JAKARTA (AFP) — An Indonesian cult head accused of leading his followers in wild orgies and giving sermons in his underpants was arrested Thursday and faces charges of “lewd acts” and insulting religion, police said.
Agus Noro, the head of the Satria Piningit Weteng Buwono sect, turned himself in early in the morning after a three-day hunt, Jakarta police spokesman Zulkarnain told AFP.
Noro, who is called Agus Imam Solihin or “leader of the faithful” by followers, is alleged to have had sex with his disciples and instructed them to have group sex while he watched in the sect’s mansion outside Jakarta.
“We’re investigating him based on a report made by a female follower named Kartiningsih on January 26. She complained that Noro had asked her to massage him and touch his genitals,” Zulkarnain said.
“She was also made to have sex with him, while her husband and followers watched,” he added.
“He has about 40 followers, all adults. At the beginning, Noro told them to pray and carry out religious recitations. After several months, he told them he was God and that they didn’t have to do that any more,” Zulkarnain said.
Noro gave religious sermons wearing only his underpants and told his disciples they would be taught “Kamasutra” sex techniques to use in the afterlife, former follower Eko was quoted as saying by news website Okezone.
The police are charging Agus with indecency, which carries a maximum sentence of nine months in jail.
“We are investigating whether the sect is misguided. We are going to consult with the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office and the Indonesian Ulema Council, ” he said.
On Monday the police raided a house where sect members usually gathered in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, after one follower, Ratna, 33, had died the previous week.
Sect member Eko said the leader had stopped some members from bringing the ailing Ratna to the hospital for treatment, saying only he could cure Ratna’s illness.
Other members later protested against Agus’ decision after the sick man died, at which point Agus fled.
Although employing elements similar to those used by Muslims, Agus reportedly told his followers to switch sex partners as part of religious ritual, and also to have sex while being watched by other members.
Instead of praying five times a day, the police report went on, the cult’s members were told to play music together while singing pop tunes with mantras.
When asked whether the sect could charged with defamation against Islam, Jasman said the AGO would require a recommendation on the matter from a special committee within the AGO that dealt with religious defamation.