Friday, February 5, 2010

An Unwilling Lord

San Francisco: Raj Patel suddenly finds himself an unlikely object of worship, proclaimed the messiah Maitreya by followers of the New Age religious sect Share International.

“It is absurd to be put in this position, when I’m just some bloke,” Mr. Patel said.

People began to believe otherwise on Jan. 14 in London when Benjamin Creme, the leader of Share International, who is also known as the Master, proclaimed the arrival of Maitreya. About this time Mr. Patel was publicizing his new economics book, “The Value of Nothing” and he appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central.

Read More: The Messiah

The Maitreya clues — his age (supposed to be born in 1972; Mr. Patel was), life experiences (supposed to have traveled from India to London in 1977; Mr. Patel was taken on a vacation there with his parents that year) race (supposed to be dark-skinned; Mr. Patel is Indian) and philosophies — all pointed to him. Some believe Maitreya will have a stutter. When Mr. Patel tripped over a few words when talking with Mr. Colbert, it was the final sign.

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