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UPDATE: Authorities find Isaan cult also selling food and snacks online

Petch Petpailin

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Photo via กัน จอมพลัง

Following the report on the raid of the hidden cult compound in the Isaan province Chaiyaphum last week, authorities visited the make-shift for a second time and found they were also operating a semi-commercial food business to make a living.

The ‘cult’ distributes food products like chilli paste, fermented fish and snacks but without registration with the Food and Drug Administration, and some of the products exhibited poor hygiene standards, and some of the food was full of maggots and flies. Hmmmm.

Last week, police, residents and Thai media raided a cult temple in Chaiyaphum where the 78 year old cult leader Tawee Nanla or ‘Joseph’ lured followers into believing in his magic ‘powers’ and consuming his bodily waste products. The followers were willing to consume the leader’s feces, urine, skin flakes, saliva and even used cigarette butts, and they also used human lymph to watch their faces.

Aside from consuming dangerous waste products, 11 unidentified corpses were also found inside the compound. The authorities have since identified each corpse and returned it to the families.

Then this Tuesday, the Deputy Provincial Governor, Charnchai Soornsiwichai and the officers from Chaiyaphum Provincial Public Health, revisited the cult temple. They found various illegal items, like the remains of endangered animals and valuable illegal woods. Other than that, the authorities also spotted their food preparation areas in 5 houses within the compound. The health officers told Thai media that “all food production was below the standard, and FDA didn’t approve it”.

The pictures of food products from the cult, under the brand แซ่บหลาย (Zaap Lai, which means very delicious), have been circulating online. Many customers who discovered that they had bought and consumed some of the food products from the cult said they were “about to vomit” after becoming aware of some of the practices going on inside the compound.

After the first raid last week, the cult leader was charged and brought to a police station, but relatives bailed him out. Today, Thai media reported that the leader and his followers are heading to Pha Nok Khao in the Isaan province Loei to set up a new temple and re-establish their food business enterprises. The report also added that the Loei Provincial Governor has already ordered relevant authorities to follow up and closely watch the cult’s behaviour. Authorities say they will be charged again if any “annoying or illegal” was reported.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Kapook

 

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    Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.

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