Remember this guy? He's the reknowned "Boy Buddha" of Nepal, who first created a stir back in 2005. He emerged from the jungle, so it was said, and spent several months meditating under a tree and dispensing an occasional word of wisdom, a la the original Buddha. It was reported at that time that he attracted a crowd of 10,000 people, many of whom were convinced that he must be the actual reincarnation of Buddha himself.
It was said that he sat immobile, meditating most of the time. At night his "handlers" would cover his place of meditation with a curtain. They claimed he neither ate nor drank. A French news crew was allowed to observe him over a 48 hour period, and they reported that they did see him eating a piece of fruit.
After a few months he disappeared, only to re-emerge in late 2008, looking hale and hearty as in the photo above.
The above photo shows the boy during his appearance in 2005 at the age of 16. He seems to have cleaned himself up considerably for his second appearance. The second time he stayed around for a shorter period, and has now disappeared again.
So what's a skeptic to think? He doesn't seem that he has started a cult, although with 10,000 visitors he certainly could have started one. We're left wondering about his third appearance: when and where, and to what signifigance. What does he do when he's not "on stage"?
And what about his handlers? What's their motivation? Helpful boddhisattvas presenting the young saint to the multitudes? Or perhaps only enterprising food vendors....I mean, with a crowd of 10,000 you could sell a lot of kebabs.
ADDENDUM: "Getting It Honest" (Cynicism, I mean.)
For several years this bumper sticker was seen on the rear of a VW van parked on Southard Street in Key West. Noted, that the people of Conyers downplay this nowadays.