Doomsday cult leader Pastor Paul Mackenzie denies that he forced people—including children—to starve themselves in Kenya. But one of his own followers refutes that, and says children were targeted to die first.
At first report three weeks ago, 89 people were believed to have been recovered from mass graves in a forest in eastern Kenya, and it was believed to be a mass suicide. That number has risen to 201, media reports say.
Police investigators, however, believe the bodies are connected to Mackenize, whose deputy preacher, Titus Katana, told media sources that children were killed first and ordered to “fast in the sun so they would die faster.” Katana has been cooperating with authorities to investigate the cult and has provided stunning details of its operation.
Katana described abuses of children, such as forcing them to be locked inside huts for days without food or water.
“Then they wrapped them in blankets and buried them, even the ones still breathing,” Katana told The New York Times.
Mackenzie’s false end-times teaching allegedly brainwashed his followers, and the BBC reported that he told them they would get to heaven faster if they starved to death. Autopsies of the discovered bodies showed signs of starvation, suffocation and beatings.
More than 600 people who participated in Mackenzie’s cult remain missing. The leader of the Good News International Church, Mackenzie is in police custody and maintains his innocence.
Katana, who left the church when he began to find some of Mackenzie’s teachings “strange,” said Mackenzie preached against education and argued that it was satanic when he received that revelation from God.
He also allegedly encouraged members not to seek medical attention during pregnancy and for parents not to vaccinate their children.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma’s best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.