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06th Oct 2022

Reporter forced to eat human brain with cannibal tribe while wearing crown made out of teeth

Charlie Herbert

Reporter forced to eat human brain with cannibalism tribe while wearing crown made out of teeth

Bon appetit

With the popularity of Netflix’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story the topic of cannibalism is back on the menu, but it’s not the first time that it’s been discussed on television.

Back in 2017, CNN televised a series called Believers, and it featured some pretty shocking moments.

In one episode, show host Reza Aslan visited a cannibalistic Hindu sect and was offered what was billed as a piece of human brain.

In the program, Aslan encounters a group of Aghori nomads outside the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, who smear his face in cremated human ashes and persuade him to drink alcohol from a skull.

An Aghori ascetic, who at one point also threatens to decapitate Aslan for “talking so much”, also feeds the presenter what he claims is a piece of human brain.

You can see a clip of the exchange below.

Warning: Graphic content

Ahead of the episode airing, Aslan wrote on Facebook: “Want to know what a dead guy’s brain tastes like? Charcoal. It was burnt to a crisp!”

The presenter makes clear in the episode that the Aghori are a fringe group who number only a few thousand of the world’s estimated one billion Hindus.

But he faced a significant backlash after the episode was shown, with some Indians and American Hindu groups say the episode, which focuses on the obscure Aghori sect, was “Hinduphobic” and sensationalised aspects of the world’s third largest-religion.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Vamsee Juluri, a media studies professor at the University of San Francisco, said: “It is unbelievably callous and reckless of CNN to be pushing sensational and grotesque images of bearded brown men and their morbid and deathly religion at a time when the United States is living through a period of unprecedented concern and fear.”

Elsewhere, the US-India Political Action Committee said in a statement: “With multiple reports of hate-fuelled attacks against people of Indian origin from across the US, the show characterises Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religion in the world.”

The organisation went on: “In a charged environment, a show like this can create a perception about Indian Americans which could make them more vulnerable to further attacks.”

Tulsi Gabbard, who was the first Hindu to be elected to the US congress, tweeted: “CNN is using its power and influence to increase people’s misunderstanding and fear of Hinduism.”

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