According to eNCA, pastor Penuel Mnguni posted on his Facebook page that he can cure HIV, diabetes and cancer.
Mnguni was filmed by his congregation saying that he could do this by feeding his congregation dog meat and blood.
He apparently slaughtered a dog in front of them.
He claimed that by praying over it he had transformed the dog’s flesh into that of Christ’s.
Mnguni is popularly known as the “snake pastor” after getting his congregants to eat those, and in 2017 IOL reported that he got them to eat cockroaches.
Well, dog is God backwards I suppose.
While we tend to think of feeding people bugs, and dogs as being disgusting this is more of a cultural bias than anything else.
As yucky as it is, in principle there isn’t really much of a line between his claim to turn dog flesh into God flesh and the Catholic Euchrist, in which a cracker is supposed to magically transform into the flesh of Christ.
The big issue I have here is – the claim he can cure HIV, cancer, diabetes and “whatever”.
With HIV one of the effects of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) is that they make it much more difficult to pass the disease on.
ARVs basically work by killing off the individual virons. They aren’t a cure, because they cannot eliminate all the virons, but it takes a certain number of them to be present for the HIV sufferer to be infectious.
Mnguni feeding his followers all sorts of gross stuff, so long as that stuff isn’t poisonous, its good for headlines but not terribly dangerous.
But the claim that his actions are curing dread diseases? That can and does kill people.
It is the same issue I have with alternative medicine, which as Tim Minchin put it is stuff that is either not proven to work or proven not to work, in that it is preying on the desperate in order to make money.
What the solution here is I don’t know, but it is important to note that this isn’t just some sort of harmless eccentricity, this stuff really does do a lot of harm to a lot of people.