In the Reign of Fire

Once again, mass death in an apocalyptic sect. This time, it was murder

As a lecturer in Canada, France and Switzerland, Luc Jouret, a 46-year-old homeopathic physician and spiritual explorer, expounded New Age theories of child rearing and nutrition. But there were occasions when his audiences got a glimpse of a different Jouret, the would-be messiah who warned that the world would end soon in a convergence of environmental disasters and that only a select few would survive. Jouret liked to talk about the transformative power of fire: "We are in the reign of fire," he said on Swiss radio in 1987. "Everything is being consumed."

Last week Jouret's words seemed to hang in...

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