Raj Patel ist englischer Food-Aktivist und hat bei Stephen Colbert sein neues Buch vorgestellt, da bekam er auf einmal seltsame E-Mails: „Are you the world teacher?“ Und die Mails wurden daraufhin immer stranger. Wie sich herausstellte, wurde er von einer Sekte für den Messias gehalten und die stalken ihn jetzt… oder wie er es in seinem eigenen Blog-Posting formuliert: Call me Brian („Sadly, I’m not the Messiah. I’m just a very naughty boy. “)
Patel's background and work coincidentally matched a series of prophecies made by an 87-year-old Scottish mystic called Benjamin Creme, the leader of a little-known religious group known as Share International. Because he matched the profile, hundreds of people around the world believed that 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.