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Quite possibly the craziest cult ever, Heaven’s Gate was founded by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. Heaven’s Gate members believed that the planet Earth was about to be recycled (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished and rejuvenated), and that the only chance to survive was to leave it immediately. While the group was formally against suicide, they defined “suicide” in their own context to mean “to turn against the Next Level when it is being offered,” and believed that their “human” bodies were only vessels meant to help them on their journey. Inconversation, when referring to a person or a person’s body, they routinely used the word “vehicle”.
This documentary investigates an incident in 1997, where thirty-nine members of the San Diego-based cult “Heaven’s Gate” committed mass suicide. They intended to reach an alien spacecraft which they believed to be following Comet Hale-Bopp, which was at that time brightly visible in the nighttime sky.
Tag Archives | Suicide
Interesting piece on suicidal ideation in Scientific American.
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In considering people’s motivations for killing themselves, it is essential to recognize that most suicides are driven by a flash flood of strong emotions, not rational, philosophical thoughts in which the pros and cons are evaluated critically. And, as I mentioned in last week’s column on the evolutionary biology of suicide, from a psychological science perspective, I don’t think any scholar ever captured the suicidal mind better than Florida State University psychologist Roy Baumeister in his 1990 Psychological Review article , “Suicide as Escape from the Self.” To reiterate, I see Baumeister’s cognitive rubric as the engine of emotions driving deCatanzaro’s biologically adaptive suicidal decision-making. There are certainly more recent theoretical models of suicide than Baumeister’s, but none in my opinion are an improvement. The author gives us a uniquely detailed glimpse into the intolerable and relentlessly egocentric tunnel vision that is experienced by a genuinely suicidal person.
I’m not the biggest fan of David icke, but I can’t get behind blaming him for something like this. It’s a little close to the “Satanic Panic” of the eighties, when bands like Judas Priest and games like Dungeons & Dragons were blamed for suicides and murders. Sad story, though.
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A small, tearful figure huddled in her stark home in the small Cornish village of Rescorla, Susan explains how her elder son Luke “worshipped” Icke and was so keen to prove his theories on Near Death Experiences, he decided to test them, with fatal consequences.
On May 17 he walked alone to a flooded clay pit and submerged himself in the icy water in an attempt to induce hypothermia.
His aim, Susan believes, was to experience “astral projection”, when consciousness is said to leave the body and lead to a state of heightened spirituality.
Luke, 27, was wearing a life-jacket and goggles, signs that Susan insists mean he did not intend to die.
Legendary editor Russ Kick returns to the DisinfoCast to discuss his new collection Death Poems, an anthology of verse both modern and classic dedicated to all aspects of death: Funerals, the death penalty, serial killings, the Underworld and more. Funny, sad, atheistic, spiritual, mythic, wise and morbid, this is the perfect collection for anyone who needs a little “memento mori”.
Additional subjects discussed: Near-death experiences, morbid thoughts, the afterlife or lack thereof, “the 357 test”, the role of art, post-modernism and more.
Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.
The MI6 spy whose naked body was found inside a zipped, padlocked gym bag probably died … by accident, UK police have decided. The coroner said last year Gareth Williams was probably killed by someone else in a criminal act, but now the Metropolitan Police have completed an evidence review and say it’s “more probable” no one else was in his apartment when he died in his bathroom in 2010, the BBC reports. The deputy assistant commissioner said today it’s “theoretically possible” Williams locked himself into the bag.
A study carried out in June of 2011 demonstrated that drinking water contaminated with lithium could actually lower suicide rates. So should lithium be added as a supplement to the water supply, as is done with fluoride?
In the study, 6,460 samples of drinking water were tested across 99 districts in Austria. Districts with higher levels of lithium tended to report lower suicide rates. In some areas lithium occurs naturally in the water supply, likely leached out of rocks and stones.
The results weren’t terribly shocking, as lithium has been used for decades to treat depression. This was the first time its effect was measured based on trace amounts within drinking water, however.
This is a true story about a young lady who was violated, publicly shamed, and eventually committed suicide. A few lessons can be gleaned about who is chosen to be associated with, the vulnerability acquired while consuming chemicals, and the shadow personalties which are prone to be evoked during a collective inebriation. This may also be a partial answer to a question posed in the recent disinfo post titled American Ephebiphobia.
via Rolling Stone
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On the last day of her life, Audrie Pott walked through a crucible of teenage torment. A curvaceous sophomore at Saratoga High School, dressed in the cool-girl’s uniform of a low-cut top and supershort skirt, she looked the same as always, but inside she was quivering with humiliation. In the week since school had started, girls had been giving her looks, and guys had congregated around phones, smirking. On Facebook, messages were pinging into her inbox, each one delivering another gut punch: “shit went down ahah jk i bet u already got enough ppl talking about it so ill keep it to myself haha.
It has been well documented that US military servicemen and women have been committing suicide at alarming rates, but now it appears that their motivation may not be entirely due to the terrible things they’ve seen and done: for some of them, it’s for the money. Alan Zarembo reports for the LA Times:
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Army Spc. James Christian Paquette walked into the benefits office at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, with a question: Did his military life insurance policy pay in cases of suicide? He was assured that it did.
Less than two weeks later, he shot and killed himself — and his family collected $400,000.
His widow struggles with the question of whether he would have proceeded with his plan if suicide had not been covered. “He just wanted to know we would be provided for,” Jami Calahan said. “It may have been a weight taken away.”
The role of life insurance has not been closely examined in the quest to understand why 352 active-duty service members took their own lives last year — more than double the number a decade earlier.
We’ve had several posts recently that have examined the topic of suicide. It’s a very complicated issue, and a difficult one to parse out in an environment where anonymity can sometimes bring out the very worst (and sometimes best, I admit) in people. Thankfully, the Disinfo crowd is a pretty civil one.
If you’ve followed my podcast (and writing) here, then you know that I’ve always striven to be honest with you, especially when it comes to my own personal issues. I have a very long family history of suicides, and I myself have dealt with depression and anxiety my entire life. I talk about those things because I feel like they’re nothing to be ashamed of, and by speaking up then there’s a chance that someone else might not feel like they’re alone in dealing with this stuff.
If I had not resisted those self-destructive impulses (Let’s jump off the parking garage… Let’s drive the car into a telephone pole… Let’s eat a bullet… ) and the negativity (You’re doomed… You’ll never fit in… You’re an embarrassment… ) and spoken up, I would have missed out on a ton of stuff, and I don’t even mean the usual “sunshine and bunnies” things.… Read the rest
There seems to be a growing tendency on both sides of the atlantic to validate the morally complex act of suicide. I’m posting this blog entry to help clarify the debate for anyone unfamiliar with the issues. I am asking people to consider the consequences of encouraging people to think of suicide as a fair response to the world when things turn nasty. Even if the suicide you’re advocating appears to back up a political point you’re fond of or appears to validate the awfulness of someone’s suffering it’s still morally complex to stand on the side of a person who surely you must think has done the wrong thing.
In the UK a number of suicides and suicide attempts have been reported recently as being the fault of bullies who gave their victims no choice but to kill themselves. A similar approach appears to be being taken in the US and to me it is a very worrying trend.… Read the rest