The Latest Shenanigans of Benjamin Creme, the so-called “prophet of Maitreya”
I spend way too much time on the web, endlessly reading and searching. It was no different today: for the better part of the afternoon I was preoccupied with chasing down Creme and his latest Maitreya “revelation.” Usually, these extended sessions end with me closing up the tabs in my browser and forcing myself to concentrate on something more productive. Before I do that this time, however, I decided to at least post an FYI.
It started with this post at Red Ice Creations, having the enticing headline: “Maitreya steps forward! The Norway Spiral (Star Sign) Heralds ‘New Age Messiah’”. Typically, Creme took advantage of the Norway spiral as a sign heralding the “imminent” appearance of his long-touted World Teacher/Messiah.
Creme has been claiming, since at least 1982, that this Maitreya would soon appear on American television and announce that he was the long awaited Messiah, in a spectacular performance dubbed the “Day of Declaration.”
On Jan. 10th of this year Creme claimed that Maitreya had finally been interviewed on television for the first time; however, it was not exactly a “declaration” per se.
The press release, announcing this, includes the following:
Share International Foundation announces that Maitreya, the World Teacher, has given His first interview on American television. Millions have heard Him speak both on TV and the internet. His open mission has begun.
He was introduced not as Maitreya, the World Teacher and Head of our Spiritual Hierarchy, but simply as a man, one of us. In this way He “ensures that men follow and support Him for the truth and sanity of His ideas rather than for His status.”
He spoke earnestly of the need for peace, achievable only through the creation of justice and the sharing of the world’s resources.
This is the first of many such interviews which will be given in the USA, Japan, Europe and elsewhere, bringing His message of hope to the world.
A sucker for punishment, naturally I started speculating as to what American show Creme could have been alluding to. At first I immediately thought that Oprah Winfrey would be a good bet, but nothing I found on her recent guests in Jan. or Dec. 2009 seemed to fit the bill. Then I came across others on the net who were indulging in the same time-wasting excursion.
Creme is a marginalized figure even amongst his fellow New Age devotees; most likely because of his insistence upon an imminent appearance of a self-proclaimed Messiah. In many ways, Theosophy as whole has suffered the same fate. It’s not the late 1800s - or even the 1960s or ’70s or ’80s - anymore. Nowadays, with a claim that spectacular, if anything, the internet would have him for breakfast! “Prove it, Punk!” would likely be the standard refrain.
Now, I fully realize that Maitreya fits certain biblical descriptions of the Antichrist, everyone familiar with both subjects recognizes this - Creme et al. included. Further, it is a legitimate area of investigation, in whatever manner you wish to approach it. But Creme has long proven himself a joke. He’s getting old too and there’s very limited time left to fleece his meager, credulous flock.
Creme was always at the outskirts of the Theosophical crowd, and hardly achieved anything of importance. For example, in his monumental work on the New Age, False Dawn, Lee Penn spends a total of a paragraph and a half (and two footnotes) discussing Benjamin Creme and his Share International (pp. 314, 418, 462) - as basic an outline as possible. Likewise, esoteric scholar Wouter J. Hanegraaff, in his New Age Religion and Western Culture, devotes but one sentence on Creme (p. 101).
So, with that, I’d rather just close with an excerpt from a cleverly written article I came across by Ron Rosenbaum of The New York Observer:
Long John is long gone, but Coast to Coast AM is there to keep you in touch with the night side of the culture that Long John first gave national voice to. You can still find that special undying brand of weirdness there. Updated, yes, and sometimes with the same kind of conspiracy theory you can find all over the Web, but still with room for iconic occult curiosities like Benjamin Creme, who appeared at 2 a.m. on a recent show.
You know of Benjamin Creme, right, and his relation to Jesus, and you know about Benjamin Creme’s prophetic function in regard to the coming of the Super Fifth Degree Master and Teacher, the great and mighty all-powerful Maitreya, who outranks Jesus himself, right?
Well, don’t feel bad if you don’t. To recognize the name Benjamin Creme, you probably have to be, as I am, an assiduous student of New Age rhetoric and literature (I believe in what Stephen Greenblatt first called a “poetics of culture” before it was renamed and mass-marketed to grad students as “the New Historicism”). Anyway, while following New Age trends and obsessions, I noticed that Benjamin Creme was always a little on the fringes of the New Age guru circuit, but the guy seemed to have staying power.
He always seemed to turn up in the New Age lecture calendars, a distinguished-looking gentleman who had something to say about the Second Coming of the Christ. I recall something about Jesus having already come back, that he was living quietly in London, awaiting recognition. I somehow had the impression—mistaken, I now realize—that he was implicitly suggesting that he was Jesus (he lived in London). But I guess it was more a matter of him having inside info on the London Christ’s plans for revealing himself.
It gets confusing, and I could be wrong, but after listening to his appearance on Coast to Coast AM recently, I got the impression that Benjamin Creme’s emphasis has shifted from Jesus to an entity called Maitreya, who outranks Jesus in the Ascended Master hierarchy. Benjamin Creme is apparently in “telepathic contact” with one of the Fourth Degree Masters and in sporadic contact with the Master of All Masters, this dude Maitreya, who’s planning to reveal himself and set us all straight so that all humanity will start caring and sharing like the great big family we all are. About time.
I have to admit that listening to Benjamin Creme being interviewed by George Noory on Coast to Coast AM was a little frustrating. (Mr. Noory said that after Mr. Creme’s last appearance, a number of listeners called in to say they’d become physically ill afterward because they felt something coming through the radio. And there was some discussion of whether or not Maitreya might be the Antichrist).
Mr. Creme was somewhat evasive about who the hell this Maitreya might be, what his deal is, why he doesn’t manifest himself already aside from sporadic appearances in other people’s bodies, like that time in Nairobi. (Mr. Creme’s Web site, in case you want to try to figure it out, is www.shareintl.org.)
There was some dialogue on whether Maitreya had “suspended” his visits. Or whether he was coming “very soon,” and also what exactly he was coming for and why he was waiting. I mean, if we need help from a Teacher to get us caring and sharing, couldn’t he have shown up in, say, 1914?
So there was a bit of vagueness, and I could see maybe this was the way Benjamin Creme had become such a perennial icon on the guru circuit for so long: He wasn’t giving a lot away. And as long as he just brings news of Maitreya’s imminent arrival but the Big Guy never shows up, Benjamin Creme is still The Man.
But it just makes you wonder: What would it be like to be Benjamin Creme? It’s the old deception versus self-deception thing. You gotta admire the guy’s persistence, but out on the road, in the quiet of his Comfort Inn, does he feel like the Willy Loman of the guru circuit?