Hello to everyone who has been following this blog for many years - I'm still blogging, I'm just moving over to https://www.claireheffer.com/blog - please continue to follow and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit over the years. May the lists continue...

Sunday 7 January 2018


In 1997, thirty-nine people took their own lives in an apparent mass suicide. The events captivated the media and had people across the planet asking the same question...‘Why?’ 20 years later, those who lost loved ones and those who still believe - tell their story. Hosted by Glynn Washington of Snap Judgment.

MY VERDICT: I knew a little about the cult known as Heaven’s Gate before I listened to this podcast so I wasn’t expecting to hear much that I didn’t know. I was wrong. All the information I’d heard before were mostly about the leader of the cult, Marshall Applewhite, and how his life had lead him to become a cult leader. (The best example of this is the Heaven’s Gate episode on Last Podcast on the Left)

This podcast started with interviweing people who had joined the cult, it was fascinating to hear from some survivors. It meant questions could be asked of them that you couldn’t ask to the 39 people who killed themselves in the 90s. We were able to hear what made the cult a desirable group for some to join, and it was interesting to hear stories about the good times that they had, a side that is rarely noted on most documentaries or tellings of this cult’s story.

I think the most compelling thing about this podcast, was the host. The man who put this podcast together, Glynn Washington, had a unique perspective into a story about a cult, as he used to be in one. I found this perspective fascinating. His main point was, that we should not think of these cult members as crazy or mentally ill because he knew that normal people joined cults and they were easier to fall into than some people thought.

This podcast does a good job of telling the whole story, Washington is able to get a lot of interviews with integral characters in the cult’s history that I’d never heard from before, including the families of some of the members of the cult who participated in the mass suicide and the daughter of one of the cult leaders. Which meant we saw yet more sides to these people.

I would thoroughly recommend this podcast, it’s more like listening to a documentary than a traditional podcast and the only down side I could mention is very random long pauses (I’ve noticed this in a few podcasts and I have no idea why they exist.)

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