TWO YEARS ago, police responded to a 911 dispatch about the largest mass suicide to occur in America.
A new documentary special, The Cult Next Door: The Mystery and Madness of Heaven’s Gate, airs on March 10, 2022 and will explore never-before-seen footage found during the investigation.
What is Heaven’s Gate?
The former Marshall Applewhite was an ordinary person Co-founder of Heaven’s Gateaccording to his sister.
He is an outstanding singer and performer in musicals and choir director at St. Mark’s Episcopal in Houston, Texas.
Applewhite was born in 1931 to an elder minister who moved his family around every three years to open a new church. Applewhite wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he pursued a singing career.
But everything changed when he ended up in the hospital in 1972 because heart problems.
His sister, Louise Winant, told CNN in 1997 that her brother had had a near-death experience while he was in the hospital,” and one of the nurses convinced him that it was for a very special reason and he can be used powerfully in a group she knows.”
Nurse Bonnie Lu Nettles, said Winant, “started seeing him and talking to him more about joining this group. And then they became co-leaders for a while, but he always considered it.” She’s a senior leader.”
This group is the Heaven’s Gate sect, a religious group that believes they are destined to go to Heaven on a UFO.
Heaven’s Gate recruits followers, first by word of mouth, then by advertising in newspapers.
In the advertisements, they urge anyone looking to get to the “next level”, let go of their earthly and human instincts and move towards enlightenment.
The cult eventually made the news, and Applewhite and Nettles, who had legally changed their names to Do and Ti, reduced their group to only the most devoted.
For those who follow Heaven’s Gate, they are subject to a series of rules that include abstaining from alcohol, smoking, sex, and in some cases, castration.
Applewhite and Nettles decided to leave the family and cut all ties with them.
“He came to see us in Dallas, where we were living at the time, to tell us he was going with this group and we wouldn’t hear from him again,” Winant said. with CNN.
“And of course, we tried to stop him. I told him this wasn’t him, but he said, ‘You don’t know the real me.'”
What happened to the Heaven’s Gate sect?
The police answered the incoming 911 call City of San Diego Dispatch Center on March 26, 1997.
“This is regarding a mass suicide. I can give you the address,” said the caller.
The house is located in an exclusive neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe, California But when the police entered the house, they found 21 men and 18 women dead.
Each was found wearing Nike in sneakers and covered in a purple blanket in the largest mass suicide the United States has ever seen.
Toxicology results showed that each member of Heaven’s Gate drank a toxic cocktail of phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce and vodka.
Phenobarbital is a medicine used by doctors to slow activity in your brain and nervous system and is commonly used to treat people with seizures or as a sedative to help you relax.
Investigators found Applewhite among the dead and later found a video he recorded before they died. The video shows several people following him, including one smiling for the camera and saying, “39. Let me know.”
In the video Applewhite shares an ominous announcement. “They were about to leave and they were so excited to leave,” he said.
What did Marshall Applewhite say to his Heaven’s Gate followers?
Marshall Applewhite was left alone to lead Heaven’s Gate after Nettles died in 1985 from cancer.
For several years, he mourned her and withdrew from Heaven’s Gate, but in the late 1980s he began to attract followers again.
His last ad was in USA Today in 1993 – ‘UFO Cult’ reenacted with Last Offer, title read.
Comet Hale-Bopp was discovered two years later and Applewhite believed it was a signal from the aliens that they were coming for them, in other words, it signaled the “next arrival”.
By the end of 1996, Heaven’s Gate continued to reach far. The cult has defended the home in Rancho Santa Fe and the online business where it posted videos telling people this was their “last chance for them to evacuate Earth before it gets recycled”.
Heaven’s Gate believes that by rejecting their human form, they will become extraterrestrial beings and will fly to Heaven on a UFO.
Retired San Diego County homicide detective Chuck Curtis tells News about San Diego 7 in 2017, when he arrived at the scene and the number of bodies piled up, it was unlike anything he had ever seen.
“As they went in, they kept finding more bodies and more bodies,” Curtis said.
What’s special about Heaven’s Gate 20/20?
The new 20/20 special, The Cult Next Door: The Mystery and Madness of Heaven’s Gate, will include never-before-seen home movies and tapes, as well as interviews with two survivors. Sky Gate.
The special will air on ABC at 9 p.m. ET on March 11, 2022 and will be available to stream the following day. Hulu.
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