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Canadian actor to be deported from Bali after performing ‘naked haka’ on sacred mountain

Jeffrey Craigen posted a tearful 18-minute apology video to Instagram

Lucy Thackray
Thursday 28 April 2022 10:47 BST
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Mr Craigen’s now-deleted Instagram Story
Mr Craigen’s now-deleted Instagram Story (Instagram/mind_body_healer)

An actor and self-styled wellness guru is being deported from Bali after he stripped naked and posted a video of himself dancing and chanting atop a sacred mountain.

Mr Craigen has since deleted the video of himself performing the nude “haka”, which he posted to Instagram Stories with the caption: “When you strip naked without shame and be seen, you become a fearless child of God.”

He was detained by the island’s authorities and questioned on Monday after being reported for disrespectful behaviour.

As well as filming it at the summit of Mount Batur, an intensely sacred site for many Balinese people, the expat also attracted criticism from Māori communities for appropriating the haka, a ceremonial dance integral to their culture.

Mr Craigen is now waiting to be deported, but a Denpasar Police official told press that airlines were hesitant to transport him, as he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

He is also to be put on a tourism blacklist that will see him banned from Bali for the foreseeable future.

The Canadian actor - who has had small roles in TV shows such as Supernatural and iZombie - has reportedly been in Bali since 2019 and was in the process of renewing his tourist visa.

Local news account Balinese.Media posted a screenshot of the naked video, saying: “Following the alleged action of Caucasians dancing naked at the top of Mount Batur, Immigration immediately took quick steps. The Denpasar Immigration Office stated that they were investigating the existence of the long-haired Caucasian who made a scene.

“A video of foreign tourists dancing naked has caused a stir in the social media world. The action went viral, many social media users shared screenshots of the video.”

In Balinese culture, Mount Batur is the spiritual home of Lord Brahma, with locals routinely bringing offerings to the site.

Along with Mount Agung, it’s also popular with hikers visiting the Indonesian island.

On Tuesday, the actor posted an 18-minute apology to Instagram, in which he cried and struggled to speak, saying: “I can only say my intention wasn’t malice.

“I didn’t even know the words I was saying. I was just expressing what I was feeling and I sincerely apologise for any hurt that I gave any Māori people... I apologise to the Balinese people. I apologise to the Māori people. I am very sorry."

The director of Bali’s Immigration Office reminded tourists that they should be aware of and respect Balinese culture and traditions.

“To all foreigners who visit Bali, please act accordingly by respecting our law and Balinese cultural values,” Jamaruli Manihuruk told AFP.

In 2019, the island’s governor Wayan Koster told local media that badly behaved tourists and those violating holy sites should be sent home.

His comments came after an influencer couple were filmed splashing themselves with holy water at a temple.

“In the future, if there are tourists behaving like that we should just send them home - they are being disorderly coming to Bali. We will give them this warning,” Mr Koster said in a statement.

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