A recently-released tape from the Heaven's Gate cult offers a disturbing portrait of the man who convinced 39 people to commit suicide in 1997, believing their souls were going to join aliens on the Hale-Bopp comet.


This was the exact spiel that cult leader Marshall Applewhite used on his initiates, to convince them that they needed to die and "escape" before the Earth got "recycled." Members of the Star Trek-loving group, which had dwindled from many thousands in the 1970s to just over three dozen in the late 1990s, were discovered in a mass suicide in a San Diego mansion. The original Heaven's Gate website has also been preserved.

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