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tv   Believer  CNN  April 1, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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i guarantee you will pay a lot of dividends in the future because i had the opportunity to meet a group of those young people and they're very talented. >> thank you sdplp thanks for watching. to hear more of the conversation download the ax files podcast on i tunes. the end of the world. the final apocalypse. it's been part of our imagination for thousands of years. in every page there have been preachers and prophets who have cried that end is nigh. people who predicted humanity's demize and claimed to know exactly when it's going to happen. there are always believers, those who will rally behind the vision, who sacrifice everything, even their lives for it. and yet through all those
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prophecies, we're still here. i'm on the big island in hawaii to look into the eyes of one such self-proclaimed profit and those who believe in him to understand the anatomy of a doom's day cult. >> author, seller. >> he's a scholar of religion. >> as a scholar, a muslim, as american. what's your rea -- >> i've been studying the world's religions for 20 years and now i'm going to live them. i've been coming to hawaii for years. there's no place on earth that i
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feel closer toriati rcreation. there's a sense of spirituality, of divine presence. you can feel it in the soil. the big island especially tends to foster new age spiritual gatherings and off the grid religious commune. one of these is called cinder land. also known as rainbow village. run boy a self proclaimed prophet names jesus. that's jesus with a "z" and that's who i've come to find. aloha. i'll take all beef. aloha. so i'm here like talking to people about speartialities and religions that come out of this island. have you ever met this dude
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jesus with a "z"? >> i used to laugh at him but i don't know. kind of foolish laughing anymore till you see what they really have. >> the guys at the hot dog stand filled me in. about 15 years ago jesus with a "z" bought a big piece of property on the big island. since then he's gathered disciples from all over the world, united by a doom's day prophecy, a vision he has bot the end of the world. guys like him are pretty rare, even more rare is finding one still alive, let alone willing to talk. about 20 years ago a radio evangelist by the name of harold campeen convinced his followers that jesus christ was going to return to the earth. >> the bible says there will be
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signs in the heavens, great earthquakes, islands will be removed from their place, the people's of the earth will be frightened u calling for the rocks to crush them. >> he used to the bible to calculate the exact date the world would come to an end. he was wrong. we're still here. when i was a kid i felt like you heard about cults all the time. all this anxiety and fear about your kid being swept away in a religious cult, brain washed and taken away from you. remember jim jones? he claimsed to have visions that the world would end on july 15th, 1967. it didn't. yet far from abandoning him, his followers doubled down, moved together to the jungles of giana. and build a commune called joan's town. a few years later the end did
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come. jones convinced his congregation to drink kool-aid laced with cyanide. over 9 million men, women and children died in that jungle. then there was david koresh. >> i'm sorry you got shot. >> his followers, called the branch devidian gathered to prepare for the imminent end of the world. >> it's true i do have a lot of children. it's true i do have a lot of wives. >> he believes he himself was the second coming of the mess h messiah. >> it says in the future god will sit on a thrown and he'll have a book with seven seals in his right hand and he gives that book the lamb. >> your followers believe you are the lamb, correct? >> there's a reason for that.
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>> when they learned of the huge amount of weapons he had stock piled, it didn't end well. four years later, the world met marshal apple white. known as dough. >> planet earth about to be recycled. your only chance to survive or evacuate is to leave with us. >> apple white believed there was an alien space ship following behind the hail bob comet. but first they had to shed their bodies. 39 of them did just that in a mass suicide. >> i guess really in the end when you think the word "cult" you have this idea of some
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closed evil organization under a master mind who's controlling the minds of all theetds people who have assumed their identity into his f insidious done. >> it's not every day you get to interview a cult leader. this is an opportunity i just can't pass up. >> i guess this is it. aloha. >> welcome. welcome home. >> hey, man. good to see you. how are you? >> thanks for having me. this is amazing. >> welcome to our rainbow
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village. >> thanck you. rilths it's beautiful. >> welcome to our tribe. we want people like you from all around the world. >> how many people are here? >> about 30/40. we've had more people this year than ever before. >> why do you think that is in. >> a sense of urgency in the air pap storm is coming. aloha, mama. mamas, kids, young people, old people. no one really leaves. >> how big is incompound? >> three acres. >> what did this used to be? >> flat like this. >> this was basically all volcanic ash. well, how did it become all this then some. >> jesus. >> jesus built all this? >> yes. >> you mean he planlted all the
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trees. you're telling me everything i see here -- >> yes. started like that and with the help of the tribe we've made an edible forest. >> how many years? >> about 15. >> it's hard to imagine what this looked like 15 years ago because it's a jungle. i'm not sure what i expected but it wasn't this. what started as three acres of ash and cinder is a living, breathing forest with over 20 structures, dorms for men, women and children. >> we got fruit trees, coconut trees, jack fruit trees. this is one of our dorm spaces. another bed over here. one on the other side.
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one mama and her son fits here. >> and this is just them? >> this is just them. close to nature, close to spirit. this is our solar power station. store the batteries and use them for lighting and stuff like that. and we have gardens back here. >> what are you growing? >> name it. lettuce, tomatoes, beans, sprouts, kale, slugs like to come in and run around so we have copper round the edges. they don't like the copper. keeps them out, yeah. this is our food safe. >> this is the fridge, right? >> yes. hawaiian fridge. >> is jesuz here? >> all good things come to those who wait. >> i hear music down here.
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>> aloha. >> many different kinds of people end up at cinderland. for the most part they're fairly young, progressive. there are more young -- and right now it's harvest season and most are on the mainland making money on marijuana farm that they'll bring back to the tribe for food and materials. some folks are just passing through. they have no interest in the prophecy. but others are hard core bleervs. >> i got here 11 years ago. >> where are you from? >> california ororiginally. i was an automotive technician, top of my field. and what am i living for? all of this stuff? i wanted to say the word jesus
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without freaking out. >> did he talk to you about his belief and his prophecies? >> yes. >> what did you think? >> i believe. the storm is a coming. we must prepare. >> so would you call yourself a follower of jesus? >> wherever that man goes, i'm going to go. i believe in jesus. to cover the eastern seaboard. i've climbed a mount everest of fiber. probiotics? enough! (avo) if you've had enough, tell your doctor what you've tried and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. it can help relieve your belly pain, and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements that are easier to pass. do not give linzess to children under six, and it should not be given to children six to less than eighteen. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you dl or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools.
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s so seriously, i want to meet jesus. that's why i'm here. >> there's a process. one of our ceremonies is you spend the night in the cave np ancestors will greet you and guide you k tell what you need to do. >> i'm going to take you. >> i never spent the night in a cave before. i've been brought to a rocky coastline by a native hawaiian and a devoted follower of jesus with a "z". i like the fact that jesus is making me do this. first, he's not going to make it easy for me to meet him. that shows he's not desperate for outside attention.
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he wants to see i'm serious. second, it's grounded in history. afterall, they play a huge role in religious methodology. the mark of every good dooms day cult leader. >> you be careful. >> okay. lead the way. >> there's spewage all over these lands. >> very magical. very powerful this place is. >> he says these caves are haunted by the lost and restless ghosts of human souls. >> sacred. >> i'm not afraid of ghosts but i am afraid of drowning. these caves are subterrainian. i'm about 50 feet under ground. if it rains again, i'll be underwater. i guess this is my bed here,
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right? >> yep. >> okay. goodnight. might as well find a place to get comfortable. sure you guys didn't want to hangout with me? throughout religious history caves have been places of transformation. you go into them as one person and come out another. when moses asked to see god's glory, god placed him in the hollow of a rock. elijah the profit retreated into a cave where god spoke to him in the darkness and the prophet muhammad took place in a hills
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of mecca where the angel gabriel revealed the first verses of the quran. i don't know how long it's been since i've been in a cave but it's been a very long time. it's just me and my blanket and i'm soaked to the bone. i want to complete this initiation but there's no way i'm going to risk drowning in this cave. i've got to get out of here. ♪
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hey, good morning. >> good morning. >> spend the night okay, huh? >> good spiritual blessings. great spirit. >> i got to tell you something. i couldn't do it. >> let's walk. so you're from iran? >> yeah. >> and you read a book about jesus? >> yes. >> do you believe in jesus? >> i do. >> jesus christ? >> i do, yeah. >> your heart is right. today's the day you'll meet jesus. >> all right. >> we'll seek and we'll find him.
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>> we're on the ground today getting ready to remove about 150 dogs. the conditions wer rr find rg pretty deplorable. filty living environments. this is months and months and years in the making. >> imagine years living like this, terrible conditions with no food or water. many sick and dying. and sadly for many of them, help will come too late. or never lat.
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♪ aloha, jesus. jesus. thank you so much for talking to me finally. been searching everywhere for you out here.
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this place is kind of amazing. >> this is my most sacred place at cinderland. >> they told me you built this basically from nothing. >> no. that's a lie. it was me and about 1,000 other volunteers, give or take a few. >> where were you born? >> in yuk san, mexico. i was a good boy. and india and central america. that's where i did my 20s. >> how did you come here? >> here? >> yeah. >> that's a long story. >> tell me. >> i'm responsible for everything that happens here. >> it's a part of you. >> it is. it's evolving, it's growing. it's teaching so much to so many people. it's a success story. >> thank you. >> in a world of so much
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failure, this is one of the success stories. >> yeah. i'm really interested in this message that you were -- >> i have so much to share. so much. >> i spoke with jesuz for over two hours and i began normal enough but then things took a turn. >> i'm going to preach to you. i believe that my father is the son. the heat, the fire, you know. and i believe in the goddess, palet. they call her pay lay in hawaii. it all starts with her fire, her fire. >> this is where things got really weird. >> i am the misayah, i am the
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king. >> he started working himself up into a fervor and there was little to do but to stand back and wautch the show. >> i died for my sins. not a biological death, obviously. >> and then finally we got to the prophecy. >> i'm a profit. i believe in my prophecy. i have a vision of things to come. >> what did it look like? what did you see? >> i saw the destruction of the entire planet by an ecological apocalypse. millions died of fire. millions more drowned. they choked, they got smashed by sea surges that wiped out the entire coastline and the whole planet. there's one [ bleep] hope. i'm building an arc to escape environmentalapocalypse.
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>> let me sums are it for you. in the very near future, he hasn't set a date, california is going to break off into the ocean, the tsunami that follows will flood the world and then 124 carefully chosen followers will sail to montue peachue. there he will establish a home base from which to repopulate the planet with the offspring of his followers. >> we started building the arc. >> can i see it? >> of course. >> jesus is a lot more unhinged than i exectsed. there is something compelling about him. to be honest he kind of reminds me of charles manson. that they look alike is undeniable. but his speech patterns and manic energy are eerily similar.
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>> what kind of jesus? black jesus in florida is having a good time. there's a mexican jesus in mexico. jewish jesus. i mean, jesus. there's all kind of jesus coming back everywhere. and nothing can stop us. it's a consciousness that lives in your mind. >> people forget that whatever else mansen was, he was also a doom's day profit. he predicted the end of the world would be triggered by a massive race war. they were going to wait it out in the desert and repopulate once everyone was gone. >> this is the reason wer arer going to survive right here. this is what's going to save us. plastic. life expectancy, thousand years. >> so this will be one piece of the larger structure. of the super structure. >> how many more like this do
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you need? >> 20. >> so, 20 more like this? >> exactly. >> it's basically a series of ply wood platforms, on to some recycled plastic barrels. the idea is to float the arc out to sea in the midst of an apocalyptic tsunami. they've been working on this many years. this is their third design. in the past they've hauled them out to the local bay for sea trial. one thing to note is that cinderland itself is the arc. when jesus gives the final word that the end times are nigh, are all the structures will be disass disassembled and the material used to make the final arc. >> why not use what you got? >> i got to give him credit. as far fetched as this plan may
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be, he has these devetted followers, willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into realizing his visions. >> are we going to make it? >> oh, yeah. >> do you believe in the prophecy? >> of course. >> do you believe in the supreme commander and chief? >> i do. >> look. messages from the gods or he's that fubben crazy but there's no reason why you can't be both. he's got people around him, obviously they believe what he has to say. this arc -- i mean -- [ bleep] you all saw the arc, right? i really don't know what i've gotten myself into here.
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i really don't. ot taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru. don't be late. even when we're not there to keep them safe, our subaru outback will be. (vo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. just me...your me and my four daughters.. there's a lot of dancing and pageants that go on in our kitchens and living rooms and things like that. i've had to learn to accept certain things like the fact that my toe nails and finger nails are going to be painted constantly. but it's really awesome to watch them at their own things.
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pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fi killed charges including.lony five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough,
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actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. today is the start of a religious retreat. i guess jesuz calls these every once in a while. somebody told me the last one
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lasted 30 days. truth is i don't know what the think about jesus right now. he obviously believes his prauf acy. not too crazy to think we're ind stroying the environment. his prophecy stems from a fear of climate change and that makes sense. end of the world profits have often been inspired by current events and climate change is as scary as it gets. i wouldn't be surprised if we see more self proclaimed saviored with prophecies like his. >> weeding and making hats and stuff. >> donald is the chief architect of the arc mata. he's been with jesus more than five years. maybe he can shed light on what makes jesus worth following.
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>> we can grab these, start taking them over to camp. >> i finally got to talk to jesus. is he always like that? >> no. he's not always like that. he's grounded. he's a very intelligent person and sometimes his emotions get away from him. he acts out quite a bit. i've known him for years and even with me, sometimes if i don't do exactly what's in his head, he has a tendency to flip out a little bit. >> do you believe the prophecy? >> as far as the prophecy of the seas rising, i hope he's wrong. but it's pretty evident this stuff is going on. and jesus wants me to build an arc, 20 arcs, i'm all about it. he has really hooked me up. i met him five years ago. i was going through a divorce, isolated in maine in a cabin in
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the middle of winter. i was having a miserable freakin' life. i was looking opwebsite for rainbow village and we had a hour 1/2/two hour conversation and hit it off immediately. and he said come on down. essentially he saved my life. and so i owe him quite a bit. >> when you hear something like that, my life was saved by jesus with a "z" it becomes hard to just dismiss him as a crack put a. i mean clearly he has a magnetic personality, a charisma that has drawn people from all over the world, people that believe in him. this is jake, he's one of them. what did you think when you first met him? >> i thought he was a bit exentric and his passion is a little hotter than other people.
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he feels things are imminent. the clock's always ticking and that's something a lot of us really don't have. he's really trying to get us to understand. we don't have all day. >> when did you first hear the prophe prophecy? >> i first heard it not too long after i started hanging out at cinderland before i started livabling there. for me it wasn't like a shocking revelation. it was just something i knew. >> what do you mean? >> i've been pretty much brought up since day one to know that the world's going to end and basically -- my mom's drilled in. and i was so worried about the world ending -- >> you believed it? >> entirely. i still do. but the thing is it might not be
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the interpretation that my mother had. >> you said you heard from your mom about the end times and apocalypse and all it did was make you afraid. why doesn't it when jesus talk about it? >> because the arc is basically our vessel to survive the storm. there's no guarantee that we will but that's why we're all here. >> i think i need another shot at jesus. i want to see what everybody else sees in him. get him to calm down and talk to me like a person, not like a prophet. maybe i'll wait until he puts on some pants. s to cover the eastern seaboard. i've climbed a mount everest of fiber. probiotics? enough! (avo) if you've had enough, tell your doctor
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what you've tried and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. it can help relieve your belly pain, and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements that are easier to pass. do not give linzess to children under six, and it should not be given to children six to less than eighteen. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe stop taking linzess and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach-area pain and swelling. talk to your doctor about managing your symptoms proactively with linzess. what would help is simply being able to recognize a fair price. truecar has pricing data on every make and model, so all you have to do is search for the car you want, there it is. now you're an expert in less than a minute. this is truecar.
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i don't know what to think. sometimes i get lost, i get lost in the words. sometimes you make perfect sense and something happens and i just lose you. watts ahat's going on? >> the effect i have on you i
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have on everybody when they first meet me. i have this speech, this sermon. so when i first meet you, break it down. let's see if you can even survive my narcissism, you know. and if that doesn't turn you off, you don't leave that day, now you passed the test. >> you feel like sometimes vow to put on a show. >> it's a mask. i have two personalities. and i'm schizophrenic. >> i think sometimes you're talking about this mask you wear and it makes you -- >> unreal. >> fake. so it must be real. you doubt sometime ss? >> yeah. yvl rr been called jesus since i get to the island. this is 15 years of jesus. and i didn't believe jesus christ had even existed. i'm like if he didn't even exist, what am i doing? >> you started doubting
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yourself. >> completely. >> were you doubting your prophecies too? >> you were ready to give all of this up? >> my sister got a jacuzzi and a sawnau and a guest house. but i realize i have the responsibility to provide for my followers because they're coming here because they're searching the same way i was searching when i was their age. >> what you're saying is true a lot of suffering is about to happen. had you do you feel about that? don't you feel distressed about what they're facing? >> you feel worried, sad. but they don't believe in me. loco. >> but most profits, their families don't accept them. it's a pretty normal thing i would say. >> i'd be blown away if everybody all hail to the
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prophet. >> but you don't think you're wrong? >> i dent think so. >> ever thought what would happen if something happened to you before praophecy gets fulfilled? >> i've been busy recruiting. discip disciples. but most important aposales. >> they preach and come back. >> yeah. they always come back. >> tell me about the stress involved having to keep all this together. what kind of responsibility do you feel? >> it's hard. it's really hard, you know. i have the responsibility to provide for them food, water, safety, shelter. but you also have to provide spirituality. i feel responsible for their soul.
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they're there because they believe in my vision and this fear i'm going to let them down. it's hard being prophet. >> i get it. i see why people are drawn to him. he's clearly charismatic. and what he's built here is truly remarkable. a fully sustainable utopia. people come here because they're searching for answers. they're looking for hope. and jesus offers it to them. no one here is brain washed. they're free to come and go as they please. i'm certainly not worried they're all going to drink kool-aid and die. i'm curious what's wrr going to happen when the world doesn't end. will this movement continue? will his message change? will it continue to spread? and who will do the spreading?
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something similar happened with that other jesus. you know the one with the "s." after his death the followers sold a his possessions and lived together like a commune. they were waiting for the end to come but the end didn't come. far from throwing in the towel and calling it a day, they instead started the church and then a religion. >> what is this i'm hearing about spiritual >> this is shannon, jezus's favorite apostle. he's just returned to hawaii after some months on the mainland earning money. >> my apostle has arrived. the rabbit. the little rabbit. >> i missed you, jezus. >> one of the traditions at these retreats is a hawaiian
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style pig roast. >> let's go get some pig. >> i'm a muslim. i don't even buy pig, let alone kill pig. >> shannon has volunteered to go to a local ranch to hunt for a pig and i'm tagging along to try to get one of jezus' most trusted apostles. tell me with the first time you met him. how did you meet him? how did you end up there? >> i started hearing the big island was a wonderful place to be. so i met jezus. that was instant connection. instant, instant, instant, instant connection. the moment i met that man, he was like the father figure that i never really had, you know. and i fell in love with the man, you know? >> do you feel as though like you got this burden to spread his message to other people? >> i would say that i have no burden at all. i feel i have a wonderful
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opportunity to share knowledge and inspiration with people. >> did you talk to people about that when you were -- >> absolutely. >> -- on the mainland? you told them all about what's happening here? >> many people. >> what was like the general response? >> i don't get wrapped up in the doomsday because people aren't going to hear you. i have a way of kind of pulling myself back from maybe the whole -- the part of it that makes you go ugh, prophesies, you know. this is a religion. you know what i mean? i tend to try to keep away from that. because people just shut down. people just shut down. my goal toys get people to come to the rainbow village, come breathe fresh air and come connected and see what kind of information you start becoming available to. >> but you believe in jezus? >> yeah. absolutely. >> you would follow him? >> oh, yeah.
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pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor,
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given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. yeah! well done! >> after hunting in the forest for hours, shannon and i finally found the perfect pig.
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one that i ended up buying for them at a local butcher. it turns out pig hunting is a little bit harder than i thought. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> bless the food and the land. bring us prosperity and health upon us with leadership we like. aloha. gratefulness every day. >> okay. everybody grab a [ bleep ] corner right now! no, grab a [ bleep ] corner. you grab the [ bleep ] corner over there. do i got to do everything for you guys? i'm going to direct this [ bleep ]. push. push. >> come on, guys. >> regardless of how you feel about jezus or his prophesy, it's hard not to be impressed by
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his ability to rally a group of people behind him. >> all right, guys. long, level and square. >> that's not to say i'm ready to join his tribe. >> what are you doing? >> right behind you, sir. >> half hitch locks it. boom. okay. bring your offerings, please. >> shannon, donald, jake, and so many of the people that i've spoken with here come from religious backgrounds and that's a common thread, believing in a prophesy, following a charismatic figure. these are things that are comfortable and familiar to them. they may seem like a bunch of lost souls but they have created
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a community, a place where they belong. and that's a good reminder about what religion truly is. because it's one thing to look for an authentic religious experience, something that's real or grounded or historically accurate, but i think that misses the point. because in the end, religion is what people make of it. >> circle! circle up! please stand up and show your respect to pele. we are facing an environmental apocalypse. for those of you who would like to join my tribe, if you are touched by the example of jezus with a z, i'm going to be performing a baptism at the mermaid ponds starting at sunrise. >> religion isn't about scripture or temples or priests or rules or regulations. it's about the individual and the quest for meaning.
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the idea that there is something more to life than just what we see with our eyes, what we feel with our hands. that there's an answer somewhere out there, that there's hope, a point to our very existence. and if that's what jezus is offering, well then what's the harm? >> i believe in jezus with a z bringing the people together. i believe that jezus is the prophet. >> i definitely believe in jezus. >> i will follow that man to the horizon and beyond and beyond and beyond. >> i believe a storm is coming. prepare, prepare, prepare. >> i'm a prophet. i believe in my prophesy. >> i believe we are capable of great things. >> i believe we are the ones we have been waiting for. >> i believe in love, i believe in life, i believe in the power of the people. >> i believe in vibration.
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i believe we are the new advanced civilization. >> i believe mystery and magic. >> i believe we cado ts. a battle is raging for the souls of the haitian people. one side claims the country is in the grip of satan, that all of its social, political and economic problems are the result of a blood pact made with the devil. the other side sees the faith that helped liberate their ancestors from the shackles of slavery threatened by outsiders. they are now struggling to simply keep that faith alive. i'm in haiti to explore the conflict that has gripped this nation between evangelical

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