Cult’s horrific journey from strict rules on bedtimes and showers to mass suicide

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March 26, 1997 was a bad day for a lot of people.

It was a bad day for the family and friends of 39 Heaven’s Gate cult members, who learned that their loved ones had died in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California, in a mass suicide.

And it was a bad day for the marketing department at Nike, who had to deal with the reports that all 39 people were wearing identical pairs of Nike Decade sneakers when they took their own lives.

They were also wearing the same black, homemade baggy tops, loose black trousers, had the same amount of change in their pockets, and all had a purple square of cloth placed over them like shrouds.

This suicidal group is the subject of the eighth episode of Yahoo News Australia’s Cults Unpacked series.

Death is tragic in most circumstances but in this case it was also very, very weird.

To make it even weirder, the Heaven’s Gate cult members were excited to die.

Through hard work and dedication, they believed they had reached an “evolutionary level above human”, that their souls were now on a UFO on its way to a planet where they would be rewarded while Earth was left to die.

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