By Nelson Groom
A Filipino ‘cult’ claims to grant devotees invisibility powers – by keeping human body parts robbed from graves inside their mouths.
Sickening footage shows a ‘blessor’ from the religious sect preserving stolen kneecaps he claims will grant his followers superhuman powers.
Journalist Nikon Celis said the Iron King group pay grave robbers to snatch bones from cemeteries before preserving them using bleach and coconut oil.
He said devotees then fashion the human remains into belts – or hold them inside their mouths in the belief they will hide them from sight.
Iron King blessor and member Angelito ‘Rambo’ Oreta, who wears the belt night and day, told Nikon: “It is found in the bible, Ezekiel 37 the valley of dry bones, ‘you offer their spirit to god and to wash their sins by means of prayer or oracion’.
“The spirit of the body will work as a guardian for you if you offer them a prayer or oracion. They’ll even protect your house and your family.
“If you don’t offer any prayers, they’ll be the one who puts you in harm’s way.”
Angelito said holding the grim good luck charms increase the power of your punches when brawling with enemies.
But in a stomach-churning sacrifice, he said the most magical powers are drawn from popping the human body part inside your mouth.
Angelito, from Manila, added: “Sometimes you have to put it inside your mouth, which makes you invisible to your enemy’s eye. Or at least they won’t notice your presence.”
The organisation, known locally as Haring Bakal, or Iron King, banded together to combat a Muslim insurgency in the 1970s with tales of fearless fighters charging into hand-to-hand combat with armed troops.
Now the group has found a foothold in the primarily Catholic nation with roughly 100 members in total including policeman and soldiers who have reportedly joined for their own safety – despite the group being labelled a cult.
Last month, they grabbed headlines by claiming to grant devotees ‘bulletproof powers’ – by hacking them with machetes.
Filmmaker Nikon, who took part in the machete ritual and filmed the blessor handling the stolen body parts, said: “I can understand for some people this is crazy or disgusting.
“It could be seen as offensive to the family of the deceases, why would you do that? But I also respect their belief.
“Sometimes they rob the graves themselves and sometimes they pay a professional. Both ways are illegal, of course.
“They say the protection is much better to know the name of the human so you can call their name during the prayer.
“The Philippines has many mysterious traditions. I know it’s taboo to other cultures, but it’s different over here.”