People Claiming to Be Jesus
Christians believe through John 14:1-3 in the Bible that Jesus would return to Earth. There have been scores of predictions about the second coming but none have panned out. Not so, say the many people who claim they are reincarnation of the Son of God. Only they know whether they actually believe they are Jesus returned or con artists feeding on the faith of the gullible.
Arnold Potter came into this world in 1804 in Herkimer County, New York. There is no mention of a special star, wise men, or mangers attached to his birth. He was baptized into the Mormon church and became an associate of the faith’s founder, Joseph Smith.
While travelling to Australia to carry out missionary work, Potter claimed that Jesus Christ entered his body during some sort of supernatural experience. Thereafter, he styled himself “Potter Christ, Son of the living God,” and he wrote a book that he said was dictated to him by angels.
He returned to the United States, gathered a small band of followers, and settled in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1872, he told his little group that it was time for him to ascend to heaven. He leaped from a cliff; but instead of ascending he descended. His disciples gathered up his remains and cremated him.
Born half blind in 1955 to a poor Japanese family, Chizuo Matsumoto eked out a living weaving tatami mats. Then, came the selling of herbal medicines and some difficulty with the authorities over not having a pharmaceutical licence.
Rather like Arnold Potter, he had a spiritual awakening in 1987 that lead to him founding the “religion of truth,” which is a rough translation of its Japanese name, Aum Shinrikyo. Along with this came the name change to Shoko Asahara and the pinching of bits of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity. At its peak, 10,000 people in Japan and many more in Russia bought into his, dare we say, cult.
He declared himself to be the Lamb of God. As Jesus Christ, he prophesied the end of the world in a nuclear wallop and only those to be saved would be members of Aum Shinrikyo.
What better way to invite adherents into your cause than an act of terrorism? So, in March 1995, a group of Aum Shinrikyo devotees released some Sarin nerve gas into the Tokyo subway system. Thirteen people died and thousands suffered injuries.
A lengthy trial found the son of god guilty of murder and he was sentenced to death. Apparently, he is now in a wheelchair and is unable to engage in a responsive way with anybody.
Jesus Down Under
In March 1963, Maxine and Alan Miller in Loxton, South Australia, unaware that they had created a deity, called their son Alan John Miller.
Alan John himself, AJ to his friends, seems to have been oblivious to his divine status until about 2003. That’s when he recovered the memory that he had existed before. Back in the first century of the Christian Era. In the Middle East. In the persona of Jesus Christ.
News.com in Australia quotes him as saying “I began the process of progressing towards God in the same manner as I did in the first century.”
In 2007, AJ met up with Mary Suzanne Luck. Now this was a truly amazing coincidence, because it turns out she was the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene. Who saw that coming?
The two became an item just as they had, according to AJ, 2,000 years earlier. And, here comes a stunner, that first union had produced a daughter.
AJ is a truly modern messiah who operates a website called Divine Truth through which he preaches his godly lessons. He also runs seminars that feature the end times and the coming apocalypse. Donations are accepted and are NOT REFUNDABLE (AJ’s caps).
In these days of gender ambiguity it’s only right that there should be female claimants to the title of Prince of Peace. So, here is Marina Tsvigun, or Maria Devi Christos, as she prefers to be known. She leads a group in Russia called the New Community of Enlightened Humanity. It’s also known as YUSMALOS, which is an acronym for Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Luna, Orion, and Sirius.
Ms. Tsvigun got her start in the divinity business in 1990 when she attended some lectures given by Yuri Krivonogov, a co-founder of the Great White Brotherhood. (Members of this outfit are said to be supernatural beings with immense power and spirituality. Followers are required to sever family ties and hand over money and property to the Brotherhood).
It seems Krivonogov has a talent for spotting gods in a crowd and he identified Marina as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Then, he decided he was John the Baptist and he married the messiah.
Things did not go well for the holy couple and prison time ensued.
There followed a new group, “The Mystic College of Isis and Her Followers,” books, pamphlets, and art. There is a website that bangs on about “Mother of the World Maria DEVI CHRISTOS for more than 26 years DEVOTED Prepares Epochal Transition of the Solar System to the New Time Circuit … IT IS the Planned Quantum Transition into the New Formation of the Golden Age, in Which the Sixth RAce transfigured humanity, that took the Golden Testament of Sophia will come.”
No prizes are offered, but readers are invited to offer an explanation.
According to the BBC programme Quite Interesting "George Washington is worshipped as a god by Japanese Shinto priests in Hawaii."
Ashley Nicole Bailey, 29, lives near Spartanburg, South Carolina. Police were called to a house there in February 2017 to discover a man with a deep neck laceration. Ashley Bailey told deputies “I ain’t owning up to this.” She then explained that she is Jesus Christ and that she controls President Donald Trump through a bracelet she wears. That explains a lot.
John Nichols Tom (1799-1838) was involved in the wine trade in Cornwall, England. After some time in a mental hospital he styled himself Sir William Percy Honeywood Courtney, King of Jerusalem and gathered together a merry band of followers. They wandered about the Kent countryside campaigning peacefully for a better deal for the poor. This upset the landowners who did not want their workers getting uppity so they set the military on Tom. In a five-minute skirmish in 1838 Tom and eight of his followers were killed; one soldier was slightly injured by a stick.
Conspiracy theorist David Icke was interviewed by chat show host Terry Wogan on British TV in 1991. Icke announced “I am the son of God.” The audience burst out laughing and Wogan commented “They’re laughing at you. They’re not laughing with you.” Icke said the interview caused him problems: “I couldn’t walk down any street in Britain without being laughed at. A comedian only had to say my name to get a laugh.”
- “Forgotten Messiahs: Arnold Potter, or ‘Potter Christ.’ ” Journal of the Bizarre, October 26, 2014.
- “Shoko Asahara.” Biography, April 2, 2014.
- “The Queensland Man Who Believes He’s Jesus, Seriously.” Nathan Jolly, News.com, July 26, 2016.
- “The Messiah Complex.” Matt Siegel, Sydney Morning Herald, May 1, 2013.
- “Report: Upstate Woman Claims to Be Jesus, Illuminati After Slitting Man’s Throat.” Amanda Shaw, Fox Carolina, February 3, 2017.
- “The Day David Icke Told Terry Wogan ‘I’m the Son of God.’ ” The Telegraph, April 29, 2016.