Dimas Kanjeng Taat Pribadi, better known simply as Dimas Kanjeng, is infamous in Indonesia as being a “multiplier of money” – a “spiritual guru” with the “power” to conjure money out of thin air – which has turned him into a cult leader with hundreds of followers who actually believe in his “abilities”. (Sorry for all the quotation marks there, but, in this case, it’s highly necessary.)
Dimas Kanjeng was arrested last year as a suspect in two murders after he allegedly called hits on his former disciples, a crime for which he is currently facing trial. But Dimas Kanjeng was also charged with fraud after videos showing him sitting on a chair, reaching behind his back and “miraculously” pulling out wads of cash went viral after his arrest.
Dimas Kanjeng had not reproduced the supposed miracle since his arrest, complaining “he had a headache” when reporters challenged him to conjure money out of nothing in front of them.
But last week, Dimas Kanjeng’s lawyer, Muhammad Soleh, posted a video of his client once again producing money out of his ass (almost literally) as proof that he’s totally still got it.
This time, Soleh made sure to show the camera that there were no hidden pockets under Dimas Kanjeng’s shirt (skeptics, aka the guru’s blasphemers, believed that he simply hid the cash under his large robes when performing his trick) before he seemingly produced money out of thin air behind his back, which he then threw on the floor for Soleh to pick up. However, just like in previous videos, the camera never showed what was behind Dimas Kanjeng while he was sitting down (nobody was allowed to stand behind him in previous performances of his “miracle” either).
Even so, Soleh is trying to pass this off as evidence that his client is not a fraud, saying that he now believes in Dimas Kanjeng’s ability despite being a rational man (he is, after all, a lawyer).
“I can confirm that the video is real, unedited. I was there to witness it while it was filmed,” Soleh said, as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
“The money is real. I used it to buy this and that, no problem.”
Soleh added that Dimas Kanjeng also uses the money to pay for the 16 lawyers he hired to defend him, including Soleh himself. Soleh refused to reveal the location of the latest video (Dimas Kanjeng is, after all, still in police custody), but it’s very likely that it was filmed before one of his court hearings recently, as hinted by Dimas Kanjeng’s formal batik shirt.
The most obvious explanation for Dimas Kanjeng’s highly-successful cult scheme is that he was tricking his followers into joining his cult by first having them “invest” their money, which is the exact same money that he used in his money-multiplying tricks. Video “proof” of his powers went viral, attracting more and more gullible and/or financially desperate people to become his followers, thus giving him even more money to perform his tricks with.
But it’s hard for cult followers to be rational. Dimas Kanjeng’s court hearings are often filled with his supporters, who can get really emotional and even cry tears of joy when they’re able to shake hands with their revered leader.
Dimas Kanjeng’s sentence hearing is scheduled for August 1. Prosecutors demanded that he be jailed for life for murder and fraud.