March 30, 2010

What To Expect: Being Mistaken For The Messiah

Not quite sure which is freakier: a food activist/author/dad-to-be getting mistaken for the Messiah after going on The Colbert Report, or being in a religion that has you looking for your Messiah on Comedy Central:

Because he matched the profile, hundreds of people around the world believed that [Raj] Patel was the living embodiment of a figure they called Maitreya, the Christ or "the world teacher".

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

"It was just really weird," he said. "Clearly a case of mistaken identity and clearly a case of people on the internet getting things wrong."

What started as an oddity kept snowballing until suddenly, in the middle of his book tour and awaiting the arrival of his first child, Patel was inundated by questions, messages of support and even threats. The influx was so heavy, in fact, that he put up a statement on his website referencing Monty Python's Life of Brian and categorically stating that he was not Maitreya.

I'm not the messiah, says food activist - but his many worshippers do not believe him [guardian via andrewsullivan]

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