Nov 24, 2023

Spanish police arrest cult leader for giving ‘purified mercury’ to followers

Police found 400 pounds of mercury in the extensive property with bunkers and clandestine labs

Anadolu Ajansı
Alyssa Mcmurtry
November 22, 2023

Spanish police arrest cult leader for giving 'purified mercury' to followers.


Spanish authorities have arrested the leader of a so-called cult accused of administering 'purified mercury' to his followers, police announced on Wednesday.

The man, known as Trascendencia Total (Total Transcendence), faces charges such as crimes against public health, the environment, workers' rights, moral integrity, and unlawful association, police say.

The leader is said to have operated his Mahasandhi Foundation out of the small desert town of Abanilla, Murcia for the past 15 years.

During the raid on its 10-hectare (24-acre) complex replete with cave dwellings, warehouses, temples, bunkers, and clandestine laboratories and another warehouse, police discovered 180 kg (400 pounds) of mercury.

Mercury is a controlled substance and investigators suspect the community procured it on the dark web. Police allege the detainee aimed to purify it with alchemy to create energizing and healthy elixirs.

Police say the leader asked his followers to work with the mercury. They began showing symptoms of mercury poisoning, which can include muscle weakness, numbness, poor coordination, memory problems as well as trouble speaking, hearing, or seeing.

As a means of financing the community, they would also sell what they called "elixirs" to herbalists, online or to visitors.

Total Transcendence would also give out several types of "unhealthy psychoactive drugs" to followers during rituals, police said, with the intention of "subduing the will of the consumers."

He spent long periods locked up in his cave home alongside several women, while other followers lived in caves nearby. Their devotion to him was so strong that many cut ties with their families to serve their "master," police said.

Local broadcaster La 7 reported that when the police arrested Total Transcendence, he had taken a vow of silence and communicated with the authorities by writing on a chalkboard.

Police also accuse him of violating labor laws by making his followers work long hours to satisfy his or the foundation's needs. He also received many donations, which police said, "boosted his wealth in a relatively short time."

Mercury presents a significant risk to both human health and the global environment, remaining in circulation for thousands of years, according to the European Environment Agency.

Police alleged that Total Transcendence's community dumped the mercury residue into a septic tank.

During the raid, police found €90,000 ($98,000) in cash, a revolver and significant amounts of marijuana.

Total Transcendence has been remanded in provisional custody and police have closed off his complex and a related warehouse. The foundation has taken down its website and social media presence.

In October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the link between Ayurvedic products and heavy metal poisoning. A traditional system of healing from India, some texts and branches tout the healing benefits of so-called "purified mercury."

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