A shaman and cult leader who lived with dead bodies and gave his followers their bodily fluids, including urine and feces, to “treat” diseases has caused controversy in Thailand after being arrested.
The 75-year-old cult leader, identified as Thawee Nanla, was arrested last Sunday and released the following day after posting bail of 50,000 baht in Chaiyaphum, a province in the northeast of the country, the Bangkok Post reported.
The sect was reported to the police by Jeeraphan Petchkhao, another shaman with a large following on the networks known as “Mor Pla” and who is dedicated to denouncing bad practices of fraudulent seers and monks who do not follow Buddhist precepts.
The daughter of one of Thawee’s followers came to Jeeraphan because she was concerned about her mother’s strange new ideas and unhygienic conditions in the cult temple.
— Taste of Thai (@Taste_of_Thai) May 9, 2022
According to videos shared by Jeeraphan, police found a dozen followers at the shaman’s home, apparently drinking the leader’s bodily fluids, and where there were also eleven coffins with dead bodies.
One of the disciples of the sect explained that the dead were followers who had previously donated their bodies before passing away so that the shaman could help them ascend to heaven.
Bare-chested and with white hair and beards as if he were a hermit, Thawee, in his 70s, appears in a video gesticulating in a hut full of junk surrounded by his disciples, who believe “he is a god” and has a “higher status than Buddha”.
Most Thais are Buddhists, but many also believe in other gods, mainly of Hindu origin, and spirits. The sect’s neighbors have asked the authorities to evict them from the site.
-Thailand News (TN)