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'Kumare': Fake Guru Exposes Real, Desperate Desire to Believe

But Kumare, whose real name is Vikram Gandhi, is actually a hip 33-year-old filmmaker from New Jersey, who created a fake "yogalebrity" persona but wound up with a real American following.

"Isn't the most traumatic part of the illusion of Kumare is that the guy who they all thought was from another country actually grew in Jersey?" he told ABC News in Los Angeles after the premiere of the resulting movie, "Kumare: The True Story of a False Prophet."

"It's not about making fun of people," Gandhi said. "It's about the general absurdity of what we all believe."

Gandhi was raised in a Hindu household, the child of Indian immigrants. He watched, slack-jawed, as his fellow Americans embraced the spirituality of his Indian ancestors in search of truth.

"I think in the very beginning it was absurd," Gandhi said. "I was like, 'Are you pretending to be Indian?'"

About 15 million Americans practice yoga, which has grown into a $6 billion-a-year industry.

ABC US News | ABC Sports News

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