Indonesia’s most infamous alleged fraudster at the moment has owned up to his delusions as his imaginary kingdom crumbles as quickly as it ascended to its imaginary heights.
Recently, an “ancient kingdom” named Keraton Agung Sejagat (KAS for short, roughly translating to the “Great Palace of the Universe”) emerged out of nowhere in Purworejo regency, East Java, claiming that it is destined to save the world from vague threats of annihilation.
Its leader, “King” Totok Santoso, was arrested on charges of fraud after it emerged that the kingdom’s hundreds of followers had to pay membership fees, as well as for creating a public disturbance by spreading misinformation. Authorities were also looking into possible charges of treason as Totok claimed that KAS was set for world domination.
Totok has admitted to the police that he is not actually the king of any kingdom, but stopped short of confessing to financial fraud using his alleged cult.
This morning, speaking to reporters at the Central Java Police HQ, Totok was hardly communicative but apologized for his actions.
KAS, which reportedly has around 400 members, appears to be a money-making scam, charging members IDR3 million (US$219) for uniforms. The group seems to be well-funded, as it held an extravagant “royal procession” recently, showing off its royal decor that featured both the swastika and the Star of David among other symbols.
Despite the criminal charges against their leader, some KAS members continue to remain loyal to Totok and said that they have not lost faith in him.
KAS appears to be unlike many cults in Indonesia, such as the Jellyfish Kingdom, to achieve prominence in recent years, many of which saw their leaders prosecuted for deviating from the country’s mainstream religious beliefs. Instead, KAS holds more similarities to “spiritual guru” Dimas Kanjeng’s cult, which consists of followers who believed that he could conjure money out of thin air. Kanjeng was eventually sentenced to 21 years in prison for financial fraud and murder.