Comet Halle-Bopp became the focus of the group's beliefs. Image Credit: PD - Giuseppe Donatiello
A new HBO six-part series will look at the history of one of the most notorious cults in modern American history.
The Heaven's Gate Cult was originally set up in the 1970s and was lead by Marshall Applewhite (or 'Ti') and Bonnie Nettles (or 'Do') who initially traveled the United States recruiting new 'truth seekers'.
Their beliefs centered around the idea that they were destined to ascend to a 'higher plane of existence' upon death and that their souls would be transported onto an alien spacecraft.
Over time, this belief took on a more specific form - with the group believing that the spacecraft in question would arrive in the tail of the Comet Halle-Bopp which was set to pass Earth in 1997.
So great was the faith of the group that a total of 38 members - as well as Applewhite himself - committed mass suicide in March of that year - a move they described as 'graduation'.
Every one of the members who died was wearing an identical 'uniform' of a black shirt, sweat pants and black-and-white Nike Decades shoes (which were quickly discontinued as a result).
The new documentary - Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults
- streams on HBOMax from December 3rd.
"What started in 1975 with the disappearance of 20 people from a small town in Oregon ended in 1997 with the largest suicide on US soil and changed the face of modern new age religion forever," the synposis reads.
"This four-part docuseries uses never-before-seen footage and first-person accounts to explore the infamous UFO cult that shocked the nation with their out-of-this-world beliefs. "
Source: Marie Claire | Comments (1)