by Kathleen Stilwell
December 15, 2016
Earlier today, as I read an excellent article about the ‘fake news’ controversy by Ryan Cristian, I was reminded, once again, of the fake news story generated by some of our very own truther community.
This irresponsible false-news story shut down the work of a man who was working side-by-side with many other truth seekers, all of whom had spent countless hours setting up websites, organizing conferences and writing books with the intention of waking up the masses and taking back our world.
A crime was committed here by the manufacturers of this make-believe news, resulting not only in the banning of his work but in driving a dagger right through the heart of a sincere human being.
If you aren’t familiar with the Zen Gardner story, see Ole Dammegard on Zen Gardner to hear the basics on what happened.
What a surreal and ironic event that was. And oh how the ironies continue.
The current fake news brouhaha that we are reading about everywhere is linked with the real news exposé about rampant pedophilia within the highest levels of government circles, not to mention the Catholic Church and other religious organizations.
The fake news that targeted Zen involved his early years in the ‘cult’ Children of God. There are videos and articles around the web wherein the COG leadership is accused of promoting pedophilia.
False reports about Zen started when one of Zen’s so-called friends “revealed” to the world that, because Zen had been a leader within one segment of COG he, therefore, must have been involved in everything dark within that international group.
Some within the truth-seeking community went berserk with spreading this bogus news about Zen as a pedophile. Those who attempted to hold off judgment until Zen could share more about his background were then vilified as pedophile protectors.
Zen, a lifelong truth seeker, walked a path which admittedly took him through a strong mind control system of religious belief. Stepping out of that tunnel vision, Zen began to share everything he unearthed, stumbled upon or could figure out about our reality and how it was hacked (reminding me of the absolute dedication of David Icke and others who openly and honestly adjust their message as further clarity is gained).
In the events that followed Zen’s “exposure”, he became the victim of a powerful propaganda package — a combination of bits of truth, wild exaggerations, and total fantasy. And this word-weapon was fired off again and again, “going viral” as is said today, repeating a message that was intended to generate fear, spread self-righteous views, and to contaminate the readers with judgmental energies.
Again, Zen was not just a backwoods writer like me with a handful of readers. Zen was big time. He was sought out, promoted and pushed up the ladder of success in the world of so-called alternative news celebrities. He had a popular book on Amazon, You Are the Awakening. Zen’s writing was (and, I imagine, will continue to be when he chooses to share with us) an evolving work of expanding awareness and challenging questions.
I didn’t always share Zen’s perspective, but I appreciated his intelligent voice that added so much to the call for us all to “awaken” and to question everything we’ve ever believed to be true.
All the big name “wake up” websites had posted his work regularly, and as I understand it, many of the owners are his personal friends or, at least, friendly acquaintances.
Where were all of these friends when the fake shit hit the fake fan? These website owners all followed suit in what must have been some sort of communicated suggestion and removed Zen’s writing from their sites.
I sense many were simply waiting things out to see if any of the allegations from the sensational story would stick. Not everyone ran the gossip-based stories, but many carefully distanced themselves from Zen by removing all of his previous work from their websites.
I do get it. We all get it. This is our sad, current “reality”. Personal reputations and business incomes were on the line. The role of awakener has turned into a livelihood for many. This control-system-mandate, requiring us all to pay to live on our own home planet is a dilemma for all of us.
And, besides, what if we had been wrong about Zen all along?
No one wanted to risk being tied to a pedophile.
If you were in a situation where you saw a man suddenly surrounded by people chanting “pedophile”, what would you do? What if this were your friend? An acquaintance? A stranger? What if you didn’t particularly like this guy?
Would you step in to help him — insisting on calm, clear examination of what was true — or freeze in fear that these triggered order-followers might come after you?
Zen’s attackers weren’t satisfied in just getting his work erased from sites all over the web. They also hacked Zen’s own website repeatedly so that he was forced to shut it down. These abusers spread accusations everywhere, causing Zen’s amazingly popular Facebook account to be shut down. They left negative reviews (which didn’t review the book but only pointed out that he’d been “revealed” as a pedophile) on Amazon about his book, which previously had a solid five star rating.
I’ve been told that someone had gone so far as to contact authorities about Zen, making any and all movement or travel for Zen very risky for a while. All of this incredibly cruel behavior spawned from the hearsay stories, presented as truth, written by people Zen thought were his friends.
As all of this was unfolding, my instincts told me something was very wrong here in the way Zen was being treated — as if he’d been caught in the act of an evil crime and should be driven out of town or even hanged for his deeds — so I decided to dust off this old blog site and start posting many of Zen’s older articles, including some that I didn’t fully resonate with, but found some value in.
I didn’t know Zen Gardner (although we have communicated via email since then), but I read all the articles claiming to reveal Zen’s dark secrets and found absolutely no evidence within any of these articles to support the hideous claims they were making.
Instead, what I saw and felt in those articles was a betrayal of a trusting man’s confidence and unexplainable mean-spiritedness, and in some cases spiritual arrogance. To share a counter viewpoint to an “open letter to Zen Gardner” that was spreading like wildfire, I then wrote Another Open Letter to Zen Gardner.
During the following months, I received lots of private messages with links that supposedly proved Zen was a monster. Some came from people who claimed to have worked closely with Zen (in the role of “follower” or “admirer”) and now just couldn’t let go of the feeling that he was guilty of “something”.
Well, let’s get real here, folks. Who isn’t guilty of “something”?
I looked at every link and read every article that people sent, even when they included notes with vile language or personal attacks labeling me as a “pedo protector”.
Like most of us, I was horrified by the abuse that occurred within COG, a cult I don’t remember even hearing of during my “seeking” days in the 70s. But those were crazy times, with new “families” and groups popping up everywhere with ideas about how to save the world.
Like most of us, I have cognitive dissonance on the subject of child abuse, and regarding evil in general. I was sickened by the things I read.
However, even though there is certainly a scandal and a horror story here, none of the links had anything to do with Zen Gardner.
It was no different than learning someone is/was a Catholic and then researching pedophilia and child abuse in that church.
And, it was no different than finding out that someone had been part of the military and had participated in acts of aggression against other countries/people, blindly following orders because they believed they were really protecting their friends and family from enemies who were out to destroy them.
In both cases, we have sincere human beings, doing their best to be true and to be brave. The fact that they have not yet awoken to how their love and courage are being completely exploited, does not make them criminals. It simply makes them blind. It makes them mind and heart controlled.
Obviously, we’d all agree that being a Catholic does not make one a pedophile.
Having been a member of COG did not mean Zen and every other member of that group were pedophiles. Just as occurs within the Catholic organization, I’ve no doubt that many “devotees” were shocked when they encountered such behavior, and felt deeply torn between loyalty to their God/faith and the need to speak out against their deviant leaders. I’m imagining many did find the moral courage to speak out. I certainly hope so.
I personally witnessed emotional and physical cruelty/abuse (not pedophilia) by priests and nuns when I was a child in a Catholic school. I remember thinking that God could not be my creator if these extremely mean-spirited people were the ones closest to him.
However, most of us know Catholics who are kind-hearted and sincere, holding on to their “faith” even if they hear stories about abuse within their leadership.
This turning a blind eye to unconscionable behavior is exactly how “faithful” people behave. If you were raised in an abusive environment, you will recognize the behavior of protecting the abuser out of “love”. After all, family is family — and religious “families” have invisible, controlling gods as parents, with self-appointed representatives to lord over the family while the gods are hidden away.
Religion is, without a doubt, a form of mind control which often makes otherwise courageous people passive. Patriotism is a form of mind control which can make an otherwise kind person do unspeakable things.
If romantic love causes us to have major blind spots in reference to the object of our affection, then devotion to a “superior being” and belief/faith in words that are said to have come from that god’s mouth are even more blinding.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have held beliefs in the past that we would now consider false, or even crazy. As we grow and liberate ourselves from shackling thought, we become different people. Never again would we be able to even consider thinking within the limited confines of our old paradigms.
So here we are. Months have passed since the shocking “reveal” about Zen Gardner took place. Not one shred of evidence was ever produced to link Zen with the horrific deeds that he supposedly condoned and participated in. NOT THE TINIEST BIT OF EVIDENCE.
Websites all over the map have since silently “re-appeared” Zen’s writing. Yet I haven’t seen one public apology. Is it now enough that we’ve restored his old writings after we allowed the irresponsible public declarations of a few drive him out of town?
This silence surrounding the silencing of Zen has me baffled. What are we waiting for?
I’m sure we are all aware of the recent event where vets asked forgiveness on behalf of the military for historical abuse of our Native Americans. I’m sensing a need for something like that to happen here.
Perhaps one of those successful website owners will step forward and say something like: “I’m so sorry, Zen. This should never have happened to you. You’ve given us an opportunity to look at our own community here. Never again will we let an unsubstantiated tabloid-like sensational story, with the potential to harm another human being, manipulate us the way this one did. We promise to be more vigilant. We promise to be more self-aware as well as more aware of our community as a whole.”
Here’s something from the article I mentioned in the first paragraph:
“So they sit on their high horse, casting down judgement on those who do their due diligence and actually look at the evidence of a story prior to passing judgement. They do all this with confidence because they … didn’t read the evidence? How does that work? For one to blindly trust mainstream media, with story, after story, after story, coming out showing them caught in a boldface lie, usually at the behest of their corporate masters, is just irresponsible.”
Rewrite that, replacing mainstream media with alternative media, and that pretty much sums it all up. We need to own this. It was irresponsible. It caused harm. Serious harm. It happened right here on our own watch, in our domain.
Where was our requirement for due diligence in the case of Zen Gardner? Those who accused him spoke with absolute confidence, just as the mainstream media always does as they read lies off of teleprompters. These fake news writers used all the right buzz words and included language of spirituality, language of self-awareness, language of psychology, the language of mysticism. They linked in articles and videos that had nothing to do with Zen but were sure to trigger anyone who had ever been abused or had ever witnessed abuse (every single one of us).
This was one very masterful attack of calculated fake news with no connection to the truth. But as Cristian says in his article “they continue to jam that square peg into that round hole, truth and integrity be damned.”
All of us who are wired correctly are heartsick at how this morality play unfolded.
We are better than this. At least I’m certain many of us are. Please, dear community of truth seekers, let’s set this thing right.
This article may be freely shared as long as the text is unaltered and the original author, Kathleen Stilwell, is clearly identified with a hyperlink back to the original article.
About Kathleen Stilwell
Kathleen is a dreamer, researcher, and wonderer — in awe of the transforming power of vision, courage, kindness and imagination.