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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Thais to curb supernatural excess
By Simon Montlake
BBC correspondent in Bangkok

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Thailand says it will begin registering faith healers and launch a campaign to educate people on the rights and wrongs of supernatural beliefs.

Officials warn that some faith healers are taking advantage of superstitious people and may be breaking the law.

The move follows a ritual killing of a 12-year-old Thai girl last week allegedly by members of her own family.

Like many Asian societies, Thailand has a long tradition of worshipping spirits and using psychics to expel evil.

But according to the Thai government, not everyone who pretends to be a psychic or faith-healer has good intentions.

Criminals

The warning comes after a 12-year-old girl died last week of multiple stab wounds, allegedly at the hand of her mother and three female relatives.

The murder was reportedly inspired by a Hindu goddess that the women worshipped who had told them to sacrifice the child.

Now Thailand wants everyone who works as a psychic to register with local authorities.

It also plans to educate the Thai public about the dangers of supernatural worship and the possibility of being misled by psychics.

Officials say that some practitioners might be criminals trying to extort money by taking advantage of gullible believers.





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