Cult member talks through 'benefits' of castration before mass suicide that took dozens of lives
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You may be familiar with the infamous Heaven's Gate cult who orchestrated a mass suicide in 1997 in the hopes of hopping on a spaceship to embark on a new life.
But before the traumatic event, some of the cult members were so set on their own self-sacrifice that they agreed to be castrated. Here's one member explaining why he did it:
If you're a little lost, let me bring you up to speed.
The Heaven's Gate cult was formed by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, who convinced themselves that they were prophets for an extraterrestrial god.
In the 1970s, the pair managed to pick up a decent number of followers who came with them to prepare for a 'transition' into a new life on a spaceship
The bizarre cult lived in a commune for years, and believed that, if they rejected human nature, they would become immortal, androgynous beings and ascend to heaven, or the 'next level'.
For some members, this involved castration.
In 1997, the bodies of 39 cult members were discovered in a San Diego house in what was later confirmed to be a mass suicide.
Applewhite had convinced members that the recently discovered Comet Hale-Bopp, which was about to pass Earth, would have a spaceship following behind it, which would be their way to the 'next level'.
As the comet approached, 39 members poisoned themselves with vodka and phenobarbital, dressed themselves in matching unisex clothes and put plastic bags over their heads, collectively killing themselves in the hopes that the spaceship would pick them up to take them to a better place.
Toxicology reports taken after the bodies were discovered found that a few of the victims took less than the lethal amount of medication and likely suffocated with the plastic bags over their heads.
In the deeply unsettling video, one cult member, who goes by the chosen name of 'Trsody', explains that castration - or 'neutering' - was a freeing experience before going on to explain why he agreed to take part in the mass suicide.
"Some may say, 'boy it's quite an irreversible step', and I just want to say that I'm familiar with irreversible steps," he begins.
"I'm one of the students that did that [castration], and I can't tell you how free it has made me feel.
"I have been here long enough from the time I had that operation to know the freedom that it offers and I'm just so thankful for that opportunity."
He goes on to describe the 'next step' (the mass suicide) as nothing more than a 'clinical operation'.
He tells the camera: "Having seen the benefit that the neutering has had for my consciousness - for my ability to grow and be close to my 'older member' [the leader of the cult] - I can't see any other way but to fully expect that laying down this vehicle is going to be anything but great for me."
Members of the Heaven's Gate cult believed that their physical bodies were nothing more than a disposable 'vehicle' for their beings.
It's believed that the Heaven's Gate cult are still in operation today, and have previously been known to go under other names like Total Overcomers Anonymous and Human Individual Metamorphosis.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123