Suicide is an extreme measure for a person to solve all their problems. It is no coincidence that this decision is not perceived by virtually all religions of the world, as true. Suicides people consider weak and lost. However, in the old days, suicide could even testify to the strength of man.
For example, a losing battle or war killed themselves to avoid shame or captivity. But it is not uncommon for people to settle accounts with themselves for other reasons, religious ones. Among various sects and radical teachings, suicide is often seen as the possibility of salvation or approach to the divine essence. Our collection contains the most well-known cases of mass suicides committed on various occasions.
Religious movement “Temple of Nations”, Guyana, 1978.
This terrible tragedy occurred on October 18, 1978. Immediately 909 members of either the religious movement, or even the sects “Temple of the Peoples” committed suicide. The horror is added by the fact that among the dead there were 276 children. Jim Jones, the spiritual leader of the sect, gave an order according to which members of the community first gave a solution of cyanide to their children, and then drank it themselves. Among the hundreds of corpses, Jim himself was found, only he was killed by a gunshot wound. It is unclear in the end whether he committed suicide or whether someone killed him. The investigation revealed that mass suicide occurred due to the fact that some members of the sect decided to leave its ranks. A few parishioners shortly before that told Congressman Leo Ryan. He visited the community in Johnstown, investigating the numerous complaints of the relatives of the faithful. Politician invited all wishing to fly with him. However, the senator and defectors failed to do this. Already on the runway a tractor with a trailer drove up to the plane, where armed people were sitting. They started shooting at the passengers. As a result, five people died: Senator Ryan himself, the reporter and operator of the NBC channel, a photographer and one of the sectarians. After the act of mass suicide, the authorities found an audio recording of the appeal of the leader of the sect to his followers. Jim Jones told his admirers that after the senator’s murder, the negotiations with the Soviet Union were lost. Earlier, the leader of the community conducted negotiations with our country about the resettlement of the community there. Jones was afraid that the children would fall under the influence of the American authorities and become their puppets. He said that the members of the movement have no choice but to leave this world.
Citizens of Denpasar, Bali, 1906.
In the language of the inhabitants of Bali there is a term of bully. In translation from this language, he means “battle to death.” In fact, this term means mass suicide, conducted for ritual purposes. So the people find a way out of the shame of defeat and enslavement. In the history of Bali there were many confusions, but the most famous was on September 14, 1906. Then just before the battle with the Dutch invaders, the entire nobility of the city of Denpasar, led by the rajah, committed suicide with the help of daggers. The conquerors entered the city practically without resistance, and when they approached the palace of the governor of the province of Badung, they saw a strange sight. From the building under the drumbeat came a solemn ceremony in luxurious white funerary robes and gold ornaments. Residents of Denpasar silently approached the astonished Europeans. And then, unexpectedly, the chief priest stabbed the dagger in the heart of the raja – it was a signal for the beginning of the mass ritual. Participants in the march began to kill themselves and each other, throwing gold and jewels at soldiers with hatred and contempt. In the course of this confusion about a thousand townspeople lost their lives. In Bali, these events are considered a model of selfless resistance to the invaders. Today, on the place where there used to be a palace, a monument was erected. The monument depicts a man with a woman and a child armed with ritual knives of the Malays.
Residents of Demmin, Germany, 1945.
Asian traditions were clearly unfamiliar to the Germans, but in 1945 they did something similar.When the troops of the Red Army entered the town of Demmin on May 1, the townspeople, frightened by rumors about the brutality of the soldiers, began to massively mass themselves in a hurry. And then there was no single weapon – a ritual dagger. The Germans used everything that was at their fingertips. There were those who cut their veins, others were poisoned, hung, drowned or shot. Many Demmina residents left our whole world with their families. In this case, there were cases when parents after the murder of their children for some reason could not follow them. Someone was rescued, and someone incorrectly calculated the poisonous dose. It was necessary for these unfortunates to live to the end of life with a heavy moral load. According to various estimates, in just a few days of that May madness from 900 to 2500 inhabitants, Demmina committed suicide.
Residents of the city of Chittorgarh, India, 1303, 1535 and 1568.
It is no coincidence that next to this city there are as many as three dates of mass suicides. Such a ritual act became for the citizens already a kind of tradition, a way to avoid being taken prisoner. In Rajpur there is an ancient tradition – if the city does not have the opportunity to fight off the besiegers, then its inhabitants must mass self-immolation. And this rite consists of two parts. First, women and children voluntarily go to the fire, this is called jauhar. After their death, the turn of men begins. Their part of the rite is called Saka and is the last deadly fight, from which no one returns. In 1303, at the siege of the city of Chittorgarh by the troops of Sultan Delhi Ala-ud-din Hildi, the ritual was started by the court ladies led by Queen Rani Padmini. After the self-immolation of seven hundred women, the men had no choice but to prove their courage by rising to a mortal battle. A similar rite was carried out in 1535 when the city was besieged by the troops of the Gujarati sultan Bahadur Shah. And in 1568, already assaulted on the city of Akbar I Great collided with mass suicide. Teutonic women, Aix-en-Provence, France, 102.
This mass suicide became one of the very first in history. It happened in 102 in the south of France. There was a battle that went down in history as a battle of the Aqua Sextius. In its course the Romans under the command of Guy Maria completely defeated the Teutonic tribes. The conditions of surrender were such that the Teutons had to give the conquerors 300 slaves to slavery. Upon learning of this, the women begged their new masters to let them go to serve in the temples of Ceres and Venus. And when the Romans refused to do this, the women killed their children, and then committed suicide. And this bold act entered the legends of not only the Germanic peoples, but Rome as well. Even the enemies admired the way women showed heroism and selfless devotion to their homeland. Members of the religious movement “Order of the Solar Temple”, Switzerland and Canada, 1994-1997.
It also happens that suicide brings people posthumous fame and even glory. About the “Order of the Sun Temple” few people ever heard, until in 1994 there was an event, the news of which scattered around the world. But the sect was born in 1984. It was founded in Geneva by the teacher Joseph di Mambo and physician Luc Joret. Over time, the head office of the religious organization moved to Zurich, and branches began to appear in different cities of Switzerland, Canada and other countries. Believers believed that in the mid-1990s the Apocalypse would take place. And in order to earn God’s forgiveness and move to a new spiritual level, you must voluntarily leave this world. In accordance with these ideas, at night from 4 to 5 October 1994, about fifty members of the Order in Switzerland and Canada committed suicide. Those who survived set fire to those buildings in which the rite was held. A year later a similar path to salvation was gained by 16 followers of the ideas of di Mambro and Jaura. The last wave took place in March 1997, when five more believers committed suicide.In their suicide notes, they told that this step is a way to escape from a hypocritical world full of oppression of human freedom. At the same time, members of the Order became famous not only for mass suicides, but also for the very real killing of the innocent. They in October 1994 in Quebec, Canada, was severely executed by three-month-old Emmanuel Duthoit. And in everything to blame di Mambro, who was able to recognize in the infant the Antichrist. As a result, the child was pierced several times with a wooden stake. Adherents of the religious movement “Celestial Gate”, ranch of Santa Fe, California, USA, 1997.
The name of this cult can be translated as “Celestial Gate” or “Gates of Paradise.”
Its founder was Marshall Applewist, himself a rather scandalous person and a dubious prophet. He declared himself the incarnation of Jesus Christ and urged his believers to give up the pleasures and the vital bustle, for soon the End of the World will come and everyone will go to heaven. Many of Applewite’s ideas are clearly ridiculous and absurd, but this did not stop him from inspiring some of his followers to think of suicide. Marshall persuaded the adherents of his “Gate” that they would need an alien spaceship to go to heaven. He followed the comet Hale-Bopp. To get on the space ship, the members of the sect had to commit suicide. Shortly before this, some members of the sect have also subjected themselves to castration, preparing for a future asexual life. And then on March 24, 1997 that long-awaited journey began. Preparation for him stretched for three days. Believers looked at the cinema once again a favorite fantasy film, ate a vegetarian pizza and drove home. The admirers of Marshall’s teachings drank phenobarbital, mixed with vodka and pineapple juice. And if the poison is not strong enough, the believers also covered the heads of those who fell asleep with plastic bags and purple cloths, following them. At the same time believers left on the Internet dying messages. Each “saved” in his pocket was found at 5.75 dollars. Next to the suicides lay carefully packed things that could be useful to them in a new life.
Jewish rebels, Masada fortress, Israel, 73.
Not far from the modern Israeli city of Arad, on the coast of the Dead Sea, there was the ancient fortress of Masada. She was besieged in 73 by Roman troops – the first Jewish war was going on. However, the defenders showed unprecedented persistence, not wanting to give up. And only when the Romans set fire to the wooden walls of the fortress, the fate of Masada was resolved. They besieged the fortress of 15 thousand selected legionaries, and inside the dilapidated fortress they found only bodies of 960 people. It turns out that in order to avoid captivity, the Masada men killed their wives and children. Then, according to the lot, the ten people who killed everyone else were chosen. This feat of Jewish soldiers entered the work of the historian Josephus Flavius ”The Jewish War”. True, today there is a version that suicide did not do so many defenders, and Flavius just exaggerated. The fact is that during the excavation, only 28 people were found, but the remaining bodies could completely burn out during the fire.
Dance of women Zalongo, Greece, 1803.
In 1803, a small Greek-Albanian tribe, the Suulion, was defeated by the Ali Pasha Teplensky army. This ruler of Albania was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire. And the decisive battle took place near the village of Zalongo. When it became clear to residents that the Suuliotes were defeated, the local women decided to commit suicide. After all, all were heard about how the slaves of Ali Pasha lived. And the massive suicide occurred unusually – with songs and dances. In the last way, the women went to the abyss, where they pushed their children and jumped after them. Later this group act was called “Dance of the Hall”. And in memory of the brave deed of women of the Suuliot tribe, near the precipice, a monument is erected. The monument depicts the most deadly dance of disobedient women.
Saipan, Japan, 1945.
In 1945, the fate of Japan in the Second World War has already been resolved. Many residents and warriors of the Land of the Rising Sun, unable to survive the shame of killing themselves. The battle on Saipan Island went down in history as a manifestation of not strategic military talents, but as an act of mass disobedience. Japanese propaganda trumpeted that after the capture of the island by Americans, local residents would be tortured. The authorities ordered all survivors to prove their devotion to the emperor and commit an act of self-destruction. Local residents began to mass jump off the cliffs and drown in the sea. The most massive scene occurred on the cliff of Marpi, 250 meters high. In front of Americans, whole families of Japanese jumped from there down. At first parents pushed small children, then older ones, and followed them. The mass act of disobedience cost 22 thousand civilians.
World Trade Center, USA, 2001.
In this case, it is worth mentioning that suicide has become for many an alternative to another, more painful death. After the terrorist attacks on the towers of the World Trade Center, hundreds of people were trapped, unable to get out of the environment of the fire. Many of them chose to throw themselves into the windows and crash to the ground. And such involuntary suicides turned out to be about 200. The last moments of their life television broadcast to the whole world.
Movement for the rebirth of the Ten Commandments of God, Uganda, 2000.
This sect in the African country was organized by the former prostitute Creadonia Mverinda in 1989. She stated that she is the messenger of the Virgin Mary. The woman attracted several hundred believers with her speeches and forced them to give her all her money on the eve of the near end of the world. But when on January 1, 2000 he did not happen again, Mverinda transferred it to March 17. Believers gathered in church and closed from the inside. Soon the building took off in the air, thanks to the burning of tanks with gasoline. During the investigation it turned out that a few dozen bodies in the graves were discovered. In total, 778 members of the sect became victims of a series of murders and suicides. Kredonia Kverinda herself ran away.