Heaen's Gate

By m_284
  • Early 1970s

    Early 1970s
    Marshal Applewhite began to practice quite suddenly biblical prophecies. This sparked his interest in these beliefs.
  • Applewhite & Nettles Meet (March 1972)

    Applewhite & Nettles Meet (March 1972)
    Applewhite & Nettles meet at the hospital she worked at while he was visiting a friend there. Both believed they were brought together for preplanned reasons. Began working together, opening a "metaphysical book store" that focused on their beliefs in religion.
  • The Beginning (June 1972)

    Four months after initially meeting they created an organized outline of their beliefs. Both believed that they were chosen as biblical prophecies. They concluded they were two witnesses described in the Book of Revelation, occasionally visiting churches or spiritual groups to tell people of their identities. They called themselves "The Two" & "The UFO Two." They thought when they died they would be transported to "higher levels" by a spaceship. those in already existing religions disliked them
  • Spirtual Path (January 1973)

    The two, (Nettle & Applewhite), decide to close down their book store, take their organized beliefs and begin their spiritual journey together.
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    Travel & First Member (Feb. 1973 - May 1974)

    Nettle and Applewhite traveled the country camping in parks and staying in motels, avoiding their payments for the rooms. The May of 1974 they gained their first follower Sharon Morgan, she left behind two children and her family to join them, starting their spiritual journey as a group, seeing themselves as leaders.
  • Loss of First Member (June 1974)

    Only after a month following Nettle and Applewhite and their beliefs, Sharon Morgan leaves the group. She returns back home to her family and children.
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    Traveling Some More (July - Aug 1974)

    Applewhite & Nettle continued to travel camping again wherever they could. They continued to stay at motels and still according to sources "evaded room payments" for the places that they stayed.
  • Nettles & Applewhite Get Arrested

    Nettles & Applewhite get arrested for credit card fraud after they were caught using Sharon Morgan's. However, while she was with them before she left their "group" she had given consent for them to use the cards so the charges were dropped. But Applewhite was charged with theft due to a rental car that he stole 9 months prior that was still in his possession. He had to spend 6 months in jail due to this.
  • Reunion (March 1975)

    Nettles and Applewhite reunite again this time with the plans of finding like-minded individuals to join their "crew". They saw themselves as "leaders" and "higher beings." They published advertisements for their meetings and gained two new recruits mother and daughter. Nettles & Applewhite both thought that they were "higher beings" and could lead the "crew' that consented to "a higher evolutionary level."
  • Recruitment (April 1975)

    At a meeting of a metaphysical group in LA, run by Clarence Klug, Nettles & Applewhite shared their stories about being "two witnesses written in the Bible's Story of the End of Time." 20-30 members from the metaphysical group ended up joining the "crew"
  • Gold Beach

    The 20-30 members from the metaphysical group met Nettles & Applewhite at Gold Beach to further discuss the group, "crew", and their beliefs. During this time Nettles & Applewhite went by Do & Ti as well as Bo & Peep. The members that met them at the beach officially became a part of the "crew"
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    Abandonment & Public Speaking (June - Aug 24, 1975)

    Nettle & Applewhite abandon several of the "crew" in Sedona. They make their way to Redwood City where they made a public appearance at Canada College. They spread their message of being the "Two from the Bible" and being "higher-level leaders"
  • Recruiting Again (Sept 1975)

    The group meets at Waldport Oregon. Nettles & Applewhite give speeches about their beliefs at hotels. This gets the attention of 30 or so people who join the "crew." Nettles & Applewhite get them to sell their "worldly possessions" as well as say goodbye to their families. The disappearance of these people caused a spike in bad media coverage of this group. They were also a spaceship to pick them up while they were here, except, it never landed.
  • Group Moving & Growth (Late 1975)

    Nettles & Applewhite planned to move the group underground. They spent this time camping and begging in the streets and the group was around 100 members. At this time the group was known as the "Higher Individual Metamorphosis"
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    Downtime & Re-Organization (April 1976 - June 1985)

    During this lengthy downtime Nettle decides that the group needs to stop recruiting new members as well as stop having public meetings. Nettles & Applewhite also spent this time solidifying their "leader" roles making guidelines for the "crew" to follow. This included no sexual acts and no drug use. During this 9 year downtime the group also lost many of its members dropping from 100 to about 24 members of the "crew"
  • Bonnie Nettles Passes Away

    Just as things were beginning to pick up again in the group, the leader Bonnie Nettles passes away from liver cancer.
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    New Changes

    Applewhite becomes the main leader now. Seeing Nettles's death as the beginning of their nearing end, he built the Heaven's Gate website to spread the message & the near "higher evolutionary level" lifting upon them. The website helped gain more "crew", rumors also began at this time that the Hale-Bopp comet was the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Media Coverage (Jan 1994)

    La Weekly posted an article on the group, then known as "The Total Overcomers." Richard Ford found this article & joined the "crew" changing his name to Rio DiAngelo. However, he ended up leaving the group before the deaths of the members.
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    Moving & Abrupt Leaving (June 1995 - April 1996)

    The group had moved and bought a compound in Manzano New Mexico where they would begin working and attempting to settle down. However, in the Spring of 1996, they left abruptly with no explanation as to why they left.
  • Moving Continued (Oct 1996)

    The group med again this time to Colina Norter in Santa Fe California where they bought a mansion. They called it "The monastery" & paid $7,000 in cash per month for it. The same month tye took alien abduction insurance out on 50 members of the "crew". It was said to have been worth a payout of $1 million per person.
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    "Do's Final Exit"

    Applewhite filmed "Do's Final Exit" in which he discusses the mas suicide & "the only way to evacuate this Earth." Stating that a spacecraft trailing the Hale-Bopp comet would bring "the closure of Heaven's Gate." Applewhite persuaded 38 (39 including himself) members to prepare for the "ritual" so their souls could board the spacecraft. Each member prepared a goodbye video.
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    Mass Suicide

    39 members, 21 women 18 men, committed suicide over the course of three days. The suicides happened over the three days in groups of 15, 15, & 9, & those that were still alive learned up the prior groups, positioning their bodies and preparing them for boarding the spaceship. Applewhite was the 3rd to last to die and the last two "crew" that passed after him were the only ones that were not positioned or prepared like the res.
  • Mass Suicide Discovery

    All members were found in matching tracksuits & shoes & an arm band that said "Heaven's Gateway Team" on them.They all were found with a single $5 in their pockets & a few quarters so they'd be able to call home.They committed suicide by eating applesauce or pudding mixed with phenobarbital.After eating it they would tie a plastic bag around their head.Those who did not pass in the first groups removed the bags, moved the bodies to their respective beds & placed purple cloths were placed on them
  • Aftermath

    It came to light that the ex-members and the families of those involved received the goodbye messages that the members recorded. DiAngelo and ex "crew" members got the messages, and went to their mansion where he found them all dead, he anonymously reported it to the cops. Because of the media coverage that came from this, a 58-year-old man attempted to recreate the suicide to join them on the Hale-Bopp comet, sadly not making it.
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    More Deaths

    Wayne Cooke & Chuck Humphrey attempted suicide at a motel, similar to that of Heaven's Gate. Cooke who was said to have been a Heaven's Gate member's husband sadly succeeded in his attempt, Humphrey however survived. On April 11, James Pirk Jr., another ex-member of Heaven's Gate committed suicide via a gunshot wound.
  • Terrible Influences (June 1997)

    Following months after the initial suicide, many former ex "crew" members or those influenced by media attempted suicide. Some succeeded.
  • Humphrey's Second Attempt (Feb. 1998)

    Humphrey attempted suicide again in Arizona, this time succeeding.
  • County Auction (Nov 1999)

    There was a County Auction that was selling off the belongings of the members that were left behind in the mansion. This raised a total of $32,700. Some of this money was used as payment for the auction, while the rest was given to families to help pay for the funerals.
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    Where The Cult Is At Now

    As of now the Heaven's Gate website is still up & running offering links to books & their beliefs. On the internet on places like youtube Applewhite's final video can be found as well as other cult-related documents. There are many places online as well that offer insight as to what the cult was, what they practiced, believed, and did while they were preparing for the spaceship to collect them. They heavily influenced society's opinions on unorganized religions & the idea of mass suicides
  • 20 Years Later Article

    The Rolling Stones published an article online 20 years after the mass suicide of the group discussing some of the facts about the cult that were either not well known or new to people. Things like for 3 months all they drank was cayenne pepper, lemonade, & syrup. Most of the beliefs about the spacecraft came from popular Science Fiction like Star Trek. None of the Oregon residents that were persuaded by the group to come with them were found at the mansion after the mass suicide.