Heaven's Gate. A Brief History

  • Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles meet for the first time.

    Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles meet for the first time.
    In 1972 Marshall Applewhite met Bonnie Nettles who was a nurse at the time. The two quickly became close friends and started to develop their new religious beliefs. Many people believe that Nettles had a significant impact in creating Applewhite's dilutional beliefs.
  • Traveling Western USA

    Traveling Western USA
    In February of 1973 Nettles and Applewhite started to travel across Western USA to spread their newfound beliefs. During their travels they read various Christian and science fiction books to further develop their new religion.
  • Applewhite's Arrest

    Applewhite's Arrest
    In August of 1974 Applewhite was arrested for failing to return a rental car and was jailed for six months. During this time he continued to develop his new religion. He favored ideas like extraterrestrials and evolution.
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    Early Recruiting

    During this time Marshall and Nettles held various conferences to try and recruit new members. This is when the majority of the groups members joined the cult. Marshall and Nettles promised that people who joined the cult would be able to advance to the next human evolutionary level.
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    Heaven's Gate

    After gaining a significant amount of members Heaven's Gate travelled the US. The group would live on the streets, campgrounds and rented houses. In theses places the group lived under strange house rules such as no sex, no drugs, no speaking at certain times and no going outside the property.
  • Nettles death

    Nettles death
    Nettles died in 1985 because of cancer. Unfortunately for Applewhite this directly contradicted the doctrine he preached to his followers. He eventually came to the conclusion that Nettles soul had boarded a spaceship and was waiting for the cult to join her. The cult accepted this response.
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    Comet Hall Bopp

    From 1995 to 1997 Comet Hall Bopp was visible to the human eye. Applewhite claimed that the comet was a spaceship and in order to board his followers had to commit suicide in order to release their souls into the spaceship.
  • Heaven's Gate website

    Heaven's Gate website
    Heaven's Gate created their own website in 1996. This was interesting because Heaven's Gate was one of the first cults to use the internet to recruit new members.
  • Mass Suicide

    Mass Suicide
    On March 3, 1997 a mass suicide was anonymously reported to California police. 39 people including Applewhite died to asphyxiation in a California rental home. Applewhite had the majority of his cult believe that comet Hall Bopp was a spaceship used to escape the inevitable destruction of earth and that the only was to board is to commit suicide and release your soul. This even solidified Heaven's Gate as one of the most infamous cults in history.
  • What happend to Heaven's Gate

    What happend to Heaven's Gate
    Heaven's Gate is officially over. It has four remaining members who are currently maintaining the cults website which is still operational.