There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake — Happy they!
Beyond Human Mind is a fairly plodding autobiographical narrative interspersed with bullet-point guides to DO’s teachings. It is nevertheless fascinating as a window into a very strange realm. Over several days, I took in Rio’s book, the screenplay, DO’s and the students’ Exit Videos, many hours of DO’s teachings, including a tape called “Last Chance to Leave Earth Before It’s Recycled,” the last three of which I discovered at the Los Angeles Public Library. The videos — a 12-tape lesson plan, along with the entire collection of the Heaven’s Gate suicide videography — which Rio believes were censored by the media, can in fact be checked out from the social-science stacks downtown. When I asked the reference librarian how these materials got on the shelves, he looked them up in the computer and said, “Someone from the public ordered them. You would be surprised the requests we get.” Later, I walked by another librarian as he got a call from someone looking for reference materials on comparative alien digestive tracts. “We don’t have information like that,” he explained with admirable composure. “No one on Earth does.”
The Exit Videos are so important to Rio that he includes full transcripts in his book. The videos are short; each of the 38 statements (one member chose to say nothing) is less than five minutes long. I watched them all. Instantly noticeable was how similar everyone looks. In preparation for their future lives as immortal, androgynous beings in space, the men and women of Heaven’s Gate were all required to wear matching bowl cuts and baggy, unflattering jump suits.
Equally striking is their uniform serenity. Seated outside, with San Diego’s pleasant spring dawning in the background, every single member calmly explained their enthusiasm for the wondrous existence awaiting them: “I’ve been looking forward to this for so long”; “I couldn’t have made a better choice”; “Thirty-nine to beam up!” Thomas Nichols, who had been a member since 1976 (and was the brother of Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek), said: “I’m the happiest person in the world.”
There is none of the malevolence seen in the martyrdom videos of suicide bombers; these people were not political pawns and would never have hurt anyone. The only crime they ever committed was against themselves, and that’s not how they saw it. To a person, they seem remarkably ordinary. Everyone who ever dealt with them said they were smart, capable and caring. Days before dying, they do not seem afraid, coerced or disturbed. Even DO, whose delusional rambling goes on at some length, is not the same raving sociopath one sees in Jim Jones. And, in general, Heaven’s Gate was not Jonestown, where armed guards enforced suicide drills. Anyone could leave Heaven’s Gate at any time, and many did. But it is a testament to the reach of DO’s psychological grip that those who left the group were often conflicted, not doubting DO but feeling they had somehow failed to learn “The Process.”
That was the system for “becoming nonhuman” in order to “learn the ways of space” and nurture Next Level Mind. Rio’s book describes how the Process was conceived as a physical transformation that made one eligible to leave Earth. All psychological ties that bind you to this planet must be cut. In light of this, the “away” in the AWAY TEAM patch they wore on their Exit uniforms referred not to Orion but to Earth, and they were simply returning home.
More than anything else, sex held back the Process. It was prohibited, along with anything having the potential for arousal. That included jeans, jewelry, dresses, Little House on the Prairie. No hugging was tolerated: It tricked the vehicle into unwelcome sensuality. Members would provide updates on their progress by writing notes to DO, which were called CSRs, or Control Status Reports. I saw one of Rio’s CSRs, in which he said he was successfully quieting the sensual yearnings of his vehicle, to which DO had responded in red ink, “You make me very happy. Yous a good kiddlie.”
Many people remember from the news reports in 1997 that several male members of Heaven’s Gate were surgically castrated. These unfortunates, according to Rio’s book, “had trouble controlling the vehicle’s sensuality and chose neutering as a solution.” Afterward, they were “extremely happy and even more silly.” Contrary to news reports, the book claims it was not DO who suggested castration, but some of the students, although DO later tried it himself to make sure it fit The Process. (Rio himself was not castrated.)
The Heaven’s Gate regimen extended beyond sexuality. A thick Procedures Book, spiral-bound and handwritten, regulated every facet of life. Bathing lasted six minutes and used 1 gallon of water. The Procedures Book designated what television shows could be watched, what books could be read and where the students could sit, and laid out detailed schedules with precise times, such as vitamin intake at 7:22 p.m. It specified the circumference of pancakes. DO constantly consulted TI, who micromanaged the group’s daily existence from the Next Level, even providing guidance for planning meals. And the recipes for those meals were exactly measured. When members prepared coffee, not to drink, but for their enemas, it too was precisely rationed.
What wasn’t prescribed in the Procedures Book was recorded in the Ledger. There, every transaction made by the group was meticulously documented with receipts. A bus trip to Oregon showed the fare, a stop at Burger King, the tip for the driver and a $2 gift to a homeless man. Before the Exit, the group made a last-hurrah trip to Las Vegas, where they stayed at Treasure Island, saw Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere ($2,661), won on the slots ($58.91), took some rides on the Big Shot and the High Roller ($123), and found some change ($2.28). On Friday, March 21, the night before Hale-Bopp’s closest approach, the Ledger showed that the group all went to the Marie Callender’s in Carlsbad for a final meal, ordering 39 chicken potpies, 39 salads and 39 pieces of cheesecake.
Rio and the others submitted to this intense routine to prepare for the accuracy required of a crew on a spacecraft. That’s how they thought of their house, or “craft.” There were special names for everything, in fact, an entirely new vocabulary created by DO and reproduced in part in Rio’s book:
Job Out-of-craft task
Bra Sling shot
Breakfast 1st Experiment
Lunch 2nd Experiment
Dinner 3rd Experiment
Last time I heard dessert called “snack” was in Montessori preschool, but Beyond Human Mind explains that this kind of terminology was vital to achieving nonhuman consciousness. As were the members’ assumed names. Rio DiAngelo — “river of angels” — was actually the out-of-craft alias for his Next Level self, which was called NEODY. Everyone had names like this: OLLODY, JWNODY, RKKODY — multi-letter designations followed by -ODY, a suffix shorthand for DOTI that forever imprinted the spiritual leaders’ presence onto their followers’ identities.
Weird, yes, but how much weirder than other things we’ve come to accept? Like, say, partaking in the body and blood of Christ every Sunday? We all know that Jesus, one of many schismatic religious peddlers in biblical Judea, was scorned for his beliefs. When dealing with extreme behavior like collective suicide, it’s a natural response to look for an easy explanation, such as “These people are nut jobs.” Some cult watchers point out that DO was so megalomaniacal that he essentially used his followers to clone himself, to such an extent that even in death they had no individual identity. An interesting point, but one should also acknowledge the psychological bargain the group offered in exchange. I talked to one former member who counts his 13 years with DO as a tragic mistake but still pointed out that there was something comforting about being inside. “We didn’t have to worry about family, taxes, bills,” he said. “We were protected. We didn’t like the rules of the world, so we created our own. It was a utopia.” DO had always likened it to a cocoon. They were all caterpillars, and they needed the safe haven of the chrysalis to become butterflies. In a way, this is a very beautiful image.
That they killed themselves for it seems bizarre only because it happened in San Diego, with five Jamba Juices and a Green Burrito nearby. At the turn of the previous millennium, Christian Europe was full of apocalyptic sects prepared for blood. And many medieval Christian monks castrated themselves for the sake of purity. In Diane Sawyer’s interview, she is shocked by how many children DO’s followers left behind, but our monotheistic religious tradition began when Abraham prepared to kill his own son. When you get down to it, just how much of human history is filled with willing martyrs for heaven or some other abstract cause? Two hundred thousand Englishmen were slaughtered for queen and country at the Somme. Does that make any more sense than what happened in Rancho Santa Fe?
The answer may be that this is the wrong question, because none of it makes sense. Dying for the patrie is just as arbitrary as dying for duty or glory or Marshall Herff Applewhite.
Tags: New, World, Order, Secret, Societies, Illuminati, Anti, Jesus, Christ, Satan, UFO, Aliens, Intruders, Phoenix, Lights, Sightings, Star, Wars, Hale, Bopp, Comet, Heaven's, Gate, Triangle, Military, Flare, Mind, Control
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