Top 10 Self-Appointed Messiahs
This is a list of modern people who have convinced themselves and others that through divine revelation they have been chosen to be the messiah, saviour, teacher or leader for all humanity. In no particular order…
Ram Bahadur Bomjon – also known as Palden Dorje (his official Buddhist name), is from Ratanapuri village, Bara district, Nepal and drew thousands of visitors and media attention for spending months in meditation. Nicknamed the Buddha Boy, he began his meditation on May 16, 2005, disappeared from his hometown on March 11, 2006, and reappeared elsewhere in Nepal on December 26, 2006 only to leave again on March 8, 2007. On March 26, 2007, inspectors from the Area Police Post Nijgadh in Ratanpuri found Bomjon meditating inside a bunker-like square ditch of seven feet.
L. Ron Hubbard was the founder of the Church of Scientology. Declared himself to be “Metteya” (Maitreya) the forthcoming world spiritual teacher and leader, in the 1955 poem Hymn of Asia. In the book’s preface, his editors indicated that Hubbard possessed specific physical characteristics said to be outlined in unnamed Sanskrit sources as properties of Maitreya.
George Baker, also known as Father Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death. His full self-given name was Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and he was also known as “the Messenger” and George Baker early in his life. He founded the International Peace Mission movement, Father Divine claimed to be God. Some contemporary critics also claimed he was a charlatan, and some suppose him to be one of the first modern cult leaders. However, Father Divine made numerous contributions toward his followers’ economic independence and racial equality.
Claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine. He performed supposed miracle healings to attract new converts. Members of Jones’ church called him “Father” and believed their movement was the solution to the problems of society; many did not distinguish Jones from the movement. He was the American founder of the Peoples Temple, which became synonymous with group suicide after the November 18, 1978 death of over 900 people from cyanide poisoning in their isolated agricultural intentional community called Jonestown, along with the death of 9 other people at a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown.
David Koresh was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch. Koresh, 53 adults and 21 children died in the fire.
Baha’u’llah was born Shiite, adopting Babism later in life. He claimed to be the promised one of all religions, and founded the Baha’Ì Faith. Baha’u’llah declared that he was the “Promised One” of all religions, fulfilling the messianic prophecies found in world religions. He stated that his claims to being several messiahs converging one person were the symbolic, rather than literal, fulfilment of the messianic and eschatological prophecies found in the literature of the major religions.
Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda was a Puerto Rican preacher who has claimed to be “the Man Jesus Christ”, who is indwelled with the same spirit that dwelled in Jesus. He is the founder and leader of Creciendo en Gracia (Growing In Grace International Ministry, Inc.), a movement that teaches the “doctrine of Grace” and is based in Miami, Florida. He claims to be both Jesus Christ returned and the Antichrist, and exhibits a “666” tattoo on his forearm. He has referred to himself as “The Man Christ Jesus”. Creciendo en Gracia has been described as a cult by cult expert Rick Ross, and Freedom of Mind’s Steven Hassan.
Sun Myung Moon was the founder of the Unification Church (“Moonies”). Claims he is the Second Coming of Christ, the “Savior”, “returning Lord”, and “True Parent”. He teaches that all people should become perfected like Jesus and like himself, and that as such he “appears in the world as the substantial body of God Himself”. He is well-known for holding Blessing ceremonies, which are often called “mass weddings”.
Applewhite posted a famous Usenet message declaiming, “I, Jesus Son of God acknowledge on this date of September 25/26, 1995…”. This was two years before he and his Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide to rendezvous with a spaceship hiding behind the comet Hale-Bopp.
Nuclear war will begin next Thursday, June 12 2008, or sooner, according to the latest prediction of self-proclaimed prophet Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins, the founder of a religious sect in Abilene, Texas. “It could be turned loose before then” Hawkins told 20/20 for a report to be broadcast tonight. “You’re going to see this very soon, really soon” he said. Hundreds of truck trailers have been loaded with food and water on the group’s 44-acre compound, in preparation for the coming war.