The Kenyan cult leader charged with hundreds of counts of manslaughter is claiming innocence, along with nearly one hundred alleged accomplices.
Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, his wife, and 93 other suspects in the mass-death of cult members pleaded not guilty to 238 counts of manslaughter.
The 238 counts represent only a portion of the victims discovered in relation to the cult, which totaled over 429 corpses.
MacKenzie, who similarly pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges last week, will undergo a mental evaluation to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
The religious group, known as Good News International Church, is a new-age mutation of evangelical Christianity that developed into a personality cult with an obsession regarding the apocalypse.
“Once inside the villages established by Mackenzie, followers were not allowed to leave the area, nor interact within themselves,” a Senate committee report on the cult states.
The report continues, “The followers were required to destroy vital documents, among them national identity cards, birth certificates, certificates of title to property, academic certificates and marriage certificates.”
MacKenzie allegedly instructed believers to starve themselves to death before Armageddon comes to avoid suffering in the end times.
The deranged pastor reportedly preached vehemently against the Western world, including the United States, the United Nations, and the Catholic Church.
Authorities were turned on to the widespread deaths related to the cult after 15 severely malnourished parishioners were found in Kilifi county.
A search was conducted in the area and dozens of mass graves were discovered — while most victims were found to have died by starvation, some seemed to have been strangled or beaten to death.