Cultists say mummified man still lives

Mainichi Daily News/November 16, 1999

Narita -- Police on Monday began an autopsy on a 66-year-old man who was found mummified last week in a hotel here, despite adamant protests to call off the examination from cultists who insist the man is still alive. The apparently embalmed body of Shinichi Kobayashi, an engraver from Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, was discovered clad in a bathrobe on a bed on the 12th floor of the hotel near Narita Airport.

Police said they were conducting the autopsy on Kobayshi's body at Chiba University's medical department to determine the cause of his death. Kobayshi had been hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage, but his cultist son obtained a discharge for him midway through the treatment.

Acolytes of Shakty Pat Guru Foundation (SPGF), a philosophy seminar group connected to the self-enlightenment cult known as Life Space, have told police officials that Kobayashi was recovering from treatment performed by the group's guru, Shakty Pat, whose real name is Koji Takahashi. The followers say that conducting an autopsy on Kobayashi would result in his death.

According to police, two SPGF members and Kobayashi's 31-year-old son, whose given name has been withheld, entered the Narita Police Station at around 8:30 a.m. and told police to "understand that Kobayashi is still alive." However, police responded by telling the three to leave and informing them that that they would be in touch if they had any questions. Eaerlier on Sunday morning, 10 other cult members arrived at the Chiba precinct, insisting Kobayshi was still alive and that they be permitted to meet with him.

They warned police that Kobayashi would die if the autopsy was conducted, but left after police turned down their request.

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