“The Cat’s In The Bag”
The Hello Kitty brand rose to greater prominence in the late 1990s when many popular celebrities, such as Mariah Carey, began to adopt Hello Kitty as a fashion statement. As sales rose, Hello Kitty fell deeper into depression. Japanese franchise icon newcomer and rising star, Pikachu, revealed that during a cocktail reception at a trade expo in Düsseldorf Germany, Hello Kitty confessed to him that despite the money and fame, she felt hollow inside and desired something else. On June 29, 1999 during a signing at the Virgin Records mega store in Union Square NY, Hello Kitty met James Euringer, leader of the New York City based religious cult, Polaris Temple. James had convinced Hello Kitty that the path to happiness lay with his people, the renouncement of worldly attachments, and unfaltering faith in the Alruccabah star, whose fixed position “serves as a beacon of hope to those who wander lost in the darkness of mankind”. The following week, Hello Kitty sold her Sanrio stocks and emptied her bank accounts. She gave a cashiers check for the total sum of all of her assets, along with the deeds to her various homes, to James Euringer. By the middle of July, Hello Kitty had cut all ties with her company and any outside friends or relations. The last person to hear from her was her bookie and on-again/off-again lover, Nick “The Fish” Mintz. He had received from her a note, which simply read, “I’m happy now.” On February 12, 2000 FBI raided the Polaris Temple’s compound in Yonkers NY, after an anonymous videotape was received in the mail by a local NBC new affiliate. The tape featured James Euringer claiming that “There was no longer any solace to be found on this island, Earth. It is time for something new. We are going over the stars”. Hello Kitty’s body was found along with 27 others, all of whom had plastic bags over their heads and tied at the neck. The investigation determined the deaths to be a cult mass suicide. James Euringer’s body, however, was not found among those of his followers. He is currently wanted by the FBI and was last sighted in Venice Italy.