Practice safe sects
Nov. 17, 2020

Heaven's Gate


Cults are built on logical, semi-believable premises that often involve religion and the leader as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. It is these messages that draw hundreds of people in, causing them to commit horrific acts on others and on...

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Transcript

Speaker 1:

Hey everyone. This week is brought to you by ourselves. That's right. Every great podcast or needs a grift and mine happens to be merge . So if you want to go check out the three new designs that we came out with, definitely go check it out at let's start a Colt podcast.com and click on the merge link. We came out with a cult shirt, a let's start, a cult shirt , and a let's start a call logo shirt. So feel free to go in there. Customize you can get hoodies, sweaters, hats, anything you need. Go check it out. And it helps support the show. I'd also like to give a shout out today to the jury room podcast, as well as live from the darkness podcast. Uh , we were supposed to do an episode with them this week, but technical issues , um, prevented that from happening. So definitely go give them a listen, a great podcasts and uh , we'll try and have them on again for another cult anyway, onto the show.

Speaker 2:

Hi, my name is Josh shell host of well let's start a cold podcast. The only podcast, a live streams to the police officer, the wiretap, my setup , they hired officer Dave, everyone about Dave . That was out of the way. Let me

Speaker 1:

Introduce to you my two . Yes. This episode

Speaker 2:

One is the host of a couple bots podcast,

Speaker 1:

An interview style podcast that focuses on e-sports and people within the industry. Please. Welcome back, Greg Dorin , Greg, how are you doing today? I'm doing well. Thanks. Thanks for , uh , doing the ad read for me. So I didn't have to come up with my own on the spot again. You struggling a little bit last time. I thought I'd help you out. So yeah, I appreciate that. Appreciate, you know , you have me back as obviously the first round all star of the program. That's why I mentioned to you first because my second guest second round also is the unofficial cohost of this podcast and known to be bad at mixing Kool-Aid Sam wood . How are you doing Sam? I'm good. I'm good. How are you guys doing today? Not too bad. No , you know, I already answered that question. Yeah, you did. You did. You don't have to answer again. I just want to

Speaker 3:

The fact that Greg and I are both the , uh, only two reoccurring guests. Yes. Out of a podcast. So far more episodes series. We don't , we don't need to have , we don't need to specify , but yeah .

Speaker 1:

How, how have your lives changed being on this podcast?

Speaker 3:

We want to get into it. I mean, the opportunities that's been bringing me, it's why I haven't been back since

Speaker 1:

That's true. You blown up, you had a crack addiction there for a little bit wild downfall and then, you know, the , the recovery was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Now, Sam, last time I had you on, we talked about Jim Jones and the people's temple. Oh yeah. That terrible cult was directly responsible for murdering nearly a thousand people. And I promised you at the end of that episode, I would have you on for a less terrible cult and I have done. So are you excited? Yeah. Less terrible, meaning less deaths. Well, on today's episode, we will be focusing on the infamous heaven's gate, the cult that remains obscured and mystery, despite decades of in-depth research and study a friendship between a music teacher and a registered nurse gave birth to a religion that was based on aliens and the Bible's book of revelation before tragically ending in the deaths of 39 people. So, you know, 39, nine, 900. Oh,

Speaker 4:

This is interesting. I think I've actually , um, I think I've heard a little bit about this one. We'll see though,

Speaker 1:

I'm thinking of so far, this is my most requested Colt . So you have heard about it, Greg, have you heard about the heaven's gate cult before DVD TV? Give me some more , some more knowledge you all right . All right . We'll hold off on whether Greg knows about it until after I've told them about it. So to start it off on May 17th, 1931, Marshall Herff Applewhite jr . Was born in spur, Texas to Marshall , senior and Louise Applewhite, the son of a Presbyterian minister, young Marshall or Herff as everyone else called him, grew up in a very religious household. And by his teenage years, he was ready to follow in his father's footsteps, perceiving himself to be one of his three siblings who would carry on God's torch. But his family and friends believed otherwise. He was an intelligent overachiever with a deep, powerful voice, which led many to expect that he would become a wonderful singer. Someday. Perf was also very charismatic. Even from a young age, he was capable of charming everyone and lighting up the entire room. The minute he walked in. So we're seeing connections to Jim . Yeah. A lot of other cults that I've talked about so far, according to his sister, Louise, when w when Nant , we're going to go with that quote, he was usually president of everything. He was always a born leader and very charismatic. You get people to believe anything. He was quite the family comic at times, and he knew how to do something called an elephant walk. That would always get a laugh from everyone. And the only elephant walk I found when I Googled it was a not safe for work frat initiation. And I recommend no one looks at up, please. You know what I'm talking about, Sam, Sam ,

Speaker 4:

I'm pretty sure I I'm imagining. I have a guess as to what it involves .

Speaker 1:

I won't even ask you. So after graduating from the Corpus Christi high school known as the Roy Miller high school perf went on to study at Austin college, becoming active in several student organizations and enjoying a buzzing social life shortly after earning his bachelor degree in philosophy in 1952, he enrolled himself at the union Presbyterian seminar to study theology, adamant that his childhood dream of becoming a Presbyterian minister, just like his father would come true.

Speaker 4:

Did anyone tell you you can't do anything with an arts degree philosophy, baby. He took it all the way.

Speaker 1:

Ah , so you're seeing some connections to yourself then Sam . Wow. Maybe the buzzing social life. You did have a buzzing social life. You could call my social life buzzing . How's it doing now? It's definitely not.

Speaker 4:

I don't think anyone's . Yeah ,

Speaker 1:

It was around this time that Herff met a woman named Anne Pierce and the two were married in 1952. So they actually like they met and then almost within a year they were married and uh, I appreciate the efficiency. So his name is Herff. That's what everyone calls him is his real name is actually Marshall , which is named after his dad. Okay. And his sister actually is named Louise, which is named after his mom. So they just seeing the connect like Jim Jones is the same thing I was also going to ,

Speaker 4:

Are we ever going to revisit this beautiful singing voice of his, cause it kind of glossed over

Speaker 1:

Well actually in the future. Yeah, we will. I don't know how many pages from here, but

Speaker 4:

I just want to make sure we didn't lose lose

Speaker 1:

Sight of that. No, no, no. We , we we'll come back to that for sure. So at this point, the couple had , uh, two children, Mark and lane, and Herff was living the picture perfect life, the American dream. In fact, it a loving wife, two kids, and was on his way to becoming a Presbyterian minister by the mid 1950s, he was on his way to achieving the simple, quiet and comfortable life that many at the time longed for. But of course Hurt's American dream never materialized as most. Don't his seminary studies left him feeling far from fulfilled the rosy image of religious life that he had carried with him. Well throughout his childhood and adolescent years, soon evaporated. And he found himself leaving the union, Presbyterian seminary, sorry, screwed up. Naming his kids. Not naming them after himself. Yeah. How are they going to be juniors? The third is the fourth. I agree. A hundred percent. It seems to be that the S the second is always the issue. Yeah. Well, this is going to be like, this is the fifties , right? So they're probably only a generation or two past that there at most. A third right now. True. Yeah, not great. And Micah third could have been Marshall the fifth. So that would have been way better, correct? I wonder what his nickname would have been, but it may

Speaker 4:

Make no sense. Yeah. It would have made no sense. Cause this guy's nickname is

Speaker 1:

The second. You can make me junior after that, you can nickname them, really, whatever you want. Junior junior, junior, senior, senior junior, they call him Herff the second with his hopes of following in his father's footsteps, dashed perf instead decided to merge together as two passions in life, music and religion. He became the music director at the first Presbyterian church in guests, Gastonia, North Carolina, and his powerful voice made him the perfect baritone, capable of belting out spiritual music and spectacular works of handle without much effort. He is getting to the music game. Sam, you're a bit of a baritone, right? I have no idea. I would say so. I think so, but that low tone coming in, can't say I've sang in a choir, but so he quickly became popular among the congregants . Most of whom remembered him fondly quote. He had a beautiful voice. He was a very personal little person and he was a strong leader, settled Edith Warren, the pianos for the children's choir, which her fed also led. But once again, his life took a sharp turn. In 1954 Herff was drafted by the United States army forced serve as a member of the army signal Corp in Austria and New Mexico. Two very different places. I don't know why he was in Austria. You guys know what was going on in Austrian in 1954? I don't, I don't know much about the American military, mid fifties. I just don't understand what last year was doing. They just acting up and they've got to act to act up . I don't know , Sam as a history major, but when was the Vietnam war and it wasn't until the seventies right there, they could be, I don't know. Maybe it was just clean up after the world war. I don't know, clean up, like just picking up garbage, just, you know, raking, but putting those cathedrals back together, repainting walls

Speaker 3:

Had been mistreated during the war. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Right . That's what I'm going to go with military life. Wasn't for him though. And he left a mere two years later, back in the United States, Herff decided to pursue a music career in music and enrolled at university of Colorado for a master's degree in the subject picking musical theater as his main focus upon finishing, he moved to New York in the hopes of becoming an actor and a professional singer, but like most he failed. So he's a struggling in the music industry, Sam fare . And he probably should have went to LA. Right? Yeah, definitely. I mean, New York,

Speaker 3:

New York is probably pretty boom. And it's probably popping

Speaker 1:

Back then. I don't know. I guess he's going to Broadway. Yeah. Basically just going to movies, maybe LA, I feel about this, you know, his deep voice. He probably could have made it on. Yeah . Having a cool voice. I don't know. Well , he obviously ends up making it. Yeah , I'm guessing we wouldn't be talking

Speaker 3:

About him. If I'm assuming he makes it as a singer.

Speaker 1:

You know, this is a, this is an upbeat story about how a man followed his dreams to become a singer. It's not, but that'd be a way better story undeterred. He began teaching at the university of Alabama serving as a choir master for several student music groups. However, he was fired after it came to light that he was having an inappropriate sexual relation with a male undergraduate Oh . In 1965, Herff decided to move back to his home state of Texas heading up the music department at the university of st. Thomas. He thrived in the local community who deeply appreciated his talents. He served as the choral director of , uh , Epic costs at a church at that costal of a gostel . When do you think BackCheck started back checks? Yeah . Like for teachers record checks are like, Oh, maybe let's look into this story and not hire for the exact same job you just got fired for. Yeah. That's a great question.

Speaker 3:

Good question. Cause back then, you know, you probably just leave something off. Right. And you're just like, yeah,

Speaker 1:

No, I, I worked there. Yeah. I quit . Cause it was just too far away from home. What are you going to do? Call you, give them your buddy's number to be your reference basically . So

Speaker 3:

Two masters, right? Because didn't he get a masters in theology and then he got another master's in .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, he's killing it right now. Very educated man.

Speaker 3:

And all he does is lead choirs , right? Like he's had like six different jobs, all leading choirs,

Speaker 1:

Different places and the military, he was in the military. All right. Oh, I forgot about that .

Speaker 3:

He has a strong voice dude. I don't know if you've ever heard a strong voice strong and I can take you far.

Speaker 1:

Oh dude . I believe you. At the university, he was also well liked by a students. Most who found them to be engaging and compelling speaker with a rich voice and a good diction, but trouble was brewing at home in 1965. Huff's wife Anne learned about his previous affair with the male student at the university of Alabama. Three years later, the couple divorced and Herff was left, struggling with his sexuality, his religious background combined with the time period made the struggle even harder. I kind of feel bad for him at this point because society and his religions are forcing him to like suppress who he is and , and hide part of himself, which further calls causes him to isolate, which is never a good sign for anyone. Really good diction though. That just means you use like good Dick ,

Speaker 3:

Good pauses and comments ,

Speaker 1:

Right? Yes. Pretty cool. American in the 1960s was making its first steps towards becoming less homophobic. The decade was marked by the first gay rights demonstration in the United States in 1964, members of the community started protesting in New York city. After the confidentiality of gay men's draft records was violated. The following year protests for LGBTQ rights became even more widespread with demonstrations in Washington, DC, and sit-ins in Pennsylvania, but hurtful lived in conservative, Texas where gay rights at the time were nothing more than a pipe dream, unable to come to terms with the fact that he might be either gay or bisexual. Her found himself suffering both mentally and emotionally. He resigned from his job in 1970 with the university's president later recalling that he seems severely disorganized and out of it during the final few months of his employment, the worst was yet to come though in 1971, Herff moved to New Mexico or returned to Texas only a few months later around this time, his father, the man who he , whom he idolized for most of his life passed away, which sent them spiraling even more. He was depressed and unable to function his debt mounted by the day. And he was forced to borrow money from his friends, which left him feeling incompetent and inadequate. It was at this moment in time that Herff would meet Bonnie nettles, the woman who would help make them infamous in the United States and beyond Bonnie nettles, old name, physical name, not her original last name, but I don't think that's the strongest name yet though. A hearse , definitely a strong name. And what's his full name to Marshall Herff Applewhite jr . Applewhite Applewhite . It's kind of a cool last name. Now that seems like the guy in high school had his last name tattooed across his back.

Speaker 3:

That it was oddly specific. Yeah , I kinda, I kinda agree .

Speaker 1:

Do you guys want to hear about Bonnie nettles?

Speaker 3:

We can wrap this up, but let's just for a second. So your boy, her, if he's he's down on his luck, his dad , his dad he's in debt. His wife left.

Speaker 1:

Yup . Wait, why is he in debt? I think during the spiral, he was born in a lot of money from friends and he wasn't working. So Andy is struggling with his sexuality and that too. Yeah, that is the main thing I think , uh , to be honest, but he's where most cult leaders start at the bottom. Drake, we call it a Drake. Last time you were on to Greg. I don't know . I'm trying to get them to , to read us. All right . Bonnie nettles was born in Houston, Texas on August 29th, 1927. She grew up in a Baptist family, but distance herself from the religion upon reaching adulthood, she became a registered nurse sometime in the 1940s and married a businessman named Joseph seagull nettles in December, 1949. The two decades saw the couple living, a happy and idyllic life together with their four children in 1972 though, their marriage began to deteriorate after Bonnie started exhibiting some questionable behaviors. You got any more on the seagull man? Cause that's a pretty strong Joseph Siegel nettles . Yeah. That is a strong name . Uh , sadly I do not. He doesn't really play into the story after this point, basically being, just changing her last name and then divorcing, but we don't know what the last name was before. Yeah. We don't know what her last name was before. She was a no one before. So she was exhibiting questionable behaviors. And one of the things was that she believed herself to be communicating with brother Francis, a 19th century monk, whom she claimed frequently gave her instructions. And I, this is kind of weird. I don't know if she believed it or if it was what was happening. Cause it's oddly specific to me like this brother Francis among the 19th century, it's like, who is this guy? I don't know who this is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I was going to say his brother Francis like a real historical figure .

Speaker 1:

Not that I know of. And like, why not just shoot for the moon and say, Jesus is talking to you, like go big, right? Oh , believable. Because it's real. Well, that's what I think she believes it because it is so weird and specific. You know what I mean? Does she believe it or was it real? Well, it could be, you know, schizophrenia or something like that. She also began conducting weekly Sansa's around this time working with mediums in a bid to connect with those in the afterlife. These were all combined with her intense studies of astrology theosophy and the occult, all of which unnerved, her family and friends. They all knew her as a registered nurse with a deep respect for science and medicine. So her foil into those fields was deeply unsettling. Bonnie also started frequenting fortune tellers. And during one session, she was told that she would meet a tall, mysterious man who had light hair and fair complexion. This struck a chord in her and she remained on the lookout for such an individual. She didn't have to wait long in March, 1972 . The man that she had been promised, walked into her life as guests who that is see you go, his name is Joseph James Jones. It was James Dunn . Yeah . We're taking a turn here. No, it , uh, it was obviously hurt

Speaker 4:

The big Herff the big Herve fan . I didn't know he was tall

Speaker 1:

Too. Did you know he has a great voice for

Speaker 4:

Radio? I knew he had a great voice specifically for Paul

Speaker 1:

Casting . The exact circumstances of how Herff and Bonnie met are unknown. According to her from himself , they had encountered each other in the hospital where Bonnie was working as a nurse later, he would write quote, I was visiting a hospitalized friend when miss nettles entered the room and our eyes locked in a shared recognition of esoteric secrets. So how has that unknown? Well, because her sister Louise, when aunt told a much different story, she said, quote, he was living in Houston at the time and he had some trouble with his heart and ended up in the hospital. According to the nurses, he had a near death experience. One of the nurses convinced him that it was for a very special reason and that he could be used mightily in a group. She knew about unquote in this story, it sounds like nurse nettles took advantage of him in this low state of his life, heart issues, and then gave him some, some sort of hope kind of her. Yes.

Speaker 4:

He needed something to believe in

Speaker 1:

Regardless of how they were introduced Herff and Bonnie soon began to platonically, see each other, their meetings were filled with nothing, but in-depth discussion on the OSA fee and biblical prophecies. So theosophy is a religions established in the U S and focuses on the idea that there is an ancient secret brotherhood of spiritual adepts known as masters , uh , which I, you know, I might do an episode on that someday, cause it is very cultish. So just giving you a little heads up into where that is. Soon there talks gave way to two hour long studies and take the King James Bible, the life of st . Francis of Assisi and strangely enough, the works of science fiction, authors, Robert, a Highline and Arthur C. Clark. So they're studying the Bible and science fiction. I like it. Did you study any science fiction in your English?

Speaker 4:

I've definitely watched some science fiction lives taking that degree. So you call it studying,

Speaker 1:

Count. It we'll count it. Yeah. Bonnie confided in her that their relationship had been four told to her by aliens that he had been granted a divine assignment by then her fed been nursing and interest in the, in alternatives to traditional Christianity that he had known for his entire life.

Speaker 4:

Here we go. I was waiting for it . I was waiting for aliens to be , uh , yeah , but in the mix, I think I actually think more religions need some aliens. I agree.

Speaker 1:

Let's go Scientology. Oh ,

Speaker 4:

Oh . Now . Nevermind. Nevermind. I take it back

Speaker 1:

Because of this, he didn't find it difficult to believe what Bonnie was saying that he alone had been chosen by the divine for a special mission on earth. This was exacerbated further by the visions that he soon began having. In one of them, he claimed that he was told that he would play a similar role to that of Jesus Christ as the one and only of the world and its people. He also began believing that he and Bonnie were to be the witnesses mentioned in the Bible's book of revelation.

Speaker 3:

Imagine just sitting around and being like, nah, but you you're the savior. And you're like, Oh , me .

Speaker 1:

Maybe it's just really passionate flirting. I don't, I don't know.

Speaker 3:

They must've been banging. Right. Like there's ,

Speaker 1:

It gets into the relationship a little bit later, but I would believe he wouldn't be into her that way.

Speaker 3:

Okay. You know what I mean ? Yeah . I don't know

Speaker 1:

Is gay and that he, I don't think he pursued any more women after this.

Speaker 3:

Just a meeting of the minds. Intellectual. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And like I said in a little bit here, we'll get into it. It does talk a little bit about their sexual life. Okay. Or lack thereof.

Speaker 3:

Well , I'm here, man. Please keep your pants on.

Speaker 1:

So going into more about what the two witnesses are in the book of revelation, John relays, how a vision brought to him an image of the two witnesses whom he claimed would be blessed with the authority to prophesize. Even with the Holy city of Jerusalem, burning around them. As it was trampled by the nations for 42 months, he said further, they would have an immense power capable of bringing their enemies to their knees and with control over the earth elements. However, he claimed the two witnesses would be killed by the beast with their deaths celebrated by the entire world. But in the midst of this revelry, they would be resurrected by God and allowed to ascend, to heaven moments after their Ascension and earthquake would strike the world killing over 7,000 people. So this is what Herff believes him and Bonnie are. He believes they're the two

Speaker 3:

Witnesses. I'm a little confused at how they got there, but all right ,

Speaker 1:

Well, you know, if you're having two hour conversations about science fiction, religion, every day, it's gonna , it's gonna

Speaker 3:

Come up.

Speaker 1:

The legitimacy of herps vision is undoubtably questionable in 2005, Susan reign in her research, entitled reconceptualizing, the human body heaven's gate and the quest for the divine transformation posited that he was actually going through a schizophrenia episode at this time. Of course this has been neither proven or debunked, but I mean, they might've both had some sort of mental issue that was, they were hallucinating. These kinds of things.

Speaker 3:

That's what I would hypothesize from, from what we've heard so far as well with your arts degree. Yeah. That's fine. It's higher up than someone that's heard countless pointless conversations in your own mind. It might agree. Oh, I can attest. Yeah. Getting into there a bit more about that .

Speaker 1:

There a relationship they were United by their shared interest in the intersection of the Bible and extraterrestrials Herff and Bonnie grew closer as the weeks passed. It wasn't long before they started living together. Although both claiming that the relationship remained platonic. In fact, her even termed it as a quote, sexless union unquote, a living arrangement that they would have until Bonnie's death in 1985, for some unknown reason, they would frequently change their names first to Bo and peep then later to te and DOE dude boats, but also just changing your names all the time is the most suspicious thing. Yeah. So you got to respect that. Yeah. I don't know if it's just like a pet thing, like you call your girlfriend a nickname, but Oh, they didn't officially change it . I don't think so. No, it was just like, it's not as cool to say like so suspicious. Just changing your name full years. So just every two years go by Bo Bo Bo and peep is still sick though. Just like, what do you think was who is Bonnie makes sense for Bo ?

Speaker 4:

Ah , yeah, true. Because I, I honestly would assume that he was Bo , but maybe that's sexist.

Speaker 1:

That is sexist of you. It's just not a logical Herff to peop makes tons of sense. Yeah. Nice . That makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you go with, maybe you started calling her Bo and then she was like, Oh, you can be my peop I don't know. We're speculating at this point. All right. Sex, Leslie union, Sam, you love that kind of situation. You know, I love, I love it so much people,

Speaker 4:

People that I'm not having sex with. It's the dream. It's the dream

Speaker 1:

Dream by June, 1972, both Herff and Bonnie stood firm in their beliefs that they had been entrusted with the mission to preach to the entire world. First, they opened a small bookstore that they called the Christian art center, which carried publications that focused on spiritual experience. They also created the no place spelled K N O w a series of classes geared towards mysticism. And theosophy however, they closed both ventures shortly after convinced that their spiritual mission demanded more active pursuits . And I can't imagine any of those would make a lot of money. So I don't know. I don't know. That was a pretty strong name for a small bookstore though. I guess that's true. But I imagine

Speaker 4:

The , that loony bin, like you go into a small bookstore and it's just clearly two crazies,

Speaker 1:

What's it called to , it was the title again. So the bookstore was called Christian arts center easily like a rec center size in your head. You didn't know , it's like a giant yeah, yeah. Rec center basically. Yeah, exactly. I bet you, they wrote a bunch of the books. I , you know what it doesn't say, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Speaker 4:

Can I start making up like this dropping than these

Speaker 1:

It's been like two years, one year since they met, they've been having these long conversations. Did you have time to, they live together? Yeah.

Speaker 4:

I don't have jobs. It seems like they, these are

Speaker 1:

Their jobs. In 1973, they began going from city to city, visiting churches to preach their views and their messages. But they were poorly received by local communities. Most of whom deemed them to be insane and delusional probably because they were, but Herff and Bonnie remained undeterred steadfast in their belief that they were responsible for carrying out the wishes of the divine for them, the prosecution they received at the places they researched , they visited, served only to reinforce their perception of themselves as the two witnesses preaching yet reviled by those they preach to . Can I just go around to churches? Yeah . People will just show up. Well, I don't know any more , but you can try. Can I just show up at churches around the world and be like, Hey,

Speaker 5:

I was going to say, imagine doing yeah .

Speaker 3:

Church tour, but no one wants to nor invited you to any of the churches

Speaker 1:

Show up on Sunday morning. Hey, I'm going to say a few words. It's like, Hey, wait, we got ,

Speaker 3:

We got a few things to say, Oh sure. All are welcome

Speaker 1:

Here. Yeah . I believe in Satan. Oh God, big alien vibe , big alien. But the pair also believed that their higher calling exempted them from earthly laws or the laws of the United States in 1974, they were arrested for credit card fraud. But the charges were eventually dropped because they were allowed to do it . Yeah, they were allowed to. That's awesome. However, her ad also had another charge to take responsibility for it failed to return a car that he had rented in a crime. Then he was sentenced to six months in jail term

Speaker 5:

St . Louis, commonly known French sister st. Louis st. Louis st. Louis,

Speaker 1:

Louis, Missouri. Thank you. A crime that he had. He was sentenced to six months in jail for despite his argument that he had been divinely authorized to keep the car because God wanted them to have.

Speaker 3:

That's actually awesome. Just like doing petty crimes . No, no, no, no. I don't have to pay that credit. I was told by God God said, I don't have to pay that chicken nuggets.

Speaker 5:

God told me I'm not going to be sorry.

Speaker 1:

Despite his isolation from Bonnie perse belief never wavered. In fact uses time in prison to refine them even more. According to him, he and Bonnie came from the physical version of heaven, found in the galaxy, a place that they referred to as the level above human, because of this, they were tasked with leading humans to this next level, by helping them askew, their earthly needs and desires upon the fulfillment of this mission. The demonstration would happen in which they would all be transported by a UFO back to their home where they truly are .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. This, this is the one that I've heard that I've heard of before and I'm not going to get into what I've heard. Cause I feel like you're gonna , you're going to get to it. But yeah, the level above the big time does it invite fall of Nike's yeah . Yeah. That's that's part of it. But have you heard about yet, Greg?

Speaker 1:

Uh, so far so far, what I've heard is what I know. I've heard lots, actually. I know quite a bit. I heard of a seagull big part of this story. Joseph Siegel . I hope he comes back. I've written it. So I know he doesn't after his release and armed with his origin story Herff and Bonnie returned to Texas to cut all ties with their family. I don't know why, but I think just like, we don't want to talk to you. I don't know why you had to go tell them. There goes the seagull . They're not from outer space. According to his sister quote, he came to see us in Dallas, where we were living at the time to tell us that he was going off with this group and we would not hear from them again. And we of course tried to talk them out a bit . I told him that this wasn't him, but he said, you don't know the real me unquote, I guess they tried to talk them out of it. Kind of sound like they tried too hard please. No, please don't go. No, you don't know the real me or they'll probably it wasn't deep enough. These are free cards on all the real me . I don't know what is that deeper or just terrible. I was deep addiction. Wasn't good enough though . Yeah, you're right. I can never nail his day , but the pair were haunted by their previous failures. And so they sought to prove their belief and their message by seeking contact with aliens, the ones they believed were the source of their divine mission. So they're off to find some aliens. You think they'll find them L yeah. No. Well, it depends what you mean by find them find them in their hearts because they might say they found them. But I feel like we're getting close technology era era where it would get leaked on Twitter E well , I don't know if Twitter is ever around in the story, but they'd take pictures. And then on the future it would be spread. I see cameras and stuff. It's like the seventies. Imagine someone contacts , aliens like, Hey , no hurts here. Oh my boy. Herff all right , man. He's been chilling coming to get you in a few years, you know , take you back to the , the level up place. Tell him to keep that car. So yeah, her represents the people and the aliens. He's, he's a unifying figure. He's got the voice for it. That's true. He has the best voice for it. Once again, Herff and Bonnie hit the road, traveling through the Southwest and Western United States where they preach to the local communities. They had managed to hone their message and their beliefs and the role that age played, which meant that the people were finally paying attention to them. Bonnie was the mystique and the diviner while Herff was the charismatic speaker and together they were unstoppable. So they were exactly what you said, Greg, he's the, he's the mouth. She's the mystique, the , uh , operation, the Bonnie, Bonnie to his Clyde. That's what I was thinking. But the boat is Pete and she is Bonnie . So it's too bad that his name wasn't Clyde. It probably was at one point, you know what? I'll add that to the list of his name names . Just dub it over after I'll just add it in big names were Bo E wide. Uh, they moved out of the churches and started holding informational sessions where they outlined all of the things that they believed in their role as the two witnesses, the impending demonstration and the heaven found in outer space. So they they're now out of the churches, Greg, because I don't think anyone wants people in churches spouting off stuff. I hope they get rich. They do. I'll spoil it for you a little bit. They do get rich. Good . They do. Oh yeah. Okay . I think they bought the Nike Sam . Surprisingly enough. People started listening to what they had to say before long Herff and Bonnie found themselves with a loyal following as well as increasing interest in their work. In 1975, the pair started distributing flyers in Oregon, which contained a mix of conspiracy theories, science fiction , religion. And re-authorization the word? UFO was emblazoned across the top. But underneath it, lay a disclaimer, quote, not a discussion of UFO sightings or phenomena unquote. So they were like, Hey, we don't want any crazy talk here.

Speaker 4:

We don't want any of you crazies in here. I think that's all I Allianz only we see the aliens. We know you haven't seen them. Cause if anyone seen them, it would be us. Uh , they want my deep voice

Speaker 1:

Years . So the flyers went on to explain their core beliefs, starting with two individuals, say they were sent from the level above human. And we'll return to that level in a spaceship in brackets UFO within the next few months, unquote, they're handing out these flyers, they're getting people interested in UFO's and it's like that like mid seventies where UFO's are hip they're in, who does their graphic design? Probably some intern. I was going to say Bonnie, because that'd be set . Like it was a big role. Yeah. I don't know who did the flyers , but uh, they, they kind of worked. I can't believe just going to random churches. Didn't work,

Speaker 4:

Greg. I'm pretty sure the graphic design gets even orange.

Speaker 1:

You just wait and see if shell

Speaker 4:

Wasn't going to it. Will you just recovered at the end of the day ? And

Speaker 1:

Don't worry if I miss anything,

Speaker 4:

You just let me out . Yeah . I know about two things about this call that haven't haven't been said yet. So you guys want to hear at the end about what ,

Speaker 1:

What happens to Siegel at the end? I would love to hear what happens. Stay tuned for that big teaser. By this time Herff and Bonnie had started calling their movement, the human individual metamorphosis or him for short and total overcomers anonymous, which they didn't have an acronym for because TOA doesn't sound as great. I guess these names were based on their belief in the demonstration. When a UFO would come and transport them all to a utopia that they referred to as Tila , which was short for the evolutionary level above humans, a lot of acronyms, a lot of acronyms that's hap that's hat . That's sleek. I hate acronyms . I like it. But they do make you feel like you're part of something. If you know what they are. And that's a big thing that a lot of calls too, is they become, they get this language like too

Speaker 5:

Technical for normal peoples

Speaker 1:

You're special because you know what? Greg knows what's up. He's been to some internet stuff .

Speaker 5:

It makes me feel smart because I trust me . Did they get me all the time with that acronym? . I hate, I love Reddit.

Speaker 1:

Can I join a call? Would you fund that? Would I fund you joining to fund me ?

Speaker 5:

No . Sending your favorite Colts that you think Greg should join.

Speaker 1:

Okay. That'd be ground level. I have an idea for one Q and ons up and coming enough or that tomb . I don't know , just too mainstream yet . You the listeners I have to say, but I'll try it. Okay. If anyone wants to submit what cult we're sending to Greg, Greg to we're sending Greg to

Speaker 5:

[inaudible] hundreds of people to show up at my thing . Wait, why

Speaker 1:

Do we need to fund this? We got to get them there

Speaker 5:

Because I'm going to get deep. Like I'm going to buy. So should be in a call at work. I'm not paying out of pocket. Just drop hundreds of dollars into a call .

Speaker 1:

I see. Well, if you get in ground level, then you get people to pay you. Right. But there's still an investment in this . I'm starting on my own. So we're investing in you. Are we getting the money back now ? We'll see. I mean, if I get, yeah , like if I get out of this call super wealthy, I'd try and become a philanthropist, I guess. Okay. Okay. You'd come back on the podcast. I update regularly. That'd be cool. Undercover. That'd be sick. I misunderstood what you were trying to do. I thought you just wanted to join a call.

Speaker 5:

No , no, no. I'm under code . I misunderstood that you were coming back to tell you something , the cash flow today. I see , I think he's scamming, but, but that is a goal . Let's get , did you ,

Speaker 1:

So these marketing campaigns, for lack of a better word, entice, a lot of individuals and the membership in the organization, skyrocketed hundreds of people began attending the sessions that Herff and Bonnie put on entrance by the former charismatic words and the ladders mystical aura , whatever that means. In 1975, the existing members of him sold all their material. Possessions paid their families goodbye. And they all gathered at a hotel in Oregon and vanished and alarming event that made national headlines the exact same night. Are you getting a little bit of a Jonestown vibe here, Sam? Yeah, they disappeared. Yeah . They took off. This is kind of where things go awry to put it in the nicest terms. I guess off a cliff is how I would describe it. But in reality Herff and Bonnie had only become uncomfortable at the growing public scrutiny surrounding their growing organization and their efforts because of this, they led their followers to a nomadic existence, traveling from state to state and making a living panhandling. They slept in tents. If there were any and relied on the Goodwill of the public, even with these hardships though, their organization ranks continued to swell Herff and Bonnie led their members to experiment with unusual diets and sexual activities, which they both claimed would allow them to shed their earthly selves. Some her for later chemically castrated. So as I said, I don't know if there's too much more sex in her slowly. . That's actually dope. Imagined selling to a group of people that, yeah ,

Speaker 4:

We're going homeless. We're going to do it panhandling .

Speaker 1:

It's going to be sick or it's going to live in tents. And that's what you've been trying to convince us to do. It's actually true. That is all of the more baggy clothes and cut off their hair. Something that the leaders claimed would conceal their gender and sexuality, but served only to eradicate their individuality, which in turn made them more susceptible and vulnerable to the teachings that Herff and Bonnie spouted . So here's where we get, you know, they're taking away their possessions, their identity, and they're all just followers of Herff and Bonnie , they might just be trend-setters though. Right? Baggy clothes like head it's like a con it's like a Kanye thing. Yeah. There Kanye the world

Speaker 4:

Picks up on it. Some real Kanye lads actually

Speaker 1:

Calling out Kanye and Drake. This episode, please tweet at us the message that Herff and Bonnie endlessly preached may seem strange and bat crazy to us. However America at this time was going through its h ippie movement, which was marked by an astrological number of young adults seeking meaning and purpose in their life. I mean, I think that's every decade, there's always young people looking for meaning

Speaker 4:

It's likely these guys are dabbling and like some acid maybe. Oh yeah, for sure. I'm sure. Because that would actually make a lot of sense.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Yeah. They also couldn't get in trouble for it. Cause they're allowed. Yeah . Yeah. Everyone was allowed to the seventies, bro . No, no, no. But they were even above that. That's true that God wanted them to do drugs, but they don't even have cars anymore, man. They're just on the street, but they can just borrow one. If they want, they don't have to give it back. They don't want, they don't want cars, not, they don't have. Yeah , it's true. That's true. Most of these young adults had been born at a time when Christian values characterize the United States, the words under God, in the pledge of allegiance, as well as the phrase in God, we trust on the back of the dollar bill were both introduced in the 1950s during president Eisenhower's administration. It was only in that decade that America became one nation under God, a movement that has been spurred by the religious fervor that spread throughout the country. In fact, according to the university of Southern Carolina news, a typical Sunday morning from the years, 1955 to 1958 saw nearly half of the nation in church dressed in their finest clothes. Hearing mass was a social event and being absent from the pews was a cause for nasty gossip. But this all changed in the next few decades. Thanks to the Wars in Korea and Vietnam. Boom . Thanks yours .

Speaker 4:

So you thought,

Speaker 1:

I didn't know about this. I knew you knew about these, but it was a little early. You were just a couple of decades early . Well, it didn't get interesting until till the Wars. Yeah . Yeah . Growing public distrust in the United States government and the threat complete annihilation from nuclear weapons, which drastically shift a young adult's feelings towards the United States, confused and untethered. They latched onto movements that gave them a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and order a mid and increasingly chaotic world. A lot of them found truth in what Herff and Bonnie were saying more truth than what they encounter in the rigid structure of Christianity because of this membership in him or heaven's gate, as it was later referred to grew exponentially. So these people are saying that the salient cult is more truth than Christianity. Yeah .

Speaker 4:

It definitely I'll do an acid, bro. Like, he's gotta be like, Oh , no UFO. Yeah. No, that makes way more sense than what I've been hearing called being trendy about this God guy.

Speaker 1:

I , I dunno . You could maybe argue that it is more believable, I guess in some minds

Speaker 4:

Science fiction is also probably booming at this time. I'm assuming. Right. Like I don't know about the genre that much, but I feel like it's like aliens got to be kind of a hot topic around the seventies.

Speaker 1:

Are you on to be my English major experts now

Speaker 4:

Science fiction is science fiction. It booming, booming in the sentences. Just take hot takes. That's all we need on there . I'll just make stuff up. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Perfect. In the 1980s, the organization became sick of their nomadic ways and sought to establish a more permanent base. They rented houses across several States. Most notably in the Dallas area even started on working in the real world. Although they used fake names, limited their contact with those, not from the group and continued to abide by the rules that Herff and Bonnie laid down.

Speaker 4:

Are they, how are they renting these houses, man, all that pan handling money really backing up.

Speaker 1:

So I have to pay for the houses. Oh , churches don't have to. Yeah. They just pay first month and then they just don't pay again after that. But no, they gave the people that joining the call, they're giving up their worldly possessions and yeah, they're panhandling. So again, real jobs. So yeah, that too. So they're making a little bit more money now, ironically enough, the pair relaxed their control over their followers. Once they moved into permanent housing, by then there were approximately 80 members of in the heaven's gate, all of whom adhered to whatever it was that perf and Bonnie demanded of them. For instance, they were once instructed to wait outside all night way to visit from their extra terrestrial overlords afterwards, they were informed that it was a mere test to see whether or not they were loyal enough to follow what they were told to do. Even when it meant having to stay outdoors and freezing temperatures. Her fuse is charisma to control the members of heaven's gate often withholding his approval and praise for their actions. However, this only made them even more desperate to gain it. They held Earth's approval in high regards, perceiving it only second to the demonstration, which is the, you know, the rapture basically right on, despite all these brainwashing techniques, the members were finally allowed to visit their families and relatives on mother's day. Wow. In 1983, I'll be at under instructions to inform them that they were studying and working with computers at a monastery Herff and Bonnie's relinquishment of their control. Another purpose though, the visit that their followers paid to their families placated their loved ones. Most of whom believed that they were being held against their will. So it kind of was like, no, we're fine. You know, we just have important jobs . I'm just castrated now and have no hair. They let us go today. It's mother's day father's day, obviously all the cults get it off. That is a known called holiday. Actually in Dallas heaven's gate fell into an easy rhythm. They no longer had to move from place to place, nor did they have to beg for money. They were finally the picture of stability with permanent housing and a source of income. However tragedy would soon befall them. In 1983, Bonnie was informed that the cancer she had been previously diagnosed with had spread all over her body. But the doctor's warning fell on deaf ears. Bonnie, along with her believe that she was incapable of dying. After all, as the two witnesses, they would be ascending to heaven together. Therefore she claimed that no disease, not even cancer could stop the will of the divine. And I like that optimism, you know? I mean, it, it is optimism now . That's pretty great though, to just be like, nah , I'm not going to die. Okay. But the disease continued to worsen. Bonnie agreed to have her eyes surgically removed in an effort to STEM it's further spread, but it was too late. She spent her final days at the Parkland Memorial hospital in Dallas, under a pseudonym Shelley West. So she was getting worried. I mean, they got to go from saying she can't die being like, no, I'll take out the I though. Cause I want to not

Speaker 3:

Because I'm going to not because I'm worried about dying. I just, I hate my lab . I want it gone. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. She didn't truly believe no. And that was, I think the issue. No ,

Speaker 3:

I'm not sure . That's why she died

Speaker 1:

Two years later, either on June 18th or June 19th, 1985. She passed away. She had our , I remove . Yeah . And then live two more years. Give or take. Yeah, I think it , I think it was somewhere between those two years she had her eye taken out. Obviously it wasn't afterwards or before they were diagnosed. That was a dumb sentence. But unsurprisingly, her death sent her into another downward spiral. He lost his sec. Oh, I almost said sexual partner, but that we know that's not true. His spiritual partner is mystic, but after a few years, he once again regained his zeal for heaven's gate and his mission. So he's back baby. This time he sought to preach in a way that was more in line with the changing times. And that meant going online as Greg said on the line, not quite Twitter, but you know, the interweb, the interwebs in the late 1990s heaven's gate began aggressively pushing out a series of videos entitled beyond human. The last call, which featured information about their group, their beliefs and Hertz mission. They also took out a slew of advertisements. One of the more [inaudible] ones was in a 1993 issue of us today wherein they emblazoned an image with a headline that UFO called resurfaces with final offer. They also began publishing Hertz teaching on the internet and had a series of public lectures in 1994, while criticism was rampant, these efforts were successful. And increasingly organizations membership heaven's gate had faded into obscurity in the aftermath of Bonnie's death. But now they were back with a vengeance. However, their biggest stunt was yet to come roll , please. In 1995, the world was sent into a frenzy with the discovery of how bop comment, which was largely considered to be one of the decades highlights. It was a phenomenon widely observed across the entire country, but while many considered it to be a beautiful, natural wonder Herff and heaven's gate perceived it as a sign that the demonstration was about to happen. Hers like hers , pretty old at this point. Did you say 95? Yeah. And , and he's been doing this for like a long time, right? Cause I mean, yeah. Yeah. He and he was born in 1931, but I mean like heaven's Gates been running for like how like what, 20 years, at least now. Uh, Oh yeah. More than that. It's no certain the early seventies it'd be like, it'd be like mid 20. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty crazy. Had some highs and lows though. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

They went homeless. They went back to living

Speaker 1:

In homes while their leaders died. Yeah. They kind of called it off for a couple of years here and there. Yeah. So with the comment Herff told the members of heaven's gate, that the trailing comment was a space ship and that aboard this vessel was Bonnie ready to take them with her to the next level. He also explained that governments across the globe were conspiring with each other to suppress information, which is why it was their mission to expose the truth to the world in order to bring more people with them. So it's unlike a lot of conspiracy. There is the government's holding everything against us. We got to prove them wrong. Woke, woke, Oh, here you go, Greg. By then the organization was renting a mansion in a neighborhood in Rancho Santa Fe, California. So they're making a big, what does that have to do with the seagull ? Oh, I meant just the rich. You asked if there got rich. I think they got pretty well off people living in one mansion because not great. They'll sick dude.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I'd share management ADP. As long as we were all not having sex. Right .

Speaker 1:

They're definitely not having sex with each other. There's like 15 rooms. Yeah. As long as we're all not

Speaker 4:

Having sex, then

Speaker 1:

80 people in the same house . It's a mansion. No touching sexless mansion. The opposite of a Playboy mansion.

Speaker 4:

The dream, Greg ,

Speaker 1:

You could probably do it, honestly. Try and pull it off. So you're in no Greg wants the sex . Okay .

Speaker 4:

I love the sex.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to live with 80, 79 roommates. You don't get it. You're never going to make it. You don't get the dream. I will do. Just wait. Yeah . What happens at the cult starts moving around a lot. You're going to go with them. Yeah. Okay. You won't even live in a mansion with 70 people. A man, he wants to sex though. Give up sex. You just want to do it. Cause that's your comfortable living situation for research. Over the next few months, they published a series of videos that encourage viewers to leave with them in the approaching demonstration, claiming that this would be their final opportunity to evacuate earth before it is recycled. They were thinking environmentally friendly. What was their definition of recycle?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. They don't think it's going to be destroyed. They think it's going to be used again. Someone will use it.

Speaker 1:

I don't, I have no idea. Maybe just a less harsh term of saying it's going to be destroyed. I don't know.

Speaker 3:

Kind of just woke with their terminology. I'm in like the next level. That's pretty cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Like pristine road prestige .

Speaker 3:

That'd be safe . We're going to prestige mode. It brings you back to level.

Speaker 1:

It's just like resurrection. You just come back as a baby. That's sick. No , no, no. They just blow all their money and start again. Oh, I got to level 50. You got it . And then do it over. And they max out what happens in the max out of there just God, well again, an extra creative class. So there's more stories. They build like two new houses every time. The how Bob comment, which was at the time also being referred to as the great comment of 1997, it was projected to pass on April. First of that year as millions across the world, polished the lenses of their telescopes and binoculars perf and heaven's gate began to prepare to exit from the world. They started by recording farewell statements, which were meant to be sent to their families upon their departure. Many of the members heaped, praises upon her in their statements. However, experts would later describe these recordings as a mere regurgitation of the teachings that they had been fed on March 21st, 1997, the members of heaven's gate ate a final supper at a restaurant where they all ordered the same thing, Turkey, pot pie, cheesecake with blueberries and ice tea bomb . I love that. That's probably my, my final supper. What restaurant? A restaurant Nobu for sick . I probably got such a deal to all ordering the same thing. Yeah, because you met an 80 people showing up to a restaurant. It would take a while to

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I wonder how they had , like, I wonder if there's any problems.

Speaker 1:

They probably pre-booked. Yeah. But they , you know, they didn't, they didn't tip because God told them they didn't ask dude , they didn't pay. Or I guess they probably could if any leftover cash. Yeah. They don't, they won't need it where they're going. Unless the UFO cost money. I don't know , man . Imagine they use the same currency, but you didn't think they would . And you just blew all your, you get there and you're just so poor, but they're like, yeah, it's $15 us dollar . I shouldn't have had the extra cheesecake on the outside. They seem like your average run of the mill group of friends on a fun night, out on town. I'll be in clothing and exhibiting even stranger mannerisms, bunch of virgins . Wait, the first and second point there did not line up. Yeah. You know, they look normal, but really, really weird and way besides being 80 of them and them dressing weird and definitely talking weird. They were normal. That's the stupidest point you've read yet. We'll get through it. Okay. But the following day, the suicides began. Several of the organizations members ate either pudding or applesauce mixed with Vino barbiturate walls before washing it down with vodka and putting bags over the head to induce this fixation within minutes, they were all dead. It's a tough way to go . There's a ton better than Kool-Aid . I'll give you that. Why did they do that? I don't think that is better than Kool-Aid . Maybe not make you do a shot of vodka after it. Like, Hey , you already dying dog, but well, and they hold the bag over their head to die. Then they hold the bag stuff. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, listen, they're both terrible ways to die. We'll go with that. Yeah. These first few individuals reportedly wore Nike shoes and black uniforms with patches that red heaven's gate away team, for reasons, unknown bags containing cash and forms of identification and replaced with sad their body. So what did the home team do? There was never a home team. I guess the home team would be heaven's gate maybe, but they don't have any idea. So the home team is the alien. That's what I assume. This is me personally. It's like space jam Sam . Yeah, exactly. They're the home. The , of the home team. So this is , they're like the Looney tunes. Yeah . I guess they're the Looney tunes. We gotta , we gotta find out when that came out is a vacuum out like right before. And they were like, , that's the aliens. I'm looking it up.

Speaker 5:

Right? Yeah . God let me know

Speaker 1:

When Luna, when a space jam came, because when I say this was 1997, March 21st and welcome to the jam . Uh , this is in 1996. Crazy. Holy . You think they took ideas from space jam. They're like finally the aliens we've been talking about, we've gotta be right. The Jordans November 15th . Like it all makes sense.

Speaker 5:

Basketball or basketball.

Speaker 1:

That's what we have . The Nagy is the gear, the way team. Wow. You know what? That would be interesting. Like we said, we're just making up on here. And u h, I would never outright say it, but Sam claims that that is what it's for space jam. T wo's coming out next year. Y ou t hink we can get s omething started in time. T here's a c all. That's g oing t o follow in their footsteps. W e started, well, i t h ave to be right. C ause that's 30 years before this. U h, y eah. I don't want to join that one. I don't want to. I'm too late to join. Anyway. You gotta wait for space. Jam three, baby. Well, it depends when it comes out. What if it's in like two years they s hip three. I d on't k now. Maybe they want L eBron for a couple. I actually probably don't want to be in a call where everyone killed himself. I just want to be in the , where like someone got super rage . Oh, I see. You just want to , I just want to pay a bunch of money. You just want to be a grifter then? No, I just want Jim Jones. The ultimate grifter grifter is a strong word. Is that it's got that guttural grift or Epic grow . Imagine this guy saying grifter. Oh God, I'd kill myself guys . You guys on the podium and just says words. That sound cool in his gray voice. I listened to that podcast. We don't even know how good the voices you can listen to it online. Oh . He is . Is it good? Do you want me to play one right now? Yeah. Yeah. Like in the, in the edit? Yeah. Okay. So we'll just pause. We'll pause for five seconds and then we'll react. Okay. Ooh , Whoa. And you're telling me all those people weren't having sex. Um, I'm putting the edit here now. That's true. Or in old language, a couple thousand years ago, disciples, those who are trying to prepare themselves for entry into the evolutionary level, above human synonymous, with the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. We're going to talk to you about the most urgent thing that is on our mind and what we suspect is the most urgent thing on the minds of those who will connect with us. We'll title this tape planet earth about to be recycled. Your only chance to evacuate is to leave with us over the following. Two days, the rest of the members would follow her was among the last four people to commit suicide helped by as assistance who then killed themselves. And with that heaven's gate had ascended, but probably not in the way that they had hoped. It continues nearly a week later on March 26 , their bodies were discovered by local authorities who received an anonymous tip that spurred them to check on the mansion and its inhabitants. In total, they found 39 bodies inside the largest mass suicide involving American citizens. Since the infamous Jonestown massacre, 1978, boom boom connections. I'm making them. I don't won't have any more. After that. Most of the bodies were discovered lying on mattresses on the floor covered in purple shrouds. However Herff was found seated on the bed inside the master's bedroom. Later medical examiners determined that he suffered from a coronary arthrosclerosis, a debilitating disease caused by plaque buildup inside the arteries, causing it to severely narrow. Naturally the news horrified the nation, most of whom were still reeling from the shock of the Jonestown massacre photos of the mansion, circulated it spread exacerbated by the rise of the internet. People tweeting it out 1997, more importantly news programs aired the endless loop of Earth's final statements, a video that showed him wild-eyed and rambling about the need for him and his followers to cross heaven's gate, which he claimed would open when, how op comment came. I hope I'm pronouncing that right? So Haley's comment. No, no, it's not. Halley's comet. Needless to say this left the world with more questions and answers today, the gospel of Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie nettles comes across as insane and downright lunacy. Many continue to question how their mythology that combined extra terrestrials and the book of revelations managed to attract more than a hundred followers at its peak heaven's gate had about 200 members. All of whom were readily believed in the lies that their leader fed them. Countless studies have been done on heaven's gate, perhaps because of how utterly crazy its claims have been with the people's temple and the Jonestown massacre. The message that Jim Jones spread was at least quote-unquote logical, if not believable, but with her and Bonnie, it was pure madness. According to some experts, the sinister success of heaven's gate was due to the cultures of isolation and religious [inaudible] that the two witnesses managed to cultivate all of their followers had made a long-term commitment to them, promising to follow them to the worlds beyond earth. After losing Bonnie to cancer, they were unprepared for the prospect of life without her, which is why they chose to kill themselves. Instead, this line of argument is given credence by the fact that the majority of those who lost their lives in 1997 had been in the organization for more than two decades, but still other theories have been put forward over the years. For instance, in a 2000 study of the apocalyptic movement, John R. Hall postulated that members of heaven's gate killed themselves in the belief that this demonstrated the total absence of fear of their death. For them, it signifies their complete belief in her foot and Bonnie and their teachings, little column, a little column beat probably. And on the other hand, and this comes back to her sexuality, the gay rights activists and founder of the metropolitan community church, Troy Perry jr. Are your , that it was her struggle with his sexuality that is eventual repression of it, where the reasons behind his suicide. However, this theory is largely rejected among most academics, but I can also, I can see where he's coming from. Like none of this would have probably started if earth was just accepted as he was definitely wouldn't have been as isolated for sure. But perhaps it's one of her former disciples, baby Coke, Coke, strong name, maybe the strongest thing that could be an easy rap name right now, but perhaps it's one of her former disciples, baby Coke , who should have the most say on the matter, I don't think he needed to have a following. I think he was the kind of person had truly believed and had a lot of charisma. And so others people followed him unquote regardless of whatever motivation Herff Bonnie may have had nothing changes. The fact that their preachings led to the tragic and unnecessary death of 38 individuals, they died in the pursuit of a heaven located in outer space, obeying the commands of two people who believed themselves to be something that they were not and of heaven's gate. Oh yeah. We got to learn about Jason Segel or Joseph. I forgot his name, his named Siegel after getting divorced from Bonnie , he still kept in touch with her. And this is by the way, like off the record, I mean, don't, don't come at me with your real takes or anything. I'll come back when we facts . It was just my recollection. You know, my understanding of the situation, you know , like he kept in touch with Bonnie , you know, they've wrote letters because she wasn't fulfilled in some ways by correct relationship with half. So they kept in touch over the years and he actually became really engaged in the call because obviously that was a big part of her life. So that was imposed on him and then Siegel , you know, never signed up, but you know, he's aware of a follow day. Didn't look down on it when she died, though, he was a big against the call, you know, he was trying to expose them, trying to get rid of them. Couldn't do it though. Cause he didn't have the power of the internet and a great graphic designer like aggregate dead. Yeah. It was very unsuccessful. Knew what was coming, went to the main chain. He was just too late. So he and anonymously called authorities. And that was that, but wow. He's a couple of days

Speaker 4:

I've actually got , I've actually got some interesting facts about heaven's gate that are probably more factual than that one. I don't know. But you just, you really like at the start we put out a lot of , uh, precursors claimers. Hey, this might not be true. Okay. Okay. So , so I actually have some, some facts about heaven's gate and again, I don't know how right this is, but this is stuff that I've heard in a different podcast, actually a better terminology. Shout them out a better way. Not I call it . No , I'm pretty sure it did. I'm pretty sure it was on like H three H these podcasts. Oh yeah. I'm like way back, but so basically heaven's gate. So the shoes that they wore right . Were all like matching and the exact same model. Like it came out recently and that shoe has like transcended into pop culture and that shoes like super expensive to buy. Now, like you can find it online, online for like thousands of dollars, $800,000, that model of Nike because of this entity, because of this incident. And it just wasn't like a popular shoe outside of that. So I don't think, I think it's like a retro shoe and it never got remade. I don't know. You'd have to look up the model there. I just know I'm pretty sure they were white with like a black swoosh, like, but you'd have to look up the model. Interesting. Also, so their website is still up heaven's gate and uh , it's still maintained by a group, a small group of people and I'm surprise me . They have an email. And so basically one of the guys, H three H three, started emailing this email. Okay . And uh , he asked them like a bunch of questions and it's like, it's really interesting. It's like really weird. And basically the people who still run the website claim that they're

Speaker 1:

Like part of the cult, right. There's like

Speaker 4:

Two or three of them left. And they were specifically, their roles was to stay alive and to continue sharing the message and sharing

Speaker 1:

The story wild. So,

Speaker 4:

So they're yeah. So they're claiming to actually be,

Speaker 1:

To have been there that day. So

Speaker 4:

Imagine like everyone's supposed to be killing themselves to go to heaven or whatever side you want to believe. And then he's just like, but yeah ,

Speaker 1:

You're going to stay here. You guys are going to embarrass me on the alien ship. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

And so, and so yeah, so apparently two of them are still alive. They run the website. So,

Speaker 1:

Well, it does, it does mention like there were more than the 39 that died and it did, I did talk about how like the, most of the people that did kill themselves for only the ones that were there for yeah . The two decades or so. Okay . And that, and they were probably brainwashed enough or trusted enough maybe that they were, they were trusted ongoing on this voyage, I guess you could call it so they could be part of the, probably 50% that didn't go. Approximately

Speaker 4:

Probably the youngest ones I would assume, would maybe have been chosen to , uh, to continue to stay. Yes . But , um, and another thing is , uh, some of their graphics and images

Speaker 1:

TJ's have really like propelled themselves into

Speaker 4:

Pop culture and even like a few rap artists I know have used some of their stuff on album covers. And I actually think there's been a lawsuit.

Speaker 1:

Like I'm pretty sure heaven's

Speaker 4:

Gate has filed a lawsuit or against little Uzi , I think Uzi. And they requested that he eat changed a single cover that had one of their graphics on it .

Speaker 1:

Wild. Yeah. Cause their , their logo is it's very , um, seventies, I'll say that. Yeah . It's it's got like the, it's got like heavens like where to cross and then gate goes through the a and heaven. Okay. And then it's got like a, it looks Gates like shaped like a keyhole . Yeah. That's it

Speaker 4:

That's yeah. That's the one that Lil Uzi

Speaker 1:

Is looking over the earth. It's very interesting. But, but anyways, that's all the , uh , is that the graphic designer ?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. That's all the maybe facts. Maybe not facts that I have for you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. No, that's interesting. Maybe I'll maybe I'll reach out to the heaven's gate. People see if I can get them on. That'd be interesting. Kind of cool.

Speaker 4:

Like I said, I remember when I watched this, he went through like all of the emails and they're definitely weirdos. Whoever's responding to them .

Speaker 1:

Well, they're not going to , they're going to not going to come on my mind gas now that I called or you call them. They're definitely, really cool. Really cool. Super , um , down to earth people. Oh, do you think their next Ascension is after space jam too ? Yeah. Maybe they have a new team for that then? Yeah. The new away team. Yeah . What shoes do you think go get? It seems like from a brief look online, they just bought budgeted new Nike shoes that they somewhat liked the look of. So it wasn't like a fashion statement. Any means, right . There's definitely a specific model though. You can find it. Yeah. They just said it like it was discontinued some new release and then they never got released again. Interesting. Well, that's

Speaker 2:

That's heaven's gate. I appreciate the facts from

Speaker 1:

Sam. You're welcome. I appreciate the maybe facts about Joseph Siegel . I'll go to this column. So you go from now on from Greg and I appreciate you two coming back on the podcast, you know, hopefully we can get Greg into a cult and then have him back to report on the inner workings of a cult. Yeah. Let me know, keep me updated. We'll do. And then , uh, Sam, you know, get me in touch with the heaven's gate people. It sounds like you have an end, so maybe I'll look into it. Maybe I'll start shoot them some emails. We need to start a website. That's just like stop space jam too .

Speaker 2:

Thanks for coming on guys. I appreciate it. Hopefully we'll have you on again. Please listen to Greg's podcast. A couple of bots.

Speaker 1:

They talk about, we talk about gaming. Uh we're . We're like the gaming podcast for art nerds. Okay.

Speaker 2:

The , the biggest gaming podcast for people who aren't nerd

Speaker 1:

For people who aren't losers, we're not giving you the analytical facts about the Cod map, five S and D right.

Speaker 2:

Chilling and listen to Sam wood right here. Right now, right here. Right now at this time I'm on this podcast. He's a unofficial second host, as I said at the beginning of the episode. So he can't leave this boat . Uh , yeah. Thanks for coming out guys. Talk soon.

Greg Doiron

Guest

Host of A Couple Bots podcast!