There are plenty of people out there with a Messiah complex. Many actually get a following and people who feed their belief that they are in fact a prophet, messiah or even a God. Some of these people seem to be mentally disturbed while others may have been following a higher power, we will never know. There have been hundreds of people claiming to be Jesus or other Messiahs over the centuries, listed below are some of the more modern claims that are extremely strange.
Along with David Koresh, Jim Jones was possibly the most notoriously crazy person to claim to be God. He is responsible for the utterly gut wrenching Jonestown Massacre in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978.
Jones, a paranoid drug addict infatuated with power, claimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus, Buddha and Gandhi. This untrained Christian preacher from Indiana founded the People’s Temple Full Gospel Church and moved his congregation from the U.S. to Guyana due to an expose in New West magazine.
Claims of abuse and human rights violations led to a Congressional investigation of Jim Jones in Guyana spearheaded by Congressman Leo Ryan. Ryan and a NBC film crew discovered that people were being held against their will in Jonestown. When the congressman announced that he was willing to take anyone who wished to leave back to the United States, Jones launched an attack on Ryan and his entourage and used that to influence his followers to commit mass suicide.
A total of 918 people died that day. Jim Jones died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
In the 1930’s, Lois and Ben Roden, Davidian founders, believed that a new Messiah would arrive, signifying the beginning of the “last days.” Upon joining the church in 1981, Howell became close to Lois Roden and after her death gained control of the Davidians. Howell changed his name to David Koresh, and became the church’s new leader and Messiah.
Under Koresh’s control, rumors of child abuse and illegal weapons within the Branch Davidians ran rampant, resulting in The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and FBI issuing a warrant for Koresh’s arrest on February 28, 1993. Four ATF members died in the resulting shoot-out with the Davidians, who lost six of their own.
Negotiations with Koresh dragged out over 51 days. He stalled for time by confusing negotiators with biblical imagery and claimed he was writing religious documents he needed to complete before he surrendered.
The siege finally ended when the FBI carried out a final assault to take members of the sect by force. The “last days” the Roddens had predicted for the Davidians were finally at hand–the compound caught fire and 76 members of the Branch Davidians, including David Koresh, perished inside.
Perhaps the most infamous, homicidal, Messianic cult leader of not only the ‘60’s, but of all time, Charlie was born as “No Name Maddox” to 16-year old prostitute Kathleen Maddox. He spent the majority of his youth in various reform schools, prison and the like.
When Manson was released from prison just in time for the 1967 “Summer of Love”, he moved to the epicenter of Flower Power, San Francisco and gained a following. The following eventually became the hippie cult known as “The Family”.
Manson moved his “Family” to an abandoned ranch just outside of Los Angeles, and proceeded to manipulate his followers with his own religious philosophy. “I’m God to my friends. I’m the devil to my enemies. When I look to the future, I’m the prophet. When I must lay down the law for our earth, I’m the son of man.”
Manson prophesied an upcoming race war in which black people would slaughter white people. To ignite the race war, Manson ordered some members of “The Family” to go on a killing spree, which resulted in the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and several others. This set off a reign of terror in Los Angeles for several months and ended the spirit of peace and love of the 1960’s for many.
Taking his first name as an acronym from Jesus Christ’s cross, “Inri” and his last name meaning “Christ,” Inri Cristo is a 66-year-old Brazilian man who believes he is Jesus Christ reincarnated.
Having heard voices since his childhood, Cristo received his first revelation he was Christ while undergoing a fast in Santiago, Chile, in 1979. On this occasion, the voice said, “I am your father: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” His website claims that his is the same face as that on the Shroud of Turin.
As the leader of his own church, “SOUST”– an acronym for Supreme Universal Order of the Holy Trinity–Cristo has many female followers, many of which live on the church compound and have been following him for decades–the oldest is 86 and the youngest only 24. His provocative views on capitalism, abortion, atheism, birth control and even Christmas have caused so much controversy that he has been expelled from several countries including the U.S. and Britain.
Cristo remains in the public eye making numerous appearances on tour and in Brazilian media. The vegetarian and self-proclaimed Messiah broadcasts his teachings every week live on his website to this day.
Marshall Applewhite and former partner Bonnie Nettles, founders of the Heaven’s Gate cult, believed themselves to be “walk-ins”– higher beings who took control over two middle-aged human bodies designated for their use to teach humanity. Their followers believed it too, and gave up their lives and worldly possessions in the belief that Earth was to be “recycled.” The only way to survive was to leave immediately.
In March 1997, that time had come. Applewhite spoke to his followers of a spacecraft that was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp. The church leader claimed that the “only way to evacuate this Earth” was to stage a mass suicide so their souls could board the spacecraft. In his taped speech, he said that after their deaths, the UFO would take them to “another level of existence above human.”
38 members, including Applewhite, left Earth for that “next level” in a rented mansion in suburban San Diego. They carried $5.75 in their pockets for their interplanetary toll.
David Shayler – a former member of the MI5 (Security Service) – proclaimed himself to be the son of God by saying, “I am the messiah and hold the secret to eternal life.” He is a also a transvestite whose alter ego – Delores Kane – lives in a squat in Surrey.
Shayler initially achieved notoriety in 1997 when he leaked secret documents to the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday. Believing that intelligence services were deliberately planting stories in newspapers and mainstream media, Shayler later joined the 9/11 Truth Movement, a movement believing the 9/11 attacks to be fraudulent.
In addition to having a conspiracy theory for every major act of terrorism over the past few decades, he also claims to have divine powers, which allow him to influence the weather, prevent terror attacks and predict football scores.
Michael Travesser a.k.a Wayne Bent
Pedophilic Sect Leader Claims to be God is Arrested on Sex Charges
Michael Travesser, a.k.a. Wayne Bent, leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church in New Mexico, revealed himself to be the Messiah in 2000.
He predicted the world would end in 2007 but stated that God said to “stay with me one more year.” A year later, Bent was arrested on sex charges for three counts of sexual conduct with a minor. The church leader has acknowledged that he has had sex with his followers in the past.
Comparing himself to Jesus Christ, Bent told the media, “The current upheaval over me and the present contest is well under way. It was the same for Jesus. Jesus had not committed any crimes, so the authorities had to invent some crimes to crucify him over. It is the same for me also. I have committed no crimes, but many crimes are being imagined and concocted in the minds of men to try and kill me again.”
Ram Bahadur Bomjon “the Buddha Boy”
He drew thousands of visitors and media attention by spending months in meditation. Nicknamed the Buddha Boy, he began his meditation on May 16, 2005. He told them he had left his meditation place, where large crowds had been watching him, “because there is no peace”. He then went his own way and reappeared elsewhere in Nepal on December 26, 2006, but left again on March 8, 2007. On March 26, 2007, inspectors from the Area Police Post Nijgadh in Ratanapuri found Bomjon meditating inside an underground chamber of about seven square feet.
Bomjon is a member of the Tamang community.
Bomjon’s story gained popularity because it resembled a legend from the Jataka Nidanakatha about Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment. This led some devotees to claim Ram was the reincarnation of Gautama Buddha. On 8 November 2005 Bomjon said, “Tell the people not to call me a Buddha. I don’t have the Buddha’s energy. I am at the level of a rinpoche.” Rinpoche (“precious jewel”) is an honorific used in Tibetan Buddhism for a teacher and adept. He said that he will need six more years of meditation before he can become a Buddha.
According to his followers Bomjon may have been or may be a bodhisattva, a person on the path to attaining full enlightenment or Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, there were innumerable Buddhas before him and there are an infinite number of Buddhas to come. Others claim that Bomjon may be Maitreya Bodhisattva, the predicted incarnation of the future Buddha. Scholars doubt the claims of his supporters. Mahiswor Raj Bajracharya, president of the Nepal Buddhist Council, has said, “We do not believe he is Buddha. He does not have Buddha’s qualities”.
His mother’s name is Maya Devi Tamang, the same first name as Buddha’s mother. It is reported that his mother fainted when she found out that her son intended to meditate for an indefinite period.
Jose Luis de Jesus
the leader of the Creciendo en Gracia sect, based in Miami, Florida. He claimed to be both the returned phase of Jesus Christ and the Antichrist; he was known for making statements that opposed the precepts of the Roman Catholic Church but that followed his interpretation of the Bible. He was previously known as el Jesucristo Hombre (which translates, roughly, to “the Man Jesus-Christ”) but shortly after his death his followers granted him the title of Melchizedek because, as stated by his official site, he attained his new and final name which means king of justice and king of peace.
In late 2006 he claimed that he was the Antichrist. He stated that the term was appropriate because people are no longer required to follow the “Jewish teachings” of Jesus of Nazareth, but rather to follow the apostle Paul’s teachings through De Jesús. According to de Jesús, “Antichrist” means “no longer following Jesus of Nazareth as he lived in the days of his flesh”. Followers showed their support by getting “666” tattoos on their bodies. One of Miranda’s followers in Havana, Cuba tattooed the symbol on her three-year-old son.”666″, de Jesús said, is not a sign of the devil (he preaches that the devil was destroyed) but instead is the number of the Antichrist and that the number is “a number of wisdom and it displays who is really following the truthful words of Jesus Christ”.