Next Level - Kingdom of Heaven

TRIGGER WARNING: Discusses Suicide

25 years ago, in March of 1997, our family was living in San Diego. We were happily raising our family and were unaware that only 12 miles from the home we lived in, a group of religious zealots had moved into the community of Rancho Santa Fe.

The charismatic leaders of the group proclaimed that they had received a revelation in the early 1970’s. For a couple of years, they recruited others to join them. They then told people they were sent by God to bring people to the Kingdom of Heaven (via a space ship), to teach them to overcome the world. They then began to live in a communal lifestyle.

On March 26th 1997, the world learned that 39 members of the cult group, Heaven's Gate, had died by ritual suicide.

We know a lot about this group as they had maintained a website and recorded what was termed as exit videos.

There are some excellent sources to learn more about this group, including an HBO documentary and a podcast from this month on Spotify. I have attached some links below.

This Christian and UFO group’s final test of faith and sacrifice was to follow their leader in pursuit of salvation by trying to go the Next Level or the Kingdom of Heaven.

For many, like me, this group’s end was shocking and confusing.

How can something like this happen?

If your family member was in a cult, what would you do?

If you were in a cult, how would you know?


3 part series Spotify Cult’s podcast

Heaven’s Gate

Wikipedia page

I referenced Heaven’s gate in my post – “Right or Wrong

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