Seven chilling details about the Heaven’s Gate cult who believed they were “graduating” from Earth before committing mass suicide

HERE are seven chilling details about the Heaven’s Gate cult who believed they would ‘graduate’ from Earth before committing mass suicide.

A new two-hour documentary special The cult next door: The Mystery and Madness of gate of heavenShe explores never-before-seen footage found during the investigation.

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles founded the sect


Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles founded the sectPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor
The cult had secured a home in Rancho Santa Fe, California


The cult had secured a home in Rancho Santa Fe, CaliforniaPhoto credit: Getty

the 20/20 The special – airing March 11, 2022 – comes 25 years after police responded to a 911 broadcast in what became the largest mass suicide in the United States.

Police responded to a call to the San Diego Dispatch Center on March 26, 1997, “regarding a mass suicide‘ at a home in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

When authorities entered the home, they found 21 men and 18 women dead.

Each person was found wearing Nike sneakers and covered with a purple blanket.

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Everything you need to know about Heaven's Gate

Destined to go to heaven in a UFO?

The group was the widely denounced Heaven’s Gate cult, a religious group that mistakenly believed they were destined to take to the skies in a UFO.

Heaven’s Gate recruited followers, first by word of mouth, then by placing an ad in newspapers.

In the ads, they urged anyone who wanted to reach the “next level” to discard their earthly and human instincts and move on to enlightenment.

The cult eventually made the news, and Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettleswho had legally changed their names to Do and Ti, reduced their group to the most devoted.

Officials found 39 bodies dressed in identical black clothing, carefully placed in bunk beds in a large California home they dubbed “The Monastery.”

The cult had a massive “alien abduction” insurance policy that would pay $1 million per person for up to 50 members if their deaths were caused by aliens, the Associated Press reported.

Deadly cocktail

The bodies had been found with their heads shaved and dressed in black tunics. Everyone was wearing brand new Nike sneakers and had $5.75 in cash in their pockets and a holdall on the floor next to them.

It was revealed that Applewhite’s deaths occurred over three days Founder of Heaven’s Gateas one of the last to die – making it the largest mass suicide involving American citizens since the Jonestown massacre in 1978.

Toxicology results showed that every member of Heaven’s Gate had drunk a deadly cocktail of phenobarbital mixed with applesauce and vodka.

Phenobarbital is a drug used by doctors to slow down activity in your brain and nervous system, and is generally used to treat people suffering from seizures or as a sedative to help you relax.

“A Little Spaceship”

Former Heaven’s Gate member Jana Gibbons told Sawyer that most of the cult members stayed indoors at all times.

“My guess is that three-fourths of people have never set foot outside, and I was one of them,” Gibbons said.

“And there probably weren’t even any open windows. It was like a little spaceship.”

Gibbons also described the lack of shelter for the people inside.

“There were about 40 of us and we were divided into three shifts. Three people shared a bed,” she added.

An investigation of the home revealed that there were rules in the home that had to be followed regarding conversation, sex, cooking, and more.

‘sleeping sickness’

“If I stayed with this group, I would go to sleep,” Gibbons told Sawyer of her reappearance sleeping sickness nightmares. “I made the decision to leave.”

At 16, Gibbons was the youngest to join the group.

At 21, she was able to work in a restaurant, which allowed her to use her voice, something she hadn’t done in years, she explained.

Gibbons was allowed out of the house at 21 because the group leaders didn’t want her to spread doubt.

“Every day we’re asked to believe something, and then you have to decide what I will and will not believe,” she told Sawyer.

“Definitely cult”

Detective Rick Scully, a former San Diego Sheriff’s Department investigator, described what he saw while searching the home in 1997’s 20/20 special.

Scully said, “It looked like a black tunnel… a black hole.

“You can tell that a lot of thought and planning went into this.

“And we saw how these people were dressed, how they live in this house.

“We realized that this is definitely a cult.”

Castrated cult members

In March 1997, the coroner involved in the case revealed that the group leader had been castrated along with some of the cult’s men.

dr Brian Blackbourne said incisions from healed castrations showed the procedures were a while ago and not shortly before the group’s mass suicide. AP Messages reported.

Blackbourne said: “Some of the men have been castrated. Not all, but some.”

Members of both sexes were found with similar haircuts and black collared shirts.

farewell video

A cult member says “39 ​​to beam up” in a short clip of a farewell video shared on The Cult Next Door special.

It seemed like the woman was looking forward to what came next.

Another says, “We couldn’t be happier about what we’re about to do.”

“We’re all happy doing what we do,” said a third cult member, according to a 1997 article The Baltimore Sun.

“I think it’s worth sharing a few thoughts before we go,” said a fourth, seen in footage shared with youtube.

An unidentified cult member said his death “would only welcome the happiest day of my life. I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.”

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After the shocking mass suicide, Florida resident and 15-year-old Heaven’s Gate member Dick Joslyn told the Baltimore Sun: “Everyone did this of their own accord, even though they belonged to a cult.

“At every turn [the leaders] gave us the opportunity to continue or walk to the next step.”

Cult leader Marshall Applewhite appears in a recruitment video


Cult leader Marshall Applewhite appears in a recruitment videoPhoto credit: Getty
Purple fabric is draped over one of the bodies


Purple fabric is draped over one of the bodiesPhoto credit: Getty
A patch reads


A patch reads “Heaven’s Gate Away Team”Photo credit: HBO

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Bobby Allyn

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