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Food for Thought:

False Prophets & "Scum Bag Gurus"
By David Sunfellow
Tuesday, July 27, 1999

"I thought Oz was a great Head," said Dorothy.

"And I thought Oz was a lovely Lady," said the Scarecrow.

"And I thought Oz was a terrible Beast," said the Tin Woodman.

"And I thought Oz was a Ball of Fire," exclaimed the Lion.

"No, you are all wrong," said the little man meekly. "I have been making believe."

"Making believe!" cried Dorothy. "Are you not a Great Wizard?"

"Hush, my dear," he said. "Don't speak so loud, or you will be overheard -- and I should be ruined. I'm supposed to be a Great Wizard."

--- L. Frank Baum, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"


Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Over the last few days, I have received a rash of messages pertaining to various cult-like organizations. Some of these messages came from folks who wanted to know more about specific groups, while others wanted to share behind-the-scenes information about particular spiritual figures and organizations. Here's a quick sampling:



We've periodically reported on Gabriel of Sedona. Along with believing himself to be a messianic spiritual leader who has incarnated as many of the world's most important historical figures, Gabriel also has the dubious distinction of being publicly roasted on a primetime, one-hour "hidden-camera" episode of DATELINE. The Dateline report aired February 24, 1998.

I first met Gabriel several years ago when his wife, Niann, and their children arrived in Sedona. Alone, camping out, and struggling to survive, they eventually started a spiritual community which has since drawn people from all over the world. Based on the Book of Urantia and Gabriel's supposed mission as a messianic prophet ("the vessel to bring forth Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation"), Gabriel's community, "The Aquarian Concepts Community", engages in a variety of controversial beliefs and practices.

Because of my close proximity to Gabriel and his group (Gabriel's community is located in the same general area of Sedona that I live in), and because many of the spiritual circles I am involved with in Sedona occasionally bump into Gabriel and his followers, I have heard a lot about the inner workings of his group. The Dateline special, complete with two undercover reporters, confirmed many of these rumors and brought them out in the open for millions of Americans (and a few thousand Sedonians) to see.

And now, to add further insult to injury, there is a website that chronicles the comings and goings of Gabriel and his community. Complete with background information, philosophical overviews, and first-person accounts (some of which are quite interesting), the site also contains the names, phone numbers and email addresses of former members who are seeking to warn others about the group and/or rescue friends and family members who are still involved.

As I have said many times in the past, it is not my purpose, or the purpose of NHNE, to save anyone from anything. Our function is to provide those who are interested with accurate information so we can all chart whatever course of belief and action feels appropriate to us. Similarly, I personally believe the Gabriels of the world are serving a valuable function. They provide those who are drawn to them with learning experiences that they may not be able to acquire in more conventional, less emotionally charged circumstances.

Perhaps equally important, these colorful characters also provide those of us standing on the bylines with valuable reflections of the ever-fascinating, often wayward and hurtful forces that live within each and everyone of us. Watching their larger-than-life, occasionally unbelievable antics is a great way to learn more about how these same forces wreak havoc in our personal worlds.

As you read about Gabriel, I encourage you to keep an eye on the universal human tendency to blame others for our failings ("the guru made me do it and ruined my life"), and/or villainize wayward authority figures (spiritual or otherwise). Villainizing others has, and continues to be, one of the most effective tools we have for overlooking our own character flaws and imperfections -- and preventing those most in need of love, understanding and healing from receiving it...


Gabriel of Sedona and the Aquarian Concepts Community:


Is Gabriel of Sedona Fraud?:

Gabriel of Sedonas Disastrous Visit to Seattle:

Is the Aquarian Concepts Community
and its leader Gabriel of Sedona Dangerous?:

Gabriel of Sedona and NBC's Dateline Report:


The Aquarian Concepts website:


Gabriel of Sedona is not the only controversial spiritual figure/organization that has reappeared in my email this week. So has Sun Myung Moon, Scientology, and James Twyman...


One reader asked what I/we thought of Sun Myung Moon's messianic claims (http://www.unification.org/). I referred him to an interesting story we ran on Moon in Smorgasbord 4:

"More About Reverend Moon"
Smorgasbord 4
Friday, December 5, 1997



And then today I received a synchronistic message from Steven Hassan, creator of the Freedom of Mind Website. Steven, who has been involved in educating the public about mind control and destructive cults for over twenty-three years, began his career as an ex-Moonie. He now has one of the most-extensive cult-tracking websites I am aware of:




And while we are on the subject of cult-tracking websites, David Christopher Lane's comprehensive website, which was instrumental in helping us track down information on Sai Baba (http://www.nhne.com/specialreports/srsaibaba.html), also must be included as one of the Internet's best resources on cult-like organizations:

The Neural Surfer:

Significantly, Lane has recently shifted the focus of his work from debunking "scum bag gurus" to being more creative and proactive. Writes Lane, "There are endless guru wars, endless cult controversies, endless bad stories about spiritual teachers gone south, and in the infinity of this rubbish, there comes a moment when one must either choose nihilism or choose art [one must stop focusing on the misdeeds of others and, instead, focus on being postive and creative]..."

Tired and exhausted from efforts to track the seemingly neverending river of controversial gurus, Lane also acknowledged the need for more personal introspection: "The real scum bag guru is not somewhere 'outside' but can, on closer inspection, be a feature of our own makeup."



Another reader wrote in asking why we spent so much time and energy dealing with James Twyman (http://www.nhne.com/specialreports/sremissary.html ) when there were bigger, badder, more sinister and powerful spiritual hucksters on the loose:

"I appreciated your report on James Twyman, but I can't help thinking that your gentle swat at him is like worrying about a mosquito when a swarm of Ron Hubbard's killer bees is buzzing around you. Have you ever taken the time to investigate Scientology -- its author, its core message, its organization and tactics, and its growing power and influence? If you are truly concerned about spiritual megalomania and corruption, this is an obvious target for your investigatory and reportorial skills."

My response:

"I completely agree with you that Twyman and folks that walk paths similar to his are rather low grade concerns -- and that groups like Scientology, Sun Myung Moon, and others are far more dangerous. We have done our best to keep our readers posted on many of today's most dubious movements but have primarily concentrated on the ones that are most closely linked to our spiritual circles and who have not been seriously investigated by others."

Along with many of the links I mentioned above, I included a link to a story we had run on Scientology and some information about Gordon-Michael Scallion:

"Scientology Wars"
NHNE News Brief 12
Friday, November 17, 1995

A Review of Scallion's Predictions for 1995:

A Summary of Scallion's Most Important Predictions (11/11/94):

Scallion Predictions for 1999 & Beyond (1/5/95):

Art Bell Interviews Scallion (12/8/95):



And finally, one of the best overview reports we have published concerning earth changes and psychic predictions can be found here:

Earth Changes & Millennium Fever:


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