Heide (sect)

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Heide is a sectarian group active mainly in Tenerife (Spain) and Germany. This sect is a splinter of the Order of the Solar Temple[1][2] and is known for an abortive attempt to commit ritual suicide in the Teide National Park in Tenerife. It seems that the sect had no official name, although it was referred to as "Heide" in honor of its founder.


It was founded by a German psychologist Heide Fittkau Garthe, who on August 15, 1994 he sold all her assets and moved to Tenerife.

On January 8, 1998, Heide Fittkau Garthe attempted suicide with her followers in the Teide, an act that was aborted after a police raid on the premises that the sect had in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.[1]

According to Spanish and German police, the group was going to perform a sacrifice similar to that performed the Order of the Solar Temple on October 4, 1994 in Cheiry and Salvan, two villages in Switzerland.[3] On that occasion, the first of a series of suicides, 48 followers of the Order of the Solar Temple committed suicide to preempt the final cataclysm. The Order of the Solar Temple is still active in Tenerife, in fact its founder Luc Jouret lectured on the island in 1984,[4] including the leader of the Order of the Solar Temple in Spain lived in the south of Tenerife.[5] Moreover, just three years later, the Heaven's Gate cult, also committed ritual suicide in San Diego, California, these events alerted police about the sect of Heide.

At the time of the arrest of the sect Heide, cultists were celebrating their farewell dinner. Heide Fittkau was worshiped by his followers as "Mother Aida" and had spent many months preparing for the celebration: "Our last dinner on planet Earth will be in Tenerife ", he said.[3]

One of the officers who took part in the operation came to tell: "They had not left anything to chance. All wore wide tunics, were barefoot and listened very soft music, like meditation. Had a huge pans full of vegetarian food".[3] At the gate, plus four cars owned by the psychologist, had other hired vehicles to move to Teide. There, a spacecraft must collect their spirits and move them to an unknown planet.[3]


According to Angela Gabriela a former member of the sect, the highlight of the ritual was the "love ring". This practice consisted of huge orgies, even minor members of the same family.[6]

In the sect had two children, a boy of twelve and a girl of eight, apparently the sect believed that when the eight-year-old girl had sixteen years beget Jesus. In an orgy she would be impregnated by one of the men of the sect and nobody would know who was to be the child's father.[6]

Apparently the 32 members of the sect believed that after suicide their souls would be collected by a spacecraft and taken to an unspecified destination. However, more recent articles in Tenerife News and Diario de Avisos doubt this, saying there was no intention to commit suicide by the group.[7][8]


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