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Heaven's Gate was a shitty 1980 movie, but also the name of an early web design company and UFO cult, led by Do (aka Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr.) and Ti (aka Bonnie Nettles). They achieved infamy in 1997 when the 39-strong "Heaven's Gate Away Team" committed mass suicide in San Diego, California, using phenobarbital mixed with applesauce and chased down with vodka, in order to get on board a UFO that they believed (through misinterpretation of a photograph, and remote viewing) was trailing behind comet Hale-Bopp (which had come into "close" proximity with Earth). This particular suicide became famous for the eerie sameness of how all of the cultists died: All of the bodies were discovered wearing matching black sweatsuits, with brand new Nike shoes, and a square of purple cloth covering their faces and torsos.
Two members of the group survived, however, and unusually this was by mutual agreement. The two stayed behind to spread word about the cult, maintain the Web site (poorly), and answer questions.
- Star Trek (they used terms from the show, such as "Away Team"; also, one of the dead cultists was the brother of Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Uhura in TOS)
- Courtney Brown
- The Aetherius Society
- Jim Jones
- http://www.heavensgate.com Their homepage, maintained on another server as it was in 1997.
- A Usenet posting by "Doe" Archived on Google Groups
- The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind
- Exposing Pseudoastronomy Podcast Episode 129 The Saga of Comet Hale-Bopp and its Fugacious Companion, Part 3