In northeastern Thailand’s Chaiyaphum, the Guru Tawee Nanla, and his 30 disciples lived. Peacefully, they spent their days and nights in their secret commune deep in the jungle. To pay for living expenses, his followers sold packaged snack foods to shops.
The guru is in his mid-70s. His followers believe he possesses magical healing abilities. They gain enlightenment by consuming his saliva, skin flakes, urine, and feces.
On May 9, police raided the jungle commune. Police arrested Tawee, charging him with land encroachment and illegal transport of corpses. Police found 11 dead bodies in coffins at the commune.
They also found maggots crawling around food preparation sites. Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said food samples contained mold and fecal contamination.
Fish crisps, fried green peas, and dried squid contained dangerous amounts of mold. Chili paste, fermented fish, and herbal teas were also tested. Water samples contained E. coli and coliform, indicating fecal contamination.
The guru, Tawee told reporters he never forced his followers to eat his excrement. Still, they did so anyway, believing it would cure diseases.
During the raid, followers drank Tawee’s urine and ate skin flakes from his arms to show police its efficacy.
The 11 corpses found in Tawee’s commune were sick people who sought treatment from Tawee.
Tawee kept their bodies in coffins, because he would be better able to send their souls to heaven. In the meantime, the corpses helped the living. Followers drilled holes in the bottom of the coffins.
Lymph oozed from the corpses through the holes. Followers washed their faces with the healing cadaver fluids.
Some of his followers
Currently on bail, Tawee moved his commune to Leoi province, near the Laos border.
A YouTuber tipped off police, Mor Pla, who was alerted by the daughter of one of the guru’s followers. Pla assisted police in the raid and captured the event in a live stream posted on his Facebook page. Here is a YouTube video of the arrest.
Realizing he was not wanted in this neck of the woods, Tawee set up a new temple in Loei. He has re-established their food businesses there.
They sell their tasty snacks under the brand name แซ่บหลาย (Zaap Lai, which means “very delicious”).