(ZG left cult in 1999 at 49, so he must be about 65)
A prominent member of the conspiracy community, Zen Gardner,
aka Don Ferguson recently "came out" as a former member of a notorious satanic sex cult.
My reader who wishes to remain anonymous feels he's getting off too easily. "Forgiveness is wonderful, but when it's premature it's enabling," she writes.
I agree that it's incredible that for 27 years he didn't know exactly what was going on. It's incredible that no one outed him.
(Disclosure- ZG virtually stepped into my spot on Rense.com after my break with JR. I don't hold that against him. I had promoted him to JR but Jeff was turned off by the name "Zen." I don't follow his work now. I am posting this because it is discussion and newsworthy. ZG's confession is courageous but was it foolhardy? Is it complete? ZG is repentant. Should his readers forgive and forget?)
Latest from anonymous- Just came across some of the front covers of the brochures put out by "The Family" over the years. Naturally every member undoubtedly saw them. How could Zen's eyes have beheld these and his spiritual self not rebel? Here's a peek
This article refers to recent revelations by Zen Gardner and the consequent sweeping it under the rug by many prominent alternative news sites. Some also made excuses for him. For those unfamiliar, Zen Gardner's website is a kind of a combination of conspiracy investigation and new-age hopefulness.
Mr. Gardner, who has many followers, recently revealed that he spent a good portion of his adult life in the cult known as "The Children of God" which later became known as "The Family." It is a cult of pedophilia.
The last stages of the official group were the very worst, where child abuse was taking place as a result of very deviant sexual "revelations" from the "Prophet". So many were appalled and started planning their escapes, but many were caught in the snare and many innocent children, teens and young adults were abused. I was aware there were incidents and went after abuses in the area I was supervising. But I had no idea of the extent it was going on in top leadership and specialized "training centers", the horrific details of which I later learned about like many others have in the documentaries and books covering detailed incidences which are available on line. Brace yourself, there's some very nasty, tragic stuff.
(left, the leader David Berg.)
But why didn't I grab my family and jump on the first bus out of there and blow the whistle on the whole sham? Another carefully planned obstacle was the fact that my children were scattered in other locations and of course no one had any money so that was another control tool and I was in the middle of Brazil. Still, it's no excuse, just explaining the circumstances, as the system was tightly controlled.
I have lived with deep remorse and shame for what I participated in and my gutless lack of conscious response. That many of these child abusers still run free is a travesty. I contributed to cult exposure efforts while inside and following my exit but I certainly could have done a lot more. Fact was, I wanted distance from it, as fast and as far and as soon as possible. I needed recovery as did my family and loved ones.
To allay anyone's questions the answer is no, I never participated in any form of child abuse, except being part of a system that was tolerating and even currying it at inner levels. That I own up to, as well as the fact that the training and hierarchical system had become regimented and extremely abusive as well.
Unfortunately ZG is sugar coating his confession. A friend of his did some research and discovered "The Family" is a satanic sex cult. She was horrified at the free sex, pedophilia and incest that takes place. The grisly evidence is presented here.
WHY THE ACCEPTANCE?
But I have been asking myself, who's protecting Zen Gardner, and who's not? Protectionism is not just about politics and countries; it's also corporate and stinks of cronyism. Where is Jeff Rense, where ZG's column appears? David Icke has written only that his connection to ZG was incidental. Shame on all who do the shielding!!
The main point is to expose Zen, not out of hatred, but for the children, and for Zen, as well. To not be enablers to any of this; let's not lose focus of that. Children everywhere are falling victim to this devastating dominance/torture. There is not enough remorse or compassion in Zen's response to all this. By remorse I refer to him involving himself in a pedo cult and helping to advance its agenda.
You can't be almost 50 years old (which he was at the time of his departure from the cult) and have invested most of your adult life (he joined at age 22) in an enterprise and not understand its M.O., especially if you rose to the top to become a leader within it. What exactly his contribution was to this cruel debauchery is not clear, but if he really wants to make good on his reputation (and his soul), he should dedicate the rest of his life to preventing pedophilia and exposing all who perpetrate it, especially cults that have kids trapped. He said he'd do something like that, but he's going to have to get a lot more humble and honest.
Because many still look up to him, I am hard-pressed to not hate, yet I work on that. But this abuse must be more fully addressed and somehow arrested. As far as trust goes, sorry Zen, maybe next life-time. Trust is hard-won. And to all those who would excuse him or cover for him or are stuck in some kind or hero-worship of him... please, just ask yourself, are you really helping him or humanity by not demanding something more from him, something that really shows he understands what he was part of?
Two links explaining more:
Below are some quotes I extracted from Zen Gardner's reply. Notice how he beats up and puts down those who require truth and accountability (us). And more than enough kettle/black. Can't believe how so many look up to him and am really upset with those who are covering for him by not covering this issue or by making excuses for him. Forgiveness is wonderful, but when it's premature it's enabling.
Here are the quotes, bold highlights mine:
"...I have no need to defend myself."..."It really doesn't matter."
"They have their issues to work out just as I do."
"We seem to need someone to go after to release our rage and indignation, as well as fear. Witch hunting and the inquisition are examples of this..."
"I won't bend or back down, there's no reason to. Some want more details and more grovelling, an attitude is insatiable and extremely misdirected and coming from an unhealthy place as far as I'm concerned..."
"It's not easy finding out who you're friends really are and having people you intimately trusted turn on you...
...it's not me that put myself on a pedestal nor ever said I was perfect; it's people's projections."
"...I give it my best shot and don't sit on the sidelines criticizing those who act."
"And for those with a morbid fascination for details and think I owe it to them, you need to do some serious self examination. ... But I don't owe you anything, you're again coming from a very perverse and misguided way of thinking."
"And if this offends anyone, tough." "I'm a very free man, free of guilt and shame, and owe no apologies."
It would be so interesting if any who knew Zen during his involvement in Children of God would somehow surface and tell more of what his involvement consisted of. Also, many of the commenters on the "Replies" article and "The Missing Years" article are slamming those who are "judging" him. It always gets to me when someone plays the "Do not judge" card. When Christ modelled that it did not mean we're not supposed to have opinions about right or wrong. I think he just meant don't judge a person's eternal soul or destiny. He certainly was able to speak up about what he disapproved of. Turn those tables, baby!
Thank goodness some are speaking up. Here are some comments I liked:
>> Zen, I cannot believe that you were a victim here for all those years. I wrote about the COG years ago and never lost my feeling of utter disgust at their practices. You, Zen, are a strong intelligent and creative insightful man and, as one who does understand the cult mindset, I say where there is a will there is a way to escape. If I had had even a whiff of such things going on around my family, I would have gotten the hell outta Dodge. You had options but chose not to take them or do what was right at the time. Your mind was not that weak and gullible; I do not believe that for a second. I question the level of scruples of your readers who are so understanding as if your writings of matters metaphysical undoes the damages done to those you interacted with (or did not help) in those euphemistically titled "lost years". Would they be so understanding were their family members effected? I can only hope you are on a healing path, Zen. But for now, I am disillusioned to the core with this. I know my weaknesses full well and they have NEVER included endangering the innocence of children.
>> ...the entire tenet of the COG and the pivotal foundation of this vile cult was built on physical or sexual abuse of one kind or another. These abuses included paedophilia and incest. All this wrapped up in a package disguised as religion. This was hard core abuse , not just" Flirty Fishing" which in itself is disgusting. As Zen was a leader in this cult and a press officer whose job was to represent the COG in as favorable a way as possible, to imply that he was unaware of this abuse is beyond belief. ... I fail to understand how any parent could place their children in any kind of danger and especially something involving the whole gamut of abuse. Even the faintest possibility of harm to a child is every parents greatest nightmare. The urge to nurture and protect our children is apart from bearing those children our greatest biological imperative , it should over ride any thing , including any kind of disgusting perverted ideology . If I thought that anyone even had the thought of abusing my children in any way , I would do them huge physical harm and gladly go to prison for it.
>> Oh I just couldn't leave. Apparently he knew when to leave the country and blame it on how fucked up America is. He should take another look in the mirror before he starts putting the blame elsewhere. I'm not perfect. But I would never molest a child..Nor would I standby and let it happen if I knew it was going on.
>> To hear that someone they felt was trustworthy reveal he was a leader in a cult that was notorious for its depraved sexual practices is not only devastating but is perceived as a terrible betrayal , and to see the comments on this thread taking the stance of apologist for something they know is unforgivable must be a further insult to their suffering. This really isn't about the agendas of an internet community but is about real life and how terrible deeds done against real people have an effect that can corrode and destroy their very souls...
Love can heal, but it needs the truth to come first.
I think we'll see more surface over the next few days. I'm asking myself what I expect to get out of this. Well, aside from the hope that exposing more about pedophilia will somehow help arrest it there's the hope that Zen will own this more, show some real remorse, and take a job in a soup kitchen for two years. Do something very humbling and get off a self-created pedestal built on a lie or omission. And yeah, as ever, I need to do better in my own life with my own procrastinations.
Anyway, tip of the hat to all those who are willing to shine a light on this debacle. For the children, for all of us.
First Comment by Dan "I can say that forgiveness must be preceded by genuine repentance. We cannot know if someone's repented, only they and God know."