Kazakh sect follower commits suicide near southern capital


BBC Monitoring Central Asia/November 29, 2000

The mysterious death of the latest follower of Farhat-ata's sect [ata is a sign of respect for elders] has occurred in the settlement of Druzhba near Almaty [the southern capital of Kazakhstan].

On the morning of 21st November, a 40-year old woman was found hanged with a clothesline in a cattle shed. Relatives of the dead woman, Gulbahram, confirm that the cattle shed's door was closed from the outside. Her brother, Tahir, talked some months ago about the woman's intention to commit suicide.

Last year, his sister started to behave unusually. The woman did strange things after talking to the healer's associates. Everything started with the kittens that Gulbahram doused with petrol and set on fire. Later the woman made a sacrificial bonfire of her own belongings. She rejected them in the name of the one and only god - Farhat-ata.

Today a great many people are grateful for Farhat Abdullayev's healing. People even come from Israel and Russia to ask for help from the unorthodox healer. For the present, it is not known what happened to Gulbahram. An investigation will clarify this. However, this mysterious death of one of Farhat-ata's followers is not the only case.

Gulbahram's suicide has provoked an unexpected reaction among not only ordinary people and the disciples of the notorious healer, but also among scholars.

Farhat-ata's followers claim he has unusual abilities. According to them, Farhat-ata has a great aura. The disciples cannot coherently explain what this term means.

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