rotten > Library > Biographies > Religion > Cult leaders > Marshall Applewhite

Marshall Applewhite

"We take the prize, I guess, of being the cult of cults." So declared the self-loathing homosexual who led Heaven's Gate, somehow failing to mention either "destructive" or "brainwashing" in his description. Applewhite's characterization proved to be inadequate in March 1997, after the group's elaborate mass suicide.

With a total membership of just 39 people, Applewhite was certainly no Jim Jones. But what do you expect from someone whose middle name is "Herff"? Although he did manage to snag Uhura's brother. That's something.

Poor astronomer; decided the Hale-Bopp comet was the sign of impeding apocalypse, when he should have waited for a comet that was hurtling at the Earth. Called himself "Do" and his co-leader "Ti", leaving speculation that Re, Mi, Fa, So and La are still on the loose somewhere.

Cult members led an ascetic life, in their efforts to achieve "Human Individual Metamorphosis" -- the transformation into an "Evolutionary Level Above Human." Despite its Nietzschean overtones, this concept referred to the exchange of their current physical forms for brand-new space alien bodies.

In a September 1995 post to Usenet, Applewhite announced his plan to the general public. Introducing himself as "Jesus, Son of God", Doe@Ti.Lah explained that the time was nigh for him to experience a second death and resurrection. Which would give us another Easter to celebrate (great if you love chocolate rabbits). The only weird thing in this scenario was the UFO stuff.

I am not naive. I am quite aware that what I am saying here will to many, if not most, sound like I should be locked up as a mental case at the least. However, that awareness cannot stand in the way of my simple acknowledgment of these facts for the sake of those who might go with us, and also for the sake of those who desire to be a contributor to our demise or exit from this world.

And, in a move that would have made David Koresh proud, Applewhite suggested that potential followers vigorously exercise their Second Amendment rights:

If you DO recognize me and choose to look to me for guidance, I would recommend that you purchase firearms, get comfortable using them (or partner with someone who can), and somehow position yourselves (separate from others enough to not be vulnerable) so that you might establish a relationship with me, protected from interference as far as possible. In this day and time the authorities make no bones about their "need" to protect the public from "dangerous radicals like us." They will aggressively attempt to require us to abide by their values and their rules (which are of this Luciferian world and its society -- as difficult as that might be to believe). They won't hesitate to trump up charges or suspicions in order to search us or take us into custody so they can "judge for themselves" whether or not we are some kind of a threat.

In a subsequent video made by the cult, Applewhite moved up the timetable. But he also equivocated just a little:

"I feel that we are at the end of the age. Now, the end of the age, I'm afraid I feel is, right upon us. It's gonna come -- now, I don't want to sound like a prophet -- but my gut says, and everything else that I know points to, that it's going to come before the turn of the century. That it's going to come in the next few months, or next year or two. I could be off. I thought it -- Ti and I thought it was going to end within a few months. The age was going to end in 1975."

Pretty convincing stuff.

In the years prior to joining Hale-Bopp, the "X-Files" and "Star Trek" nerds filled time as competent web designers in San Diego, seemingly normal except for the fact that some eight of them had undergone voluntary castration-- in apparent denial of their human bodies. It seems the testicles of their human body-vehicles were interfering with their alien spirit-nature. Being unable to procreate, such a cult is doomed; it is no wonder Suicide was the end-game.

They checked out by mixing booze with Nembutal. According to the written protocol found on-scene:

Take the little package of pudding or applesauce and eat a couple of teaspoons. Pour the medicine in and stir it up. Eat it fairly quickly and then drink the vodka beverage. Then lay back and rest quietly.


Timeline

10 Apr 1997 Responding to a question about Whitewater during a WAMU talk radio show, First Lady Hillary Clinton bemoans "the never-ending fictional conspiracy that, honest to goodness, reminds me of some people's obsession with UFOs and the Hale-Bopp comet some days."


Pornopolis   |   Rotten   |   Faces of Death   |   Famous Nudes