The Heaven’s Gate cult followed a syncretistic religion, combining elements of Christianity with rare beliefs about the nature of UFOs. They believed that everything on Earth was about to be destroyed, after which the planet would be refurbished or recycled. The only chance for survival was to leave. Heaven 's Gate members believed that Hale-Bopp, a rare bright comet, was the sign that they were supposed to shed their earthly bodies or containers and join a spacecraft traveling behind the comet that would take them to a higher plane of existence. Marshall Herff Applewhite or the “DO“ as he was referred to, the leader of the cult, recruited members through the internet and newspaper ads, and maintained members by brain-washing them about the end of the world and the only chance of survival. The Heaven’s Gate members gave up all their belongings and lived communally in an austere lifestyle. They earned money by working as professional website developers, and three of them worked for Advanced Development Group, which created computer-based instruction for the United States Army. Marshall Herff Applewhite was a music teacher with an extraordinary orientation for that time, he was a homosexual. He tried to cure and get rid of his homosexual orientation by checking into the hospital, but it did not happen. That supposedly was the reason why he revoked any sexual rights and activities from his group and had a castration performed for him and other male cult members. Heaven’s Gate cult members were strongly against suicide, but they devoted to it in late March 1997. They died in shifts, with some members helping others take a lethal cocktail of Phenobarbital and vodka before downing their own doses of the fatal mixture. Police found an eerily placid and orderly scene on March 26. On the other hand is the Unification Church. They believe in universal God and in pushing toward the creation of a literal Kingdom of Heaven
Cited: House, Wayne. Charts of Cults, Sects, & Religious Movements. www.lcms.org. 2000 Web. 02 February, 2010. Unification Church, Christian or cult? www.rapidnet.com.November, 2001.Web.02 February,2010.