Police expand investigation into 11 bodies found at Isaan temple cult
Police are widening their investigation into a cult at a temple in north-eastern Thailand, where 11 bodies were kept. According to a Bangkok Post report, the bodies were discovered during a raid on the temple in the Khon San district of Chaiyaphum province.
A 75-year-old man, named as Tawee Nanra, and allegedly the cult leader, has been arrested. Bail was set at 50,000 baht, which was paid by Tawee’s brother, Thongthip Nanra, according to the report.
The raid followed a number of complaints about a cult promoting strange beliefs and offering bogus treatments for illness. Tawee is so far facing charges of encroaching on public land, being in violation of Thailand’s Medicine Act, the illegal transfer of corpses, and holding gatherings that were banned under the emergency decree.
Meanwhile, the governor of Chaiyaphum wants to know how the cult managed to keep 11 bodies at the compound without the knowledge of the authorities. Kraisorn Kongchalad has ordered the cult members to leave the temple, which has had a demolition notice posted outside.
The Bangkok Post reports that Khon San Hospital has carried out post-mortems on the 11 corpses and the deceased have all been identified. Their bodies are being returned to family members.
Reports say that Tawee led a cult in which his followers were brainwashed into thinking all ailments could be cured by drinking and eating the urine and excrement of their “spiritual father”. It’s understood Tawee would also make his own version of the herbal medicine ya dong, which would include animal hair and bones, as well as coconut shells.
The PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has described the matter as “disgusting”. Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, says that while Tawee may have been called a “spiritual father” by his followers, in a psychiatric hospital, he would simply be known as “a patient”.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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