May 24, 1974 |
Seattle, Washington, US
|Education||University of Washington, Vancouver Film School|
|Occupation||New media arts|
|Organization||Body Freedom Collaborative, World Naked Bike Ride, World Naked Bike Ride Seattle, World Naked Gardening Day, Naked Pumpkin Run, Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade|
|Known for||permaculture, cycling, cannabis and public lands nudity activism; New World Order theories; anti-world government; and various conspiracy theories.|
|Home town||Mercer Island, Washington|
|permaculture, social nudity, raw veganism|
Jacob Daniel Ekblad Gabriel (born as Daniel Lorenz Johnson May 24, 1974) is an American Messianic Gentile, permaculturist, artist, activist, community organizer and writer who has worked for the advancement of various causes through interdisciplinary, collaborative projects involving grassroots politics, media art and popular culture. While best known his work advocating for and organizing social nudity, events (with an emphasis of opportunities on public lands), his work also involves advocating human rights, ecological economics, environmental issues, naturopathic medicine, cannabis advocacy, and humanure composting.
Born in Seattle and raised on Mercer Island, Washington, an affluent part of the Puget Sound region. His mother was a private piano teacher and his father was a cryptographer stationed in Germany in the US Military during the Cold War. He has one older sister and one older brother.
He graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1992, Bellevue Community College (now Bellevue College), The Vancouver Film School in 1998 with a certificate degree in 3D Animation and Digital Effects as well as The University of Washington in 2000 with a B.F.A. degree in Fine Art (Photography) and Art (Interdisciplinary Visual Arts). At the UW he was active in the Laboratory for Animation Arts (LA2), Studio for Media Arts Research and Technologies Laboratory (SMART), Center for Advanced Research Technology in the Arts and Humanities (CARTAH) and the School of Music Computer Center (SMCC), programs which were later merged into the The Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) program. There he studied with Shawn Brixey, Paul Berger, Ron Carraher, Richard Karpen, David H. Salesin, Barbara Mones and Cassidy Curtis.
During his time in college he became interested in international politics and participating in the National Model United Nations in 1994 as a representative of Libya in the Human Rights Council in Manhattan and at the United Nations. Later he became a Co-coordinator of the Amnesty International Group 94 at the University of Washington. In addition to living in Seattle and Vancouver (1997–1998) he also lived in North Hollywood, Los Angeles for about a year in 2000.
After learning about clothing-optional activities on public lands and reading about The Freedom to be Yourself (TFTBY) campaign he briefly joined that campaign. In late 2001 and May 2, 2002 he received some brief publicity with activist Terri Sue Webb after two short public urban nude TFTBY protests with her in Portland and Bend, Oregon. At the latter protest, he was held in jail overnight after being arrested for disorderly conduct and interference with governmental administration (relating to Webb's trial appointment scheduled for the same day). The charges were later dropped. At that time Gabriel became critical of the clothes free movement for failing to activate enough interest and advances in public lands advocacy.
In 2001 he co-founded The Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC) with Mark Storey. In 2003, Jacob Gabriel helped organize World Naked Bike Ride events globally with Conrad Schmidt and other ride organizers that began to come forward. In 2005 he founded The Organic Living Party, an short-lived progressive political party based on the German Lebensreform movement. The party, together with the Work Less Party USA hosted the World Naked Bike Ride Seattle, co-founded by Gabriel and Schmidt.
In 2006, Gabriel founded Naked Pumpkin Run Seattle with the help of his friend Josh whom he knew from his college years living together in the University District.
In 2009, Gabriel earned his Permaculture Design Certificate and was involved in a student project known at the Jefferson Park Food Forest, which later developed into the Beacon Food Forest.
In 2007 and 2009 respectively he founded Hemp Ride and in 2009 co-founded the Gardens Everywhere Bike Parade with permaculture activist Kelda Miller, two affiliated WNBR events designed as stand-alone events.
In Seattle he has helped in focused efforts to push for the development of clothing-optional city beaches. He co-founded two free beach groups in Seattle: the Seattle Free Beach Campaign and Magnuson Beach Bares as well as co-founding Seattle Swims and the NAC Seattle Swims, which is believed to be only the second such indoor swim organized at municipal pools facilities in the USA. In 2006, he came up with the idea of an election time event, which later became the Nude Beaches Yes! national campaign, a collaborative project primarily organized by the Naturist Action Committee, with support by BFC as well as other grassroots skinnydipping organizations around the country.
On July 29, 2006 he ran the entire length of the 5K UnitedHealthcare Torchlight Run at Seafair (celebrating its 30th anniversary) in Seattle wearing only bodypaint, socks and shoes in an attempt to encourage others to participate in a creatively adorned manner and to jumpstart a related event called the Jaybird Run.
In Spring of 2008, with the help of free beach advocates from around North America, Gabriel help organize a community effort to lobby the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners to put pressure on the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation to look at the issue of creating more opportunities for clothing-optional recreation in Seattle. The plan was called "Citywide Clothing-optional Recreation Plan" and was presented to the Board of Park Commissioners on Thursday, May 8, 2008. This also involved collaborative efforts with the Naturist Action Committee to organize a grassroots effort to lobby during the Seattle Parks and Recreation Strategic Action Plan public input process, which resulted in 22 pages of positive support published in the "Seattle Parks and Recreation Strategic Action Plan - Summary of Public Feedback - Phase 2: Public Comment Report"
In November 2008, Seattle Parks and Recreation attempted to propose a rule change banning nudity in all Seattle Parks & Recreation areas, with the exception of indoor rentals at City pools. Jacob led a collaborative effort with the help of the Naturist Action Committee to successfully defeat the proposal in the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners meeting on November 13, 2008. The Board not only rejected the proposed ban but also asked the Parks Department to look into creating areas for clothing-optional recreation on Seattle beaches, which was widely seen as a significant move in favor of and in lieu of the lobbying efforts of local skinny dippers and sunbathers.
On February 27, 2009 Gabriel was involved in an auto-pedestrian accident in the Seattle Chinatown-International District. The elderly woman who was struck by Gabriel later died. Gabriel was cited for inattentive driving and fined. Gabriel was on his way to "Bicycling: A Sustainable Choice", a presentation by Niels Tørsløv—Director, Traffic Department Technical and Environmental Administration for the City of Copenhagen at Seattle Central Library's Microsoft Auditorium. Around the same time Cascade Bicycle Club was pushing for increased penalties for breaking traffic laws relating to accidents with vulnerable users with their support of Washington SB 5838.
Gabriel founded Raw Living Wiki and Naked.Wikia.com. He is the founding member of a collaborative effort known as Viretta Park Repair, a group that, according to its website, "aims to ecologically restore and repair Seattle's Viretta Park while preserving the park's mix of developed and natural areas through collaborative work parties and community building. Utilizing the principles of permaculture, the effort will create a park that serves both as an urban neighborhood escape as well as a destination to remember and celebrate the life of Kurt Cobain and the music of Nirvana with creative memorial installations that reflect both the character of the park and the creativity of the band and the dedication of fans that visit the park". Shortly after the first work party in 2011, he had to distance himself from the group's efforts due to opposition from neighbors regarding a Kurt Cobain memorial and Federal Wages and Hours laws.
Religious, philosophical and political views
Gabriel grew up with a Christian (Evangelical Covenant Church) mother and originally an Assemblies of God Christian father who left the Christian Church to attend the Unification Church and then later to follow Meher Baba.
Gabriel draws some affiliation with neocharismatic Christian aligned with Tierra Nueva, Apostolic Network of Global Awakening, Bethell Church Ministries, the Jesus Movement/Jesus Freaks, Fellowship of the Martyrs, the Toronto Blessing and Christian leaders and writers such as Bob Ekblad, Francis MacNutt and Lonnie Frisbee. He sometimes attends the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Seattle. More recently has aligned more with Messianic Judaism. While he associates with several different areas within the body of Christ, he disagrees with some popular Christian activities, including: Christian contemplation, dispensationalism, ecumenicalism and popular secular traditions holidays with ancient, pagan roots, especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween, which he considers heresies.
Global Awakening's apostolic leader, Randy Clark, expressed concern about social nudity with Gabriel at a Global Awakening Partner's Luncheon in 2012, bringing up the issue that Adam and Eve wore clothes after the fall and also scriptural support of modesty.
He is a critic of the new age movement, Catholicism, abortion, homosexuality, the occult, secret societies (Masons, Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove), New World Order; world government (including Codex Alimentarius), big government (such as the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Federal Communications Commission), and is a proponent of various conspiracy theories aspects which aligns him such people as Alex Jones and Mike Adams (host of Natural News), while rejecting nationalistic, pro-USA viewpoints.
Influenced by Vincent Bethell of The Freedom to be Yourself, he also often rejects associations with labels. While at first notably rejecting associating by name with nudism and naturism he also rejects being associated with liberalism, libertarianism, right-wing conservatism and the new age movement while exhibiting sympathies with some aspects of those associations, which may make it difficult initially to summarize his beliefs.
On October 24, 2012, Gabriel legally took the name of the biblical Patriarch Jacob. He kept his original first name Daniel, the protagonist in the Book of Daniel of the Hebrew Bible, as his middle name. The name change was a decision that came soon after his water baptism on August 14, 2011, in the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Washington and was organized by Tierra Nueva.
He dropped his former last name Johnson. Johnson had physiological and spiritual problems from associations with his father, whose last name was Johnsson who is involved in new age writing. The decision to change his last name led to considerable opposition in his family, mainly from his father, with whom Gabriel cut off communication in 2012. This opposition contributed to the delay with the name change. He took the name of the angel Gabriel as a last name to pay homage to Heaven in what he believes was a supernatural intervention to save him from his former spiritual darkness when he was involved in liberalism and new age spirituality. He also took a second last name of Ekblad to pay homage to a Christian minister in Washington who was urging him to get baptized and earlier to renew and take more seriously his relationship with God starting in 2005.
- Gabriel's involvement in various media events is documented at WNBR Seattle's coverage page .
- Active Nudists: Living Naked at Home and in Public (German Edition) by Richard Foley . Shows pictures of some of Gabriel's collaborative events as well as other events in the Pacific Northwest, such as the Solstice Cyclists.
- The Seattle Times Seattle Parks seeking to ban nudity By Erik Lacitis, Seattle Times staff reporter. Originally published November 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 13, 2008 at 8:59 AM. This city's famous tolerance for the unconventional just got a little less so. Here is a message from Seattle Parks and Recreation to all...
- KING-TV News Nudity in Seattle parks could become thing of the past November 13, 2008 - Did you know that it's not against the law to run around naked in a public park in Seattle? That could change under a new rule being proposed by Seattle City Parks. KING 5's Linda Byron reports. (Interviews with Seattle Police spokesperson, Daniel Johnson/Jacob Gabriel (WNBR), Joelle Ligon (Parks Dept.))
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer City weighs stripping nudists of bike ride By KERY MURAKAMI, P-I REPORTER. Thursday, November 13, 2008. Breaks the story of Seattle Parks & Recreation public nudity rule proposal, its relationship to WNBR Seattle. Quotes by Dewey Potter (Parks), Mark Storey (NAC), Daniel Johnson/Jacob Gabriel (WNBR). (Editor's Note: This story has been altered. Earlier versions, based on incorrect information from the Seattle Parks and Recreation department, inaccurately described what happened to 23 nude bicyclists during a ride in July.)
- West Seattle Blog Two wheels, no clothes: Bicycling protesters in West Seattle Posted September 6, 2008
- Nude & Natural (N) magazine covered Benham Gallery and Seattle Art Museum visit in issue 28.2, Winter 2008. "Naked Cyclists' Artful Idyll" by Marie Gunn. Pages 61–62. Discussion of Daniel's idea to collaborate with Marita Holdaway of Benham Gallery in Seattle.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer Under The Needle: Nudists fight for rights at city pool: A monthly dip in Ballard runs into a city lifeguard problem By MIKE LEWIS, P-I REPORTER. Last updated May 11, 2008 11:00 p.m. PT
- KIRO (AM) 710 (Seattle) News Talk Dori Monson Show: 5-12-08 12:00 pm–1:00 pm. Interview with Jacob Gabriel (BFC) and Richard Cummings (President of Fraternity Snoqualmie).
- "Q13 FOX News at Ten" on KCPQ FOX."Local Group Wants Nude Beach in Seattle" May 1, 2008, 11:06 PM PDT. The TV version included interviews with Dewey Potter, an interview by Q13 FOX News Anchor Jennifer Cabala with Daniel Johnson/Jacob Gabriel and (not included in text version) two people interviewed at Magnuson Park who were supportive of clothing-optional beaches in Seattle.
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Blog Skinnydippers make new push for nude beaches. Posted by Monica Guzman at April 29, 2008 7:11 p.m.
- Q13 Fox News (10 PM) June 16, 2007. Story was regarding Colman Pool rental request by skinny dippers. Interview with Q13 Fox News reporte Roxeanne Vainuku was done with Daniel Johnson at Lincoln Park just off the upper south parking lot. They wanted to do a story trying to make sense of why the Solstice Cyclists are allowed by the City of Seattle to run around naked in a very public, open way with thousands of people watching and yet a proposal for a private evening skinny-dipper swim in a largely enclosed pool facility at Colman Pool has been rejected.
- Nude & Natural (N), Beyond Safe Havens: Oregon's Terri Sue Webb, By Daniel Johnson/Jacob Gabriel Issue 21.3, Spring 2002.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Exposed and stark naked—on purpose: But not all nudists support 'guerrilla' plans for prominent public exposure, by P-I reporter Kathy George, April 7, 2003.
- Oregon Daily Emerald (student-run publication of the University of Oregon) "Naturists pursue active nude pastimes, locales: Naturist organizations such as Body Freedom Collaborative are working to promote nude activities in designated areas " by Ryan Bornheimer, May 20, 2003.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Trio behind the arts: Three activists put on an eye-opening display yesterday by taking most of their clothes off at the Fremont Fresh Art Festival, by P-I reporter Kathy George, 16 June 2003 Front page of local section, with color picture 
- Nude & Natural (N), Seattle's Solstice Spectacular/Body Positive Creativity Abounds... at the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade by John Cornicello & Daniel Johnson/Jacob Gabriel. Also Guerilla Nudity/Wave Makers: Introducing the Body Freedom Collaborative by Mark Storey. Issue 23.1, Autumn 2003.
- Guzman, Monica (August 17, 2009). "Why were there naked cyclists at Hempfest?". Blog.seattlepi.com. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Amnesty International Group 94, University of Washington". Students.washington.edu. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Community | Naked Bike Riders make a scene in the name of permaculture". Ravenna Nation. Retrieved 2010-01-05.[dead link]
- "Skinnydippers make new push for nude beaches". Blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Seattle Parks & Recreation: Board of Park Commissioners". Seattle.gov. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Seattle Board of Park Commissioners - Meeting Minutes - May 8, 2008". Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "WA Seattle 04-28-08". Naturistaction.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "SAP Public Report 2.3 FD.doc" (PDF). Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "WA Seattle 11-14-08". Naturistaction.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Seattle Board of Park Commissioners - Meeting Minutes - November 13, 2008". Seattle Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Seattle Channel Video Player". Seattlechannel.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Bicycling: A Sustainable Choice with Niels Tørsløv - Northeast Seattle Neighbors' Sustainability Network". Sustainable Northeast Seattle. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- "Protect Vulnerable Roadway Users: Support SB 5838". Cascade Bicycle Club. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- ":: Naked Media Alliance ::". Bodyfreedom.org. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- George, Kathy (2003-04-07). "Exposed and stark naked - on purpose". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- "Naturists pursue active nude pastimes, locales". Oregon Daily Emerald. 2003-05-20. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- George, Kathy (16 June 2003). "Trio behind the arts". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2010-01-05.