A collective suicide occurs when a group of individuals (who may or may not know each other) take their own lives simultaneously in one place for common or no reason.
Collective suicides can occur in various contexts. In this way, for example, cases of mass suicides in religious contexts are incited ( induction to suicide ) by sects in which individuals come to think that definitive facts such as the End of the World (see Comet Hale-Bopp ), Or the transition to a better life involves death or detachment from the body (see Dualism ). Highlight the 1978 collective suicide called the Jonestown Tragedy .
Another type of suicide is given lately by the mere fact of dying in a group. This is a growing trend in 21st century Japan, in which dozens of individuals come together to commit suicide (commonly with carbon monoxide ) without specifying motives, but as one more activity. The security forces of Japan have dismantled multiple operations carried out through web portals and forums created for this sole purpose.
In the past suicides were given by honor, or to avoid major consequences (prolonged tortures, submission, …). On several occasions, groups defeated in battle have preferred collective suicide to surrender and capture (eg Numancia ). There have also been cases of suicide pacts for loving reasons or as a form of political protest.
Some anthropologists and sociologists, such as I. Zente (1989), argue that Collective Suicide arises in the western society, product of the growing fear of the death of the people. The individual fears dying in solitude, and the product of a conscious process but influenced by unconscious forces, decides to end his life together with a group of people.