One of my managers at my new job has been spreading gossip accusing me of misconduct against management at a previous job.
This is causing a lot of hostility and made my work environment very difficult, especially because a lot of senior managers, including director level, are tacitly endorsing the gossip to make an example of me of what happens when one goes against management.
My complaint to HR was dismissed because HR doesn't consider gossip to be a serious offence, and will only take action if someone does something as a result of the gossip. But nobody is dumb enough to do something blatant; the hostility and ostracization is hard to prove objectively.
HR told me I would be fired if I persist in my complaint. Meanwhile the gossip mill has been given free rein to continue its activities. They have even managed to spin-doctor my complaint into a validation of the original gossip, exacerbating the situation.
This is a serious matter for me because I have lost a number of jobs because of this gossip. When the general hostility reaches a certain level, management makes up an excuse to get rid of me, or to start giving me bogus negative reviews until I leave of my own accord to avoid getting fired.
How can I break this chain of gossip?
EDIT: I am specifically looking for suggestions how I can break the code of silence for someone to even acknowledge that there is a gossip, so I can present my side of the story. Also, for people saying "just get on with work", I have tried that in other jobs and it doesn't work. These managers want to make an example of me for allegedly going against management, and the ultimate example is to eventually get rid of me. There are 1001 ways to get rid of a contractor.