A Former Bureaucrat's Prophet Statement

Ex-Foreign Service Officer On a Mission for Maitreya

Washington Post/August 21, 2001
By Peter Carlson

Wayne Peterson may be the only religious prophet in America whose great, life-changing spiritual epiphany came while he was watching "The Merv Griffin Show."

That was in 1982. Back then, Peterson was a career foreign service officer working for the U.S. Information Agency, a veteran of duty at U.S. embassies in Brazil, Kenya and Vietnam. He was a rising young Washington bureaucrat, a 40-year-old bachelor who went to meetings and did his paperwork and then went home and flopped in front of the TV and flipped through the channels. How could he possibly know what was about to hit him?

He had no idea that watching Merv Griffin that night would lead him to meet Maitreya -- "the Lord of Love," who walks among us in many disguises. Or that he'd later be struck by a jolt of spiritual energy while vacuuming his Falls Church condo, which would lead him to take an early retirement and sell the condo and move to Las Vegas on a spiritual mission that he didn't quite understand. Or that he would return to Washington in the sweltering August of 2001 to tell a ballroom half full of strangers that Maitreya -- pronounced My-TRAY-a -- will soon unveil himself and lead mankind into an era of universal brotherhood.

"I expect very shortly that you will see Maitreya on American television," Peterson said in a speech at the Hyatt Regency hotel last Thursday. "Maitreya has promised to appear on American TV first."

Wayne Peterson's long, strange journey from federal bureaucrat to spiritual prophet began on that dull Wednesday night in 1982, when he paused to watch that fateful talk show. Merv's guest was Benjamin Creme, author of a book called "The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom." Maitreya, Creme told Merv, is the being that Christians call Christ, that Buddhists call Buddha, that Hindus call Krishna, that Jews call the Messiah -- and he's back on Earth, having taken on the body of a tall, thin, thirty-something Pakistani man.

Hearing that, Peterson felt something click inside. He remembered the magic moment on Good Friday 1945. Peterson, then a 3-year-old Catholic boy in Wisconsin, was sick with appendicitis when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and promised that he'd live long enough to see the return of Christ. Excited by Creme's message, Peterson read his book, then traveled to a Baltimore hotel to participate in a meditation session led by Creme. In the lobby, Peterson spotted a tall young man with long, wavy hair, an olive complexion and a warm smile. The man was wearing a billowy white shirt and bicycle shorts. He followed Peterson into the meditation session and sat next to him. He kept asking what was going on, so Peterson took him into the lobby to explain it. The man looked deep into Peterson's eyes and said, "I need your help."

At that moment, Peterson recalls, he realized that the man was Maitreya. Maitreya smiled, said "thank you" and walked off into the night.

Moved by a Message

"That was the first time I recognized him," Peterson says, "but it's probably not the first time I met him."

Peterson is sitting in an empty conference room at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Now 60, he is tall and slender with a shock of bright white hair on his head and a white Fu Manchu mustache curling around his lips. He has come to Washington to deliver a speech to the International Platform Association, a group composed of public speakers, people who want to be public speakers and people who hire public speakers.

He's also promoting his self-published book, "Extraordinary Times, Extraordinary Beings: Experiences of an American Diplomat With Maitreya and the Masters of Wisdom." He wrote the book, he says, because the famous politicians who have met Maitreya -- a group that includes "reigning monarchs in Europe" -- are afraid to reveal themselves.

"I told them, 'You have a name everybody recognizes, you should speak about it,' " he says. "And they say, 'People would think we're crazy.' " Peterson isn't worried about that. He's eager to talk about Maitreya. He has seen him many times, in many disguises, he says. In Baltimore, Maitreya wore bicycle shorts. In New York, he was disguised as a woman with golden hair. In Seattle, he wore a bright white baseball cap with a strangely elongated brim. In Beverly Hills, he was sitting on a homemade chair on the sidewalk in front of the Bulgari jewelry store on Rodeo Drive, wearing a white robe and red socks.

Most of the time, Maitreya doesn't say much. "People always expect that there will be a dramatic message," Peterson says. "There isn't. The message is: He's here and he wants you to work with him."

Peterson's most profound encounter with Maitreya came, he says, in Washington in 1983 -- not long after that life-changing Merv Griffin show. Peterson was at a party when he saw a globe of light floating near the ceiling. Nobody else noticed the globe and apparently nobody noticed when a silver rod emerged from it and pulled Peterson's consciousness out of his physical body.

Suddenly, Peterson was in another room, dressed in a short white robe. Maitreya was there, accompanied by his supernatural assistants, the Masters of Wisdom. They had a long telepathic conversation that Maitreya told him he would not remember. Sure enough, Peterson does not remember it. But he does remember falling back into his physical body at the Washington party he'd left so abruptly, only to find that the other guests weren't even aware that he'd been gone.

Back at work, he was afraid to tell his colleagues about his experience. "I didn't want them to send me to St. Elizabeths," he says, laughing. Over the years, however, Peterson did tell some people about his meetings with Maitreya. His mother and the rest of the family would rather not talk about it. "They feel it's bizarre," he says.

But some of his co-workers were more interested. Ronald Ungaro -- who was the director of the Fulbright Scholarship Program when Peterson worked there in the 1990s -- was curious enough to attend a seminar on the subject. "It was interesting," recalls Ungaro, who is now retired, "but not convincing enough for me."

Peterson's eccentric beliefs didn't bother Ungaro. "To each his own," he says. Besides, Peterson was an excellent employee. "He was very, very good," Ungaro says, "probably one of the best minds I've worked with -- immensely gifted in terms of vision and perspective and insight into different cultures."

The Fulbright Program is a branch of the State Department that sends American students and teachers abroad and brings foreign students and teachers to the United States. Peterson did well there, rising first to director of the program's activities in Latin America, then to director of its activities in East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

He loved the job and planned to stay another decade, he says. But in August of 1995, something zapped him right between the eyes. He was vacuuming his Falls Church condo one Saturday morning when a jolt of energy passed between his eyebrows, knocking him to the floor. He lay there, thinking maybe he'd been hit by lightning or, worse, maybe he'd suffered a stroke.

And then a voice in his head said, "Sit down, close your eyes, and I will show you where you are going to live."

He didn't sit down. He didn't close his eyes. He got up and started to vacuum again. Zap! The energy hit him between the eyes and then the voice said, "Sit down immediately and I will show you where you are going to live."

He sat down on his sofa and closed his eyes. Instantly, he saw a house filled with his own furniture. The house was surrounded by a green lawn and pine trees but out in the distance, he could see a vast desert.

That fall, Peterson had a vacation scheduled but he didn't know where to go. One day, he returned to his office after lunch and found every flat surface -- his desk, sofa, table and chairs -- covered with travel brochures about Las Vegas. His secretary didn't know how they got there, he says, and neither did anyone else.

He figured it was a message from the Masters of Wisdom, so he went. He drove around one day and ended up in Henderson, a city adjacent to Vegas. Suddenly, he saw it -- the same house the Masters had shown him when he was vacuuming. Immediately, he bought it.

Back in Washington, he wondered how he was going to pay two mortgages, one in Falls Church and one in Nevada. Then, in 1996, the government offered an early retirement program that included a $25,000 departure bonus. Peterson took it, sold his Falls Church condo, and moved to Henderson in early 1997. "When he retired," recalls Terry Blatt, who worked with him at the Fulbright Program, "people said, 'He's retiring to Las Vegas?' "

It did seem odd. He'd never been the Vegas type. He figured Maitreya and the Masters had some work for him there, but they seemed in no hurry to tell him what it was. So he wrote his book and traveled around the country, lecturing about Maitreya.

Along the way, he says, he kept meeting disciples of Maitreya who'd moved to Henderson in 1997, lured there by vague instructions from the Masters. They'd been called to Henderson, Peterson says, "to take up a project that is important to Maitreya."

He knows what that project is, he says. Unfortunately, he is not at liberty to reveal it.

Faith and Frogs

Is Peterson crazy? Did he really meet supernatural beings? Or were they some kind of delusion? Did he have an authentic religious experience? Or has he gone mad? Ultimately, his beliefs -- like all religious beliefs -- depend on faith. You either believe or you don't.

Peterson's spiritual journey is a bizarre and fascinating story. But when he delivers his speech at the Hyatt, he doesn't tell it. He never mentions his own experiences. There isn't enough time, he says.

Instead, he simply tells the crowd of about three dozen people about Maitreya. In 1977, he says, Maitreya took on human form in northern Pakistan and then migrated to London. In 1988, he appeared "out of thin air" at a religious gathering in Kenya, stayed long enough to be photographed and then "simply melted back into the air."

Maitreya is not God, Peterson tells the crowd, he is simply a messenger of God. He has come to bring on an era of universal brotherhood, justice and sharing. But he cannot do it alone. Humans must help him. And they can help simply by offering Maitreya a welcome.

"He is waiting for humanity to fully invite him into the world," Peterson says. Someday -- maybe within a few months -- he will appear on television, first in the United States, then all over the world, beaming his message to everyone on Earth.

After that, there will be a painful transition period for about 20 years, followed by 2,000 years of peace and plenty. "I really feel we are in the final months before the emergence," Peterson says.

When he ends his speech, there's a tiny ripple of applause and he steps off the podium and hustles into the hallway, where a couple of Maitreya's devotees had set up a table where Peterson could autograph his book. A middle-aged woman approaches him with tears in her eyes. "I feel it so intensely," she says.

"There's going to be an incredible change," he replies. She hands him a copy of his book. He signs it. "Can I hug you?" she asks. "Of course," he says. She bends over and hugs him as he sits, then she walks away, her eyes wet with tears.

She says she's an attorney from California. She says she's a cancer survivor. She says her husband has multiple sclerosis. She says Peterson's message has touched her deeply. She says she doesn't want her name in the newspaper. Then she walks away, clutching his book to her chest. Peterson signs a few more books, then looks up to find that he has no more customers. He stands up and chats with a couple of people.

The emergence of Maitreya is not the most profound change that's in store for us, he says. Bigger changes are coming, planetary changes, changes on a "cosmic scale."

Like what? Crocodiles, frogs and sharks will soon be extinct, he says. They are going the way of the dinosaurs, soon to be replaced by more advanced species. "All over the world, scientists are trying to find out what's poisoning the frogs," Peterson says. He smiles. "It's not poison," he says. "They are being ended by the Masters redirecting energies."

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