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Death Toll Tops 400! Doomsday Cult Leader Told Followers They Had To Starve To See Jesus?!

Kenyan Starvation Cult Death Toll Rises -- Pastor Allegedly Told Followers They Had To Starve To See Jesus

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

The leader of a doomsday cult in Kenya has been arrested — as the death toll of his followers continues to rise.

Paul McKenzie (above, inset) and 36 others have been arrested for allegedly encouraging followers of their Good News International Church to starve themselves to death in order to see Jesus, as reported by multiple outlets. The death toll has continued to rise for months as more and more bodies are discovered. On Monday, it just broke a horrific new record.

None of the suspects in police custody have been charged officially with any crimes yet, but relatives of the cult’s alleged victims are speaking out against the church’s teachings — and giving info on what it was like to be in such an awful position.

Stephen Mwiti‘s wife and children joined the church earlier this year, and he believes they are among the members who perished in the horrific mass starvation. He spoke to Reuters when the news of the cult first broke:

“[Mackenzie] told them to starve themselves ahead of the world’s end on April 15, saying he would be that last one and that he would lock the doors.”

So, so creepy. And all too reminiscent of other historical mass suicides, like The Peoples Temple in the late ’70s. Leader Jim Jones led the residents of Jonestown in Guyana to drink poison in knockoff Kool-Aid. 918 died there, including 246 children. It’s so awful to think this is still happening to innocent people more than four decades later…

The “Kenyan Starvation Cult” as it’s been dubbed by the media, was reportedly founded in Malindi. According to the BBC, McKenzie claimed he shut down the church four years ago, but the horrifying numbers of bodies found — and those still missing — have everyone re-examining those claims.

Related: Miley Cyrus Fans Are Concerned She Joined A CULT! 

As of where it stands now, according to Coast Regional Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha on Monday, the death toll has risen to 403.

Per the Kenyan Red Cross, 613 people have been reported missing in connection to the cult, with so far only 95 being rescued. Of the 403 bodies found, 253 have been positively identified as those reported missing. That leaves 265 people left missing and/or unidentified — and that’s just for those that have been reported. Who knows how many have sadly gone unreported? It’s just so gut-wrenching…

And it seems like McKenzie and his helpers are sticking to the cult’s rules. Since they were put into custody in mid-April, they’ve reportedly been refusing food and water. In fact, Joseph Juma Buyuka, who was reportedly the cult leader’s right hand man, died in jail after a hunger strike. Thirty of the other suspects also attempted a hunger strike — but started eating again after they were brought to court for attempting suicide.

McKenzie’s sermons are still available online, per the BBC, even after his claims the church was no more. A banner on the group’s website says it all:

“We are about to win the battle… let no-one turn back… the journey is about to be accomplished.”


The news outlet added that so far there’s no concrete evidence McKenzie was blatantly telling his followers to starve themselves, but he did encourage church members to make sacrifices in order to see Jesus — including sacrificing their lives. Like some other shifty cult leaders we could name, he makes his message clear to followers without ever saying the exact words.

According to The Associated Press, this isn’t even the first time he’s been in legal trouble! He was originally arrested in connection to reports of missing children from his church. He was released on bond but soon after that he was arrested AGAIN for his ties to these mass deaths. Sadly we do not yet know what happened to all these children…

In May, Kenyan president William Ruto did a press conference addressing the situation, saying:

“I am taking responsibility that as president, this should not have happened. And certainly, some people who are responsible for this failure on the part of the government will have to give an account, because it should not have happened when we have all the agencies … The promise I am giving to the people of Kenya is that we will get to the bottom of this matter, and I am also giving them my commitment.”

As of this week, police are still finding new mass graves. The most recent one held a group of 12. Even with the leader in custody, this may not be over for some time.

Our hearts break for these lost souls and their families. We hope they get the justice they deserve.

[Image via Citizen TV Kenya/BBC/YouTube]

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Jul 20, 2023 07:00am PDT