Father Matthias Vigan of Abomey, Benin, was defrocked in March, the Benin Bishops announced on June 11.
Vigan's downfall began in January 2009 when as an exorcist he was confronted with the teenage Vicentia Tadagbé Tchranvoukinni who suffered from eating disorders and paralysis, but suddenly turned into an alleged visionary, healer and incarnation of God. However, she never overcame her eating disorder and is still visibly overweight.
Vigan believed Vicentia and took her in. People started coming. In 2011, the two founded a “Church of Banamè.” Now Vicentia calls herself “Daagbo” (= God) and "God Holy Spirit Creator of Heaven and Earth in the flesh." She preaches about herself, "I am not a human being, I am absolute love."
Vigan became the sect’s “pope” under the name Christoph XVIII. He calls himself "the twin brother of Jesus Christ" and has surrounded himself with at least eight "bishops" and more "priests."
He was suspended and excommunicated by the Church. The sect has a huge following, exercises political influence in Benin, but also faces big scandals including fraud.