8 Survivors of Pastor Paul Mackenzie’s Cult in Shakahola Speak Out

As the body count rises, many are shocked at how little-known Paul Mackenzie was able to deceive and manipulate so many people to their death. Pastor Mackenzie was not an outright liar; he was a ruthless executor who only spoke portions of the truth. This way, he could fool many, most of whom were going through difficult phases in life.

PostaMate got a chance to speak to some survivors, and we bring you the details of how they narrowly escaped the mass graves.

For one Paul from Western Kenya, sheer logic rescued him from being part of the statistics.

I started fasting to get closer to God, but after 13 days it got to a point where I could not pray because I was too weak. I asked myself whether my body was a ‘temple of God’ in that state, and realized that this temple of God was about to collapse. I started eating and left Malindi.

28 year old Paul from Sigalagala.

For some, lack of money and distance was the eye-opener to the saving grace.

I wanted to travel to Kilifi to see pastor Mackenzie but I was struggling to raise the money. After thoughtful consideration, I remembered God is everywhere, and so I decided to pray from my home in Eldoret.

Chebet, a 34 year old from Eldoret.

In one case, misinterpreting the scriptures provided the much-needed common sense to break free.

I went to see pastor Mackenzie with the intention of fasting to death so as to meet Jesus. Part of me told me that this would be similar to suicide without an underlying medical condition, which is like self-murder, and the bible says you shall not kill. I did not even start the fast.

40 year old (coward) from Nyeri.

One of them had already made it to Pastor Mackenzie’s location in Shakahola, but what she saw made her question the whole enterprise.

When I arrived in Shakahola, I only wanted to meet Jesus. But I was shocked to find Pastor Mackenzie farming and planting trees. I wondered why he was not keen on joining us to meet Jesus, and why he was making long term plans when we were winding up history. I quit.

19 year old Grace from Homa Bay.

Another one was saved by poverty.

For me, it was purely an economic decision. I was to go to Kilifi, but I lacked the fare. My lack of brain was compensated for by my lack of means, and that is how I got lucky.

Name withheld.

One woman from Kitui had a Catholic background and it came in hardy.

I liked some of the teachings of Pastor Mackenzie, but when he insisted too much on fasting, I could not stand it. I was brought up in a Catholic church and we only used to fast during Lent. Why was he asking me to fast in November?

Nduku Mutua, Kitui.

And for a young girl who is on Instagram, a birthday meant more than meeting Jesus.

Pastor Mackenzie wanted me to fast for 40 days – no water, no food. Fortunately, my birthday was coming up so I decided to wait until my birthday which is on 2nd May.

17 year old aspiring model from Mombasa.

For a man from Northern Kenya, childhood trauma was the lifeline.

I grew up in Turkana where food was scarce. I couldn’t subscribe to this fasting thing since I finished my fasting quota before I turned 12.

Salpet from Turkana.

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