KEY POINTS

  • Thawee Nanra, 75, was arrested from his forest-dwelling in Thailand following a raid
  • The bodies were found in several coffins scattered around the house
  • The followers consumed his bodily fluids as they believed it would cure diseases

A self-proclaimed godman in Thailand whose followers allegedly worshipped corpses and consumed bodily fluids was arrested from his forest-dwelling after the police found 11 dead bodies on his premises.

The cult leader, 75-year-old Thawee Nanra, was arrested from his thatched house inside the deep forest of Chaiyaphum province following a police raid Sunday, Sky News reported.

The bodies believed to be that of Nanra's followers were found in coffins scattered around the house, while at least a dozen followers reportedly lived with him.

The cult group existed for more than four years inside the deep jungle without anyone noticing them until the daughter of one of the followers reached out to a social media celebrity who works to expose such activities.

The followers were allegedly asked to drink their cult leader's urine and phlegm, which they believed would cure diseases. While Nanra was arrested and led to a police vehicle, his devotees shouted and protested at the police, reports said.

While in custody, Nanra reportedly told the investigators that he kept the bodies to help their spirits return to heaven. He also claimed that his followers consumed his bodily fluids by choice. "I didn't force anybody to stay here or do anything they didn't want to," Nanra said, as reported by Lad Bible.

"We have papers showing that the relatives have given consent with a death certificate. Some of them have practiced meditation in this place," one of Nanra's devotees said.

Although Thailand's population is predominantly Buddhist, many people are said to worship spirits from local legends and also fear ghosts.

"It's quite disturbing to see that there are people who believe in such superstition. But this is not only about a personal belief anymore. We have dead bodies, and we will have to work with all agencies to establish facts surrounding these individuals," Provincial Governor Kraisorn Kongchalad said, adding that he was shocked to discover such practices still prevailed.

Nanra was initially charged for encroaching forest areas and illegal gathering while it was prohibited by COVID control laws. More charges are likely to be added, including unlawful disposal of bodies,  police said. Nanra was denied bail in court Monday.

police-gbeece6117_1280 Representative image Photo: Credit: Pixabay / Fleimax