The So-Called Prophet from Pittsburgh
Series introduction

Series introduction

January 5, 2020

The So-Called Prophet from Pittsburgh is Gabriel of Urantia, a self-proclaimed holy man who currently presides over a spiritual community (some call it a cult) in the desert of Southern Arizona. In a fenced-in compound, three generations of the Global Community Communications Alliance soak in Gabriel's teachings as they wait for the end of the world. Join investigative journalist Joseph L. Flatley as he travels around the country, speaking to Gabriel's ex-followers, cult experts, and people who knew him before he was a so-called prophet. You'll learn why people join a group like this, why they stay as long as they do, and the challenges they face when they decide to leave. And you’ll hear some groovy music in the process.

 

In the premiere episode, we meet Tony Delevin from Pittsburgh. He first started hearing voices in the 1980s, after his second marriage fell apart. Eventually, the voices told him to change his name to Gabriel and move to Arizona, where he lives today with his 100-plus followers.

The Negative Network

The Negative Network

January 6, 2020

The first full-length episode begins with a trip to Gabriel's compound. After that, a former follower and one of Gabriel's most outspoken critics, Laird Scott, talks about discovering, joining, and eventually fleeing the group. Finally, a former colleague of Gabriel talks about working with him in Tucson in the 1970s.

The Shift

The Shift

January 14, 2020

Sanskrita DellErba is the daughter of Gabriel and Niann, the founders of the Global Community Communications Alliance. In this episode, she tells us where the cult came from and what it was like to grow up in that environment—and shares a lot of stories about her father in the process. We also hear from people who knew Gabriel and Niann before they were the highest spiritual beings on the planet.

Aquarian Concepts

Aquarian Concepts

January 21, 2020

The Global Community Communications Alliance was founded in 1989 under its original name, Aquarian Concepts Community. In this episode, we talk to one early member about community life. We also speak to cult expert Rick Alan Ross about cults in general and Gabriel's in particular, before learning about the revelation that Gabriel has adopted, The Urantia Book.

Personal Transmission

Personal Transmission

January 28, 2020

When Gabriel of Urantia makes contact with the voices in his head, he calls this a "transmission." Sometimes these messages are meant for a particular member of his cult—this is a "personal transmission," and it is quite an honor. In this episode, various members of the Negative Network will give us their theories about the nature of this phenomenon. We will also hear from someone who knew Gabriel in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Lastly, we will meet Joshua Lilly, an ex-follower of Gabriel who lost his family to Gabriel's cult.

David / Alveed

David / Alveed

February 4, 2020

David (cosmic name: Alveed) was a member of Gabriel's Aquarian Concepts Community from 1999-2009. In this interview, we talk about how he came to join the community, its use of coercive psychology, and how he fled with his son after ten years of cult life.

Celestial Healing

Celestial Healing

February 11, 2020

What are the spiritual implications of hydrogen and oxygen? How does the GCCA make its money? And what (or who) does this group have in common with the infamous California rehab cult Synanon? These questions and more will be answered on this episode of The So-Called Prophet From Pittsburgh.

Mr. Image Man

Mr. Image Man

February 18, 2020

This is the final episode of the series (for now) and probably the best one yet. It's definitely the most upsetting. Topics covered include incidents of sexual abuse and the mistreatment of children in the GCCA. I also take a trip to the guru's childhood home and recount the story of his former son-in-law (and how he wound up in prison).

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Warning: this episode includes discussion of sexual abuse.