The New Religious Movement of Heaven's Gate

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The purpose of the analysis is to identify and analyze the new religious movement. The new religious movement is the Heavens Gate. To identify the central ideas underlying the movement. Identify the similarities and differences that this movement may have as compared to other. Find how the Heavens Gate religious movement thinks and also analyze their origin and see whether they have connections with other world religions. The other thing analyzed in the report is how the religious movement views the surrounding society either positive or negative and the purpose of any of the given state. The analysis helps in finding any destructive or problematic that the religion may have and its impact on the society.


Central ideas of the movement

The Heavens Gate religion that was centered in California. The theme began with the committing of the suicide of 18 men and 21 women in three successive days. Some other people such as Charles Humphrey and Wayne tried to commit suicide and failed but Humphrey tried latter and succeed. There were three organizations that were formed by Marshall that accelerated the cult. The team formed by Marshall is currently known as the Heaven's Gate and is an illustration of the first 39 suicides committed (Zeller 2014).

The religion follows the syncretistic religion which is considered to combine both Christianity and other unusual believes. The Heaven's Gate religion interpreted their passages using the four books of gospels and also used some revelation. The religion emphasized on the story described in the revelation which states how the witnesses were killed and then remained for some other three and half days. They state that the dead were later revived and taken into the clouds. The religion states that the earth controls all the evil forces. They view themselves lucky to attain even with some other elites. They view themselves as if superior and thus their bodily living as temporal since they would ascend (Cowan and Bromley 2015).

The religion believes that in 2000 years, there existed a creature that evolved from extra-terrestrial. The group is said to come from Heaven. The religion state that the terrestrial was given some instructions by his companion who was a female. The extra-terrestrial left his body and was thus transported to the earth by use of spaceship. The body changed from that of the human and became of Jesus Christ. They state that the second group also moved into the form of the human body but became scattered at the end. They held meetings and found that most of the attendants were the members who got lost a long time ago (Etherden 2016, p. 1).

The members of the religion referred to each other as brothers and sisters. They are stated to care for themselves in the same case the monks and nuns do. They ensured their members lived in unison in rented homes across San Diego County and called these places monastery. Most of the members of these groups held contacts of other and practiced some professional careers that would improve their livelihood. Their mode of dressing included wearing unisex garments and some shapeless shirts. They practiced celibacy and encouraged the followers' respect that believes in order to serve their God more. They ensured that their members were free from all forms of sexual and gender activities. Additionally, they practiced commercial activities to boost their income and earn more profits. They used the internet in recruiting the new members across the world and opened a site known as the Heaven's Gate. They drew some lines that represented Jesus as the same case the Christians believe in Jesus Christ.

Similarities and differences between the worlds' religion

The Heaven's Gate religion is similar to Christianity in the following ways: They both believe Jesus Christ as their bridge to the creator God. Additionally, they both practice celibacy to serve and respect the teachings of the supernatural God. The two religions also practice commercial activities to improve to earn income and improve their living standards. Both Heaven's Gate and Christianity also encourage their members to live together and help each other when in need. The two religions encourage all ways that enable their members to serve God without any type of limitation.

However, the two religions have differences. Heaven's Gate believes that one can go to heaven through committing suicide but the Christianity believes that committing suicide is a sin and one cannot go to heaven. Additionally, Heaven's Gate believes that man evolved from extra-terrestrial while Christianity religion believes that man was created by God. On the other hand, Heaven's Gate recruits their members through the use of the internet while Christianity preaches all over the world for believers to get saved and join the religion. Moreover, the Heaven's Gate religion keeps emphasize and follows the book of revelation while Christianity follows the sixty-six books of the Bible equally. The two religions are thus considered to differ in those ways according to the findings (Ewing 2018, p.6).

Movement view to the surrounding society

The movement view that the surrounding society as positive. The view in that way is because it sees the socially beneficial and implements some strategies that improve the lives of other people. Some of the activities that show positivity is participating in commercial activities and professional careers to improve the society. Additionally, recruiting other members and being in contact with them is a sign of taking things positively (Ewing 2018, p.6).

Destructive and problematic movement sect

The issue of taking suicide can be described destructive and problematic. Suicide is destructive because it terminates the life of an individual and thus should be avoided. The religion should thus find other means that can lead them to their God and avoid destructing their life. Additionally, the issue of wearing shapeless shirts among most people is destructive because currently there are designers who can make good clothes. There is no need of wearing shapeless clothes because this will be taken negatively by other people who are working to attain the visions of the twenty-first century (Zeller 2014).


The Heaven's Gate religion movement should continue embracing the culture of respecting their God. They should also live as brothers and sisters and continue caring for one another. The religion should continue keeping in touch with the members and take their contacts to help them grow and help in solving problems when in need. They should also encourage participation in commercial activities to earn more income for their personal growth. The religion also should continue embracing the need for professionalism to get more talents that can improve their living. However, the Heaven's Gate religion should avoid all forms of destruction such as committing suicide. They should live and go to the creator when death comes but not through suicide. Additionally, the religion should move according to the new developments and wear decent clothes that portray changes in the modern world. The religion should avoid all the norms that make it look awkward in this generation.


Cowan, D.E. and Bromley, D.G., 2015. Cults and new religions: A brief history. John Wiley &          Sons.

Etherden, M., 2016. "The Day the Earth Stood Still”: 1950's Sci-Fi, Religion and the Alien   Messiah. Journal of Religion & Film, 9(2), p.1.

Ewing, E., 2018. Heaven's Gate's Website: The Group is Gone, the Religion Lives On. Relics,             Remnants, and Religion: An Undergraduate Journal in Religious Studies, 3(1), p.6.

Zeller, B.E., 2014. Heaven's Gate: America's UFO religion. NYU Press.

August 01, 2023




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