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Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret formed the Order of the Solar Temple and allegedly set fire to Swiss OST buildings, killing themselves and 46 others.
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He claimed that his son Elie had been created by theogamy, or marriage of the gods, and that his daughter Emmanuelle had been conceived without sex.
But membership began to decline and the group’s activities were under investigation in Canada in 1991. Around this time, most of the group, including Di Mambro and Jouret, moved to Switzerland, but the change of location did nothing assuage the two leaders’ concerns. Sometimes referred as “The Dictator,
” Di Mambro was under increased scrutiny from outside and inside the group. Even his own son, Elie, began to question the existence of Di Mambro’s so-called masters as well as his spiritual abilities.
In October 1994, the OST came to a fiery end in Switzerland and Canada. Around September 30, the Dutoits, a couple with an infant son, were murdered at an OST chalet in Morin Heights, Quebec. There have been reports that they were killed by unknown assailants on the orders of Di Mambro because he believed the child was the Antichrist. They were lured to the site by another couple who later committed suicide a few days later by setting fire to the chalet.
Across the Atlantic, Di Mambro and Jouret are believed to have orchestrated a dramatic exit for themselves and their followers. Believing in the transformative powers of fire, they thought that they could be reborn on Sirius, another planet in another universe. On the night of October 4, fires were set off at OST buildings in two Swiss towns, Cheiry and Granges-sur-Salvan.
The next morning investigators were baffled by much of what they discovered at the sites—48 people dead. Some may have committed suicide while others were most likely killed. Some had been injected with tranquilizers or had plastic bags over their heads while others were shot. Di Mambro, his wife and his children, and Jouret were among those killed. With Di Mambro’s death went the answers to so many questions about the group and its disturbing end.
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