ON CLOVER ROAD BACKSTAGE GUIDE 11 Heaven’s Gate Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religious millenarian cult based in San Diego, California, founded in 1974 and led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group, who had participated in a mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp. Just before the suicide, the group's website was updated with the message: "Hale-Bopp brings closure to Heaven's Gate ... Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion – 'graduation' from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave 'this world' and go with Ti's crew." Manson Family The Manson Family was a desert commune formed in California in the late 1960s. Led by Charles Manson, the group consisted of approximately 100 of his followers who lived an unconventional lifestyle with habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs. Most of the group members were young women from middle-class backgrounds, many of whom were radicalized by Manson's teachings and drawn by hippie culture and communal living. Manson’s followers began to believe, without question, Manson's claims that he was a manifestation of Jesus and his prophecies of a race war. They gained national and international notoriety after the murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others on August 9, 1969 by Tex Watson and three other members of the Family, acting under the instructions of Charles Manson. Group members were also responsible for a number of other murders, assaults, petty crimes, and thefts. Unification Movement The Unification movement or Unificationism, also called the Unification Church, is a worldwide new religious movement. Its members are colloquially called "Moonies". It was officially founded under the name Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) in Seoul, South Korea, in 1954, by Sun Myung Moon. In 1994 the HSA-UWC was replaced by Moon with a new organization, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU). The beliefs of the movement are based on Moon's book Divine Principle, which claims to incorporate Christian teachings but differs on many points including its view of Jesus and its introduction of the concept of "indemnity." The Unification movement is well known for its large-scale wedding ceremonies, known as Blessing ceremonies. One of the largest Blessing ceremonies was in 1992 when Sun Myung Moon gave the wedding blessing for 30,000 couples at the Seoul Olympic Stadium. The Unification movement has received strong criticism and has attracted numerous controversies. (edited from Wikipedia.org) Heaven’s Gate logo Unification movement leader Sun Myung Moon and his wife overseeing a Blessing ceremony