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Help put an end to BULLYING – one voice at a time.
BY KENNETH HIEBER aka KENN VASQUEZ
(At the offset, this is long … but I would encourage you to read it in its entirety, and pass it on
– not for me – but for any ONE potential ‘victim’ out there whose life may be saved as a
result of this message.)
I came to live in the US in June of 1995, my mission to set up a business here that would
specialize in selling tours and safaris to my native Africa. I noted that here in the US, the
common consensus was that you have to be rich to travel to Africa but knew that nothing
could be further from the truth – and so I went about setting up my company, 2AFRIKA, INC.
and focused my attention toward the budget minded traveler.
Business took off brilliantly with handsome endorsements from prominent US travel
personalities and I was the ‘golden boy’ of travel to Africa.
Ever since I was a child, I have had a problem with discrimination, on any level. I cannot
comprehend the purpose it serves – and besides, should we not all be so focused on
making ourselves better people that we really should not have time discriminating against
Well, as a part of my Business Plan, I wanted to introduce the same cost-saving facility to
the LGBT community. My website was appropriately tagged with the destinations that I
promoted and sold, and then in a subtle way, I added ‘Our Rainbow Collection’.Time and
time again, it was suggested that I delete ‘Our Rainbow Collection’ because it would be
severely damaging to my (a new word I learned) mainstream business. I defied the odds
time and time again. I could not wrap my mind around the idea that whilst I could have
passengers from the LGBT community, I could not (or should not) proudly feature tours and
safaris to Africa to that market demographic. I refused to force that ‘shopper’ to have to enter
through the ‘Tradesman Entrance’ – and so I subsequently ignored the advice that I was
There was little or no impact on my business to the best of my knowledge and if there was,
well, I didn’t care – discrimination does not form a part of my moral fiber.
Fast forward to 2008! In the travel industry, the internet was becoming a bigger challenge to
deal with. So many events had a severe impact on business. There were the US Embassy
bombings in east Africa, followed by 9/11, SARS, Swine Flu and heaven knows what else
that always will have a negative impact on how travelers travel. Always though, I managed to
crawl out of holes created by circumstances beyond my control.
One morning in 2008, I walked into my office in Manhattan and one of my coworkers came to
me and said “Sit down – I want to show you something.” That was the very moment my life
spun out of control and my world changed.
He directed me to a website, the content of which almost killed me.
You see, as business was developing, I finally did decide to create a website called
GAY2AFRIKA. And I created a specific safari to Kenya and Tanzania for an LGBT audience
called ‘Come See the Paradise’. EDGE Publications contacted me and did a great article on
the safari and it started to gain momentum – but not the way I had anticipated.
Kansas City, MO native Jonathan O’Toole, a man of the cloth – a good Christian gentleman
and a force behind Project See had somehow received the article on the safari for the LGBT
community and subsequently went on his own mission.
The ever changing home page of his website currently boasts this message …
“As the leading economic power on this planet, the influence of the United States of America
on all the nations of earth cannot be denied. When evil becomes our largest export, the
whole world is contaminated by our presence.
"East Africa is a perfect example. Satanic Europe, the USA and the UK meddle in East
Africa to overthrow God's Law, both directly and indirectly through heavily-funded NGOs and
other western stooges.
"The Project SEE coalition exists to expose the "who, what, where, when, why, how, & to
what extent" of the satanic efforts to legalize abortion, legalize homosexuality and otherwise
contaminate Kenya with tolerance for the rebellious abominations that have corrupted the
USA and Europe, and caused unbelievers to blaspheme the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"We advocate that abortionists and women determined to murder babies be driven back into
filthy back alleys like other murderers, and advocate "homosexuals" be likewise driven back
into the closet, arrested and prosecuted for sodomy according to God's law: even if they are
monied American or European tourists!”
There is was – and is – the allegation (and if you chose to visit the website) that I am a ‘seller
of sex tours to the Gay & Lesbian community in search of BIG BLACK MEAT!’ Additionally,
there is a downloadable poster (see the image) of MY FACE suggesting that I am a
FAGGOT WHO NEEDS TO BE KEPT AWAY FROM KENYA.
I need not tell you that I almost had a total breakdown … what followed, was worse!
THE OBVIOUS IMPACT ON BUSINESS
Those of you who know me here on face book and via other sources would (I have no doubt)
KNOW that selling ‘sex tours’ is not something that I would do. I do not discriminate – it
might ‘do it’ for others – it does not ‘do it’ for me and it is something that I would not engage
in. Be that as it may, each time you do a Google image search with the name of my company
2AFRIKA and my name, you get the most god-awful images of my company with my face
and the words IS HOMO-SEX TOURISM COMING TO YOUR TOWN?
No need to go into detail how my business started dropping and dropping and dropping –
after all, we all MUST believe that which we read and see on the internet mustn’t we? With
my business in a rapid decline, I reached out to Human Rights Campaign organizations,
LGBT organizations, the US Congress, GoDaddy.com, the Southern Law Poverty Center,
and just about everywhere imaginable to have the website deleted – but we live in the
‘country of free speech’ and there is nothing anyone can and will do to help me. For infinity
and beyond now, I will always be regarded as a ‘seller of sex tours to the Gay & Lesbian
community in search of BIG BLACK MEAT!’ It is online and can and will never be removed.
After all, if you saw that online, why would you want to deal with a pervert such as I? Imagine
you were an elderly couple wanting to take your children and grand-children to Africa ...
would you REALLY want to use me services?
THE DESTRUCTION OF SELF
So desperate was I to try and salvage anything that might have been left to salvage of my
business that I found myself heading into a rapid downward spiral. It might come as a
surprise to you to learn that I became manically depressed, ridden with anxiety, ill to the point
that ‘sores’ were breaking out all over my body for no apparent reason. After all, I had
suffered a most vicious (and incorrect) attack of being bullied in cyberspace with nowhere to
go and no one to turn to. An even bigger shock is that I became addicted to prescription
medication to try and maintain some sense of sanity – Xanax to be precise. Isolation, panic,
hysteria and desperation eventually transformed into thoughts of suicide, an obvious
progression. At one point, I finally did attempt suicide with an overdose of Xanax and
alcohol. I could not take another step further and wanted nothing more than to be dead. If
any part of the story about being a ‘seller of sex tours to the Gay & Lesbian community in
search of BIG BLACK MEAT!’ has been true in any way, shape, or form, I would clearly not
have acted in this manner.
Unfocussed as I was, there was a severe toll on my ‘mainstream’ 2AFRIKA, INC. business
and it seemed that ‘suicide’ was in fact, the only way out. So I tried – and failed! At a point, I
was virtually homeless.
THE REBUILDING OF SELF
Each day that followed was an endless uphill struggle. I could barely rise in the morning. I
was in a ‘funk’ for best part of the day – always rude, snappy, ugly … and then one day, by
the grace of powers of divinity, whilst I was preparing to drag myself to work, I looked at
myself in the bathroom mirror. Staring into my ‘dead eyes’, I thought “You are not who they
say you are. How then is this taking such a toll on your life? Right now people are fighting to
stay alive and you, you want to kill yourself over someone called Jonathan O’Toole who you
do not even know – and over his assumptions and false allegations!”
That was the defining moment I stopped and focused long enough to re-recognize how kind
and caring I am. How much I love life and how much I have to give from my heart. How much
I care about others around me. How polite and well-mannered I am. How fortunate I am to
breathe the air of a new day.
And difficult as it was (and sometimes still is) I clawed and clawed and clawed my way out of
the deepest darkest pit of hell that I could ever have imagined. Still today, I fight the demon
known at the Christian Jonathan O’Toole and his evil ways.
And so I prayed, and prayed, and prayed in solitude begging for the emotions of hate and
destruction to be lifted from my heart. I prayed for forgiveness for Christian Jonathan
O’Toole realizing he is a sorry soul of a man filled with much ignorance and hatred. I still pray
for him today – I pray that his day is blessed with joy and prosperity.
If I were to meet him face-to-face, I would KILL HIM – with kindness! There can be nothing
more debilitating to a bully that being treated with love and kindness and respect! And
perhaps, that may change him or her for the better.
I still have a million miles to go to ‘break even’ but now, I believe that I can. And it is that
believing that brings us to the very moment in space and time that we are most needed. That
I truly do believe and I will never alter my opinion.
It was once intimated that I (come across on face book as) appearing to be ‘false’. My chirpy
comments and remarks and hugs and XXXX’s and ‘loves’ were conceived as being
‘over-the-top’. But that is me – and I will never change.
ALL ABOUT YOU
My friends, all of you, not ONE of you, will ever know how YOU saved my life. Were it not for
you and my loving interaction with you and you with me, surely by now, I would have been
dead at my own hand for I could not tolerate one more act of unkindness = bullying! And
cyber bullying by adults – well, that is despicable.
I know who I am. I am all of those posts on face book. I am a happy soul with a generous
and playful nature. I am a hard worker and a very devoted friend who will walk across water to
help someone in need – that is who I am! I have a wonderful time on my radio show and I
love selling tours and safaris to travelers wishing to visit my home – Africa.
For each and every one of you, I have nothing short of unending unconditional love and
caring. I adore our messages and the time that we spend with one another. That too will
SO WHY AM I WRITING ALL OF THIS
I don’t want praise – I don’t want pity – I know exactly what I want to come of this. I have
been advised to NOT post this … I choose to ignore that!
First and foremost, this is my response to Christian Jonathan O’Toole who has tried to get to
follow me every way imaginable. He has tried to friend me on face book. He has tried to be a
follower of my radio show. He is on his misguided mission and I hope that he gets the
appropriate direction. I hope that my revelation of one who does NOT sell sex tours doesn’t
come as too much of a disappointment to him – and I want him to know that I pray for his
tarnished soul – that it will in time receive an abundance of peace.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY – I KNOW for a fact that I am considered as one who is always
up-beat and chirpy, as one who inspires others and a confidant to whom you can turn to
when there is a bump in your road. With that said, it is important for me to share with you this
incident that almost forced me to commit suicide, so desperate I was. And the primary
reason for that is to SHOW you that if I can pull myself out of the depth of despair created by
malicious adult online cyber bullying, well then, so can you! I believe in you and I believe that
ANY form of adversity that you may be facing in your life can and will change, the very
moment you ALLOW change!
ALSO – if this message is read by just ONE person in the big wide world who is on the
verge of breakdown and considering committing suicide … and helps just ONE person stop
taking that action and redirect his or her energy to ‘believing in him or her’ and learn to love
him or her EXACTLY as they are … well then, to me, that will have ‘succeeded’ at my
mission to ‘out myself’ and share with you one of the many several gut wrenching occasions
of my life.
As I close, I want you to know that you have a friend in me. A friend who is severely opposed
to bullying on any level! A friend who will stand beside you and hold you with both arms until
you realize that you can heal. A friend who wishes with all of my heart that I had of personally
known Tyler Clemente and to have had the chance to convince him to not take that fateful
jump from the George Washington Bridge that fateful day. A friend who will share your
burden with you, no matter how big or now small! A friend to whom you can turn to if you are
being bullied … in short, a friend who cares! You can message me any time you wish to in
the knowledge that your ‘story’ is safe with me and that I will never betray your trust in me.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read this very long message. And please help
me by passing it on. Share it with everyone you know for you never know who is at such a
desperate point in life that they are contemplating suicide even as I write. I am unashamed at
this part of my story, at telling you that I attempted suicide, and have no fear about any
negative responses with this which I have shared – as long as somewhere, somehow, this
message of YOU CAN DO IT FOR YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL EXACTLY THE WAY YOU ARE
resonates in a positive light with just ONE person.
My thanks go to all of you for your love and your friendship. And a very special thanks to a
remarkable young lady, Kelly Lynn, who came onto my show and ‘outed’ herself about her
personal experience battling anxiety and depression! That was the very moment that I knew
that I had to do the same. And to my dear friend, the Fruit Fly Guy, Gabe Berman for
teaching me how to ‘live in the moment’ which ultimately let this leave my heart … and finally
to my dear Gil Alan for taking me to places I never imagined possible!
Now I will start talking about this on the show in the hope that others will join me, and
together, as a united force, we CAN AND WILL MAKE CHANGE TO PUT AN END TO
BULYING IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. And if I cannot STOP bullying, then I hope that
this part of my story will HELP victims of being bullied to learn how to cope and how to rise
I love you,
Dear Mr. Hieber aka "Kenn Vasquez,"
We reprint your note (see below) in its entirety to demonstrate YOUR TAKE on the
context behind the downfall of GAY2AFRIKA and 2AFRIKA and the destruction of your
personal and professional reputations, resulting in the collapse of your business and
your adoption of a pseudonym "Kenn Vasquez". We reiterate our position in summary:
if you did not wish to suggest the question "is GAY2AFRIKA engaging in sex tourism"
then why did you define the tours in terms of your peculiar perversion; your so-called
"sexual orientation"? We pray that you receive the grace to repent of your enslavement
to sodomy and to the satanic agenda to Africa. May you humble yourself and know the
power of God to transform sinners, and may your downfall be an example to all of the
enemies of God in God's world. Christ is Risen!
-ProjectSEE.com Editorial Staff
This is how Jonathan O'Toole 'changed' the face of my company website
In His Own Words: The Downfall of Gay2Afrika's
This is the poster that Jonathan O'Toole created inviting people to download it and
disburse it freely
And THIS is Christian Jonathan O'Toole himself - a face more like Lucifer himself I have yet
to see - THIS is the person who ASSUMED that I was selling sex tourism and took me
down*! [emphasis ours]