HBM043: Last Chance To Evacuate Earth

Marshall Applewhite met Bonnie Nettles in 1972, and together they built a religion. It was called Heaven's Gate, and it drew heavily from the bible, astrology, and Star Trek. Applewhite and Nettles believed they were placed on Earth to deliver a holy message. They were the leaders of their new religion, and they changed their names to Do and Ti (pronounced "doe" and "tea"). After Nettles' death, the group developed a larger, stronger following, its doctrine evolved—incorporating more and more elements of outer space and astronomical phenomenons. In 1997, Heaven's Gate became known to the public as the world's most infamous UFO cult, when 39 members (including Applewhite) ate poison and died in their Californian mansion.  They believed that the comet Hale Bopp was their exit to a higher life.  

But before all this, Heaven's Gate supported itself financially through web design. The cult created a small company called Higher Source, and together, members of the group would travel to different businesses and build them their first websites. It was through Higher Source that Heather Chronert met the members of Heaven's Gate. She was an employee of the San Diego Polo Club, and it was her job to work closely with two Higher Source web designers on the design and execution of the polo club's website.

Steven and Yvonne Hill of Cincinnati, Ohio found Heaven's Gate online. The two were unhappy with their lives in Ohio, and when they happened on heavensgate.com, it seemed like they'd found a religion tailor-made for them. Steven and Yvonne abandoned their lives in Ohio and moved to California to join the cult.  Steven was one of the last people to defect from Heaven's Gate before the comet lit up the sky and the believers of Heaven's Gate killed themselves. 

If you're feeling suicidal, or know someone who is, help is available for you. Suicide is preventable.  We recommend reaching out to The Samaritans, who operate a 24 hour hotline at (877) 870-4673.  Callers outside of the US can look at organizations available in their country on this list from Suicide.org

For background on this story, Lina Misitzis emailed a living representative (or representatives) of Heaven's Gate.  This document is their correspondence.


This episode was produced by Lina Misitzis.  The episode was edited by Jeff Emtman, Bethany Denton and Nick White.   Special thanks to Amy Isaacson. 

Music: Flowers ||| Swamp Dog ||| Serocell ||| The Black Spot  

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HBM020: Without Name

Eugene up and left for California one morning without packing a thing from his apartment in Brooklyn, New York. HBM producer Lina Misitzis and her roommate Adrian got the apartment at a discount. The condition, though, was that they took the place as Eugene left it—full of his left-behind life. For two years they enjoyed Eugene's magazine subscriptions, ate out of his bowls, slept on his old couch and used his designer spices.

Sensitive listeners be aware that this episode discusses prostitution, drug use and animal abuse. We beeped the swears though.

In this episode, Lina goes back to her old neighborhood looking for nothing in particular. She's greeted by familiar faces, new tenants, and a series of loose ends that tell a modern ghost story.

Photos of Eugene’s apartment coming soon to the HBM facebook page

Music from: Phantom Fauna ||| The Black Spot ||| Swamp Dog

Please please please, review HBM on iTunes so that we can make their New and Noteworthy section.

Special thanks this week to the Brooklyn Historical Society.

HBM016: 10,000 Juggalos

On this episode of the Here Be Monsters Podcast, Director Sean Dunne speaks of the bizarre culture of The Gathering where he found a system of mutual respect and "practicing what you preach" in every aspect from religious tolerance to settling bad drug deals.

The FBI classifies them as a gang. Pop culture has a field day with ridiculing them. But Juggalos and Juggalettes (followers of the Detroit-based rap duo The Insane Clown Posse) aren't going away. In fact, each summer, The Gathering of the Juggalos takes place in rural Illinois, drawing crowds of 10,000 from all over the world.

NOTE: There's a $#&%-ton of profanity in this episode.

The Documentary that Sean Dunne directed is called American Juggalo and is available for free, online at http://americanjuggalo.com/

Also, Sean is currently working on a documentary about the Oxycontin abuse epidemic taking place in West Virginia. The film is called Oxyana.

So, what is the the true nature of a Juggalo? Let us know what you think.

Music this week from The Black Spot and Lucky Dragons.

Also, check out the People Watching Photo Magazine, a fund-raiser for Here Be Monsters.