Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie (center), founder of the Good News International Church, at the Malindi courthouse in Kenya on May 2, 2023. Photo Credit: Simon Maina / AFP - Photo: 2023

Doomsday Cult in Kenya Had White Supremacist Roots

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK, 15 May 2023 (IDN) — Cults are common in Kenya, which has a religious society. But the toll taken by the lead pastor has horrified Kenyans and governing officials who are set to prosecute Paul Mackenzie for terrorism-related offenses. Mackenzie, his wife and 16 other suspects will appear in court at the end of the month.

The death toll linked to the cult hit 201 after police exhumed 22 more bodies, most of them bearing signs of starvation, according to the coast regional commissioner.

Mackenzie is alleged to have ordered congregants to starve to death in order to meet Jesus.

More than 600 people are still missing.

Dozens of mass graves spread across his 800-acre property led to the discovery of hundreds of bodies, including children.

Pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie said he closed down his Good News International Church four years ago after nearly two decades of operation. But the BBC claims it uncovered hundreds of his sermons still available online, some of which appear to have been recorded after that date.

In a series of videos on his church’s YouTube channel, a caption read: “End Time Kids” and shows groups of young children delivering messages to the camera.

Others culminate in exorcisms in which followers – often women – writhe around on the ground while he “torments” the demonic forces within them, the BBC found.

These YouTube channels have thousands of subscribers and a Facebook page set up by his church links to many of the videos.

YouTube has not responded to requests from the BBC to explain why after Pastor Mackenzie’s arrest the channel remains active while YouTube makes money from the videos via online ads.

 Mackenzie’s YouTube channel contains videos promoting serpent seed teachings, versions of which are used by white supremacists to oppress non-white races and to prevent racial mixing, according to Wikipedia.

Although serpent seed is descended from Wesley Swift’s Christian Identity theology, not all adherents are aware of its racial origins and still implement the teaching in such a way that it prevents racial mixing and enforces racial segregation.

Another theme of Pastor Mackenzie’s sermons has been the idea that formal education is satanic and used to extort money, according to the BBC investigation.

“They know education is evil. But they use it for their own gains” he says in one sermon. “Those who sell uniforms, write books…those who make pens… all kinds of rubbish. They use your money to enrich themselves while you become poor.”

In 2017 and again in 2018, he was arrested for encouraging children not to go to school as he claimed education was “not recognized in the Bible”.

Pastor Mackenzie has also condemned education for promoting homosexuality through sex education programs. “I told people education is evil…. Children are taught gayism and lesbianism,” he told the Nation newspaper.

He repeatedly references “New World Order” – a conspiracy theory about a plot by global elites to bring about an authoritarian world government, replacing nation states – falsely claiming the Catholic Church, the UN and the US are behind it.

Good News International Ministries was founded in 2003 by Paul Nthenge Mackenzie as a small church. Before that, Mackenzie worked as a taxi driver in Nairobi from 1997 to 2003, during which he was charged four times for his sermons but was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Mackenzie was able to amass a large following, largely via convincing his congregation that he could personally communicate with God.

Autopsies conducted on more than 100 bodies last week showed the victims died of starvation, strangulation, suffocation and injuries sustained from blunt objects.

Police across the country are now questioning other religious leaders whose teachings are believed to be misleading and contrary to basic human rights.

A commission of inquiry was formed by President William Ruto to investigate how hundreds of people were lured to their deaths and recommend action on institutions that failed to act.

“This horrendous blight on our conscience must lead not only to the most severe punishment of the perpetrator(s) of the atrocity on so many innocent souls,” declared Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, “but tighter regulation (including self-regulation) of every church, mosque, temple or synagogue going forward.” [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Self-proclaimed pastor Paul Nthenge Mackenzie (center), founder of the Good News International Church, at the Malindi courthouse in Kenya on May 2, 2023. Simon Maina / AFP

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