It is worth noting that there are many similar groups out there, and perhaps looking at this particular example may help keep someone else from stepping into the void. If things were bad enough for the members of the cult who are already on the outs with Kai — those that are still alive, anyway — it seems we might be getting a hint of how things might shake out. Before the Heaven's Gate case, academics who studied cults were beginning to advocate that outside intervention, not internal pressure, caused violence in cults. This is mentioned in Applewhite's final video, Do's Final Exit, filmed March 19—20, 1997, just days prior to the suicides. Common believe was that cults 'exploded' because of outside forces. When a photo emerged of a spot trailing the Hale-Bopp comet, which was nearing Earth, Applewhite taught his his group that the mark was evidence that the Heaven's Gate co-founder, who died of cancer in the 1980s, was following in the comet in a spaceship -- waiting to beam the souls of departed members aboard.
In 1993, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to search the compound, ostensibly believing the commune harbored illegal weapons and that it might be abusing the children who lived there. Fifteen members died on March 24, fifteen more on March 25, and nine on March 26. What really matters is that, in facing whatever challenges we face in the future, as a single humanity, we should focus on helping each other through the various trials that might come along. The cultural theorist has described the group as a , due to its heavy reliance on as a mode of communication prior to the group's collective suicide. According to material the group posted on its Internet site, the timing of the suicides were probably related to the arrival of the Hale—Bopp comet, which members seemed to regard as a cosmic emissary beckoning them to another world.
The plastic bags were found in trash can behind the house. The second group Kai discusses are the Branch Davidians. These rumors continued through various video uploads onto the web page, which gained a mass following. Comets are lovely objects, but they don't have apocalyptic significance. They died in shifts at their rented pad in San Diego, with some members helping others take a lethal cocktail of phenobarbital, apple sauce and vodka before downing their own doses of the fatal mixture.
He points out that Sekanina analysed the images pixel by pixel, and that a bright point of light falling on several pixels rather than just one can skew the results. The followers, age 26 to 72, killed themselves in three waves March 24, 25 and 26. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square purple cloth. The deceased—21 women and 18 men of varying ages—were all found lying peaceably in matching dark clothes and Nike sneakers and had no noticeable signs of blood or trauma. This is mentioned in Applewhite's final video, Do's Final Exit, filmed March 19—20, 1997, just days prior to the suicides. The original 39 deaths also motivated the April 1997 suicide of a 58-year-old California man, who left a note saying he hoped to join the dead Heaven's Gate members.
In five of the six images, a residual bright area emerged, Sekanina found. A recent listing for a pair of Nike Decade sneakers. He and six other male members of the group even traveled to Mexico, where they volunteered to be castrated to reduce distractions. Archived from on February 10, 2015. Sekanina developed a mathematical model for the brightness of a comet's nucleus and its coma, the cloud of dust and gas that surrounds the nucleus.
In 1997, as part of its 4,000-year orbit of the sun, the comet Hale-Bopp passed near Earth in one of the most impressive astronomical events of the 20th century. Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion — 'graduation' from the Human Evolutionary Level. But she was still loyal enough to pick Kai over Vincent and Beverly. He then lambasted the combination of scientific illiteracy, willful delusions, a radio talk-show's deception about an imaginary spacecraft following the comet, and a cult's bizarre yearnings for ascending to another level of existence that led to the Heaven's Gate mass suicides. There might yet be time for Beverly to get free and start a cult of her own.
The group was tightly knit and everything was shared. The last two victims to die were found with plastic bags over their heads. Hale said that well before Heaven's Gate, he had told a colleague: 'We are probably going to have some suicides as a result of this comet. Hale discussed the scientific significance and popular lore of comets and gave a personal account of his discovery. Share At first Applewhite taught that by denying themselves worldly comforts, sex and physical affection, individuality, money and jobs, they could ascend to the 'Next Level' and leave the earth before it was destroyed.
In Episode 9, cult leader Kai Anderson Evan Peters spends the cold open by discussing three cult mass suicides — and Peters even plays them. Two former members of Heaven's Gate, Wayne Cooke and Charlie Humphreys, later committed suicide in a similar manner. But Harold Weaver, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University who provided the Hubble images Sekanina analysed, is not convinced. They involved Congressman Leo Ryan, who went to Guyana to investigate whether Jonestown was holding people against their will. We finally found out how Kai brought him aboard, only to watch him bite a bullet for being a sexist Neo-Nazi. The two do not identify themselves in interviews.
But I found it on five. A few days before the end, they taped their suicide messages, then went out for pizza to celebrate, as if they had won a Little League game. I reached out to the Kings, the surviving members of the Heaven's Gate cult, to see if they had any concerns or thoughts about the fact that a sneaker fandom has developed from the deaths of their friends. It's not clear if Matzorkis or Rio was the same person police referred to as an anonymous caller. Some members apparently assisted others and then cleaned up, then went on to take their own dose of the fatal mixture, mixed with apple sauce or pudding.
But in an interview, Nike promptly canceled the line. Behind the approaching Hale-Bopp comet, their leader Marshall Herff Applewhite aka Do claimed, was a spaceship that would take their souls. To their dismay, these ideas were poorly received by existing religious communities. Heaven's Gate received coverage in 's book Messengers of Deception 1979 , in which Vallée described an unusual public meeting organized by the group. Brian Blackbourne, San Diego County Medical Examiner, at a news conference Thursday. Near the end, Applewhite had a revelation that they may have to abandon their human bodies and achieve the next level as Jesus had done. Jonestown members shot and killed Ryan and four other members of the delegation aboard a small plane on a nearby airstrip.