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So, that would make Stephen Colbert John the Baptist, then?
March 30, 2010 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Raj Patel is not the saviour, but try telling some people that.

Patel, an author and food activist of some reknown, has been identified as "Maitreya, the World Teacher ― the Master of all the Masters" by followers of Benjamin Creme of Share International. Although the goals of Patel and Share are broadly similar--to make the world a better place--Patel disavows the claim by way of citing a sacred work of art, and has also made that point on the Colbert Report.
posted by Halloween Jack (47 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Patel: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Share Int'l: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Patel: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Share: He is! He is the Messiah!
Patel: Now, fuck off!
[silence]
Share: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:30 AM on March 30, 2010 [24 favorites]


Patel's family reportedly brought him clothes from London bearing the slogan from Monty Python's Life of Brian: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!". (NSFW YouTube).
posted by stringbean at 9:34 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Patel fits into the Nordic Aliens from Venus paradigm that Creme seems to subscribe to.

Maybe if we're to call him "Brian" it means Patel's taken a ride with the Fistful-of-Eye Posse.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:37 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is hilarious!
posted by brundlefly at 9:38 AM on March 30, 2010


Unfortunately, from I think that’s where the resemblances end. It frustrates me only a little less than it might disappoint those looking for Maitreya that, in fact, I’m just an ordinary bloke. I always wanted to be a Prince of Something. But when opportunity comes knocking, it turns out it’s to get me to sign for a package for some other dude.
"Dude" and "Bloke" in the same sentence? He MUST be a god. The god of transatlantic vernacular!
posted by delmoi at 9:38 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why doesn't anybody ever mistake me for the messiah?
posted by rlk at 9:38 AM on March 30, 2010


There's no Messiah in here. There's a mess all right, but no Messiah.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:40 AM on March 30, 2010


Well, I got a good laugh out of this, and a lot of respect for Mr. Patel, who seems to be a really compassionate human with a good sense of humour.

Who knows, perhaps he is the Messiah? God knows, we need one!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2010


Away out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire Joe,
And they call Patel Messiah...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


[Pacino voice]PATEL?[/Pacino voice]
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:45 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Saviour will have a "slight stutter." I really like that little detail.
posted by naju at 9:46 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


His job? To save the world, and everyone on it.

What exactly do people think I've been doing for the past 29 years. Ever since that acid trip ...
posted by philip-random at 9:48 AM on March 30, 2010


I also have a slight stutter.
posted by philip-random at 9:48 AM on March 30, 2010


We are all individuals!

(I'm not.)
posted by rusty at 9:49 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You see, you see people, this is why Superman has a secret identity, got it? Sheesh.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you're envious of his presumed messiah status you'd do well to remember how it went for the last guy caught up in this kind of mania.

INRI - Initiate Nail Removal Immediately
with thanks to Neal Stephenson
posted by Babblesort at 9:51 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


An aside near the end of the article:

Steve Cooper, an unemployed man from Tooting, south London, who was identified by a Hindu sect as the reincarnation of a goddess and now lives in a temple in Gujurat with scores of followers.
posted by idiopath at 9:52 AM on March 30, 2010 [14 favorites]


This is awesome.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:53 AM on March 30, 2010


Individual suggests social change that requires distributed action, change in paradigm or perspective. They are idolized in a way that directly contradicts their message; but this is possible only because the message is, by definition, palatable by all.
posted by melatonic at 10:02 AM on March 30, 2010


Dude's name is Benjamin Creme?
posted by jbickers at 10:04 AM on March 30, 2010


I often get mail addresses to "Dear Christ." Yes, yes, I do.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:07 AM on March 30, 2010


Why just the other day, someone said to me, "Jesus Christ, would you shut the fuck up!"
posted by philip-random at 10:11 AM on March 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


Oh for sure, man.
posted by Damn That Television at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2010


It's not the first sticky situation Creme's been involved in.
posted by Abiezer at 10:20 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought Jamie Oliver was going to save the world? Or was that just the United States?
posted by everichon at 10:29 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is not the Messiah you are looking for.
He can go about his business.
Move along.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:30 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


If anyone is a modern Messiah, it's UG Krishnamurti (note: NOT J/Jiddu Krishnamurti -- U.G. Krishnamurti).

I'm reminded of the liner notes to Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians' "Globe of Frogs" where he discusses the second coming as some lonely sap just sitting around listening to headphones or something. It's been ages, and I can't seem to find the notes online anywhere, sadly.

Yes yes, perhaps I shouldn't use "Messiah" as that's sourced from Judaism, but it's all sorta looking at the same thing, IMO.

"they say there is no hope.
they say no ufos
why is your head held high?
maybe you'll see them fly!!!"

Speaking of Messiah, I'm fond of at least one sect's (I can't remember the name - or maybe it's a kinda of standard modern liberal) interpretation where the Messiah is ALL of us. Our hands are to build the "New Jerusalem".
posted by symbioid at 10:39 AM on March 30, 2010


In honor of the season:
[Edward G. Robinson voice] "Where's your messiah, now?"[/Edward G. Robinson voice]
posted by pixlboi at 10:48 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I saw the post, my reaction was "Anwar from Skins? The Slumdog Millionaire kid?" But then I remembered he's Dev Patel.
posted by cereselle at 10:49 AM on March 30, 2010


Little known fact: Raj Patel's nickname growing up was "Jeezy Creezy".
posted by grubi at 10:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was playing out in the rain and my father said, "Dammit! Will you get in here!"
I said "Dad, I'm Jesus Christ!"
posted by briank at 10:51 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the link that idiopath posted:
A eunuch called Sudha said: “He is a fake. I checked and he still has a penis.

“He is a male so can’t be a goddess. He shouldn’t give blessings.”
I'd be reeeeaaaaaaaaaallly nervous if I were Steve.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:06 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


Aww. I'm glad Patel's taking it so well, because I do feel sorry for Share International.

In the little town where I grew up - market town, north-west England, unremarkable in almost every sense - Maitreya is kind of a Thing. For about twenty years now, one of Benjamin Creme's followers has written a weekly letter to the local paper giving us Maitreya's take on world events. I doubt that's ever converted anyone, but Maitreya's now a household name, and we've got kind of fond of him over the years. Seeing his name turn up on MeFi has made me feel all homesick.

To illustrate: this is a typical Letters to the Editor page. Grumbling about the council; grumbling about parking charges; invitations to the local Scout and Guide show; and the news that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could easily have been averted, if only the BBC had agreed to interview Maitreya in 1986. Every week. Damn, I miss it.
posted by Catseye at 11:46 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


To think Andy Warhol got it wrong. Oh he had the right idea, he just didn't take it far enough. Right about now everyone is famous for fifteen minutes, but in the future....
posted by JHarris at 11:50 AM on March 30, 2010


Someone needs to change the plans for the enormous statue to make it look like Patel.
posted by homunculus at 11:56 AM on March 30, 2010


Are we sure this isn't just a really elaborate ImprovEverywhere prank?
posted by graventy at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2010


It's such a weird thing to think about. I seriously have no idea what I'd do in this situation.

A part of me thinks that he should somehow try to use this to get his message across. Write a book called How to Save Yourself or something. But that could backfire in a big way.

If I were him, I'd be tempted to just disappear for awhile - move my family into a rural area and change names - but I suppose that would fan the flames. And Raj help me if my followers ever found me there.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2010


By the way, for those of you who aren't familiar with Buddhism, Maitreya isn't something that Benjamin Creme and Share International just made up. He's a little early, though.
Eventually the time will come for Maitreya to appear as the fifth universal Buddha of this world age and turn the wheel of dharma for the benefit of all. This will come about in the following manner. In the future, because of the growth of delusion, the beings living in this world will degenerate. Their lifespan will decrease and be filled with much suffering. When the human life expectancy has shortened to only ten years, Maitreya will manifest in the form of a great spiritual leader and demonstrate the path of virtue. He will particularly spread the teachings on loving kindness and, as a result, the fortune of the beings in this world will begin to change. As they gradually give up their deluded attitudes and harmful behaviour, their lifespan will increase. After a great many ages the life expectancy of humans will grow enormously and then slowly decrease again until the human lifespan is about a hundred years. According to the prophesies of all the Buddhas and his own promise, this will be the time when Maitreya Buddha will appear in this world as a universal teacher. (source)
posted by desjardins at 12:03 PM on March 30, 2010


It's such a weird thing to think about. I seriously have no idea what I'd do in this situation.

Some kind of excessive, transgressive, revolting piece of performance art ... involving rotting fish, maybe a few vats of pig blood.
posted by philip-random at 12:05 PM on March 30, 2010


Also, this guy, so often seen in Chinese restaurants and so often confused with Buddha, is said to be one of Maitreya's earlier incarnations.
posted by desjardins at 12:08 PM on March 30, 2010


Soooo...when does this guy fight Obama?
posted by PlusDistance at 12:16 PM on March 30, 2010


So, there's a mysterious guy named Benjamin discovering a messiah who must "turn the wheel of dharma." Are we sure this isn't all part of a LOST alternative reality game?
posted by naju at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


So you are the Raj, yes, the great Raj Patel
Prove to me that you're the boy
Feed the world with just this soy
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:53 PM on March 30, 2010


"Steve Cooper, an unemployed man from Tooting, south London, who was identified by a Hindu sect as the reincarnation of a goddess and now lives in a temple in Gujurat with scores of followers."

I'm pretty sure he cropped up in this episode of one of Louis Theroux's series, for further insight into his... state of mind.
posted by opsin at 2:36 PM on March 30, 2010


opsin: "I'm pretty sure he cropped up in this episode"

I watched the whole thing through, and it was an excellent episode, but it did not have anything about Steve Cooper from Tooting.
posted by idiopath at 3:57 PM on March 30, 2010


Doesn't "Raj" mean "King?"

PROOF.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:26 AM on March 31, 2010


Benjamin Creme: Raj Patel is not Maitreya, but the World Teacher is here – and needed
posted by homunculus at 5:26 PM on April 20, 2010


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