A Living Member of the Heaven’s Gate Cult Gave a Rare Interview to a Curious Reporter December 22, 2016

A Living Member of the Heaven’s Gate Cult Gave a Rare Interview to a Curious Reporter

Remember Heaven’s Gate? Nearly two decades ago, 39 members of the cult killed themselves in a mass suicide, hoping to be taken to a spaceship behind the Comet Hale-Bopp.

The website, for some strange reason, is still active — and very much unchanged from 1997.


Troy James Weaver, a contributor to the website Fanzine, recently sent a message to the contact email on the website out of sheer curiosity and was surprised to hear back. What followed was an odd exchange with former members of the cult who maintain the site from Arizona, eager to rejoin the dead members after their own lives are over.

Do you have many people within your organization? What are your thoughts on suicide? I read about it on the website, but feel like it isn’t very clear.

The Group ended in 1997. There is no organization or members. No one should commit suicide.

So why maintain the website? Obviously if you still believe it, you are a proponent/member of something, right? The reason I ask about suicide, is because if Do and Ti [group founders Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles] were the only Next Level Members, what does that say about the others who took their own lives? They were human, correct? Not inhabiting a human body, but human? I’m confused by this and what I’ve read. I’m just trying to understand more clearly. Also, what is a task partner?

The website is to provide information for their future return. We are designated to maintain and care for it.

Humans are not to commit suicide. Those 38, and those 38 only, we allowed to shed their human body, take on space-capable, Next Level bodies and depart this planet. No human can do that or would be allowed to do that. We know you are confused about this but those individuals did not commit suicide. They broke the bond of human connection and quickly switched to a Next Level one.

Why 38? An editor’s note points out that the number of victims excludes Applewhite, whom Heaven’s Gate members don’t consider a mere mortal.

The entire exchange is fascinating in part because it means there are still members of the cult who cling to those beliefs. None of the coverage of the cult, post-suicide, changed their minds. It’s disturbing… and I also really want to talk to them.

By the way, it’s worth mentioning that we all laugh at Heaven’s Gate because their beliefs are absurd… and yet we’re surrounded by people who also believe in a prophet who was more than human. They also believe they’ll meet Him in the afterlife.

Christianity is no more sensible than Heaven’s Gate; it just has more believers.

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