Your Guide to Getting it Right in the Afterlife

So you want to kill yourself in the name of religion? Well, it’s better than killing others for it. But not all suicide cults are created equal, and you’ll want to pick the one that best matches your personality and eternity goals.

Drinking the Kool-Aid of extremism

The People’s Temple came to worldwide recognition through one of history’s most charismatic religious crackpots, Jim Jones. Here, religion is an opiate of the people, and those under its effects have to be brought back to enlightenment through socialism. So although in Jones’ mind both religion and opiates are bad, he had no problem with the poisoned Kool-aid or guns used to create the largest mass suicide/murder in history. Recommended for: Socialists; fans of the Anarchist Cookbook. Plus, since most original Templers died in the 70s, a new People’s Temple would be a great start-up for an opportunistic young cultist.

Bringing the apocalypse right to your door

Another cult looking for new recruits is the Branch Davidians. A splinter group of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, they abandoned the original church’s humanitarianism but kept the apocalypticism and polygamy in the settlement. They also apparently got to keep the weapons as a parting gift – when the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms laid siege to the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, after a 51-day standoff, they had reportedly found over 150 weapons and 8000 rounds of ammunition. Recommended for NRA supporters; agoraphobics.

Knock-knock-knockin on Heaven’s Gate

Believing that their souls would hitch a ride to heaven on a spaceship that traveled with the Hale-Bopp comet, 38 members of a group of web developers, called Heaven’s Gate, met a well-organized eternal fate. Their suicide plan was like an elaborate theme party, complete with ritual cleansings, barbiturates, vodka, rolls of quarters, plastic bags for asphyxiation and matching Nike tracksuits, and some of the more dedicated of its members even castrated themselves to prove their dedication. Recommended for Type-A personalities; sporty types; sexual explorers; web-nerds; botched transgenders.

Want to follow the rabbit trail? Start here