The purpose of Heaven's Gate was to reach what they believed to be a extraterrestrial spacecraft following the comet Hale-Bopp, also to move to the "Next Level" which meant "Leaving your human container"
They needed to do this because they thought earth was about to be "recycled" (wiped clean, renewed, etc.) and the only chance to survive was to leave earth.
Members were recruited mostly through personal connections (i.e friends, family, etc.), in addition members were not required to pay to be in the cult.
Marshall Applewhite in an initiation tape for Heaven's Gate
The role of a member was, according to the website "..to offer the way leading to membership into the Kingdom of Heaven to those who chose to follow him.."
Although Heaven's Gate took part in no illegal activities, Marshall Applewhite did get arrested for failing to return a rented car, the same year the cult was founded.
It is not known if the members of the cult were free to leave or not.
Did you know?
- Did you know that the Heaven's Gate website is still up and running? ( Link in sources) Though it has not been updated since 1997
- Bonnie Nettles a founder of the cult, with Marshall Applewhite being the other, had not died from the mass suicide rather she died from cancer around a decade earlier.
- The main reason Heaven's Gate is well-known is the same reason the cult ended, because of the mass suicide in 1997.
Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles