Despite the sun not flaring, planets not aligning and asteroids not hitting Earth, no mass suicides occurred on Friday as feared by national authorities. Credit goes to local and national leaders for taking steps to prevent the feared mass suicides.
In France, the mayor closed all sites to Bugarach Mountain days before Dec 21 to ensure there would be no mass suicides. Similar action was taken by Argentinean authorities for a mountain popular with UFO watchers after rumours spread of planned mass suicides in the site.
To avert potential mass suicides, Chinese police arrested about 1,000 people who were accused of spreading rumours about Dec 21 which caused panic buying of candles and hoarding of basic goods.
Although recent history has recorded several instances of mass cult suicides, not all causes were due to failed doomsday prediction. Some were done as a sign of protest or to avoid dishonor.
Such was the case in the 14th century for the female mass suicides in the Rajput kingdoms during the Mughal times so the women could avoid capture and molestation at the hands of enemy invaders. No less than the queen of Chittor, Rani Padmini, led all the royal women and their children to jump into a bonfire as a way of protection from the lustful solders of the Sultan of Delhi.
In Vietnam, Thich Quang Duc immolated himself in 1963 at a busy Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) to protest the persecution of Buddhist by the South Vietnam government. Other Buddhist monks followed Thich Quang Duc's example due to a belief among Buddhist that self-immolation spreads the light of the Dharma and opened the eyes of those around them.
The top 3 most notorious cult suicides are listed by Brainz.org as follows:
3. Branch Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists in Waco, Texas - 1994
The incident was preceded by the announcement of a Seventh-Day Adventist official, Florence Houteff, announcement of the Second Coming of Jesus. The failure of her prophecy caused a prominent leader named Vernon Howell (who eventually was renamed David Koresh), establishing a branch with the claim that he had the responsibility and authorization of prophesy and reproduce the House of David.
Allegations of illegal firearm ownership and child abuse led authorities to obtain a search warrant on the premises which was met by barricades and gunfire. After several days of standoff, the FBI tried to corner Koresh's followers with tear gas to avert mass suicides, but in the process killed 80 people.
2. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda
The cult is an apocalyptic Catholic offshoot established in the 1980s following an alleged vision of the Virgin Mary, asking members to strictly obey the Ten Commandment. On Judgment Day, the vision failed to unfold, which prompted the cult leaders to predict a second doomsday. Its 1,000 members were invited to celebrate their forthcoming salvation in the small village of Kanunga, done through self-immolation and poisoning.
1.People's Temple Jonestown Massacre in Guyana
The cult was established in the 1950s with the aim of practicing Apostolic Socialism. In the 1970s, a Caribbean missionary post opened Guyana, led by Jim Jones. With a messianic complex, Jones used mind-control strategies to brainwash sect members, including the use of torture as a form of discipline and sexual control over women and children.
Amid an investigation into the cult led by American Congressman Leo Ryan who eventually disappeared, Jones led his 912 followers in preserving the temple by poisoning themselves, in what was later described as the largest mass suicide in modern history.
Fortunately, despite the buzz created over the Mayan prophecy, lives were spared as most people viewed the event with skepticism and opted either to ignore the doomsday forecast and live their lives normally or to party the night away.