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Heaven's Gate (Part 11)

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Things to beware of in 1997:

Harp's that angel's don't play. 


March 28, 1997

Cult's Early Online Statements
Referred to Earth As 'Stepping Stone'

AP Cyberspace Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Like most weird postings on the Internet, rambling
statements by members of the Heaven's Gate cult about UFOs, comets and
religion were largely ignored -- until now.

After 39 members of the high-tech cult committed suicide, Internet surfers
nearly crashed servers trying to find out more information about the odd
group whose members believed that their deaths would result in a meeting
with a UFO trailing the Hale-Bopp comet.

Last year, a woman -- known in the cult as Sister Francis Michael -- posted
a two-part diatribe in which the author claims to be the reincarnation of
Jesus. The 1,000-word essay, which states that Christian and Jewish beliefs
are lies, appeared in numerous Internet discussion groups on Aug. 1, 1996,
including ones devoted to militia activism, Christian thought and

Bizarre screeds are nothing new on the Internet's vast collection of Usenet
discussion groups. Like stray religious pamphlets, the stranger Internet
sideshows are generally passed over without a second thought.

But with the suicides near San Diego, the public has been fascinated with
everything about the cult, whose members made money as computer consultants
and posted their religious philosophy on the Heaven's Gate World Wide Web

The group also maintained a non-religious site that advertised their
computer business, Higher Ground.

Sister Michael's two Usenet postings, from an e-mail address connected with
the Heaven's Gate site and listed as belonging to her, appear to be the
only other instances of the group's activity on the Internet.

Although they were posted under Sister Michael's e-mail address, it is
unclear who wrote the messages.

In the first posting, the author purports to have come to Earth some 2,000
years ago "as the expected 'Messiah,' or Jesus." For its current mission,
the being returned to Earth and entered into a human body some 24 years

The message also says that before the being and its students depart via a
"Next Level" mother ship, they will assist "my Father and His other Next
Level helpers" in their war against misinformation perpetuated mainly by
the "so-called Christians and Jews."

Humans are enslaved through addictions to indulgences such as love,
marriage, children and "mammalian behavior," the posting states.

The being also says that we are now in the tail end of our task on Earth.
The human kingdom was never meant to be anything but a stepping stone -- "a
realized hell that must be evacuated."

Those desiring to assist the group were invited to visit the web page, or
send e-mail to Sister Michael.

The only other posting by Sister Michael appeared on Dec. 12, 1996, when
she applauded the Church of Scientology for its action against the Cult
Awareness Network, an anti-cult organization that had accused the group of
what she called "cult activities."

"History proves that nearly every conceptual milestone now considered
'good' was at one time considered a 'cult,"' she said. She signed the
statement "In service to the Next Level, the so-called 'UFO Cult."'

Next: Heaven's Gate (Part 12)