UFO cult apparently committed suicide

in belief that they would rise to meet

Hale-Bopp in the sky

from ANewWorld Website

recovered through WayBackMachine Website





Higher Source group commits largest mass suicide in U.S. history.

Group leader turns out to have founded a UFO cult back in 1975,

claiming that his followers would be able to ascend to heaven

when UFO’s come to pick them up.




A former member who left the group when talk of suicide started, said "They expected to be whisked away on a spacecraft and I guess when that didn’t happen, their philosophy changed," according to NBC news.

An interesting aspect is that the 39 victims were apparently influenced by the controversy over Hale-Bopp and a strange companion that may or may not be accompanying it. At the Heaven’s Gate web site (see screen shot at top), created by the Higher Source group, there is a reference to the Hale-Bopp comet as bringing “closure.”


The members were "quite joyous" about "leaving this planet," according to the page. The controversy revolves around the likes of Dr. Courtney Brown’s appearance on Art Bell’s radio show last November, on which the possibility of a UFO or other huge object following comet Hale Bopp was discussed.


Courtney claims that his "remote viewing" students saw a huge craft following the comet. (Remote Viewing is a controversial psychic / meditation technique for vaguely seeing and sensing any time or place in the Universe)


The Hale-Bopp controversy started with the anomalous photo, shown above, taken by amateur astronomer Chuck Shramek. The Saturn-like object to the right of the comet is still unexplained, but whether it is an alien UFO or not remains to be seen.


Skeptics say it is a star, but there are many problems with that explanation.



Government UFO Cover-up to Blame?

How could 39 intelligent people be so misled by a confused cult leader who’s wacky predictions seemed destined to never turn out? Could it have something to do with the the efficiency of the U.S. government in hiding the truth from us about what’s REALLY going on "up there."


If the government would stop lying to us and start leveling about what they know about UFO’s and such (yes, we can "handle" it), cults like this would fade into virtual non-existence.


Cults thrive in the vacuum created by "official denial" and cover-up. The recent mass sightings (and videotaping) of strange hovering UFO’s in Arizona is a good case in point. The military/government explains it away as "flares" - a patently ridiculous explanation for anyone who sees the videos.

The image at left, from the site, is labeled as "How a Member of Heaven might appear." Having had several close encounters and ET related experiences myself, I can say that it is indeed pretty representative of the many reports and descriptions of otherworldly beings.


Everything from the seamless metallic suit to the nearly black eyes, the smooth grey skin, and reduced facial features have been described numerous times by those who have been visited.

Evidence of the reality of these visitations is abundant, for those who look. But we’d have far more understanding of this strange yet immensely important phenomenon if only ALL available information was released to the public, instead of being secreted away.

On the Heaven’s Gate home page, you’ll find the following passage:

Whether Hale-Bopp has a "companion" or not is irrelevant from our perspective. However, its arrival is joyously very significant to us at "Heaven’s Gate."


The joy is that our Older Member in the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the "Kingdom of Heaven") has made it clear to us that Hale-Bopp’s approach is the "marker" we’ve been waiting for - the time for the arrival of the spacecraft from the Level Above Human to take us home to "Their World" - in the literal Heavens.


Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion -- "graduation" from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave "this world" and go with Ti’s crew.


If you study the material on this website you will hopefully understand our joy and what our purpose here on Earth has been. You may even find your "boarding pass" to leave with us during this brief "window."

We are so very thankful that we have been recipients of this opportunity to prepare for membership in Their Kingdom, and to experience Their boundless Caring and Nurturing.

But suicidal escapades and cults are not what contact with such otherworldly beings is about.


The Earth may indeed be a "classroom" of a sort, but suicide has nothing to do with graduation. 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.


Those who manage to be in service to others, in the face of ordeals, will be the ones to "graduate," if anyone will.

"The Earth’s present ’civilization’ is about to be recycled - ’spaded under’ - in order that the planet might be refurbished. The human ’weeds’ have taken over the garden and disturbed its usefulness beyond repair."

Adding to the controversy is the background of the elder leader of the cult - Marshall Applewhite, called "Do" (pronounced "Doe") by his followers.


He and his now deceased partner, "Ti" (actually Bonnie Nettles) met in a hospital where she was a nurse and he a patient, according to his sister. This was back in the early 70’s (coinciding with the "22 years of classroom" in the passage from the cult’s site, above).


According to his sister, the nurse then persuaded Marshall that he had been "sent by God," and that he should lead a group - partly because of his near death experience in the hospital.


Together, in 1975, Marshell and Bonnie started a movement called Human Individual Metamorphosis, which preached that death could be overcome through,

"physical ascension into another realm beyond the confines of planet Earth."

At their talks, they predicted various mass landings of UFO’s. The group became disillusioned when none of them ever ascended and the mass landings never happened on the appointed dates. After loosing their money, the group disbanded. But apparently a core group continued on, believing that they would ascend, in time.

Hale-Bopp, and the possible companion turned out to be the trigger. It was the "sign" they so longed (for 22 years) to see.


So they took advantage of the moment, and the "UFO cover-up," and took their lives, just as the comet made it’s closest pass by Earth.












Hale Bopp


Heaven’s Gate Cult

from SacredTexts Website




Heaven’s Gate leader ’Do’

On March 22, 1997, almost the entire body of adherents to Heaven’s Gate committed near-simultaneous suicide. They died in their mansion in a California suburb outside of San Diego by voluntarily ingesting large amounts of painkillers in applesauce.


The last two left suffocated themselves.


Heaven’s Gate left behind 39 corpses and extensive documentation as to their beliefs--that they were disembodied extraterrestrials waiting for a mothership to take them home and the planet Earth was about to be ’recycled’.


Their practices included communal living, taking new names ending in ’ody’, and mortification of the body (particularly abstention from sex and intoxicants, close cropped hair, unisex outfits and male castration).


Hale Bopp ’UFO’ photo

Why did this small and ’mostly harmless’ group end up becoming one of the most famous mass suicides in US history?


They had a history of millennial predictions (it was the late 90s, after all) and media stunts. Like many inward-facing spiritual groups, they lived simple lives in an authoritarian commune. On multiple occasions, their leader ’Do’ had predicted that they would be picked up by a UFO, and each time they had been disappointed.


When a photo of comet Hale-Bopp with some background stars was interpreted by the UFO underground as having an accompanying spaceship in it, this opportunity seemed too good to miss by the Heaven’s Gate adherents.


’Mission Patch’

This group is worth studying, if only because it is one of those rare opportunities to view the evolution of a belief system before it had a chance to start revising its own early history. We have a large volume of unedited documents from the earliest to the final days of Heaven’s Gate, transcribed by the group’s adherents in electronic form.


They never got to the difficult stage that most religions go through when faced with having to sort out (and edit) their early texts. Of course, this is due to the fact that the group didn’t believe in procreation and ended up self-destructing in a spectacular fashion.


Why include this material at this site? We certainly don’t condone their tragic mass suicide.


It is painful to watch these people, all of whom had families and potential futures, talk themselves into believing that it was completely rational to commit suicide. Of course, this is not the first time this has happened in the name of religion; for instance, the founder of Jainism starved himself to death.


However, while this site’s ’prime directive’ is religious tolerance, we also believe in people making informed choices when it comes to matters of belief.


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.



Note on copyrights.

These materials, in particular the Anthology, are covered by copyrights. By explicit release, they are available for unaltered, non-commercial reproduction. How to obtain commercial clearance for these texts is unknown and sacred-texts can’t assist in this.
















"Heaven's Gate" - The Door to The Physical Kingdom Level Above Human


Older Classroom Materials

Anonymous Sexaholics Celibate Church Statement of Beliefs
Anonymous Sexaholics Celibate Church Introduction and Ways
Prospective Candidate Letter
Preparing For Service
Ruffles "Snacks for Thinkers"

Newsgroups Postings

A time to die for God?
"Thanks for Actions Against CAN"
The Jews and Christians Promote Lies-Unknowingly

Misc. Documents

"During a brief window of time, some may wish to follow us"
What if they’re right?


Last Chance to Evacuate Earth Before It’s Recycled
Planet About To Be Recycled - Your Only Chance To Survive - Leave With Us


Additional Information

CNN’s list of articles about Heaven’s Gate

The Keepers of Heaven's Gate - The Millennial Madness