Category: Order of the Solar Temple

Oct. 5, 1994: Cult members die in ‘mass suicide’

On This Day in 1994: The bodies of 48 cult members have been discovered by Swiss police following an apparent mass suicide. Twenty-three of the bodies were found in a concealed chamber beneath a remote farmhouse in the village of Cheiry, 48 miles north-east of Geneva. A further 25 bodies, including some children, were recovered in three burnt-out chalets in Granges-sur-Salvan, 47 miles east of Geneva, near the Italian border. The deaths have been linked to the apocalyptical Order of the Solar Temple sect, which was founded in 1984 by Dr Luc Jouret and Joseph di Mambro. The Order of

French prosecutor refuses to reopen probe into Solar Temple cult deaths

GRENOBLE, France (AP) – A French prosecutor’s office rejected a request to reopen an investigation into the 1995 murder-suicide of 16 members of the Order of the Solar Temple doomsday group, a lawyer said Thursday. The Grenoble prosecutor’s office said there was no new evidence to justify reopening the inquiry, said Alain Leclerc, a lawyer who had made the request on behalf of the families of some of the victims. In 1995, French police discovered the charred remains of 14 victims, including three children, in a forest clearing near Grenoble in the French Alps. The 14 bodies were arranged in

French sect deaths case delayed

GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) – A fresh legal bid to convict a Swiss orchestra conductor of involvement in the ritualistic deaths of 16 cult members in 1995 has been adjourned by a French court. Michel Tabachnik was cleared in June 2001 after judges ruled there was insufficient evidence he helped set up the suicides of 16 followers of the Order of the Solar Temple sect, but victims’ families appealed against his acquittal. The Solar Temple gained worldwide notoriety after 74 of its members were found dead in woods in France, Switzerland and Canada between 1994 and 1997. The dead were mostly

Solar Temple cult re-trial postponed

GRENOBLE, France, Sept 22 (AFP) – A French court Monday delayed until June the trial on appeal of a Franco-Swiss conductor, Michel Tabachnik, suspected of helping to brainwash 74 members of the Solar Temple doomsday cult who died in the 1990s. The second trial of Tabachnik, 60, which was due to start Monday, was brought by prosecutors who appealed his acquittal in an earlier trial in June 2001. It was delayed Monday to June 14 at the request of two lawyers for some of the dead members’ families, as a criminal investigation has been launched against the main psychiatric expert

48 Die in Cult Murder-Suicide

Switzerland: Firefighters find 23 bodies in a remote farmhouse and 25 more in three Alps chalets. Victims were apparently members of a sect led by a fugitive Canadian. Volunteer firefighters responding to a farmhouse fire in this tiny village early Wednesday uncovered an underground chapel and the robe-clad bodies of 23 people, members of an obscure cult joined in an apparent murder-suicide by 25 other adherents in three chalets 100 miles away. The 48 grisly deaths were caused variously by suffocation, gunshots and perhaps drug overdoses, police said. The victims included French, Swiss and Canadian citizens, ranging in age from