Snail Mucus Swallowing Leaves Religious Followers Sick
People do a lot of crazy things for their religions, but we suggest drawing a line at drinking large quantities of mucus from illegally smuggled snails.
Charles L. Stewart of Hialeah is under investigation for making his followers do exactly that. He's a practitioner of an African faith known as El Africano, a blend of Yoruba and Catholic practices, but apparently drinking wine with a side of wafers wasn't enough. He believes in drinking the juice of giant African snails.
As the name implies, giant African snails aren't native to South Florida, and Stewart illegally smuggled them in. They can grow up to ten inches long and be destructive to the local ecosystem.
Stewart used the snails for healing by holding the creatures over his followers' heads, cutting the snails, and letting their fluids pour into the believers' mouths.
Of course, this made them only more sick. Authorities were tipped off when some began complaining of violent illnesses, lumps in their stomachs, and loss of weight.
Stewart hasn't been formally charged, but he's being investigated.