Couple beaten to death in stop-smoking ‘cleansing ritual’

Malaysian couple killed in stop-smoking ritual

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Relatives beat a Malaysian couple to death in a ritual apparently meant to help the man to stop smoking, police said Friday.

The couple died of head injuries after being beaten with broomsticks and motorbike helmets during a family gathering at a Kuala Lumpur home Wednesday, said Ku Chin Wah, head of the city’s crime investigations department.

One of the couple’s sons and three other relatives remain in custody. Four other detained family members have been released, Ku said.
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According to those detained, a nephew suggested the beating ritual after the man said he could not stop smoking and the woman complained of a liver ailment, Ku said.

– Source: Malaysian couple killed in stop-smoking ritual, AP via MSNBC, Oct. 3, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Couple going for ‘treatment’ beaten to death

KUALA LUMPUR – A couple who went to a relative’s house for Hari Raya and agreed to an ‘alternative treatment’ to rid them of their problems, ended up dead after being battered with helmets and broomsticks during the cleansing ritual.

Five others who also participated in the ritual, including the couple’s children and relatives, suffered head injuries and were being treated at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital here.

It is learnt that the couple and their three children – two boys aged 19 and 14 and daughter, 21 – had gone to the relative’s flat unit on Jalan San Peng here on Wednesday morning.

There, they were greeted by the victims’ brother, wife and four children, aged between eight and 23.

Both families were believed to have recently joined a cult.

The victim was said to have been impressed by a nephew’s claim that he (the nephew) was told in a dream that he had the power to rid people of their illness and problems.

It was believed both families agreed to participate in the ‘ritual’ treatment that involved the beating of each other with helmets and broomsticks.

During the ritual, the couple passed out and never regained consciousness.

At 3pm, the nephew assured the rest of the family they had nothing to worry and to have faith in him as the couple would wake up soon.

Police believe the nephew to be the main suspect and are investigating claims that he suffered from a mental illness.

– Source: Couple going for ‘treatment’ beaten to death, The Star (Malaysia) via AsiaOne, Oct. 3, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday October 3, 2008.
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