Cannibalism is certainly all the rage in pop culture lately, but one CNN presenter took the fad to an entirely new level when he visited an extreme Hindu sect in India and consumed a piece of cooked human brain on camera.

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Religion scholar Reza Aslan, host of the new CNN documentary series Believer, spent the first episode of the show in India visiting a cult of religious cannibals called the Aghori. The Aghor is an extreme Hindu sect that rejects the traditional caste system and eat rotted human corpses, drink their own urine, and consume their own feces. Here, the Aghori convince Aslan to bathe in the Ganges, a river typically considered sacred by Hindus, and later, one Aghori guru smears cremated human remains on Aslan’s face, and invites Aslan to drink alcohol from a human skull (he does).

While all this (and the Aghori guru they’re speaking with) is definitely unusual, things reach a peak when the guru offers what is apparently a piece of cooked human brain, and Aslan eats it. He continues to ask the guru questions about the Aghori and why people are so afraid of them, but the interview goes south when the Aghori becomes irritated and threatens him: “I will cut off your head if you keep talking so much.” Aslan beckons his crew, where he quietly intones that “this may have been a mistake.”


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