Heaven's gate Cult Suicide Leaves 39 Dead
Vol. 142 CYBERSPACE, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 1997 No. 1
On Wednesday, 3-26-97, police found 39 dead people in a fancy house located in Rancho Santa Fe, California. They have been identified as members of the Heaven's Gate Cult. The cultists believed that the Hale-Bopp comet was a marker for them to kill themselves so that they could join a UFO trailing behind it. Each dead person had a suitcase packed so that they would have clothes for their new life. Unsurprisingly, the suitcases were left behind--you don't need a change of clothes in hell.
When I first read this story, I knew that the members of Heaven's Gate were New Age zealots. If you ever want to hear some mumbo-jumbo, check out a New Age site. You might read, "I know that I'm God, but Self alludes and misunderstands," or "The metaphysical hypotenuse correlates with the Arias coordinates."
Today's (3-28-97) front page Washington Post story first references the cult's belief system in the third paragraph. The writers state:
They were also members of a cult that mixed end-of-the-world Christian-style eschatology with a space-alien obsession several steps beyond that on television's "The X-Files."
But then, halfway through the article, they give the opinion of cult EXPERT and exit counselor, Joe Szimhart:
"They seemed to be New Age fundamentalists."
Now if the expert says that they were New Age fundamentalists, why would the authors dare to put the description "Christian-style" at the beginning of the article? I believe it is because this world is as hostile to the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was when He walked the earth. Anything to take a jab.
Cultists Ridiculed Christianity
The Washington Post reports:
The Heaven's Gate Web site ridicules Christianity repeatedly. And yet, in apparent contradiction, the Web site sermonizing is heavily laden with respectful biblical and Christian references to Armageddon, "the Kingdom of Heaven," John the Baptist, Lucifer and the anti-Christ...
The leader of the cult Marshall Herff Applewhite claimed that he came to this earth 2,000 years ago as Jesus, yet they speak badly about Christianity. When people say no to the Lord, He gives them over--Satan then confuses and blinds their minds. Romans 1:28-32,
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.
The above is a menu of today's society. You can find ALL of this wickedness on television and in the street. No one can honestly deny this fact. The Bible exposes who we really are. It doesn't matter if we're talking about cultists, academicians, criminals, farmers or any other socio-economic-religious class--if they ain't got Jesus, they dwell somewhere in Romans chapter 1.
Cult Takes Verse out of Context
The cult members were not permitted to marry, have sex or drink. They had to give all their possessions to the cult. On their website, the cult gives a "scriptural basis" for not getting married (and again, I quote the Post article):
The scriptural references all refer to admonitions that marriage and pregnancy are barriers to resurrection. "Those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage," it says in Luke 20:35, one of the passages cited.
The cited scripture is out of context. Some Sadducees (v.27) came to Jesus trying to tempt him and asked about marriage in the kingdom of heaven, not here on earth. Luke 20:34-36 gives the Lord's response:
And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
Of course, the Post didn't try to correct that misquotation of the Bible.