Heaven's Gate Freak Show
Anyone remember the Heaven's Gate cult? Thirty-nine suicides in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, all because they followed a couple of fucking wack-jobs who used many stupid aliases such as Him and Her, Winnie and Pooh, Tweedle and Dee, Chip and Dale, Nincom and Poop, Tiddly and Wink, Bo and Peep, but finally deciding on going with Do and Ti¹.
Their real names were Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Trousdale Nettles. Nettles died of cancer in 1985, but Applewhite said that he was in constant contact with her (she had "reached the Next Level", dontcha know). They were crazy UFO cultists who thought they were ETs, just like Jesus, who came to Earth to warn us about the impending disaster of the End Times and that the way to escape was to, hold on, saw your fucking balls off and then kill yourself with barbiturates and vodka. Sound odd? Yeah, think of how slowly you'd have to be brought into this shit before it started to make sense (Scientology, anyone?).
Recently, a man named Rio DiAngelo had an article written about him. He was a member of the cult, but was confused about the whole "suicide" thing. He had "an emotional meeting with Do, who telepathically consulted the Next Level", then was set free of the band of ball-less freaks as part of the "plan". Then the weirdyasses all killed themselves (to go to a spaceship hidden in the tale of the Hale-Bopp Comet) wearing Nikes and with purple shrouds over themselves. Fuck me.
Now, Rio seems to be in a bit of a pickle. He wanted to sell his footage of the mansion just after the suicides for a ton of money (he was the one contacted by the group, by mail, after they had made their way to space, and he was the one who first taped the bodies), but the sherriff's department released their footage to the international news first, thus making Rio's tape worth exactly as much as my ass-hair clippings.
Rio made a "prepared declaration" for his interview which said in part:
I am alive because I have discovered something so extraordinarily important to the world that it needs to pass on to you in its most true and accurate form from ME.
I've written before about people who are psychologically fragile or broken needing to feel special. I believe I phrased it as "Tragedy + belief + placebo effect = new healer". Rio seems to be squarely in that box. He said about the suicides and the several copycats who followed suit, "It doesn't make sense to give up everything. Unless...you know. Unless you know what then knew..." Ok, but they didn't know! See the problem? It's false security just like what pretty much all religions have, a strong belief does not equal "KNOWING". Of course, what the suicide-shitheads "knew" was that Do was the "second coming of Jesus Christ".
Ok, two things. If Jebus was going to actually come back, don't you think that he'd name himself something a little more reverential than fucking "Do"? A musical note? Seriously?
Here's the second thing; let's start making castration and ritural suicide the norm for Evangelicals and Fundies of all religious sects and groups. If you believe that strongly, do us all a favor, k? As Bill Hicks once said, "Let's see how fuckin' committed you are to this premise."
¹ - From Martin Gardner's book, Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?