Fact Check: Image Of 'Dr. Sebi's Cousin' In Court For 'Revealing ... Health Secrets' Is Likely AI Creation

Fact Check

  • by: Madison Dapcevich
Fact Check: Image Of 'Dr. Sebi's Cousin' In Court For 'Revealing ... Health Secrets' Is Likely AI Creation Likely AI Pic

Does a photograph show "Dr. Sebi's cousin" on trial, purportedly for "revealing... GATEKEPT health secrets," as a post on Facebook suggested? No, that's not true: Multiple AI detection tools found evidence that the image of the man in an orange prison jumpsuit was likely AI-generated. There are no credible news reports of Dr. Sebi's cousin being arrested, put on trial or sentenced to prison. The claim was made without providing names, dates, locations or other details by which to independently verify that such a trial occurred or that the person shown is related to the late Alfredo "Dr. Sebi" Bowman. A reverse image search for the photograph returns zero matches. Finally, the account that posted the image sells alternative health products and likely uses the photo as a marketing tool.

The claim appeared in a reel posted on Facebook on May 3, 2024. A caption with the reel read:

He Knew the TRUTH!!! 😔🙏 #naturalhealing #holistichealth #healthsecrets #drsebi

The reel's opening shot shows an image of a man in an orange jumpsuit in a courtroom. Black-and-white text superimposed on the image reads:

Dr. Sebi's cousin was just sentenced to 155 YEARS IN PRISON for revealing these GATEKEPT health secrets... 😣🙏

share before it's deleted...

Here is how the post appeared at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 10.25.30 AM (1).png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue May 7 17:26:37 2024 UTC)

"Dr. Sebi," whose real name was Alfredo Bowman, was a Honduran man who died in 2016. He was not a licensed physician (archived here) and was known for promoting disreputable (archived here) herb-based products and holistic practices.

Lead Stories has previously disproven similar claims about supposedly authentic images showing a purported son, daughter or cousin of "Dr. Sebi" on trial. These fact checks can be read here, here, here and here.

Hive Moderation, an AI-detection tool, assessed the face of "Dr. Sebi's" supposed cousin as 99.9 percent "likely to contain AI-generated or deepfake content":

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 10.35.28 AM.png

(Source: Hive Moderation Screenshot taken Tue May 7 16:35:28 UTC 2024)

The Media Forensic Lab (archived here) at the University of Buffalo provides tools for assessing the likelihood that an image is AI generated. Two of the tools in the DeepFake-o-Meter tool found evidence of AI generation of the face in the reel post on Facebook, with the tool citing "the probability of the input being fake." The tool's findings are shown in the chart below:

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 11.04.53 AM.png

(Source: DeepFake-o-Meter screenshot taken Tue May 7 17:04:53 UTC 2024)

A Google Lens search (archived here) of the image of the man revealed similar digitally manipulated photos of different men pictured in orange jumpsuits in courtrooms with superimposed text claiming these men are "Dr. Sebi's" sons who are also being "sentenced to 155 YEARS IN PRISON" for "revealing these GATEKEPT health secrets."

Lead Stories searched using keywords on Google News (archived here) and found no credible documents or reporting to corroborate the claim made on Facebook. The post's text did not give the name of the photographed man or other details -- such as the location and date of the supposed trial and sentencing -- that would help narrow the search.

The account that posted the reel, Divina Vitals, is self-described (archived here) on its profile as an "Alkaline Vegan Shop" that sells "Full Body Health & Nutrition" products on a website (archived here) linked in its Facebook profile. A look at other reels posted by this account revealed that it had shared dozens of other reels making similar unproven claims about the arrests of pseudo-medical providers and their family members:

Screenshot 2024-05-07 at 11.16.18 AM.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken Tue May 7 17:16:18 UTC 2024)

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims mentioning "Dr. Sebi" can be read here.

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  Madison Dapcevich

Raised on an island in southeast Alaska, Madison grew up a perpetually curious tidepooler and has used that love of science and innovation in her now full-time role as a science reporter for the fact-checking publication Lead Stories.

Read more about or contact Madison Dapcevich

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