Category: Heaven\’s Gate

Heaven’s Gate: A timeline

The Heaven’s Gate cult had existed for more than two decades. Its recruiting drives were followed by periods spent in near hiding. In its final years, its message was spread through the Internet. Here is a timeline of the group’s history.

Seventh anniversary of Heaven’s Gate marked

Seven years ago Friday, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult were found dead in a Rancho Santa Fe mansion after a mass suicide. Cult leader Marshall Applewhite, known simply as Do to his followers, taught a belief that combined elements of Christianity with metaphysical and UFO subcultures. The cult believed that the coming of the Hale-Bopp comet signaled a time to shed their “earthly containers” — their bodies — and that a heaven-bound spaceship hiding in the comet’s tail would come to pick them up once they were dead. The cult members died in shifts, with some members helping