Spiritual Con-Artistry and Chicanery (Note: HIGHLY disturbing content and NSFW links and information)

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Long-time readers of this blog will know already how much I despise fake gurus, fake spiritual teachers and phoney spiritual “celebrities”.
Well, it would seem that a certain internet-based New Age guru has been exposed in the past few days. It happened on Philosopher Stone’s blog and it quickly escalated to other sites across the internet, particularly in the alternative research community.
Quick background: Zen Gardner ran his own website , and was quickly gaining recognition in the alt research community, exposing the New World Order, paedophile cults, Satanic cults, secret societies, etc.
Then Steve Seymour dropped a bomb on his Philosopher’s Stone’s blog the other day. It turns out Zen Gardner, aka Don Ferguson was a 27 year member and leader in the Children of God cult from the ages of 22 to 49 and left the cult in 1999.
For those of you who don’t know, the Children of God was and is a notorious California New Age cult which started back in 1968 and quickly spread across the world headed by a known paedophile named David Berg. Berg was a psychotic, insane and perverted man who among other things, advocated incest, sanctified prostitution known as “Flirty Fishing” and rampant pedophilia among its members. The litany of things which the Children of God were involved in is beyond horrific and if you have the stomach to watch the many documentaries on Youtube  about the cult including survivors’ testimonies or read the documents, you’ll quickly understand how insane David Berg was and how the cult attracted deeply damaged or equally crazy people to say nothing of the incalculable amounts of damage the cult did to people who were in it.
David Berg and a "Children of God" member.

David Berg and a “Children of God” member.

I’m not going to go into the back and forth between Zen Gardner and Steve. If you want to know the exact details and chronology of this fallout,  I suggest reading the following articles and links in this order:
1) Zen’s convoluted and nebulous “confession” full of vague remarks and no concise details.
5) Steve releases some of his emails with the information where Zen admitted his deep involvement with the cult.
6) Steve is posting reactions from around the internet on Philosopher’s Stone’s homepage
A few things, right off the bat.
1) Don Ferguson fessed up to his involvement in this sick cult only AFTER being threatened with being exposed. Otherwise, he would never have mentioned it
2) Berg died in 1994. Ferguson left the cult in 1999, a full five years after Berg’s death claiming that he wanted to change the organization ‘from the inside out” 5 years is plenty of time to clean out  an organization or disband it completely as a high-ranking member, which he didn’t do.
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On a personal note, it was Zen/Don Ferguson who helped put me on the blogosphere radar screen. Someone had posted one of my first blog posts in the comments section of his website and the next day it was in the headlines section of Icke’s website. I used to read Zen Gardner’s website on and off after that but then about 2 years ago or so, his old, crunchy, granola home-made cobbley website suddenly got a massive upgrade and became super-professional, polished, full of sponsors  and rolling ads. Money was definitely coming in from somewhere. The energy had changed completely and not in a good way so I stopped visiting it.
Not only that, but I just didn’t find his writing all that insightful any more. It was the same old, same old “The world is undergoing a shift, so are you, hold on to your hats”, mixed in with New Age pabulum and flowery feel-good lingo. Like an internet personal coach, full of fluff but no practical or sound advice.
Then Zen Gardner was suddenly all over the internet, being interviewed on other people’s shows or podcasts, a flashy new book, he was suddenly some New Age alternative researcher celebrity. Definitely not as big as David Icke or Alex Jones , but on his way. Getting a Youtube channel and even a book called ‘You are the Awakening”. Zen was invited to conferences all over the world as a speaker or panelist and he had his own group of followers on his website. Because Zen was very good at writing and articulating certain ideas, his website was very popular with newbies, people just coming out of their shell and looking around for writers/thinkers who can explain to them what the hell was happening.
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There’s a bigger issue behind all of this: How does one discern a real teacher or spiritual guide from a  fraudulent one? It seems to always boil down to this with these kinds of stories. It’s not just Zen Gardner, Marc Gafni, Bikram Chowdhury, John Friend, the Children of God, the Rajneesh movement, going to Wanderlust or some equally idiotic gathering like SpiritWeavers or any of dozens of other examples.
Um, it doesn't work like that...

Um, it doesn’t work like that…

The bigger problem here is that there is a genuine spiritual hunger out there. How does a person who honestly doesn’t know any better, discern the real from the fake? People are looking, sometimes genuinely, sometimes with less intensity, but looking for *something* nonetheless because whether you want to admit it or not, spirituality and the search for profound meaning to our lives is as much a part of the human condition as looking for food to eat, a safe, warm place to sleep and a friend to talk to. Unfortunately in a fast-food market-oriented world like ours, it means there are millions of fakes out there willing to sell their fake wares and fake teachings to the person who never developed any sense of discernment.
It's not real!

It’s not real!

Organized religion has failed, globalization means that teachings which were once inaccessible are suddenly at anyone’s fingertips, there’s the problem with cultural appropriation or the misuse of sacred teachings and paraphernalia by people who either don’t know what the hell they are really talking about or deliberately distorting original teachings to suit their own agenda and inflate their pocketbook. Don’t believe me? Its even hit the shamans of Siberia with shyster Russian “spiritual teachers” (from 3:38 –  5:14)

I admit, I have also had my run-ins with fake teachers and guides and the damage they can do to a person can be huge and take years to recover from. Instead of helping to bring you forward a few steps, they can actually push you back a few meters. One unfortunate thing I have noticed is how deep down inside, many people don’t actually want to make decisions of their own but prefer being told what to do, what to think and how to live. It’s easier because someone has done the blueprint for them already. It’s terrifying for some to completely break free and do things on their own and forge their own path. It’s too hard.
I wish I could offer a few rules and guidelines to help folks discern real teachings and teachers from fake ones, I can’t. I can only offer what I’ve observed so far.
1) Never accept anything and everything at face value. Do your research. Ask pointed, uncomfortable questions
2) You have a brain so use your critical thinking skills. I may follow a few writers or teachers whose writings have inspired me but that doesn’t mean I completely agree with them on absolutely everything they ever wrote.
3) Don’t ever do anything which makes you feel uncomfortable. Listen to your FEELINGS. Just because your 75 year old male guru tells you to get naked with him and slip into the hot tub to receive “secret teachings” or “initiation”, doesn’t mean that you should do it.
4) Don’t mistake genuine ethnic origins with genuine teachers. There are a ton of shady guru-types in India and shamanistic types in South America who prey on white people’s ignorance of their cultures. Just because someone is brown and from India doesn’t automatically make him an authority on ALL Vedic teachings.
5) Keep a track of all inconsistencies in everything which you’ve noticed in what they do and say and question them on it. If someone starts getting hot under their collar and perceives your questioning as being confrontational, that’s a red flag right there.
6) Run for your life when someone asks you to invest a huge amount of cash to join their movement, to give all your stuff away to them, tells you to break off all your friendships and family connections to join their group
7) Keep a close eye on your teacher’s own life, personal habits and lifestyle. I would think twice before taking advice from someone who preaches about the importance of health and hygiene yet smokes like a chimney and lives in a pigsty.

(Please watch this video from 50:00 to 58:00 to see what The Children of God cult does to people)

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Categories: Ch-ch-ch-changes, Conspirio, Politico, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “Spiritual Con-Artistry and Chicanery (Note: HIGHLY disturbing content and NSFW links and information)

  1. Linda Sama

    nailed it!

  2. searchingforfernando

    Bravo! I have been waiting for someone to expose Zen Gardner for years. Like you I found Gardner (via Rense) while his site still looked homemade. I read it for a few years and even found your site via his comments section. After the first few months I became leery because of his hatred for religion, the fact that he always wrote about people speaking freely, yet he tightly controlled his comment section, and that he had Shirley Maclaine as a “guest writer” – a woman who, aside from Oprah, has done more to disseminate harmful New Age lies than any other. After his sudden glossy remake of his website I stopped reading altogether, but I continued to monitor his disturbingly fast rise to fame.

  3. kezalu

    What this whole thing has done for me is to remind me that the best guru you can have in your life is yourself. This whole Zen/Don conversation has reminded me to turn the computer off and get outside in nature, the garden, go for walks and let the answers come to me, as only the best answers ever do. You don’t need the internet, you don’t need a leader and you don’t need to follow anyone. Trust only yourself. Make your own decisions. Listen to your intuition.

    I think I have spent far too much time, recently anyway, crouched over the computer scanning through pages and pages looking for the elusive answers to unknown questions (in other words I don’t know what I’m searching for half the time.) The turning point came recently when I saw David Icke live during his Australia tour. The energy was tangible and captivating and I was far more focused on the information presented than if I’d watched it on line. I had a wonderful time just waiting IN LINE talking to the most interesting, like-minded people. We have lost the art of thinking for ourselves, from making judgements based on what is tangible, like communicating the old fashioned way (gasbagging to people who walk past my house when I’m out gardening, always a treat), connecting with REAL people, being out in the fresh air and sunshine, or even the rain and the fog (which has its own rewards if you let it.) Thank you, EER, for bringing this to my attention. I needed a good swift cosmic kick to remind me that stagnating in the house with the electric heater and a bright screen can be short-circuiting to the soul.

  4. searchingforfernando

    I’m having to write my thoughts in two comments because the library computer just cut me off.

    After I went through a 180 degree life change in 1990, I was briefly sucked into the New Age movement. Thankfully, it lasted just a little more than a year, before I woke up and realized that the New Age was a dangerous dead-end. It was only later that I learned that it was designed to be just that. After being burnt, I became very cautious about spiritual ideas, so I guess I have the New Age to thank for developing super-discernment. I can add a few more red flags to what you wrote:

    Avoid any teacher charging money – which includes using their websites to shill products. If they are charging they “don’t get it”. if you “don’t get it” you are not a teacher, rather you are still a student. Another reason to avoid “readings” for money is that anyone charging for readings, no matter how great their natural talent may be, are open to being used as channels to promote harmful misinformation. Demons are constantly around us here on earth, just waiting for opportunities to spread lies. Anyone charging for readings does not have the protection from demonic influence of the info they are transmitting (their vibrational field is too low to keep demons at bay). In fact, there have been famous psychics who only had their gifts because they were under the influence of a demon.

    Avoid any teacher who comes out of no-where and shoots to fame in a manner of months. The New Age is totally controlled by the NWO who chooses to promote those who will sell their souls for fame and fortune. These folks will suddenly be hyped online by many different sources. The best teachers get their students by word-of-mouth. In these difficult days when the NWO controls all sources of media, one rule of thumb is, if the teacher is famous, they are a fake.

    Last of all, birds of a feather, flock together. If you can’t find any info on a teacher, pay attention to WHO or WHAT is promoting them. Discernment is the watchword in these troubled times.

  5. evolution0117

    Brava … the rapid proliferation of so-called gurus with little to no check and balance in this time period is startling … when I met my yoga teacher’s guru a few years back, I sensed something unsettling and immediately backed away … We have to trust ourselves even as we seek the truth … I agree with an earlier post where the reader says look inside, look inside, look inside … our true nature is to love, give and share NOT to steal others’ ideas, hearts and lives and make them believe as we do … (the Taliban and ISIS are dangerous shysters … do not be deceived) … we cannot turn toward violence and hate to pierce through this … only through the true belief that the greater good exists in each and every one of us and to return to our child-like roots where we didn’t judge by religion, color or creed can we stop being prisoners of this information-saturated, quick fix era. The great Gurus preach peace … Dalai Lama: “kindness is my religion” … why is that not enough? why do we have to put something more into that?

    • searchingforfernando

      Kindness may be the Dalai Lama’s religion, but it does not seem to give him the discernment he needs. He is a member of the CFR, and has been used by them as a puppet for a long time. He either is being duped, or is working willingly. Before I learned this I used to wonder why he had Hollywood degenerates as friends. Mother Teresa (one of my heros) was also used by the NWO, however, she was never a member of the CFR. Perhaps she was duped, or she realized she had to play the game to get money to support her genuine, almost 70 years,of unceasing good works. She was a controversial figure in the West, and came in for a hellavalot of criticism, which bodes well for her real intentions. On the other hand, the Dalai Lama never seems to get any criticism in the West, and is rather treated like a living saint.

  6. Sarah Reis

    Hello EER, As always thank you for your insight in sharing truths….One quote I have always related too, is one I read from the book by G. I Gurdjieff another false teacher of sorts, but I do like a quote his father shared with him at a young age and has always suck with me, goes like this;

    The teacher is the enlightener; who then is the ass? You can post this if you like.

    Peace D.

    ________________________________

  7. Cool. The part about the seekers is deeply sad… because if you have to build trust and letting go for a spiritual practice, you also have to to watch out for predator… And ruthlessly destroy them. (If that last part is not applicable for you, it is for me.) 😉

  8. Phil

    Great article! Well done!

  9. For the Intolerants

    Great piece EER. I don’t have much to say with the exception of a few words on the following:

    1) “Run for your life when someone asks you to invest a huge amount of cash to join their movement, to give all your stuff away to them, tells you to break off all your friendships and family connections to join their group.” >>>>> Pretty much sums up ALL organised religion (traditional, New Age, etc.).

    2) “One unfortunate thing I have noticed is how deep down inside, many people don’t actually want to make decisions of their own but prefer being told what to do, what to think and how to live. It’s easier because someone has done the blueprint for them already. It’s terrifying for some to completely break free and do things on their own and forge their own path. It’s too hard.” >>>>> Totally. Nailed. It.

  10. Pingback: FE Activism: Calling Out All Alt Media to Shut Down Pedo Zen Gardner Site for Good | Plane Not A Planet

  11. Pingback: The Zen Gardner Deception — Outed As A Pedophile Cult Leader – The Modern Gnostic

  12. It’s a long video but this guy pretty much nails it.

  13. Pingback: An Open Letter to Don Ferguson a.k.a. Zen Gardner – Piercing the Veil of Reality

  14. Eyes Open Now

    Met Zen in person & was put off by his arrogance & behavior of “being on a pedestal”, guiding us, his peers. Did not like his anger & dislike for Christianity & Jewish people. He was hypocritical in his behavior & words.

    I hope he will be held accountable for his crimes in this cult. The arrogance & self-righteousness of this cretin that robbed children of their innocence & felt no need to apologize. What a soulless, narcissistic jerk! To pervert God’s Word while treating children & people as a means (sexual satisfaction, lust, etc.) instead of as a end in themselves is the ultimate sin. What an incredibly sick man who needs psychological counseling. Financially, Zen/Don or whomever he really is, should be held liable, for counseling for the victims of The Children of God cult.

    Is he still living in Punta Del Este, Uruguay or is he now on the run from the law?

    His lies are evident by his 27 year involvement & rise in the cult. Never even was honest about his time in the cult as he tried to act like a victim. Zen should try telling that to the REAL victims of his cult’s perversion & warping of God’s Word. Zen is the ultimate fraud & con man. Glad his website has been permanently shut down.

    • Last I heard, he had left Uruguay after his marriage ended and was spending time in the Netherlands and Spain. I have no clue (nor care) about what he’s up to now.

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