Kenyan cult leader accused of ordering followers to starve themselves to death
Christian preacher leads Kenyan cult: A mass suicide and murder cult in Kenya, led by an evangelical Christian preacher, has resulted in over 200 deaths. The cult, called the Good News International Church, practiced starvation to meet Jesus. Many of the bodies found in the Shakahola Forest near the town of Malindi belonged to followers of Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who is accused of inciting them to starve to death. Mackenzie and 26 others, including an “enforcer gang,” have been arrested in connection to the deaths.
Victims were beaten, suffocated, or strangled
While starvation was the main cause of death, some of the victims, including children, were also beaten, suffocated, or strangled. This has been confirmed by the chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor. Relatives of the victims are desperately searching for their loved ones, who are believed to be buried across the 800-acre property which is being exhumed.
Shakahola Farm is now a grisly crime scene
Shakahola Farm, once promoted as an evangelical Christian haven from the impending apocalypse, has become a grisly crime scene. The 800-acre property is littered with the shallow graves of believers who starved themselves to death or, as the cult leader Mackenzie would have it, crucified themselves to meet Jesus. The scale of the tragedy, known as the “Shakahola Massacre,” has left the government baffled as to how such macabre goings-on could have been missed in a country that prides itself on being one of Africa’s most modern and stable.
Cult leader declared the world was ending
Mackenzie, a former cab driver turned televangelist, declared that the world was ending and promoted Shakahola as a haven for his followers. Instead of a haven, it has become a nightmare, with the exhumed bodies of the cult members being received by workers at the Malindi sub-district hospital mortuary. The tragic incident has sparked questions about how law enforcement could have missed the goings-on for so long in a country known for its stability and modernity.
Kenyan Cult Leader Arrested Over Murder and Terrorism Charges
A cult leader in Kenya has been arrested and is being investigated over accusations of murder, terrorism, and other crimes. The leader, who went from being a destitute taxi driver to having his own television channel, is accused of brainwashing his followers and leading them to a mass suicide through fasting. This shocking case has led to discussions about religious freedom and the need for better regulation of religious bodies in Kenya.
How the Cult Began
The cult leader started as a dynamic speaker in a normal church preaching the usual evangelical doctrine of salvation through faith in Christ. However, he became increasingly apocalyptic in his preaching and started making false prophecies about the end of the world. He also established his own unregistered, fee-paying school, and claimed divine healing abilities, which he charged for. As he became more obsessed with money, he encouraged believers not to see physicians or send their children to school.
The Rise of the Cult Leader
The cult leader’s impact had spread far beyond the Kenyan coast through the founding of Times TV, a gospel channel that broadcast his increasingly violent sermons over the internet and across Africa. He portrayed himself as a Christ-like figure and lived in a part he called Galilee, named after the region of Palestine where Jesus spent the majority of his time. His television broadcasts captivated many Kenyans, including those who ultimately starved to death.
The Mass Suicide Through Fasting
The cult leader’s instructions were a calculated strategy for mass suicide through starvation. The first to succumb would be youngsters, who were to fast in the sun so they would die faster. Women would get their turn in March and April, followed by men. According to a deputy pastor, the cult leader stated that he would stay alive in order to assist his followers “meet Jesus” through starvation, but that after that mission was completed, he would starve himself to death before what he claimed was the impending end of the world.
The case has stunned Kenyans and led President William Ruto to set up a commission of inquiry into the deaths and a task force to review regulations governing religious bodies. The cult leader was arrested, released, and then quickly rearrested. Many Kenyans blame the government for not taking action earlier, and discussions about religious freedom and regulation continue. This case serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of cults and the need for better protections for vulnerable individuals.