Heaven’s Gate Cult Docuseries

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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20 December 2020 21:39
 

How two Star Trek-obsessed Texans persuaded 39 disciples to ‘exit their human vessels’ in largest mass suicide in US history - each with $5.75 in their pockets and ALL in matching Nike sneakers

  New HBO docuseries ‘Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults’ explores the UFO-obsessed cult that committed mass suicide by drinking a lethally spiked apple sauce, in hopes to enter what they called ‘the Next Level’
  39 people died and it was the largest mass suicide event in US history; cult was led by husband and wife leaders who went by ‘Ti’ and ‘Do’ - he was a former music professor and she was a nurse
  The cult started in the 1970s and required people to take a vow of celibacy and leave behind their earthly possessions, personalities and bodies so they could become ‘technically advanced beings’ in the ‘Next Level’ 
  The cult committed mass-suicide in 1997 - timed exactly as the Hale-Bopp comet passed planet Earth because they believed they were exiting their human bodies to board a flying saucer trailing behind the comet
  The bodies were discovered in a San Diego mansion - wearing matching black-outfits and Nike sneakers; each member had $5.75 in their pocket for ‘interplanetary toll’ fare
  The group followed a strict ‘no sex, no human-level relationships, no socializing’ rule and inevitably 9 male members volunteered to castrate themselves
  The group was led by a closeted homosexual named Marshall Applewhite, who was a former music teacher and Bonnie Nettles, a former nurse; they went by Do and Ti respectively
  Documentary reveals rarely-seen ‘exit manifestos’ that members left behind before committing mass suicide, tapes show them smiling and excited to ‘enter the Next Level’ - one woman is heard saying: ‘39 to beam up’ 

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Though heavily influenced by their Christian backgrounds, Applewhite and Nettles avoided using the term ‘religion’ because they felt it was inferior to the science and technology behind their beliefs. One ex-member told DailyMail.com: ‘That is like saying NASA is a religion.’

The couple believed they were chosen to fulfill biblical prophesies and concluded that they were the two witnesses described in the Bible’s Book of Revelation - who warned of judgment day, were martyred and then resurrected and taken to heaven in a cloud of light. They decided ‘the cloud’ was actually a flying saucer.

Their unorthodox take of the Bible was that Jesus had ascended to heaven (what they called ‘The Evolutionary Level Above Human,’ or TELAH) in a spacecraft and that Applewhite had arrived on Earth from that same TELAH realm and brought with him the Heavenly Father in the person of Bonnie Nettles.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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21 December 2020 14:24
 

Makes sense to me.  I’m on my way to get new Nike’s and some cash.

There must be a very favorable exchange rate in TELAH if they can make it on $5.75.

 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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22 December 2020 07:09
 

My wife & I watched “The Vow” about the NXIVM cult. In that case, the cult also chose to avoid overt religious rhetoric, and instead presented itself as a science-based self-help program.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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22 December 2020 08:04
 

Having been a member of a religious cult from age 19-24, I can say that timing is everything. You have to find a person when they are vulnerable, wanting an answer to some problem, lost, naïve, lonely, searching, or disillusioned, or some combination thereof, and once you have them hooked on the hope of resolving their issue, then you can little by little reel them in. It’s a deceptively easy process. Like a frog in heated water, they don’t realize when they’ve gone over the edge. Hopefully they get out before the water boils, like I did, but some stay all the way to the Kool-Aid.

 
burt
 
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burt
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22 December 2020 10:03
 

You traders on God’s rapture, show
Us how to get there, if you know.
Lay out a path, please,
Don’t be a rude tease,
Our camels are loaded, we’re ready to go.

Unfortunately, lots of types think they know the way when in fact they’re on a downhill slide. Others are just in it for the cash.

Seductive tales promise a prize,
A succulent feast for famished eyes.
The tellers of tales
Chalk up their sales…,
They’re selling us sugary lies.

Thus, from Robert Graves, The Traveller’s Curse After Misdirection:

May they stumble, stage by stage
On an endless Pilgrimage
Dawn and dusk, mile after mile
At each and every step a stile
At each and every step withal
May they catch their feet and fall
At each and every fall they take
May a bone within them break
And may the bone that breaks within
Not be, for variations sake
Now rib, now thigh, now arm, now shin
but always, without fail, the NECK.

And yet, the words of Rumi still hold: “Counterfeit exists only because there is real gold.”

 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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22 December 2020 10:45
 
EN - 22 December 2020 08:04 AM

Having been a member of a religious cult from age 19-24, I can say that timing is everything. You have to find a person when they are vulnerable, wanting an answer to some problem, lost, naïve, lonely, searching, or disillusioned, or some combination thereof, and once you have them hooked on the hope of resolving their issue, then you can little by little reel them in. It’s a deceptively easy process. Like a frog in heated water, they don’t realize when they’ve gone over the edge. Hopefully they get out before the water boils, like I did, but some stay all the way to the Kool-Aid.

I don’t know that I ever knew this about you, EN.

Well-said. There was a telling line in “The Vow”, and while it was said by one of the former key members who almost certainly is trying to redeem himself (and convince himself that he wasn’t a bad guy) I still think it has value. He said “Nobody joins a cult”. What it becomes in the end is not what it seemed to be in the beginning.

(For what it’s worth, there’s at least one other documentary about NXIVM which my wife and I haven’t seen, but from most reviews it sounds like they might be better than “The Vow” which does sometimes feel like it’s driven by the main protagonists’ desire to redeem themselves as much anything. Plus, it’s 9 hours long and it could have been cut down to 5-6 episodes, easily. So I’m not 100% sure I’d recommend it).

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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22 December 2020 19:38
 

A catch with the word cult comes when the question is asked: what is being cultivated? In ancient idol worshiping religions the idols were washed, dressed, fed, and so on as a means of “cultivating” a particular “mana” or charisma associated to the deity as a power that could be tapped into or appealed to. The energy arose from the concentrated attention of the worshippers.

Jim Jones started out as a social reformer. Even well intentioned groups can end up showing cult like behavior. Idries Shah emphasizes this in some of his writings, and Doris Lessing discusses it in her book Prisons We Choose to Live Inside.

I recall a statement back in 1975 from a person teaching in a mystical school, when asked if he was enlightened: “Yes, what that means is that I know everything that is inside, everything. If I were not enlightened I wouldn’t be teaching. I shouldn’t be teaching because it would be like taking my own dirt and passing it to you.” He went on to say that his organization was structured as a pyramid, but he was not at the top but the center, where all forces converged so that if he were not totally solid he and the organization would be destroyed.

 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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30 December 2020 10:15
 
burt - 22 December 2020 07:38 PM

A catch with the word cult comes when the question is asked: what is being cultivated? In ancient idol worshiping religions the idols were washed, dressed, fed, and so on as a means of “cultivating” a particular “mana” or charisma associated to the deity as a power that could be tapped into or appealed to. The energy arose from the concentrated attention of the worshippers.

Ever read Jaynes’ “Bicameral Mind” book? It’s…got issues, but his discussion of how ancient believers physically attended to their gods was where I first learned about such things.