
Firing Without Dialogue. 28
Manipulation, Control 29
“Brockwood, the Biggest Disappointment in My Life”. 29
Brutal Micromanagement 30
TESTIMONY OF INWOODS’ STAFF MEMBER AND PARENT. 31
Inwoods and Brockwood Had Healthy Relationship Before Antonio/Nasser/Mina took over Brockwood. 31
From the onset, Helena allegedly wanted MAR out 31
Nasser & Mina Often “No Show”. 32
Antonio: “We don’t need yoga at Brockwood”!. 33
Antonio never went to Inwoods. 33
No Experience With Primary Education. 34
Inwoods Provided Great Education. 34
Nasser Allegedly “Never Made Sense”. 34
Helena’s Alleged Brusque Response To Child. 34
TESTIMONY OF EX-BROCKWOOD STUDENT. 35
Climate of Tension and Fear 35
Nasser “not acting in harmony with the intention of the place”. 35
TESTIMONY OF MR. QQ.. 35
Complaining Allegedly Led To Firing. 36
People Unfairly Treated by Big Egotrips. 36
Mina's "Change Management" Blunders. 36
They Fired Good Part-Time Teacher To Save Money, But Spent £4000+ On Their Flat 37
Boys And Girls In Bed In The Middle Of Day And Open After-Lunch Kissing. 37
Hypocrisy: Extreme Rule | No Enforcement. 38
Nasser Allegedly Disparaging Student Artwork. 39
Nasser's alleged "Power Trip", Alleged paranoia that flight simulator certificate could be used for flying a real airplane!! 39
Nasser's Alleged Intimidating Behavior 40
Nasser's Alleged Intimidating Disrespect For A Female Employee's Space. 40
Nasser & Mina's Alleged Quest For Easy Life. 40
Racist Attitude?. 41
Strange Power Structure / Mina's Misleading Title / Nasser's Role. 41
Nonexistent Complaints Process. 41
Brockwood's Culture Declined. 42
Adrian, Gopal, Bill, Antonio. 42
Inwoods, Helena. 43
TESTIMONY OF LADY QQQ / Letter to ISI 43
“Many staff and parents were gaslighted”. 43
This Report Called “A Blessed Relief”. 44
TESTIMONY OF LADY D. 45
Impressions of Nasser Shamim.. 49
Impressions of Mina Masoumian. 50
TESTIMONY OF MR. S. 50
It’s All About Ego, Power, Control 50
Wicked Lack of Transparency & Weak Trustees. 51
Dictatorships Don’t Like Transparency. 51
Dialogue Isn’t Their Way. 52
Nasser Allegedly Memorizing K and Abusing it to Fortify his Authority. 52
Another Sign of Weak Management. 52
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) / Cults. 54
Cult-like Management 54
The September 2021 Inspection. 54
Nasser (Mr. Enlightened)'s K-Quoting, Alleged Shouting At People. 55
Raman Patel 56
Wall of Silence. 57
Our Responsibility. 58
Another Raman Recruit. 58
Tribalism / Division. 58
Management's Competence Issues 59
Nasser Taking Jerome Blanche’s Role. 59
Image Making. 60
TESTIMONY OF Mr. GG. 61
No Trust in Management. 61
Authoritarian Antonio. 62
Terms of the New Employment Contracts. 62
Nasser, A Krishnamurti Authority Wannabe. 62
Nasser, Raman, Gopal, Gossip. 63
Nasser and Mina Allegedly Wanted Yannick and Fazila's Home. 64
Sect-like Management 65
TESTIMONY OF Mr. UU. 65
“I would not send my child to Brockwood at the moment”. 65
TESTIMONY OF LADY Q.. 65
Management Filters Prospective Trustees To Pick Weak Trustees It Can Control 66
Nasser’s False Narrative About Inwoods. 66
Nasser & Mina Got Credit For Mr. Alluri’s Efforts. 67
Nasser’s Frustration For Not Making More Money. 67
Nasser’s Alleged Fear & Anxiety. 67
TESTIMONY OF MR. AA. 68
Mina Spying on MAR by Secretly Reading MAR’s Emails. 68
Lack of Professional Communication. 69
Control Freaks. 70
Rude Teachers. 71
Nasser & More. 71
Genotoxic Routers Everywhere. 73
Microwaved “Quiet Room”. 73
TESTIMONY OF LADY CC. 74
Management Style’s Impact on Kids. 74
TESTIMONY OF LADY WW.. 74
Friedrich Grohe Recruited Nasser and Mina. 75
TESTIMONY OF MR. O.. 75
Management’s Growing Power Over Trustees 75
Management Tried To Build a Fake Case Against Inwoods 76
Nasser & Mina’s Alleged Craving for Power From Day 1: Take Swiss Mountain Gathering to UK!! 77
Inwoods' Director had everything the Dictators didn’t 78
Mina’s Idea of Inquiry. 78
Non Residential Staff 79
No Complaint Handling Process. 80
Grohe Has Huge Influence Over Two Of Three Krishnamurti Foundations. 80
Management Disaster: External Staff Viewed As Inferior 81
"Don’t Tell Your Wife We Want To Fire Her". 81
Devastating Consequences. 82
TESTIMONY OF LADY C, MR. G. 82
Negative Impact of Management Style on Students. 83
Trustees’ Ignorance of Facts. 83
Management By Ignorance. 83
Ugly Power Games Polluted a K Foundation. 84
TESTIMONY OF MR. H.. 84
Management has Damaged Core Values of the Trust 84
Blocked Criticism, Communication. 85
Gagging Trustees. 85
KFT under Grohe’s Influence is a replay of KFA under Grohe Influence. 87
TESTIMONIES OF MR. Z. 87
The Whole Thing Was Run Outside The Trustee Meetings. 87
Raman Patel 87
Gopal Krishnamurthy. 88
TESTIMONY OF LADY A, LADY B. 89
LADY “B”. 89
Under Nasser’s Thumb. 89
Antonio Allegedly Lied About Reason Behind Firing Her 90
TESTIMONY OF LADY W.. 91
Chaotic Management 91
Non-Resident Staff Allegedly Treated As Inferior 92
Mina’s Unprofessional Attitude. 92
No Clear Communications. 93
Divide and Conquer 93
TESTIMONY OF MR. EE. 94
Inwood Collapse Was A Bombshell 94
Firing of MAR was Unjustified. 94
Spirit of Fear. 95
Continuing Hard-line, Cut-Throat Approach. 95
Firing of MAR had Nothing to do with her 96
Contradictory Excuses (Lies) for firing MAR. 96
Helena Was Allegedly Delighted MAR was Fired. 97
Nasser Using Krishnamurti Quotes To Assert Power 97
Guru Raman. 98
TESTIMONY OF MR. M.. 98
Antonio is a Fanatic. 98
Nasser and Mina’s Alleged Manipulative Conduct 99
Questioning is Discouraged; Don’t Question Things (vs. K: Question Everything). 99
Close Physical Proximity to some Female Students. 99
Inquiry Blocked. 100
Nasser’s Alleged Cunning Diversion Technique. 100
Lots of Fear; Lots of Shaming. 100
Students And Alcohol 101
TESTIMONY OF MR. T. 101
Alienated Donors. 101
Nasser and Mina Moved Into X’s Topnotch Apartment 101
Fake Threat of Gross Misconduct. 101
The Old Boys Clan. 102
Management’s Intent to Deceive Inwoods Parents. 102
TESTIMONIES: LADY C AND MR. N. 103
Nasser and Mina’s Yes-People. 104
Nasser Tried to Exonerate Himself In Gopal’s Departure. 104
Nasser: You’re Either With Me or Against Me. 105
“They Make Up The Facts After The Facts”. 105
TESTIMONY OF INWOODS PARENT. 106
Lack of Transparency. 106
Ultra-Passive, Ineffective Trustees Empowered Nasser/Mina/Raman. 106
TESTIMONY OF LADY RR. 106
Tragic Atmosphere of Fear. 107
More Signs of Brockwood's Cultural Deterioration. 107
Visit to the Grove. 108
“Torture Room”. 109
TESTIMONY OF CURRENT STAFF MEMBER. 109
Inwoods Collapse was Deeply Sad. 109
TESTIMONY OF LADY TT. 110
Grohe’s Takeover. 110
Pity that Mr. Grohe asked Mr. Maroger to Resign as Trustee. 110
Alleged Gag Orders. 111
TESTIMONY OF EX-STAFF REGARDING GOVERNANCE. 112
The Trustees are Not Doing Their Job. 112
Twisted Governance: Trustees Under the Thumbs of the Management 112
Mutual Backscratching. 113
TESTIMONY OF INWOODS' STAFF, MR. VV. 113
Nasser: “Everyone is an educator!” = everyone’s a lawyer, everyone’s a carpenter! 113
Mina’s Omnipotent Role. 113
Pastoral Supervisor! 114
Mina’s Another Title / Filtering Trustee Communications. 114
“Nasser Had No Understanding or Interest in Education”. 115
“Nasser is Highly Skilled at Concealing a lot”. 115
TESTIMONY OF MR HHH / TRUST’S HYPOCRICY AROUND SEXUALITY. 115
Also see section: Anal Sex In The School Library. 116
TESTIMONY OF LADY LLL. 116
Nasser & Bill Filtering Prospective Trustees. 116
Nasser Disliked Being Questioned. 117
She Doesn’t Trust Nasser. 117
Nasser Allegedly Broke His Word. 118
TESTIMONY OF MR. ZZ ABOUT RAMAN PATEL. 119
“What About The Sperm?!”. 120
TESTIMONY OF Lady NN. 121
Isolative Culture &Alleged Gross Management Shortcomings. 121
Crying From Relief That She’s Finally Being Heard (this testimony) 122
TESTIMONY OF MR. MM.. 122
Raman, a Local Guru. 122
TESTIMONY OF MR. YY. 122
Losing the Intentions of the Founder 122
TESTIMONY OF MR. BBB. 123
How A Donor Becomes A Controller 123
TESTIMONY OF MR. ZZZ; A DONOR DEBUNKING BILL TAYLOR’S LIES. 124
MULTIPLE TESTIMONIES OF SEVERAL TRUSTEES, EX-TRUSTEES AND CLOSE FRIENDS OF KRISHNAMURTI 124
Unacceptable Mismanagement 124
Power Struggle. 125
No Trust in KFT’s Management 125
They Don’t Like Questioning (K: “Question Everything”) 125
Criticism is Quashed. 126
“K would have objected to the quasi-dissolution of the greatly successful Inwoods school”. 127
Grohe’s money has produced a problem.. 127
Passive Trustees. 128
Grohe Doesn’t Realize What is Going On. 129
Nobody Knew Why They Fired MAR Because There Was No Good Reason. 129
Dishonest Conduct 130
No Space to Speak = Constipated Space. 130
Trustee Meetings. 131
COMPLAINT BY A FORMER STUDENT FOR GETTING STRANGLED IN THE PAST BY A STAFF WHO IS NOW A DIRECTOR AT KFT 131
POWERFUL LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT TO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE. 134
LETTER FROM EX-STAFF WHO RESIGNED AFTER BEING MISTREATED.. 137
LETTER FROM LADY V. 138
LETTERS FROM LADY GGG. 139
LETTER SIGNED BY 30 INWOODS PARENTS TO KFT TRUSTEES, WHICH WAS TOTALLY IGNORED. 145
LETTER FROM STAFF WARNING TRUSTEES ABOUT IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF INWOODS, AND MANAGEMENT'S LIES 146
NASSER AND ANTONIO'S OPPOSITION TO INWOODS. 146
LETTER CALLING OUT DISHONESTY AMONG TRUSTEES. 148
LETTER FROM STAFF ON DETAILS OF MISMANAGMENT THAT LED TO INWOODS COLLAPSE. 149
LETTER OF EX-STAFF, AND TESTIMONY ABOUT NASSER'S MISMANAGEMENT. 153
REMARKS OF AN EX-TRUSTEE & CLOSE FRIEND OF KRISHNAMURTI 156
DISCUSSION WITH ANOTHER LONG-TERM EX-TRUSTEE OF KFT. 156
DISCUSSION WITH ANOTHER EX-TRUSTEE OF KFT. 157
UNSOLICITED LETTER FROM A FORMER STUDENT OF INWOODS (NOW 16) 158
LETTER PREDICTING INWOODS' COLLAPSE. 159
LETTER FROM AN INWOODS INTERN. 160
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 1. 162
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 2. 164
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 3. 165
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 4. 167
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 5. 168
LETTER FROM INWOODS PARENT 6. 169
CALLING OUT BILL TAYLOR’S LIES (24 POINTS) 171
CEASE & DESIST LETTER. 171
24-POINT RESPONSE TO BILL TAYLOR’S LIES. 172
KEY PERSONS. 177
INWOODS DIRECTOR, "MAR". 177
FRIEDRICH GROHE. 178
Influence Mongering. 182
“FRIEDRICH’S GANG". 183
Grohe Gang’s Influence on K Foundations. 183
Arrogance & Gurudom.. 185
Keeping The Boss In The Dark – To His Liking. 185
Extended Gang. 186
Tribal Mentality. 187
RAMAN PATEL. 187
The Most Powerful Person at the Trust was Not a Trustee or Employee. 188
An Outsider Behind Key Relationships at The Trust 189
Qualifications Matter 190
“There was nothing in Raman's kitchen work that prepared him for his current position.”. 190
Raman’s Big Lie. 191
Raman and Nasser’s Superficial Role Switching. 192
Raman Patel Must Resign. 193
Guru Raman Not Needed. 193
Raman’s Allegedly Supported Vicious Action That Led To Inwoods’ Collapse. 194
Raman’s Influence On Heavy-handed Management. 194
NASSER SHAMIM & MINA MASOUMIAN.. 195
BROCKWOOD PRINCIPAL, ANTONIO AUTOR & WIFE, HELENA NILSSON.. 198
Fear & Authority. 199
TRUSTEE, DEREK HOOK / ACCOUNTABILITY. 199
Conflicts of Interest. 200
GARY PRIMROSE, TRUSTEE, CHAIRMAN. 200
Conflicts Of Interest 201
Another Nasser Lie. 201
TRUSTEE, GISELE BALLEYS. 202
Close Affiliation With F. Grohe & The Grohe Gang. 202
Lack of Interest in Facts. 203
Weak Board of Trustees. 203
Not Fit To Be Trustee. 205
TRUSTEE, WENDY SMITH. 205
"OLD BOYS" CLAN.. 206
"MANAGEMENT TEAM". 206
THE TRUSTEES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ALLEGED GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST. 206
URGENT NEED FOR CHANGES IN BOARD OF TRUSTEES. 207
GROHE’S INFLUENCE ON THE TRUST IS A MAJOR GOVERNANCE ISSUE. 208
RAMAN & NASSER'S RECENT SUPERFICIAL ROLE CHANGE. 208
RETIREMENT PLAN IS SUDDENLY IMPORTANT. 209
DONATIONS / BIG MONEY / POWER / CORRUPTION / OVERSIGHT. 210
K SAW THE DETERIORATION COMING BUT IT CAN BE STOPPED. 210
LUNCH WITH TRUSTEE GISELE BALLEYS CONFIRMED GOVERNANCE ISSUES AT THE TRUST. 210
COMMON THREADS. 213
BROCKWOOD / KFT. 214
FOLLOWING THE HOPELESS PATH OF KFA VIA SAME POWER/MONEY INFLUENCE. 216
THE GREAT DELUSION OF KFT TRUSTEES, NASSER/MINA. 216
MINUTES FROM PARENTS' MEETING WITH MANAGEMENT TEAM / NASSER/MINA'S DELUSION. 217
Antonio Using KFA’s Cut Throat Attitude As Excuse. 219
Diversion: KFT Is Going In The Hopeless Direction Of KFA. 219
LETTER FROM DELUSIONAL KFT TRUSTEES TO PARENTS vs. REALITY: COLLAPSE OF INWOODS. 220
TOXIC COMBINATION OF POWER (MONEY) AND IGNORANCE – PEEKING INTO MR. GROHE’S WORLD.. 221
NASSER AS SCAPEGOAT. 222
TOTALLY FALSE NARRATIVE ON INWOODS. 223
NOT APPLYING A CORE PILLAR OF KRISHNAMURTI’S TEACHINGS. 224
CULTURE OF IGNORANCE. 224
CONFIDENCE OF IGNORANCE. 225
DISCREDIT MESSANGER TO DISCARD MESSAGE. 225
NECESSARY WAKEUP CALL FOR MR. GROHE. 227
NASSER & MINA'S RESUME WALK-TRHOUGH. 227
Resume walk-through: Mina Masoumian. 227
Resume walk-through: Nasser Shamim.. 228
Nasser’s licensure. 229
RAMAN PATEL'S ROLE. 229
BILL TAYLOR. 231
ANTONIO AUTOR, AND HELENA NILSSON WHO OWNS A KINDERGARTEN ADJACENT NEXT DOOR. 232
GOPAL KRISHNAMURTHY. 235
TESTIMONY OF LADY CCC. 238
ANOTHER UNQUALIFIED PICK OF GROHE GANG.. 240
ON INWOODS FINANCES. 240
MORE ON FRIEDRICH GROHE AND THE "GANG". 242
TESTIMONY OF LADY EEE. 245
BRUTAL FIRINGS / BOGUS "GROSS MISCONDUCT" THREATS. 246
NASSER & MINA'S APPARENT THIRST FOR POWER/CONTROL. 249
STAFF ALIENATION. 249
ISI SEPTEMBER 2021 INSPECTION. 250
School Statement Regarding The ISI Report 251
Alleged Hygiene Issues. 251
March 2022 ISI Visit. 252
FUNDRAISING COMMISSION COMPLAINT. 252
KFT TRUSTEES & BROCKWOOD HAVE FAILED KRISHNAMURTI 253
PRIMARY SCHOOL AT BROCKWOOD. 253
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. 253
MORE ON THE KFT MISMANAGEMENT THAT LED TO INWOODS' COLLAPSE. 254
Losing 93% of students in a delicately built school is a DISASTER IN CAPITAL LETTERS. 256
HELENA BLOCKED. 258
About Jealousy. 259
Agitating Email 259
BOGUS "CULT" ALLEGATION. 261
BENEFIT OF DOUBT. 261
SIX MONTHS TURNED TO SIX DREADFUL YEARS UNDER GUISE OF “CHANGE MANAGEMENT”. 262
MODUS OPERANDI: IGNORANCE. 263
URGENCY OF CHANGE / NEXT STEPS. 264
KFT/BROCKWOOD’S SUPERFICIAL, PREEMPTIVE MOVES TO FEND-OFF / IMPRESS CHARITY COMMISSION.. 266
RAMAN PATEL & NASSER SHAMIM FOREGROUND/BACKGROUND ROLE SWAP. 266
BROCKWOOD’S SUPERFICIAL GOVERNANCE CHANGE: MINA IS STILL ALL POWERFUL, ANTONIO STAYS ON. 267
Antonio Continuing Benefits Helena’s Business But Is It Good For Brockwood?. 268
APPENDIX: OUR COMMUNICATION WITH THE TRUST, ITS LAWYER, CHARITY COMMISSION, POLICE, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS 268
INVITATION FOR DIALOGUE / REQUESTING FEEDBACK ON 14 ISSUES. 268
KFT’S DISHONEST, ILLOGICAL RESPONSE. 269
ALLEGED WITNESS INTIMIDATION.. 270
OUR FEEDBACK TO KFT’S DISHONEST RESPONSE. 270
Important quotes about SLAPPs. 271
Administrative notes. 272
It’s important to note two facts up front. 272
The Trust denying all allegations: the paradigm of ignorance. 273
The Trust’s attempt to divert, distort and dodge the issues. 273
The Trust’s dishonest, illogical, irrational reasoning. 274
Alleged intimidation of witnesses by the Trust 275
The Trust’s unacceptable and unfounded legal threats. 276
The Trust’s alleged engagement in SLAPP threats. 277
Next Steps. 278
OUR LAST RESPONSE TO KFT’S LAWYER WHO FAILED TO BRING EVIDENCE, AND STOPPED REPRESENTING THEM! 279
OTHER RESPONSES TO KFT’S LAWYER BEFORE SHE QUIT. 280
7-POINT UPDATE ON KFT/BROCKWOOD MISMANAGEMENT CASE. 282
NOTICE TO KFT THAT ALLEGED WITNESS INTIMIDATION IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. 283
OUR INTERIM RESPONSE TO KFT LAWYER’S RESPONSE. 284
DISPARAGEMENT BY KFT TRUSTEE; LEGAL WARNING.. 286
LEGAL WARNING.. 288
UPDATE ON KFT’S MANAGEMENT ISSUES. 289
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST FROM CHARITY COMMISSION. 291
POLICE REPORT. 291
LETTERS TO SOME OTHER TRUSTEES & STAKEHOLDERS. 292
INTERIM UPDATE TO SOME STAKEHOLDERS. 295
UPDATED KFT MISMANAGEMENT REPORT RELEASED. 298
APPENDIX: INVITATIONS TO TRUSTEES / MANAGEMENT / MR. GROHE FOR INTERVIEW / FEEDBACK. 299
TO NASSER. 299
TO VARIOUS TRUSTEEES, MANAGEMENT. 300
TO BILL. 301
TO MINA. 302
TO NASSER. 303
TO GISELE. 303
COMMUNICATIONS WITH F. GROHE & HIS GANG.. 304
Invitation to dialogue. 304
Hand-delivered Letter, Report 305
Request for feedback. 307
Response to Mr. Grohe. 307
APPENDIX: TRUSTEES’ FAILURES AND FAKE EXCUSES. 311
NEW INFORMATION. 311
TRUSTEES’ ALLEGED FAILURE OF THEIR DUTIES. 312
THEY NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE PROBLEM THEY WERE TRYING TO SOLVE. 313
FRAGMENTARY ACTION IS TRAUMATIZING, DISRUPTING. 313
VAGUE EXCUSES / THE FAKE FABRICATED “IMPASSE”. 314
Lies & Fiction vs. Truth & Actuality. 315
The Trust Portrayed MAR To Be The Opposite Of What She Was. 316
Trustees Rubber-Stamped Management’s Decisions Who Seem To Have a Sense Of Impunity. 317
THE (MIS)MANAGEMENT DIDN’T WANT ITS MISMANAGEMENT MINUTED. 317
FALSE ALLEGATIONS WERE NOT TO BE EXAMINED.. 318
MULTIPLE FAKE EXCUSES. 319
TOUGH TIME COMING UP WITH EXCUSES. 321
APPENDIX: KRISHNAMURTI'S WISH FOR AN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. 321
K ON RELATRIONSHIP BETWEEN FOUNDATIONS. 321
DETERIORATION OF FOUNDATIONS. 322
LETTER TO SECRETARY OF KFI 322
OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE. 324
APPENDIX: KFT TRUSTEES. 325
APPENDIX: MAP OF KEY PLACES. 327
APPENDIX: FEEDBACKS, REFERENCES. 328
READER FEEDBACK. 328
OUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER’S PROFESSIONAL, ACADEMINC, PERSONAL REFERENCES. 343
POST RELEASE. 343
23 Dec 2022. 343
Regarding: Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Limited (KFT) / Brockwood Park School, Bramdean, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LQ, UK.
· KFT Charity Registration No. 312865 (England and Wales).
· KFT Company Registration No. 1055588 (England and Wales)
· [Previously] Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Centre Ltd. Co. 01055539
THIS VERSION SUPERSEDES ALL PREVIOUS VERSIONS – ALL OF WHICH WERE WORK-IN-PROGRESS (DRAFT) VERSIONS. This is a dynamic document, and is updated as new information becomes available; content is added, edited, modified, refined, corrected, as we get new information. If in the course of reading you come across factual or editorial errors, please inform us so we can assess/correct. You can reach out team via the contact page of www.rezamusic.com
NOTE: This enormous project was undertaken purely on a volunteering / pro-bono basis, without any financial or personal reward. As such, it is not optimized at the level of an academic paper or published book, so excuse any editorial shortcomings.
We have gone through a painstakingly long period of research, inquiry, interviews, analysis, and updates of this report over the course of the last months. We did not publicly release this report meanwhile, but the current version will be filed with the Charity Commission. The latest version of this report can always be found here: https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/KFT-Mismanagement
Note: We have not updated this report since earlier version to reflect new testimonies, discovery of further conflict of interest in the Board of Trustees, and the superficial changes the Trust has brought as preemptive moves prior to Charity Commission potential audit.
New Discoveries of Trustee Conflict of Interest
We’ve received new evidence of new instances of conflict of interest at the trustee level, and influence mongering of Friedrich Grohe & Gang.
Troubling New Testimonies, e.g., Report of Child Having Anal Sex In School Library
Several new testimonies have been added to this report.
Trust’s Preposterous Police Reports & Lying to the Police
During the course of the last months we were also distracted by the Trust’s dishonest false reports to a couple of police agencies, both of which decided not to investigate the Trust’s baseless allegations. We also filed a complaint against Hampshire police for alleged police misconduct in relation to the Trust’s meritless complaint. That also took a long time – and eventually Hampshire police decided to ask the Trust for evidence to back its claim, which the Trust failed to do, which proved it had acted in ill-will and dishonesty.
The details of the police fiascos are illustrated in these two documents:
Prior to filing with Charity Commission we had another round of legal consultations with attorneys in the UK to make sure the I’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, about the case. That does not mean that this document is perfect. It would cost us a lot of money to have an attorney go through 300-pages, but as this document has been produced with genuine sincere motives to find truth and present truth, hopefully this volunteer-produced artifact will serve its purpose to reflect what has become of Krishnamurti’s beloved KFT/Brockwood, and serve as basis for the Charity Commission to act, given the presence of substantive body of direct and circumstantial evidence.
Departure of Gisele Balleys
We recently came to notice that Gisele Balleys is no longer a trustee. We have nevertheless retained the references about her in this report, since the alleged gross mismanagement of the Trust and failures of the Board of Trustees all happened while she was a trustee, and based on information we have we do not believe anything has changed as a result of Mrs. Balleys departure since she was a passive trustee and sided with management and was apparently marginalized by the management in what we consider to be a defective power structure. The mismanagement and governance issues at the Trust are still vital issues in our view based on latest testimonies we have.
Preemptive Superficial Changes at the Trust Including Antonio’s Role
We also do not believe the superficial changes at the Trust are anything more thanks preemptive action ahead of Charity Commission investigation, in order to give pretense of change. We believe the Trust’s governance has too many fundamental issues to self-heal and therefore we hope Charity Commission will intervene.
Antonio’s role change does not diminish the fact that he’s still very much a part of the School’s management team, that he’s still a very close affiliate of Friedrich Grohe and part of his extended team. We assume he’s still part of the Old Boys clan which has had tremendous power at the Trust, outside the Board of Trustees. And based on numerous testimonies he was a part of much of the mismanagement that happened at the Trust, and had a key role in what led to the collapse of Inwoods. We have no evidence that anything fundamental has changed in terms of Antonio’s influence. All of this is described in detail in this document.
Trust’s Futile Defense: Blame Words of 70+ People on One Person; And Bill Taylor’s Lies
We learned that the Trust has engaged in fabricating lies about our main investigative reporter, in order to discard the findings of this report. Age old, futile, unethical tactic: when you don’t like a message, try to discredit the messenger.
See section “Calling Out Bill Taylor’s Lies”
Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was a prominent and highly respected 20th century philosopher/speaker/author/educator who travelled the world for over 60 years, giving talks to larger crowds about important questions of living. He provided a set of challenges and pointers which he asked his readers/listeners to examine for themselves. He did not provide any manifesto, doctrine, method to be practiced or followed, and he did not want to have followers.
A most brilliant person, his discourses and books are full of precious insights. The following page contains quotes from many prominent personalities about Mr. Krishnamurti.
The statements of many people which are reflected herein were collected in a spirit of sincere search for truth, and examined from multiple angles to derive at truth as much as possible. The opinion and reports of events by people cannot always be verified for truthfulness, and as such the authors do not take responsibility for them – however, a sincere, diligent attempt has been made to examine from multiple angles if what was said was true, corroborated, and consistent with other testimonies and circumstances. We did not include any submissions which made allegations that were not substantiated by a witness, evidence, or adjudication. If you see anything in this document which is presented as a fact which you know is factually incorrect, please contact us via this page: https://www.rezamusic.com/about/contact so we can assess and correct it. See additional disclaimers below.
NOTE TO NEW WITNESSES: Witnesses of mismanagement at KFT/Brockwood who would like to share their story, as long as it's sincere and genuine, can contact us here: https://www.rezamusic.com/about/contact
PROBLEM STATEMENT, OBJECTIVES
Over seventy (70) testimonials and letters, together with the associated research and analysis reported in this document, unveil a bleak, disturbing picture of Krishnamurti Foundation Trust (“the Trust”)'s deep-rooted governance issues, mismanagement, some trustees’ potential breach of key duties, and accountability issues. It all culminated in the collapse of a great school (Inwoods), among the many other issues such as the reported mistreatment of some people, potential legal issues, gross diversion from the Trust’s founder’s teachings and ideals, subject matter incompetence among some people in charge, and numerous other management issues.
Painstaking, diligent, objective inquiry clarified the root causes of the issues, including external influences. Out of this inquiry, the solution presented itself in light of the fact that the Charity Commission has the legal power to oust part or entire Board, so some entities might want to “self-heal” which is less painful:
There is an urgent need for fundamental change at the Trust, e.g., the replacement of several trustees including Derek Hook, Gary Primrose, Wendy Smith, and the dismissal of Raman Patel, Nasser Shamim, Mina Masoumian, Antonio Autor, with a reasonable notice period.
If Charity Commission gets involved, our request is only to replace some of the trustees, as we believe a new, impartial Board of Trustees will make the right decisions about the management resources.
Our activism may yield no tangible results but at the very least we’ve documented this important and tragic snapshot in the history of K’s work. We are pessimistic that the Trust could heal itself. But we are cautiously optimistic that UK’s authorities/regulators will take a serious look at things and hopefully force out some of the problem trustees. We have some excellent trustee candidates (e.g., former students and staff) who could step right in.
This research report was done as a collaborative effort by a group of people concerned with mismanagement and scandals at Krishnamurti Foundation Trust (“KFT”) / Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Center (“Brockwood”), which culminated in the collapse of the Inwoods School. They asked Reza Ganjavi, MBA to get involved as an investigative journalist, senior business analyst, senior program manager, philosopher, student and friend of J. Krishnamurti (when he was a teenager, K gave him a red rose). The pro-bono engagement started with a totally clean slate and no bias whatsoever, with the aim of getting to the facts. Course of action and the necessary remedies became evident only after all the facts were on the table.
Numerous interviews were conducted, and analyzed to identify common threads, consistencies, root causes. The results are reflected in this document. The interviewees appreciated this research, and felt it to be a breath of fresh air, given all the injustice, mismanagement, and disintegration they witnessed in a place they hold close to their hearts.
This activism is a collective effort involving several concerned parties, with support from a much wider circle. Many people including close friends of Krishnamurti, ex-trustees, current trustees of other K foundations, ex-students, staff, volunteers, etc. have been outraged and alienated by the mismanagement of the Trust and the prevailing incompetence, egotism, mismanagement and betrayal of some key values Krishnamurti spoke about for 60 years.
Many witnesses pointed to the trustees of the foundation, including Derek Hook – and Raman Patel, Nasser Shamim, Mina Masoumian, Antonio Autor as allegedly some of the key parties behind the disastrous mismanagement at the Trust.
For example, various people were allegedly threatened to be charged with (bogus) gross misconduct. These two quotes is one of many examples why the mismanagement was on their part! They made a great school collapse without the foresight to see it coming - which points to key oversight and competence issues on the part of trustees and management. And that was just one of the disastrous results of the alleged mismanagement and alleged trustees’ failure of their duties.
KFT Trustees: "We are confident that this transition will be managed smoothly and professionally and that Inwoods, now in its 23rd year, will continue to flourish as it has done up to now." Reality: Inwoods collapsed and it has not been the same again.
Nasser Shamim: "All the good things here [at Inwoods] will continue. I don't think why it will become different." Reality: Inwoods collapsed and it has not been the same again
Krishnamurti Foundation Trust is a charitable, non-profit, tax-exempt entity which receives public donations, and its work is a matter of public interest. Furthermore, it was founded by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti who was a public figure, and his work is a matter of public interest. Therefore the critique of the Trust presented in this paper is a matter of public interest.
This endeavor was primarily an exploratory research without any preliminary hypothesis or apriori assumptions to direct the exploration. The goal of the research was purely to try to find truth which at the onset seemed like a needle in a haystack. We wanted to verify if there was a chaos, and if so, ideally, arrive at the root causes. We started with a complete blank slate, and giving everybody the benefit of the doubt; no ulterior motive; no axe to grind; no malice; no prejudice.
As such our approach was objective, sound, and driven by an earnest search for truth. Therefore, we were able to listen to everyone who came forward, with an open mind. We asked them follow on questions to get a better understanding.
We had no idea in the beginning how it will go, what we will find, or what action if any should be taken. In due time it became apparent that indeed there was a serious management issue at the Trust, and we began seeing a lot of consistencies in different people’s accounts, and we gained insights into the mindset of the Trust’s management – which was revealing and disconcerting, and we believe we gained understanding of the root causes of the issues.
Statement Of Reza Ganjavi About His Engagement As Lead Investigator Of The Mismanagement At KFT
Statement Of Reza Ganjavi About His Interaction With KFA, Before and After Grohe Gang Takeover – Which KFT Falsified To Disparage Activist Taskforce
Friedrich Grohe and his Gang's Influence Mongering at Krishnamurti Foundations
Report of Two Fake Police Reports KFT Filed to Quash Criticism; The Police Refused To Pursue The Cases
Police Misconduct In Falling For KFT’s Lie Upfront; It Was Proven Later That KFT Had Lied To The Police
· UK Police Misconduct (Hampshire), UK Charity Misconduct (Krishnamurti Foundation Trust - KFT - Brockwood Park School) https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/uk-police-misconduct-kft-misconduct
Letter Requesting Investigation of KFT
About Nasser Shamim's Cowardly Behavior
· Reza Ganjavi reached out to Nasser Shamim to get his take on the reported scandals at KFT. Report of Nasser’s cowardly non-response: https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/letters-to-nasser-shamim-about-his-cowardly-behavior
· Reza Ganjavi reached out to Raman Patel to get his take on the reported scandals at KFT since Raman’s name came up consistently as a culprit. Raman’s response was very revealing: https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/letters-to-raman-patel-regarding-his-role-at-brockwood-park-school-krishn
Investigative Report On Friedrich Grohe and His Gang
· Reza Ganjavi researched the Grohe Gang a while back and released this public document after they failed to address serious concerns about some of their reckless and unintelligent actions. The report made a lot of difference – finally the light of public attention made them wake up and pay attention to what they had chosen to ignore before; they changed some of their ways. Reza Ganjavi received many thank-you notes including from several trustees who were happy someone had finally spoken up and said what they wanted to say but hadn’t – mainly because many relied on donations from Grohe and didn’t want to upset big money. https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/the-fifth-foundation
Also see Cease & Desist sent to Bill Taylor in response to his lying about Reza Ganjavi, in order to quash free speech.
Letter to Mr. J. Krishnamurti About His Foundations Years After He Died
· (November 2021): https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/letter-to-krishnamurti-by-reza-ganjavi
Quotes About J. Krishnamurti
· Quotes Collected by Reza Ganjavi, including Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Dalai Lama, Henry Miller, Khalil Gibran, George Bernard Shaw, Van Morrison, Milton Friedman, David Bohm, Pepe Romero, Angelo Gilardino, Deepak Chopra, Alan Watts, Anne Morrow Lindberg, Jack Nicholson, Jack Kornfield, Rollo May, Bruce Lee, Franz Beckenbauer, Joe Lewis, Fairfield Osborn, Margueritte Harmon Bro, Francis Hackett, Terence Stamp, John Cleese, and others. https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/jiddu-krishnamurti-references-compiled-by-reza-ganjavi
The task force identified these entities as interested parties from regulatory standpoint:
· Charity Commission, UK – charitycommission.gov.uk
· Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), UK – Safeguarding@isi.net, firstname.lastname@example.org
· Department of Education, UK – email@example.com
· Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED), UK – firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (Compliance Enquiries)
· National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – email@example.com
· Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education – firstname.lastname@example.org
· Home Office Immigration Unit, UK – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
· The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBU) email@example.com
· Other Free Speech, and Anti-SLAPP organizations: article19.org, cpj.org, daphne.foundation, ecpmf.eu, edri.org, freepressunlimited.org, ForeignPressCorrespondents.org, gfmd.info, gijn.org, icfj.org, ipi.media, jfj.fund, lawyers4reporters.org, mediadefence.org, medialegalhelp.org, oas.org, pen-international.org, rcfp.org, rorypecktrust.org, rsf.org, spj.org, spotlightcorruption.org, tbij.com, tcij.org, the-case.eu, thebureauinvestigates.com, trust.org
· Krishnamurti Foundations India Trustees
[For an explanation of who’s who, see sections below starting with “Key Figures”]
Note: This research started with no bias whatsoever, as a fact-finding mission, and that spirit of wanting to know the truth remained till the end.
Note: Our primary objective was to find the truth, and report according to our findings in an objective manner. To that effect, we made a painstaking effort to cross check things as much as possible, and question things from different angels because we didn’t want to settle with something however sensational it may have been, at the expense of compromising the integrity of our approach and effort. So this is a well-researched report and not a tabloid.
Note: The section below includes statements from witnesses as well as commentary and analysis of the author in relationship to those statements, and statements of others which may be related to the topic in each section. Our search for truth included talking to several people who knew of certain situations or heard from people who were later gagged by NDAs (sometimes just before the NDA was signed) and therefore couldn’t talk to us.
Note: The term “testimony” is used here to mean statements vs. a formal testimony made in court of law under oath for example. What the witnesses have said and written are not formal, legal testimonies or affidavits. They may have lied. The job of the investigative reporter is to try to find truth in a hay stack of statements that may or may not be true, and look for consistencies and circumstantial evidence by logical analysis of the information. What we found however, was that most if not all the statements were very consistent with other statements made by numerous other people. Certain isolated things we have no way of verifying but those are usually minor innuendos. But a very diligent effort was made to get at the truth, by talking to as many sources as possible, and not settle with any conclusions prematurely.
Note: Work on this document started before Raman Patel becomes executive director, so not all the sections are totally up to date in terms of e.g. saying Raman is acting in the background.
Note: As many of the testimonies were taken verbally, not every statement is quoted in quotation marks, however, much that are not in quotes are also the words of the interviewee but to be accurate, paraphrases are mainly not in quotes.
The Trustees of Krishnamurti Foundation Trust are also the Governors of Brockwood Park School. Gary Primrose is the Chair of Governors. Wendy Smith is a "Safeguarding Liaison Trustees".
We have a troubling report from a parent about inappropriate sexual relationships at the school. She wrote that a student female child at Brockwood Park School who was a friend of her child who was also a student there, used to come to their house. The child told the lady that she was having anal sex in the school library with an older male student and that she had not enjoyed and had pain and was wondering if there’s something wrong with her!
A former staff member commented: “Regarding anal sex in the library, it's horrible. Poor thing. There was no supervision; nobody was supervised. They were left at the mercy of each other. There was a lack of supervision all around. I believe her one hundred percent. I can see that happening there. Often nobody is looking after them. At a school you should have staff members keeping an eye. That was not happening at Brockwood. Basically you had people running the school who were learning how to run the school.”
The subject of sexuality at the School is discussed in other sections in this report as well.
Also see Lady GGG’s powerful letters to the Trust in the section “Letters From Lady GGG” below.
"I wonder now how many other kids they have failed - certainly there were many concerns over drugs and underage sex and inappropriate relationships between students and staff - altogether quite concerning when you step back and look at it - they let a boy go into my daughter's room once when she was very sick, he had a crush on her and apparently kept stroking her but she was too ill to do anything about it and felt very uncomfortable. Another girl asked me for advice because she was having unprotected anal sex with an older boy, often in the library, and didn’t understand why she wasn’t enjoying it, she was 15 and a full time boarder with a guardian overseas. She thought there was something wrong with her."
Mina’s Arrogance & Lack Of Competence
“I did not like Mina’s attitude or manner from the beginning. She seemed to be incredibly opinionated for someone with so little experience, so little competence in the subject matter, no education or experience in the topic prior to Brockwood. She clearly did not fully understand the nature of our concerns but was too arrogant to listen.”
“Mina had no teaching, pastoral, or pedagogical experience whatsoever, but to <>’s and most likely others detriment she was arrogant and was given power and authority that was not befitting her qualifications, or lack thereof.”
Lack of Proper Safe-gaurding / Pastoral Care
Lady GGG alleges that her child developed anorexia while enrolled at the Trust’s Brockwood Park School, because of lack of sufficient safeguarding / pastoral care, where for example, for ten days her child had not eaten but nobody had noticed it. She wrote a detailed account of disturbing factual allegations that is consistent with what we’ve heard from other witnesses in their dealings with the Trust and its School.
She also cites a number of examples of the way the school mishandled her child and other children that she had direct experience with, e.g., allegedly having one disturbed child take care of another disturbed child.
Lady GGG tried to work things out with the Trust and get them to take some responsibility, but they categorically refused to take any responsibility.
Lady GGG gave up on the Trust after Trustee Wendy Smith wrote her a dishonest response which lady GGG also interpreted as a bullying attempt.
Wendy Smith also reiterated going to Mina as the way to communicate with the Trustees but the parent had already made it clear to them that she does not want to have anything to do with Mina because of her sentiments towards Mina due to Mina’s mismanagement, which is squarely the fault of the trustees due to Mina assuming such a powerful role at the School while lacking education or experience in the field of education, safeguarding, pastoral care, etc. prior to being instated at the Trust by Grohe’s Gang.
Trustee Wendy Smith Lying (December 2022)
Wendy Smith, in her December 2022 email to the parent wrote: “you also included individuals who are no longer Trustees of the school.”
That is a false, deceptive statement. First off, the School is not a trust to have trustee. Trustees belong to the Trust and unfortunately Wendy Smith is one of them, and the Trust has been veered in a direction that apparently it has become a part of the culture of the Trust (due to factors outlined in this report) to lie, to not be honest, to use twisted statements, to give public convoluted confusing untrue statements.
· Fact is in the email the parent sent to the Trust, which we obtained a copy of, the parent included only the current trustees of the foundation plus Gisele Balleys who was a trustee up to recently.
· On Brockwood Park School’s website there’s a list of the Trust’s trustees as the trustees. There is no separate concept of trustees of the School. There is the concept of trustees who are in charge of the school but it is not defined publicly. We know from communications we’ve received involving the school that Gary Primrose and Wendy Smith were most active in matters of school, and they are on the list of problem trustees whom the Charity Commission should force out, in our opinion, for reasons outlined in this report.
o Even if Wendy Smith is referring to trustees who are in charge of the school, her statement is still deceptive because “no longer” implied they the supposed trustees were at some point trustees in charge of the school – but that is false – we know several of the current trustees were never in charge of the School. And we’re confident Wendy Smith is referring to departure of Gisele Balleys but Gisele is one person and not plural.
· Wendy Smith’s alleged deceptive statement attempts to tell the former Brockwood parent that more than one person on the email list are no longer trustees but that is a falsehood which Wendy Smith must have known to be false, therefore, she intentionally lied. Only one person is no longer a trustee, and no multiple people.
· This may seem like a small phrase but in the grand scope of the level of dishonesty coming from the Trust of a man who spent a lifetime promoting importance of truth, it cannot be overlooked.
Trustee Wendy Smith Allegedly Falsely Accusing Parent (December 2022)
Wendy Smith, in her December 2022 email to the parent also wrote: “Please note that you have used Trustees' private email addresses which is in breach of the school's data protection policies.”
Perhaps Wendy Smith obtained her inaccurate legal advice from Nasser Shamin who has reportedly often used his lawyer clout (despite not being a licensed solicitor or barrister in the UK) to get his way; or she didn’t seek legal advice before threatening a former parent of being in breach of school policy.
· Wendy Smith, as a trustee, should have known that a former parent is not subject to a school’s data protection policies especially in regards to data that she did not obtain from the school.
· We spoke with a school principal who also has a law degree, and he laughed at Wendy Smith’s response. The parent did not find it funny and wrote back to Wendy stating she felt bullied.
· Again, in our view, the significance of this seemingly short phrase is the culture of the Trust which seems to have strayed from the objective and values of the Founder and the Trust’s charter, and such actions by the Trustees are directly responsible for an apparent culture of lack of accountability and thinking anything goes. There are several accounts of people getting false information from the Trust, which the Trust apparently used to cover up for its mismanagement.
"What an awful story! Incredibly indicative of the lack of appropriate training and the arrogance of some people at Brockwood, in particular Mina. If Trustees don’t finally remove Mina after this then I don’t know what will." – Former Staff Member
TESTIMONY OF BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL'S SECRETARY / INWOODS' PARENT
Here is an account of my 12 months' employment at Brockwood Park School. I was employed as the secretary between 27.09.2017 and 21.09.2018.”
“First of all, I was surprised, disappointed, and shocked to see the big favoritisms from the management that existed towards both staff and even worse, students at a K school. It was clear from the beginning you had to belong to the right clan to be "successful" either as a staff member or student. There was clear manipulation and control of those that were categorized by the management as being in the right clan. Those members of staff or students that had critical thinking and voiced their thoughts were not welcome and therefore were pushed out. The management must have missed K's message about Freedom as well as School with no Fear.”
Nasser Allegedly Laughed Off Staff Member In Pain
“I have considerable experience in the business world - regarded within the K world, it often seems as the "outside bad world of competitive, aggressive and disrespectful ways". In my 20 years in that so-called world, I had never seen such an unprofessional, disrespectful and uncaring way of treating staff members. To give one of many examples, I once badly hurt my back. Consequently, I was walking awkwardly, due to the severe pain I had. Nasser Shamim, instead of caring and sending me home, laughed in my face, quite literally. If that would be considered a bizarre reaction from a colleague, then from “the director of the foundation”, the reaction was, in one word, stunning.”
Strange, Strained, Tense Place
“This is the most vivid example of the present atmosphere at BP and the fact that the working atmosphere was not a relaxed, positive one in which working and professional relationships could flourish and evolve healthily, constructively and effectively for the "deserved benefit of the place, the people and the legacy of K". The atmosphere I experienced was a strange, strained and tense place.
In my brief time, I witnessed the episode with Gopal’s departure and the consequent manipulative message they gave staff members about it. It was very clear there was something unhealthy going on, based on that alone. Gopal embodied the spirit and essence of sharing K’s teachings. As did (see later) MAR. I also witnessed the subsequent pushing out of teacher <>.”
“My own employment ended when I was dismissed on Friday, 21.09.2018. At 1:00 pm, I was told by Mina Masoumian while having lunch that I was to have a meeting at 3:00 pm that same day - without any indication as to the reason for/ nature of said meeting, nor any prior warnings of any kind. At 3:00 pm, I was told my "part-time role was not working". I was not given the option to work full time nor was there any interest in having a "dialogue" to look at what the situation was and how we could solve it. Again, they don't seem to put into practice K's teachings.”
“I sought basic level advice on the matter (from the UK’s Citizen Advice service) and was advised that I had “a case to bring”. However, given that my son was an Inwoods student and my husband was a class teacher there, I opted not to pursue that route. It seems that others too opted not to bring similar cases. In part no doubt, this is due to a wish not to harm the good name of Krishnamurti and/or a fear of doing so. It’s a powerful reality of which no doubt the management have long been aware and via which, I believe, they continue to manipulate/control/ make decisions that lack integrity.”
“Brockwood, the Biggest Disappointment in My Life”
“Brockwood Park School has been the biggest disappointment I have experienced in my life on a professional and personal level. I went from being ready to sell a property to be able to fund our son's education at BP to not wanting to touch it even if it was free. I simply trust none of the current management. I do not think they are qualified for the roles, demonstrate the duty and competence of care nor have the experience to be responsible for 80+ teenagers the majority of whose parents are far away. Some of the younger students were quite lost and emotionally unsupported.”
“I am grateful to life for the wonderful 4 academic years our son was able to enjoy at Inwoods Small School under the care, holistic approach and loving attention of MAR whose criteria for fully covering children's needs, I fully trust. I was disgusted but sadly not surprised to hear of the way in which she too had been pushed out, and the way in which the management and trustees failed to listen and respond (literally and figuratively) to parents’ and teachers’ questions and requests for dialogue as the school under MAR was brought to a close, leaving the children's educational/schooling needs completely unattended. “
“The closure was, for BP management, favorably timed with the pandemic unfolding, i.e., all schools 'closed down' at that time. But other schools of course continued to provide educational services via online classes, tutorials and activities. In contrast, the BP management effectively shut down Inwoods. The manner in which this was done and communicated brought directly into question their own ability and suitability to run any type of educational establishment - let alone a residential/ boarding one where a caring, pastoral ethos has surely to be at the core of everything.”
“I am therefore, with a touch of irony, grateful for the fact that life put me inside BP before investing what would have been the best part 100.000 GBP for my son’s education. They’ve also lost the potential interest and investment from others to whom I can no longer recommend the school. We had a circle of international friends & contacts considering that option.”
“I am happy for this text to be used for the benefit of recuperating the genuine essence of Brockwood Park School - once the most progressive school that sadly our son and many others won't be able to enjoy.”
“If you would like to discuss anything on Zoom etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
With best wishes,”
Part 2: Hello Reza, good morning...Thank you. Wow, that is a lot of work!! As you say for a very good cause. 🙏🏻
“I was lucky that I did not have much to do with Nasser on a daily basis. I cried because of the actions of Vicki Lewin. Once I returned to work after having hurt my back, when I was still in pain, the mother of a Spanish student who is a Physio, offered me a massage. It had to be there and then as she was flying back to Spain that afternoon. I told Vicki I was going to be absent from my desk for 30 minutes max and she did not allow me. Vicki was very much part of the gang, who I may be wrong but I always thought she spoke badly about me to Mina as she felt threaten by me. She always made me feel uncomfortable and was nervous around her. It was either you are part of the gang or you are not. She was and I wasn't.”
“The mother who offered me the massage could not believe it when I said I was not allowed to be absent from my desk in such a school...I have recently found myself thinking with nostalgia about how the perfect school BP could have been for our son who is now 15. Sept 22/23 would have been the time when he would have joined. Very, very sad. We have not found a suitable school yet!”
“One important correction about my role. I was luckily not Nasser's secretary. I was the school's secretary.”
TESTIMONY OF INWOODS’ STAFF MEMBER AND PARENT
“We moved many miles for our 5 year old child to join Inwoods Small School in 2013, initially on a part time basis (of which was a rarity in most primary schools) and to gradually build to 4-5 days. MAR was a unique Headteacher (who disliked the title), so loving, so wise and such a visionary. I witnessed that she held the children (and the whole community) from the ground up, not top down like other schools. Once a month she would pull the whole community together to check in, update, review and have a dialogue, thus, keeping in regular face to face contact and was always available at the school or remotely.”
“I didn't know a great deal about K when we joined the school, I just simply loved the way of being that I saw and felt on the 6 times we visited before making the leap. MAR was the very essence of following K's teachings, of course she would as she knew him first hand! MAR ensured all staff were on the same page, having regular dialogues on a weekly basis. Consequently, the pupils were in a very special place, surrounded in nature and totally heard, known and understood, all coming from love and an understanding of what education is and needs to be. MAR was for my child who is now 14 who recently said, "MAR is the best teacher I have ever had"”..
Inwoods and Brockwood Had Healthy Relationship Before Antonio/Nasser/Mina took over Brockwood
“When I joined, Inwoods families were made to feel welcome (and encouraged by MAR) at KFT (by appointment) to understand K's teachings and also, the school could share Brockwood’s facilities on many levels, food ordering, main hall for end of year show, tennis courts and pottery are a few things I was aware of. Thus, a healthy connection between Brockwood and Inwoods was had on all levels.”
From the onset, Helena allegedly wanted MAR out
“However, the Principal changed to Antonio and [in my opinion] Helena began to dig her heels in. It was very clear [in my view that] she wanted MAR out. Helena was forever scathing of MAR. As I became administrator soon after our arrival, I witnessed Helena's [apparently, allegedly] undermining behaviour alongside the shift when Nasser and Mina come into power. Whilst I continued to assist MAR and welcome in new families, I could see that something was awry. Money that belonged to Inwoods was put in a collective account, rather than a separate bank account.”
“It was not clear where all the monies were going. On a regular basis I had to ask Accounts for an update on monies received by parents for trial days etc. This information I was granted to continue the Admin process. I suggested that a separate account be set up as MAR and I had observed that a substantial amount was being taken out for 'shared' gardeners, maintenance, accounts etc. without any break down of actual hours and invoices paid. Surely, the school should have its own bank account for accounting purposes and clarity?”
“Several families who took both children out following Nassar's presentation said they were furious how Nassar turned up out of the blue and told all parents how the fees didn’t meet the amount required to keep Inwoods afloat. He gave a flip chart presentation with ball park figures explaining how those who earned more would pay more. We, as parents, asked for specifics as there were obviously people there selling everything to be there. About 6 months later he turned up and gave the same presentation with no further information whatsoever.”
“Subsequently, MAR ‘had a word with us’ but it was obvious she was told to by Brockwood. We handed our notice in not long after that.”
“One parent ends with 'I’d happily suggest Nasser and Mina were not qualified to make financial decisions on the scale of Inwoods/Brockwood. The fact they had ‘visa issues’ rung alarm bells for me'. It’s difficult to see how Inwoods was in such bad shape financially when none of the staff were really being paid anything meaningful. There was definitely another motive!”
“And so, I could list many issues whilst I worked in the office, such as:”
Nasser & Mina Often “No Show”
“1. Nasser/Mina agreeing a regular meeting to connect with (and suggested by) MAR, but rudely never turning up or cancelling many times at the last minute.
2. Not allowing MAR to create a governing body for the school, which was puzzling.
3. No longer allowing access to use the Brockwood facilities that I mentioned earlier.
4. NEVER entertaining the idea put forward many times of linking the two schools together through creating a middle school using the brick building on the Inwoods site which seemed to be the obvious place and a costing had been made to show it would be fruitful and thus, doable.
5. Reducing MAR's timeslot at Trustee meetings.
6. NOT allowing MAR to bring another colleague to any of the Trustee meetings.”
Antonio: “We don’t need yoga at Brockwood”!
“An Inwoods highly experienced yoga teacher parent came forward to offer yoga to Brockwood students, this was turned down by Antonio, 'we don't need yoga at Brockwood'. [Krishnamurti did yoga and wanted it taught at Brockwood; and he didn't want martial arts taught in his schools. Now Brockwood teaches martial arts and doesn't each yoga!]”
Antonio never went to Inwoods
“Never, did I see his presence on Inwoods site in 5 years of working there, I now understand by looking at Inwoods’ website that he is Principal of Inwoods, an ex-footballer, in charge of two schools? What evidence is there of his educational training, experience and expertise I wonder?
After witnessing such a thriving community within Inwoods Small School, with MAR at the heart of it grow from strength to strength, it is great sadness that for whatever reasons MAR was asked to move on. I would like to hear, first hand those reasons as so far, this is not clear [all the contradictory reasons given to various people turned out to be lies].”
No Experience With Primary Education
"Antonio who is now principal of Inwoods but has no experience of primary education or working with parents, and is not regularly directly engaging with the children." Ex. Staff
Inwoods Provided Great Education
“All the children I have met following their experience of schooling through Inwoods are the most stable, grounded, solid, confident children who have a real passion for learning and zest for life.”
“If MAR ever chose to leave, she would have handpicked the right person to take over and the transition would have been seamless. “
Nasser Allegedly “Never Made Sense”
Lady AAA shared her impression of Nasser who was "never there, never making sense, his eyes were glassy, and had a silly smirk about him all the time". She recalls Mina allegedly had no comprehension about the running of a school. "She didn't get how a school worked or how it ran"; not surprising since Mina has no background in the field of education, and neither does Nasser, and he thinks "everyone is an educator". Poor Krishnamurti whose beloved school ended up in the hands of Nasser and Mina and Raman and Antonio. The latter two also have no formal education in education. Raman, Mina, and Nasser also have no experience running a school, yet are reportedly behind all key decisions.
Helena’s Alleged Brusque Response To Child
Lady AAA recalls visiting Helena's school and a boy wanted to urinate -- and Helena, in the middle of a conversation with Lady AAA who was a complete stranger to the boy, allegedly pulled the boy's pants down and held him horizontally “like a board”, with the boy’s feet on the ground but his nose almost to the ground, and the boy urinated. It happened as the conversation with lady AAA was continuing. Lady AAA was shocked and wondered how the boy felt at this rather brusque and mechanical response, and how the boy’s parents would feel. Lady AAA said at Inwoods they would handle it very differently and with more care, sensitivity, and respect.
After reading the report Helena wrote that it’s up to the children to choose to be “assisted” “behind a tree if they request more privacy”. An expert in young children schooling thought it’s odd to expect a young child to tell the adult: I want privacy, let’s go behind a tree; the adult should judge that.
Like a few other people Lady AAA views Helena as allegedly a “control freak” and “obsessed with tidying things”.
TESTIMONY OF EX-BROCKWOOD STUDENT Climate of Tension and Fear
Mr. HH was a student at Brockwood. I know him and his family are very interested in K's teachings and care deeply about Brockwood. He went back in 2016/2017 after Nasser and Mina had become the leaders, and with Raman in the background were gaining increasing power.
"I could surely perceive a new climate of tension and fear. Something had changed compared to when I was a student."
Nasser “not acting in harmony with the intention of the place”
"I always felt that Nasser and Gopal were not acting in harmony with the place and its intentions. That, and other personal reasons, brought me to leave the place."
"Mr. QQ is such a lovely chap shame on them the way they treated him." -Ex-staff
Complaining Allegedly Led To Firing
Mr. QQ worked at Brockwood for more than a decade. He put up with the Nasser/Mina/Raman/Derek regime for five years until he finally had to speak up. He was sacked a couple of months after the first time he had complained. He believes his firing was because he had complained. He complained to Antonio that some things are not right at the school. Students are in bed with each other - boy and girl - in the middle of the day and so on. Antonio didn't like the criticisms and reacted with silly rationalizations. Later he was fired, without a reason, and they hired someone else, which means his position was needed, and he had been successful at it for over a decade. But he had opened his mouth, so he had to go; at least, that's how it seems to him.
People Unfairly Treated by Big Egotrips
"Something should happen – the way people have been treated has been unfair in the last 5 years since Nasser and Mina have been there."
"They didn’t tell us Nasser and Mina were coming. Suddenly one day they were there, to supposedly review the finances but ended up being on a big ego-trip that hurt the place." Within a few days his boss said "they were there to get rid of us. The atmosphere quickly changed for the worse when they brought their own guy to run his department."
Mina's "Change Management" Blunders
"There was no introduction. We didn't know who they were." The accounts ladies were made redundant very quickly. Mina thought she could manage the finances on her own. But realize that she can't. Then she got some mature students and others involved. "The attitude of Mina was, just get rid of them and save the school some money - in their eyes to save the school money".
"She thought she could handle all the accounts herself. But she couldn't. She ended up engaging mature students and volunteers who were untrained to help with the accounts. They were untrained and there was pressure on them which was unfair. There was a lot of stress on a lot of people unnecessarily".
They treat outside staff differently! Some of the best contributors to any organization are outside stuff and that was the case for Brockwood as well. But they were treated as inferior, yet another sign of mismanagement. The tribal attitude of "us vs. them" is dangerous in an organization that should work cohesively as one unit. That's Krishnamurti 101. Also, love is an organization's best tools. It makes things work! But where the thought made sense of the self, ego is and love is not. There's no shortage of ego among the dictators.
They Fired Good Part-Time Teacher To Save Money, But Spent £4000+ On Their Flat
“Four part time teachers were let go and I know their wages was not high. They got rid of them very quickly. One of the teachers they fired was a great teacher, part-time, who didn't cost that much. She was very helpful to the students. I know her wage was not that much.”
“Soon after firing a teacher who was very valuable to the students, they spent thousands of pounds remodeling and refurnishing Yannick’s flat” after they evicted him, so they can move into his flat, at the West Wing, where Mary Zimbalist and Krishnamurti lived (before it was remodeled by Scott Forbes years ago).
“Yannick was the most dedicated man. He was available 24/7.” After all these years they sacked him, for no reason.” Perhaps his guilt was that he was there at the school before the dictators came in and lived in a beautiful flat they had their eyes on. Mr. QQ confirmed the dictators replaced almost everyone at Brockwood except Antonio, Bill and himself.
Boys And Girls In Bed In The Middle Of Day And Open After-Lunch Kissing
In his meeting with Antonio (which he believes led to his firing), he told Antonio that "the students run themselves. The staff members are not really checking the students enough."
"Adrian was good at keeping some discipline with the students. Now the discipline is gone."
"Andy and myself would go to the students' rooms to do some maintenance work, during the day, and we'd find a boy and a girl in bed together. On more than one occasion. And that was during the day. In the evening God knows what happens."
"Antonio's response was that the students are the happiest they've ever been. Blah blah..."
Mr. QQ was shocked by Antonio's reaction. Antonio must have absolutely disliked hearing these facts. Antonio was probably too afraid to relay them to Mina - or who knows - since as the head of the school, it was his responsibility, and he was a part of the power games Mina and Nasser allegedly were playing. They knew or didn't care what happens at the school.
Several witnesses have expressed that for the management, the school and quality of education is not of primary importance. See section below ("KFT TRUSTEES & BROCKWOOD HAVE FAILED KRISHNAMURTI").
"It was at lunch time and the kids were sitting on the couch, kissing and cuddling. Boys and girls."
Before Nasser and Mina's time, it was not allowed for a boy and girl to be in bed, or to kiss out in the open. He was also concerned about the impression prospective parents would have if they walked around. "Adrian would not have tolerated that."
Hypocrisy: Extreme Rule | No Enforcement
At the same time, a witness and an ex-Brockwood student, whose son went through the application process, said she was surprised at some of the new rules. "They make it clear that you're not allowed to have a girlfriend or boyfriend. That's never been in the rules before."
Before it was like, "do you have to be discreet about relationships...obviously you couldn't have an intimate [sexual] relationships but it was part of growing up. You can't keep teenagers from falling in love. It's just not possible." That was one of the main things that turned off her son about Brockwood, and he decided not to go to there.
Brockwood under Mina and Nasser doesn't allow boyfriend/girlfriend, but reportedly and allegedly, routinely students intimately kiss in the sitting room and have reportedly been seen in bed together. Before, love relationships were allowed, but the guideline was discreteness, and it was enforced. Enforcement is a loaded word; ideally appropriate action is integrated into a school's culture.
Nasser Allegedly Disparaging Student Artwork
“When they first started, there were a few incidents where I realized what Nasser is about. There was an art workshop where students hung their artwork in the dining hall after the workshops. I was in there one day. It was only Nasser and myself walking through. Nasser started laughing at the artwork". Nasser also allegedly made a remark which Mr. QQ recalls being disparaging. Mr. QQ thought, "if these students see him laughing at their artwork, it's demoralizing. You don't do that as a normal person," especially given his position as the head of KFT.
Nasser's alleged "Power Trip", Alleged paranoia that flight simulator certificate could be used for flying a real airplane!!
Mr. QQ is a pilot and has done an aviation workshop for students at Brockwood. At the end of the workshop, he made a certificate for each student as a motivational move so they would remember the class and something to show that they used a flight simulator. This is very normal and even online courses often issue certificates. One year when Nasser and Mina started, "I was doing the same thing and printing certificates. Nasser stopped it. He said if I use this they can say that the they are qualified for flying!!! Which is something ridiculous, absolutely crazy. No way. It's just a certificate that shows they've used a flight simulator in a workshop! I am qualified in aviation law. What Nasser said was just ridiculous. At that time, I realized this guy is on a power trip."
He hears that Nasser was quoting Krishnamurti a lot. He seems to use such quotes to assert his authority, which is exactly what Krishnamurti did not want and sternly warned against.
[Update] A student reported getting the flight simulator certificate as the highlight of his time at Brockwood. But Nasser put a stop to it because he’s a lawyer and in his mind, a flight simulator license can be abused to try to fly an airplane (a rationale that makes absolutely no sense to us).
Nasser's Alleged Intimidating Behavior
"I'm not an aggressive guy. I get on with everybody. But I don't like bullies. Nasser was being a bully." ~ Mr. QQ
In a maintenance meeting after his boss was fired, Nasser was there and staring at Mr. QQ in the eyes, which he found to be intimidating, strange and rude. “Nasser was completely glaring at me in an intimidating way and I don't know why. He is a <snipped>. I'm not an aggressive guy. I get on with everybody. But I don't like bullies. Nasser was being a bully." Bullies do that sometime: stare into someone's eyes to assert their power. When the big boss does that, it's even worse. Krishnamurti spent years talking about importance of healthy relationships, communications, and truth. If you have something to say to someone you tell them, you don't play games. If you're a boss, it's at a minimum very impolite to stare at a multi-level subordinate in the eyes while the chap has absolutely no idea what your problem is.
Nasser's Alleged Intimidating Disrespect For A Female Employee's Space
Mr. QQ cited a lady who said, "on several occasions Nassar got right into her space in an intimidating, authoritarian manner by standing very close to her as she was sitting at her desk, demanding certain things to be done for work. She felt really uneasy."
Nasser & Mina's Alleged Quest For Easy Life
Mr. QQ said he suspects Nasser and Mina are on to something. Perhaps they have their eyes on the money, or it is just a hunger for power, living a good, easy life in one of the most beautiful places in the world without effectively being accountable to anybody. A weak Board of Trustees doesn't count when the same powers that brought these people in and empowered them have huge influence on the Board. Mr. QQ said he does not trust them with <snipped>.
Another witness commented that he doesn't think Nasser allegedly works hard (I put it politely) and "just instigates and strategies."
Mr. QQ is the second person who said that Nasser had allegedly exhibited a racist attitude or treatment of a guest at the Center. There's no concrete evidence of this but since more than one person reported it, it's included here as a possibility and certainly not an accusation.
"I think there was a man of African descent in the quiet room and Nasser had some issue." Ex-staff
Strange Power Structure / Mina's Misleading Title / Nasser's Role
A bursar would never have as much power as Mina. Mr. QQ believes Antonio, the Principal, is submissive to Mina. "I thought she had some kind of a hold over him." That makes Mina the head of the school and not just the Bursar, the head above the principal. It is one freaky organizational structure. Add to that Nasser's role:
“I think Nasser has a voice in the background that gets Mina to take action at the school. He's the puppet master, and I think Mina is a voice for him”.
That refines a theme that has come up in other testimonies: Nasser's hand in the school. It's reportedly there not as doing something, but influencing, controlling, and freaking over trivial details like flight simulation certificates, asserting his psychological sense of self and his will-to-power, staring at subordinates, getting into their space, interrupting a casual friendly conversation with his aura of authority and fear...everything Krishnamurti dreaded.
Nonexistent Complaints Process
The September 2021 inspection raised an issue with the complaint process. The reality, as Mr. QQ said, is that they don't welcome complaints or grievances. "There is no HR there. There's nowhere for any staff member to go to file a complaint except with Mina or Antonio. They got complete control over the power," apparently without much accountability. "If you don't completely fit in or voice an opinion they don't like, they get rid of you. There's no place to go complain. I've seen this with other staff members as well."
Brockwood's Culture Declined
Mr. QQ is one of the very few who spend several years before and after Nasser/Mina/Raman/Derek allegedly took over the place. After Nasser and Mina came on board, eventually he felt some basic courtesies like “opening a door for you or holding the door" have degraded.
The place "did become more self-centered", which is so against K's teachings. K is about less the "psychological sense of self" and not more! It makes perfect sense how and why this happened. Nasser and Mina allegedly instilled a self-centered culture, starting with their own behavior to quench their greed for more and more power, micromanagement, control. Top leadership sets the tone of an organization.
On one occasion while installing a heavy wardrobe for Raman's man, Abhijit Padte allegedly just sat there, watched him, and didn't offer any help.
“There was always whispers. Every time you went into a room. People being secretive all the time. Really strange atmosphere.” Again, an atmosphere of fear and everything Krishnamurti dreaded.
"They were not that interested in the students, I felt. Since NASA and Mina came, the actual education seems secondary."
Various witnesses have expressed the same view. Related to the students and their rooms, one witness noted:
"The only thing I can add is about the lack of hygiene and how disgusting some students rooms are, with really dirty bedding and clothing, I complained about this to the housekeeper several times and he said he would speak to the person who should check it but for me it was an ongoing issue I kept seeing, I would not want my child living in that filth."
Adrian, Gopal, Bill, Antonio
"When Adrian and Bill were running the school it was the best times." This was before Nasser and Mina took over. Adrian was one of the first people they sacked and nobody knew why. Bill went with the flow and became part of the Nasser and Mina team, as their subordinate. Both Antonio and Bill are close associates of Friedrich Grohe and Nasser and Mina probably realized they couldn't get rid of them as they needed a few people from the past for the sake of continuity.
"The atmosphere changed when Gopal came and it was not necessarily for the better", Mr. QQ contends. Gopal had some ideas that raised eyebrows and seemed too progressive for even a K school. For example, students teach themselves and go to a teacher only if they had a problem! What's the point of the teacher then? "This may work for older students but for a 13-year-old it's more difficult."
He said the collapse of Inwoods was a real shame. And like everyone else, he expressed very high praise for MAR.
The first phrase that came to his mind about Inwoods was, "maybe it was a jealousy thing" (firing of MAR) allegedly on the part of Nasser, Mina, Helena, Antonio...
Like several other witnesses he felt Helena had a strong influence on Antonio. "I had the feeling that that might be an angle, where Helena may want to take over Inwoods. She has a preschool."
Mr. QQ found it strange that Helena took her preschool kids to have picnic near a cesspool. "The sewage was leaking. It was winter time. She chose that spot for some reason although there are so many nicer places, and away from leaking sewage and cesspool. Right next to the sewage which has been leaking for months." He told her politely what are you doing here. "Leaking sewage plant, little kids, in the winter. Where is the common sense?" Helena says after she was informed she didn’t go back there.
TESTIMONY OF LADY QQQ / Letter to ISI
“Many staff and parents were gaslighted”
URGENT - Information for the Inspectorate of Brockwood Park and Inwoods Small School (inspection 21/09/2021)
“To whom it may concern,
It has been brought to my attention that an ISI inspection of the above schools is due to take place tomorrow, Tuesday 21st September 2021.
I am a former employee of the KFT, having worked as the admin and recruitment manager at Inwoods Small School from January 2018-March 2020 when the original school closed. My daughter also attended the school from 2017-2020.
From November of 2019 until the demise of the school in March 2020, many staff and parents were gaslighted by members of the management team. The trustees of the school handed the reconstruction over to the management team and staff and parents were prevented from having their concerns over the manner in which this was undertaken, heard by them.
It was a long drawn out process, without mediation and effectively culminated in the entire staff and parent community being forced to leave the school.
I feel that it would be advisable for the ISI to look very closely and carefully at the demeanour, intention and integrity of two most prominent figures in the management team and to examine carefully whether the quality of education is underpinned by a healthy and honest ethos.
I would like this email to remain anonymous.
This Report Called “A Blessed Relief”
This is one of several complements we have received which is nice given the tremendous effort that we put into this project. Her statement is presented in this section because it’s more than just “thank you”.
Lady QQQ sent this note to our task-force:
“What a blessed relief - at last!
I put in a request for an urgent OFSTED and Charity Commission inspection with my comments of concern delivered prior the last inspection.
So many of us have been gaslighted and mistreated by the KFT management team and I feel that justice and closure is long overdue.
Many thanks to you brave folks,
“Inwoods was a very special place.” They were very impressed with Inwoods and the Director, MAR, so they decided to send their child to Inwoods, although before that the child was happy at their school. “It was a good move. She got a lot out of a completely different approach to education, and she made good friends”. The children felt safe there. “That for me was an important one because it encouraged the children to be what they wanted to be. The staff were really lovely people. I have very high impressions of MAR in particular…she was really pivotal in that school… she put her whole heart and soul into it. And people gravitate towards people like that, period. She attracted some really good teachers. She was really kind, really hard-working, all the children loved her and trusted her completely.”
Lady DD thought Brockwood Trustees should have given more support to Inwoods, and this hampered the great work it was doing. Support in this context could be understood as the opposite of everything that Nasser/Mina/Raman were allegedly doing to undermine Inwoods. At a minimum, they should have let it live and prosper and continue to flourish, educate and change children’s lives for the better, instead of trying to monkey-wrench it for the creepy motives illustrated in the testimonies herein.
Lady DD was appalled at how KFT undermined MAR and Inwoods. They told her that she needed to go on a sabbatical. That’s their typical line/approach when they want to get rid of someone. It seems dishonest. A sabbatical means you will have a place when you come back. But KFT apparently sends people on sabbatical knowing when they come back, they will not have a place – so essentially instead of firing them, they send them on sabbatical, which is worse because if someone is fired, they’re free to look at their next step in life. But this seemingly dishonest conduct of KFT gives a false impression which ends up being confusing and problematic down the road and impact people’s lives negatively.
Reportedly, MAR tried to negotiate the terms of the proposed sabbatical, but they kept dodging the issue and finally said they were firing her instead of offering her a sabbatical. This was all before she had signed her NDA so she was free to talk to people; and we talked to some of them. But the rumor had gone around that MAR should have gone on sabbatical but refused, which was not true. The terms of each sabbatical are negotiated; but after making the offer, KFT reportedly declined to negotiate the terms (which is normal for every sabbatical) and flip flopped, saying it wasn't an option.
“There were no discussions around it”. It was a dictatorial approach. Nasser, Mina and Antonio reportedly attended 3 meetings with different parents. Most parents went to the first one. To Lady DD, it felt like “it was a done deal period”. There was no discussion with the parents to take their consideration into effect. The dictator had his/her mind set on conquering Inwoods and getting rid of its much loved Director who had made Inwoods the great school that it was. “We really prepared for that meeting. We had a list of questions. We loved the school and if felt we could have trusted the new way it was going to be done we would have stayed, but they didn’t give us any sense of trust. And there were no plans, no outlook, no clarity on who would run the school and how, and how the parents would be a part of that, etc. They seemed set on first wiping out MAR from the power map perceived in their heads. But they hadn’t thought beyond that destruction.”
They said Antonio would run it in the interim, but the parents didn’t have confidence in this option since Antonio was already very occupied at Brockwood.
One of the great things about Inwoods was that “as a parent you were a part of how it ran which is why it felt so safe. All of the children knew all of the parents.” Parents were there twice a week to help out, so it was run by the staff and the parents. Mina and Nasser allegedly wanted to distance the parents “and make it into a school where the parents were not a part of it”. Why not have the parents involved? The setup Lady DD is describing is like a village, a family, and a community, where a young child is immensely nurtured, which is what a child needs and Krishnamurti spoke at length about. It’s not just about academics.
“Education as a mutual task was key in MAR’s vision. It was K who said that. It was hard work but I felt really wholesome. You felt that you wanted to be part of that; you wanted to get to know the kids; and yeah it was good.”
Mina, Nasser, and Antonio with backing from core of political power, Raman, allegedly “didn’t want those parents to continue because they knew a lot of the parents felt that Nasser and Mina didn't want to keep the parents and the children carrying on that had been there because they knew that we all are friends and supporters of MAR's vision. And it wasn't just MAR, it was the other staff as well. It was a heartful school; the kids loved it and flourished”.
K talked about the importance of parent involvement as part of the process of learning and working together towards a right education, obviously, as the parents are an important part of the upbringing and education of their children. (Education doesn't just happen within the school walls). However, at Inwoods, reportedly the parents weren't making key decisions and “running” the school; that would have been very difficult to manage as parents are not one body but individuals with different ideas about learning and schools.
They were involved in practical ways such as cleaning, tidying, and gardening. They were also invited to meetings, dialogues, and discussions regarding the functioning and vision of the place. To organize a place in this way requires a great deal of trust and care in relationships - apparently not the way Nasser, Mina, Raman, Antonio were managing their relationship with Inwoods and some others who report a lack of trust. Being control freaks would have never allowed Inwoods to flourish as it did under MAR's Krishnamurtian, love-caring-respect-centered approach to relationships. Different talent/mindset/skills are needed when you are including people and delegating and utilizing the power of love than when you're controlling and acting dictatorially by utilizing fear.
The excuse of Nasser and Mina allegedly gave was that “MAR had become too powerful, and it wasn’t healthy!!!” OMG! It wasn’t healthy for whom? The dictators were threatened by MAR’s power? And what was MAR’s power? It wasn’t the kind that dictators gain – it was the power of love!! The love MAR and her staff gave to the kids and their parents: the love that they got back and that love that sustained this amazing school. And the dictators found that threatening. That sums up the scandal!
It’s amazing how many different, contradictory excuses were told to different people – which is very typical of lies. Lies are inconsistent.
“That wasn't my impression at all. She led that school from behind; that was the phrase that stuck in my mind. And she wasn't a leader as such in a traditional sense; she knew how to bring out the best in her staff; she never spoke more or longer than she needed to; she had that very female approach that you don't often see in men – sorry, no offense.”
“She led from behind and that really I thought was an incredible quality that she had, and she did it very well. So to accuse her of sort of taking the school off on a limb and doing it in her own way, I thought was really unfair. I heard Mina and Nasser were accusing her of breaking away from Brockwood. I heard very often the opposite from MAR that she made several attempts to invite them to various events and gatherings and that they would never come, and she wanted to keep the relationship going but it becomes so tense and difficult. It took a huge toll on MAR”. And they had the nerve to say MAR didn’t engage them! This is sooo bad. This is like a person who owes you money saying that you own him money!
It was just one big dishonest screw-up. They gave so many contrary reasons to different people which seems to indicate they were just lying and trying to make up excuses to justify their attack on MAR, Inwoods, and the Inwoods’ students, parents, teachers, supporters, and volunteers. The latest excuses I hear in this testimony are that MAR was getting too powerful which they viewed as unhealthy. So they clearly know how unhealthy too much power can be, but they’ve been constantly getting more power themselves.
The latest excuses seems to be the most telling. It shows an apparent core motive behind their crusade against Inwoods: wanting to have absolutely power. They didn’t like the fact that MAR was running such a successful gig and was so loved versus them being disliked by so many people. They had alienated many and instilled a spirit of fear, which is so radically contradictory to the spirit of K and what he taught.
So MAR, as beautifully described by Lady DD and so many others, is the kind of personality that would be a threat to the dictators who seem rather to be power hungry, egotistic, control freaks. It’s unhealthy and should be an inspiration, but the dictators are not inspired by people driven by intelligence, love, clarity, happiness, and other positive qualities. MAR was so contrary to the mindset of the dictators, so they toppled her! And down with her went a great school! For shame!
“Being able to use the facilities at Brockwood dwindled. I heard that they used to do it a lot more and there was a more of a sense of being part of a larger community, and that got less and less under Mina and Nasser’s regime. When her daughter was there, they were allowed to occasionally use the pottery studio and nothing else. Contrast that with Helena’s nursery which is reportedly using Brockwood’s outdoor facilities without any issues [she also used the outside classroom built in the woods. It was a timber construction]. That’s how it should be. It’s crazy not to. It doesn’t surprise me that it’s easier for Helena now because she’s Antonio’s wife and Brockwood doesn’t have to worry about looking hypocritical if they allow Helena’s school kids use the facilities but restrict Inwoods’ under MAR’s direction because of the management strange motives.”
Impressions of Nasser Shamim
Any impressions of Nasser? “Not good, if I’m honest. In the meeting he was quite defensive and non-forthcoming with information and a bit rude.” She had a one on one with Nasser early on because they were considering living at Brockwood. She met with Gopal who was welcoming the fact that she worked at Winchester University. Gopal felt it would be good for Brockwood to have more links. “I was shocked when I joined a group of staff at Winchester University who were really interested in contemplative pedagogy” and they had never heard of Brockwood Park which is but ten minutes away! That’s what happens when you run a school as an isolated shell!
“I was shocked to learn Brockwood was its own little universe and not linked to the local community!! Gopal was trying to change all that. When I met with Nasser, he was very unwelcoming!”
A repeated theme as expressed by so many witnesses: “There was no sense of curiosity, interest or shared respect. I felt really put off and decided I didn’t want to live at Brockwood. That was a pivotal meeting for me. I felt I don’t like this guy. I don’t often not like people.”
“I really disliked this guy. I thought maybe it’s a cultural difference but then I realized it’s much more than a cultural difference. I can attest having come from the same culture as Nasser and Mina that is absolutely the contrary. Iranian/Persian culture is very welcoming, warm, affectionate, caring, considerate, respectful, humble, grateful…”
“He was very condescending and a bit patronizing, actually. They didn’t want families there because one parent has to take care of a child, and that's one resource less for Brockwood. It's a speculation.” See section "Primary School at Brockwood" below for a related discussion.
Lady DD’s teacher was a friend of Krishnamurti and was considering sending his kids to Brockwood, but he heard that “the place had really changed and gone off on a slight bad direction so that's why he didn't send his kids there as teenagers. I thought that’s kind of sad, but it confirmed my gut feeling.”
Brockwood felt like a bubble to Lady DD, disconnected from the people who live in that area. “I don’t think it’s healthy. Then you get into danger of becoming a cult…with no link to local community”.
Impressions of Mina Masoumian
Allegedly, “Mina and Nasser were both hated by many. I tried not to [hate them], but it was hard because they were clearly acting in some not wholesome ways. I met Mina a few times. I felt uncomfortable around her.”
Lady DD said there was a rumor that someone at the accounting department showed up to work one day; Mina was allegedly sitting at her desk and said, this is my desk now, and that was the end of her job. Lady DD didn’t have direct experience of this, so this may be inaccurate – however, similar things have been reported by others where people’s roles were undermined by going around them, or they would come back from holiday and their office is gone. These were direct witnesses so not hearsay.
“Last time I saw her [staff member] she couldn't wait to get out of Brockwood because of the way she was treated by management.”
Mr. S. was witness to all that happened during the disastrous management of Raman, Nasser, Mina, Derek, Antonio, Bill that culminated in the implosion of Inwoods.
It’s All About Ego, Power, Control
“You can’t have got further away from K’s teachings than where we are at Brockwood now. It’s all about people’s egos, power, control”.
Mr. S resembled Brockwood to “something like Dianetics in the way people are manipulated, quietened, moved on [fired], sanctioned, etc. - that’s the reality at Brockwood now. There’s no openness, compassion, truth, love, etc., and Raman has a very big part in making that happen.” [This interview took place before Raman becomes even more powerful and assumes the official role of head of KFT].
“There's a lot of need to control involved in Nasser and Mina's movements. Anybody who confronted the issue or didn't go along with it was targeted or ousted altogether. There's certainly a need to control everything”.
Mr. S. said, “When they target somebody and move that person on, the truth of it is not told”. They bring excuses and make up stories until the person driven out reveals the reality of how he or she was mistreated, pressured to sign an agreement, etc. which usually clashed with the version Brockwood management had made up. It’s unknown if reports of such pressures crossed the lines of laws such as the UK’s coercive controlling behaviour laws. Those who signed NDAs ended up being quiet, so we do not know details unless the NDAs are undone by the Charity Commission should that become necessary.
Wicked Lack of Transparency & Weak Trustees
“If Trustees are wishy washy and weak, people will do what they want.”
Before Nasser and Mina’s time, for the trustee meetings, a packet was prepared including reports from various divisions, and the final compiled report was available at least to people who contributed to who often presented their section to the trustees. Nasser and Mina changed that. “After about a year that completely stopped so nobody was going to the trustee meetings to give any kind of opinion”, and even the contributors were not allowed to get a copy of the final report, which probably means Nasser and Mina manipulated it to say what they wanted to say, and lack of personal presentation removed risk of truth coming out.
It was indeed the trustees’ fault for accepting such a behavior. They could have demanded that the presentations continue. But being as passive as they reportedly are, it’s no surprise that here again, the trustees failed the Trust, and management overpowered the trustees.
Dictatorships Don’t Like Transparency
A lawyer we were discussing this subject with immediately noticed that the names of KFT trustees are not on their website. They used to be because transparency used to be a good thing there! Exact same story as KFA after apparently Grohe’s influence negatively impacted the place. One of the things the Executive Director Grohe’s “soldier” brought in did was to remove the names of the trustees from the website. Dictatorships don’t like transparency.
“They never had dialogue in the [many] years I was there. They never part-took in dialogue with anybody whom they ousted. They push them out, they cut the rope, they're finished. It's a real shame. Dialogue isn't their way. because then the truth can come out. It seemed dialogue within the organization wasn't there, let alone dialogue with people outside. It all gets shut down. If they open up the dialogue the facts will emerge and then you have to act on what's best - not what you want. That was not their way of operation. An important decision requires conversation and arriving at an answer -- in dialogue you'd explore the options and possibilities. I believe even that was lacking.”
Nasser Allegedly Memorizing K and Abusing it to Fortify his Authority
Mr. S. said a part of the problem is that Nasser who is running the show is “memorizing K and uses it like a weapon to push an agenda, a view, a situation…K is used as a tool.: K warned about this for decades and also the problem of authority, including alleged abuse of his teachings as Nasser has reportedly and allegedly used for authoritarian purposes.
"Nasser using K as a tool for fortifying his authority” goes extremely against K's teachings. He specifically did not want that and warned against it, especially in his schools. Look up the letters to schools from the two books with the same title. K was a wise man, saw this coming, and warned against it.
Mr. S. commented on a Trustee who walked out because of the way Nasser/Mina/Raman regime were acting. “He was one of the ones who came from the real world. He understood about the energy of the place. I was sad that he left. He was one of the good guys.”
Another Sign of Weak Management
He also recalled, “I've watched these guys operate. What they do is to put the hatches down* and ignore, ignore till it goes away. They do nothing until reality moves on. They hide until it goes away.” It is a clear sign of weak management-by-ignorance. But this is so contrary to Krishnamurti’s teachings who teaches to pay attention to everything. What you ignore comes back to haunt you. It’s only through dealing with things they can resolve. From a management science standpoint, Nasser/Mina/Raman’s alleged approach by ignorance or management-by-blocking is inept for a K foundation/school. It was never intended to be a dictatorship.
*Hatches is a nautical term for the door between the outside and inside of a ship to be put down when there’s perception of storm. It is the same phrase as “batten down the hatches” – which is psychologically blocking, suppressing, avoiding, escaping, hiding, and all that Krishnamurti was so much against. Deal with it! The man who started KFT spent a lifetime teaching to deal with it, look at it, understand it, and let it tell its story. But if you’re burning in anxiety, insufficiency, egotism, search for psychological security. If you’re confused, insecure, miserable, pathetic, petty, power hungry, tribal, then you block, avoid, suppress, escape, etc. – which seems to be the way Brockwood management has been operating at times. Again, it is so contrary to K’s teachings; therefore, they should resign, and the Trustees who have enabled these ways of operation should be ousted as well. Krishnamurti deserves better than to be bogged down in mediocrity: he dreaded mediocrity and spoke at length about it.
This style of management-by-ignorance follows KFA’s path. In fact, KFA instituted this lame, irresponsible way of management a while back to ignore and discredit views that called out its shortcomings. In doing so, it engaged in the worst of what K so-called “cunning animals” do: discredit the messenger in order to discard the message. The ugly behaviors in the K foundations are not often seen in the corporate world. Poor Krishnamurti!
Someone was obsessively hitting my website looking at the letters to Nasser and also Raman. I guess that it was Nasser. In their world, they can choose to block someone because they are so incompetent in dealing with the topic while in the background not only don’t they ignore the person, but they obsessively and repeatedly read what the person wrote. They are probably making images of those who may be reading the letters. Hypocritical at best.
Mr. S. said, “They're not used to people saying no or to say I am not happy with that answer – the nonsense answers they give to avoid the issue. They're not used to anyone confronting and challenging them.” Now think of what K said about challenging authority! He viewed most of the trustees as passive and gentle and overrun by "very strong, forceful characters" like Nasser and Mina.
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) / Cults
Mr. S said, “The way Brockwood is being run is very similar to how you would run a cult. The way the cults control the people is very similar to Brockwood. Use of gagging orders (NDAs) is also similar. At some point the international trustees or somebody [charity commission] has to say how many NDAs are there, why were they issued, and let’s talk to people and see what really happened.”
We already know the situation around some of these NDAs and reportedly some were signed in strange circumstances and questionable ways. “They’re using NDAs to help them stay in power,” Mr. S contends. People who signed NDAs talked about their grievances to others before signing, and KFT could not control what people told others (who told others and told us) before the NDAs were signed.
The Trustees themselves allegedly seem somewhat "gagged" by Nasser and Mina's legal talk: things are purported as a "legal issue", therefore, keep quiet.
"The techniques they've been using are recognized cultish type means to control information. Like the oppression. The technique is used in places like the Scientology cult.
The September 2021 Inspection
We talked about the inspection that happened in September. The results were out recently. Management did not get a good grade. It could have been the reason Raman has replaced Nasser recently, essentially the same thing as before: “meet the new boss, the same as the old boss” as the song goes… I won’t get fooled again! But the aim is to make it seem that there’s been a change while the power structure remains the same.
Mr. S: “I’m really surprised this happened because Raman always works in the shadows, he always has – he just says, oh, I’m just here to say hello to the students – but he’s been termed as the most powerful man at Brockwood/KFT by several people.”
I am surprised too that Raman likes to be in the background. The fact that he’s moved to the forefront gives me the opinion that this may have been a desperate move: he was reportedly behind the mess, and sugar hit the fan. Given the weak Board and Raman’s power (gained from Grohe’s influence), things had to be kept under control and handled by insiders. But there’s no fundamental change in the mindset, power structure, and approach that resulted from the current mess. A much bigger change is needed, and it’s probably not possible without intervention from the Charity Commission. The status quo can’t reinvent itself.
Is Raman still on Friedrich Grohe’s payroll as well as serving as head of KFT? Perhaps contractually that poses no issues, but for a large donor to have so much power may be an issue.
“They feel there is no accountability. Who are they accountable to?” The trustees. But several people have reported their impression that the Trustees appear weak compared to the “management team”, which often gets a rubber stamp approval from Trustees. The Old Boys’ Derek Hook is part of the Trustee team as well, and reportedly and allegedly an empowerer of Nasser and Mina. Gary Primrose is very close to Derek and has lived and still lives in the same house in the Lake District. Raman is allegedly tremendously influential on the Trustees. Gisele Balleys’ close affiliation with the Grohe team is well known.
Nasser (Mr. Enlightened)'s K-Quoting, Alleged Shouting At People
Allegedly, “she got shouted at by Nasser and cried”, Mr. S recalls of Lady U. who came to Brockwood as a prospective chef.
Lady W. is a world-class chef who was fired. “She is the most amazing chef ever and has worked all over the world for top clients. She is a really lovely lady and also a Yoga instructor.”
Mr. S stated that many come to Brockwood “with a certain expectation based on their reading of the teachings. And they get disappointed to see how the place is run so contrary to it.”
“I know how these guys operate. They're very clever at boxing off, shutting doors, stonewalling, and when there’s an inspection moving things so they don't appear as they are. They tidy it up tight.”
It reminds me of similar movement at KFA by another Grohe lineage installed manager, Jacob Sluijter or “Jaap”, who had the same modus operandi (probably still does). He was caught telling volunteer and staff to “look busy” to impress donors and show that a lot is happening, as one insider testified. K challenged people to explore the power and beauty of living without a psychological image. It is yet another case of contradiction between the heads of these foundations and K’s philosophy.
When I wrote to ask Nasser to get his point of view on the Inwoods implosion, he cowardly blocked me, and applied the block for the entire organization! A silly thing to do because I have many email addresses, should I try to reach my friends at their Brockwood address.
Allegedly, “they are very, very cunning”, Mr. S said. It reminded me of K’s expression, “cunning animals”.
"I saw Raman very much involved in the day-to-day decision making and essentially the strategies behind things. And even down to being at meetings, at the Center, about work that needed to be done at the Center; he was involved in those decisions. At the time he wasn't even employed"!
“All the time the Trustees are backing them. Raman is backing them.” Mr. S ,who knows the place inside out, clearly stated that Raman Patel is a central pole of power - not because of any spiritual or moral greatness but because he's on Friedrich Grohe's payroll. There's no way anyone else with the exact same profile would have had so much power and influence if he didn't have the clout of Big Money.
Raman Patel at the time held no official role except for being Mr. Grohe’s man. The central pole of power should be the Board of Trustees. But real power lies somewhere else. And since these interviews, Raman took on official role of head of KFT, which is mind-boggling given his profile.
“With the support of Raman, it's impossible to have any effect on them.” This is how powerful Mr. Grohe’s man has become. Backed by big money, maintaining a guru image, pulling strings in the background, an all-powerful figure with no official role for a long time, and unqualified in our opinion to be the head of KFT, which he’s recently become.
Perhaps an indication of the Trustees’ weakness is a trustee’s statement to Mr. S that they “don't like any kind of confrontation.” It included confronting the mismanagement. “If they are not going to confront any issues then nothing ever is going to change.”
"Hi Reza. I walked with <a lady> just after the incident and she was still crying. Nasser had shouted at her as in his mind she could not do the job and had to go. I witnessed that side of him once and described him as having the face of a contorted thug."
Mr. S’s employer received a job application from an ex-Brockwood staff member who had left her role after six months of working for Mina. Mr. S was asked to obtain a reference. He placed a call to a long-term friend who worked in the same department at Brockwood Park. Apparently Mina found out that this inquiry is being made. Mr. S’s friend “was shaking out of fear” that on Monday Mina’s going to ask her about it and she didn't know what she needs to tell her. She's a 45-year-old chartered accountant and tough as nails. She was “shaking in fear” that the management would be chastising her for prospects of provided a reference for someone.
She was told that she was not allowed to talk with Mr. S! “There's a wall of silence. Nobody is talking to me. We've been very close friends for five years. And they told her that she cannot talk to me. I'm okay with that but it's awful that they're controlling to that extent.”
Several people have reported similar behavior and the spirit of fear at Brockwood, which is so contradictory to Krishnamurti’s ideas. Their closest friends stopped talking to them because it was reportedly mandated by management with the apparently dishonest excuse / threat that it’s a legal issue. They found this very difficult and psychologically painful. “I can't have lunch with an old friend or even a cup of tea. Because they're so paranoid. Because of what's going on with Inwoods…”
Mr. S. recalls, “Even people like my administrative assistant who was sitting next to me for years is not allowed to talk to me.”
Mr. S. said about Nasser and Mina, allegedly, “they brought a business view where bottom line is the most important thing…Anybody who stood up against this approach [of treating Brockwood as a business], was targeted and got rid of…They only retain yes people whom they could control…using K as an excuse while K would have been very much against some very questionable ways of conduct of the dictators.” It’s questionable whether their motive is even purely financial for the well-being of KFT/Brockwood, which is not an issue with millions in the bank. A main driver / motive appears to be a craving for absolutely control, power, ego, security for themselves – all contrary to K’s teachings, in our opinion.
“We have to think about the people who come afterwards. They're going to find something that isn't what it should be because our generation just let it slip away.” Wise words by an ex-staff member who is extremely alienated and disturbed by Raman/Nasser/Mina allegedly running KFT/Brockwood down. Think of "the man from Seattle" story that K told!
Mr. S: “He kind of treats everybody like servants…it was things like that over and over where he treats people badly; his energy I can see why he and Raman get on. It’s not a nice energy.” Mr. S had to approve expenditures since he was the head of procurement (to make sure they’re getting value, quality, competitive offers, etc.), but the guy was buying things without going through the official approval process. So Mr. S asked him and he never got an answer. Mr. S: “I guess if Raman is backing him, he can do whatever he wants.” He resembled it to something too risky to publish.
They put him in a key role that meant full access for the management team.
"The emphasis was to narrow the place down to residential people who they can control and monitor very closely. It's become like Dianetics, which is a cult. Very similar working practices." Most people were for having everyone as one team regardless if they were residential or non-residential. Nasser allegedly changed this so that the outside people were kept outside and the residential people are tightly controlled.
A picture at the time of this interview on the Brockwood website did not include any of the outside staff! Seems egotistic and tribal, and a managerial shortcoming. I reflect back to my professional project management experience and the importance of building a performant team, which is only possible when there’s internal oneness. It’s right up K’s alley: fragmentation, division, loss of energy.
Mr. S found it “terrible” that Mr. Grohe does favors for his extended inner circle and the favorites chosen by them, and not for others who'd been there for decades and are so dedicated. Mr. S thinks there should be no favoritism when it comes to benefits like taking trips abroad. I totally agree. These are benefits that should be spread to all staff equitably and not just to “favorites”, which gives rise to a tribal, divisive attitude which is at the heart of these scandals.
Management's Competence Issues
"As soon as it became clear that Nasser had his eyes on my department, and was trying to make decisions on operations which he knew nothing about, I decided to resign". He couldn't handle working for management that aside from many other relationship issues was trying to control areas they had no competence in. That's how a place gets ruined. Same story with Mina as another witness noted, coming across as clueless in certain areas due to her lack of expertise in field of education, yet being the most powerful person at the School.
Nasser Taking Jerome Blanche’s Role
Jerome Blanche has been at the Trust for 26 years (since 1996). He was the executive director. Mr. S recalls: “Jerome was at all the trustee meetings, he was a high-level member of the staff (executive director), everybody loved him. He was very well respected. Suddenly an email went around. But it didn't say who had written it. It said just to let you know Jerome is no longer the director of the foundation. It is now Nasser. It was worded in not such a nice way. I told Bill that this is disgusting. who wrote it? I want to get to the bottom of this. Bill said I don't know. It seemed nobody wanted to take responsibility for that statement.”
“The way they just dumped him as though he was nothing. After all that good work he had done. He was treated very badly.”
Question arose as we had this discussion with the team, why did Jerome stay on? Someone familiar with the topic said Brockwood is home to some long-term staff, and they love the place and love Krishnamurti and the Centre. “It wouldn't be fair to think that everybody who was mistreated would just leave. Some people think they should hold their ground.”
We cannot speak for Jerome because we have not spoken with him, though we are friends with him but due to the sensitivity of the subject and him being an employee we didn’t want to put him in a precarious position.
“I understand some of these people are very gentle people.” This theme kept coming up. Many people who are attracted to this work and this place are gentle, kind, sensitive people – the opposite of the behavior the Trust’s management has exhibited.
Nasser was adamant about hiding how old the Center building looks like, trying to hide its age. Anybody can find out by Googling it, and age of a building is not a bad thing, unless Nasser is planning to sell the Center's building :-) Nasser ruled against the opinion of two experts, including the famous architect of the Center, Professor Keith Critchlow, without having any expertise in the subject matter!
Nasser seemed to be making an image of people's image of the building (if he has that level of empathy, which I doubt, but image making and empathy are not necessarily the same as empathy requires sensitivity, which doesn't seem to be a strength of Nasser or else he wouldn't have acted in the way so many witnesses have reported).
Similarly, KFA's head, Jaap Sluijter, is of the same mindset, which is contrary to Krishnamurti's teachings. K spoke at length about the perils of image making, understanding the process of making psychological images, and freedom from that process, which is a dominant one. But Nasser and Jaap both have made images of others' images, which seems to be a driving force in their management style. In fact, Jaap told a group of volunteers and staff at KFA, to "look busy" to impress the public. Nasser allegedly went around the experts so that people wouldn't get the impression of the K Center building as being "old". “Everyone knows how old it is, or can look it up", one expert said. Plus, what difference does it make? England has beautiful buildings that are almost 900 years old. And the Center was built in the 1980's, hello!
Someone mentioned: “A lot of people gave their life to this place. Their lives, integrity, gentleness; which has been abused.” We debated the meaning of the term “abuse”. Is it abusive to shout at an employee which made her cry for example? We believe it is the right word.
One alleged victim of mistreatment at the Trust said for a long time he felt shy to speak up. We cannot say what the mistreatment was but we can say it was not sexual. Someone commented: “A lot of people who are abused are too shy to speak up. You may feel embarrassed that you could have done something different.”
“I was never able to trust Nasser…There was so much unexplained as they were explaining what they had in mind and how they wanted to transform the place – it felt so untruthful…To this day, I don’t understand how the Trustees gave them so much power and entrusted them…"
Mr. GG joined Brockwood because of his long-term study of and interest in Krishnamurti’s teachings. He left Brockwood disillusioned because of Nasser and Mina’s alleged mismanagement.
He said he tried not to take sides. He became “very distrustful to people who were running the place [Nasser, Mina, et al]” because of “the way Nasser and Mina maneuvered themselves into this position of power...and the way people were treated and sidelined…”
He said that Nasser and Mina ended up in a most beautiful flat at Brockwood after firing Yannick who lived there with his family (see below).
Another witness said that Yannick asked Antonio why he had to move out of his flat. Antonio's answer was because he's the Director! Not even the courtesy of giving a reason to a man who was there for almost 20 years!! It makes sense because the reason would have been "because Nasser and Mina told me to evict you." Why? Because they want to move into your flat. So instead of saying, "Yannick you need to move out because Nasser and Mina want your flat", Antonio's answer was effectively, "Because I'm the director and I say so."
“Antonio became more authoritarian.” That’s interesting because I always felt an authoritarian flair to Antonio; and when his bosses are suddenly extremely authoritarianism, that gives him license to become even more authoritarian. Krishnamurti talked about this at length and even has a whole book named after it. You are the world, and the world is you. Management science scholars and professionals also know very well that the CEO sets the tone/culture for the entire organization.
Also, a witness mentioned another staff member in Nasser and Mina’s camp who treated her brutally. Their attitude reverberates in the organization and might send the implicit message that if you like your job, be like us or we will reward similar behavior.
There were factions within the organization, as Mr. GG said, who were accusing each other of corruption and taking advantage of the place.
Terms of the New Employment Contracts
Mr. GG is aware of human resources topics. He condemns the way Nasser and Mina were allegedly treating people. He found the new work contracts as outrageous. He contends that the new employment contract effectively stipulated that "people could be fired for any reason, at any time, without explanation, without recourse"!
Nasser, A Krishnamurti Authority Wannabe
During group dialogues, when "Nasser came in, he made it sound like he was Telling us about K. That he had understood the teachings, he had changed, and he's talking to us from a superior position".
Nasser was "quoting Krishnamurti left and right". Nasser told Mr. GG how he had "changed". Mr. GG pushed back that "you're still comparing the old me with the current me" -- the "me", sense of self is still there in you obviously, judging by your behavior! "Nasser got really really angry, irritated, defensive" (proof of Mr. GG's remark!).
Nasser, Raman, Gopal, Gossip
Part of his distrust in management was he could also not figure out what motivated Nasser and Mina. Early on, he said, Nasser seemed "to want to pull me into his inner circle". Nasser invited him for dinner and he went to Nasser's place. Mina was also there. Mr. GG was shocked how Nasser and his inner circle, including Raman and Gopal, were allegedly gossiping about people -- putting people down -- back biting -- and Nasser was allegedly showing a lot of hostility towards a lot of people. "I had very bad feeling about him in the beginning".
"Raman seems to be one of the main influences behind the whole thing" and that it would have been impossible for Nasser and Mina to have so much power without Raman's backing. At that dinner Mr. GG "didn't say anything. I guess they felt I wasn't going to be one of them". Mr. GG wasn't into gossip and finding unity with others by gossiping behind absent 3rd parties' backs. Having lived in the UK, this behavior unfortunately is tolerated in the UK. I can't stand it, and never seen it as such anywhere else. But I also know many British people who are too noble to get engaged in backstabbing others for fun.
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." A small minded, tabloid-grade exchange at Krishnamurti’s place, doesn’t do him justice! He spent a lifetime promoting noble ideas.
Raman, Gopal and Nasser were reportedly of the same gossipy mindset that evening, according to Mr. GG. I know this well, having been with Gopal in similar situations where I saw he got a kick out of gossiping about people -- which felt so awkward.
I have also had allergic reactions being around that kind of discussion where some of the same people were badmouthing others -- as a way of finding a common ground in the light of the opposite, and getting some kind of creepy joy out of it. Part of the shallowness of it is that when X gossips about Y in front of you to get a kick out of it -- it's likely that X will gossip behind your back too.