A 1999 New Zealand Best Seller.
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List of other works I have done below.

STATE SECRETS was published in 1999 by at the Howling at the Moon Publishing in 1999 by Ian Wishart one of the lead journalist in the Wine Box Inquiry – the first in depth examination of New Zealand’s role in the dirty world of global finance.
It became an instant best seller and rose to number 2# on the New Zealand non fiction best seller market. This is despite what Scoop Media called a “media black out” of the book by the major media outlets.

My Publisher at the time fumed in an open letter to TVNZ “If you think the allegations in Paradise 2, or State Secrets [written by a former New Zealand soldier, Ben Vidgen] are flaky, then have the courage to test your best researchers against myself and Ben Vidgen. “Give us an hour on Crossfire and let’s see who emerges unscathed ..” Oddly they never took up the challenge mores the pity. It would have made great TV.

My crime? Daring to write such heresy that New Zealand had major corruption issue one that began at the top. Gangs were stock piling military style weapon and right wing supremacists and other militant groups were tapping into an arms market the authorities refused to admit existed to access weapons.

I dared warned of the rise of mass surveillance and the dangers of free trade, long before we had heard of the TPPA or Edward Snowden. You will be amazed at how many of the people I write about in this book, twnety years ago, have companies listed in the now published Consortium for International Investigative Journalism Paradise Papers data base.

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Roberts and his famous black beast.
The only media to publish Neil Roberts cocaine bust was Rocknroll magazine Ripitup.

To be fair what I was to expect in a nation were the head of TVNZ, CEO Neil Roberts, got busted on the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1995 with a kilo of cocaine in the back of his legendary black Porsche and never did a day in jail.

My prognosis was this was in part because corruption in New Zealand began at the very top and partly because New Zealand’s disastrous decision to embrace neo-liberal (right wing) politics.

Something I believe Labour is still doing. Because the major parties National and Labour were (and are) so busy chasing the all mighty dollars, trading butter for oil for guns, they have lost sight of were Crown business should end and were big business should have its limits. In State Secrets I wrote that in the future we would be in deep trouble.


Because the New Zealand authorities were unwillingness to investigate organised crime, money launder.

Because they ignored the warnings, concerning drug importation, big business fuelled white collar money laundering and organised crime from offshore parties (as given to them by US and Australian law enforcement agencies in the 1990’s).

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Magnitsky, Cameron Ortis, Sinoloa Cartel, SP Trading Ltd New Zealand Wachovia Bank, NZ Five Eyes buddies are not happy.

Because our security service had a habit of looking the other way when those involved were linked to New Zealand security allies, who were up to no good in New Zealand and our back yard. Even when what those ‘allies’ where doing was not even by the book in their own home nations own oversight process. Something I note now has the US intelligence (leak city) itself concerned. Namely that New Zealand has being compromised to its core and behind the scene this very factor is now causing BIG!! dramas behind the scenes. With New Zealand dirty money at the very centre of that particular shit storm.

Which again is something STATE SECRETS and my later articles called a long time ago, as I focused on the Russian money laundering (and later the Mexican cartels) kiwi links now causing a huge brew ha in Washington. Unlike most authors who are not trained in counter intelligence ( an euphemism for spook hunting) I understood the real enemy at hand was not external but internal.

I wrote my book because I wanted people to understand we were living in a news age, witnessing the death of nation states, were espionage, organised crime and terrorism, went way beyond the traditional scope of national borders. Thus outsourcing national security to corporate strategic partners and intelligence assets (operating out side state confines and oversights) meant opening the oyster shell wide open and exposing it to the very worse of these new geo-political toxins and the destabilising forces that came with them.

It would lead in New Zealand’s case to the evolution of a professional criminal class. One expressed on the streets via an escalating drug problem and the emergence of never before seen ultra violent armed gangs. I forecast accurately we would see as result increased destabilisation in the Pacific and the evolution of domestic terrorism, hate crimes, housing issues, a dive in the quality of our lives, as the gap between rich and poor widened. Accountability and transparency would die as result of negligence and corruption from on high. Their survival would lie in polarising our society and poking it underlying social wounds. Today’s headlines vindicate that analyst but frankly ‘I told you so’ is not much of a conciliation prize.

Cartoon by award winning cartoonist Trace Hodgeson

I based my information on street sources (largely gained through my other double life working all aspects of the hospitality trade), whose material I then had vetted and tested by my own professional sources in New Zealand Customs, with whom I worked investigating jointly Russian mafia money laundering, the New Zealand military intelligence (were I worked on attachment in Counter intelligence and the Force Intelligence Group as a Royal New Zealand Artillery Intelligence Operator; a lowly gunner in the territorials but still a position where I got to look listen and talk to those with considerable experience and rank who would never have opened up to a journalist), New Zealand Police’s Organised Crime Units and New Zealand academics.

Sources who I named openly and quote extensively, in addition to talking to other recognised experts, with supporting material researched from open public sources, including media, archives and libraries. I included the American government’s own outsourced open source material. Threat analyst, done for the US State Department, which as far back as 1987 said specifically New Zealand gangs would become the leading source of destabilisation in New Zealand.

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Counter terrorism exercises based on a script written for by the US War College in 1998

It even had a name for them R.O.G.U.Es Racially Orientated Groups of Unemployed. A name the New Zealand Defence Force then used, as it began exercises this author attended, which mirrored the very military and counter terrorism script we began using since 2011. Exercise like Southern Katipo which are always held in lower socio-economic areas rich in natural resources. The same hot spot which designate heavy meth use today and where the trans national corporations now want to mine or drill – funny that. Everything possible was done to beat the dog, to starve it and then the same parties responsible acted surprised when the dog turned viscous.

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As late as 2016 our police denied their was a problem and with out pause or skip promptly poured fuel on the gasoline as it permitted six hundred (out of 3000 individuals) returning kiwis, former Australian gang members kicked out of Australia for violent offences to acquire fire arm licenses. Fuck the concerns of a lone gun man, the New Zealand authorities virtually went ahead and armed an entire battalion of rogues (with a division of bandits in support), let them loose on New Zealand streets, then had the balls to ask for more money to keep us safe from a fire they had built, as they themselves tooled up. Create the problem, identify the problem profit from the problem, Meanwhile Lockheed Martin and the other arms surveillance coyotes went yip eye yeah all the way to the bank.

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Thus the manufactured arms race (helter skelter Hells Angels all the way baby) I forecast had begun. ‘Operation polarise dive and conqueror’ is in full swing.

A forecast which had included my concerns over Gun City’s owner right wing Christian fundamentalist, David Tipple,a man whose reported as having once helped arm the far right contras with Chinese assault rifles. Tipple the man who the New Zealand authorities had permitted to flood the street with cheap shitty Chinese semi automatic which heopenly advertised with a marketing campaign orientating around “pimping your AR-15” so they looked like killing machines. The weapon of choice for mass murders like the man we know as Brenton Tarant who just like David Gray in the 1990’s had brought his weapons from Gun City, the merchant of death, whose doors always some how remained open no matter how much blood got spilled.

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State Secrets was not conventional journalism. It was not ‘he says she said’. Instead it drew on my first hand experience and my skills as a trained researcher analyst and investigator.

Skills I gained while studying a history and Political Science Degree at Canterbury University (where I graduate in 1994), where I specialised in political violence and counter terrorism and where I focused in my final years on the history of Middle Eastern and Western European Terrorism [including state and security services sponsored terrorism], for which I scored an A.

Following graduation and the end of my stint in the ‘SAS’ (Saturday and Sundays as the regular force call the TF), where my duties also included being a really shit signal operator and a very short stint as an infantry grunt, I then gained more skills as researcher.

Speaking at anti mass surveillance bill protest 2019

This included working for Canterbury Universities history department, as an investigative researcher for S.A.F.E. (save Animal From Exploitation), a columnist for the Mountain Scene News Paper, a private researcher for Alan Jones at 2UE Radio [not a fun job], and a research officer for West Pac research division in Sydney Australia. This was all far less glamorous than it sounds (really) but it taught me to look at my subject material from many angles. Over all not a bad set of achievements for a dyslexic gromet (and a shitty typist to boot) who was told when he was fifteen by his English teacher that I would be lucky to get 5th form certificate (Thank you and fuck off Mr Graham).

Twenty years later State Secrets has stood the test of time and being vindicated on virtually every account it raises.

I’m still dyslexic and I’m still a shitty typist, so if your first love is the English language close your eyes and walk away – you’ll save us both a lot of grief.

Yet if you want to read a book, crammed with in depth research, written twenty years ago and see if the signs where on the wall click the image at the top and crack on.

Yours Sincerely Ben Vidgen.

Scoop report on the State Secrets media black out.

OTHER BOOKS (Which when I get the chance I’ll turn into ebooks and post here) include;


Coasting Otago Out of Print

DEADLINE MAGAZINE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION $60 non gst – includes postage anywhere in NZ email: mediadownunder@gmail includes 3 copies sent three times a year.

Ben’s New Zealand Welcome to The Real Middle Earth – Travel Book Sold Out.

“Author Ben Vidgen’s describes his new book Ben’s New Zealand: The Real Middle Earth as “Lonely Planet meets Hitcher Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, with a dash of Louie Theroux World on the side, sprinkled with just a hint of Cooking Confidential as a condiment which provides flavouring”

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Article’s and interview of Ben Vidgen

1. State of Terror (Nexus Magazine 95/96) this piece has now being translated now into about a half dozen languages) Focus on rise of Neo Nazi or right wing terror and the role of US funding in Islamic terrorism.

Ben. C. Vidgen, “A State of Terror”,

Free copy of this widely quoted article, written pre 9/11, on state sponsored terrorism here.

“Since the final days of World War II, the totalitarian seekers have made use of people’s hatred by establishing a clandestine Fascist network…Through a combination of individuals, government-endorsed death squads, influential religion-based secret societies and even governments, the freedom and willpower of the people are being destroyed. Terrorism has become the new means by which the old strategy of divide and conquer is being implemented on a global scale.”

This article is cited in following texts ; Afghanistan: The Genesis of the Final Crusade – Google Books ResultAbid Ullah Jan – 2006 – ‎Afghan War, 2001- Page 33

American Shadow (Pemerintahan Bayangan AS)– SUMBER REFERENSI American State Terrorism / A Critical Review of the Objectives ofU.S. Foreign Policy in the Post Worldwar II Period BBC.

CIA – Godfather of Global Terrorism China Daily

Guerra alla libertà. Il ruolo dell’amministrazione Bush nell’attacco dell’11 . (Guerill Liberty role Bush administration 911) Page 39

International Socialist Review Web ExclusiveAfghanistan, the Taliban and the United States: The Role of Human Rights In Western Foreign Policy

A bloody good review to boot here which is always nice.

2. Investigate Magazine
PACIFIC JIHAD One of the world’s most-wanted terrorists has visited New Zealand without being arrested by security authorities here, despite his involvement in attacks that have killed or injured more than 900 people. BEN VIDGEN and IAN WISHART report: October 2000 where we write of the plot to use civilian aircraft and target buildings in the USA. We had no idea how close to the money (literally) we were.

3.Christchurch Mosque President Bashir Khan With Vinny Eastwood & Ben Vidgen

4. Why the war on drugs was doomed to fail. State Secrets Review VJM

5. Corporate Media and 1080 Ben Vidgen VS Newshub.

6. Stuff talks to Vidgen about Waihopai US growing space presence in Aotearoa

7. Stuff talk Vidgen about New Zealand Constitutionalism and the TPPA.

8. Vidgen and constitutional issues”ben+vidgen”+tppa&source=bl&ots=K-SvWUvczg&sig=ACfU3U1VoCMfm2Z3idzR_Gmcad1HPEShqA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi-ydOR7KPnAhXGbn0KHQIODFcQ6AEwCXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=”ben%20vidgen”%20tppa&f=false

9. Dunedin Ben Vidgen talking on the TPPA 2015 and how we need to stop view this as left wing right wing partisan issue as both Labour National were responsible in a corporate tag team mugging of the people. Address’s the issue of how Labour and National and the smaller parties all helped dismantle New Zealand constitutionalism by change in courts, failed flag debate, stacking the 2013 constitutional review board.