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Gabriel of Urantia and Spiritualution

Update June 21, 2012: Watch Dateline’s Exposé on Gabriel of Sedona

Update October 28, 2013: The staff of Global Community Communications Alliance has
published an email they sent to me in response to my weblog posts: “An Open Letter To Those
Who Have Been Influenced By NBC Dateline”. Gabriel has also created a video which addresses
some of the misrepresentation of the Dateline episode as well as some further information about
Spiritualution: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

“I’m either insane or egotistically mad, or I am who I say I am.”

— Gabriel of Sedona

Last month during the protests of the NATO summit in Chicago, one of the many livestreams I
found to watch was run by a couple of guys who were affiliated with an organization called
“Spiritualution” — a spiritual revolution. I enjoyed their stream and was intrigued by a few of the
things they said, especially their mention of the founder of their organization, Gabriel of Urantia.
As something of a junkie when it comes to purportedly divine revelations, I was compelled to do
a little bit of googling.

It turns out he’s exactly the sort of character you’d expect with a name like that. He was born as
Anthony Delevin in Pittsburgh in 1947. After stints as a charismatic catholic, a protestant pastor
(operating the Son Light Ministries in Tuscon), and a musician, he spent time at Reevis
Mountain School of Self-Reliance in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, AZ. It was
there that he first claimed to have been contacted by celestial beings.

In 1989 he co-founded a church-like organization in southern Arizona, the Global Community


Communications Alliance, with Niánn Emerson Chase. By that time he was calling himself
Gabriel of Sedona, and he was active in environmental conservation projects in the Sedona, AZ,
area.

His cosmology is based on a mix of religious teachings including a bit of Christianity,


Mormonism, Hopi tradition, and the Urantia Book. Like many guru types he claims to have been
many famous characters in past lives (including Alexander the Great, Francis of Assisi, and
George Washington). And because the Urantia Book, at only 2,000 pages, contains insufficient
knowledge for the human race, he was selected as the medium for the channeling of the
continuation of that revelation which has taken form as two volumes (so far) of The Cosmic
Family (“The Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation”).

By 1997 his cosmic family who lived with him on a commune he called the Aquarian Concept
Community consisted of about 70-100 adults and was organized as a typical religious cult [1]. He
traveled around to gigs performing “transmissions,” acting as the mouthpiece for various
celestial beings. I found an interesting account of one Urantia Book believer and would-be
Gabriel-follower (“An Evening with Gabriel of Sedona” by Keith Graham) who excitedly
attended one of Gabriel’s transmissions (where he was to channel “The Bright and Morning Star
of Salvington, Head Administrator of our Local Universe, the Finaliter Paladin, and The Present
Planetary Prince Machiventa Melchizedek”) only to conclude that Gabriel was a false prophet
when one of his personas declared, “Gabriel of Sedona is the most highly evolved human being
on the planet.” (I’ve been informed that Gabriel has not performed a transmission since 1993.)

In 1998 Dateline NBC aired an exposé on Gabriel and the cultish aspects of his Aquarian
Concept Community. Not only did they interview Gabriel and several ex-members of the
community, but they had two undercover reporters join the commune with hidden cameras over
a period of three months. Despite dubious legal efforts by Gabriel’s organization to suppress the
circulation of that video on the web, I found a copy [2] and have embedded it below in a fancy
Flash player for your viewing convenience.

The Global Community Communications Alliance purchased some land in Santa Cruz County,
Arizona, and Gabriel began moving his community and various operations away from Sedona to
this new headquarters in 2007. [3] Today the community runs the Avalon Organic Gardens &
Ecovillage there, which, despite the whole thing where they follow a guy who thinks pretending
to talk to aliens grants him some sort of authority, looks like a neat place. In 2009 the Arizona
Republic published an article (with a rather sensationalist title: “Order in Tubac prepares for
apocalypse”) on the group, its beliefs, and the media attention it has received. The article drew
[forced] parallels between Gabriel and James Arthur Ray whose Sedona-area group became
infamous after one of its members died in a sweat lodge ritual.

The comments section of the Arizona Republic article includes some responses from members of
Gabriel’s group, including one from a poster named TSE123:

“I have been and continue to be a member of Global Community Communications Alliance for
over 14 years. I have grown and continue to grow up here. I have met a gorgeous and smart
partner; I have 3 kids born here who are beautiful; their school is incredible; we eat organic fresh
food every day, we have fresh air, amazing water (fluoride and chlorine-free), I can see the stars
in clear skies at night and know most of the constellations and how the earth is moving among
them, I count my blessings for good health, and I have learned here in this community that I am
not the center of the universe. … When I came to this community I was really spoiled and a brat.
I now actually realize there are human beings in the US and in other countries that I consider my
brother and sister who are seriously struggling and are exploited. I have grown enough to know
that changing this matters. We run rehabilitation programs and provide year-round internships in
organic gardening, farming, sustainable building, and life skills training. Sometimes the basic
truth of what our reality represents is difficult for others to deal with.”
— TSE123 - Global Community Communications Alliance member

Whatever else you may say about him, he is a man of many domain names:

 http://gabrielofurantia.org/
 http://gabrielofurantia.com/
 http://gabrielofurantia.biz/
 http://gabrielofurantia.info/
 http://gabrielofurantia.net/
 http://gabrielofsedona.info/
 http://gabrielofsedona.net/
 http://gabrielofsedona.org/
 http://gabrielofsedona.com/

He can also be found on youtube, facebook, and twitter. Those who are interested can also
find his resume linked from several of his websites.

The most redeeming aspect of his whole prophet shtick is his “spiritualution” concept which,
according to the livestreamers I was watching, he began talking about in the late 1990s. As a
movement it is against corporatism and in favour of self-sufficiency, environmentalism, and civil
disobedience, and so it dovetails nicely with the Occupy Wall Street movement. However, this
quote from his article “The Occupy Movement Needs To Fuse With The Spiritualution
Movement To Win Against The 1%” sadly (or hilariously) speaks for itself to those curious
about the intellectual foundation of his various spiritual concepts:

“Every physics student knows that the mind seems to move particles when looking through a
microscope. This is called the Heisenberg Principle. Therefore we get the equation ‘thoughts
equal energy’.”
— Gabriel of Urantia

I would urge those involved with the Spiritualution movement to abandon Gabriel’s less credible
teachings to instead focus on a more earthly (Urantia-ly?) motivation for their positive social
projects. In any case, I hope they keep up the great livestreaming!

Dateline NBC on Gabriel of Sedona (1998)


 Text transcript
 Audio (mp3)
 Other places to find the video online

Please also see this video created by Gabriel which responds to the Dateline piece: Who’s Afraid
of the Big Bad Wolf?

1. see A 1997 snapshot of "Gabriel of Sedona" and A critical analysis of the Aquarian Concept Community
prepared by former members. I was contacted by representatives of the group who clarified the organization of
the community: "GCCA (then ACC) has a board of 7 elders, men and women, who are vital to the
administration and decision-making processes for the entire community. In addition to the eldership is a team
of ordained minister assistants and function leaders who (along with the elders) have a large degree of
autonomy in their day-to-day decision-making."
2. For the effort to preserve this video online, including an audio version and text transcript, see: Preserving
Dateline’s Exposé on Gabriel of Sedona
3. Group seems peaceful, but some neighbors are nervous: Sedona sect moving to S. Arizona