I am not the Messiah/Maitreya! No, indeed you are ...

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 ...

Update

:
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.

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Comments

Check your facts....

Respectfully, you, like the Guardian and Colbert, got your facts wrong. It is surprising how many people report this like gossip and rumor without checking the facts.

Share International DID NOT make any claims about who Maitreya was. in fact, they explicitly stated that they will not confirm or deny the identity of Maitreya, because to do so would infringe upon the free will of humanity and the opportunity to recognise Him for yourself, from your own heart, and from His message of Love, Justice, Brotherhod and Sharing.

Here is the official announcement from Benjamin Creme:
http://www.share-international.org/av/v_maitreya_emergence.htm

Here is their website where you can check the facts, if you're interested:
http://www.share-international.org

Not the organization, but its members

First, I did not say that the organization recognized Patel as the Maitreya, but members of the organizations did, and flooded him with the email.

Second, the same video that you refer too, Benjamin Creme proclaiming Maitreya as coming forward, is here on Youtube.

In that video, dated January 14, 2010, Benjamin Creme has announced that Maitreya has appeared on American TV, and watch by many millions. He says that the "day of declaration" is coming He does not identify Raj Patel as Maitreya, nor does he deny that he is, just like the Guardian article quoted him. So there is no inaccuracy here.

Maitreya

Where does this concept originate from?
I'm curious.

Buddhism and Theosophy

The original Maitreya is from Buddhism. In it he is a savior figure that is foretold to come in the future, much like the Messiah, Mahdi, Saoshyant, ...etc.

But the figure was adopted by Theosophy, and the contemporary media coverage focuses on the theosophical foretold figure. They seem to have proclaimed a Maitreya like figures before.