March 16, 2010

"He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!"

From the Huffington Post:

Raj Patel, the author of the recent book "The Value of Nothing," has experienced a bizarre incarnation of the "Colbert Bump" after appearing on "The Colbert Report" in January.

Patel has apparently been discovered by a religious group called "Share International" which awaits the second coming of Buddha in the form of a Messiah they call "Maitreya." The group's religious leader, Benjamin Creme, identified the Maitreya as having been born in 1972, traveled to London from India in 1977, being dark-skinned, and having a stutter. After Raj Patel came on "The Colbert Report," and was described in an article as having briefly stuttered, Creme officially declared that Patel was the group's Messiah.

Patel spoke with Stephen Colbert last night over the phone about his recent Messiah-hood. He called the whole idea "entirely bogus," especially considering his strongly-held belief that we shouldn't rely on religious leaders to make decisions for us, but to think for ourselves. In "The Value of Nothing," Patel urges people to think about the true costs of the things we purchase, and take concrete steps towards changing the world.
That cult was definitely unwise to make Stephen Colbert into their John the Baptist. As a side note, I accidentally wandered into a venue where Benjamin Creme was speaking a few years ago, and I found him to be one of the most boring cult leaders I can imagine. This whole situation eerily reminds me of Monty Python's The Life of Brian, including similarities between the advice that Brian gives after he's chosen & Raj Patel's message.
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong. You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!
The Crowd (in unision): Yes! We are all individuals!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
I Can't Believe It's Not Buddha - Raj Patel
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care reform

And further similarities:
Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
Brian: Now, fuck off!
Arthur: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?

No comments: