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Book Takes Aim at Late Guru With a Worldwide Following : Author whose mother had affair with spiritual leader shows a picture of a self-indulgent, hypocritical life.

July 28, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It's becoming a cliche. World renowned guru plays role of holy teacher while indulging in all the follies he condemns. Greed, love affairs and extravagant living is how Radha Rajagopal Sloss describes the lifestyle of Jiddu Krishnamurti in her book "Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti." She writes that her American mother, who was married to Krishnamurti's best friend and business manager, carried on an affair with the spiritual leader for 20 years. The charismatic Krishna, who died in 1986, attracted devout, often well-heeled, followers all over the world, and many of them were enraged when Sloss' book exposed his dissembling, hypocrisy and manipulation. The author, a Montecito resident, will talk about the years she lived in Ojai with Krishna and her parents at 7 p.m. Friday in the Ventura Bookstore, 522 East Main St.

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Anyone interested in meeting and talking with Harry Ashmore, a man who for 50 years was part of the civil rights movement and wrote about its political history, can do so at 7 p.m. Friday at the Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St., Santa Barbara. Ashmore's 14th book, "Civil Rights and Wrongs," is his personal account of the racial politics of America from 1944 to 1994. As editor of the Arkansas Gazette, Ashmore won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished public service in the Little Rock school integration crisis. He came to Santa Barbara to participate in the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions; served as editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia Britannica; and currently sits on the executive board of the Committee for an Effective Congress.

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Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, continues to play host to authors of adventure mystery novels. K.K. Beck will sign "Electric City," her third novel featuring chief investigator Jane Da Silva, at 6 p.m. Friday. . . . The plot of Catherine Dain's "Lament for a Dead Cowboy" includes homicide and heartbreak at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering. She will sign her book at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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"Combat He Wrote," written by former Oxnard resident Lt. Col. Charles Hudson and Venturan Ross Olney, tells the story of Hudson's exploits as a World War II bomber pilot and his adventurous life after the war. In his dedication, the old warrior writes, "To my wife Mary, who endured all my reckless energy, never making a single complaint in our 49 years of marriage. Her patience and understanding allowed me a lot more freedom than I deserved. She spent most of her life raising our two fine sons. Her dedication humbles me, and now I am aware that I should have tried harder." Author acknowledgments are often worth studying. The book is available at Ventura Bookstore or by calling (800) 458-8531.

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