Boy oh boy but some people can be gullible.

MUI Decries Teachings of Man Claiming to Be Prophet
Tunggadewa Mattangkilang | December 15, 2012

Kutai Timur, East Kalimantan. The Indonesian Council of Ulema has issued an edict pronouncing the teachings of an Islamic sect in East Kalimantan led by a man claiming to be an Islamic prophet to be deviant, as police mull charging the man with blasphemy.

Police have arrested a 48-year-old religious teacher named Bantil who declared himself a prophet of Islam. Police claim he tricked his followers into giving him money and allowing him to sleep with their wives.

The man led a sect called the Rantau Bemban, which had about 50 followers who lived in their own hamlet, APT Pranoto, in East Kalimantan’s Kutai Timur district. “The edict covered several [particulars], including the admission of several of the sect’s followers and the clarification from Bantil himself [that he was the] head of the Rantau Bemban. Bantil admitted that he never studied Islam nor could read or write in Arabic,” said Sobirin Bagus, head of the East Kutai district chapter of the council, known as the MUI.

Kutai Timur Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Budi Santoso said on Thursday that police have been consulting with the council of ulema (MUI) and Religious Affairs Ministry on whether to charge Bantil with blasphemy. Currently, he is being charged with fraud and embezzlement.

Budi said that Rantau Bemban’s followers were told to submit alms to Bantil in order to be purified of their sins. If they could not afford to, they were obliged to allow him to sleep with their wives as an alternate means of purification.

“We arrested him after receiving a report from a resident,” Budi said. “So far there is only one person who was reported as being deceived by the perpetrator [by giving] Rp 170 million [$17,600] to cleanse his sins. We suspect dozens of the followers’ wives slept with him to be purified. We’re still investigating it.”

Bantil began his deviant teachings in 2006. To avoid unwanted questions from locals, he set up a special hamlet for his followers. In 2008, one resident spoke out against the false prophet, but police were unable to charge him due to a lack of evidence.

MUI Decries Teachings of Man Claiming to Be Prophet | The Jakarta Globe