by Kathleen Stilwell
Born Outside the Box blog
December 15, 2016

Earlier today, as I read an excellent article about the ‘fake news’ controversy, The Tide Begins to Turn: Joe Rogan Talks Pizzagate, Breitbart and Hastert by Ryan Cristian, I was reminded, once again, of the fake news story generated by some of our very own awakening or truther community.*

This irresponsible and cruel fake news story shut down the work of a man who was working side-by-side with many other truth warriors, 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 horrible crime was committed here by the creators of this fake news. Yet there was a more serious crime involved here than the banning of his work. This fake news story pushed a dagger right through the heart of a beautiful, 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.

Fake news 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 love-and-light community ate this up and went berserk with fake news about Zen as a pedophile. Those who attempted to aid Zen in presenting the truth, such as the Conscious Consumer Network here and here, were then vilified as pedophile protectors.

Zen, a lifelong truth seeker, —  who shared 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) — became the victim of a huge pack of lies.  And the lies were repeated and repeated with suggestions 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 enlightened celebrities. He had a best-selling 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, challenging questions, and deep compassion for all of us.

All the big name “wake up” websites posted his work, 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 fake news story would stick. Not everyone ran the fake news on their sites. Many just read it elsewhere and removed all connection with Zen.

I do get it. We all get it. This is our sad,  current “reality”. Personal reputations and business incomes were on the line. What if we had been wrong about Zen all along? No one wanted to risk being tied to a pedophile. If one of your friends was suddenly surrounded by people chanting “pedophile”, what would you do? Would you step in to help him/her — 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 understand 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 FAKE NEWS stories created 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 attacked, so I decided to dust off this old blog site and start posting everything from Zen that I could find. 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 fake news 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 plain old mean-spiritedness. Some others were simply works of spiritual arrogance. I then wrote Another Open Letter to Zen Gardner.

So here we are. Months have passed since the BIG FAKE NEWS REVELATION 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 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 fake news writers to 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 a fake news 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. None whatsoever. 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 warriors, let’s set this thing right.


12/16/2016
Some very thought-provoking comments are coming in. Thanks to all who take the time to share here. See below.

12/17/2016
I was contacted by one of the Zen attackers today, asking me to post his “alternate view” on this blog. When I chose not to (he had plenty of exposure during the witch hunt and he does have his own blog where he can, and does, shout out his opinions to the world), he sent another note informing me he was going to post on his blog that I am a shill because I won’t post his opinions here. I get it that Zen offended him at some point, but that does not make Zen a pedophile or a monster.
This is my blog.  I do not have to post anything here that does not ring true to me, and certainly not just because someone out there will have a tantrum if I don’t.  Now, if he was providing evidence to prove I am wrong about Zen — and I mean actual evidence, not just flimsy conjecture mixed with a lot of sour grapes — then  I would post something about that.
I don’t have an internet reputation that he can ruin. I’m not building a business or a following here. I have no affiliate links to any books written by authors, so there is not a penny earned from this site. I only post things that have meaning to me and I post when I feel called to speak the truth. That’s exactly what blogs are for.

12/18/2016
* Several people have questioned the idea that there really is an alternative news group or awakening community that can be defined. I would agree with them. Each individual is experiencing whatever this awakening is in a different way. While the mainstream media seems to be under one control system, the alternative media consists of all sorts of ideas and perspectives, yet stands in contrast to the group-think of the mainstream. The alternative media then, is just a sea of people questioning the reality we’ve had defined for us since birth. Overlapping those who question reality, are those who are attempting to redefine reality with new belief systems patterned after the same old false hierarchy that must come down. There is a mixture of political, spiritual and you-name-it-it’s-out-there views. There are also lots of segments to the “truth movement”, with areas of expertise and, of course, areas of disagreement. I sense that the majority of those who were hit with the “reveal” about Zen Gardner were just perplexed. Most have remained silent. Most of us have never met a pedophile (or, if we did, we were  not aware at the time), so how do we identify one? We can’t without serious investigation and without being willing to face it straight on without needing to to hide because we have been triggered. It’s so curious that this awareness of pedophilia has suddenly become so huge. It is a global dark secret that just can’t be hidden  anymore. The unveiling, the apocalypse is certainly here.