This is amazing ...
Raj Patel, a London-born American academic and activist of Indian descent shows up on The Colbert Report, a comedy show on TV.
People from a little known religious group, Share International, proclaim that he is their awaited Maitreya.
He is then inundated with email from them. He denies it by posting on his web site (more detailed here), only to have those fans believe in him much more!
The similarities with scenes from the movie, Life of Brian are startling.
The irony is that Patel is opposed to the "savior" mentality, and rather believes that there are no easy answers to complex problems.
The article mentions Stephen Louis Cooper, a homeless man with gender identity disorder, also from the UK who was identified as an incarnation of the Hindu goddess Bahuchara Mata and now lives in a temple in Gujarat.
From this Guardian article.
Worth a read for sure ...
What is funnier than the original article is how people who perceive Share International, Maitreya and Raj Patel as threats, a conspiracy, and started to attack them via web sites and Youtube videos.
Examples on Youtube are authors by the name of http://www.youtube.com/user/MaitreyaTheBetrayerMaitreyaTheBetrayer, TheTruthIsFromGod and maitreyaisthebeast.
Red Moon Rising compares Maitreya to the Anti-Christ, and Hidden Codes comments below that Raj Patel is indeed a mouth piece for Share International.