Updated Sep. 23, 2011: U.S. Federal Court Rules Filmmakers Lied About Raelians
MOORESVILLE — Raising his hands and facing east, the man from Las Vegas, who has legally changed his name to Prophet Yahweh began praying — trying to attract UFOs.
A group of about 20 skeptical observers stood in a circle watching the wind whip through the trees at the edge of the town parking lot as the large man, who is a self-proclaimed prophet, scanned the sky searching in vain for a pinprick of light. He said it would start small, but get bigger, eventually hovering over the group.
But no UFO would appear the afternoon of Dec. 14 for the cameras of the 24-year-old documentary makers Abdullah Hashem and Joseph McGowen. Yahweh said after most of the 20 people who attended the summoning had left, that someone in the group was there to make fun of him. Because of that, the UFOs did not show, he said.
A reporter for KNTV-TV, a Las Vegas ABC affiliate, was persuaded to film a summoning in May 2005. The tape of the reported UFO summoned by Yahweh has since been pulled from the station’s Web site, but can still be seen at www.youtube.com by searching for Yahweh and UFO. A message left for the general manager of the station was not returned in time for this story.
During Yahweh’s weeklong visit to Indiana, no UFOs ever appeared for filming, Hashem said, but that wasn’t the point of Hashem and McGowen’s invitation to Yahweh to come to Indianapolis.
The pair, which prepared a documentary in 2005 discrediting the Raelian movement, was planning to create a film to shed light on fraud and violent tendencies displayed by Yahweh, Hashem said. The first film, which was presented in academic form at IUPUI in November, was created as a class project. This second project is independent of the school and intended to expand the expose’ on what they call a “false prophet UFO phenomenon.”
“This is for us to continue slaying these dragons,” Hashem said. “This is leading into a career.
“We’re really building up our reputation for debunking the false prophet, UFO phenomenon. I do believe there has to be something beyond our life out there — I believe in God, but when there’s someone out there defrauding people, all we’re doing is shedding light on it.”
Exposing false prophets/frauds
Hashem will graduate from IUPUI in May and intends to go to film school. He said he hopes to make it into the New York University School of Art, but has applied to numerous film schools. McGowen is not currently attending school, but also has aspirations of one day attending art school.
But that won’t stop him in his quest to expose false prophets and frauds, he said. He plans to build on his already expanding film resume with another project on the horizon.
“We’re working on the next group,” McGowen said. “Every time we think we’re going to move on another one of these groups falls into our lap.”
They know they won’t be able to infiltrate groups the same way forever. While they didn’t do this to make money, their hope is to gain recognition for the work. They are entering the film on Rael into several film festivals. Eventually they will be recognized when they go to these groups attempting to gain entry, McGowen said.
Their work could be limited by another factor: they say Yahweh threatened them.
“He has made it perfectly clear to us that if this cat is let out of the bag we won’t be able to show our faces anywhere,” said Hashem, who has the threat on film. He has posted that threat on the Web site www.bibleufo.com, which is hosted by UFO expert Patrick Cooke.
Prophet denies he threatened filmmakers
In a phone interview Yahweh said, that while he is unhappy with the deception he feels was perpetrated by Hashem and McGowen, they are in no danger from him.
“They have no reason to worry,” Yahweh said. “What you hear at youtube is slicing and dicing parts of a conversation. You can hear where the cuts in the audio occur. My family and I listened and we just laughed.”
But Cooke, who has collaborated on film projects for The History Channel, said the pair might be in danger.
“I believe they are in danger,” Cooke said. “He has been in prison for being a violent man.”
Yahweh insists that is in his past and the filmmakers are not in danger.
McGowen and Hashem said they will likely move from the house they currently live in and they plan to change their phone numbers, despite Yahweh’s assurances.
They are also in the process of turning over information to authorities. They say among other things, Yahweh admitted on film to committing Social Security fraud and made murder threats against Rael, a cult leader who lives in Canada.
Yahweh had this to say in a press release about the documentary makers’ efforts to discredit him:
“These charges are a gross distortion and misrepresentation of the truth, and I’m asking the Department Of Justice, the FBI, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to launch a full-scale investigation into them. And, if they are true, put me in prison!”
Interview with Patrick Cooke of Bibleufo.com
I haven’t seen any of the finished product, but what I can tell from clips I’ve gotten, they’re dealing with a pretty strange character.
I’ve been dealing with him for about 20 months. He came into view in 2005. I do laud them for being in his presence for any length of time.
What these guys are doing at that age is phenomenal. I laud them from that standpoint.
They seem to be very intelligent and dedicated to what they’re doing.
The whole thing is, what they’re doing is as much a public service as a documentary. He’s getting a lot of support and money. He’s a definite cult leader.
Some will say I’m a cult leader too. But I’m a researcher. Nowhere on my site do I ask for money.
I’m really honored to be associated with these two guys. (Prophet Yahweh) is probably about as far to the radical fringe as you can get in religion.
He’s been on the scene in the UFO movement for years. My editor has known him for eight or nine years. Basically he’s a 55-year-old man, who started out in the AME church. First public record is of him joining the Marine Corps and being dishonorably discharged after deserting.
All this is information I’ve gotten directly from him, out of his mouth.
He’s been in prison multiple times for assault.
According to him, he decided to scam the IRS. He won’t admit what his disability is, but he does take drugs that are normally for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. He’s a polygamist and a number of things that are shady.
He took a challenge from an ABC station to summon a UFO. He was referring people to my Web site as proof of what he was saying, though I’m obviously debunking his movement. He’s a very smooth talker.
His agenda is real simple. He wants to gather black Israelites, take them to the desert and wait for the return of Yahweh, whom he says is a superhuman black man.
They will take Yahweh and his followers to the Middle East and take leadership.
In a nutshell that is his agenda.
I believe (Abdullah Hashem and Joseph McGowen) are in danger. He has been in prison for being a violent man. He’s been after me for years, he thinks I’m a dangerous individual and have people out to get him.
What Abdullah has done is put him in danger of being put back in prison. He has said he has no intention of going back to prison. I’ve followed him around to radio shows and send people back to Web sites telling them this is what he plans to do. I’ve just been a thorn in his side.
They’re actually a danger to him.
He says he will move to Indianapolis, but he never follows through on what he says.
If he starts losing financial base and follower base and they start questioning him, they (Hashem and McGowen) could be in danger.
He has very charismatic power and wows people into accepting him as a prophet and uses that to demand money.
I don’t think he believes in what he is saying.
He is clearly threatening Abdullah on a clip I have on youtube.com.
Basically, if they reveal his threat to Rael, authorities may go after him. He could try to retaliate.
Abdullah has very bravely accepted the danger and put the information out there to buffer himself if Prophet Yahweh did do anything.
Interview with Prophet Yahweh
I would say that I knew everything from the beginning (about Abdullah Hashem and Joseph McGowen’s documentary), but it was important for me to go through it to know it for a fact. I was seriously signing a 50-state tour deal with Abdullah and a province tour in Canada. I needed to know if he was truly trying to document me or mock me. I gave it the benefit of the doubt until I got here. Then I began to see signs that let me know my suspicions were true. The claims they are making are distortions and misrepresentations of the truth.
They are taking 30 hours worth of video and combining them together to make a complete misrepresentation. It’s sad to see people fall to such levels of deception.
They have no reason to worry.
What you hear at youtube.com is slicing and dicing parts of a conversation. You can hear where the cuts in the audio occur. My family and I listened and we just laughed. I can show.
From what I understand, I am under investigation now.
I am moving to Indianapolis permanently because I have had my vision that in Indianapolis I am going to be able to call spaceships and UFOs in a big way.
Abdullah and Joseph know I am a 55-year-old man and I would never ever attempt to do harm to them.
If I ever see any of them I will stop and turn the other way.
It’s amazing that they would do that. It’s the way they patched that thing together.
Yes, the information about assault and deserting the military are correct. I posted my criminal record to my Web site because I wanted to let everyone know my dirty laundry.
I went to prison because I got into a fight with drug dealers. I was trying to put together a home for terminally ill HIV patients.
As far as violence is concerned I’m not a violent person. These things happened years ago. I’m a 55-year-old man now.
I do take medication and that’s how I got on Social Security.
Doctors put me on the medication. They declared I was mentally ill to such degree I had to be on SSI.
Thing about it is this, as far as the sightings are concerned the medication has nothing to do with calling down UFOs that are photographed. How can mental disorder have anything to do with something that shows up on television cameras.
As far as those accusations about me trying to kill Rael and Abdullah and Joseph, those are lies and as time goes on it will be proven as lies. I’m not a gangster.