UFO Cults: Heaven’s Gate

The Heaven’s Gate incident revealed that people will go to extreme lengths in the name of their belief. and the approach of the Millenium only fanned the flames of a curious phenomenon, UFO cults. A synthesis of mainstream religion and cutting-edge science fiction. The belief in these technological angels comes from a long history of mankind’s faith in a divine plan for the universe.

The emergence of these UFO obsessed groups became news around the world when 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, in 1997. In this film survivors of Heaven’s Gate provide true stories that read like sci-fi novels; a cult leaders daughter tells of her search for UFOs; a mother of a suicide victim describes her son’s alien transformation and members of another group known as the Unarius Academy located just down the road from Rancho Santa Fe, drive to a secret UFO landing site where they claimed 33 spaceships would arrive in the year 2001.

Studies have shown that nearly 20 percent of Americans believe in UFOs, so how can we interpret this mania to seek contact with an alien race? Is it simply the human need to believe in the unexplained? This show traces the history of the Heaven’s Gate cult and compares it to others in search of answers. Why do people abandon all logic and reason to join these groups in the first place? We come ever closer to understanding this through various interviews with former and current members of such cults as they explain what day-to-day life is like, and point out the vast differences between the different groups.

It would seem as though some of these groups truly are cults, which indoctrinate members and force them to embrace new beliefs and behaviors. Whereas other groups are benign in nature and simply form out of a common interest for such topics. From the shocking tragedy of Heaven’s Gate to the remarkable number of people who belong to UFO groups of all descriptions, this is a thought-provoking look at a “fringe” subject that may not be as far from the mainstream as most would have you think.

Directed by: Stacy Twilley

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