We've recently become aware of the existence of "His Holiness Buddha Maitreya," aka Ronald Lloyd Spencer. He recently withdrew his immigration sponsorship from 7 visiting Tibetan monks in a fit of pique because they refused to recognize him as the second coming of the Buddha, leaving the monks in the hands of a dozen riot gear-equipped immigration officials. Seems like the Border Patrol has been watching a wee bit too much Kung-Fu on television.
Ron runs the Tibetan Foundation/Church of Shambhala [bold italics ours], which apparently has little to do with Tibet and a lot to do with Ron's appropriation of Tibetan Buddhism as a means toward his own economic benefit and ego-aggrandizement. Here he rambles on about his being the source and foundation of the entire Tibetan religion:
So all these Tulkus that I'm coming to find are emanations of me that I've set up for 500 years and they're me actually... and I'm my best student. So when I go out and deal with the Tulkus I'm actually talking to myself, dealing with myself, cooperating with a great big reality and that's what happens within the Hierarchy of the Christ Principle is that the Christ Principle is in a relationship of establishing an individual relationship with people - the Second Coming of Christ.But before Ron was the second coming of Buddha and Christ, he was just another NewAge™ flimflam man living in Hawaii. From the account of a former friend:
After my first meeting I was told that if I was to be in with the group I should buy a cheap shiny pyramid necklace pendant for $150.00. This demonstrated to me right away what Ron was and still is mainly interested in, money. I was a student at that time and did not have that kind of money to spare. Ron found out I had credit card though and it turned out he had to have a $1,000.00 stereo system for his magic. He assured me that if I purchased the stereo for him he would pay me back shortly. Ron also required precious stones for his ceremonies. He saw my mother's diamond engagement ring that I wore, and said he wanted to borrow it just for a certain ceremony and would give it right back. Weeks went by and I frequently asked him for the credit card payment and my mother's ring back, but there was always some excuse or another, but a "not to worry," I would get them back soon...A money scammer who can't seem to keep it in his pants. And with added kinky crystal action! Of course he's the Second Coming!
I was losing hope of ever getting my ring or money back. Meanwhile, bad things were happening to the sister of my friend who first introduced me to Ron. My friend (a girl), her sister, Ron, and Ron's wife and child were all sharing a house that my friend was paying for. My friend told me that her sister was having an emotional crisis. She did not know what was going on, but we found out later after Ron skipped town, that Ron was sneaking into her room after his wife went to bed and was having sex with her. He claimed that this was for her spiritual benefit and used crystals and other magic objects inserted into her body.
The real question is whether Ron is knowingly impersonating the Buddha or if he actually believes he is the Buddha. It's a very important distinction. In the former he is an out-and-out con man and criminal, in the latter he's merely another insane "guru" with enough ninnies around who believe in him to keep him going. (This despite the fact that the world is chock full of people claiming to be the Second Coming of whatever.)
For the moment, we're going with the former. Either way, folks like Ron have a way of attracting (and subconsciously generating) their own drama, so we're sure we'll have another chance to bring news of the Buddha of Omaha soon enough.