Inside Story: Heaven’s Gate

Inside Story: Heaven’s Gate

94 minutes 7.5/10 based on 8 votes

This documentary investigates an incident in 1997, where thirty-nine members of the San Diego-based cult “Heaven’s Gate” committed mass suicide. They intended to reach an alien spacecraft which they believed to be following Comet Hale-Bopp, which was at that time brightly visible in the nighttime sky.

Heaven’s Gate was founded and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1928–1985).

Heaven’s Gate members believed that the planet Earth was about to be recycled (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished and rejuvenated), and that the only chance to survive was to leave it immediately. While the group was formally against suicide, they defined “suicide” in their own context to mean “to turn against the Next Level when it is being offered,” and believed that their “human” bodies were only vessels meant to help them on their journey. In conversation, when referring to a person or a person’s body, they routinely used the word “vehicle”.

To catch a glimpse of their recruitment videos, continue to episode 2 in this post.

GD Star Rating
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Rating: 7.5/10 based on 8 votes

Discuss This Documentary

  • bob

    how could anyone be some dumb to believe this guy. Hes boring as fuck too.

    • lambchowder

      hes not a video game…

  • steph

    What gets to me is that the fundamental beliefs of this cult are really not any more farfetched or improbable than the beliefs of any “modern” religion. This whole event can be seen as a [if somewhat exaggerated] lesson about taking/allowing others to build their lives are irrational beliefs. Religious fervour isn’t unlike mania… ALL forms of religious fervour.

  • steph

    What gets to me is that the fundamental beliefs of this cult are really not any more farfetched or improbable than the beliefs of any “modern” religion. This whole event can be seen as a [if somewhat exaggerated] lesson about building/allowing others to build their lives around irrational beliefs. Religious fervour isn’t unlike mania… ALL forms of religious fervour.

    • Gum_ball_death

      SO TRUE!!!!!!

    • lambchowder

      The word is “mainstream” and of course they are. A heaven that only admits people before a nearly arbitrary date preceding the millennium by four years and the only notice God gives is an elderly man with Michelle Bachmann eyes? Furthermore any such lesson is unwarranted as the core of religious belief isn’t unreasonable, and the mainstay of the religious rank and file has healthy humility rather than unhealthy cynicism. You just haven’t bothered to reason it out fully, preferring the self-congratulatory, cutting edge secular answers, and the illusory comfort of on Occam’s razor because they allow you to crown yourself A Very Serious Person Indeed and minimize the feeling of uncertainty in the exact same way religion does. A spontaneously generated Universe is less convincing than a telic one for a number of reasons. After Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins, Dennett et al, divine revelation has made up much lost ground. Love is a form of mania. It’s healthy and fruitful. Ditch the prejudice.

  • nyk666

    A strict hands on cult formed by a self hating homosexual…Only in America!!!

    • lambchowder

      This could easily have happened in France or China or Japan, for example.

  • iamsam

    good2cthatweeallconveel

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