A Call for Help… Have We Answered?

On Wednesday, 26 March 1997, authorities in the State of California found 39 corpses of 21 women and 18 men, who were involved in the biggest group suicide in the history of the United States. The corpses were found in different rooms in a spacious house. They wore black clothes and brand new sneakers, and packed their stuff besides each one of them. They lay down on their backs and covered their faces and chests with a triangular purple cover.


The initial autopsy revealed that the cause of death was combining alcohol with the drug Phenobarbital: a drug used to treat convulsions and should not be taken with alcohol.


It was later revealed that the group belonged to a religious cult that formed and spread through the internet under the name “The Higher Source” or “Heaven’s Gate.” Most followers were among the educated class. The group members, including their leader, videotaped their farewell and the goal they wanted to achieve by suicide; the cyber sect leader explained that their suicide was aiming at the escape from the material pleasures, and that the current civilization was about to be recycled and rejuvenated. He also claimed that the human roots on earth have been completely ruined beyond repair, and that suicide was the only way to join God’s kingdom.


It was also discovered that they believed the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was at its brightest in the American sky and was seen by most people, came as a sign that the spaceship or the alien aircraft that was supposed to carry them to their destination (Heaven) had arrived, and that they had to leave their flesh behind in order for their souls to reach their eternal residence.


That was not the first time in history when mass suicide occurred. In 1994, a group of members of the Solar Temple committed suicide in Switzerland and in France in 1995 and many more.


Dr. Steven Hassan from the Freedom of Mind Center, who also studies the behavior of such cults, said that most people involved in cults are looking for psychological stability, and mostly they are intelligent individuals who suffer from instability, especially during teenage and puberty.


Dr. Richard Landes, a professor in History and the Medieval Ages at the University of Boston, believes that it is only the beginning of mass suicides, as the numbers grow bigger every day.


This incident reflects the depression, instability and rupture of the human psyche especially in America, where material values overrode the human life and civilization fell short from fulfilling the needs and calls of the soul.


Discussions and debates raged concerning spirituality, religion, heaven and hell. The American Time Magazine published an article in the 24 March 1997 issue under the title “Does Heaven Exist?”


A lot of erratic and deceptive people exploited this spiritual emptiness and natural call to enslave people. Such groups are still growing and spreading every day in America and Europe. The Time Magazine also wrote in its 27 January 1997 issue an article titled “The Traders of Religion”, mentioning some of these cults and deviant trends.


The world has become one little village, and the time and location barriers have vanished with the existence of developed media, the latest of which is the internet, and the intellectual war has begun as the internet is a free entity not governed by restrictions or laws… Where are we from all this? We are God’s successors on earth and the carriers to His message to enlighten humanity.


The world is in chaos, screaming and flopping for the absence of God’s method on earth, without which hearts cannot reach tranquility “Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” They are looking for signs in the sky to lead them to heaven, and waiting for an aircraft to free their depressed minds from the imprisonment of the material world.


We are busy with our personal interests and material needs, as we have been competing over them the same way they do, and neglected the highest message of all which was given to this nation since the beginning of time.


“For God to guide one man to the right path by you is better for you than all luxuries.” All that we hear is nothing but a call for help, have we answered? And what if we were asked about those one day? Can we say we delivered?