On Friday, we unmasked “Lord RayEl,” the YouTube and Twitter prophet who has convinced a few gullible folks that he’s the risen Christ on earth. In fact, he’s Raymond Elwood Howard-Lear, 45, originally of the Chicago area. Sadly, one of the people who are convinced he’s a god is a young man named Adam Muema, 21, a very talented college football running back who ditched his NFL dreams because Lord RayEl tells him judgment day is going to preempt this year’s football season.
After an impressive junior year at San Diego State, Muema decided to forego his senior year and enter the draft. If he had done well at the scouting “combine” in February, he might have a shot at the middle rounds, experts said. But at the last minute, Muema pulled out of the combine and then spent three days sitting around the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Just weeks earlier, apparently, he had become convinced that Lord RayEl was the returned Christ, and that an apocalypse was coming.
Many sports websites have reported on Muema’s strange behavior and have noted some of Lord RayEl’s social media utterances. A few have said that his name is actually “Raymond Elwood.” But that’s only part of his name, as we showed on Friday. We also showed that under the name “Raymond Lear,” the former Guardian Angel had run unsuccessfully for Congress and then later for Illinois governor. We sent Lear a message which went unanswered, and we sent one to Muema.
To our surprise, Muema did answer — with a link to one of Lord RayEl’s videos. With that connection made however, we began a conversation that lasted for some time on Sunday.
This is our verbatim Facebook conversation, with only slight corrections of spelling and punctuation for clarity…
RAW: Adam, I’m curious what you think about RayEl’s bad fake accent. He’s a guy from Illinois. Why is he talking like that? Have you thought about it? Did you get a chance to see my story, where I explain the background of Raymond Elwhood Howard-Lear? He’s just a guy from Chicago who couldn’t hold a job, had legal problems, and ran unsuccessfully for office a couple of times. Have you ever actually met this guy? Let’s talk. Here’s my story… [link]
Muema: I’m good, nice sharing that with you.
RAW: The guy registered his website ‘ra-el.org’ in his mother’s name. Did you know that? A guy in his 40s using his mother to host a website. Did he tell you that? Have you ever actually talked to him on the phone?
Muema: I’m good. Nice sharing this with you. You have been warned.
RAW: Warned? Warned of what?
Muema: You’ll find out soon, just know we have nothing to talk about.
RAW: Oh, you mean I’ve been warned by RayEl about the coming apocalypse. Yeah, I’m not too worried about that. I think we do have some things to talk about. Adam, I wondered if you saw the information about Lear that I dug up in my story. Were you aware of his background? That he ran for office, etc.? How did you personally decide that he’s the risen Christ?
Muema: I have other reporters to talk to, you’re not the only one. I’ll only do live stuff so no word twisting.
RAW: Oh, I’m sure a lot of people want to talk to you. I have no illusions about that. I’m not interested in twisting your words, that’s why using messaging is good — there’s a record of what each of us say. So how about one simple question: Have you ever actually met RayEl, or talked to him on the phone?
Muema: He’s part of knights fulfilling His prophecies. I’m fulfilling mine.
RAW: The Indiana court filing says that he hadn’t had a job since 1995, and never finished his GED. Did you ever wonder how the risen Christ could be a high school dropout who couldn’t hold a job? did you ask him about that?
Muema: He’s God. What does he need a job for? Get out of here.
RAW: What about his accent? Doesn’t that sound rather ridiculous to you? He’s a guy from Chicago. Why is he talking like that?
RAW: What was it about him that convinced you that he was Christ? Was it a particular thing he said?
Muema: Gooooooooooooooooodddddd. The Holy Spirit.
RAW: Why would Christ run for Congress in Illinois? Why would he run for governor? And lose badly. Aren’t those odd things for a prophet to do?
Muema: I’m a prophet. Did you watch the video? Don’t fall for Satan. You can get somebody else, but not me.
RAW: OK, faith is important to you. I get that. But Ray Lear? Is he really likely to be Christ? With that background? Don’t you think it’s possible he’s enjoying messing with you?
Muema: He is not like us. I rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus.
RAW: Come on, Adam. He’s just a guy from Chicago with a bad fake accent. He doesn’t even have a church, just a YouTube channel. You’re a smart guy. Why would you get taken in by a faker like that? Does anyone else in your family consider RayEl to be Christ? How does your father feel about it?
Muema: My family is in Heaven.
RAW: Do you know how creepy that sounds? What about your aunt, Trina Powell, who raised you. She’s not in heaven, is she? Is this the best way to help her? Isn’t that what you said, you were coming out for the draft early in part to help her out?
Muema: I help God only. Do your homework all you want. My aunt knows I don’t talk to her.
RAW: Why not?
Muema: I talked to her two days ago. You can call her if you want. I bet she’ll get after you.
RAW: So you do talk to her. I thought you said you didn’t. What does she think about Lord RayEl? Does she believe he’s the risen Christ?
Muema: Only God knows. I said you do your homework, not fish for info to write a paper.
RAW: Fair enough. Let’s stick to your own knowledge. You suffered a terrible head injury four years ago. Have you followed up with doctors to see if there are lasting effects of that damage?
We didn’t get a response to that last question. In 2010, Muema tried to break up a fight at a party, and someone hit the left side of his head with a baseball bat.
“Muema’s injuries required 36 stitches, his orbital bone was fractured, and when the vision in his left eye began to deteriorate it was discovered he had a macular hole in the retina of his eye,” wrote the San Diego State newspaper.
He managed to come back from that injury to have a brilliant career running for SDSU. But now, even his agent, Rob London, has cut ties with him, Fox Sports reported yesterday. In a statement, London said that he hoped Muema would get professional help.
We do too.
Here’s the video Adam sent us to begin our conversation…
Tony Ortega is Raw Story's executive editor. From 2007 to 2012 , he was editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. He also worked at Voice Media Group's other newspapers in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Fort Lauderdale. He lives in New York City and is originally from Los Angeles.
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