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Heaven's Gate leader 'Do'
On March 22, 1997, almost the entire body of adherents to Heaven's Gate committed near-simultaneous suicide. They died in their mansion in a California suburb outside of San Diego by voluntarily ingesting large amounts of painkillers in applesauce. The last two left suffocated themselves. Heaven's Gate left behind 39 corpses and extensive documentation as to their beliefs--that they were disembodied extraterrestrials waiting for a mothership to take them home and the planet Earth was about to be 'recycled'. Their practices included communal living, taking new names ending in 'ody', and mortification of the body (particularly abstention from sex and intoxicants, close cropped hair, unisex outfits and male castration).

Hale Bopp 'UFO' photo
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Why did this small and 'mostly harmless' group end up becoming one of the most famous mass suicides in US history? They had a history of millennial predictions (it was the late 90s, after all) and media stunts. Like many inward-facing spiritual groups, they lived simple lives in an authoritarian commune. On multiple occasions, their leader 'Do' had predicted that they would be picked up by a UFO, and each time they had been disappointed. When a photo of comet Hale-Bopp with some background stars was interpreted by the UFO underground as having an accompanying spaceship in it, this opportunity seemed too good to miss by the Heaven's Gate adherents.

'Mission Patch'
This group is worth studying, if only because it is one of those rare opportunities to view the evolution of a belief system before it had a chance to start revising its own early history. We have a large volume of unedited documents from the earliest to the final days of Heaven's Gate, transcribed by the group's adherents in electronic form. They never got to the difficult stage that most religions go through when faced with having to sort out (and edit) their early texts. Of course, this is due to the fact that the group didn't believe in procreation and ended up self-destructing in a spectacular fashion.

Why include this material at this site? We certainly don't condone their tragic mass suicide. It is painful to watch these people, all of whom had families and potential futures, talk themselves into believing that it was completely rational to commit suicide. Of course, this is not the first time this has happened in the name of religion; for instance, the founder of Jainism starved himself to death. However, while this site's 'prime directive' is religious tolerance, we also believe in people making informed choices when it comes to matters of belief. It is worth noting that there are many similar groups out there, and perhaps looking at this particular example may help keep someone else from stepping into the void.

Note on copyrights. These materials, in particular the Anthology, are covered by copyrights. By explicit release, they are available for unaltered, non-commercial reproduction. How to obtain commercial clearance for these texts is unknown and sacred-texts can't assist in this.


How and When "Heaven's Gate" May Be Entered
This is an anthology of all of the group's official writings, reproduced without alteration.

Older Classroom Materials

Anonymous Sexaholics Celibate Church Statement of Beliefs
Anonymous Sexaholics Celibate Church Introduction and Ways
Prospective Candidate Letter
Preparing For Service
Ruffles "Snacks for Thinkers"

Newsgroups Postings

A time to die for God?
"Thanks for Actions Against CAN"
The Jews and Christians Promote Lies-Unknowingly

Misc. Documents

"During a brief window of time, some may wish to follow us."
What if they're right?


Last Chance to Evacuate Earth Before It's Recycled
Planet About To Be Recycled - Your Only Chance To Survive - Leave With Us