But few of us become batty.
Not so for David Shayler. He sounds battier than Bruce Wayne's cave.
"I am the messiah and hold the secret of eternal life," he starts excitedly. "It all came about quite suddenly.Like late-20th century superstar conspiracy-nut Bill Cooper, David Shayler's background is in government intelligence. (Okay, Cooper made up so much wacky stuff his backstory is probably hokey, too.)
"First I started meditating, then I learnt how to channel the "light," and the more research I did — into Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, Kabbalah — the more convinced I became that I was the Christ."
Jesus Christ? "No, Jesus of the New Testament is an archetype," he explains patiently. "His name derives from the 13th Name of God in Kabbalah, which helps activate the Messiah consciousness within us.
"I was, though, crucified with a crown of thorns and nails then incarnated as Astronges, a Jewish revolutionary put to death by the Romans at around the end of the last century BC. It explained why in this life I had funny shaped wrists and ankles...."
Had? "Yes, look," he says, proffering his tanned arms. "They've pretty much corrected themselves now I've acknowledged the crucifixion — but there used to be big hollows where nails had been bashed in."
Ten years ago, Shayler whistle-blew his way to fame and misfortune by exposing illegal activities by MI5 and MI6, Britain's intelligence services. His information caused quite a stir, and he fled England for France, where he spent over three years in exile and four months in jail.
A few months ago, he claims, a psychic channeled Mary Magdalene, who annointed him as the new Messiah.
With his new superpowers, he can now influence the weather, prevent terrorist attacks, and predict the outcome of soccer games except when he's drunk.
Using code-breaking skills learned at MI5, he claims he's found his own name, followed by the phrase "Righteous King," in the Bible, as an anagram in Hebrew that was cut into Aaron's rod.
Last June, he "was told" he had to remove darkness from London, so he stayed up all night meditating, and sure enough, the darkness went away! Praise Pike and pass the lithium.
"Suddenly I knew that my mission was to inform humanity about the changes in the universe and spread the spiritual rules of unconditional love, unconditional sharing, never judging and having faith in the universe. If I can convince just one person, it'll be worth it."
Ah, to be on a mission from God.
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