So you've decided to join Heaven's Gate. Why not learn all you need to know about the organization from the founder himself, Marshall Applewhite
Curated by The Sadnesses
Total Runtime: 1:33:41
Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religion based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was at its brightest.
According to Jacques Vallée in his 1979 book Messengers of Deception, the group began in the early 1970s when Marshall Applewhite was recovering from a heart attack during which he claimed to have had a near-death experience. He came to believe that he and his nurse, Bonnie Nettles, were "the Two", that is, the two witnesses spoken of in the Book of Revelation 11:3 in the Bible. After a brief and unsuccessful attempt to run an inspirational bookstore, they began traveling around the United States of America giving talks about their belief system. As with some other New Age faiths they combined Christian doctrine (particularly the ideas of salvation and apocalypse) with the concept of evolutionary advancement and elements of science fiction, particularly travel to other worlds and dimensions.
Applewhite and Nettles used a variety of aliases over the years, notably "Bo and Peep" and "Do and Ti". The group also had a variety of names—prior to the adoption of the name Heaven's Gate (and at the time Vallée studied the group), it was known as Human Individual Metamorphosis (HIM). The group re-invented and renamed itself several times and had a variety of recruitment methods. Marshall believed that he was directly related to Jesus, meaning he was an "Evolutionary Kingdom Level Above Human".