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Death By Coconut: A Story Of Food Obsession Gone Too Far

Stashed in: Coconuts!

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"He believed that since the coconut grew high up in the tree, closest to God and closest to the sun, it was godlike," says Kracht. "And since it had hair and looked like a human head, he thought it came closest to being a man. According to his rather crackpot theory, to be a cocovore was to be a theophage — or eater of God."


The short-lived cult revolved around two orbs: the coconut and the sun. Soon, Engelhardt's co-author, Bethmann, joined him, and together they wrote up passionate advertorials that were printed in Germany. Have no fear of malaria, they assured their readers: The coconut is more effective than quinine.

At least 15 young Germans, seduced by the fantasy of a tropical idyll where they didn't have to shave, went out to join them. Among them was a Berlin concert pianist, Max Lützow, seen in the picture at Engelhardt's feet.

August Engelhardt stands underneath a palm tree with Berlin concert pianist Max Lützow at his feet. Lützow went to Kabakon to join Engelhardt's sun-worshipping cocovore cult, The Order of the Sun. He died there, as did several other followers.

That religion is coconuts!

Yikes: "To be a cocovore was to be a theophage — or eater of God."

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