A short distance from the home of the novelist E M Forster, David Shayler and his miniskirt-clad alter ego have taken up residence in a 17th-century National Trust farmhouse after a decade of spiritual contemplation which has led the one-time MI5 officer to the conclusion that he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and that all of humanity's ills can be cured by a four-year program of hemp cultivation.
For the man who came to public attention in spectacular fashion 12 years ago by lifting the lid on a catalogue of dark deeds allegedly carried out in the name of Queen and Country by the intelligence services, it is a reinvention every bit as dramatic as his claims that MI6 funded Islamist fighters to assassinate Libya's Colonel Gaddafi and that MI5 failed to keep track of an IRA bombing cell - revelations that ultimately forced him into exile and earned him two spells in prison. . .
But as he came to the door of the salubrious squat close to Guildford dressed as Delores in a blonde wig, sheer black tights, a leopard skin skirt and a cropped top with prosthetic breasts, before explaining that the world as it is known will end of 23 December 2012, it is perhaps clear why some of his former friends are concerned that he has suffered some form of mental collapse. . .
Far from being unwell, Mr Shayler insisted he was merely following the same instincts that persuaded him to blow the whistle on the alleged misdeeds of MI5 and MI6 in 1997 – and illegally print extracts from Spycatcher while a student – by bringing into the open unpalatable "facts" about the state of humanity. . .
"I have spent my life telling difficult truths and now I am in the same situation again. I am the latest reincarnation of the Christ and live a life of unconditional love. Suddenly my whole life makes sense. By exercising the common law right of free will, we can all break out of the system that has enslaved us, started wars and left us mired in debt.". . .
Between drags on a roll-up cigarette, he explained how the engravings on the Rod of Aaron, the staff carried by Moses' older brother in the Old Testament, contained an anagram of "David Shayler, Righteous King".