They say life is precious. But there are people who like to rise above this notion. We have all heard news reports of people who have committed suicide and their reasons often vary. While some are forced to end their life, some just deliberately choose not to continue the beautiful journey that it is.
Here are 10 times when a large number of people collectively decided to end their lives.
1. 39 people of Heaven’s Gate Away Team ‘evacuated’ Earth to go to the revolutionary kingdom in the sky.
On 26th March 1997, 39 people were found dead, lying neatly in their bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a purple cloth. In the misguided hope of reaching a kingdom above the Earth because they believed that after they died, an extraterrestrial body or a UFO would come to take them to the revolutionary kingdom, where they believed originally belonged. They suffocated themselves by placing plastic bags around their heads after ingesting Phenobarbital with pineapple and vodka.
2. 1000 people committed suicide in the town of Demmin because of the Red Army’s takeover.
Near the end of World War 2, almost 1000 people committed suicide. They were mostly women and children who decided to take their own lives rather than face the horror of being raped and murdered by the Soviet Red Army. They used guns, razor blades and poison.
3. 900 people in Jonestown of the group called People’s Temple committed suicide in 1978.
900 dead bodies littered the ground in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978 after the
members of the infamous religious group, People’s Temple, ended their own lives by consuming a poisonous drink. It is said that around 300 children were injected with the drink against their will and murdered.
4. Members of The Solar Temple committed suicide in 1994 because they wanted to escape the atrocities of the modern world.
The members of this cult committed mass suicide to escape the oppression and atrocities of the modern world in 1994. They also said that they’d be travelling spiritually to the planetary system of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
5. 778 people of a religious cult called Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments committed suicide.
This cult was a religious movement under which people believed that they were born to obey the Ten Commandments and preach the word of Jesus Christ. The group had their own set of rules. They ate only one meal on Fridays and Mondays, sex was forbidden and so was soap. Around 778 people were lost to this religious cult. The headquarters pictured below is where most of the cult’s members committed suicide.
6. In 1906, family members killed each other to escape the attacks by the Dutch army in Badung.
When the town of Badung in Bali was attacked by the Dutch army during 1906, the Balinese officials recognised they’d stand no chance against the Dutch might. So they opted to take their own lives. People stabbed their own family members in a town wide violent bloodbath. When the Dutch army arrived all they could see was dismembered human flesh, including babies torn to pieces. The scenes were so bad that it left the soldiers traumatised.
7. 900 people committed suicide at the siege of Masada, 73-74 CE.
Over 900 people barricaded themselves in the fortress of Masada in the Judean Desert and for 12 years they survived, hiding from the Romans. Led by the Emperor Lucius Flavius Silvius, the Romans began a siege against the rebels and constructed a giant ramp to reach the fortress. But by the time this happened all they could find were burnt buildings and hundreds of bodies. Here is what the infamous fortress looks like now.
8. Over 22,000 people jumped off a cliff in Saipan to escape being killed.
In 1944, over 22,000 people died by jumping off this cliff in Saipan. They did this to escape invading American troops, pushed one by Imperial Japanese propaganda. The youngest children were pushed by the eldest, mothers pushed the eldest, fathers pushed the mothers and jumped after them.
9. Thousands of people ingested cyanide capsules in 1945 in Germany.
A lot of suicides took place in 1945 in Germany for various reasons. One was the suicides of Dennim, other was the defeat of Germany in World War 2. In the last days of the war, the overwhelming realization of defeat was too much for many Germans, due to which many people killed themselves by ingesting cyanide capsules.
10. The Queen of Chittor and several other ladies committed suicide in 1535 AD.
Jauhar was the practice of committing suicide by royal females of Rajput kingdoms when facing defeat at the hands of enemies. Rana Sanga died in 1528 AD after the Battle of Khanua which let the regions of Mewar and Chittor fall under the regency of his widow, Rani Karnavati. The kingdom was menaced by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, who besieged Chittorgarh. Without relief from other forces and facing defeat, the Rani committed Jauhar with several other women on March 8, 1535 A.D. There have been several more cases of Jauhar in Chittor
The original version of this post can be found here.