Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Matthew 4:4
TRIGGER WARNING: The following references suicide and murder.
The shocking events that have unfolded recently in relation to the “Starvation Cult” drives home a new significance of this Bible verse.
Questions about how this tragedy could have happened are vibrating around the globe. Myths need to be busted. The people who joined this cult were “normal”.
As a general rule, I despise the word “normal” when it comes to defining humans. As I heard a psychologist once say, “normal” is a setting on a dishwasher. It is not a suitable label for people.
People are complex. There is no absolute “normal” person. We all have our rightful place as an outlier on someone’s graph.
Starving oneself to death is an outlier dot point that most people will never relate to. However, that does not make those people crazy, insane, weak, or even brainwashed (that comes later). Let’s pulse and take a reality check:
Of the 100+ bodies that have been exhumed in Kenya so far (30 April, 2023), most are children.
Early reports suggest that at least some of those children did not die of starvation; physical signs suggest violence, like strangulation. More will be known once autopsies are complete.
Kithure Kindiki, Kenya’s interior minister, says most of the 109 bodies found so far in mass graves in the forest were children, and not all died of starvation.Indepedent.ie
The main victims of this tragedy, the children, did not have free will. They were dependent upon the care of the adults around them.
Pastor, aka cult leader, Paul MacKenzie has been arrested. He claims innocence, afterall, it appears he did not directly oversee these deaths.
The dead were buried on MacKenzie’s land. Who buried them? Their mothers? Their fathers? Others faithful to MacKenzie’s teachings?
Survivors say it was MacKenzie’s plan that children die first, then youths, then women, then the men, and he would die last. Mackenzie did not starve himself.
How does a parent go beyond the innate instinct of protecting their children’s life and do the exact opposite? How does one forgo the basic need of nourishment and starve themselves to death?
I believe the simple answer is that humans do not live on bread – a metaphor for physical food – alone. We feed off thoughts and feelings too. In other words, spiritual food.
Long before Christianity was invented, the ancient Greeks used the symbolism of bread and wine to express a twofold nature of a human being as physical and spiritual being (other cultures viewed things differently).
One of the few survivors insists their involvement was of their own free will:
I get it. The “Starvation Cult” were fed “spiritual” food in MacKenzie’s Church that amounted to the message that forsaking all, including one’s own life, would ensure an afterlife of bliss in heaven. Choosing to “eat” this food was like going to restaurant with a very limited menu and starvation was the signature dish.
It would not surprise me if the side dishes were stories of how Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac, therefore an inference that they should show God the same dedication.
Similarly, some Christians define Jesus’ death as being “payment” for human sins. That too is “food” for thought. Did MacKenzie offer that to his congregation too?
Maybe we’ll never know
A lot of people in Kenya are dead. Mostly, the victims are children. The reality is that the dead cannot speak. We cannot turn to them for answers, only the surviving adults who ate the food and fed it to their children can provide insight.
Did those adults believe their death and the death of their children was suitable payment for “sins”? Are such possibilities on the police questionnaires?
I don’t know about anyone else, but if go to a restaurant and am later quizzed (like in a police interview) about what I ate, I will be able to tell them the meal but not the ingredients. Was it coriander, mint, or parsley that made that dish superb? There was something delectable about the food but I just can’t place what the ingredient was …
So too, MacKenzie’s followers may talk about Jesus and promises of heaven, but if they try to describe the details it may well sound very bland. Arsenic is tastless yet toxic. So too, some toxic spiritual food can be dished up and consumed without anyone realising.
Residue. Perhaps there is some residue of poison. YouTube evidences suggests MacKenzie’s followers where trying to avoid the “mark of the beast” which was perceived to be human microchipping (a conspiracy theory that goes back to the approximately the 1970s and the Children of God cult).
It sounds like a convincing theory but personally I don’t buy into it. I understand the appeal of viewing microchipping as being an accurate interpretation of the “mark of the beast”. But simple logic tells me that’s not the ingredient the Book of Revelation is serving. Presuming the Book of Revelation is a true prophecy, if the mark of the beast is literal then so too is the mark of the lamb. We don’t hear enough about the mark of the lamb (Revelation 14:1).
Premillennialist are quick to give literal interpretations of the beast’s mark but not so the lamb. In fact, I’ve never heard a doomsayer proclaim what the mark of the lamb is. If I must go down that path of imagination, I’d guess that one day all Christed humans will have horns on their forehead, just like the early Christians perceived Moses to have after he encountered God on Mt Sinai.
Microchipping and horns: something seems a miss to me. These two literal interpretations just don’t align. I’ll cut to the chase. If the Book of Revelation is a true prophecy then it is ALL symbolic. No microchips, no horns.
In my humble opinion, the mark upon the “forehead” in both instances is antiquity’s language for describing the pre-frontal cortex. As any neurologist or psychologist will tell you it, that is a reference to high order thinking.
As Occam’s razor suggests, the simple answer is the best. Therefore, any mark upon a forehead, whether it be from a “beast” or a “lamb”, is indicative of the brain functioning associated with that part of the head. Complex thinking can lead to both “evil” or “holy” thinking. Maybe one day fMRI’s will able to tell the difference between the two according to the representation of synaptic pathways?
The mark of the beast, the mark of lamb, both evident on fMRI’s? It’s food for thought.
I question the theories presented by doomsdayers like MacKenzie’s because I can. And I do so because I have a broad education. Limitating education has a great history as being a control mechanism. Hence, it is not that surprising to learn MacKenzie tried to limit the education of his congregation by trying to convince them that education was evil.
As a spiritual chief, (aka Christian pastor/cult leader), MacKenzie served a signature dish of doomsdayism which was toxic to any soul that could not dilute its affects with other spiritual food.
Humans cannot live on bread alone
Those victims are not “others”. They are not “dumb” victims in a third world scenario. They are people. Moreover, those children were innocent.
Humans have dietary requirements. If one were to try to live on literally bread alone, it is likely they would become malnourished and experience vitamin deficiencies that led to death.
The child victims of the Kenyan massacre had parents who were fed a very limited spiritual diet. MacKenzie even went so far as to condemn public education as being “evil”. Ergo, he essentially created a sense of fear surrounding “spiritual” food … imagine being told that any food except bread would kill you … that is the equivalent of having your critical thinking skills nulled (as happens in trauma) … therefore, it’s not that difficult to understand that the “spiritual” food MacKenzie gave his congregation was all they ate.
The ultimate aim of coercive control is that victims believe the choices they make are their own free will. And that is normal.
To break the cycle of cultic abuse, I believe ongoing questioning of how “spiritual food” affects human beings is essential.
What does it mean to live upon “every word that comes from the mouth of God”? Who really knows? One thing for sure, no one human can speak on behalf of God.
“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.Albert Einstein