Posts Tagged With: fake personas

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

What “The Flintstones” shows up about Hollywood

I’m convinced that if you watch this episode of “The Flintstones” called “Dino Goes Hollyrock” you have everything you’ll ever need in order to understand Hollywood.
It touches on cosmetic surgery, fake public personas, seeing celebrities when they are “off” and understanding the importance of your real home and where you come from.
Here’s Dino in love with Sassie…
Dino vendo TVeditada (Custom)
Dino meeting Sassie on the set…
Dino and Sassy
Dino’s reaction to being told his tail is “too big” and needs to be “cut off”…
SASSY
Sassie showing her real self up…
Sassie Wig
Including taking off her fake eyelashes…
Sassie Lash
I bring this up because of last week’s Oscars. I know its last week’s news for whatever reason, my FaceBook feed is STILL full of annoying Oscar stories. For some reason people find it to be almost as important as finding a cure to cancer or a new, habitable planet…
 Even then, watching the Oscars is like watching a train-wreck, you don’t really want to watch it but try as hard as you may, you can’t look away either.
To me it reminds me of a really bad version of high school prom or graduation…
The prom scene from John Hughes 1980's classic "Pretty in Pink"

The prom scene from John Hughes 1980’s classic “Pretty in Pink”

Everyone dressed up in all their finery, and on occasion, hitting it out of the ballpark…
There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn...with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

There was only one woman ever who could rock polka dots AND stripes at the same time and that was Audrey Hepburn…with the help of French designer Hubert de Givenchy, towering behind her.

And at other times not…
Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case fashion  design)

Demi Moore caught the bike-shorts-are-cool craze in the mid-1980s. This is what happens when you allow actors to do something they are not qualified to do (in this case, fashion design)

Everyone is full of fake smiles and shiny eyes and air-kissing each other when in reality most of them want to get into a fight with each other. Everyone having to sit down quietly and politely applaud on cue, even for musical numbers you’d rather boo off the stage. I honestly don’t think I could have sat in that auditorium, with a straight face, without cringing especially while Bette Midler was singing “Wind Beneath My Wings”, probably the cheesiest song of all time. (I’m going to spare you and NOT put the video here since I classify it as noise pollution).
However, I do love it when something “off” happens and even for a millisecond, you see people’s true colours flash.  Like when the screenshot of squares of all the nominees appear with their faces and you watch them the second the winner is announced, and just for that 1/1000th of a second, you see the bitterness, the rancour and the disappointment before the congratulatory smile appears.
Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. Chin up Dude, you're in good company which includes Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck.

Poor Leo, always a nominee, never a winner. (Chin up Dude, you’re in good company which includes Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton and Barbara Stanwyck)

You really can’t hide things for very long, no matter how hard you try.
You also see the politics of the Hollywood establishment come out as well. I mean English actress Vanessa Redgrave was persona non grata in some Hollywood circles after her remarks about “Zionist hoodlums” back in the 1970s. (Honestly people, grow up.)
La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud

La Swinton wearing a scarf designed by Bella Freud as featured in Vogue magazine

So I was very happy to see every girl’s current crush, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch photobomb the likes of U2.
Here you have, one of the most mythic rock bands U2, all trying to look serious and dignified, sucking in their cheeks, posing with their best angle for the camera and suddenly you have this  Tin Tin lookalike Jack-in-the-Box, springing up out of nowhere, just stealing their thunder completely.
Ben

Ben

Tin Tin

Tin Tin

To me, it showed that this guy has a very, very keen sense of humour and is able to see through the whole thing completely. He knows it’s a game and he’s not taking himself too seriously while he’s playing it. That makes him instantly cool and very rare in Hollywood terms.
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Dear Tracy Tabernacle, Not only is your baby brother an “old soul” as he was rightly referred to by one of his drama teachers, he’s also a beautiful one. Please help him to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground, his heart in the right place and all the star-dust from getting into his eyes too much.
By every account, he's a really nice guy.

By every account, he’s a really nice guy, a good guy. (Photo: Helen Rushbrook)

Dear Ben, should you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and filming at Mel’s Studio and getting tired of hanging around film industry types, there are a couple of great pubs in town we can go to for a burger and a pint because I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts on the following: why there is a dearth of plays from the Continent being put on these days in the English speaking world? Excluding Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” which has been done to death, it would seem that the plays of the likes of Schiller, Pushkin, Lessing (esp. Nathan The Wise) and further afield, Tagore, can easily be updated to a modern setting, modern dialogue and modern scenes. The themes are universal enough and anyone can relate to them. Why do you think there is a bias? About the Iffland Ring, Bruno Ganz deserves to hold it, but I’d wager that Klaus Maria Brandauer would be a close second; What do you think? Ben Whishaw in “Bright Star” or Noah Taylor in “Flirting”? If you could meet Wim Wenders and ask him a question about “Wings of Desire”, what would it be since I understand that’s one of your favorite films? I chatted with him once about the film and we ended up talking about Rainier Maria Rilke and how Rilke and Plato may have subconsciously influenced him in writing that film.
The poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

The mystical German poet Rainier Maria Rilke influenced Wim Wenders in no small part.

I’d also like to compare notes on the following with you: You walked away from death 4 times,  so did I (I’ve only written about 2 of the 4 times). How did you feel each time you did? My first reaction is to get angry. I understand your great-grandfather was consul general  in Turkey for Queen Victoria. My grandfather worked directly with all the Governors of Bengal during the 1930s under George V. Incidentally, how did you like teaching English to the Tibetans? I taught English to the Turks for 3 years and loved it. I know you love doing extreme sports, (so do I, albeit in smaller doses) and enjoy going to rock concerts (I’m usually in the front row at any show involving Radiohead, Depeche Mode or Arcade Fire) so I understand the adrenaline rush-thing from these sorts of activities but how do you balance that need at times particularly in light of the enormous amounts of quiet concentration and study needed when preparing for a role?
Lastly, I’ve never made Banoffee Pie before, which I know is one of your favorites. However, my Strawberry Tiramisu (which I make with shavings of Toblerone chocolate, custard pudding, ladies fingers, Bailey’s Irish Creme and fresh June strawberries of course) has been known to induce mania.
Give me enough notice and I’ll whip up a batch for you.
Cheers Dude!
Strawberry_Tiramisu_hero-5e2be19a-22c0-492b-837d-1cb4859fbd23-0-472x310
Categories: Politico, Pop culture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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