Sacred Texts  Esoteric & Occult   Mysteries
Buy CD-ROM   Buy Books about UFOs
Index  Previous  Next 

Heaven's Gate (Part 2)

                               ณ  ณ
                               ณ  ณ
                  บ   T R U S T   N O   O N E   บ
                               ณ  ณ
                               ณ  ณ
                             /      \               //======//
       ===\\                /        \             //     //
           \\              /          \           //====//
          ==\\            +------------+              ///
 Things to beware of in 1997:
 Charlatan prophets, fakir diviners, cults of personality, and the
 general insanity of the approaching millenial madness!
 `Task completed': Cult members hoped for cosmic rendezvous
 March 28, 1997 7:40 a.m. EST
 RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (AP) -- Among the 39 New
 Age cult members who killed themselves en masse
 was a former college music teacher who as far back
 as 20 years ago was preaching a bizarre mix of
 Scripture and UFOs.
 Marshall Applewhite, 66, was identified today as
 authorities wrestled with a dizzying onslaught of
 information about the Heaven's Gate cult from
 multiple sources -- the Internet, states from
 Michigan to New Mexico and calls from relatives of
 the victims.
 Investigators believe the 21 women and 18 men
 drank a lethal mixture of phenobarbital and vodka
 and then settled back to die at the cult's
 palatial home near San Diego.
 The victims apparently believed their deaths would
 lead to a rendezvous with a UFO trailing the
 Hale-Bopp comet, which passed closest to Earth
 last weekend. The group had posted a statement on
 its World Wide Web site that said, ``Hale-Bopp's
 approach is the `marker' we've been waiting for.
 We are happily prepared to leave `this world.'''
 Even more answers may be contained in a tome
 published by the New Age cult last year.
 A strange blend of Christianity and outer space
 similar to Applewhite's former proselytizing is
 weaved throughout the 4-inch-thick book, parts of
 which were posted on the group's web site,
 Heaven's Gate.
 The book contains ``exit statements'' that
 resemble suicide notes.
 ``Survival requires that you allow nothing of this
 human existence to tie you here,'' wrote one cult
 member, identified only as Anlody.
 ``No wealth, no position, no prestige, no family,
 no physical pleasure, and no religion spouting to
 hang on to any of the above will enable you to
 survive. They are only entrapments.''
 A cult leader identified online only as ``Do,''
 said, ``We take the prize, I guess, of being the
 cult of cults.''
 Do could be Applewhite, who along with a colleague
 named Bonnie Lu Trusdale Nettles persuaded
 hundreds of people in California, Colorado, New
 Mexico and Oregon to leave their families and
 belongings behind and join them in 1975.
 They were known then as the ``UFO Cult,'' and
 Applewhite and Nettles referred to themselves then
 as ``The Two.'' The Heaven's Gate web site refers
 to its founders as ``The Two'' and said they began
 ``rounding up their crew in '75.''
 A leader -- apparently Nettles -- is called ``Ti''
 in the Heaven's Gate writings. Members write as if
 she died a few years ago; Nettles died in 1985.
 The group had mailed out videos in which their
 leader described the hoped-for space encounter.
 Members came before the camera two at a time, side
 by side, to say their last goodbyes.
 One of the videos shows triple images of a bald,
 elderly man in a black, collar-less shirt on a
 white plastic patio chair who apparently is
 beckoning followers to leave the Earth.
 ``I can be your shepherd,'' the man says. ``You
 can follow us but you cannot stay here and follow
 us. You would have to follow quickly by also
 leaving this world before the conclusion of our
 leaving this atmosphere in preparation for its
 That man -- who also goes by the name ``Do'' -- is
 presumably Applewhite.
 Among those saying farewell on a video is a woman
 with short cropped hair seated next to a younger
 man with a buzz haircut who sat stiffly and
 occasionally fidgeted.
 ``Maybe they're crazy for all I know but I don't
 have any choice but to go for it because I've been
 on this planet for 31 years and there's nothing
 here for me,'' the woman said.
 ``A lot of it was real and not very scripted. It
 was very self-evident that they were winging it,''
 said Nick Matzorkis, who went with a former cult
 member to the mansion and discovered the bodies
 after viewing the videos and a farewell letter
 cult members had sent by Federal Express.
 ``By the time you read this, we suspect that the
 human bodies we were wearing have been found, and
 that a flurry of fragmented reports have begun to
 hit the wire services,'' the letter said.
 ``We'll be gone -- several dozen of us. We came
 from the Level Above Human in distant space and we
 have now exited the bodies that we were wearing
 for our earthly task, to return to the world from
 whence we came -- task completed,'' the letter
 Matzorkis, president of Interact Entertainment
 Group in Beverly Hills, said a cult member told
 him several months ago that a space ship following
 the comet was coming to pick them up.
 ``They did not say they were going to commit
 suicide, but they did indicate to me that they
 would be leaving the planet,'' Matzorkis said.
 The suicides took place over at least three days,
 authorities said at an extraordinary news
 conference Thursday that included a brief
 videotaped tour of the immaculate home.
 The video shows corpses clad in identical black
 clothing and Nike shoes, all neatly laid out on
 mattresses, some with eyeglasses near the bodies.
 All were covered with purple, triangular-shaped
 shoulder patches bearing the Heaven's Gate name,
 although some hands peeked out.
 In their pockets were IDs, $5 bills and quarters.
 The victims, 26 to 72 years old with driver's
 licenses from nine states, apparently died in
 shifts over three days -- 15, then 15 more and
 then the final nine. Investigators said some may
 have died with plastic bags over their heads as
 the drugs and alcohol eventually stopped their
 ``Who or what would make 39 people take their life
 in this manner?'' asked Sheriff Bill Kolender.
 ``While at the scene last night, I told myself
 that the question cannot be answered in terms, I
 think, that the rest of us will ever understand.''
 The cult ran a business at the home called Higher
 Source that built web sites for businesses.
 Ranging in age from 20 to 72, the members were by
 all accounts efficient as a company, puritanical
 as individuals.
 They called each other brother and sister, dressed
 alike and wore buzz haircuts. But their beliefs
 were odd by any standard; modern civilization,
 wrote a student identified online only as Smmody,
 ``seems ready to be recycled.''
 A self-described prophetic minister from New
 Mexico, the Rev. Mike Dew, recalled meeting a
 Heaven's Gate leader eight months ago.
 ``They're preying on weak Christians,'' said Dew,
 of the Prophetic Voices of the Wilderness in
 Mountainair, N.M. ``They're portraying themselves
 as ascended masters or a `Higher Source.' They'll
 use the terms `Jesus' and `God,' but not in the
 traditional way. If you're not careful, you'll
 miss what they're doing.''
 By Scott Lindlaw

Next: Heaven's Gate (Part 3)