What certain people will do in the name of religion is quite astonishing. They seem to find justification in their Holy Books for all the evil things they do. What’s even more baffling is how many of these so-called preachers manage to find people to follow their twisted teachings, and see nothing wrong with the evil things their spiritual teacher does. From sexual perversity, to violence from murder to mass suicide, these often charismatic men (and it’s usually men, and not always Christian) are often protected by their followers until they are finally caught, or in the case of Jim Jones and his People’s Temple-commit mass suicide.
One deviant preacher, although a Lutheran, actually created his own cult managing to accumulate 6,000 followers in Papua New Guinea. He called himself “Black Jesus” and after a year on the lam was caught in 2007 and finally put on trial. 38-year-old Steven Tari did some unspeakable things as head of his bizarre sect. He raped young ‘flower girls’ and according to some villagers he even killed several of them and drank their blood in a sacrificial ritual. He was found guilty of the rapes but not the murders.
He was able to fend off the police by moving around the country, aided by his followers and warriors who protected him.
Like many cult leaders, his spiritual teachings were bent to suit his twisted desires.
As part of his ‘culture ministry’ Tari preached the young girls were to be married to him as it was God’s prophecy.
One woman told police that she was present when Tari killed her young daughter by slitting her throat after which he drank her blood.
And this sick man sees nothing wrong with his heinous crimes.
Interviewed in Madang’s Boen Prison a year later after his dramatic capture, Tari defended his practice in the black arts and of sleeping with young girls who joined his cult, admitting that ‘I got plenty – 430 girls’.
But he added: ‘What I did is under and in line with my religion. It was religious and was not wrong.’
Claiming he was Jesus, he played the part wearing long white robes and preaching from boulders.
No-one seemed to have a problem with his taking on young brides and raping them, what finally made them turn on their pastor was the stories about his sacrificial blood drinking and stories of cannibalizing his victims. But that’s not all
Added to concerns were claims by the relatives of a mother who was said to have fallen under his spell and drank her own daughter’s blood.
A Mail investigation in the remote villages of Papua New Guinea heard claims from relatives of 13-year-old Rita Hemen that she had been stripped naked, tied to a crude bed and raped by Tari before having her throat cut.
Her relatives said her blood had been drained into a coconut shell and drunk by Tari and his evil henchmen – and in a final horrific act they had eaten strips of her flesh.
According to Paul Makura, a church pastor Tari was finally caught when he arrived in the village of Matepi.
‘When he came here we heard that he had killed young women so we put a plan into action. We encouraged him to stay on and when he went to a hut to rest a group of eight villagers broke in, pounced on him and tied him up.’
Heavily armed police who made their way to Matepi found Tari tied to a tree. There was no sign of his bow-and-arrow-carrying bodyguards who, on a previous occasion, had engaged in a fight to the death with police.
Tari was still in possession of what he called his ‘magic rod’ – a knife – and a battered Bible, many of the teachings of which he had denied in his own sermons.
Apparently, there are many Lutheran’s in Papua New Guinea, and I’m sure the church hierarchy was absolutely horrified that Tari claimed to represent Lutherans as a pastor, when he was nothing more than a sick, pervert.
But you still have to wonder how did more than 6,000 people come to follow this man?
He is due to be sentenced soon, but he will only spend time in jail.