“Chicken Donates Legs to U.S. Supreme Court”
Ms. Chick Pea, an Ameraucanas Chicken, donated both her legs to the Unites States Supreme Court to draw attention to the plight of chickens forced to lay eggs in a mindless environment in which all chickens are forced to think the same, dress the same, eat the same feed and breed with the same rooster.
True or fake? Upon further examination, Ms. Pea was found to be the favored pet chicken of a Newport Beach, California family with a spacious grassy back yard that she roams and pecks freely. She is a virgin and lays eggs under blue wooden lawn chairs.
Truth: there is a Ms. Pea, chicken.
Fake: the rest of the story.
Stories with this degree of veracity appear regularly in media. “Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership, online sharing, and Internet click revenue.”
My Buddhist teacher, Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz, was the target of fake news. It was written with the intent to mislead and to damage him and his reputation. It was sensationalist, dishonest and outright fabricated in order to increase readership and put misplaced authority in the hands of a few trolls and compliant journalists.
The fake news about Rama appeared in the 90s when there was no social media or platform for rebuttal. If someone was running a chop shop, that was it. You got chopped. Fake news is an old problem. History provides examples. Ramses, a 13th century pharaoh, spread stories and built huge statues of himself glorifying how he crushed it in “the Battle of Kadesh,” when in fact the battle was a stalemate.
Fake news is always distorted. What good or cool thing is out there that someone does not want you to know or learn?
In the case of my Buddhist teacher, the real news was and is that an actual, enlightened American person signed on to truly teach. He could fill entire rooms with brilliant golden light and bring 1,000 people to uproarious laughter while he filled the gaps in their being with bliss. He loved beyond comprehension. He was always teaching, and he taught creatively and brilliantly for as long as he could—for 18 years. He’s gone now. He said he was “crucified in the media.”
If you encounter distorted journalism about Rama and consume it, you will feel it. It feels sharp and discordant. Your eyes may burn. You may feel a bit queasy. You are feeling the egos and states of mind of the distorters. If you can, go take a walk on the beach or in the forest. Laugh off the fake news. In fact, read American Buddhist Rebel! There’s preponderance of bright and wonderful news in many places about Rama!
I hope for you that the light prevails. Ms. Chick Pea may even drop a light blue egg under the lawn chair for you.