Apologetics Index

Heaven’s Gate — Theology

When 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide in a California town, in March, 1997, they did so in the belief that they would be boarding a spacecraft by which they would gain entrance to heaven.

In an appendix to his book, End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon? investigative reporter Richard Abanes describes the group’s teachings:

Although the circumstances surrounding the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide have been widely publicized, little attention has been paid to the group’s religious teachings. The following story is a synopsis of the history of the world according to Heaven’s Gate leader Marshall Applewhite. The quotes appearing throughout the account are taken directly from videotaped teachings by Applewhite, as well as from the cult’s self-published book How and When Heaven’s Gate May Be Entered.

This narrative may sound like a fable reminiscent of Star Wars, but it accurately represents the beliefs that ultimately led Heaven’s Gate members to take their lives. (The synopsis is written in a matter-of-fact style that presents Heaven’s Gate teachings as if a member of the group were explaining it to the reader. It is not my intention to endorse or support any of the following beliefs.)

Long ago, a highly advanced civilization of benevolent space beings from a far off galaxy called “The Evolutionary Level Above Human” (T.E.L.A.H.) — also known as the “Next Level,” “Kingdom of God,” or “Kingdom of Heaven” — decided to turn Earth into a garden. So they “planted it with a variety of life forms, including human.”

The “Human Kingdom,” as well as those kingdom levels beneath human (e.g., the Animal Kingdom, Insect Kingdom, etc.), were created “according to a specific and carefully crafted design — and with a specific purpose in mind.” This garden was to serve as “a transitional training ground — a proving ground for potential new members of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Prospective members would be “birthed” from the Human Level into the Next Level (i.e., the level above human) through a “metamorphic process” that would occur in a select group of human plants, all of whom were created with a body and spirit.

The gardeners from T.E.L.A.H. planted their “crop” in a neutral condition so that each human would “have the chance to choose the direction of their growth.” Every person placed here had three basic options: 1) go completely awry, separate from God, and ultimately be recycled (destroyed) like weeds that are “spaded under”; 2) overcome the human condition and leave it by becoming a member of God’s Kingdom; or 3) join the opposition — i.e., groups of evil space alien races collectively known as Luciferians because they are under the direction of Lucifer, an extremely powerful “plant” from a prior Earth civilization who, after advancing to T.E.L.A.H., rebelled against God.

God, by the way, is not some spirit deity, as most religions teach. He is the most powerful member of the Next Level. As such, he not only functions as the top commander of T.E.L.A.H.’s whole star fleet, but has dictatorial charge of the entire Kingdom of Heaven, which is “a physical level of existence in deepest space (outside of man’s concept of time) beyond this human level — advanced physically, technologically, behaviorally, ethically, genetically, and in the wisdom and knowledge of service in the Creator’s world.”

Regarding Lucifer/Satan, he became evil when he “got to be too big for his britches, stopped looking to his Heavenly Father, and thought he knew so much he could ‘run his own show.'” This arrogant Next Level member went so far as to start his own world in an attempt to create another heaven. He also took with him one-third of the creatures who were young members of T.E.L.A.H., “for they were still susceptible to his leadership.” Those beings are the individuals who now circulate “in the Heavens as various ‘Luciferian’ space races (who also travel in their more primitive spacecrafts, or UFOs).”

Throughout Earth’s long history numerous civilizations/gardens have been planted by Next level botanists under God’s direction. Our present civilization is only one of many that have been allowed to progress for thousands of years until that civilization’s “Final Age” or “harvest” arrived. The harvest is a time of great joy for members of T.E.L.A.H., who are finally able to take to the Next Level all the human plants that have sufficiently matured.

To stimulate growth of their plants toward this end, the gardeners have periodically related in a “hands on” way to each civilization “at its beginning stage, and subsequently (with few exceptions) at approximately 2,000-year intervals.” The Bible — although it has been hopelessly marred by Luciferian-minded religionists throughout the ages — still provides a glimpse of the Next Level’s dealings with this present civilization, which began about 6,000 years ago with Adam. He was the first plant from whom all other humans have descended.

After the planting-harvesting season runs its course (approximately 6,000 years), the rest of the garden, including all remaining plants, is annihilated (“spaded under”). The planet is then cleaned up and refurbished. A fresh crop is planted and the entire process starts all over again. Such radical action must be taken because each garden eventually becomes overrun by weeds, which are reprobate human plants with no possibility of renewal to the Next Level.

One might be tempted to think that Earth’s extraterrestrial horticulturists have only themselves to blame for such a tragedy, since they are the ones who abandon the planet for 2,000 years at a stretch. In reality, however, Next Level gardeners are very attentive to their little plants. The epoch during which they are gone actually amounts to only about forty-eight hours from their perspective.

The Bible even hints at this long-forgotten mode of time calculation: “[W]ith the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” ( 2 Peter 3:8). In reality, then, the only ones responsible for the garden’s ultimate state of irreparable damage are the weeds, and of course, the Luciferians who consistently use the weeds to keep propagating human behavior rather than T.E.L.A.H.-like thinking.

So how do Next Level gardeners help their plants mature into humans worthy of transition into the Kingdom of Heaven? This is perhaps the most fascinating part of the Heaven’s Gate scenario. As previously mentioned, humans are composed of two separate parts: 1) the body, which is nothing more than a container; and 2) a spirit, which functions as “the informational mind or ‘software’ [in computer talk] of a human plant.” But a human plant with only these two components will never advance to the Next Level. A third element is needed: a soul, which is comparable to a “seed” or “micro-chip” programmed with all the information necessary to begin and complete a plant’s metamorphosis into a candidate for T.E.L.A.H. Moreover, this soul allegedly has its own “brain” that accumulates information from the Next Level, which is then made available to the plant.

Humans can only receive a soul from Next Level gardeners who, during their periodic visits to Earth, scan the human population for individuals “that seem to have potential.” Such persons are then implanted with a “deposit,” which is an actual storage bin of some kind, that houses a soul tuned into the wavelength of “the Next Level mind (mind that comes from the Creator, the Chief of Chiefs, or Most High God — the term you use is not important).”

Unfortunately, the primitive nature of human plants renders them unable to take advantage of the information contained in the soul. To remedy this minor problem, Next Level gardeners further program soul deposits to act as “tiny computer chips programmed with a sort of [twoway] ‘homing device.’ “Its primary signal functions as a beacon that can be locked on to by yet another group of visitors from T.E.L.A.H. — “Next Level Representatives.”

They periodically come to Earth in “Away Team” crews, complete with a captain, lieutenant, communication’s officer, etc., and travel here via a spaceship, equipped with devices that can get a “readout” on where, and in whom, the deposit transmitters have been placed.

The first responsibility of these special emissaries from the Kingdom of Heaven is to locate plants that have been “tagged” with soul deposits by Next Level gardeners. The mission continues as away team members shed their individual genderless bodies/vehicles (“similar to putting it in a closet, like a suit of clothes that doesn’t need to be worn for awhile”), and attempt to take bodily possession of a “tagged” human who wants to begin the metamorphic process.

Here is where the soul deposit’s secondary signal comes into play. It causes the human host to feel great inner turmoil and a need for the spiritual “nourishment” that can only come from a T.E.L.A.H. representative: “The first reaction to the deposit may be, ‘What is happening? Goodness, none of this has any meaning for me anymore.

Is there something, somewhere that has some meaning? I’ve got to find something, I don’t even know what, but there must be something that can take me farther than where I am.’ “In other words, the host’s world “starts falling apart.” This is the “awakening” process wherein an implanted human will think: “I don’t fit here,””I hate this corrupt world,” or “I just want to go home to God.”

Such thoughts and anxieties, coupled with transmissions from the soul deposit itself, serve to direct the recipient toward a Kingdom of Heaven representative. “Without these ‘deposits of recognition,’ no choice of becoming a student is within the will of a human.” The deposit also helps a plant recognize the representative assigned to it and assists the host human in mustering up the courage it takes to allow his or her body to be possessed. “When the deposit makes contact with the representative, it is an actual physical contact between the mind of the deposit and the mind or information brought by that member of the Next Level.”

All “tagged” plants who choose to undergo the metamorphic process subsequently enter the “classroom” led by the away team’s commanding officer who also has taken possession of a human body. It is during the classroom’s course of rigorous study that the T.E.L.A.H representatives “nurture” each soul deposit with “Next Level thinking, behavior, and all the information required” for each participating plant to effectively “fluff off” all human/mammalian ways. As the human plant’s “humanness” is gradually lost, the soul residing within it grows and the mind of the “soul” along with the mind of the representative begins to override the mind of the human plant. If all goes well, the representative inhabiting the human plant’s body is able to utterly “take over” the functions of that body. At the same time, the human spirit within the vehicle/body is actually bonding (i.e., grafting) to the Next Level representative that is possessing the body. If the human plant is able to endure the entire transition classroom, then the human plant’s spirit will be able to go with his or her representative when that representative departs for T.E.L.A.H. at the mission’s conclusion.

Harvest comes at the end of a civilization’s era. This joyous event is marked by the departure of the latest away team and those human plants to whom they have been grafted. A human plant can only arrive in T.E.L.A.H., attached to a T.E.L.A.H. representative. Therefore, it is crucial that each human spirit leave with their respective representatives when all of the representatives depart.

Staying behind on Earth when one’s representative leaves results in a severing of one’s graft with their representative and effectively leaves the human host stranded on Earth to face the planet’s recycling (“spading under”). Human plants in the classroom of T.E.L.A.H. must be prepared to drop their physical bodies (containers/vehicles) at a moment’s notice.

If it becomes necessary, a plant may actually have to force a shutdown of the body (i.e., commit suicide) in order to evacuate it. This final act of metamorphosis is the ultimate separation, or “disconnection,” from the Human Kingdom and releases the human plant from the human environment.

The next stop is the next world, or the physical environment of the Next Level, where each plant’s transition to the Kingdom of heaven is supervised by senior members of the Next Level. All of the evacuees — the T.E.L.A.H. representatives and the human plants to which they have been grafted — rendezvous “in the clouds (a giant mothership)” for a briefing and final journey to the Kingdom of the Heaven.

This process has been going on for thousands of years. In fact, Jesus of Nazareth was a “tagged” plant that was possessed by the captain of an away team that came to Earth 2,000 years ago. He tried to bring the aforementioned “good news” to people of his time, but the Luciferians had him killed by wicked, human weeds. Jesus’ disciples — who were themselves inhabited by the rest of the T.E.L.A.H. away team — tried in vain to continue preaching Jesus’ message, but they, too, were murdered.

For the last 2,000 years the world has become horribly overgrown with weeds. Furthermore, because of the Luciferians’ extensive tampering with Earth’s present civilization, “it has not been able to significantly serve as a stepping stone toward the Next Evolutionary Level.” Earth’s next “spading under” is due very soon (i.e., before A.D. 2000). The harvest is now.
– Source: Inside Heaven’s Gate, Richard Abanes, in End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon? Four Walls Eight Windows, New York. 1998. Page 343-348. (Slight formatting changes introduced by Apologetics Index to help track misuse of this text by scraper sites.)

About the Book

Abanes, an investigative reporter and director of the Religious Information Center in Southern California, has written a well-researched, highly entertaining, and informative book about the human fascination with apocalyptic events.

He asserts that doomsaying prophets throughout history were not only often wrong but spectacularly wrong, and he backs up his conclusions with a tremendous amount of documentation.

He covers a great deal of ground: from the nightmare worlds of Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Shoko Asahara, to the biblical battles between Gog and Magog, a scenario that was often used as a prediction that the former Soviet Union “will” invade Israel.

Of special note are his investigations into the prophecies of the “sleeping prophet” Edgar Cayce and Nostradamus, whose work, under a clear light, proves unreliable and false.

As the millennium approaches, the public’s hunger for more books prophecizing the end of history, earth, and time will grow and public libraries will be forced to satiate it with more purchases of such materials. It is therefore paramount that this book also be purchased and be placed among those “end-of-the-world” books as a reasoning and enlightening voice.

Highly recommended for public libraries and all collections dealing with the supernatural or the occult. — Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu
– Source: Review by Reed Business Information, as posted at Amazon.com

Mike Tribby, for BookList, writes:

“Interestingly, nearly all the faiths now experiencing rapid growth throughout the world promote a common doctrine: at some point in the near future, our world will be destroyed,” Abanes says. Writing neatly, footnoting nicely, he visits the world of millenarians and others mining the current doomsday craze, explaining their views and expatiating on their histories.

Ordinarily, this might not make entertaining reading, but Abanes’ skepticism stands him in good stead in this regard as he enumerates and explains the twisting strands of prophecy and belief of which the fabric of Armageddon is made without ever becoming enamored of them.

Thus he produces great stuff for those who want to know the specifics about what happened the other times–1900, 1666, 1000–the end of the earth loomed so clearly for so many. Buy his book now and get a few years’ circulation out of it before the world and everything in it become moot points.
– Source: Mike Tribby, Booklist, as posted at Amazon.com

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Category: Heaven's Gate
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First published (or major update) on Sunday, March 25, 2007.
Last updated on January 02, 2013.

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