Marshall Applewhite PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 January 2011 16:13

Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr.

Born: May 17, 1931 Spur, Texas, United States

Died: March 26, 1997, Rancho Santa Fe, California, United States

Age: 65

Cause of death: Suicide. Phenobarbital, cyanide and arsenic mixed with applesauce and pudding, and then washed down with vodka.

Notable because: Strong Jesus believer. Had himself castrated, believed he was Jesus and convinced a bunch of folk to off themselves to catch a ride to Paradise on a passing comet.

Marshall  Applewhite, known among his followers as "Do", was the leader of the Heaven's Gate religious group. A self-proclaimed prophet and messiah, he died in the group's mass suicide of 1997.

Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr. was born in Spur, Texas to Louise Haecker Winfield and Marshall Herff Applewhite, Sr. He had two older sisters, Louise, born 1927, and Jane born 1929 as well as a brother, John Winfield born 1942. Applewhite's father was a Presbyterian minister who started new churches and moved from place to place in Texas about every three years. Applewhite hoped to follow in his father's footsteps and become a preacher as well, but his sister and father encouraged him to develop his musical talents. In high school, Applewhite proved more dedicated to music than religion, and joined the school choir. In 1950, at age 19, Applewhite enrolled at Austin College, where he pursued a degree in Music and Pre-Theology at his father's urging.

In college, Applewhite studied voice and education, fueled by his passion for choir singing. In 1954, upon his graduation, Applewhite was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Salzburg, Austria, and then White Sands, New Mexico, where he became a Signal Corps instructor. He was drafted a year after the conflict phase of the Korean War ended, so he did not go to Korea, nor did he see any action while in the service. According to his sister, he was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant in 1956 after two years of service.

After he was discharged, Applewhite became a college music teacher. Later, in his thirties, he led a musical career. He played starring roles in stage musicals in Colorado and Texas, was the choir director at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Houston, sang 15 roles with the Houston Grand Opera, and taught music at the University of Alabama. Applewhite married Ann Frances Pearce in a Presbyterian church. He had a son named Mark, born in 1957, and a daughter named Lane Ann, but known as Mary, born in 1959. Applewhite was estranged from his family when his children were young.

While in Houston, Applewhite's life began to falter apart. He and his wife divorced in 1968; they had two children together. There are some reports that he struggled with his sexual identity. In 1970, he left his job and seemed to be having a sort of nervous breakdown.

In September 2007 Applewhite's granddaughter Hannah Overton was convicted of capital murder following the death of her foster son Andrew Bird. Applewhite was fired from his job as an adjunct music professor at the University of St. Thomas in 1970. The official reason given by the university was "health problems of an emotional nature".

In 1972, Applewhite met a 44-year-old nurse named Bonnie Nettles at a Houston psychiatric hospital, which he had voluntarily entered because of depression and hearing voices. Nettles convinced him that they were on earth as aliens and that Armageddon was coming. On August 28, 1974, the 43-year-old Applewhite was arrested in Harlingen, Texas for stealing credit cards.

After Nettles told him that he possessed special astrological attributes, Applewhite declared himself the individual in whose mind was held that of Christ, the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. By 1975 they had begun Total Overcomers Anonymous together, which eventually became Heaven's Gate.

In 1975, Applewhite and Nettles convinced 20 people from Waldport, Oregon to join their group. Applewhite told them there would be an alien appearance by means of a UFO, but when the encounter never happened they left the group. However, more people joined and soon the group had 93 members. Initially, meetings were held in various locations in the Waldport area, and soon spread to multiple meetups at churches, halls, lecture theatres, and new age awareness centers elsewhere. Over a 9-month period in 1975 Applewhite, Nettles, and small groups of their followers travelled to nearly all 50 states and parts of Canada. The group became more structured, and moved periodically over the years to various locales in California, Colorado, and New Mexico. Finally, Heaven's Gate moved to the mansion at Rancho Santa Fe, California, the site of the group's mass suicide.

Nettles and Applewhite were nicknamed 'Ti and Do' or the 'UFO two'. Nettles died in 1985 of cancer and Applewhite led Heaven's Gate alone from her death to his suicide in 1997. At some point, Applewhite had himself surgically castrated.

Their activities inspired the 1982 TV movie Mysterious Two, with John Forsythe as "He", the Applewhite role.

On March 19, 1997, Marshall Applewhite taped himself speaking of mass suicide and believed "it was the only way to evacuate this Earth". The Heaven's Gate cult opposed suicide but believed they must leave Earth as quickly as possible. After claiming that a space craft was trailing the comet Hale-Bopp, Applewhite convinced 39 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could board the supposed craft. Applewhite believed that after their deaths, a UFO would take their souls to another "level of existence above human", which Applewhite described as being both physical and spiritual. This and other UFO-related beliefs held by the group have led some observers to characterize the group as a type of UFO religion.

Applewhite committed suicide with 39 other members in Rancho Santa Fe, California by mixing phenobarbitol with applesauce or pudding, then washing it down with vodka. They also placed plastic bags over their heads after ingesting the mix to ensure asphyxiation in case the drugs did not kill them. The cult members, aged between 26 and 72, are believed to have died in three groups, 15 the first day on March 24, 15 the next and nine on the third.

One of the victims was the younger brother of Star Trekactress Nichelle Nichols. President Clinton ordered them all cremated.

Member Rio DiAngelo, aka Richard Ford, did not commit suicide. He left the Rancho Santa Fe mansion weeks before the suicides to ensure future dissemination of Heaven's Gate videos and literature. He videotaped the mansion in Rancho Santa Fe. However, the tape was not shown to police until 2002, five years after the event.


The following transcript is from an initiation tape for Heaven’s Gate. While an edited and more precise version of these words appear on the Heaven’s Gate website, these statements are untouched and help provide the unscripted intensity that Applewhite’s image became known for. Applewhite appears before a purple curtain backdrop and remains fixated on the camera as he speaks about his beliefs.

"…or, in old language of a couple thousand years ago, Disciples, those who are trying to prepare themselves for entry into the evolutionary level above human synonymous with the kingdom of god, the kingdom of heaven. We’re going to talk to you about the most urgent thing that is on our mind, and what we suspect is the most urgent thing that is on the minds of those who will connect with us. We’ll title this tape ‘Planet Earth About to Be Recycled: Your Only Chance to Evacuate Is To Leave With Us’. ‘Planet Earth About To Be Recycled: Our Only Chance To Survive Or Evacuate Is To Leave With Us’.

Now, that’s (a) pretty major statement, pretty bold in terms of religion, in terms of anybody’s intelligent thinking, to most people who would consider themselves intelligent beings they would say “Well, that’s absurd. What’s all this doomsday stuff? What’s all this prophetic stuff?”

You know, intelligent human beings should realize everything has their cycle, they have their season. They have their beginning. They have their end. They have cycles. We’re not saying planet Earth is coming to an end; we’re saying planet Earth is about to be refurbished, spaded under, and have another chance to serve as a garden for another human civilization.Heavens_Gate_Cult

Now, the reason this is such an interesting time is not only we’re on the threshold of the end of this civilization because it’s about to be recycled, but because of where that finds us, where that finds you, where that finds those who would judge us, how we would speak of them and how they would speak of us.

Now you say you keep saying to us, “Who do you think you are?” Well, I in all honestly must acknowledge my father. My father is not a human father. My father is a member of the evolutionary level above human, the kingdom of god, the kingdom of heaven. My father gave me birth long before this civilization, gave me birth into that kingdom level above human, that kingdom of heaven, that kingdom of god.

Now you can say “I can’t believe that.” Well, it’s up to you whether you believe that or not. That’s not important to me, even though I wish you could believe it for your sake. For those who do believe it stand a possibility of a future beyond this recycling time. Now you say, well, according to religious literature I thought there was someone else who was going to come and be our savior here at these End Days. That, that was going to be Christ’s return. Well, the name Christ might be a little confusing, or the name Jesus, because the name Jesus, of course, was the name given to the body that the mind that was indeed from the kingdom of heaven came and that mind was here 2000 years ago and that mind came for the express purpose of teaching humans how they could be saved, how they would not be plowed under at the end of the age. Well, we’re at the end of the age.

So, the one, or the mind that was in Jesus. What? That mind is in me? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

I must admit that I am here again. That I’m here saying exactly the same thing that I said then, trying to say it in today’s language. Trying to hope for your sakes you can see what we have to offer you, for our father offers you life. We’re not talking about human life, if the planet is about to be recycled, and we see the planet as a stepping stone. Planet earth – a stepping stone. That just as within a civilization, a civilization evolves upward, that each segment of civilization becomes civilized, becomes less barbaric in some ways. It’s supposed to, not that is necessarily does. Sometimes it seems to appear to be more civilized when in fact it becomes more barbaric, more quick to condemn the rest of the world, more quick to be – quick to kill the rest of the world that does not think as it thinks.

Well, I know what I just said. I said, I am the return of the son of my father. I’ll tell you something that’s even more remarkable. My father came with me this time. Came in the early 70’s, took on a human form, an adult human form, helped me get into an adult human form in the early 70’s, and we together helped those who came with us who that were also here 2,000 years ago get in the bodies that they were wearing so that they could rid themselves of human behavior, human activity, human thinking, so that they could be ready to move into the kingdom of heaven, or the evolutionary level above human. These that are sitting before me have been students of T and O, T my father, have been students of T and O, are still students of T and O, even though T returned to the heavens in 1985. And T is my heavenly father, gave me birth into that kingdom before civilization began.

Now I’m not here to sell you on that, or who I am, or who these are. I’m here to offer you as these are an opportunity to know the truth so that if you can connect with it at any level then you might survive the re-spading, or recycling, that is about to occur.

We made a tape just shortly ago. And in that tape we said that there are three types of individuals that will survive the…" (end of part 1).



Marshall Applewhite - Cult Leaders Unauthorized & Uncensored (Deluxe Edition with Videos)

Author: T.J. Carlson
Manufacturer: Famous People Collection

Buy Now
Editorial Review:

*** Deluxe Edition with Videos ***

Take a closer look at the life of Marshall Applewhite. Each page is packed with intriguing details on his life. So hold on to your seats and read this page-turner now!

Learn about his..

· Early life.

· How he became a cult leader.

· The different events on his arrests.

· Know his current status.

.. and other interesting and fun facts about Marshall Applewhite!

And that's not all! Let’s see how sharp your memory is by answering all the fun quizzes in the book.

Take a journey with us as we bring you closer than ever to Marshall Applewhite.

Scroll up and Buy this book now by clicking on the Orange button - your will love going back to it again and again.


Deadly Faith

Author: David Pietras
Manufacturer: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Amazon Price: $9.99
Offers - Buy New From: $8.51 Used From: $9.49
Buy Now
Editorial Review: Cultist groups have permeated society ever since people could chat and share ideas en masse, although modern cult experts today often clash about what, exactly, makes a group of people a cult. What's a loony or eccentric organization to one expert is often seen by others as a religion or sect, which are terms loaded with less cultural stigma. Whatever the best working definition might be, here we present four of popular culture's craziest cults of our time. One thing that baffles society is the fact that so many people choose to follow a single man and look to him as a messiah. Cult members usually refer to their leader as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and obey his every command. Some cults focus on doing good for society and the world in general yet others choose a more sinister path of murder and mayhem. And the ultimate cult following consists of mass suicides. Whatever the reasoning of these followers or the mindset of their leaders, one thing is definite. When deadly faith is your guide and destruction is your gospel, your own soul is your ultimate sacrifice.


Heaven's Gate: Inside the Web of Death (Singles Classic)

Author: Elizabeth Gleick
Manufacturer: Time Inc.

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Editorial Review: Rancho Santa Fe, California. March 20, 1997.

It was a remarkably well-choreographed departure, made more astonishing by the rich trail of video and Internet information the victims left behind. But the largest mass suicide in U.S. history has blasted the doors wide open onto a considerably less tidy world--a dense and jumbled universe of UFOs and extraterrestrials careening smack into unusual astronomical happenings, apocalyptic Christian heresies and end-is-nigh paranoia.

This story is part of the TIME Classic Coverage Collection from Time Inc. This is a reproduction of a story that appeared in the April 7, 1997 issue of TIME magazine.

Time Inc. is one of the world’s most influential media companies – home to 90 iconic brands like People, Sports Illustrated, Time, InStyle, Real Simple, Food & Wine, and Fortune. The Spotlight Stories in this collection aim to provide you with a quick read on a single subject, highlighting our readers’ most popular stories and featuring great reporting from our Time Inc. journalists.


I Met The Devil (Annotated)

Author: Marshall Applewhite
Manufacturer: Heaven's Gate

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Editorial Review: Brothers and sisters Heaven's Gate has opened, don't be afraid. You will understand my action. I have time traveled. I have met with the devil. The planet Earth is about to be "recycled" (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished and rejuvenated). It is well hidden in this book because I feel my life is in danger, but I will explain to you how I found the mother-ship, there is a after Life because I was told by being hidden from view.


Cosmic Suicide: The Tragedy and Transcendence of Heaven's Gate

Author: Rodney Perkins
Manufacturer: Pentaradial Press
Offers - Buy New From: $42.50 Used From: $25.00
Buy Now
Editorial Review: Cosmic Suicide is the definitive study of the Heaven's Gate cult. Consisting of neither tabloid trash nor New Age pabulum, it details the group from its origin in the early 1970's to the sensational mass suicide in 1997. By providing perspective and insight into the cult's attitudes and beliefs, Cosmic Suicide places Heaven's Gate within a historical context of millenarian movements. The book gives intimate details about the cult's doomsday philosophy, including the influence of Christianity, UFOs, and conspiracy theories. These factors prompted the androgynous believers to think that the passing of the Hale-Bopp comet would usher the UFO Crew into the Next Level of human evolution. Bizarre facts are revealed about the cult's lifestyle, including the odd monastic rituals designed to indoctrinate new members. In fact, the text features a rare transcription from a recruitment meeting held in Dallas in early 1994. It also contains extensive appendices, which include leader Marshall Applewhite's autopsy report and numerous documents of otherworldly propaganda. Cosmic Suicide is an indispensable reference for anyone interested in learning the real truth behind this strange End Times religion.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 12:37

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