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The So-Called Prophet from Pittsburgh
55 minutes | 5 months ago
Bonus 6: Failed State, Cult State
In a bit of a departure for THE SO-CALLED PROPHET FROM PITTSBURGH, I'm crossposting an episode of my other podcast, FAILED STATE UPDATE about a cult leader you may have heard of named Donald Trump. Mark Laxer is an author and former follower of the cult leader Frederick Philip Lenz. He broke away from Lenz some time ago, only to realize recently that Trump's base is going through the same process that he went through as a member of a destructive cult. Mark has written about this in two books: Take Me for a Ride: Coming of Age in a Destructive Cult (1993) and his latest, Rama Trauma Trump: I Left the Cult and Now Look What Happened. Mark Laxer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marklaxer Read Rama Trauma Trump for free: https://www.ramatraumatrump.com/ Joseph L. Flatley website: https://www.lennyflatley.net Joseph L. Flatley Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennyflatley Failed State Update Newsletter: https://lennyflatley.substack.com MUSIC: "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" and "Right Wing Pigeons" by the Dead Milkmen
110 minutes | 7 months ago
BONUS 5: Josh / VanMon
Joshua Lilly (spiritual name: VanMon) was brought into the Global Community Communications Alliance as a kid, kicked out, and joined again as an adult. Practically his entire family is still in the group. In this in-depth conversation, Josh relates the path that brought him to Gabriel of Urantia twice. We also discuss cult members' motivations, cult "mind control" techniques, how the group gets its money, and the spiritual elitism in our culture. At the beginning of the episode, I share a little bit about how the GCCA is handling the COVID-19 crisis.
46 minutes | 8 months ago
BONUS 4: The Opperman Report
UPDATE: Read the new story "The Cult of CosmoPop" here: https://pleasekillme.com/cosmopop/ Ed Opperman is like a character in a movie: private investigator, native New Yorker, conspiracy researcher, and former Yippie. It was a pleasure to talk to him on his radio show about THE SO-CALLED PROPHET FROM PITTSBURGH (including some new wrinkles in the story, available here for the first time). We also spoke about my new FAILED STATE UPDATE podcast and newsletter. The Opperman Report website: http://www.oppermanreport.com Ed Opperman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/oppermanreport Failed State Update podcast: https://anchor.fm/failedstateupdate Failed State Update newsletter: https://lennyflatley.substack.com
29 minutes | 9 months ago
BONUS 3: True Believers
In our first podcast episode of the post-COVID-19 world, we speak with So-Called Prophet executive producer K. Gerard about the two major media exposes of the GCCA—the 1998 episode of Dateline NBC titled "True Believers," and the 2011 documentary Kumaré. You'll also hear more from my interview with Shiloh, an ex-member who witnessed the filming of Kumaré firsthand.
45 minutes | 10 months ago
BONUS 2: Bryce / Asalen
Bryce (cosmic name: Asalen) is a 23-year man who was dragged into the GCCA by his mother when he was ten years old. When he heard the podcast, Bryce contacted me to tell his story.In this conversation, Bryce talks about his time in the GCCA, children being utilized for manual labor, and how he came to believe he was on the first "psychic circle" with Gabriel himself. Bryce currently lives in a group home and is being treated for bipolar disorder.
38 minutes | a year ago
BONUS 1: Sanskrita
In this extended conversation with Gabriel's daughter, we'll learn what Sanskrita has been up to since I finished production on the first season. We'll also learn about the lives of the kids in the GCCA and hear about the good and the bad sides of life in Avalon Gardens.
56 minutes | a year ago
Part 8: Mr. Image Man
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).Thanks for listening. And don't unsubscribe, as I'll be uploading plenty of bonus content into the near future.Warning: this episode includes discussion of sexual abuse.
36 minutes | a year ago
Part 7: Celestial Healing
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.
31 minutes | a year ago
Part 6: David / Alveed
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.
35 minutes | a year ago
Part 5: Personal Transmission
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.
32 minutes | a year ago
Part 4: Aquarian Concepts
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.
43 minutes | a year ago
Part 3: The Shift
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.
37 minutes | a year ago
Part 2: The Negative Network
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.
11 minutes | a year ago
Part 1: Series introduction
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.
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