“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
– Edmund Burke
By Steve – Philosophers Stone
I received some devastating news last week from a close friend, a healer who had been taken into the confidence of the well known and respected author, speaker, radio host and interviewee commonly known as Zen Gardner. A few days earlier, after he’d told her that he’d been a member and leader of a cult for 27 years, not knowing anything about the cult, she did some research. What she discovered over the next few days had traumatised her to the point of physical illness as she began to understand the depth of abuse and cruelty to children practiced by the organization and tried on her own to come to grips with the fact that her friend Zen had immersed himself in it for almost 3 decades.
We should have known
Despite his personable appearance, this wordsmith has left devastation wherever he has been. Several well respected alternative community champions, dropped him because they felt that “something was not right”, while others, including some very well known and celebrities on their own merit haven’t yet got close enough to him to witness the dark side of Zen because it’s masked with a joyous good guy facade. The truth is much darker, as I will reveal.
I have witnessed a couple of the “falling outs” between friends of Zen’s and always tried to stay impartial, not taking sides, but staying friends with both parties. When they’d escaped “the cult of Zen” they felt a huge sense of relief, as though a great burden had been lifted, though not knowing exactly what it was – they couldn’t quite put their finger on it.
What could I do?
After reading the e-mail in which Zen disclosed his involvement in this sordid organization, and talking my friend through the anguish and cognitive dissonance she was experiencing, my first action was to do some research. What was uncovered is shocking and made me so angry and ashamed that I too could be taken in by what turns out, in my view, to be a monster in disguise.
I knew I would have to bring this to the public arena, but what could I expect as a relative unknown in the alternative community (I always preferred to work behind the scenes, digging into the reasons and solutions behind the chaos wrought upon humanity at the hands of the psychopaths and their sycophantic servants). After all, I would be facing off against the established guru and cult leader, Zen Gardner – and his avid fans.
Twenty Seven Years
Currently going by the name of Don Ferguson, but known to all on the internet as Zen Gardner, he had joined the “The Family”, which later changed its name to “Children of God”, at the age of 22 to escape an abusive childhood. There he was to remain for 27 years working his way up the ranks to become a leader and a teacher in the notorious cult.
Zen always blames his youth – but 27 years…
Zen says he was 22 when he joined. Do the math: 22+27 = 49. Forty nine, and Zen paints the picture of youthful naiveté. You grow in 27 years, unless the conditions of the Cult with all of its abuse suits your soul… or lack of.
The conditions there appeared to have served him just fine, and being ‘promoted’ as a leader in the totalitarian Cult – not just a benevolent OUTSIDER (as Zen paints himself to be in his written disclosure). A leader in a controlling hierarchical environment where everybody has something on everybody else.
So I’m very sorry to have to ask this:
Zen – how much paedophilia did you witness in your 27 years? And yet you stood by and even participated in damage control.
How much abuse did you partake in?
It is simple Cult mechanics Zen, and you should know that, and so you are trapped by your own logic – the logic of ANY Cult.
This is so far out there. He paints himself ONLY as a lone hero trying to clean it up from the inside.
Attacking the man
I’m not out to attack the man. I could reveal personal data, simply to hurt him personally, but that’s not my aim. My aim is to reveal the horror and perversions that this cult were responsible for, and to get you to consider whether this is the sort of person you should trust… and to ponder if you too have been taken in.
Ask yourself if you would leave your children or grandchildren in the care of this man for an hour while you had to go out? That’s all I say. I’ll cast no aspersions, tell no lies, make nothing up. I have judged and made my decision.
I will point out though – that you don’t get to be a leader and teacher in such a sick and perverted cult and stay for 27 years without at the very least being aware of the modus operandi, teaching and enforcing the doctrine and by his own admission, having to “share the love” and deal with the jealousy of having his partners do the same.
Being responsible for promoting the cult and limiting the damage to its public reputation doesn’t come across as victim-hood to me.
Zen may well have “turned over a new leaf” and he continually refers to “shit in his past” and that “it’s brought up some heavy stuff” and “coping with issues”. That’s for his fans to decide. However in order to do that they need to, know where this (in my opinion and the opinion of several others) fake love and light, self promoting narcissist’s motivations come from.
How do you approach a subject like this to someone you’d considered a friend
The quote, often seen around the internet, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” rang foremost in my mind. I had to confront the man. I tried to get him to reveal his shameful past without telling him the extent of what I already knew, wanting to protect the initial source as much as possible. But after he failed to open up, I emailed Zen with an ultimatum – either he’d come clean, confess what he’d revealed – or I would do it for him. I felt the fairest thing to do was to give Zen a chance to explain himself – in his words, even though I (and others that know him who I subsequently spoke to) thought “the wordsmith” would try and paint himself to be the hero – and/or play the victim card.
His halfhearted attempt can be found here http://www.zengardner.com/my-
Of course, as you’d expect all comments on Zen’s site are vetted before publication. Only positive comments make it through and the very few negative ones are set up to be shot down by what appears to be previous cult members or loyal fans that haven’t done the research.
I know it’s a huge and disturbing revelation that may well have repercussions around the web for a while. I may be hounded off the web for daring to challenge such a well respected personality. But If not me – then who else? I have nothing at all to gain except the knowledge that I stood up in the face of vile darkness. Who else would be willing to take on the Children of God cult, with its thousands of members that remain today, albeit under different names after the perversions, mental torture and suicides came to light and they were forced to flee from one country to the next, every few months?
I would have thought that if Zen really had “turned over a new leaf”, he would be leading the fight to pursue the scattered remains of these paedophile perverts that teach children to “service adults” – but does a leopard ever change its spots ?
As if to rub salt into the wounds – here’s a quote from Zen himself at the end of one of his articles…
“Please, be a voice for truth and sanity. Make your conscious, loving and caring presence known for the sake of the suffering. Speak up and make a difference. Our future and that of our children and fellow humans is at stake.” – Zen Gardner
…Fake love and light, hiding in plain sight.
Some links and information appear below for those that want to do a little research on the cult. But be warned – some links contain sexually explicit images and ideas.
More links and excerpts
While going through this information, bear in mind that the job of the leaders was to make sure that the flock obeyed the doctrine handed down from Berg through his ‘Mo Letters’ and other propoganda.
Mo Letters — Series of more than 3000 publications by David Berg
David “Moses” Berg (aka “Dad”), the group’s founder and leader until his death in 1994. The son of American pentecostal evangelists, Berg was a nymphomaniac who had been sexually abused as a child. He preached the virtues of free-for-all sex, including paedophilia and incest, under the guise of religious observance, and advocated sex with – and between – minors. His only caveat was the assertion “as long as it is done in love”. – from http://www.xfamily.org/index.
“I practise what I preach. And I preach sex, boys and girls,” he wrote in one of his “Mo Letters“, doctrinal writings that governed every aspect of cult members’ lives.
“The Family” is still going strong, despite Zen’s claim that they’d disbanded way back…
- Fronts — Organizations behind which The Family has previously or currently operates
Brazil (where Zen said in his article he was based as a Leader for a long time)
In the orgies mentioned below, children also attended and were encouraged to participate…
The Family found an oasis in Brazil, and has flourished there despite past negative publicity by the Brazilian media. In the past, members expelled by other countries would often flee to Brazil, where the cult was extended liberties not granted elsewhere, thanks not only to Brazil’s highly permissive society, but also to the unrestrictive laws on freedom of worship.Though the AIDS epidemic caused the cult to cut back on some of its controversial sexual practices elsewhere in the world, in Brazil things continued unabated into the late 80s. One example is the GAFMs (General Area Fellowship Meetings), in many cases little more than large bacchanals, with three days of wine, group sex, erotic dances and other debauchery, in which disciples of all the greater area homes participated. These orgies were prohibited in other countries of the world around 1983, but in Brazil the practice continued until near the start of the 90s. Videos of the GAFMs remain as a reminder of the “good times.”Rio de Janeiro is the center for The Family’s lucrative audio and video recording and duplicating operation in Brazil. The cassettes and CDs are duplicated by professional studios like RCA and GEL, then sold as though they were legal, though the group pays no taxes and gives the materials fictitious numbering. The Family has enjoyed great success in selling its literature, videos, and audio tapes to unsuspecting Christian churches and schools in many parts of Brazil.In Sao Paulo, group members go “provisioning” among businesses to acquire donated goods to supply the material needs of members in outlying regions. Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, is the cult’s operational center for all of Latin America. There, the elite “World Services” teams translate restricted-access Disciples Only literature from English into Spanish and Portuguese. The material is then printed, packaged, and shipped to each of the group’s homes in South America. The exact location of the highly-sensitive World Services homes is not known to average members or even to lower-level leadership.
Good article by a woman who spent 15 years inside – http://www.xfamily.org/index.
What characterizes the COG? Sex.From earliest infancy, the cult’s children are taught the basic principle of sexual freedom. Children are encouraged to stimulate each other sexually and to take part in sexual acts with adults. In the past Moses David has vehemently denied that incest is practiced among them on the pretext that, legally, the word requires actual penetration (which is not permitted in the Children of God, since this could hurt the little girls). But everything else is permitted, and the fathers are free to lie with their little daughters to “play,” and the mothers to maintain sexual relations with their little boys.This kind of perversion permeates COG literature. One of Moses David’s recent children’s books — Heaven’s Children — depicts him making love with his “wife” Maria and his stepdaughter Techi in the same bed. (We also have the testimony of his eldest daughter, Deborah, who wrote of his advances toward her, and of his incestuous relationship with another daughter, Faithy.)The COG also published a book, The Story of Davidito, which features photographs and descriptions of Moses David’s stepson, Davidito (then three-and-a-half), engaging in a variety of sexual acts with little girls and adult women. It is noteworthy that the “education” given this boy is offered as an example to all the members of the group.
I know these things by grim experience. In my own home, all the upbringing I gave to my children was cut off when the new leadership arrived. “They’re not yours anymore, honey,” my Shepherdess told me.
My little ones were introduced to the “delights of sex.” At our COG home in Dallas, the bedroom where my husband and I had slept was vacated and turned into a children’s dormitory. At night, under the supervision of an obliging adult, the children between three and ten years old said their prayers and were separated into their beds by pairs — to make love before going to sleep.
Once I found my oldest son all alone, crying. “The girls don’t want to make love to me,” he sobbed. I started to talk to him, but the Shepherdess brusquely swept me aside, knelt beside him, and explained: “You have to be more aggressive, David, and take the initiative! Then they’ll like it and want to make love with you!” My poor seven-year-old — so shy and withdrawn.
I pity the poor parents who dare to rebel against these practices, because rebellion against the group’s thinking, or against the leadership’s decisions, is considered a dangerous act of treason — and is severely punished.
The consequences of such practices have been disastrous. Because one third of the COG’s second generation is now between 12 and 18 years of age, promiscuity has become rampant, along with the problems which obviously follow. That is why they have created the “Teen Ranches” — which are, in truth, simply centers for psychological recovery and indoctrination.
Another tragic consequence of total permissiveness, and of idolizing physical beauty, is the rejection of the girls who are less-endowed, fat, or ugly. Despised by the boys and taunted by their girlfriends, they become so shy and withdrawn that the adults accuse them of harboring evil spirits and punish them severely.
Girls are taught from the time they are little to submit to anyone who imposes himself on them sexually, to dress and behave provocatively, and are instructed in all the techniques of how to satisfy a man. (I am speaking here of little children between the ages of three and twelve years old, not of women or teenagers.) The little girls are encouraged to dress and act “sexy.” From the time they are small they perform strip-teases and dance nude for the men, receiving applause, whistles, caresses, and kisses. They are also invited to sit on the men’s laps and “play” with them.
Two or three nights a week, in homes with many children between eight and eighteen, there is “sharing time” — that is, the leaders organize who will have sex with whom, just as it is among the adults. Moses David tried to eliminate this practice for children of reproductive age due to the danger of early pregnancies, but without success: the snowball grew as it rolled down the mountain, and the only means they found to get around the problem was to marry these kids legally in order to avoid problems with the authorities in the worldly “System.”
The situation became so serious that at one point almost all nonmoneymaking activities were halted so they could dedicate themselves full time to reeducating their young people, who were so engrossed in sex that they had lost any notion of reality.
New literature was prepared exclusively for the indoctrination of this second generation raised in the “Family,” and thoroughly saturated with its practices. Intensive teen recovery courses were given, the so-called “Teens’ Training Camps,” or TTCs, during which the young people answered extensive questionnaires that revealed weak points in their education and indoctrination.
The girls responded almost unanimously that their greatest trauma was that of sexual sessions with their own fathers, or with other older male members, who physically imposed themselves on the girls with threats that if they refused they would be considered rebellious. Pressured by their fathers, by their Shepherds, or by other influential members, these poor little girls (many of them between five and ten years old) submitted themselves to various kinds of sexual relations, including group sex, for fear of being punished and reprimanded — or at least ostracized. Only after these questionnaires was sex with the children discouraged, though not forbidden outright.
Nevertheless, nearly all the educational literature for children and young people is still sexually oriented. (Heaven’s Girl, for example, is about the adventures of a teenage girl with supernatural powers, and of her FFing [i.e., sexual] conquests and adventures.) In fact, a large section of one of the books most read to children tells of the adventures of “Grandpa” (Moses David) in heaven and in the spirit world, parts of which are little more than breathless descriptions of his sexual activities with deceased girls from the group.
Maria, Moses David’s consort and the group’s de facto leader, is quite concerned about the children’s educational situation, and it was thanks to her that certain sexual excesses practiced among the little ones were cut off. Maria encouraged the formation of schools and homes specializing in child care, and was the “brains” behind both the recovery centers for teenagers and the prohibition against unrestrained sex with outsiders.
After a virtual epidemic of incurable herpes, various homes for herpes carriers were founded so the illness wouldn’t spread any further. The use of condoms — forbidden as a means of birth control — was permitted, and FFing was brought under greater control. With the advent of AIDS, sex was further restricted to internal members, with the important exception of “fishing” for influential men and women. The use of condoms eventually became mandatory, as did AIDS testing for all internal members every six months.
Good short video expose – young woman who were born into the COG and what happened to them growing up:
60 Minutes New Zealand: The Children of God — Transcript and video of news program, broadcast 2005-08-22
Deceivers yet true — The Family’s policy on deception
Techi’s Life Story (Berg’s granddaughter): http://www.xfamily.org/index.
Females were expected to prostitute themselves – and all girls over 12 were considered adults and therefore ready for full intercourse. Think… Zen’s daughters. Any refusal led to extreme ‘discipline’.
Flirty Fishing (FFing) was a form of religious prostitution practiced by the Children of God/The Family cult from 1974 until it was officially discontinued in 1987 (due, in part, to the AIDS scare). Its etymology can be traced to Matthew 4:19 where Jesus says “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Flirty Fishing was a subset of The Family’s love bombing activities and involved the use of sexual attraction and intercourse to win converts and favors. Female members were told to be “God’s whores” and “hookers for Jesus”, and soon after its launch as a method of witnessing, sex was given to complete strangers in combination with a request for a “donation”, or for a required fee in line with Escort Servicing (ESing) or freelance ESing. FFing and prostitution was widely used as a way to raise money for the cult and resulted in many of the second generation births (known as “Jesus Babies“). Internal Family records from 1988 indicate that over 223,000 “fish” were loved sexually between 1978 and 1988.
Category: Sexual Abuse
After David Berg‘s infidellity with Karen Zerby, The Family International became sexually liberal in a drastic way. Berg’s obsession with sex and deviant sexual taste is well documented (often by himself, as he published his fantasies with his mother, step-daughter, and nearly any female he knew).
In a 1980 internal Family publication, Berg instructed his followers that:
Sanctioning these paraphilia caused a significant amount of sexual abuse to the second generation.
CHILD BRIDES!—By Father David DO 902 4 April 1977
1. I THINK THE TEENAGE YEARS WERE WHEN I NEEDED SEX THE MOST! Isn’t it ridiculous though, that it’s just at the age when you need sex the most that it’s the most forbidden? You can get away with masturbation somewhat when you’re younger, but to have sex together with the opposite sex at the age of puberty & throughout your teens when you need it the most is virtually either forbidden or made impossible!
2. NOW WHY DID GOD MAKE YOU NEED SEX SO MUCH AT THOSE AGES UNLESS IT WAS HIS WILL? You’re the strongest & you’ve got more sex drive during your teens than almost any other age. I’ve said before that I think the Lord must have been in favour of marriage at about 12 or 13 because you’re first able to have children at that age.
3. AT THAT AGE YOU’RE ALMOST THE HOST IDEALISTIC OF ALL. I think I was the most puritanical & idealistic with the highest ideals & the noblest aspirations & the most pure at that age of any age. I abstained from girls all those years, although I’d either have wet dreams or jack off much of the time.
4. BY THE TIME I GOT IN MY TWENTIES I FINALLY FELL FROM GRACE & absolutely had to have a woman! (Maria: And it’s one of your greatest regrets that you didn’t fall sooner–?, fall harder!) Well, I sure would have if I’d had a chance! I remember I did a lot of kissing & I always got hard. I’m sure they could feel it.
5. I THINK A LOT OF IT WAS LACK OF FAITH, lack of courage, & of course most of it was inhibition.–Inculcated indoctrinated hardline training inhibition, that it was wrong & that I shouldn’t do it–how sad! I hope all of our young kids have plenty of sex. I hope they won’t have all those frustrations, inhibitions, phobias, neuroses & whatnot from sex deprivation demanded by the System!
6. IT’S A PERFECTLY NORMAL APPETITE like any other appetite. It needs satisfaction just like any other, & you really really really get frustrated if you can’t have it. You can get such guilt complexes, too, for having any. But why did the Lord make you able to have children at the age of 11, 12 & 13 if you weren’t supposed to have sex then?
7. I WASN’T ABLE TO HAVE THE REVOLUTION WITH MY CHILDREN UNTIL I WAS NEARLY 50 because they weren’t grown enough yet to help me. We could have had it ten years earlier if I had gotten married ten years sooner at 15! I would have been a whole lot younger & stronger & we would have started turning the world inside-out much sooner!
19. IN INDIA THEY OFTEN HAD CHILD BRIDES AT SEVEN YEARS OF AGE! They can get married at that age! Then they could do all the fucking they want without having to worry about any kids until they are 12 years old! (Maria: And by that time they’ll for sure be ready for some!) They teach & train young girls to be mature & have jobs & do housework & cook & clean & care for children.
20. THE VERY RICH SO-CALLED HIGHLY CIVIL-ISED & HIGHLY EDUCATED WESTERN CULTURE IS ALL SELFISHNESS! They want to keep their children. They know if the children have children of their own, they’re going to soon want to leave home & have their own home,& they don’t want them to do that. They want to keep them at home, but they’re too selfish to have their grandchildren & have to support them & help take care of them!
Jeremy Spencer (well-known musician)
CAUTION: This article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse and may be disturbing for some readers.
In one of his reports, he noted that Merry Berg alleged that Jeremy Spencer sexually abused her when she was 9 years old:
Statement by Davida Kelley
In February 2014, Davida Kelley described how Jeremy Spencer began sexually assaulting her at age 7 and his violent beatings of her 2-year-old sister:
Heaven’s Children Ch.21, “Grandpa Goes to Earth”
Editor’s Note: Christina “Techi” Zerby is Berg’s stepdaughter and below is his published fantasy of having sex with her and her mother. Techi was eight years old at the time of publication.
The Devil Hates Sex!—But God Loves It!
M & M Mail! – Lovemaking: Father & Daughter
- Category:Physical Abuse
Category: Physical Abuse
David Berg favored authoritarian discipline and often advocated harsh physical punishment to deal with a variety of alledged spiritual ailments.
His exemplification of physical abuse in cases such as that of Merry Berg as well as his consistent exhortation of corporal punishment resulted in systemic adoption of corporal punishment within The Family that was quite often physically abusive.
The Family’s official position on beatings was not favorable toward physically harmfull punishment. With the advent investigation by social workers in various countries beatings that left physical evidence were ultimately forbidden.
However in numerous Family Publications Berg’s own use of corporal punishment was harsh and his missives to his cult following was often vehement and verbiage about spiritual battles was often violent in metaphor and practice, a position that translated into over-eager physical punishment meted out to the second generation for many years.