Choc Latai Tzvi, the Choco Messiah, is the head of the controversial Chocoists, a mystical/spiritual sect that advocates finding transcendence through chocolate.
The Choco Messiah performed and spoke to his worshippers in a revival like atmosphere at a Columbia College art event called the genremelt(d). He led a Choco mystical experience in which he shared Hershey's kisses with his followers, and he encouraged them to also share their kisses. At the same event, he also allowed some Choco priestesses to paint him in chocolate, and then he laid down on a sheet and made a Shroud of Turin-like sacred impression.
Latai Tzvi has lectured and performed at many venues
You can find out more about him at his website at come.to/chocolatemessiah . The site includes news of Choco sightings; a picture of him with President George Bush and the Queen of England; links to articles about him: as well as info on how to obtain the fashionable and economical Choco Messiah fridge magnets.
I recently sent him some questions about his life and faith, and he e-mailed me with the following answers.
Can you tell me about your early life?
What I remember is a wearing a very small t-shirt that said Hershey's across the front. I wore it from ages 2-5 years. I also remember a photograph of myself with a chocolate moustache neatly smeared in the space above my upper lip and below my nose from about age 2 and half years.
When did you first hear the calling to become the Choco Messiah?
I have heard the calling all through my life. As a young child, I had these close encounters with chocolate, sometimes devouring entire bags of Hershey's kisses with my younger brother watching Saturday morning cartoons. In my early twenties I heard another calling from a voice saying, “You have a message.” It wasn't until my late twenties, in December 1999 and January 2000 that I knew how The Chocolate Messiah would return and how I would make an Impression.
How does Choco spirituality differ from other religions or other spiritual ways of thinking?
The Chocoists are a part of a Universalistic faith. Chocoists accept and blend the sweetest parts of any religion and belief.
What is a Choco spiritual exercise and what does it achieve?
A Choco Spiritual Exercise is a communion between people and chocolate. It could be in the form of a Simultaneous Chocolotization, a Full Body Coverage Chocolaty Good Impression, or the more mundane Sharing of Chocolate.
Is chocolate the only way towards enlightenment?
I have said that Chocolate is not the only Way, but it is The Way.
What is the Choco-Spiritual Movement in Iraq , and what is your position towards the recent US intervention there?
Since the inspections revealed chocolate, I did not believe an invasion was necessary. The chocolate stores were liberated, and the Chocolate for Oil program seemed to be working, but a salty and bitter leader would have remained.
Some in the media have linked you to the Ironist and the computer instructor. Marc Tasman. Some even speculate that you are all the same person? How do you respond to these outrageous charges?
Yes, I have heard the charges before. We do look alike. Both swarthy, bearded, svelte, good-looking fellows.
Do you prefer white, dark or milk chocolate? Do all three contain the same mystical qualities?
I prefer dark. Each has different qualities, however, the darker the chocolate, the deeper the mystical experience can be.
Why were you arrested, and is it true you performed miracles for the prisoners?
I strayed from the rest of the U.N. Chocolate Inspectors in Iraq outside the Abu Ghuraib prison. Because I was only wearing my little red briefs, and not the inspectors' uniforms I was rounded up outside the prison yard. What I performed for the prisoners stays inside the prison walls; however, I will say that it was a transcendent experience
How did you get involved in the 16th Chocolate Chinese Communist Congress and what was that like?
China is a great country filled with a great amount of great people. I was called as council because I have abilities with large groups.
Do you receive any profits from the Choco magnets or items for sale on your website?
If anybody would buy them, I would make some profit. Put it this way: I've given away so much chocolate, people would have to start using these magnets instead of the new $20 bills for me to profit.
Mostly I give them away so that the message will spread. The magnets are very pleasurable on the eyes, and they stick very well to the refrigerators for lifetimes to come.
Can you discuss your website and future activities?
The new redesigned website will soon be published complete with more interactive multimedia features, but still with the important News from Chocoists around the world feature that our faithful have come to expect.
I will perform Chocolo Spiritual Exercises where and whenever there is demand. I'm like a chocolaty superhero waiting for the Choco signal from Commissioner Gordon.
As for the immediate future, my wife is expectant with child, and we hope to have a little Chocolate Boy by the summer.
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