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Merry UFO Cosmo-Cult Christmas!

Gabriel of Urantia's 'The God Child Came'
Gabriel of Urantia / TaliasVan / Van / Tony of Pittsburgh

Gabriel of Urantia / TaliasVan / Van / Tony of Pittsburgh

Regular readers of Failed State Update are undoubtedly aware of the Christmas miracle known variously as Gabriel of Sedona, Gabriel of Urantia, TaliasVan, Tony of Pittsburgh, and Tee Jay (of Tee Jay and Duke’s Quintet). If you haven’t been hipped to the story of this truly cosmic character, here’s a primer:

Read The Cult of CosmoPop: Behind the scenes in an adult contemporary UFO-themed religious sect on Failed State Update.

We published that story because his UFO sect, the Global Community Communications Alliance (GCCA), is a truly fascinating case study of a modern crisis cult. We keep writing about Tony/Gabriel, however, because he is an amazing outsider artist in his own right — up there with Wesley Willis and the guy who wrote the song "Nonviolent Taekwando Troopers" (which explores similar religious themes as Gabriel).

For War on Christmas season, I’d like to introduce you to The God Child Came, the GCCA’s very own Cosmic Christmas pageant, featuring music by none other than Gabriel himself. Here’s a performance of the title song with his band.

The music video was shot at the cult-owned Sea of Glass Center for the Performing Arts in Sedona, Arizona, in 2005 or 2006. It was also around this time that the community mounted its most ambitious production to date. According to a newspaper archive search, The God Child Came premiered in Sedona, Arizona in December 2005.

The Arizona Daily Sun (Dec. 23, 2006)

The Arizona Daily Sun (Dec. 23, 2006)

Gabriel’s teachings are cribbed from The Urantia Book, a channeled spiritual text that came out of Chicago in the mid-twentieth century. Gabriel (who I hear was never a very good student of Urantia to begin with) twisted the text to create a UFO religion that teaches obedience above all else. As a result, it’s really hard for a lay person to tell exactly where the Urantia Book ends and Gabriel’s kooky UFO religion begins. A large part of the Book is given over to the life of Jesus, although his story is told in the same sort of old-timey science fiction language as the rest of the Book.

DeleVan (center) with Kazarian and Sanskrita

DeleVan (center) with Kazarian and Sanskrita

The God Child Came is the story of Asonta (played by Gabriel’s daughter DeleVan), a recently-deceased Urantian (Urantia is another name for our planet) who currently resides in the “First Heaven.” I have no idea how many Heavens there are supposed to be. (Maybe seven?)

The Urantia Book has this to say about what happens when we die:

Mortal death is a technique of escape from the material life in the flesh; and the mansonia experience of progressive life through seven worlds of corrective training and cultural education represents the introduction of mortal survivors to the morontia career, the transition life which intervenes between the evolutionary material existence and the higher spirit attainment of the ascenders of time who are destined to achieve the portals of eternity. (47:10.7 (540.3))

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Asonta was recognized as very religious during her life on Urantia, but for the last three years she’s been stalled on the First Heaven as people whiz by her on the way to Second Heaven. The problem, we soon learn, is that while Asonta knows about Jesus, she doesn’t know Jesus.

For the next hour, she travels through the afterlife (envisioned by Gabriel as two parts Urantia Book, two parts theater camp, one part the “space hippies” episode of Star Trek). Along the way, we meet the Three Wise Men, King Herod, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, who teach Asonta the true meaning of Christmas. We also meet a woman referred to as Asonta’s “Pleasure Companion” and hear a lot of groovy cosmo-Christian lyrics, including:

At the sea of glass
was a holy mass
and they watched as the king
left in a star…

And, a little while later:

Rejoice! Jesus is your father, your brother, your lover, and your friend

Ultimately, all the singing and dancing melts Asonta’s heart, and her Pleasure Companion informs her that tonight she will make the journey to the next level.

She has been promoted to the Second Heaven.

But first, a final dance number.


There’s one last item in the notes that I took when I watched this, and I’m not sure what I was referring to, but it sums up my takeaway nicely: “Jesus was a revolutionary. Gabriel and Niann [the two founders of the GCCA] are just rich assholes.”

Perhaps also worth noting, Gabriel recently said that Jesus Christ will board a spaceship and return to Urantia in 2024.

Friend of the site Joshua Lilly recently slipped me a link to the whole Christ Child musical, which I suggest that you watch before it gets pulled from YouTube:

And if you’re really a fan, the GCCA is selling a DVD of the musical bundled with a CD of Gabriel’s original music. But don’t buy that, because you’ll just be giving your money to a cult.