In order to gain supporters/followers Applewhite and Nettles began by opening a specialty bookstore. The bookstore was greatly unsuccessful therefore they took to the road. Together they traveled to throughout the United States giving talks about their belief system. They combined the Christian doctrine (salvation and apocalypses) with evolutionary scientific concepts in which proposed travel to other worlds and dimensions, via unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
As I have previously mentioned, the Heaven’s Gate Cult’s purpose was to prepare those on earth for recycling, In order to further elaborate on this concept, Applewhite believed that Earth existed on a continuum. And it was his duty to carry on the last task, as promised by the Book of Revelation; to provide vessels in which souls returned to heaven. This process according to Book of Revelation, offered a way for cult members to gain access or membership into the evolutionary level above human.
According to Applewhite the evolutionary level above human is synonymous with the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. The only way to enter was to join Applewhite and Nettles and learn to release themselves of their “humanness” and their material possessions. The group was very close knit; they shared all that they had communally. Some of the men even went as far as undergoing voluntary castration. ...
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...instituted fear into his followers by telling them that if they do not join his cause they will lose their souls forever upon the recycling of the planet Earth. Hence, the only way to save their soul was to rid themselves of their human nature. The last technique that Applewhite used to gain his students trust was institution of power and importance. Applewhite told his followers that he was a member of the evolutionary kingdom bought to earth in order to prepare its inhabitants for re-enlightenment; to teach them how to be saved and not “plowed under” with the others. (Initiation Video one) These behaviors, along with many others not discussed here allowed Applewhite and Nettles to gain and maintain control of their followers. Behaviors such as these can be seen in practice today, not necessarily in cults, allowing us to further explore how and why cults develop.
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