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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Heaven's Gate

I found a mirror site of the Heaven's Gate website as of the day of the mass suicide in March 1997. It can be somewhat eerie looking back on a moment frozen in time.

In doing some research on the group, I discovered that there is something quite unique about them: they are possibly the single most well-documented cult in modern history, with extensive written records from within the group as well as work done by sociologists Balch and Taylore, who worked with them in the 70's and 80's.

The extensive records left by the group, plus the good fortune of an able sociologist pursuing research on this group from near the beginning of its life, combine to provide an extraordinary research archive. The members of Heaven’s Gate left a lot of information that spans the full life of the movement from its founding, through growth, and finally extinction.
The Religious Movements Homepage at the University of Virginia
I had no idea the literature was so vast. Perhaps by learning more about this group we can come to understand more about what would drive such a shocking act. But surprisingly, I could find just one title on Amazon directly pertaining to it. Jonestown, on the other hand, has tons written about it, but the questions and allegations of government conspiracy seem unanswerable due to the dearth of credible support. Why hasn't more extensive research gone into Heaven's Gate if we want to understand what makes a cult commit mass suicide?

Comments on Heaven's Gate
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Thursday, August 25, 2005 8:15:00 AM

Time to change your settings to not accept comments from Anonymous posts anymore :) Just some advice
  Comment from Blogger Red Bull at Thursday, August 25, 2005 11:41:00 AM
But then how would I have gotten your message? Nah. I believe in a free and open blogsphere. I can delete anything annoying anyway.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.