It is difficult to address such complex issues in a short letter. We do feel serious mistakes were made during the time our organization ran its community, Kindness House. We feel profound sadness for the pain several former residents continue to feel. We're more than willing to spend time healing with any of those who would like to contact us directly, and we've made efforts to reach out to some of these people ourselves.
However, Matt Saldaña's article ("The two faces of Bo Lozoff," cover story, Aug. 27) contains countless errors, such as implications that HKF mismanaged funds. He states that HKF had $976,000 revenue in 2007 and spent only 26 percent of that on program expenses. As we explained to Saldaña, we've never had even close to $976,000 in available assets. That figure includes long-term loans payable to HKF over 30 years. Saldaña also claims that HKF reported no book publishing expenses in 2005 and 2006, though HKF's tax records show $35,467 and $74,352 for those years.
Most important, this article paints a radically untrue picture of life at Kindness House and of Lozoff as a person. We deeply believe in the work of Human Kindness Foundation and the spiritual integrity of Lozoff. For more than 20 years, HKF has offered free spiritual materials, along with unconditional love and support, to everyone who asks for it, including some of the most neglected, abused and discarded members of society. Many of these people consider our work—in particular Lozoff's books—truly life-changing. We are committed to continuing the work of HKF with love and goodwill, inspired by the example of its founder, Bo Lozoff.
Human Kindness Foundation Board of Directors: Sita Lozoff, Josh Lozoff, Pam Clarke, Catherine Miller, Katherine Paredes
Editor's note: PDFs of HKF's tax filings are posted in the online article; see link above.
I would like to clarify something mentioned in your article. I recognize myself as one of the women Bo Lozoff references. It is just as he said in the article: A day after my sexual energy work with him, I returned home and experienced intense bliss for over an hour as I sat in meditation.
The sexual energy work Lozoff did with me was pure, it was unselfish and it did not involve his personal sexual gratification. I am well aware that in this day and age some women could be frightened or offended by Lozoff's offers of intimacy. Sexual energy has been misused in so many horrible ways in our culture, so of course there is a tendency to be skeptical. What I experienced in the situation referenced in your article was the furthest thing from exploitive. It was tenderness of the highest order, a healing and sacred tenderness. I will be forever grateful to Lozoff for his willingness to risk so much pain and scorn to help me and others.
San Antonio, Texas
The writer is a member of the Human Kindness Foundation board.
The alleged misconduct by Bo Lozoff at the Kindness House program may have occurred several years ago. It is not clear what the report seeks to accomplish other than provide a means for a few people with real or imagined grievances to tar the reputation of a charismatic man who has accomplished much good for the most neglected, maligned and marginalized citizens in our country. That he readily admits to instances of indiscretion and inappropriate behavior, and that he and the staff saw that their experiment in communal living for parolees did not work the way they wanted, speaks volumes about his sincerity, honesty and willingness to critically examine his own role in problems at Kindness House. The small number of people relating lurid 'he said/she said' tales of sexual and emotional abuse at Kindness House are far outnumbered by those who have been positively touched and enlightened by Lozoff and the Human Kindness Foundation through the years it has been in our community. In the end, the Independent has established that Lozoff is a human being rich with the flaws, complexity and magnificent possibility that we all share. But we already knew that, and your exposé sadly does nothing save sully the real accomplishments of a remarkable, talented and deeply committed man that we are the better for knowing.