The Religious Group : Heaven 's Gate Essay

The Religious Group : Heaven 's Gate Essay

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The third religious group to be discussed will be Heaven’s Gate, Heaven’s Gate was a religious group in which it’s members killed themselves in March 1997, (Davis, 2000). This act was seen by the group as a way for them to reach salvation, which they called, “… the literal heavens,” (Davis, 2000, pg 241). The act of killing oneself as a way to reach salvation is something that is not seen in mainstream religions, in fact death is viewed as something to be feared by the majority of society. But wanting to reach salvation is something that is seen in most religions, and it is also something that is seen in most fundamental religions such as Gloriavale. But each religion seems to have their own way in which they believe they will reach salvation. For Christians it is to live a good life without sin, which is hugely similar to the Gloriavale Christian Communities belief of how to reach salvation or heaven.
Heaven’s Gate also like many mainstream religions believed that, in some sense, they would be transformed during this journey to Heaven, (Raine, 2005). This belief of salvation through transcending is not only seen in groups like Heaven’s Gate it is also seen in mainstream religions like Christianity. The body is the means through which we experience this world (Raine, 2005), but there is a soul within the material body that is with it until death, (Weber, 1965 pg 4-6). Often, it is seen in religions that the body is worldly and bad and that the soul and salvation is all that matters, “Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat and they draw near unto the gates of death,” (Psalms 107:18 KJB). This shows that there are some underlying parallels between these groups, they just seem to have different interpretations. It is important to n...


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...groups that are labelled as cults by the media are generally viewed more negatively than groups of a similar nature that are labelled as new religious movement groups. The basic beliefs of some groups that are labelled as cults like Gloriavale Christian Community are very similar to mainstream religions, in essence, it is mainly the interpretation of scripture that is different between the two religious groups. The media seems to mainly be scaremongering, or trying to generate a story when they report on certain groups and label them as cults. When considering the vagueness of what a cult is the media could potentially label a religion like Christianity as a cult if it were not considered a mainstream popular religion. The parallels between religious groups, and the negativety associated with the word cult, shows that it is used by media without ‘real’ understanding.

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