Michael Krohnen Harassing Lady Visitor to KFA Krishnamurti Library Ojai
"I'm so afraid of people even hugging me in case they touch my butt" ~ Victim of Michael Krohnen
This letter was sent to Board of Trustees of KFA by a very respectable lady who reported harassment and misbehavior by Michael Krohnen at the Krishnamurti Library in Ojai, California. Michael Krohnen used to cook for Krishnamurti. He was a very capable cook and wrote a book: "The Kitchen Chronicles: 1001 Lunches with J. Krishnamurti". But just as some others around K who thought just by being around K they become philosophers, Michael was no philosopher. He was loud and I've seen him irrational many times. He even assaulted me in the Krishnamurti Library in an unbelievable episode where a witness called him a fascist.
Krohnen assaulted me because he was trying to kiss up to a wealthy former Trustee, Diane White, who was an extremely bitter and negative person, whom three other trustees wanted to oust, and it led to some dramas, and I was a volunteer at the time and got involved in that by a Trustee ... long story .. and being a writer, I documented the facts, and Diane didn't like it, and Michael tried to suck up to her (she was wealthy) and assaulted me, totally unprovoked. He apologized later after I complained to the Trustees and he realized what a foolish, idiotic, illegal, vulgar act he's done, but he had done it. Krishnamurti remarked once that Michael was not very smart; which makes sense. But nevertheless, these people were in key public facing and decision making positions and ruined things. Michael was not the only not-so-intelligent philosopher-wannabe who had negative impacts on K's organizations such as the report of his misconduct below, by a lady visitor to the Krishnamurti Library in Ojai, California.
When someone leaves a K library crying because she was asked too many intrusive sexual questions by the librarian, Michael Krohnen who gave he unsolicited sexual advice -- that is not to be taken lightly. Of course it does not and should not reflect negatively on Mr. Krishnamurti himself because he was an absolutely excellent person with a high degree of integrity and responsible, ethical, moral conduct.
Also see the report on Diane White in my circular: https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/notes-related-to-the-work-around-j-krishnamurti-2008
And the report on Michael Krohnen assaulting me at the KFA Library "The Vulgar Librarian" https://www.rezamusic.com/writings/on-j-krishnamurtis-work/michael-krohnen-the-vulgar-librarian-at-krishnamurti-foundation-america-kfa
I met her and she shared this story with me. I didn’t believe it point blank but she seemed genuine and the subject was serious enough that I wanted to find out, if possible, if she’s telling the truth. So on various occasions I asked her the same questions from different angles and her answers were always consistent. She was pretty devastated, so I helped her in any way I could. Here’s the complaint letter she sent to the Trustees of Krishnamurti Foundation America (KFA).
COMPLAINT LETTER AGAINST MICHAEL KROHNEN
"My name is <>, I have a Bachelors with honors degree in chemistry, have had a professional career in the biotechnology industry, and have been a successful actress with starring roles in several primetime television shows.
I visited the old Krishnamuri library several times and found the librarian to be a courteous, respectful gentleman (I think his name was Doug).
I visited the new Krishnamurti library last year and met the new attendant, Michael Krohnen.
On several occasions, when I visited the library, Mr. Krohnen has made inappropriate, sexually explicit, disrespectful, vulgar remarks and he has touched my buttocks on a couple of occasions in a offensive act of total disrespect. His remarks and actions have caused me much emotional and psychological distress.
Furthermore, I feel he is disturbing and distorting Krishnamurti’s legacy by total lack of respect for the visitors to the library. His out of place comments might be appropriate in a strip joint, but certainly not at a Krishnamurti Library.
I have been in shock for the past few months and have finally found enough clarity to report these incidents.
The following is an account of what exactly occurred:
M Krohnen had called me on a few occasions at the beginning of December to come over to the Krishnamurti foundation now that I am local. He had my phone number from a business card he had asked for previously, he said he knows many people in Ojai and if they are looking for an actress he will pass on my information.
A day before Thanksgiving in 2010 I went to K library to meditate, I got out of my car and was surprised to see Krohnen standing there, he said the library had just closed, he moved towards me and hugged me and placed his hand on my bottom. I froze out of shock. He invited me to his Thanksgiving celebration for the next day and I told him no thank you.
A few days before Christmas I went to the library to meditate, before going into the meditation room, Krohnen said hello as he sat in his office and said before I leave he would like to speak with me.
On my way out he asked me to go talk with him. I said I’m in a hurry, also, I felt very uncomfortable because he had touched me inappropriately (as explained above). He yelled and said it’ll only take a few moments, I felt pressured and manipulated in going to talk with him. I also felt I should because he had helped me find a living situation previously. So I went to talk with him.
This is how the conversation proceeded:
Krohnen asked me “Do you have a boyfriend?”. I said yes, he’s on the East Coast. He said long distance relationships don’t work so you might as well forget about that.
MK: “Are you romantic? Because romance doesn’t work, It’s important to find a right match.”
MK: “Do you want to get married and have a child? marriage is only if you want to have children.”
MK: “Are you bi-sexual? He looked at me very curious.”
MK: “Don’t you like to have sex?” (At this stage I could not believe that I was hearing this).
MK: “Women need to have sex regularly. If a woman doesn’t have sex regularly it’s bad and causes psychological problems.”
MK: “So you are an actress? have you thought about doing nudity / porn movies? Would you ever go topless?”
I said “No.”
MK: “Why? Is that something you feel personally or is it because of your culture?”
At this stage I felt so much pressure that I wanted to cry. I am a visitor to the K library and I am getting unsolicited advice about frequency of sex, and being asked about pornography.
I asked: “Why are you asking me so many of these personal questions?” I was in total shock and felt violated.
MK: “Oh I’m just getting to know you better.” He shouted these words and threw his arms in the air trying to dismiss it .
I said I have to leave now and proceeded towards the video room because I had met a local schoolteacher who visits the library often whom I befriended, I went to say goodbye to her and told her what happened and I started to cry.
She was shocked and said I must report this to someone. She said that on a previous occasion she has heard Krohnen say some inappropriate sexual remarks in passing, and she added: “What he said about women having psychological problems if they don’t have sex regularly is nonsense.”
I went back on two occasions despite my reluctance to go back because of Krohnen:
Once visiting with a friend who is interested in K, as we walked in, Krohnen who was standing in the lobby of the library greeted us, he hugged me and put his hand on my bottom, I did not hug him back, the friend was watching.
He asked me what I was doing for Christmas and I said I have plans.
Krohnen had mentioned a gentleman by the name of Frederic [Friedrich Grohe] who lives in Switzerland and he is a philanthropist and would be able to help me with a loan, that he will be visiting in March 2011. Krohnen told me to keep visiting the library and he will ask Frederic for a loan for me when he visits Ojai.
In February I called Krohnen to see if Frederic was going to visit in march, he said to come over to the library to discuss it. I didn’t want to go, but thought it’s during the daytime, other people would be around and it’ll be safe. When I arrived the library was closed, Krohnen called me from the balcony and said to come up the stairs. He was about to make some tea for the both of us. He seemed concerned. He asked if I arrived alone. I said yes, he said that a man in a car identical to mine but with the roof red not black arrived 10 minutes earlier and was looking around. Krohnen recognized my car from before and thought I had arrived with a man. He said are you sure, he still seemed concerned. I sat on the chair outside the building upstairs, he went in and bought out two cups of tea, he then said Frederic has changed his mind and is not going to visit the library. I left after a few minutes, drinking the tea very quickly.
I never visited the library or the grounds again, nor do I intend to in the future. I would think a woman visiting a K library should be immune from sexually offensive physical contact which I was exposed to, and the extremely lewd, agonizing interrogation and remarks I had to hear.
I am considering all my options including reporting the inappropriate physical contact and harassment to law enforcement, discussing the case with an attorney to explore my legal rights, and making media contact, and whatever else is necessary to find justice and an appropriate resolution.
Please note that Mr. Krohnen should be asked not to contact me or engage in any form of verbal or physical contact with me.
I will not make my next move until I hear from you, if you reach me within the next couple of weeks. Please note, I do not wish to be contacted by telephone. You have both my email and postal address below:
- Email: <>"
THE LADY'S FOLLOW ON LETTER TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The lady wrote to the Trustee who was investigating the matter. Here's the key section of her letter:
"Additionally, there were a number of points that came up in our talk yesterday which were not addressed in my letter. For the sake of clarity, Iíd like to reiterate them:
1. You said you were concerned about why I went back there so many times. I did not go back there "so many time", just a couple of times, once with a friend who wanted to visit the place, and once because I did not want to give in to M.Krohnen's intimidation. But when he repeated his harassment, I stopped going there.
2. M.Krohnen kept calling me after I stopped visiting the place, chastising me about why I wasn't going for a visit or to the talks. The day before I finally decided to write and send the letter he called me two times.
3. My case is completely independent of Reza's. Reza was not the first person who suggested that I should write to the KFA after seeing how devastated I was. The lady teacher to whom I cried after M.Krohnen harassed me also suggested I should write to you. I met Reza through a mutual friend the day he was punched in the chest by M.Krohnen. We were both in pain and I told him my story, and he suggested that I write to the KFA, saying I would be helping you by raising the awareness of this incident to the Trustees. He even offered to relay the account to you because he knows several of the trustees. I decided to write to you myself.
4. I had to do something because otherwise M.Krohnen would surely do the same thing to other women. The lady teacher told me she's heard him make sexual overtures to other women as well, and knowing his sleazy personality I am sure he will continue in the same way no matter what.
She also showed me a version that she prepared to send to a newspaper. I don't know if she actually did. I know she was very disappointed about KFA's approach, and she was very disgruntled about Krishnamurti unfortunately but it's understandable and it happens when the public facing figure is a vulgar stupid man like Michael Krohnen.
In an email she wrote me: "I've endured too much and I have no respect for any of K's teachings or the KFA. I've suffered too much, it's already half way thru the year and it's still affecting me, for all I care they can burn, sorry if it sounds harsh.