Kenya: Autopsies Reveal Missing Organs in Cult Deaths
Court documents filed on Monday indicate that autopsies on corpses found in mass graves linked to a religious cult in Kenya have revealed missing organs, raising suspicion they could have been victims of a well-coordinated organ trafficking ring.
- Court documents filed on Monday indicate that autopsies on corpses found in mass graves linked to a religious cult in Kenya have revealed missing organs, raising suspicion they could have been victims of a well-coordinated organ trafficking ring.1
- This comes as police have found more than a hundred dead bodies, most of them children, in 30 sites in the African country since the self-styled Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie — who founded the Good News International Church in 2003 — turned himself into police after the first corpses were recovered in a remote forest around the tourist town of Malindi.2
- Mackenzie, who was detained last month, allegedly ordered his followers to starve their children and themselves to death, promising they would go to heaven before the world's end, which he predicted would take place on April 15.3
- Prosecutors announced last week that he would be indicted on charges of terrorism. Meanwhile, the investigation into the shocking "Shakahola forest massacre" is still underway — searches for bodies and mass graves resumed on Tuesday.4
- The discovery of a total of 133 bodies has so far been confirmed, 21 of them exhumed from nine graves on Tuesday. Though starvation appears to be the main cause of death, some of the victims were reportedly strangled, beaten, or suffocated.5
- While a request to detain Mackenzie for another 90 days is set to be ruled on Wednesday, authorities have ordered the freezing of bank accounts belonging to a high-profile televangelist who allegedly had received "huge cash transactions" from Mackenzie's followers for 30 days.1
Sources: 1Guardian, 2Times, 3Dw.Com, 4Africanews, and 5CBS.
- Narrative A, as provided by The Guardian. Nthenge Mackenzie took advantage of the faith of regular Kenyans to achieve his personal, sadistic goals. He stripped men, women, and children of their identities and stole them from their families. While the deceased cannot be brought back to life, some semblance of justice can be found by prosecuting everyone responsible for these heinous crimes.
- Narrative B, as provided by Kenyans.co.ke. While Pastor Mackenzie is certainly the primary culprit in this tragedy, Kenyan investigators should also look into the role played by the police. One father filed a report after his son became obsessed with the cult, but police defended Mackenzie. If officers had acted when they first heard of the church's practices, that victim — among many others — would most likely still be alive today.