The Church of Gibborim is a Los Angeles-based religious organization that follows the teachings of David Ellerh. While publicly appearing as an open and helping organization, the Church also provided sacrificial victims for PRIDE to murder in their Rite of Blood in order to restore their leader Jonah.
The Church of Gibborim was founded by David Ellerh, in Los Angeles, when he had his beliefs and studies of years confirmed by Jonah. Ellerh wrote the Book of Gibborim to be the canonical text of the church.
Public and Hidden Activities
Under the leadership of Leslie Dean, the Church of Gibborim was affiliated to PRIDE, a so-called charity organization which had been assembled by Jonah for them to perform ritual sacrifices to periodically revive him. The Church of Gibborim played a significant role in these rituals. Indeed, thanks to active members like Aura and Frances, the Church frequently picked up runaways and marginalized youth in the street. Dean then selected one of them to be annually sacrificed under the pretense of becoming an Ultra member of the Church. Once Jonah was revived, he pretended to be an old benefactor of the Church.
Publicly, the Church was recognized as an organization providing comfort and support for lost people, like Vaughn Kaye, who thanked the Church for helping him with his life and had become Dean's personal assistant. The Church of Gibborim presented itself as an inclusive one, welcoming all those who were interested - and attracted by the charm of the Dean family: Leslie, her actor husband Frank and their beautiful daughter Karolina - and allowing its members to retain some other aspects of their religion. Despite that, some people like Gert Yorkes still saw the Church of Gibborim as a cult. Moreover, Karolina was sometimes mocked by her classmates for her religious beliefs, being called "brainwashed" by some.
During one of their traditional cruises across Los Angeles, Aura and Frances picked up the young Destiny Gonzalez off the streets and welcomed her into the Church of Gibborim. Gonzalez became a devoted member of the Church, thanking Leslie Dean and her daughter Karolina for having helped her to put her life back on tracks when she was in dire need. However, Gonzalez ultimately decided to leave Los Angeles and return to the baby daughter she had abandoned.
Aura and Frances discovered it and informed Leslie, who resolved to find Gonzalez as she had been selected to be the next victim of PRIDE's Rite of Blood. Leslie found Gonzalez in the Los Angeles Bus Depot and convinced her to return into the Church so that she could be part of a ceremony making her an Ultra member of the Church. Gonzalez accepted and returned with Leslie, Aura and Frances, unaware that she would be sacrificed by PRIDE. In order to cover up for her absence, the Church of Gibborim pretended that Gonzalez was on a trip to London.
Frank Dean's Ambition
Frank Dean, the husband of the head of the Chuch Leslie Dean and a prominent figure of the religious organization, saw his acting career wither due to his commitment to the Church, losing his collaboration with his agent Phil. As a result, Frank decided to devote more of his life to the Church and declared his intention to become an Ultra member of the Church. Leslie ultimately agreed to have Frank undergo the official version of the Ultra ceremony, which involved spending the night in the desert in a place called the Crater. However, once the ceremony was done, Aura and Frances informed Frank that he had failed to ascend to the rank of Ultra.
The sacrifice of Andre Compton, held in the very Church of Gibborim Executive Offices, enabled PRIDE to revive Jonah, who once again intended to pose as a benefactor of the Church of Gibborim. Jonah went to a fundraising gala held by PRIDE in Wizard Headquarters, where Leslie Dean represented the Church of Gibborim. Leslie and Frank Dean also had a discussion about the latter's failure to ascend to the rank of Ultra, although Frank admitted that he was after something out of his reach.
Frank also encountered Jonah, which caused him to reminisce fragments of memories of Jonah having sex with Leslie. Frank and Jonah also had a talk about Frank having tried to go Ultra, with Jonah confirming to Frank that he had gone Ultra. In order for Frank to increase his influence within the Church of Gibborim, Jonah gave him healing gloves for Frank to use them on the ill members of the Church. Frank used them on Calvin, which was witnessed by Leslie who later confronted Jonah as she suspected him to plan to undermine her leadership in the Church. However, Jonah replied that the Church was nearing its end and that PRIDE was all that mattered.
Due to Frank gaining more importance in the Church thanks to Jonah, Vaughn Kaye was appointed as Frank's new assistant. Frank and Kaye went to retrieve old furnitures in the Churhc's building's storage room for Frank to use them in his new office. They found the desk used by David Ellerh to write the Book of Gibborim, and Frank discovered a photo depicting a child Leslie with an already adult Jonah, making him suspicious about who Jonah really was. Later, Leslie admitted to Frank that she had had an affair with Jonah, who was the Being mentioned in the Book of Gibborim.
Watching the Construction Site
As Jonah's plan were near completion and the Nemo Industrial Drilling Machine was delivered on the PRIDE Construction Site, Jonah and Leslie Dean decided that it was time for the Church of Gibborim to directly oversee the operations on the site. Thus, the teams providing security which were hired by Geoffrey Wilder Construction Inc. were dismissed and replaced by members of the Church of Gibborim. One of these guards, Carl, saw the Runaways arriving on the site and informed Frank Dean of their presence. Frank, who was actually working with Jonah, told Carl to let the teenagers enter the site. As Franck hung up, Jonah told him that the Church of Gibborim would thrive under his leadership.
Karolina Dean, who had been captured by Jonah during the Infiltration into the PRIDE Construction Site, was taken into Jonah's room in the Church of Gibborim Executive Offices to recover from her duel against Jonah. When she woke up, Jonah told Karolina that he was her actual father, not Frank Dean. Later, Jonah went to see Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder, who had come to see Karolina in order to find out where their son Alex was. However, Jonah refused to let them see Karolina and had members of the Church of Gibborim threateningly stand around the Wilders, prompting them to leave.
Meanwhile, the Runaways sought to rescue their friend. They reached out to Church of Gibborim member Vaughn Kaye and attempted to convince him to help them, arguing that Karolina was in danger and that Jonah had taken over the Church of Gibborim. Although Kaye refused to listen to them and to believe their story which went against what he believed the Church to be, he secretly reported his encounter with the Runaways to Leslie Dean. Dean then asked him to help the Runaways to save Karolina.
As a result, when Aura and Frances, who had picked up Chase Stein and Molly Hernandez from the streets, believing them to be the typical runaways they welcomed into the Church, Kaye guided them to the private room where Karolina was being held. Once the Runaways were able to escape despite the Church's security trying to stop them as they had been warned by Aura and Frances, Kaye informed Leslie of their success, who thanked him in return. When Kaye expressed his worrying that Jonah could be in control of the Church, Leslie replied that he was not, much to Kaye's relief.
|Appearances for Church of Gibborim|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, the Gibborim are mystical giant deities who wanted to purge mankind from Earth.
Behind the Scenes
- The Church of Gibborim's practices and the organization itself are an expy of the real life Church of Scientology.
- Co-showrunner Stephanie Savage described "Gibborim" as "an alien entity": "What if the origin story of Scientology was actually true and there are actually aliens among us and somebody had the task of translating that into a belief system that people felt could help them in their daily lives?"
- Talking about the Gibborim beings in the TV series, Savage said: "It will definitely be tied to the mythology of the comics, but it may not take exactly the same route the giants take in the comics."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Runaways: 1.07: Refraction
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Runaways: 1.02: Rewind
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Runaways: 1.01: Reunion
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Runaways: 1.04: Fifteen
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Runaways: 1.06: Metamorphosis
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Runaways: 1.10: Hostile
- ↑ Runaways: 1.03: Destiny
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Runaways: 1.05: Kingdom
- ↑ Runaways: 1.09: Doomsday
- ↑ ‘Runaways’ Showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage on Adapting a Beloved Comic
- ↑ 'Marvel's Runaways' finale postmortem: Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage talk Season 1 ending