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Order of the Solar Temple

Cult study in social psychology - Kaylyn, Brooke, Mackenzie, Me

Sarah Ayres

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Order of the Solar Temple

New age lovers and spiritual members
Brain washing techniques
What are the goals...
Fire would lead us to a new world on another planet... death is an illusion.

What are their motives?
How does the cult enforce its rules?
How does the cult demand conformity?
The leaders were able to manipulate their members by having total control over information and communication.

Personal manipulation was also used by them to create a mystique around themselves, making them appear to have knowledge and a relationship to God and Confessions were made by each member.

Each member was made to believe that the cults beliefs were the only truth and that everything else was a lie. They believed that Di Mambro and Luc were always right and if they objected, they were in the wrong.
Founded in Geneva, 1984
Vol XCIII, No. 311
A little bit of History...
Murder. Suicide. Assassination. Money laundering.
Domineering and relentless
What leadership style does the leader use?
Order of the Solar Temple
Is best known for the murder-suicide of 74 of its members in 1994-97.
The founder was Luc Jouret, a homeopathic physician and a New Age lecturer, Joseph De Mambro
Headquarters was later moved Zurich, where a leadership council of 33 members presided, and regional lodges were set up to perform initiation ceremonies and other rites in Switzerland, Canada, and elsewhere.
Traced its history to the revival of the Knights Templar (a military-religious order founded in the 12th century).
In 1805 Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat claimed to be head of the Knights Templar and attempted to re-create the order.

Integral to the teachings of the Solar Temple was the belief that the Earth would face a worldwide catastrophe in the mid-1990s.

In anticipation of this apocalyptic event, members believed it was necessary to enter a higher spiritual plane.

Re-establish correct notions of authority, power.

Give back people their conscious dignity.

Help people transition into the afterlife.

Mass murders connected with astrological events
such as solstices and equinoxes.








Works Cited
International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition
Luc Jouret, a Belgian religious leader and neo-Nazi, reportedly started the group in 1984 under Christian guises, namely the second coming of Christ and the Knights Templar. Jouret and other leaders in a Swiss village allegedly sacrificed a child they thought to be the antichrist in 1994, days later committing suicide with dozens of followers.
Di Mambro's final words stated that he had simply "decided to leave this terrestrial plane." He preferred to stay behind the scenes, had as a front man a Belgian homeopath, Luc Jouret. The handsome young doctor had the charisma Di Mambro lacked, and became the Order's top drawing card. His lectures included the meaning of life (merely a passage to death) and the apocalypse (imminent).
Di Mambro had been a Rosicrucian and Jouret had in 1981 affiliated with the Renewed Order of the Temple, an occult order founded in the 1970s by Julian Origas (1920–1983). They soon discovered their mutual interests and in 1984 together founded the Solar Temple. By this time Jouret was traveling widely through French-speaking Europe, Eastern Canada and Martinique as an inspirational speaker. While Di Mambro directed the group from behind the scenes, Jouret was its outward image and primary recruiter.
Being a member of a group may influence people
to conform and participate in behaviors that they normally
wouldn't by the the use of deindividualism, a sense of being
anonymous was reported in the Solar group - much mystery
was present.

This allows them to partake in behaviors without feeling
remorse or responsibility for their actions as they don't feel
threatened by the consequences.

The size of a group may also influence them as in subjects to
higher levels of peer pressure and forced to engage in group
activities even if unwilling to do so. 600 was the highest

The informational influence of the group's leaders also led to
conformity, as they were fed teachings of 'Christ and God'.
"With capes, crosses, swords, and so on"
Social norms that are adhered
A requirement is that they had to be from an affluent family, paternalistic hierarchy.
Cut off from the rest of the world to develop new ideas and values.
All believed that Earth would be destroyed in a catastrophic event, but those who followed will enter a high spiritual plane.
Main method is burning their victims and themselves, this is how they transition 'effectively'.

Violent matters, no remorse
Social norms that are violated
---characterized by individual control over all decisions and little input from group members.

Many members sacrificed everything they owned to the cult. Besides paying dues of up to $300 a month, they often sold homes and other assets and turned over the proceeds to the Order.

The contributions allowed Di Mambro to live like a king. He traveled around the world, staying at the best hotels, buying pricey real estate, driving Jaguar and Mercedes automobiles.

They killed those who defied them, in discretion usually.
"He gave the impression he knew the answer to every question you could ask."
Who are the members? What is the attraction?
Perhaps one of the most surprising things about the Solar Temple is its respectable, middle-class membership.
--Educated people, attracted to the charisma and ego support

Members were told they were an elite, better than ordinary people. Says a former member: "They made you feel special." One of Di Mambro's techniques was to tell new members they were the reincarnation of people from ancient times. He persuaded one woman she had been the Egyptian queen Hatchepsout, another that she had been Anthea, queen of the fabled submerged island of Atlantis. Di Mambro himself claimed to be Moses reincarnate. He also told members he was acting on orders from the Masters of Zurich, mystical beings who lived beneath the Swiss city.
Some of the people that were killed were willing, others weren't. Sacrifices - they had no clue of the ritual, it wasn't just members.

Felt isolated from the rest of the world, wore Crusader type robes and carried a sword to intimidate.

Leaders heard the word of God, and followed the orders that are violent and contradictory to the religion.

How and Why could someone be included?

Feeling needed and accepted, re-evaluating sense of self, boost self- esteem

What have we learned?
Application Activity
Cult leaders are usually narcissistic and believe to know the word of God. Many also assume that they are the true ticket out of a misguided reality.
Warning Signs?
Psychological Manipulation, persuasion to break laws, personal crisis exploitation, deception, having "all the answers", scare tactics.
Full transcript