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Copy of Heaven's Gate Cult Presentation

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by

Mark Burke

on 28 November 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Heaven's Gate Cult Presentation

HEAVEN'S GATE
HISTORY
DEMOGRAPHICS
WHY IS IT ATTRACTIVE?
END/FUTURE OF HEAVEN'S GATE
CULT OR RELIGION?
QUESTIONS?
Adults over the age of 28
More than half in their 40's
Half women, half men
No children allowed
People with an interest in the internet

they reinforce one another's opinions
they fail to question or analyze ideas
members engage in consensus-seeking
Characteristics of a Cult
Suicides
Why is it attractive?
Cult members needed structure and guidance
Rigid lifestyle
Members told to harness energy into gaining entrance to "Next Level"
Members told how to sleep, how much to eat, how to conduct their day, how to avoid humanly distractions (ex. sexual thoughts)
Inclusiveness
Prior to indoctrination in the cult, members reported not feeling part of society
Cult became their family, community, work and passion
Filled a void in their lives and gave them a sense of purpose
BELIEFS
Earth is God's garden
The group was a "class" and with death they "graduated"
Do (Applewhite) = second coming of Jesus
Ti (Nettles) = God
Mary was taken up onto spacecraft and impregnated
After life on Earth, they will advance to the "Next Level"
Creator is constantly evolving with time
Hale Bopp comet = sign from Ti to leave Earth
RITUALS
Castration
Purge/Diet/Fasting
Ritual Suicide
Poisoned and asphyxiated themselves
3 days
Specific Attire
Identification and money
Moved onto next level
Marked the end of the cult on Earth
All but one member committed suicide
Souls passed onto the "Next Level"
Rio Diangelo
Last remaining member
Still a firm believer in Do and Heaven's Gate
Wanted to join the rest of the cult
Was asked to "stay behind"
Rio's Mission
Reason why he did not go to the Next Level
Spread the word of Do and Heaven's Gate
Stress that it was not a mass suicide
Necessary for the spirits to "pass on"
The "Last Chance"
Proclaimed by Do in his last video
For prospective members
Chance to join the "Away Team" would pass in late March
Thank you!
In the Future
Will cease to exist with the death of Rio Diangelo
"Membership Closed"
People may still believe, but cannot follow
Similar Groups
Cults with similar beliefs have arisen since Heaven's Gate
12/21/12 - Bugarach Mountain in France
Common themes - aliens, safety, another level
Possible Return?
Passing of other comets or other celestial events?
Hailey's Comet (2061)
Hale-Bopp (4380)
Perhaps followers will arise, but will not be true Heaven's Gate
Heaven's Gate is gone; idea will live on
Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles
Early 1970's: Marshall and Bonnie travel cross country
Book of Revelation: "two witnesses"
Believed they were "the two"
Philosophy: fusion of new ageism, science fiction and Christianity
Marshall = directly related to Jesus
Recruiting
Series of public meetings to recruit followers
Young people attended
Seeking spiritual meaning
"Higher Source": Internet Website Design Company
Front for cult's recruiting
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Strip themselves of all things human
No indulgence
Strong sense of community
Given new names
Class preparing for graduation
Leader = Marshall Applewhite
"Check Partners"
No independent thinking
Lived underground
"1 Suicide. 38 Murders?"
38 followers committed suicide over a span of three days
Goal: that their souls would be taken up by a spacecraft
Take their souls to the next level of existence above humanity
Authoritarian Leadership
Exclusiveness
Isolation
Opposed to Independent Thinking
Authoritarian Leadership
Excessive control
Cult member needs to submit
Exclusiveness
Only they have the truth
Applewhite
The only one who could communicate with Nettles after she died
The only one who could lead to
Members believed this was likely the only way to reach the next level
Isolation
Break away from parents and friends
They were rarely allowed family visits
Many of the members never visited family
Moved around to avoid being found out by parents and police
Isolation
"We would live 15 people in a house, and there were designated people that could go outside. And the same people were seen outside all the time. So it appeared as though there were just a few people living in the house. He had elaborate systems of security."

-Michael Conyers
Opposed to Independent Thinking
Marshall Applewhite told everyone how to think
Opposed to Independent Thinking
"Everything was designed to be followed with an exact duplicate. You were not to come up with, well, I'm going to make the pancakes this big, there was a mixture, a size, how long you cooked it on one side, how much the burner was on, how many each person got, how much syrup was poured on it..."
"Any thought other than what comes from your older members minds should not be allowed in."

-Michael Conyers
Heaven's Gate is a CULT
Authoritarian Leadership
Exclusiveness
Isolation
Oppossed to Independent Thinking
By: Mark Burke
Full transcript