Archive file# o020900d
contributed by James Vandale
NOT QUITE 39 STEPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Heaven's Gate Timeline - FT100
NOT QUITE 39 STEPS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Bob Rickard tabulates the life of Bo and Peep.
1931 or 1932
Marshall Herff Applewhite, born the son of an "exacting" Presbyterian
clergyman. He gave up studying for the ministry for a career in music and
gained a degree at the University of Colorado.
Worked at St Thomas' University, Houston, where he was highly regarded as
a teacher and fundraiser. Although married with two children, several
homosexual liaisons lead to a divorce. He was later described as "an
outwardly conventional, but talented man who concealed a troubled
existence of sexual confusion, emotional trauma and spiritual crisis".
Applewhite was fired over a scandal involving the daughter of a Trustee.
Lost a job as a music director in a local theatre because he began hearing
Applewhite met psychiatric nurse Bonnie Lu Nettles in a Houston hospital.
She was raised a Baptist but drifted into Theosophy and spiritualism. She
introduced Applewhite to New Age mysticism. Nettles abandoned her husband
and children to wander America with Applewhite.
At a remote camp in Oregon, they explore their latent spirituality,
calling themselves 'Brother Sun' and 'Sister Moon'. Nettles 'channels' an
entity she identifies as St Francis of Assisi. Applewhite has a revelation
that they are the 'Two Witnesses' mentioned in Revelation 11:3, who will
be killed and then rise from the dead to ascend heavenward on a cloud.
Applewhite and Nettles now named 'Guinea' and 'Pig' or 'Him' and 'Her'
attract devotees and switch to 'Bo' and 'Peep'. Their heaven-bound cloud
becomes a UFO. This same year, Applewhite serves four months for auto
theft in St Louis for failing to return a rental car. He told authorities
he was on a mission from another.
Bo and Peep, as 'The Two', give their famous lectures in Los Angeles and
San Francisco. Their group, called 'Human Individual Metaporphosis', draws
media attention after convincing scores of followers that a spaceship will
pick them up at Waldport, on the Oregon coast.
The Two, fearing premature assassination, split up the group and go into
hiding. Robert Balch, a University of Montana sociologist infiltrates one
group with a colleague and stays for seven weeks. He reports on their
highly regimented lifestyle (eg. members report to their superiors every
12 minutes). The group live in poverty in a succession of camp grounds in
California, Arizona and Montana financed by begging. Three-quarters of the
group defect by the time they buy several houses in Texas. They live
quietly for many years as their regime becomes more rigid and
NBC make a TV movie about Bo and Peep, called 'The Mysterious Two',
starring John Forsythe.
Nettles, now known as 'Ti', dies of cancer. The group believe that she
left her body to prepare the way for them; that she was waiting for them
to join her and would send a signal.
Applewhite, now 'Do', and his small flock (down to just 24 members) begin
to proselytise once more through ads in New Age magazines and occasional
lectures. He declares he is the "expected Messiah" come to lead people to
the "Evolutionary Level above Human". They move to New Mexico, then to
Phoenix, Arizona. Nettles continues to play a part in their mythology; she
is their link to "the Fathers" in the "chain of mind".
27 May They signal an active phase with an ad in USA Today, entitled 'UFO
Cult Resurfaces with Final Offer'. Now the 'Total Overcomers Anonymous',
they hold public meetings in Madison, Santa Fe, Seattle, and San
Francisco. Their message is full of paranoia about reptilians and
Luciferans preventing humans from advancing to the "next level".
They buy 40 acres near Manzano, New Mexico, and build a fortified
community. Applewhite and five members go to Mexico to be castrated.
Applewhite on internet using the handle email@example.com preaches an e-mail
sermon on "the laying down of the bodies".
E-mails to 100 Usenet groups refer to the immanent "departure via a 'Next
Level' mothership" to the "true physical Kingdom of Heaven". Nettles is
virtually deified as the "Representative from the Next Evolutionary Level"
who will help them "break their ties to their humanness" and shed their
"containers" (bodies). The Next Level is characterised as an ethereal
spacecraft, "above the Earth's surface".
On the Art Bell radio show, astronomer Chuck Shramek discusses the
object he has observed near comet Hale-Bopp see FT96:15. Bell castigates
astronomers for dismissing the sighting as a data error. Remote-viewer
Courtney Brown declares it is a sphere inhabited by aliens. Applewhite
decides this is the signal from Ti.
Feb -Applewhite and a few followers meet Lee Shargel, a science-fiction
writer, at a signing promotion for Shargel's novel Voice in the Mirror.
Shargel said (on ABC TV, 30 March 1997) that Applewhite was convinced
there was a message from aliens in his book.
The Higher Source web site declares: "Our Older Member in
the Evolutionary Level above human has made it clear to us that
Hale-Bopp's approach is the 'marker' we've been waiting for," and: "We are
happily prepared to leave this world and go with Ti's crew."
The Last Supper at Marie Callender's restaurant. All 39 have
turkey pot pie and salad, blueberry cheesecake and iced tea. The bill
comes to $351 with $52 in tips.
Thirty-nine members consume phenobarbitol, some suffocate with
plastic bags. They do it in shifts, those remaining carefully arranging
the dead and dying.
Richard Ford, an ex-member, receives a Fedex devivery of two
videos from Applewhite.
Ford alerts the San Diego authorities and the bodies are found at
18241 Colina Norte, Rancho Santa Fe.
Michael Wiley, 'Return of 'The Two'' in UFO Magazine 10:3
(May/June 1995) pp2635.
San Francisco Examiner 29 & 31 March 1997.
Cult of the Two' (e-mail document, UFO Updates 31 March 1997.
County Register 3 April 1997. [AP],
Nando Times 7 April 1997. Jerome
UFO Encyclopedia, vol 3, p477480.
Robert Balch & David Taylor in
The Gods have Landed (State Univ NY Press, 1995).
Newsweek 27 April
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