Controversy in Thailand over sect leader who lived with corpses

Bangkok, May 10 (EFE).- A shaman and sect leader who lived with corpses and gave followers his bodily fluids to “treat” diseases has caused controversy in Thailand after being arrested.

The man was not arrested for these practices, however, but rather for violating Covid-19 rules and living in a forest illegally.

Thawee Nanla was arrested last Sunday and released the following day after posting bail of 50,000 baht (about $1,446) in Chaiyaphum, a province in the northeast.

The sect was reported to the police by Jeeraphan Petchkhao, another shaman with a large following and who is dedicated to denouncing bad practices of fraudulent seers and monks who do not follow Buddhist precepts.

Videos shared by Jeeraphan showed police finding dozens of followers in Nanla’s home, who were reportedly drinking the shaman’s bodily fluids from a hole, as well as 11 coffins with dead bodies.

One of the sect’s followers said that the dead were disciples who had previously sacrificed their bodies so that the shaman could help them ascend to heaven.

Videos showed Thawee, who is in his 70s, in a hut full of junk surrounded by his disciples, who believe he is a God, higher than Buddha.

The vast majority of 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. EFE


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