October 2, 2020 | programming | No Comments
Source: Public Domain Vectors
In 1971, a messianic figure, Jim Jones, persuaded a great number of his followers to commit suicide, which the victims termed a “revolutionary act.” Revolution against whom or what was not specified.
In 1993, Branch Davidians followed another messianic leader, David Koresh, into a compound at Waco, Texas, with misplaced faith and automatic weapons. Many of the faithful were killed in an epic standoff with law enforcement.
And in 1997, a former music professor named Applewhite persuaded 38 people to commit suicide with him, with plastic bags and purple cloths over their heads and Nike sneakers on their feet, in an effort to reach a UFO hiding behind Comet Hale-Bopp. This UFO was to take them, via what they termed Heaven’s Gate, to an unspecified interplanetary reward.
“Nike” is Greek for “victory.” Dying with your head in a plastic bag doesn’t seem especially victorious.