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.