You may have read about it in the papers... Another bunch of "Doomsday Cult Wackos" ritually killed themselves for no rational reason -- WAIT !! It looks like the Leader wasn't the charismatic guy who's picture is in all the headlines ! Some of the cultists were shot, more of an execution style slaying than a "ritual", and many of the victims had complained in the past about some financial irregularities..
: : : : : : : : : :The "Cult Awareness Network" and other groups like them are quoted extensively as being "experts" on cults -- WRONG !! This groups isn't "expert", they're a Fundie Ministry [Update: I understand that its now controlled by a Scientology Lawyer after Scientology's successful lawsuit]. Insinuations have been made that all "cult" group leaders in Switzerland are crooks, and use their Banking Laws for nefarious deeds; that all "cults" (small religious groups that often hold different ideas about religion than their labelers) are dangerous. I think this group [The Solar Temple] met to magickally remove the Astrological Doom they thought was coming on the World. did any of them expect to die? Mebbe they were invited to reconcile their diferences, while others planned their deaths. The firestarters were slapped together, and most of them didn't work [as planned] - not something one would expect from a group that could afford the Chalet they did their Work in.
Some religious [and political] leaders are dishonest, some are insincere, [some are frauds, some are hypocrites],and some are pederasts and child abusers -- and a few are certifiable psychopaths. Abuse of Trust is a serious matter. Asking members to conform to dogmas or doctrines isn't crazy, but if the Leaders demand an absolute, total, and unquestioning obedience and devotion then the alarm should go off in your head. If they demand that you give them everything you own, demand that you forsake your family and friends, or to die for them or their cause -- Then RUN AWAY like the Hounds of Arawn are after you - because they are !!
Addendum: Afterword --
After this article came out there were copycat suicides in Quebec and other cities. Xtianity started out as a suicide cult, with martyrs dying by the thousands. In the Book of Acts Paul lays a death curse on a couple who had second thoughts about giving everything to the Church. Was Early Xtianity a cult? You can betchya' bottom dollar they were !
The Newest bunch of Wackos...
I'm sure y'all have heard the news about the mass suicides in San Diego -- unlike the Solar Temple Killings there is no doubt that this was a deliberate mass suicide. The Leaders of this group were the infamous UFO walk-ins, "Bo" and "Peep", although they changed their aliases over the years. They make it clear in their manifesto that they devalued their mortal bodies to the extent that they thought they could not only exist separate from their bodies after death, but that they could transport themselves across Space to a frozen ball of rock and ice to a better existance within a UFO !!
This is a common notion running around New Age and Xtian circles, that the physical body is inferior to one's spritual body
,and Earthly life is inferior to Heaven,
Nirvana, The other Side, etc.
Nobody except these idjits took it at face value. There was just no talking them out of it -- by any rational source. Their minds were totally enclosed into a fantasy world built up by paranoia and Hatred of the World, and Hope for a new Eden, much the same as early Xtian martyrs Hated the World, and rejoiced in its future destruction. Didn't they watch the Star Trek episode where the 24th C hippie-like Cultists commandeered the enterprise to take them to Eden -- which turned out to be an uninhabitable poisoned planet??? They took the Biblical quotations:
"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37) and "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and his wife and children and brothers and sisters - and even his own life also - he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26)
... for all it was worth -- complete fanatical devotion. Evidently, 'Jee-suss' wasn't very Family Friendly !! There is little that separates this present cult from Xtianity and its martyrs, hermits, heretics, and witchfinders. Xtians were willing to die by the thousands in the Arena in order to get an instant ticket to Heaven. The willingness to die for God is not reserved for the Heathens, and human sacrifice goes on under new names and
Are you in a cult?
Belonging to a small religious group outside of the Xtian mainstream does not automatically mean you're in a "cult", and being a Xtian does NOT mean that you're invunerable to cult organizers and their tactics !! So how do you know if your in a cult? Xtians would set a doctrinal or dogmatic set of rules [ If you DO/n't believe THIS, then you ARE/n't...] I have another, hopefully more reasonable, list of standards:
- Did the group's representatives misrepresent or lie to you about who they were, or what organization they really represented. Was the group they said they were from the same group they finally asked you to join?
- Does your group have Enemies on all sides just waiting their chance to discredit, jail, imprison or kill your leaders, its members, or the group itself?
- Has your group bought guns or survivalist gear to defend the group from outsiders, reporters, process servers, or the police? Are they building a fortress against the Outside?
- Do you belong to any group that believes that 'Our government is Evil, it always lies and has always lied to us, so we can't believe ANYTHING it says? That the President is the Anti-Christ Incarnate?...
- Does your group require you to pay thousands of dollars to move up various grades? Are those Higher than you charging you substantial amounts for Church "services"??
- Are those who ask questions, doubt the reality or veracity of the cult's teachings, or refute what the cult espouses tolerated; or are they declared to be regressives, unpersons, demons, devils, or souls from the lower planes?
- Are the leaders or/and their writings Infallible?
- Is your group guru or prophet etc., more important than anything else in your life, possibly including life itself?
- Would you do anything s/he or They may ask of you without question. Would you lie, cheat, steal or prostitute yourself for them?
- If someone quits or is expelled does the group have agents follow them or are they harassed or threatened; does your group sue them to attempt to ruin their lives?
- Is rigid discipline enforced? Are there threats of divine or corporal punishment for disobediance?
- Do the leaders discourage reading outside materials or engaging in outside activities away from the group, or is thinking about things not related to your groups activities (strongly) discouraged? Is Thinking discouraged?
- Are your leaders reasonable when they don't get their way? Do they ever NOT get their way?
- If you refuse to do anything the leader or the group asks will they still LOVE you the way that they did when you first joined?
- Can you leave when you want to? (and choose not to return?)
- Can you have outside friends?
- Have you been told that your family hates you or has deserted you for joining their group
- Do they expect you to live in a enclosed compound? Is barbed wire used on the gates or walls? Are there guards?
- Are you still willing to listen to criticism of the group, its doctrines, or its leaders? Do you still have doubts? Are you allowed to express those doubts without fear of rejection, condemnation, or reprisals.
- Are doctrines stated as absolutes, to be accepted without question?
If your group has most of these features, or is close to being anything like this, it's time to consider a hasty retreat. This is a composite of all of the deadly or manipulative cults I know of. In this last incident most of these points were present, except the physical restraints. Astronomers of all kinds repeatedly said that there was NO coverup, NO giant UFOs, and NO massive companions -- yet, the True Believers refused to listen -- Their minds were closed shut. Paranoia runs deep, and UFO cultism mixed in with a batch of psudo-xtian escatology can equal Death.
If your religious leaders tell you that the Lord is coming, and the Rapture is nigh, and the Holy Spirit has given them a special Revelation that the Rapture will occur on Dec 31, 2000 and that the congregation is planning to "meet Him in the Air", what to you THINK is going on?? May all you Fundies out there take this Revelation as from the Lord Himself, and drink your Cup when the appointed time arrives !!
: : : : : : : : : :Does it only take a suggestion that the Rapture is Nigh, and the Lord is ready to meet His Saints will be in the Air soon to get good and pious folks to drink toxic substances and put plastic bags over their heads ?? : : : : ;->