Richard L. Thompson also known as Sadaputa Dasa, was a mathematician, academic, author and American Vaishnava. He published several books and articles, including Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race (1993), co-authored with Michael Cremo. With his writings on cosmology, Darwinism and religion, he is sometimes identified as a Vedic Creationist. Richard L. Thompson was a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (popularly known as the Hare Krishna movement or ISKCON) and a disciple of the movement's founder A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He was also a founding member of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, an ISKCON academic think tank.
In 1996 Thompson and Cremo appeared on the NBC special The Mysterious Origins of Man, which was widely criticized by the scientific community. The book Forbidden Archeology provided much of the content for the program. Thompson also researched UFO phenomena. In 1993 he wrote Alien Identities in which he explored parallels between modern UFO accounts and descriptions found within the ancient Sanskrit writings of India.
He wrote two books on Hindu cosmology, Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy (1989) and Mysteries of the Sacred Universe (2000). In the latter work Thompson argued that the cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the classical texts of Hinduism, is "a sophisticated system, with multiple levels of meaning that encode at least four different astronomical, geographical, and spiritual world models." In his final book, Maya: The World as Virtual Reality (2003), Thompson utilized virtual reality as a metaphor for the Hindu concept of Maya: "The basic theme is that what we can imagine doing in a virtual reality system may actually be happening in nature on a vastly greater scale. Nature may be like a computer simulation interfaced with conscious observer / participant." The virtual reality model is also employed to show "how both paranormal phenomena and religious experiences can be reconciled in a natural way with the laws of physics." He died on September 18, 2008.