Curious: An Interview with Living Representatives of Heaven’s Gate
I was twelve years old when thirty-nine people were found dead in an apparent mass suicide just outside of San Diego. It was March 26th, 1997. I watched it play out on the news through a screen with my dad halfway across the country. They were found on their backs in bunkbeds, with a purple cloth over them—a shroud. All wore identical black pants and Nike shoes. Thirty-nine men and women ranging from twenty-six and seventy-two years old consumed a mixture of phenobarbital, applesauce, and vodka. They then placed plastic bags over their heads to speed up the process.
Heaven’s Gate, a Christian/sci-fi amalgam founded in the 1970’s by Bonnie Nettles (Ti) and Marshall Applewhite (Do) claimed, and still claim, via their website, that what happened was not suicide, just a process that had to be undertaken to catch a ride on a UFO that was trailing behind the comet Hale-Bopp. They also seemed paranoid about an ever encroaching government who would rather see the group dismantled and killed on their terms and without dignity, as they had witnessed through the sieges of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Any way you look at it, thirty-nine people were found dead of unnatural causes.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day, a friend of mine posted on Facebook: “The website for Heaven’s Gate is still operational. Food for thought.” And it got me thinking: Why not contact them myself? So I spent the next few days exchanging emails with the two ex-members who have maintained heavensgate.com since the Away Team took flight in 1997. My goal, mainly, was to ask questions I have been curious about since I was twelve, and also give them a platform to explain some of the more pressing issues people seem to have with the group.
This correspondence appears here with their permission, after quite a bit of discussion over the questions I had asked and how they would be presented.
TJW: Who are you? Why is this website still up?
email@example.com: We were in the Group for 12 years and they asked us to keep the site up. What prompted you to ask this?
I’m just curious. Do you still believe? Tell me about yourself.
Yes, we still have the same understanding as we did when we joined.
Do you mean you woke up this morning and decided to surf the net to a website you have never been to before? Nothing on the internet brought you to this site?
Nothing brought me to the site other than curiosity. I’ve seen videos on Youtube I thought were interesting. Is there any kind of plan for a future comet?
There will be no comet coming for anyone. As they said, that comet was just a marker. That’s all. The Next Level does not time its activities to space debris. Whatever happens to humans in the upcoming recycling is for them to experience. Almost all of them would never qualify to go to the Next Level anyway.
What is the Next Level? What are the qualifications to get there? Do you have literature beyond the website?
The simple understanding is that there is a real, physical level above the human one here on earth. It is not a spiritual existence. It is real individuals, in real bodies, in real crafts taking care of the issues of their planet. The Next Level, as it is called, created this planet and all the life on it. The Next Level are the care takers of not only this planet but all the systems of the universe. From that, all the other understandings follow. They periodically come down to this planet to check in on this civilizations development. The last time they took a very close up observation, in human form, was from about 1972 to 1997. The time before that was 2000 years ago. At those times they talk to those interested about the opportunity of the Next Level and how a very select few can enter into it only after a long period of transition and instruction.
There is the book for $24.95 plus shipping. There are also two free VHS tapes. Shipping to those is $3.00.
Thanks. What profession are you in?
Just in regular retail sales.
Cool. I’m in wholesale. Can you explain the evacuation of the body? I’m interested in that. Also, are you a human or just inhabiting a human body?
We don’t understand what you mean by evacuation of the body. We are regular humans. Only Ti and Do were Next Level Members who occupied a human body.
What are your thoughts on gender? Why do you keep referring to yourself as we?
My task partner and I are here in Arizona answering questions. We recognize the male and female gender on earth but it doesn’t matter to the Next Level and is gone when you enter it.
Do you have many people within your organization? What are your thoughts on suicide? I read about it on the website, but feel like it isn’t very clear.
The Group ended in 1997. There is no organization or members. No one should commit suicide.
So why maintain the website? Obviously if you still believe it, you are a proponent/member of something, right? The reason I ask about suicide, is because if Do and Ti were the only Next Level Members, what does that say about the others who took their own lives? They were human, correct? Not inhabiting a human body, but human? I’m confused by this and what I’ve read. I’m just trying to understand more clearly. Also, what is a task partner?
The website is to provide information for their future return. We are designated to maintain and care for it.
Humans are not to commit suicide. Those 38, and those 38 only, we allowed to shed their human body, take on space-capable, Next Level bodies and depart this planet. No human can do that or would be allowed to do that. We know you are confused about this but those individuals did not commit suicide. They broke the bond of human connection and quickly switched to a Next Level one.
[Ed. note: Reports showed that there were 39 bodies, suggesting that Heaven’s Gate does not include Marshall Applewhite a human.]
I think I get it. You have to reach a certain level (Next Level) to shed your human body. Can humans (obviously they can) reach Next Level? Also, do you think gender here on earth can be fluid?
Humans have to go through a lengthy classroom setup, under the guidance of Next Level teachers, to even have a chance of conversion. No human relationship, not habits, no drugs, no sex or even thoughts of it and not human hang-ups of any kind. All family and social relationships are cut.
Human gender issues can vary but it is of no consequence in this issue since you walk out of all of it.
Have you had any contact with Do or Ti since the shedding of their human bodies?
Are you Rio? [NOTE: Rio was the member of Heaven’s Gate who discovered the mass suicide. He had left the group six weeks prior to the deaths. He is still a believer, as are almost all ex-members of Heaven’s Gate. To this day, no ex-member has spoken out against the group.]
No, Rio is in LA. We are in Arizona.
Oh, are you still in contact with one another?
What year did you leave the group?
Do you feel as though you missed an opportunity by not staying/being there with the Away Team?
No. We will rejoin them, just not in this life.
Is there anyone on Earth who is Next Level?
No. No one from the Next Level is on Earth at this time.
I thought you had to be taught by people in the Next Level to have a chance to become Next Level. Is that why the website is still up, as a tool for such lessons?
Only a physical Next Level Member can guide you through the entire process and graduate into the Next Level. The online information is for reference and preparation only. It cannot get you into the Next Level in this era.
When is the next era?
We don’t know.
I have read over the content of the website and watched the videos numerous times. I find it troubling that some of the content/context seems to be coded wording, coded in the sense that people may misconstrue it as permission to commit suicide. Let me explain, when Do talks about how it isn’t suicide, but staying on earth would be suicide, etc. Or, to be more specific:
The dilemma is we are here and most humans are thoroughly “hooked” to humanity. However, the same “grace” that was available at the end of the Representative’s mission 2000 years ago is available now with our presence. If you quickly choose to take these steps toward separating from the world, and look to us for help, you will see our Father’s Kingdom.
During a brief window of time, some may wish to follow us. If they do, it will not be easy. The requirement is to not only believe who the Representatives are, but, to do as they and we did. You must leave everything of your humanness behind. This includes the ultimate sacrifice and demonstration of faith — that is, the shedding of your human body. If you should choose to do this, logistically it is preferred that you make this exit somewhere in the area of the West or Southwest of the United States — but if this is not possible — it is not required. You must call on the name of TI and DO to assist you. In so doing, you will engage a communication of sorts, alerting a spacecraft to your location where you will be picked up after shedding your vehicle, and taken to another world — by members of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Only a Member of the Next Level can give you Life — can take you out of “Death” — but it requires that you disconnect, separate, from the last element holding you to the human kingdom.
We know what we’re saying — we know it requires a “leap of faith.” But it’s deliberate — designed for those who would rather take that leap than stay in this world.
We suggest that anyone serious about considering this go into their most quiet place and ask, scream, with all of their being, directing their asking to the Highest Source they can imagine (beyond Earth’s atmosphere), to give them guidance. Only those “chosen” by that Next Kingdom will know that this is right for them, and will be given the courage required to act.
See where I could be led to believe that there is a coded language (actually not so coded) accepting suicide as an option for a higher calling? That is if you define suicide in the same way I do. Do understood it as staying, not going. Separation from Earth was the main focus. Don’t you think that is dismal, to say the least?
We can understand how many people got confused by this. They thought Do was speaking to the public at large. We knew who Do was speaking to. It wasn’t the public. He was talking to a wide spread group of former members who had been in and out of the Group since 1975. There was literally hundreds of individuals scattered all over the planet and as a Shepard, he had to gather them up.
Do knew that he could only be speaking to those who had that “deposit of recognition” that had brought them into the Group and was still with them. These individuals had been adopted into the Next Level and could leave right away or wait until the next time the Next Level returned to earth. It would be their choice.
The Next Level knows there are more individuals who would accept the information after departure. We have been speaking with many over the past 20 years. Their time is coming but it will not be in this lifetime. We all have to wait for future incarnations to enter the Next Level. Premature death or human suicide goes nowhere except for triggering a new cycle of reincarnation.
I understand, but don’t you think there should be an explanation on the website, or a warning? It kind of seems irresponsible not to have one due to the people who may misunderstand.
The Group asked us to maintain the website as it was in March, 1997. They did not have any warning on it.