Reporter Forced to Eat Human Brains While Wearing Crown Made of Teeth

Reporter Forced to Eat Human Brains While Wearing Crown Made of Teeth

In 2017, journalist Reza Aslan immersed himself in the lifestyle of a cannibalistic tribe for a CNN series called “Believer.” During this particular episode, Aslan visited the Aghori, a Hindu sect with roots in the K?p?lika tradition, in India. Known for their extreme rituals, the Aghori offered Aslan a piece of what they claimed was human brain to eat. Aslan described the taste of the brains as resembling charcoal, noting that it was “burnt to a crisp.”

The episode also depicted Aslan wearing a necklace made of human body parts and having his face smeared with cremated human ashes. The graphic content of the series sparked significant controversy and backlash. Critics, including Vamsee Juluri, a media studies professor at the University of San Francisco, accused CNN of exploiting sensational and grotesque images to attract viewers, thereby promoting fear and misunderstanding of Hinduism.

The US-India Political Action Committee also condemned the series, stating that it portrayed Hinduism in a bizarre and negative light, which could increase vulnerability to hate-fueled attacks against people of Indian origin. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the US Congress, criticized CNN for contributing to misconceptions and fear about Hinduism.

Despite the controversy, the series did not fare well with critics or the general public. “Believer” holds an average score of 5.6/10 on IMDb, with nearly half of the ratings being one star. Due to the backlash and its content, the series is not currently available on any streaming platforms.