– What surprises you the most about this drama?
– It is a paradox or incongruity between the fear of survival in the face of any trial and the act of suicide. The basis of survivalism lies in the ontological idea that life has absolute value and that it must be saved by all means. We can see similarities between this affair and that of the Order of the Sun Temple, with survivalist beliefs eventually turning into apocalyptic visions and leading this family to tragedy.
– According to the police, the family was “very interested in conspiracy and survivalist theses”. Do survivalism and conspiracy always go hand in hand?
– Not necessary. First of all, it should be specified that survivalism represents a current, considering that disaster is imminent and that it is necessary to learn to survive. Different forms of survivalism are characterized by the nature of the future disaster, which may be political, economic, climatic or even divine in origin. Moreover, not all conspiracy worldviews believe that the collapse of the world is imminent.
However, some of these approaches believe that thwarting a conspiracy—such as eliminating the “deep state” in the QAnon approach—or the conspiracy itself will cause moments of profound crisis. What unites conspiracy discourse and survivalism is a negative worldview and a sense that “elites” and governments will not save us, and therefore withdrawal. Here we remind you that distrust of institutions and authorities is not enough to qualify a person as a conspirator.
– The family’s interest in these theories has been present “since the beginning of the pandemic”. Does that surprise you?
– The pandemic came as a surprise to a large part of the world’s population. Some interpreted this disaster as the result of a conspiracy. However, it was also a surprise for public authorities. The stuttering and contradictions of public administration are interpreted by some as many signs of various conspiracies (conspired by the deep state, the pharmaceutical industry or others).
>> Read also: “We don’t fall into a conspiracy, we become conspirators of our own free will”
In the case of the Montreux tragedy, family members who worked in a medical setting may have been particularly affected by the reality of a health crisis with an increased awareness of its problems and consequences. In addition, the pandemic had undeniable effects on forms of life and practices, especially religious and spiritual. It affected the ways of organization, the relationship to ritualism, the body and health, it affected the ways of socializing and relations with the state…
For example, a whole section of radical conspiracy theorists today profess the benefits of homeschooling. This is the case of Rémy Daillet, an ardent follower of conspiracy theories and suspected of having participated in the kidnapping of a minor in France (the Mia affair, found in Sainte-Croix (VD) a year ago. In this case, the Frenchman prosecuted is also suspected of coup attempts by the French courts, note. Against the backdrop of social criticism of official education and school curricula (accused of undermining human divinity, authoritarianism, etc.), he also published a more than 300-page book, School at Home: A Handbook. Finally, the pandemic and the various supply problems caused by it, but also in the current war in Ukraine has undoubtedly spurred certain survivalist projects.Indeed, our team has recently observed a shift between the topic of Covid-19 and current events in Ukraine in the conspiratorial sphere close to the QAnon theses, especially on the Telegram channel popular with conspiracy theorists.
>> Read also: QAnon: how Switzerland was infected by a conspiracy
– In which direction?
– The war in Ukraine is perceived from the point of view of further media manipulation, a pretext for establishing a new world order or weakening the “responsibility of governments for the damage caused by health measures”.
– Does the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” found on victims’ front doors sound convincing?
– This inscription on a wooden badge on the front door of the apartment is one of the elements around the family that contains a religious or spiritual reference that leads to certain hypotheses about the beliefs and value systems of this family. “Jesus is the reason for the season” suggests a Christian message, rather an evangelical one. It is the title of a 1996 song by American evangelical Christian gospel and hip-hop artist Kirk Franklin. It can also be an evangelical interpretation of a biblical verse.
However, all the elements that appeared in the press seem to indicate that the family followed a logic drawn from different symbolic universes, rather than anchored in a specific trend: systematic bathing at the same hour of the night (it could be ablution, a purification ritual), a distinctive clothing (green capes), use of incense, etc. It is even possible that a family has developed a system of belief and ceremony that is quite original and unique to it. We also noted the possibility of a situation of “control” within the family itself: one member in particular could exert psychological pressure or a harmful influence on the rest of the family, forcing them to observe practices or rituals and drawing them. into morbid behavior.