Essay about Heaven's Gate: A Colossal Failure

Essay about Heaven's Gate: A Colossal Failure

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Throughout history, there have been many instances of cults, many of which share the common characteristic of having corrupt leaders. For instance, Charles Manson led his cult in a homicidal spree, and David Koresh and Jim Jones convinced their followers to commit mass suicide. It is apparent that in cult history, leaders are the main cause of the tragedies that ensue.
Heaven’s Gate, a religious cult, was founded on a mixture of Christian beliefs and a belief in UFOs. They stayed out of the public eye for many years until March 27, 1997. On this day, thirty-nine members of the cult committed suicide so that their souls could board a coming spaceship. This spaceship trip, however, was only for their souls, so they needed to be rid of their earthly bodies. Needless to say, nobody really knows where the souls of these people went, but the group strongly felt that they would be enhanced by ending their earthly lives. That being said, where the real world considers this occurrence a tragic event by a disturbed cult, the cult would consider their mass suicide a success. In reality, this horrific tragedy was not a success but a major failure. How exactly did Heaven’s Gate fail by doing what they believed would bring them salvation? Well, their supposed utopia, or perfect society, failed because a group of people were convinced by their all-knowing leader that taking their own valuable human lives would actually save them. In the end, thirty-nine human lives were lost. That is a failure.
This community believed that its primary leader, Marshall H. Applewhite, was the reincarnation of Jesus and that he could show them how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Together, Applewhite and his partner Bonnie Lu Trousdale Nettles, alon...


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Orwell, George. 1984. Harcourt: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949. Print.
Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York: Cassell & Company, 1946. Print.
Robinson, B. A. "Heaven's Gate: Christian / UFO believers." Religious Tolerance.org. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 25 Mar. 1997. Web. 8 Nov. 2013. .
Stewart, Dennis D., and Cheryl B. Stewart. "Heaven's Gate." Encyclopedia of Death and Dying. Advameg, 2013. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. .

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