The Heaven's Gate Cult

The Heaven's Gate Cult

Length: 526 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Heaven's Gate Cult

Recently I read an article about the Heaven's Gate Cult, and I wondered why on earth would someone get involved in a cult whose purpose seemed so ridiculous. How can you make sense out of the suicide of 39 people? How can you explain behavior that seems so strange? Should we just assume that people who follow this kind of cult are weirdoes, stupid, insane, evil, or is there something more to it? I did a little research to find out a little more about cults.
I found out that cults are really not all that uncommon, and that almost anyone can fall victim to a cult. Most people do not set out to join a 'cult'. They get involved with a group of interesting people. These groups usually promise to fulfill a person's individual needs or to compensate for societies failures. These groups may promise to heal sickness, foretell the future, or enhance a person's life in some way. The leaders of these cults usually promise to have all the answers to whatever problems these people have. These groups become cults when they are seen as deceptive, dangerous, or they oppose the basic values of society.
Usually people get involved with cults when they are at a vulnerable period in their lives. People who are at a transitional period in their lives, like people who recently lost a job, or someone who just moved to a new area may be susceptible. Another reason why people get involved with these groups could be that they are unsatisfied with their religions, their education, or their social lives. The cult seems to fill the void of whatever is missing in a person's life. People find instant friendships, a caring family, an identity, safety, security, and an organized agenda for every day life.
Most people who are recruited into cults are recruited by people they feel they can trust in a setting that is familiar. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or teachers often do the recruitment. Recruitment often takes place in familiar places like school, home, work, churches, workshops, or even over the Internet. This makes the cult feel safe and comfortable. People don't feel like they are getting involved in a "cult" instead they feel like they are joining the crowd.
Cult leaders offer simple answers to the complex problems of everyday living. They claim to know a simple path to happiness, to success, and to Salvation.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Heaven's Gate Cult." 26 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Heaven's Gate Cult Essay

- The Heaven's Gate Cult According to dictionaries a cult is 1) a system of religious worship or ritual. 2) A religion or sect considered extremist of false. 3) Obsessive devotion to a person or principle. It is believed that every cult ties into some kind of religion, and religions all have a common basis of “a leap of faith”. Whether this so-called leap of faith is going to heaven or being reincarnated, or moving on to some other planet, depends on the beliefs of the cult itself. The Heaven’s Gate Cult is one of thousands of millennial cults and UFO- based cults throughout the world....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
511 words (1.5 pages)

The Heaven's Gate Cult Essay examples

- The Heaven's Gate Cult Recently I read an article about the Heaven's Gate Cult, and I wondered why on earth would someone get involved in a cult whose purpose seemed so ridiculous. How can you make sense out of the suicide of 39 people. How can you explain behavior that seems so strange. Should we just assume that people who follow this kind of cult are weirdoes, stupid, insane, evil, or is there something more to it. I did a little research to find out a little more about cults. I found out that cults are really not all that uncommon, and that almost anyone can fall victim to a cult....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
526 words (1.5 pages)

Essay Marshall Applewhite: Heaven’s Gate Cult Leader

- A cult is defined as a small group of people that do not adhere to the larger widely accepted belief system, instead they are often regarded to have extreme or dangerous beliefs (Cult). Cult leaders engage in many different methods and actions to gain their followers. Some cults last for a long period, others end shortly after creation. Cults nevertheless hold a stigma that brings terror and confusion to many outsiders looking in. The public questions why people could become so consumed in someone else that they could bring themselves to take their own lives....   [tags: stigma, terror, spaceship, spiritual guidance]

Research Papers
1430 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Heaven's Gate: A Colossal Failure

- 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....   [tags: cult, leadership, mass suicide, religion]

Research Papers
1225 words (3.5 pages)

The Heaven’s Gate Religious Group Essay

- “A cult is a religious or semi-religious sect whose members are controlled almost entirely by a single individual or by an organization.” (“What”). Families are forced to leave their homes and life behind by a dream that the cult will take them to bigger and better places. Some of these cults also cost these members their lives. There is always that question of why they do it because it is far from believable. These leaders are manipulators dragging in their pray in like flies. Heaven’s Gate is a cult....   [tags: cult, mass suicide, marshall heff]

Research Papers
918 words (2.6 pages)

The Religious Group : Heaven 's Gate Essay

- 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....   [tags: Religion, New religious movement, Cult]

Research Papers
1001 words (2.9 pages)

The Heaven's Gate Suicides Essays

- The Heaven's Gate Suicides Hale-Bopp brings closure to: Heaven's Gate. This is the greeting one receives upon visiting the Heaven's Gate web page. It is a haunting message that was left behind when 21 women and 18 men took their own lives on March 23, 24, and 25, 1997. This mass suicide was under the supervision of Marshall Herff Applewhite, the cult's charismatic leader. Heaven's Gate was not Applewhite's first cult. It was the latest of three organizations that he and his partner, Bonnie Lu Trusdale Nettles had founded....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
474 words (1.4 pages)

Heavens Gate Essay

- On March 26, 1997, in what has become known as one of the most noteworthy mass suicides in history, thirty-nine men and women affiliated with the Heavens Gate cult took their own lives by ingesting a combination of Phenobarbitals mixed with applesauce and alcohol. Each was dressed all in black, their faces covered by a purple shroud. Those who wore glasses had them neatly folded next to their body, and all had identification papers for the authorities to find. The house was immaculate, tidier even than before the victims had moved in....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1307 words (3.7 pages)

The Behavior of Cult Leaders and Members Explained by using Psychological Principles

- This essay will examine and describe the behavior of cult leaders and cult members by using and applying psychological principles. I will specifically highlight the behavior of Jim Jones and his followers and explain what factors that caused them to believe wholeheartedly in the doctrine of Jim Jones. I will also explain what psychological tactics were used to influence his believers to be participants in mass suicide and the psychological factors that contributed to the belief that this was their only option....   [tags: Psychology ]

Research Papers
1741 words (5 pages)

Heaven's Gate and the Infingement of Religious Freedom Essay

- Heaven’s Gate and the Infringement of Religious Freedoms Introduction How much religious freedom do we want. The United States Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all citizens. However, since the establishment of this freedom, there have been continuous debates and modifications. Despite this independence, there have been times when the government felt it necessary to infringe upon religious freedom for various reasons. The question is, at which point it is okay for the government to become involved in religious affairs for the sake of safety and protection....   [tags: when or if should government intervene]

Research Papers
2808 words (8 pages)

. People who follow their simple rules and simple lifestyle will be on this path. Cult leaders give members very simple directions on how to think, act and feel. In return a member gets all those things that may be missing from their lives. What these leaders claim to know seems so simple and easy, that some people feel they can participate with little hesitation it seems like a perfect solution for those people who feel that they are powerless in their lives. Each new member contributes to a leaders power by trading their own freedom for the illusion of security that each group has. The madness of a cult leader becomes normalized as members embrace it. It becomes a members belief system.
There are many different kinds of cults around. Some cults can be more dangerous than others. Some are money or power oriented, while others are spiritual centered. A money, or power-centered cult can become dangerous when it manipulates members into contributing large amounts of money or personal sacrifice. A member may be asked to spend large amounts of time earning money for the cult. They may be asked to beg, borrow, or steal money.
A spiritual based cult can also become dangerous. Theses religious cults claim that they know all of lives unanswered questions. Typically members of these cults become isolated from the world around them. They are expected not to talk to anyone who is not a member.
Is there anyway we can prevent cults from forming? I guess to answer that we would have to look behind the messages behind cults. Usually cults form because there is something missing from society. We would have to find a way to make our society make up for everything that is missing. We would have to find ways to make our society deliver on the many things that cults promise.

Return to