False Prophets and Messiahs Oric Bovar
About the false prophet or messiah Oric Bovar, biography and history of the man.
ORIC BOVAR (1917-1977)
A quiet, charismatic figure who drifted from astrology to mysticism, Bovar by the mid-1970s had attracted some 200 followers in New York and California. His accurate astrological readings coupled with instruction in meditation and clean living--no drinking, smoking, drugs, or extramarital sex--appealed to such people as Carol Burnett and Bernadette Peters. However, he alienated many when he announced that he was Jesus Christ and began celebrating Christmas with the faithful on August 29, his own birthday. His personality is said to have been so mesmerizing that at times he would introduce strangers to each other with the words "This is your husband, you must marry him"--and be obeyed. He also ordered his followers to refuse medical treatment from doctors and increasingly sought to control their lives. Several former adherents attribute Bovar's change from a benevolent spiritual leader to a mad Messiah to a nervous breakdown he is said to have suffered while living in Italy in the early 1970s. In New York in 1976 he convinced five followers--a Wall Street clerk, a college speech teacher, a writer, an Evelyn Wood speed-reading instructor, and an Amtrak employee--to join him in a continuous two-month vigil over the decomposing corpse of Stephanos Hatzitheodorou, a Bovarite who had died of cancer. Arrested for failing to report a death, Bovar told police (who, responding to a tip, raided the apartment where the vigil was being held) that he was trying to raise his disciple from the dead. On Apr. 14, 1977, shortly before he was scheduled to appear in court to respond to the charge, the slim, white-haired Bovar jumped from his 10th-floor apartment, leaving behind a confused and dwindling flock.
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