Preserving Dateline's Exposé on Gabriel of Sedona

 

Q: (John Larson) You were Francis of Assisi?

A: (Gabriel) Yes.

Q: Martin Luther?

A: Yes.

Q: King Arthur?

A: Yes.

Q: You were also George Washington?

A: Yes.

Q: Father of the United States?

A: Well — 

Q: Led the troops?

A: Yes, yes. I’m either insane or egotistically mad, or I am who I say I am.

Two weeks ago I wrote an article on Gabriel of Urantia and Spiritualution. While researching that article I came across several references to a 1998 episode of Dateline NBC which featured Gabriel and his Aquarian Concepts Community. After following several broken links, I finally found a low-resolution copy of the video in a public Dropbox account. It was probably the last copy of the video available on the internet in wake of an effort by Global Family Legal Services (the legal branch of Gabriel’s group) lawyer, Celinas Ruth, to suppress the video based on unconvincing copyright claims. I downloaded it and made it available as an embedded movie in my article.

A few days after publishing my article, Dropbox received a DMCA takedown notice from Gabriel’s lawyer and disabled sharing on the account hosting the video file. The owner of that account, who is also the operator of New Heaven New Earth, has filed a DMCA counter notice, so if we’re optimistic we can expect that file to be restored in the future. [1] In the mean time, though, the only accessible copy of the video was the one hosted here on AmericanCynic.net. Since there is no guarantee that I’ll be able to keep it available if faced with similar legal tactics, I will be maintaining this list of locations from which the video (and audio and transcript) may be downloaded. If you can help by hosting the file or seeding the torrent, it would be much appreciated.

All of the download links are below, but first a few notes on the video to keep in mind:

  • Global Community Communications Alliance has issued a response to my posts and the Dateline video: “An Open Letter To Those Who Have Been Influenced By NBC Dateline”. Gabriel has also produced a video which responds to some of the mischaracterizations and tactics used by the Dateline NBC producers: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

  • I do not know who the current copyright holder is (NBCUniversal?). In any case, they don’t seem interested in the video any longer, and the file here is a low-resolution copy of the original. If the rightful copyright owner finds this page and has any concerns, please contact me at <[email protected]>.

  • As far as I can tell, the copyright claims made by Global Family Legal Services refer to a photograph of Gabriel and a mostly unreadable image of a page from one of Gabriel’s books which appear in the video. In my opinion, the reproduction of those images are clearly protected under the fair use doctrine.

  • Gabriel’s teachings, especially those espoused by his Spiritualution movement, call for resistance including civil disobedience to corporate greed. Corporations use intellectual property as a means of generating counterfeit wealth. Adopting the same tool to disingenuously suppress embarrassing information is incongruous to the values claimed by his movement.

  • While I think it will be to clear to anyone who watches the video or reads the transcript that Gabriel’s position as a community leader is based on lies and unsubstantiated claims (though he may mean well despite exhibiting something of a prophet complex), that doesn’t imply there is no value in any of his projects. For example I mentioned in my first post that I appreciate the livestreaming services of the Spiritualution folks, and I like the idea of EcoVillages such as the Avalon Gardens the group operates in Arizona.

  • The video was produced in 1998 when the Heaven’s Gate incident recalled to the public’s imagination Jonestown and the phenomenon of self-destructive cults (especially with the approaching millennium). As such (and simply by virtue of being a TV show competing for viewers) it is somewhat sensationalistic or capitalizes on the sensation of those earlier headlines. By way of my correspondence with members of the community it has been made clear to me that Gabriel and his neighbors are not violently self-destructive or dangerous in any way. In fact, many of their projects seem quite worthwhile.

  • The show relies heavily on the negative testimony of two ex-members of the group (the Spragues). Every community has its discontents, and it would not be fair to judge the entire community on that testimony alone. In particular, Regina’s fears that Gabriel is dangerous and on his way to creating a doomsday cult have apparently not been born out by history.

Downloads

If you copy and host the video, audio, and/or text files anywhere, please send me a link to add to the list.

Audio and Text

Since the copyright claims used to suppress the video have been based on images in the video, these files should be safe to host:

Video on the Web

The video is a 216MB .mp4 file.

Dateline NBC on Gabriel of Sedona (1998)


1. July 11, 2012: that file has been restored!

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