HomeNews‘The Order of the Solar Temple’ is one of the creepiest cults ever

‘The Order of the Solar Temple’ is one of the creepiest cults ever

Several millionaires, French policemen, respected civil servants, doctors, and more were all a part of The Order of the Solar Temple. Here's what we know.

‘The Order of the Solar Temple’ is one of the creepiest cults ever

It used to be a commonplace belief that only uneducated people of low socioeconomic statuses were drawn into cults. The reasoning was that extreme beliefs were borne of desperation. “The Order of the Solar Temple” proved this misconception dead wrong. Its society was comprised of elites. Most were of a high socioeconomic bracket, which makes sense since the price for membership was quite steep. 

Several millionaires, French policemen, respected civil servants, doctors, and more were all a part of The Order of the Solar Temple. Like many cults, this cult’s popularity would die down after a dreadful mass suicide. It would have been ideal if the fringe beliefs of this cult had been completely stamped out after such a tragedy. 

Unfortunately, The Order of the Solar Temple is still active today. We just hope history doesn’t repeat itself. 

What is The Order of the Solar Temple?

The Order of the Solar Temple saw its peak in the early 1990s and combines Evangelical Christian doctrine with occult freemasonry. Their main goal is to recreate the fourteenth century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Templar, because of a belief that the apocalypse is near. 

Its members believe that there is inherent merit in the social structure of that period and that in such a climate of global discord, the principles of “the order” will bring harmony and control. Ultimately, members of The Order of the Solar Temple believe that once the end of the world comes they will be transported to a planet orbiting the star Sirius in order to live out an afterlife. 

To be granted this privilege, of course, one had to be a devout member.  Many fees are required, and this allowed the past leaders of The Order of the Solar Temple to live a lavish lifestyle. One of their core beliefs is that the imminent end of the world will mark the second coming of Jesus Christ. Their special title for Jesus is the solar God-King.

Founders of The Order of the Solar Temple

The cult’s headquarters were established in Geneva, Switzerland in 1984. There were two founders of The Order of the Solar Temple: Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret. Di Mambro was raised Catholic and went to church every Sunday until he started practicing occultism in his 20s. Di Mambro became a member of a cult himself and then established something called the Golden Way Foundation. 

The Golden Way Foundation allowed occult enthusiasts to connect with each other and it was here that he met Luc Jouret. 

Luc Jouret was studying to become a doctor, but eventually gave up medicine in favor of spiritualism and homeopathy. He traveled the world learning alternative medicine until he met Di Mambro through the Golden Way Foundation. At this point, the two came up with a plan. 

The Order of the Solar Temple Mass murder-suicide 

Di Mambro and Jouret developed a cult of their own by combining their experiences with various other cults they had been in contact with. Thus, The Order of the Solar Temple was born. Part of what precipitated the leaders’ mass suicide plans was the fact that Di Mambro’s own son, Elie, became a skeptic. When Elie found evidence of spiritual visions being fabricated by projectors, he began to speak out about the cult’s falsity. 

Some members began to investigate for themselves and noticed how lavishly Di Mambro and Jouret lived. As a result, many followers left The Order of the Solar Temple. This angered Di Mambro greatly. It was apparent they might lose more followers if drastic measures weren’t taken. In order to cinch the beliefs of wavering followers, procedures became more fanatical. 

One of the most atrocious crimes perpetrated by The Order of the Solar Temple was the murder of one of its families. When Di Mambro found out that Antonio and Nicky Dutoit had named their newborn Emmanuel, he was incensed. One of the main beliefs of The Order of the Solar Temple is that a sign of the end of the world would be the birth of a god-child. Di Mambro had already given one of his children this title. 

The Order murdered the entire family by stabbing them to death with a wooden stake after Di Mambro declared the Dutoit’s baby boy to be the antichrist. It’s said that the Dutoit’s displaying fabricated visions of their own was also a factor that contributed to their takedown. It seems the Dutoit’s were trying to rise in status. 

Soon after, it was declared that the apocalypse was nearer than ever before and ecological collapse was imminent. Jouret and Di Mambro told members it was necessary that they transport themselves ahead of time in order to get an early start on inhabiting the planet orbiting Sirius. 

Those who refused to follow up in poisoning themselves were apparently forced into the afterlife. Swiss officials found many members shot in the head or asphyxiated with plastic bags in the charred remains of the cult village. Strangely, Elie’s body was found among the murder victims, so either Elie was restricted from defecting or never fully left the cult. 

Di Mambro had held a re-creation of the Last Supper during which he and his inner circle had mimicked Christ’s last dinner with his apostles. Di Mambro, of course, played the part of Jesus. After the burning of the village, many members were found lying in creepy circular star-like formations with their feet pointing toward the inside of the circle. 

Both Di Mambro and Jouret were among the dead. A faction in Quebec, Canada followed suit a while later. Five people took their lives,  although this time three children managed to escape. 

By the end of the cult’s interstellar transport rituals, 74 people had died by either murder or suicide. The Order of the Solar Temple still remains active today and boasts several hundred members. 

National Geographic and Youtube feature documentaries about The Order of the Solar Temple.

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Bianca Myrtil is a writer and freelance editor. She relishes raving about her favorite shows and turning people’s drafted darlings into polished finished products. In her free time, Bianca enjoys stabilizing dangling modifiers and walking her cat. (No, that’s not a typo.)

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