Heaven’s Gate: Theology Of The Cosmos -- By: Robert Passintino

Journal: Journal of Christian Apologetics
Volume: JCA 01:1 (Summer 1997)
Article: Heaven’s Gate: Theology Of The Cosmos
Author: Robert Passintino


Heaven’s Gate: Theology Of The Cosmos

Robert Passintino

Gretchen Passintino*

The Heaven’s Gate cult is only one of literally thousands of millennial cults, including hundreds of UFO-based cults around the world. Modifications of their “gospel” are available through a wide variety of religious groups—many accessible through the Internet.

Particular groups such as Heaven’s Gate may come and go (some more tragically and violently than others), but the factors that led to their formation, the vulnerabilities exploited by their leaders, and the seductive nature of their pseudo-gospels are replicated countless times year after year, rarely with such physically deadly consequences, but always by exacting a terrible spiritual toll. Heaven’s Gate is sadly typical of the spiritual counterfeits so readily available today.

The Heaven’s Gate cult is the last stage in the almost three-decade transformation of a vagabond couple’s UFO delusions into a sophisticated Internet suicide cult that attracted followers by promising escape from expected cataclysmic events that supposedly will signal the end of this millennium.

The Heaven’s Gate cult was led by a man named Marshall Applewhite, who claimed that his spiritual name was “Do.”1 He began his “Star Trek” in the early 1970s with a female companion, Bonnie Nettles, who used the spiritual name “Ti” (pronounced “Tee”).

At that time, the two, who met in a Texas hospital (Bonnie was a nurse, Marshall a patient with mental problems he was unable to explain), came to believe that they were humans inhabited by the souls of extra-terrestrials from “the Kingdom of Heaven.” Marshall had undergone profound personal crises, including dismissal from a music professorship amid rumors of sexual relations with a male student. Bonnie had dabbled in the occult for years, was a practiced astrologer, and believed that God had sent her to Marshall because the two were destined to be God’s prophets in the last days. Do described the genesis of their mission:

In the early 1970’s, two individuals (my task partner and myself) from the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the Kingdom of Heaven) incarnated into (moved into and took over) two human bodies that were in their forties. I moved into a male

* Robert and Gretchen Passintino are the Directors of Answers in Action Ministry

body, and my partner, who is an Older Member in the Level Above Human, took a female body. (We called these bodies “vehicles,” for they simply served as physical vehicular tools for us to wear while on a task ...

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