10 People Who Thought They Were God

10 People Who Thought They Were God 10 José Luis de Jesús Miranda Often, when people come out to claim that they’re some kind of messiah, they’re doing it with the belief that they’re a righteous, holy embodiment of whatever religious figure

But that’s only half the story for José Luis de Jesús Miranda As the leader of the Miami-based Creciendo en Gracia cult, Miranda didn’t just hold the grandiose view that he was Jesus Christ – he also claimed to be the Antichrist That explains the 666 tattoos on him and his followers, but it doesn’t explain why they called him “Daddy” In terms of what he preached until his death in 2013, Miranda believed that there was neither Devil nor Sin So, in God’s eyes, you can do wrong

Hmm, I can see where that could go a little bit awry That philosophy led to some of the Church’s more controversial activities, including protests of Christian Churches in Miami and Latin America, smashing crosses and Jesus Statues, and not to mention claiming to be the ""Government of God on Earth"" But now that his cult is gone, the only real outcome is a bit of criminal damage and some likely regretful tatts 9 Shoko Asahara Followers of japanese current affairs will probably be familiar with Aum Shinrikyo [ahm shin-rick-ee-oh]

But for those who aren’t, it was a notorious Japanese cult-turned-terrorist cell that carried out the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway And where there’s a cult, there’s a cult leader In this case it’s Shoko Asahara, a partially blind man who turned to religious study in the 80s after he was nabbed by the police for operating an illegal pharmacy By 1987, Asahara had formed Aum Shinrikyo, and made his movement on the back of a combination Hindu-Buddhist-Christian theology At the height of his religious grandiosity, Asahara had made claims that he was Christ as well as Shiva, the Indian god of Destruction

But rather than drinking the Kool-Aid, Asahara’s messiah claims had his followers doing something even weirder – drinking his BATHWATER Not only that, but they would wear ‘electrical caps’ that they believed synchronised their brain waves with their homicidal deity Aum Shinrikyo is still operating today under the name Aleph, but its messiah’s no longer at the helm after his imprisonment and eventual execution in 2018 8 Mitsuo Matayoshi There’s a proud tradition around the world of eccentric political candidates, whether it’s Jonathon Albert ""The Impaler"" Sharkey in the US, Lord Buckethead in the UK, or Japan’s Mitsuo Matayoshi

Sorry, that should be ‘The only God Matayoshi Mitsuo Jesus Christ’ So Sorry, how rude of me Matayoshi trained as a protestant preacher in his youth, which led him to develop a view of Christianity based around Eschatology, a theological term referring to humanity’s end times Oh, and somewhere along the line he decided that he was, in fact, god Until his death in 2018, he was the leader of World Economic Community Party, having stood as a candidate consistently between 1997 and 2013

But it wasn’t just a joke candidacy – World Economic Community Party had an abundance of policies Shame they were absolutely nonsensical Matayoshi wanted to enact the biblical ‘Last Judgement’ of Christ through political apparatus, which to him meant pledging to expel non-ethnically Japanese citizens, as well as “throwing the corrupt into the fire” Hm, I wouldn’t have taken God for an ethno-nationalist, but hey ho 7

Moses Hlongwane Back in 1992, God came to the humble South African Jewelry salesman Moses Hlongwane in a dream, telling him that he was the Messiah, King of Kings, AKA Jesus Christ Well, that’s according to Hlongwane himself Bit of a cliche, but let’s run with it Since then, Hlongwane has fully leant into his new identity as the son of god, having amassed a congregation with around 40 disciples That said, he has been accused of exploiting followers, with some elderly believers giving over their entire pensions to him

The man preaches a pretty old school take on Christianity to his followers, claiming that judgement day is coming In fact, he believes that the end of days was triggered by his taking a bride Honestly, I feel like that says more about his approach to marriage than anything But for all the talk about godliness and judgement day, Hlongwane still hasn’t lost his roots, as you can see from his spectacularly bejewelled ‘King of Kings’ cap It’s not exactly the modesty one expects from a biblical messiah, but salvation never looked so stylish

6 Vissarion You’ve seen South African Jesus, now get ready for RUSSIAN Jesus! Cor, at this rate we could get an international Messiah convention going Back in 1989, Sergey Torop was your average mild-mannered traffic warden, well, until he lost his job But don’t worry, he soon had the revelation that he was, in fact, Jesus From there he formed the Church of the Last Testament, based around his book of the same name, and became “Vissarion

” Fast forward to the modern day and Vissarion’s church has more than 4,000 followers, all of whom live in a Siberian commune where there’s no smoking, no alcohol and no money That’s all except for Vissarion himself and his 50 closest followers, who reside in his HQ – known as the ‘Abode of Dawn’ And as for his teachings Vissarion’s church teaches communal living and asks its followers to overcome their egoism, while living an tech-free agricultural lifestyle Oh, and there’s this whole thing about a flood wiping out everyone except for Vissarionists Gotta say, that’s a pretty grand trajectory from humble traffic warden to apocalypse-heralding son of god

Good for him 5 Daniel Rakowitz Often, messiah delusions come hand in hand with much more dangerous behaviours and conditions, as in the case of Daniel Rakowitz – also known as “The Butcher of Tompkins Square Park” Based in 1980s Lower East Side Manhattan, Rakowitz was known around town for carrying a live rooster with him and launching into incoherent diatribes about Christianity, crucifixion and Satan His fantastical ideas came to a head when he formed the so-called “church of 966”, a new religion based on the idea that he was god and that Satan’s number had morphed from 666 into the eponymous 966

But Rakowitz’ story turned from that of an eccentric to something much, MUCH darker when his girlfriend Monika Beerle left him over his growing obsessions Rakowitz responded by killing and dismembering her, then making her into a soup, which he FED to the HOMELESS That monstrous, not to mention ungodly crime landed Rakowitz in a mental institution for life, but not before he confessed to the police that he was the “new lord” If that’s god, then I’ll take my chances with Satan 4

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, whether it’s Paul McCartney being dead or Dinosaurs Building the Pyramids But those ideas can have a damaging effect on people who might not be in the best state of mind, for example Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez The 21-year-old made headlines in 2011 after he pulled up in front of the White House and shot at it 5 times Luckily no-one was injured, though nonetheless he was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2014 But those actions weren’t spontaneous

He believed he was “the modern day Jesus Christ,” which had him making a video begging Oprah Winfrey to let him appear on her show Not only that, but he decided Obama was the Antichrist That belief and the drastic crime that came from it was a result of Ortega-Hernandez’ spiral into ever more dangerous conspiracies It went from the belief in powerful secret societies to the 2012 apocalypse to the idea that Obama was putting tracking devices in people So if there’s there’s a lesson to take from this, it’s not to go too far down the rabbit hole

3 Alan John Miller First there was South African Jesus, then Russian Jesus, now get ready for the threequel: Australian Jesus At this rate we could get some kind of Jesus model-UN going The Australasian delegation comes in the form of a guy called Alan John Miller, who leads the ‘Divine Truth Movement’ along with his partner Mary Suzanne Luck, who claims to be the embodiment of Mary Magdalene Despite Miller’s protestations that they merely publish seminars, the group has been labelled a cult, with reports of followers moving onto their property

But cult or not, Miller’s still a figure of fascination in the Australian media The former Jehova’s Witness says he realised his divinity aged 40, but had memories of being Jesus since the age of 2 Despite that, Miller has responded to the pretty reasonable requests for proof by saying that he’s not yet “at the state of development” where he can perform miracles or speak Aramaic Just saying Alan, you’d probably have a better time convincing people if you could turn their water into wine – for several reasons 2

Ryuho Okawa There’s a commonly used term in Japan called ‘shinshūkyō’, which refers to the surge of new religions that cropped up in the mid-20th century and persist to this day With branches all around the world still to this day, one you might recognise is ‘Happy Science’, led by one Ryuho Okawa Happy science is certainly unorthodox, and by most people’s estimations a pretty wacky church – one that’s commonly labelled a cult It teaches all kinds of doctrines, like the 9-tier structure of heaven, UFOs, and intergalactic order of planets They even claim to know the true name of God and it’s “El Cantare”, spanish for “the singer

” I’m sure by now you can guess who that is Yep, it’s Okawa himself And if you’re not convinced, maybe one of his 2300 published books will change your mind But not just content with spiritual salvation, Okawa has embarked on a political career with the ‘Happiness Realisation Party’, which supports increased military power for Japan and holds extremely anti-Chinese views, even denying the Nanking massacre took place You know, I can’t help but notice a trend between god complexes and dangerous politics going on here

1 David Shayler Back in the 90’s, the Daily Mail newspaper got quite the scoop through a man called David Shayler The MI5 spy-turned-whistleblower alleged that the UK was involved in a failed assassination of the Libyian President Gadaffi Since becoming a renegade and spending time in Jail, Shayler became a prominent figure in the 9/11 truther movement, which, let’s face it, undermined his credibility somewhat That’s a dramatic enough tale all on its own, but it soon went from real life conspiracy thriller to biblical, uh… epic? After years of spiritual contemplation, Shayler had come to the conclusion that he was the embodiment of Christ, and that the Christ of the Bible was merely an “archetype

” According to Shayler, that embodiment comes with a special set of skills, including but not limited to: changing the weather, predicting terrorist attacks and influencing football results He has even claims that the biblical Rod of Aaron carries an anagram for the moniker “David Shayler, Righteous King” That’s funny, since I happen to believe that the holy grail is inscribed with an anagram of “subscribe to Alltime10s”

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