Heaven's Gate Cult

On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 people who were all memebers of the millenial cult, Heaven's Gate. They had all committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale-Bopp. The cult's leader, Marshall Applewhite, preached to his followers that the human race was presently living at the end of the age and that Earth was about to "recycle" itself. Although Applewhite refused to refer to his group as a New Age movement, the cult seemed to promote a mix of sc-fi, Gnostic, Christian, and New Age ideas.