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THE SWISS SECT DEATHS!       Maria #229       DO 2941       10/94
--What It Could Mean for the Family!
--By Maria

       1. I'm sure all of you have heard by now of the recent tragic deaths of the members of the Order of the Solar Temple, which was apparently a rather bizarre occult secret society based in Switzerland and Canada. I'm sure you've probably also realised that this situation was engineered by the Devil to be one more step in his desperate attempt to curb religious freedom, and to stop the Family in particular! The Enemy never got the victories he was hoping for in that rash of court cases against us, so now he has engineered this incident in Switzerland.
       2. The whole thing is a very clever & masterful piece of diabolical work. The worldwide "anti-cult" media is intent on exploiting the actions of the Solar Temple to turn the public against all non-traditional religious groups, trying to put us--& groups like us--out of action.
       3. The Enemy used the "Manson Family" cult murders & later the Jonestown situation some years ago as attempts to try to get at us, as well as other groups. The Waco tragedy was even more dangerous to us, not only because those folks held some beliefs similar to ours, but because the public was propagandised by the media to identify all non-traditional religious movements with Waco. However, because of the U.S. government's very questionable handling of the entire Waco debacle, & also because of many freedom fighters in the U.S. who stood up for religious freedom & the truth, it turned out to not be as effective against us & similar groups as the anti-cult movement and the ACs were hoping. But now they have attacked again, in a part of the World where they can do even greater damage, where there seem to be very few voices willing to speak out & stand up for the Truth, & very few true Christians who have any significant voice or influence.
       4. The Enemy must have realised that he hadn't hit hard enough on the preaching of the Endtime, convincing people that such beliefs are lunatic & fanatical, so with this Swiss situation he now seems to be giving it all he's got. The Order of the Solar Temple believed the end of the World was coming soon, & preached it, & when they died it did come for them. Now our enemies are trying to say that our beliefs will lead us to the same sad ending. One of our major messages, the Endtime, is now being portrayed by the AC media as something absolutely crazy & utterly fanatical.--And some of the media are even calling for the government to stop any groups who are preaching the Endtime. They are identifying people who hold such beliefs with dangerous people such as criminals, arms smugglers, money launderers, brainwashed religious fanatics, psychotics, misfits of society, & any other disparaging label they can pull out of the hat.
       5. They not only want to make it look like the Endtime Message is dangerous, because, they say, it makes people want to escape this World by mass suicide or murder, but now they're even implying that living together communally is also dangerous because of the peer pressure of the collective group influence. However, their major concern is not that a few people are going to be murdered or take their lives; that's only a cover-up for their true motive, which is to stop us, who they consider their greatest & most dangerous opposition, from making such an impact on the World through our preaching of the Endtime Message. So they know that if they can scare people into passing laws outlawing communal living, then they can also greatly hinder our mass distribution of the Endtime Message. You can't be nearly as effective or do so much if you are only one individual or one little family off on your own with a 9-to-5 job & your kids in public school & hardly any time to think of anything but making ends meet. So it's no wonder the Enemy is trying to prejudice people against communal living.
       6. In fact, in several countries they are even pushing to enact laws that say that believers cannot live together. We've received a number of reports of television programs in the wake of this Swiss incident in which members of the anti-cult movement have urged the authorities to impose a ban on religious groups living communally. It's almost unbelievable that in a supposedly free world, they would have the gall to try to stop Christians from living together!
       7. The message the Antichrist & his forces are trying to get out loud & clear is: "Don't listen to these crazy & fanatical Christians who come around talking about the Endtime being here & warning you of its dire consequences. It's a bunch of baloney & religious nonsense, & you will become crazy, too, if you listen to it!" It is amazing to what extent the Enemy is willing to go to keep our Message of the Endtime & of his involvement in it from getting out to the World. We must be having a great impact, along with other Christians who are faithfully preaching it.
       8. There seem to be quite a few Christians in the States now who are actively preaching the Endtime, although from what I understand, most of them don't expect it all to end quite as early as we do. However, we are probably the only international group which is actively promoting the Endtime worldwide & getting this Message out to the public on every continent. So we know that the Devil is most intent upon stopping us, & that this attack is most directed at us!
       9. The anti-cult & anti-Christ forces are warning the World that they should be highly suspicious of any groups of people who are living together. Their message is, "Don't believe what these people tell you about what they are doing, no matter how good it sounds, no matter how sweet they act, no matter how polite they may be, no matter how quiet & orderly they appear, because underneath all of this nice surface appearance there is probably something very sinister going on!"
       10. So, needless to say, this latest development presents some very great challenges for us. It is definitely a time for desperate prayer about how to best & most wisely react to this situation, & how we are going to overcome the obstacles that the Enemy is trying to set in our way. One thing we know is that we cannot stop preaching the Endtime Message! That is exactly what the Enemy is trying to get us to do.
       11. Contrary to what the ACs are trying to make people believe, most people who believe in & preach the Endtime do not stockpile weapons, are not violent, & are not dangerous. In fact, most of them are intelligent & concerned people who really know what is going on, & are therefore trying to warn others of the coming evils so that they can be prepared.

Believing in the Endtime Does Not Cause People to Become Suicidal
       12. What the Enemy's forces are telling the World is that everyone who believes in the Endtime is crazy & dangerous, & subject to mass suicide because they believe the World is getting worse & the World as we know it is coming to an end. So they brand them as "out of touch with reality," & therefore dangerous. But their logic is horribly flawed. It's nonsensical to say that just because a tiny handful of folks who happen to have some kind of cultic Endtime beliefs may have committed suicide, or may have been murdered, that the millions of others who believe in the Endtime are going to act in a similar manner.
       13. That's as good as saying that everyone who faces a bleak dark future of horror & pain is going to take their own life, because they can't stand to face it. But what about terminally ill patients? Knowing the terrible suffering they are going to have to go through, how many of them commit suicide? A very minimal number. And how many people who are facing (or even in the middle of) a horrific war in their country, knowing all the anguish, suffering & terrible destruction that is going to take place (or that is taking place), commit suicide? A very small percentage. Likewise, most of the World is seeing & continually hearing about the destruction of their environment, the drying up of their water supply, the decrease of their food supply, the death-dealing hazards of pollution, the burgeoning national debts that continue to worsen, & the overwhelming crime wave. Fears of all sorts plague them. A lot of people are honest enough to see & admit that things are getting worse, that the World has become a terribly dangerous place to live. Yet only a very tiny percentage of them commit suicide because they can't face it.
       14. So just because you believe firmly that something very bad is about to happen does not mean you are going to commit suicide! Most people bravely face it, including us. Even though we believe something bad is coming, we believe something much better is soon to follow, praise the Lord! So we have even greater strength than most to courageously face future troubles. We have the power of the Lord & a conviction that we need to stay here on this Earth to help others through the difficult times until the glorious appearing of Jesus, Who will make everything right, & wipe away all tears.
       15. So while we're willing to dedicate our lives to the Lord & lay down our lives in sacrificial service to Jesus & others, giving till it hurts for our brethren & the lost, & "dying daily" as we decrease & He increases, we certainly are not by any stretch of the imagination suicidal!--As we've made clear many times before. We are not depressed, we are not in despair, we do not fear the future & we do not wish to die--only to live to show others the Way. Yet there is more than one lying voice in the media, trying to frighten the authorities & the public by saying that the Family is the next tragedy about to happen. There is even one report of an anti-cult spokesman saying that we've actually been planning it for a few years. How ridiculous! These are absolutely libellous & slanderous statements that could legally get these people in a lot of trouble, if we decide to sue them!

Don't Cower & Compromise!--Stand Up for the Truth
       16. So, for you who are out in the public day after day, you may be facing some major antagonism & questions as a result of this current anti-cult media campaign, but do not water down your Message! Remember, that is exactly what the Devil is trying to get you to do! So go on the attack in the power of the Spirit, be proud of who you are & what you stand for, & Whose coming Kingdom you are preaching, & God will bless you for your courage & conviction. Of course, you need to ask the Lord for His wisdom in answering people's questions, & seek His guidance in all that you do. As well, you should make sure you've established good will with your neighbours & local officials, which will go a long way in helping to allay their fears.
       17. Every time a major worldwide attack like this happens, it looks like our very existence is in jeopardy, & of course that is what the Enemy means to do: Stamp us out. But God is greater!--And He is soon going to stamp out the Enemy & his anti-Christ forces when Jesus returns for His Own & lets loose His judgements on this wicked World! Remember, God, Who has promised that what He has begun in us He will continue to perform until the End, will not allow His Work to fail! He has promised that in spite of World persecution, in spite of World recession, in spite of incidents like Waco & this latest situation in Switzerland, we will triumph & we will win! So keep trusting & keep praising! There are still great things ahead. Praise the Lord!
       18. P.S. Earlier reports of mass suicide of Solar Temple members in Switzerland have not been confirmed; in fact, it now appears that at least some of the deaths were murders. Two very credible experts on new religious movements, Doctor Gordon Melton & Massimo Introvigne*, have pointed out that the anti-cult movements, in effect, "blew it"! In a jointly authored paper presented at the 1994 Annual Communal Studies Conference, held in Oneida, New York, October 6-9, they said, "While they [EDITED: "the anti-cult movement"] were devoting all their resources, time & effort to harass larger & largely law-abiding NRMs, they knew absolutely nothing about the Solar Temple, whose strange ideology had only been seriously studied--well before the tragedy, & not without alarm--by the very social scientists, such as Jean Francoise Meyer, labelled by anti-cultists as 'cult apologists.'"
       19. Dr. Massimo Introvigne concluded a press release by saying, "I believe that the tragedy tells governments that they should keep in closer touch with international scholars (who knew quite a few things about the Solar Temple), rather than relying on pseudo-experts from the militant anti-cult movement who lead authorities astray, pointing their finger at law-abiding movements such as The Family or the Unification Church, thus diverting resources from watching the small minority of apocalyptic occult groups where real dangers may be involved."

       *(Gordon Melton is the Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, based in Santa Barbara, California. Massimo Introvigne is Managing Director of CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions in Torino, Italy, an international group of scholars monitoring new religious movements throughout the World.)

       From Reuters, AP, and the {\b \i Washington Post:}

       Swiss police ended the international mystery of cult leader Luc Jouret's fate, confirming that he was among the dead found in the Order of the Solar Temple's fire-gutted chalet in the alpine village of Granges-sur-Salvan.
       Jouret apparently perished along with 52 of his followers in the round of blazes, slayings, bludgeonings and unexplained deaths among members of the apocalyptic order based in Switzerland and Canada.
       The investigation has become global, as authorities in Australia have joined those in Europe and North America looking into allegedly extensive money-laundering activities by cult members, transactions that may be tied to arms trafficking.
       The puzzle of who these people were and what they were up to has been obscured in the ashes of a burned chalet and farmhouse in Switzerland and a villa in Quebec where temple followers and three of their children were found dead. Police have identified about half of the 53 bodies recovered.
       Some had been alive, possibly comatose, at the time of the electronically triggered fires, and toxicological tests continue. Others had been shot, some repeatedly, or beaten to death.
       Until its cataclysmic end, the Order of the Solar Temple seemed for the most part an orderly and benign secret society whose theories and marketing were conventional in today's religious universe.
       But for his increasing admonitions to his followers to prepare for the end of the world, Jouret might have remained just one of a number of purveyors of self-improvement.
       Jean-Francois Meyer, a Lausanne, Switzerland, researcher on spiritual movements, said Jouret was well known for his doomsday predictions.
       Guy Mettan, editor of the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, attributes the recent rise of cults in Switzerland, where membership is now estimated in the tens of thousands, to economic dislocation ... and to the inevitable growth of apocalyptic visions as the world approaches the third millennium.
       "This horrible drama shows that the proliferation of sects, the disorientation of individuals and the approaching end of the century must not be taken lightly."

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family


Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family