The True Story Of Arizona's False Prophet

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kumare Vikram Gandhi as Kumare (Courtesy of Vikram Ganhdi)

Can a fake religion have the same effect as a real one? A new movie, billing itself as “the true story of a false prophet” asks just that.

Cultivating a personal mythology and perfecting a fresh-off-the-boat Indian accent, New Jersey-born filmmaker Vikram Gandhi grew a thick beard, put on orange robes, and set up shop in Arizona, where he quickly acquired a cult following. His chants, rituals, and yoga poses may have been largely nonsensical, but Kumaré's ability to give troubled individuals hope and spiritual guidance – a former cocaine addict, a death penalty attorney and a single mother whose children have left for college, among others – was real.

"Kumaré" won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. Filmmaker Gandhi discusses what he learned while juggling the roles of fake guru and a real filmmaker.

Guests:

Vikram Gandhi

Produced by:

Paul R. Smith

Comments [6]

John from Maine

1980 Ronald Reagan Are you better off than you were four years ago?
1984 Ronald Reagan It’s morning again in America
1984 Walter Mondale America Needs a Change
1988 George Bush Kinder, Gentler Nation
1992 Bill Clinton Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
1996 Bob Dole The Better Man for a Better America
2000 Al Gore Prosperity and progress
2000 Al Gore Prosperity for America's families
2000 George W. Bush Compassionate conservatism
2000 George W. Bush Leave no child behind
2000 George W. Bush Real plans for real people
2000 George W. Bush Reformer with results
2000 Ralph Nader Government of, by, and for the people...not the monied interests
2004 John Kerry Let America be America Again
2004 George W. Bush Yes, America Can!
2008 John McCain Country First
2008 Barack Obama Change We Can Believe In
Pick one. Nuff said

Jun. 15 2012 01:11 PM

Unfortunately many people need spiritual guidance; many others simply feel the need the acceptance a large group might provide.

For myself, I have a simple credo: "Neither a follower nor a leader be."
I also like the title of the Van Morrison song, "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher."

Also, Krishnamurti refused to have any followers or disciples.

Jun. 14 2012 12:51 PM
listener

Hope and Change

'nuff said.

Jun. 14 2012 11:27 AM
Ender Locke

What’s the difference between a real religion and the one that is made up? At one point in history all of them were created from a story or event, the "leaders" of them never said to create a religion out of this. Exploring this idea seems to be what this documentary does, showing that true spiritual growth starts inside of us.

Jun. 14 2012 10:25 AM
Peg

I can't tell the difference between a "fake" religion or a "real" religion.
All of them have a "herd of sheep" following the spiritual interpretations of a self-important preacher/cheerleader.

What is the difference between attending a rock concert or a religious sermon? Not much.

Jun. 14 2012 07:46 AM
Sam

It's unfortune that sooo many fall victim to sooo many sooo-called religions, faiths, and beliefs. Sad "superstition", simple.

Jun. 14 2012 06:54 AM

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