Wyoming coroners ready for mass suicide of doomsday cults during eclipse

Wyoming coroners ready for mass suicide of doomsday cults during eclipse

CultureAugust 17, 2017 By Reilly Capps

Connie Jacobson, coroner in Casper, Wyoming, has a couple hundred body bags in the ready, in case any doomsday cults from Southeast Asia or elsewhere travel to her quiet town and commit mass suicide during the total solar eclipse.

This is a rumor Jacobson has heard, and which is floating around the emergency medical community of Wyoming: that a cult from abroad is on its way here to pull a Heaven's Gate or a Jonestown mass suicide when the moon travels between us and the sun and darkens the landscape.

To be clear: Jacobson does not believe these rumors. And there's no mention of them in the media. Jacobson is just saying that she's heard them, and that her office is always ready for disaster.

There's eclipse fever from Oregon to South Carolina. A man is searching Craigslist for a woman to impregnate during the depths of the darkness. (His dick will be aligned with the sun, he says.) Folks predict a collision with a planet, Nibiru, no one's seen. There's talk, even on NPR, that eclipses "open a portal." A portal to what, it doesn't quite say.

Wyoming is the least populated state. It's got twice as many cows as people. As the science geeks, mystics, stoners, families and occasional doomsday cultist from the rest of the world — especially nearby Colorado — pour in, overflowing the hotels and probably the toilets, rumors are swirling about the mayhem that the eclipse might bring.

The strangest was the rumor that the coroners in Wyoming have been buying more body bags to prepare for mass death.

These appear unfounded. Not only does Jacobson always have hundreds of body bags on hand, and not only does she not foresee mass death — "Hopefully it'll be just another day for us," Jacobson says — the coroner's office for nearby Platte County, which also sits in the path of totality, also says it hasn't bought any extra body bags, or ordered any extra staffing. 

Ross, who answers the phone at the Platte County coroner's office, said simply, "You guys in Colorado smoke too many drugs."