To follow is my critique of this Huff Post article that is about the latest wild eyed pack of lies as almost could be. Here is the link to the article with my comments side by side to the text:
Dying To Go To Heaven: What The Heaven’s Gate Suicides Teach Us About Islamic Martyrdom
Michael Shermer, Contributor Publisher Skeptic magazine (skeptic.com), columnist Scientific American, Presidential Fellow Chapman University
It was 20 years ago this week, March 20-26, 1997, that 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult “graduated” from this life to ascend to the UFO mothership that they believed would take them to an extraterrestrial paradise. I’ll never forget it. I was on book tour for Why People Believe Weird Things, and neither I nor any of my peers who study belief systems had ever heard of the cult. It was hard to fathom. Now, as I look back 20 years later, I believe the mass suicide has a deeper lesson that goes far beyond the confines of New Age fringe cults, and has relevance to understanding the motivations of today’s suicide terrorists.
**** Sawyer’s comment:
First off, this is like comparing doctors who work for Doctors without borders to those who design biological weapons. There is zero comparison and that’s a distant comparison. It would be like comparing Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. to the leader of the KKK, even for motivation. Maybe it seems like a fair comparison for someone who has no concept of what is beyond the limited scientific view of where we as a human species came from and when and how.
It’s no secret that the motivation of suicide terrorists is most often vengence for others crimes against their people tied into hating their lives and the misery around them perpetrated largely by the west and mixed in with distorted belief systems that vary and no longer even resemble their founders teachings. Take Christians today. What do they DO and SAY that has much of anything to do with what Jesus taught and what they do get right, they assume applies to them, for the benefits though they ignore the requirements. Or they mystify everything so it can apply to whatever they want it to. Christians today are really disciples of Paul who hated and condemned Jesus followers and the disciples of Jesus were quite “wary” of, yet became the foundation of Catholicism commercialized and politcized and spiritualized ad infinitum.
I’m no expert on Islam but know enough that the same kind of distortion and dilution exists today and has for centuries just as the same kind of distortion is quite apparant in Judaism, today’s Rabbinic Judaism, separate from Orthodox that is even far afield from it’s core provided by Jehovah through Moses. And of course the same can be said of Hinduism and Buddhism with some sects more atuned to the anceit Veda’s and Upanishads than others who had secularized and/or religisized.
To try to make this case using Marshall and Bonnie as your guinea pigs is as shallow a low blow as one can make, even worse than using cutsey words to describe their so called “insanity” which today is the going rage in the internet mainstream journalism, which I can show lots of examples of.
Of couse there isn’t much guts left in most of the media that I have found so it’s par for the course of what has become a paid off enterprise to allow and even support this kind of journalism.
May little examples will follow:
But first, let’s revisit the story. Heaven’s Gate was founded in 1975 by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles after they met in a psychiatric hospital. They fell in love and believed their pairing had been foretold by extraterrestrials.
*** Sawyers’s comment:
The article reports: “But first, let’s revisit the story. Heaven’s Gate was founded in 1975  by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles after they met in a psychiatric hospital . They fell in love  and believed their pairing had been foretold by extraterrestrials.
(By the way Wikepedia is also full of innaccuracies that I have tried to offer to correct some of in years past but they don’t consider me authorized, though perhaps since I have published now they will hear me out a tiny bit more. My web site for my book is at: http://wwww.TIandDOTheFatherandJesusHeavensGateUFOTwoWitnesses.com )
For a number of corrections I refer to the document “’88 Update – The UFO Two and Their Crew”, http://heavensgate.com/book/3-3.htm which was written by DO in October of 1988 that I witnessed him write from a farmhouse north of Dallas, Texas where we all lived then. I also witnessed him talking about a lot of it’s content before then with TI present at meetings that some of are recorded, which was before Ti’s vehicle died thus up to 1985) and if I had to I could find other former members to collaborate what I heard even includeing the current webmasters of their web site.
According to Wikepedia they do count, or at least give the appearance of value to this document without actually listing it in their references but listing other’s writings where they must say what DO said but often get wrong. I have actually helped one of the most, go to professors – Robert Balch on more than one occasion with accuracy to his writings. In fact Do even sent me to sit with him in 1997 on one such book project he was involved. I was also consulted by Benjamin Zeller on his book but as it goes with academics if they have an idea in their mind they are writing to play out, they will ignore anything that doesn’t substantiate that opinion so most, if not all of what I wrote to him was ignored.
So why have so many writers stay as far away from the 88 update as they could, to instead use conjecture based on rumors that grew to be treated as “facts”, or should I call them “alternative facts” – pure lies and misinformation? I believe I understand why but that’s not for this brief report. Here are three points in this first sentence and there are many more as this article could be used in journalism school to show what journalism can become – a purveyor of anything but the truth and even a stimulant of myth.
1) “Heaven’s Gate was founded in 1975…”, the name was founded in 1996. One can search the Heaven’s Gate web site for that name and won’t find it used in the documents that were written before then.
2) “after they met in a psychiatric hospital”
3) “they fell in love”
Here’s what Do wrote in 88update that I witnessed he and Ti referring to several times:
“In the early 1970’s, two members of the Kingdom of Heaven (or what some might call two aliens from space) incarnated into two unsuspecting humans in Houston, a registered nurse and a college music professor who were in their forties. The nurse and the professor hadn’t previously known each other and had completely separate lives. The registered nurse was happily married with four children, worked in the nursery of a local hospital [2 – what kind of psychiatric hospital has a “nursery?”], and enjoyed a small astrology practice. The music professor, a divorcee who had lived with a male friend for some years, was contentedly involved in cultural and academic activities.
For about a year before they met, their lives seemed to encounter severe upheaval and personal confusion, later recognized as the human body’s response to the entry of the minds from what “the two” referred to as the “Next Level,” or the physical level above human. About nine months after they first met, they left Houston because their lives, which were crumbling around them, made it impossible to concentrate on what was actually happening to them.
Most of their friends and associates thought the two of them had lost their minds or were being duped into a relationship by the other. The only relationship they shared, certainly having no physical attraction toward each other, was the compulsion to discover what had brought them together and what might be their purpose. They had little in common other than strong personal relationships with their Heavenly Father.” [3 – fell in love”?]
So where did the “psychiatric hospital” idea come in and where was it that they “fell in love” and no mention of “extraterrestrials” though I would give that last point some liberty. Here is yet another view as said by DO live on the video series he started in 1992. By the way I am introduced as Sawyer in the video and my face is shown as with Jwn his two “helpers” in the video:
Beyond Human — The Last Call – Session 1
In the early 70’s, for unknown reasons (and this is just my attempt to explain to you what occurred), for unknown reasons – things we could not understand – my life began to suddenly fall apart. It had been a very stable life, an acceptable life, certainly one that was considered legitimate and had respect to it in the community, as did Ti’s life. And her life separately began to fall apart. We did not know each other. We’d never seen one another that we were aware of – had never met. Then in the early 70’s, I think around ’72, we met just perchance while I was visiting a sick friend in a hospital where Ti was a nurse.[2 – met in hospital where Ti was a nurse that had a nursery] From that moment, my life changed – changed very significantly. I rebelled. I didn’t want it to change, and yet I knew it had to change. And the conflict that was in me was very great.
The same thing was happening with Ti. She knew she had something to do with me. I tried to reject that idea. Ti was confused for awhile and wondered, “Well, why do I recognize you, and you don’t recognize me”? And even though I might have thought I didn’t recognize Ti, I knew that I couldn’t cut it off. And yet here we had separate lives, separate careers, families, involvements in the world, and all of a sudden, just because we met, something was causing us to have to become more involved in spite of our desire not to. Not involved in a human way. There was never a coming together in that we were bed partners or involved in a physical relationship. [3 – “fell in love?”] But there was something that compelled us to spend time together and listen to each other, and search together.”
I know reporters went to Houston to talk to people that knew them and no doubt one or more could have said they thought they were having an affair. I know that DO told us that they got a court order against Ti’s vehicles husband (as I don’t know if they had divorced yet by then) because he threated DO. So it was fertile ground for conjecture but that doesn’t mean they are facts.
What not believe what Do wrote in several documents at different times years apart and that I heard Ti talk about a decade or so earlier, to confirm as the most accurate account? They would still be considered evil cult leaders even then. What did they have to gain by making up that story. Especially in 1994, why would Do hide the truth from his dedicated 24+ students when they were going to go out on the road again after 17 years in seclusion to “recruit”, (that actually never was as other groups did so, which I provide evidence for)? We held meetings in Dallas, Houston, Addison and Austin that year and DO wasn’t traveling with any of the groups while they went out among the people to put up posters advertising the meetings and looking for free press coverage. I was even part of a multi group effort that did a big story for the Dallas Morning News then in which Ollody’s many paints were shown on television. We visited most every health food store and book store and campus to advertise our meetings. How unlikely would have it been to run into someone that knew of the story about Applewhite and Nettles from 1975. I don’t know if that happened. However in 1975 at Christmas time, having joined 3 months before then, I with my partner who Ti and Do had assigned me several months before then, were out on our own with no connection to a larger group or to Bo and Peep (the names they still used then), hitchhiked (because our car broke down) to Houston where Dandy actually knew some people who we stayed with for a night or two. While there, they had some people over and it just so happens one was a women who told us she knew Applewhite and that he had wandering hands, I think she said. I thought that was a sexual insinuation. I didn’t think she was making it up but nor did it disuade me or have me question what I was doing. I had been a rogue hippy vagabond musician for years before then, exploring a number of spiritual forms, to which I could never really feel one with, that is until I met Ti and Do and knew I had to give up my instruments and girlfriend and the house I was building in a startup commune in Oregon to follow them. My point is, how did they know what any of us heard about them, even when groups did meetings in 1975-6 in Austin, Brownsville, El Paso, Houston, Nashville, Lubbock and San Marcos? They could have started to tell their stories of how they met, which I only recall in the early 1980’s while living in houses and could have said things that could give a student a hard time believing because of what they heard. Why would they have risked making up a story when they were already hated by people all over the country even without that story and how would their story make it better for them anyway?
Common sense says that their story as told by Do is the most dependable one but seems to be the one most all the media outlets I’ve seen and that’s been many dozens since 1975 avoid like the plague. I can offer an explanation for this but most will have a hard time with it, but it doesn’t matter, the facts stand on their own.
Here is where so many reporters get their “facts”:
According to Applewhite’s writings, the two met in the psychiatric hospital where she worked during his stay there. The two quickly became close friends. He later recalled that he felt like he had known her for a long time and concluded that they had met in a past life. She told him their meeting had been foretold to her by extraterrestrials, persuading him that he had a divine assignment.
(7) Lalich 2004, pp. 44, 48.
(8) Balch & Taylor 2002, p. 210.
(9) Lalich 2004, p. 43.
Do only wrote about this in 88 update and spoke about it in Beyond Human – The Last Call video tape session 1 so perhaps these references refer to one of these documents as the video tapes were transcribed so are available in print.
In the 1980s and 1990s, they recruited several hundred followers, many of whom sold their possessions and lived in isolation, disconnected from their family and friends. They practiced living in dark rooms to simulate space travel and considered sex sinful, with six male members voluntarily undergoing castration.
*** Sawyer’s comment:
Wrong. There was zero “recruiting” as a lay person might see it during any of the 1980’s. I was there the entire time so I know this for a fact and can prove it. For 9 months in 1994 one could say they (we) recruited, though I assure you I can prove it wasn’t recuritment like in any other group. I was an “overseer” and I actually turned away two who were interested after the University of Chicago meeting.
Everyone who joined turned over any remaining possessions they had, not counting the clothing and toiletries and such. No one was searched and some did join with their marijuna and used it and when Ti and Do found out about it dismissed them from the group if they didn’t show signs of willing to drop those habits as with sex.
We never practiced living in Dark rooms. I’d really like to know who said these things. If it was an x-classmate I can prove they were wrong as I know some former members who are actually not believers anymore but who I am good friends with none the same and who were in the group almost as long as I was.
In early 1997, the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp foretold to them that the coming of the UFO mothership, said to be hiding behind the comet, that would take them to what they called The Evolutionary Level Above Human (TELAH), where they would live forever in unadulterated ecstasy. This story was reinforced by Art Bell, on his popular late-night radio show Coast to Coast AM, a purveyor of conspiratorial “alternative facts” (before they were known as such). Compared to eternal bliss in this extraterrestrial heaven, life on Earth was but a temporary stage in evolution. The transition was made in three waves that week, as members drank a deadly cocktail of phenobarbital, applesauce, and vodka; also pulling plastic bags over their heads for self-asphyxiation. Authorities found them all dead in a San Diego home on March 26. The event became a media circus.
All 39 deceased cult members were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, wearing brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading ‘Heaven’s Gate Away Team’.
Twenty years later, the beliefs of the Heaven’s Gate cult members do seem absurdly ridiculous to most of us, grounded as they were in the New Age science fiction pop-culture. But at their core, how different are the motivations of the Heaven’s Gate members from those today who believe that a heavenly paradise awaits them through a dramatic suicide?
*** Sawyer’s comment:
Suicide as humans define it, different than how Jesus would define it and not the way Do and Crew defined it in their document, “Our Position Against Suicide”.
I’m not sure who this author is referring to by “…motivations of the Heaven’s Gate members from those today…” But Do actually left the “gate open” to exiting the say way they did. I’m actually talked several out of taking that kind of measure as that can also be used by the Lower Forces to further smear the truth, because DO and Crew also spoke about how humans NEED their human vehicles to learn lessons through as the only way to grow towards graduation. Thus the primary ones that option to exit in that way would have most applied to are those that had been in the classroom before, like myself. However the webmasters of the Heavensgate.com web site, were so freaked out from all the negative publicity they got when the group exited, and that they didn’t have a clue was in the works because they weren’t in the class since 1987 or they would have heard lots of talk about it, as I did in 1994, did tell people “the gate is closed” which was the start of mutating the truth into misinformation. The truth is always hard to bear and especially for those who never sought it out much and who become entrenched in this or that “path” as their mission. Those paths are not wrong but they at best can lead to the top of the human mountain while to get off that mountain, as Ti and Do put it requires adhering to the teachings/direction and example from Members of the Level Above Human who exist off that human mountain.
Perhaps the closest example in the minds of most Americans is Islamic suicide terrorism, a cult-like belief system with far deadlier implications than Heaven’s Gate. Ever since 19 Muslim men chose to end their life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Westerners have wondered aloud how a belief in heavenly paradise can drive such extreme actions.
The suicide attackers involved in 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center believed they were entering a heavenly afterlife.
*** Sawyer’s comment:
There are millions even billions who think when they die they go to some heavenly afterlife. The word heaven also means sky and the existence in spirit form can seem like LIFE but it’s nothing of the sort which can be shown by Jesus teachings.
Dying doesn’t necessarily get anyone anywhere no matter what they believe, though Ti and Do taught that they get some semblence of what they believed they would get upon death, but it doesn’t mean it is what they think it is, because one must know what it is before they die and that can only be understood when Older Members are incarnate to lift the veil and shoot down the distortions. That is actually allowed to happen so it’s only those who press to understand that truth that find it as the Next Level doesn’t need any new members. They don’t die and have plenty of work setting up gardens for future opportunities that they then “seed” and nurture to a harvest (graduation) of souls while saving others for future opportunities which is where the idea of reincarnation comes from, except that too was distorted into some automatic process, etc.
Indeed, the emergence of Islamic martyrdom through suicide bombings seems to have remarkably cult-like traits. It was Muhammad himself (as cited in the Qur’an) who ruled that as a general principle any Muslim soldier who died while attacking an infidel would go straight to paradise. But only in recent times has this statement has been used as a motivator for the style of suicide bombings practiced by the leaders of al Qaeda and ISIS.
Most Muslim scholars agree that the Qur’an forbids suicide, yet according to the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, 224 of 300 suicide terror attacks from 1980 to 2003 involved Islamist groups. Statistics suggest the frequency of terror-based suicide has increased dramatically, from less than one incident per month in the decades prior to 9/11, to more than one per day in 2015.
Mohamed Atta served as the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, crashing the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated 9/11 attacks.
Consider the final words of the 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta (above), penned in a suicide note found in his luggage that he left in his rental car before flying into the World Trade Center building: “Know that the gardens of paradise are waiting for you in all their beauty, and the women of paradise are waiting, calling out, ‘Come hither, friend of God.’”
*** Sawyer’s comment:
So full of distortions. According to Ti and Do the only ones that came from the Next Level incarnate were Adam, Enoch, Moses, Elijah and Jesus, before their arrival. However they weren’t counting student tasks like perhaps portrayed as Old Testament prophets. DO liked that some in the Islamic countries still made pleasing God part of their everyday attitude. And he liked that they were at least trying to be more modest in dress.
That’s all I know about what they said about Islam, but the general viewpoint of who was teaching things from the Next Level Mind had to do with primarily who was teachings “separating from the human kingdom” – breaking ties and roots to their genetic heritage, not being satisfied with human competitions and building of self even when they have the opportunity. One example was with the Buddhist premise of “renunciation of the world” that DO thought was a sign that at least one Buddha had been part of a Next Level task in that culture.
The true kingdom of God, Kingdom in the literal Heavens has no “women” nor men, as they have outgrown male and female mammalianism. Their physical bodies are grown on a vine to adulthood when they are assigned one for whatever their tasks are that vehicle might have been best suited to perform.
There are no “gardens” in the Next Level. The term “garden” had to do with the way the earth was the Next Level’s experimental hothouse to grow both human vehicles on and to grow spirit and souls within those human vehicles so they could one day after generations graduate out of the human evolutionary kingdom. There is actually nothing spiritual about it except in how the process is one of “mind” over “matter” and it’s swapping out the Luciferian space alien fallen angel “misinformation mind” that saturates all humans with “Next Level (Holy) true, real Mind – Mind that is as a program that by adhering to and applying leads to Next Level Membership.
Perhaps out of a desire to not criticize other religions, many Western commentators and politicians blame Islamic terrorism on economic or political pressures. These factors may certainly come into play – yet we cannot escape the fact that suicide bombers often believe they are going to heaven for their deadly actions.
Perhaps it is time for anti-terror groups to cease thinking of Islamic suicide bombings as a legitimate act of war, and instead see the similarities with suicides cults like Heaven’s Gate. Consider the 2016 article, “Why We Hate You, Why We Fight You”, in the ISIS publication Dabiq. The unnamed author drills home the point that beyond any secondary political motives is the fact that, “What’s equally if not more important to understand is that we fight you, not simply to punish and deter you, but to bring you true freedom in this life and salvation in the Hereafter.”
*** Sawyer’s comment:
Except for the HUGE fact that is a MAJOR difference and is like 180 degrees apart – in that the Heaven’s Gate cult members did not harm anyone else but their own human vehicles. The idea that humans don’t have the right to end their own human lives is not found in any of the Judaic or Christian core teachings from Moses and Jesus. And perhaps it’s not really found in the Quran either as otherwise why the debate. Of course that’s part of the disinformation to disguise the truth, the facts to bring question to them, slant them in some way for whowevers agenda and there is a lot to say about why that happens that I won’t go into here.
The Hereafter. Would the leaders of al Qaeda and ISIS be able to recruit as many people into their cult of death without the promise of a glorious afterlife? Surely not.
The Heaven’s Gate cult relied heavily on references to New Age science fiction.
*** Sawyers comment:
To the contrary, how many in the military of most every country feel they are honored by dying for their country and thought to be countrymen. All it took to enlist many of them was the idea and the guaranteed pay check and benefits and whatever programming they had that it was honorable. Thousands killed and murdered others in Vietnam, Iraq and Afganistan on that basis or in the case of Vietnam because othewise they would have been imprisoned as a traitor, though if your family had the money could get their offspring out of going to the fronts. Not to justify the violence of any of these, but when one is rebelling from a foreign invader who stands on the higher moral ground really, though of course the highest moral grounds would be those like Martin Luther King and Ghandi would like Jesus were willing to take the violence against them without delivering it back.
Whatever other motives Islamic terrorists may have for their actions, beneath them all is the same supernatural belief held by the Heaven’s Gate cult members: that they’re not really committing suicide, but simply transitioning to a better place where they will be rewarded for their actions. And just like most of us would intervene with friends or family who joined a suicide cult like Heaven’s Gate, Muslim moderates and reformers, along with religious people of all faiths, must debunk the false fact that heaven awaits those who kill themselves, especially if they take the lives of others.
*** Sawyer’s comment:
The only way I can further comment to this view is to say something Do said and that is – in all depends on whose “heaven” one is aiming for. Lots of people talk about heaven as if it’s one location while those that know their scriptures will know that there was one level of heaven that was thought of as “Abrahams Bosom” and that when Jesus said to the thief on the cross that this day (for his belief) he would be with him in “paradise” that he meant that level of heaven where his spirit or soul would be saved to for future opportunities. To others being outside the body means one is in heaven and yet that is possible but that heaven is referred to as “death” or the “spirit world” that is not automatically arriving any anything better unless the Next Level chooses to take that spirit or soul to someplace better from there.
For instance Lucifers “heaven” is called “hell” because the true meaning of hell is separation from God permenantly – no option to change because of one’s own choices not to take advanage of many option when they were provided to where one loses the perspective that there is anyplace else to go. But the Luciferian fallen angel space aliens are desperate at this time to get off the planet as they have it from rumors and past experience that if they don’t get off the planet they will be forced underground again and even totally annialated, body and soul in hell – “lake of fire” when the Next Level is finished offering humanity this last chance to recognize their Representatives who last used the names Ti and Do.
Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. His next book is Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Quest for Immortality, the Afterlife, and Utopia. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelShermer.
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