In March 2000, approximately 540 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (MRTCG) died in what initially appeared to be collective suicide. Subsequent police investigations, however, discovered the bodies of an additional 240 members who showed signs of having met a violent end prior to the apparent suicide. As well as discussing the history and apoc-alyptic beliefs of the MRTCG, in this article I focus particularly on the various theories that have been put forward to account for the murder-suicides. In doing so, I argue that although various facile similarities may be drawn between the MRTCG and other recent examples of "cult sui-cides," the MRTCG traversed a radically different "apocalyptic trajectory" prior to its denouement than its most obvious contemporaries. In par-ticular, I will highlight the role of internal factors within the MRTCG in precipitating the deaths.
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