Strange case of the missing "Buddha boy"

Buddha boyWriting about Buddhism always baffles me. But I do love reading about it, and the most recent case of mysterious disappearance of a 15-year-old boy, whose followers claim he is an incarnation of the Buddha, is a thriller. None of the Western news reports I dug into took any time to talk to any independent Buddhists, in an attempt to get beyond the hearsay and rumors that are floating around Nepal, the boy's home.

Here are the details from the BBC (with even more available at Wikipedia):

A missing Nepalese teenager popularly known as "Buddha Boy" reappeared briefly on Sunday, his followers say.

The committee managing the meditation site of Ram Bomjan, 16, released video of its members purportedly meeting the boy near his village in southern Nepal.

The boy's meditation and apparent 10-month fast attracted global attention before he vanished in March.

An apparent 10-month fast? The Telegraph has pointed out that the "attraction was closed" to people outside the seven-member committee that manages Bomjan.

Please show a little more journalistic skepticism, BBC. To the BBC's credit, their article did include the "these claims have not been independently verified" line. How about instead of "apparent 10-month fast" we use the phrase "claimed 10-month fast"?

Other than that, I go back to my first beef: why aren't Buddhists unaffiliated with Bomjan consulted for some thoughts for these articles? What does the media savvy Dalai Lama have to say about this?

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