Atma Energy Release Training Center

The Training Center for the release of energy Atma (German: Trainingszentrum Freisetzung der zur Atmaenergie 1 ), better known as sect Heide Fittkau , was a group sectarian mainly active in Tenerife ( Spain ) and Germany . It is known mainly for the suspicion of trying to commit a ritual suicide in the Teide National Park in Tenerife. 2 The media called it “the Heide sect” in honor of its founder, 3 4 name by which it is best known today.

Although initially believed to be a split from the Order of the Solar Temple , 5 6 later it was found to be a split from the Brahma Kumaris group . 7 8

The group believed in the end of the world and that a spaceship would rescue them. 1 7 However, according to the scholar of religion Georg Schmid 9 and the sociologist Massimo Introvigne , 10 did not intend to commit suicide collectively. 1 11


The sect was founded by a German psychologist Heide Fittkau citizen called Garthe, who on 15 August as as 1994 sold all its assets and settled in Tenerife.

The day 8 of January of 1998 , Heide Fittkau Garthe, according to the initial suspicion, attempted suicide with his followers in Las Canadas del Teide , an act that was aborted after a police raid on the premises that the sect had in Santa Cruz de Tenerife . 5

According to the Spanish and German police, the group would make a similar sacrifice that made the Order of the Solar Temple (OTS) on 4 of October of 1994 in Cheiry and Salvan , December two villages in Switzerland . On that occasion, the first of a series of collective suicides, 48 ​​adherents of the Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple took their lives to anticipate the final cataclysm. Moreover, just three years later in 1997 the sect Heaven’s Gate ( “Puerta del Cielo” ), also made a ritual suicide in San Diego ( California ), these events alerted police about the sect of Heide.

At the time of the arrest of the Heide sect, the sectarians were celebrating their farewell dinner. Heide Fittkau Garthe was worshiped by his faithful as Mother Aida and had been preparing for the feast for many months: “Our last supper on planet Earth will be in Tenerife,” he said. 12

One of the policemen involved in the operation went on to say: “They had not left anything to improvisation, they were all dressed in loose tunics, they were barefoot and they heard a very soft music, like meditation, they had huge casseroles full of vegetarian food.” 12 At the door, in addition to the four cars owned by the psychologist, there were other vehicles hired to travel to Teide . There, a spacecraft had to collect its spirits and move them to an unknown planet. 12 They believed that the spacecraft would rescue them from the supposed end of the world. 1 If not, they were suspected of committing collective suicide. 7

The sopechas, however, could not be verified. 2 November in the news almost acquittal Fittkau-Garthe was not mentioned. 13


According to Angela Gabriela, a former member of the sect, the culmination of rituals was the “ring of love”. This consisted in practicing enormous orgies, even with minors and members of the same family. 14

In the sect there were two minors, a twelve-year-old boy and a girl of eight, apparently the sect believed that when the eight-year-old girl was sixteen, she would beget Jesus . In an orgy she would be impregnated by one of the men of the sect and no one would know who was to be the father of the child. 14

Heide the sectarian leader had mentioned: “The axis of the earth will explode and neither Europe nor Munich nor Mongolia will remain. It will be the 8 of January in Tenerife, to the 8 pm We have to plan together the final days”. 12

Apparently the 32 members of the sect believed that suicide after their souls would be collected by a spacecraft and taken to an unspecified destination. However, recent articles from Tenerife News and Diario de Avisos put this in doubt, claiming that there was no intention of committing suicide on the part of the group. 15 2 The journalist and expert on sects Pepe Rodriguez does not believe that the group intended to kill himself but “the evidence points in that direction should not have been interpreted literally but as something symbolic.” 16


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d Schmid, Georg; Eggenberger, Oswald (2003). Kirchen, Sekten, Religionen: religiöse Gemeinschaften, weltanschauliche Gruppierungen und Psycho-Organisationen im deutschen Sprachraum; Ein Handbuch (in German) . Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zurich. P. 269. ISBN  3-290-17215-5 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b c Collective suicide with fruit juice Diario de Avisos , 04/21/2004
  3. Back to top↑ The Galayo Case
  4. Back to top↑ “This story did not deserve to end up forgotten in a drawer”
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b Police frustrates the collective suicide of the 33 members of a sect in Tenerife (La Vanguardia, January 9, 1998)
  6. Back to top↑ Switzerland closes the case of the killing of the Solar Temple
  7. ↑ Jump to:a b c Usher Rod Near-Death Experience , Time , January 19, 1998 Vol. 151 No. 3 Archived from the original on May 22, 2011
  8. Back to top^ Richardson, James T. (2004). Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe (in English) . New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. P. 157. ISBN  978-0-306-47887-1 . “The case refers to the Atman Foundation (originally a splinter group from the Brahma Kumaris) and made international headlines on January 8, 1998 when it was announced that the Canary Islands police had prevented a mass suicide of” a branch of the Solar Temple ” He is the author of a book entitled “The Atman Foundation”, which was published in the early 1990s, and was published in the early 1990s. But, according to a family of disgruntled German ex-members, may be “just as bad”. Police investigations in Germany failed to detect any evidence that the Foundation was preparing a mass suicide. However, the accusation is maintained in Spain at the time of this writing, together with some others, although no trial has been scheduled. “
  9. Back to top↑ Georg Schmid (Religionswissenschaftler)
  10. Back to top↑ in: Massimo Introvigne
  11. ↑ Jump to:a b Introvigne, Massimo. “Atman Foundation: No Evidence of Attempted Suicide Mass” (in English) . Consulted on September 6, 2015 .
  12. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e The leader of the sect of Tenerife raised 300 million among its faithful El País, January 18, 1998
  13. Back to top↑ Palmer, Susan (2011). The new heretics of France (in English) . Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. P. 54. ISBN  978-0-19-973521-1 . “Fittkau-Garthe’s acquittal was barely mentioned in the news.”
  14. ↑ Jump to:a b Heide Fittkau and the “ring of love” La Opinión de Tenerife
  15. Back to top↑ Beam them up, Heidi – Remembering the Las Canadas suicide sect scare , Tenerife News Online, Retrieved, 2007-10-13
  16. Back to top↑ Bean, Pili. «Course on sects and crime for Police and Civil Guard» . Police Magazine 126 . ISSN  0213-4012 . Retrieved on October 3, 2015 . Online in the blog of Manuel Carballal .