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Officials order removal of cult temple's 'pla ra bong'

Pla ra bong, fermented fish chili paste, of Saeb Lai brand, is produced by followers at a cult temple in Chaiyaphum province. (Photo: Makkawan Wannakul)

Health officials have ordered all vendors to remove pla ra bong (fermented fish chilli paste) produced at a cult temple from their shelves, following a recent raid on the premises.

Chaiyaphum Provincial Public Health Office said on Thursday that the temple had produced pla ra bong under the brand Saeb Lai (very delicious), rice crackers and dried fish, for sale at nearby villages.

Local health officials had surveyed stalls in Khon San and found 10 of them selling Saeb Lai pla ra bong.

The officials sought cooperation from vendors to remove the products from sale, and local police had also seized them.

Urine, dandruff and body waste of the so-called cult leader Phra Bida, or spiritual father, had been consumed by his followers to cure illnesses.

Officials warned that consuming body waste, whether it was one’s own or someone else’s, can cause blood infection that may lead to death.

On Wednesday, police, soldiers, health and local officials raided the cult temple.

The raid followed complaints that the cult leader had provided weird treatments to his followers to cure their illnesses.

Eleven corpses, said to be cult followers, were found on the premises during the search.

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