It’s in The New Yorker: God spotted in Berkeley

Photo of Raj Patel by Eliot Khuner

At long last, the truth can be revealed: God has visited Berkeley. And apparently he is tall, broad-shouldered and six foot three. No word on his hair length.

This news of God’s appearance was revealed last week in the New Yorker’s Thanksgiving edition, in an article by Lauren Collins titled “Are You The Messiah?”

Apparently, a Scottish man named Benjamin Creme, who heads up Share International, a London-based religious organization with acolytes around the world, has been predicting for decades that God, whom he calls Maitreya, will soon make an appearance on Earth.

Benjamin Creme

The bulk of the article concerns Raj Patel, a San Francisco writer whose latest book is called The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Markets and Redefine Democracy. Creme had made some cryptic comments about Maitreya’s identity, and many of the clues he uttered suggested Patel was the messiah. Followers of Creme flocked to Patel’s readings, his Facebook page and flooded him with e-mails.


After an article appeared in the New York Times about Patel’s exalted status, whipping up even more frenzy, more television appearances for Patel, and even talk about a film on Patel’s life, Creme announced there was no connection between Patel and Maitreya.

But that doesn’t mean God hasn’t appeared to Creme numerous times, he told The New Yorker. Crème first met him in 1959, he said. He later ran into him on the streets of Berkeley.  (Which explains the “Is God in Berkeley?” paper promo on the cover.)

In Berkeley, Maitreya appeared “modern day, slightly hippie, quite casually dressed, but nicely dressed, with a little bomber jacket on,” Creme told the New Yorker.

“He is tall, broad-shouldered, six feet three.”

Keep your eyes peeled.