Others, like Janja Lalich, an East Bay expert on cults, came to simply monitor what the Heaven's Gate survivors were doing. He claimed 'next level' beings had no sexual organs and also forced all the members to wear matching, gender neutral, clothes and to have the same haircuts. Speaking ahead of the next episode of People Magazine Investigates: Cults, which airs on Investigation Discovery on tonight at 9 p.m. He continues: “My initial response was, ‘Okay, they’ve gone and done it.’ My thought was, ‘Okay, this is the group I was a part of and they finally pulled the trigger on their decision to leave.'”. Frank Lyford looks back on his decision to leave the the Heaven's Gate cult, whose members were all found dead wearing matching Nike sneakers in a 1997 mass suicide. Heaven's Gate Survivor Desperately Tried to Pull Girlfriend Out of Cult Before Mass Suicide More He didn’t know what it was or where it was coming from, but it … "This is going to be my mission. Calling his departure from the group a "mistake," Ody said he contacted Humphrey after the March suicides and joined him a week ago. Copies of the video were being sold for $15 while thick, bound books entitled, "How and When Heaven's Gate (The Door to the Physical Kingdom Level Above Human) May be Entered," were on sale for $45. “Being in the Heaven’s Gate cult was an experience in which I gave my power away on all levels,” Lyford, 65, says. "We believe there are many out there who want to learn more.". this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. He had a lot of facial expressions and those bug eyes, but there was nothing there.".

Because every room we went in had bodies stacked up like cordwood.". As the cult grew, so did its ability to make money and they put down roots. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at  jo@samaritans.org, Marshall Applewhite was the leader of the Heaven's Gate cult, When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. "I didn't think he (Applewhite) was very charismatic at all. 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. Introducing ... PEOPLE's Products Worth the Hype, Heaven’s Gate, 22 Years Later: Remembering 38 People Who Died With Cult Leader, Heaven’s Gate Survivor Desperately Tried to Pull Girlfriend Out of Cult Before Mass Suicide. Wearing their matching uniforms, the cult took barbituates, in some cases in apple sauce, and drank alcohol - and slowly, over the next three days, they all died. Over the years this morphed into a belief that the human body was simply a "container" for the soul, and this would be placed in a new body when they reached the spaceship. A 25-year-old former member, who identified himself as Crlody (pronounced Carlan Ody), said his full-time job was to assist Humphrey in spreading the message. All these years later, Lyford tells PEOPLE, he hasn’t fully recovered. There was no trace of violence or blood - and those lying dead looked so peaceful they could have been sleeping. Insisting the group was not trying to recruit members - or encourage suicide - Humphrey said the goal was to make information about Heaven's Gate available to the public. Last chance. ", At yesterday's meeting, Chuck Humphrey, 56, of Denver, along with three other former members who call themselves the "Away Team," showcased a 70-minute video of Applewhite, who preached a rambling message about reaching salvation by leaving behind the physical body - or "container" - to ascend to the "Kingdom Level Above Human.". Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. Marshall Applewhite was the leader of the Heaven's Gate cult who shocked the world in 1997 when their 39 bodies were found at a mansion in California, Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz.
The extreme cult told its followers that following their suicides, they would transcend their earthly bodies, or "containers" to start a new life on board an alien spacecraft. As well as their uniforms of dark coloured tracksuites and Nike trainers, Applewhite's followers also wore badges declaring they were 'Heaven's Gate Away Club'. The 39 active Heaven’s Gate cult members used the money they had made from a variety of online enterprises — a service to help people reconnect with lost friends, and a web design firm called Higher Source, among others — to rent a mansion in a gated community just outside of San Diego.

Throughout the 1980s Heaven's Gate started to focus on the suppression of sexual desire with Applewhite and seven of his following even going to the extreme lengths of surgically castrating themselves. Do's leadership," Lalich said.

He also says he’s still tormented by the memories he has from his time with the suicide cult — and the pain he has carried with him since the day police found 39 bodies inside the cult’s Rancho Santa Fe compound. More than 22 years after leaving, there’s still a point every day when Frank Lyford reflects on his time with the Heaven’s Gate cult. People Magazine Investigates: Cults airs on Investigation Discovery tonight, June 17, at 9 p.m. These 21 women and 18 men were members of the strict Heaven's Gate cult and they had all willingly made the decision to end their own lives. But the only way they could do this was to commit suicide and leave their 'vessels' behind.

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