Is This Man a Messiah? U.S. Cult Thinks So

And his common beliefs aren't the only thing that make him fall short of Maitreya-ship.

"I'm not 95,000 years old. I did not make my body out of clay. Really, I'm not the Maitreya," he said with exasperation. "Usually for you to be a Messiah, you have to check every box. Me, I'm just another bloke."

Getting a Hoot Over the Holy

While Patel says he can't wait for the whole affair to blow over, he says his family and friends are getting a hoot.

"My parents bought me stuff saying, 'He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.'"

While the Maitreya business has been elevated by hype and comedy, Patel says there is a sadder element to it.

"I think it's important actually that I'm not the Messiah," he said. "It's not good that Share International is waiting to see change. Activism will make more happen than waiting."

Despite the high level of spirituality of the entire episode, Patel says it hasn't changed his own spiritual life.

"I don't have a religion. Organized religion hasn't really been a good thing. I know people that have faith and I'm not one of those people," Patel said. "And I don't believe in an afterlife. I believe we've got one shot."

He echoes Graham Chapman's Brian from Monty Python's "The Life of Brian," proclaiming that we're all individuals and don't need a leader to tell us what to do.

"I'm excited to share the idea that people don't have to wait for the Messiah. You can save yourself. We can make things like hunger go away. And that's really cool," he said.

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