‘Antares de la Luz’s Doomsday Cult’ Explained: What Happened To Pablo Undurraga & Natalia?


Netflix has brought out another documentary film concerning a devilish cult, this time from Chile, covering the bizarre incidents that shocked the Latin American country back in 2012. The Doomsday Cult of Antares de la Luz follows the rise and eventual downfall of the leader known as Antares de la Luz, literally meaning Antares of the Light, through interviews of various former members and close associates, along with police personnel and lawyers who were linked with the case. Overall, The Doomsday Cult of Antares de la Luz makes for an intriguing and chilling watch for those looking for such documentary works.

Who was Antares de la Luz?

While the Netflix documentary film The Doomsday Cult of Antares de la Luz begins from the moment the police find out about the horrific acts of the cult, which led to its eventual downfall, it is better to first look into the character at the center of it all. Ramon Castillo Gaete hailed from the Penalolen commune in Chile and did not really have anything unusual or extraordinary about him. Gaete mostly worked as a teacher for young children in a nearby village and was quite well-known in his community for having strong social and political interests. He was also skilled in playing musical instruments like the clarinet and saxophone, which led him to become a member of a band named Amaru, along with a few university friends. Since his childhood, Gaete used to suffer from an unexplainable pain in his body at times, which would apparently grip hold of his entire life and make him immobile whenever the pain struck. 

In order to get rid of the pain, the man had tried ayahuasca once, which apparently helped him deal with the suffering a great deal, and this made Gaete prone to taking ayahuasca again when the pain returned. A brew made out of various leaves and parts of trees found in the local forests, ayahuasca is quite well known as a psychotropic drug, although indigenous people in many parts of Latin America use it as medicine. It was the repeated use of ayahuasca a number of times that got to Gaete’s head, making him believe that he was someone special or that he wanted to do something different in life. Around this time, the man dropped his official name and asked everyone to call him Antares de la Luz as he compared himself to the brightest star in the Scorpio constellation, Antares. As a student of pedagogy at the university, he gained a vast amount of knowledge and interest in the American spiritualist writer Carlos Castaneda and the Mayan civilization.

When Antares first wanted to spread his knowledge to help people around him, he was more concerned about awakening the spiritual senses in individuals and making them more aware of their surroundings. As all of this was taking place in the first decade of the 2000s, the world was rapidly changing in various ways, and many of these changes were quite palpable. The environment was greatly affected by the many years of misuse by human beings, and then global terrorism was also on the rise, which were all topics greatly discussed in the media during the time. Antares initially started helping his friends and a few close ones with different techniques of meditation and self-awareness, which he claimed to be his main forte. His first few followers were his very friends, who all started to feel the effects of the man’s words on them, and they gradually promoted him as a spiritual leader to their acquaintances. In this manner, Antares gained quite a few followers within a short time, which was also enabled by his charming looks and personality. He and his friends also targeted individuals interested in the hippie movement and those looking for lessons in spirituality and made them join his group.

Antares’ best friend at the time, Pablo Undurraga, became his biggest follower and fan within a short while, and it was through an experience Pablo had that Antares took the next step. By now, the use of ayahuasca had become a common practice during the sessions conducted by the man, and during one such drugged moment, Pablo imagined his best friend to be larger-than-life, almost like Jesus Christ himself. He eventually revealed this to Antares, and out of sheer conviction, he asked him whether he was God. Antares saw this as the opportunity to truly elevate himself, and he clearly stated that he was indeed an incarnation of God, but unlike the previous incarnations, like Jesus, Buddha, or Krishna, his intention was not to teach this time. Instead, Antares claimed, he had to get rid of the darkness that gripped the world at the time.

This incident finally put Antares on a pedestal among his followers, and it also allowed him to exert control over his folks, who had genuinely started to believe that he was an incarnation of God. He asked to move into Pablo’s apartment in the city, which meant that the latter had to move his son away from the place and also sever ties with him. From there, Antares again shifted the base after a few months, claiming that there was a better house with more positive energy and aura in it for his group to be based in. Unnatural rules were also implemented for the followers, like getting rid of most earthly possessions, shaving off their heads, and not making new contacts with people outside of the group. Antares had clearly established a cult, and the purpose of his followers was to serve him personally since he never did any work of his own. Along with the servitude, the followers were also tasked with the main belief of the cult—they were told that the world would genuinely end on December 21, 2012, as per the Mayan calendar, and they were to keep the gods happy till this time through various sacrifices and rituals.

Why did Antares’ followers finally turn against him?

Although Antares de la Luz started performing and demanding some extremely problematic acts, his followers considered all of it a part of the religious effort they had to make together. While staying at Pablo’s apartment, Antares put his cat inside a box and then threw it into a canal, killing it treacherously, only because it was pregnant and the cult leader suspected that the Antichrist could be born in the form of kittens. He also started controlling every aspect of the followers’ lives, setting rules for almost everything they did. The twelve men and women who stayed on as his followers were often made to strip naked and participate in a tradition in which they would be heavily beaten up by Antares. All of this was supposed to make doomsday come true and grant them salvation after their deaths. While the followers were not allowed to make any new relationships outside the cult, some of them were already couples from before and had joined the group in pairs.

In a vile show of his lecherous behavior, Antares broke up these pairs and made pairs of his own while he possibly kept getting physically intimate with each of the female followers. Similarly, he announced one day that Pablo and his girlfriend Natalia should break up, and while Pablo was told to be with another woman in the cult, Antares stated that Natalia should be with him, according to the prophecies he could read. As shocking as this claim was, none of the followers questioned their leader, and the switch was made. Several months later, Natalia became pregnant, and it was certain that the child belonged to Antares. The cult leader was quite shocked by this development, as he claimed to believe that he would never bear any children. If Antares was actually pretending to have most of his spirituality and faking through his claims only to have his followers serve him, which mostly seems to have been the case, then a child would pose a major problem for him. He knew that raising a child in a small cult would be extremely difficult, and if they were released to the outside world, they would definitely bring the world’s attention to his unlawful acts. Therefore, Antares had to get rid of the child in any way, and so he started to claim that the baby inside Natalia was probably Satan, about to be born only to kill the spiritual leader.

At this time, Antares also made a claim that the child would be born in December, ten months after being conceived, after he changed his original theory, and now he sees the child as his special gift to the world. But Natalia’s body obviously could not work against the laws of nature, and the baby was ready to be born in November itself, posing troubles for the cult. Antares tried multiple efforts to have the baby born in his shelters by his very followers, without any medical aid whatsoever, but there was no chance to do so without killing the baby and the mother. As a result, Natalia was rushed to a nearby hospital by only the followers, while Antares remained hidden, and she then returned to the cult a few days after giving birth. Antares once again returned to his original claim that the baby boy was pure evil and an incarnation of the Devil, and this is when he committed his most heinous crime.

Just three days after the birth of the baby boy, Antares killed him and threw him inside a fire pit so that no trace of his misdeeds could remain, claiming to his followers that it was a necessary step to destroy evil. Although the followers were very shocked and saddened by this strange act, they still decided to believe in him and remained loyal to his cause. However, the followers finally turned sometime later, in 2012, when the world was clearly not destroyed on December 21, and life continued as usual. Antares claimed that the doomsday had been postponed, and they had to shift to Ecuador in order to prepare for it, but many of his followers were disillusioned by then. Almost all of them had already borrowed and loaned too much and had even supported their leader’s bizarre claims, only believing that the world would end in 2012. Thus, they could no longer believe the man after this major turn, and it was then that Pablo and Natalia quit the cult, running away from the base and moving to a nearby city.

What happened to Antares and his cult members?

As soon as the illusion of doomsday broke, Pablo and Natalia also realized the many wrongs that Antares had committed throughout the last few years, including the murder of a baby. They were the ones who first reported the man to the authorities, and Chilean police started investigating the matter. It did not take them very long to find clues and evidence supporting the claims made by the couple, including the remains of a baby boy inside a pit. When the bizarre incident started getting covered by the media, Antares’ cult truly broke apart, and the man quickly escaped to Peru. The rest of the cult members were also soon arrested, and Pablo and Natalia also turned themselves in willingly to be punished as accomplices in the crimes of their cult leader. Antares remained missing for a few months, and in May of 2013, he finally committed suicide in Peru, ending his life after finding no means of escape.

The followers of the dangerous cult, who had now realized the horrible things that they had witnessed, were understandably frustrated that the main perpetrator could not be caught. When a court trial began regarding the matter, psychiatrists and mental health experts asked for the ex-cult members to be released without any criminal proceedings. According to them, the individuals had been terribly brainwashed and made to believe in utter lies, and psychological examinations conducted on them also revealed that they could not be considered totally fit. The authorities, on the other hand, could not let co-perpetrators of the murder of a baby walk away without any repercussions. Ultimately, Pablo and Natalia were both sentenced to three years and five years in prison, respectively, but they have both been released after two years of prison time on parole. The other cult members were also given some prison sentences, all of which were served under probation. The men and women who were once part of a dangerous doomsday cult are now still receiving help in getting reintegrated into society. 

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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