‘Guru of Bling’ collects testicles for God: An Indian spiritual leader is accused of convincing up to 400 followers to remove their testicles, claiming that by doing so the men would be able to speak directly to God.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, known as “The Guru in Bling,” is accused of coercing hundreds of followers to undergo the procedure at a hospital run by his spiritual organization.
India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has reportedly obtained statements from victims, saying the castrations took place at a hospital run by Ram Rahim’s organization.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports officers from India’s elite Central Bureau of Investigation appear to have made a crucial breakthrough in the long-running investigation into the alleged mass castrations, last week gathering important testimony from victims and other witnesses as they prepare charges of grievous bodily harm against Ram Rahim.
Previously a “cone of silence” has surrounded the accusations against the wildly popular guru, who has around 50 million followers worldwide, and is worth an estimated $50 million.
According to reports, most of the victims feared for their lives if they dare spoke out against the figure revered by millions.
Ram Rahim Singh and his organization deny that they had anything to do with the castrations, claiming:
This business of castration is not part of the doctrine … No such practice can be attributed to either the guru or our organization.
This is not the first time the guru has been accused of wrongdoing. In 2002, he faced conspiracy charges over the murder of a journalist who was investigating him, and there have also been allegations of sexual abuse of female followers.
Adding to Rahim Singh’s cult of celebrity, the guru is currently starring as the lead in a recently made Bollywood film titled “MSG: Messenger of God.” In January, the film opened to a world-record audience of over 150,000 at a public premiere in Gurgaon, a city just outside Delhi. The film supposedly shows Ram Rahim breaking a tree trunk with his bare hands and walking on air, among other miracles.