The Branch Davidians, Heaven's Temple

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Cults Natalia Kaiser Burleson High School Cults have been around since the beginning of time. A cult is a social group or a social movement under one leader. It maintains a belief system, which includes a transformation of a group member. Members of the group are very loyal to their leader, members, and beliefs. In most cults they are brainwashed to kill others or even kill themselves. Some of the most popular cults that have ended in tragedy in the United States are The Branch Davidians, Heaven’s Gate, and People’s Temple. One of the most popular cults that has ended in tragedy in the United States are the Branch Davidians. The Branch Davidians were formed by David Koresh, born Vernon Howell in 1959.…show more content…
One of his views was that he was a messiah and all women were his spiritual wives. David Koresh brain washed his members to believe that the end of the world was near and that he spoke the word of God. They were located in Waco, Texas and began to collect an armory of weapons. Because of the fact that Koresh was having inappropriate sexual relationships with teenage girls in the community and because of the large amount of weapons being stocked up, officials were alarmed. On February 28, 1993, agents from the alcohol, tobacco and firearms bureau were met with gunfire when they tried to serve a search and arrest warrant on members of the Branch Davidian cult.. Four ATF agents and six Davidians died of gunshot wounds that day. A 51-day standoff ensued between more than 100 Davidians inside the compound and 76 federal agents…show more content…
The cult was led by Marshall Applewhite, a music professor, who was recruited into the cult by Bonnie Lu Nettles. In 1975, Applewhite and Nettles persuaded a group of 20 people from Oregon to abandon their families and possessions and move to Colorado. They promised them that an extraterrestrial spacecraft would take them to the “kingdom of heaven.” They brainwashed people into believing that their human bodies were actually just containers that could be abandoned for a higher physical existence. The spacecraft never arrived and members were starting to realize that. Heaven’s Gate lost a lot of their members and eventually died out. Bonnie Lu Nettles died in 1985. During the early 1990s, the cult resurfaced as Applewhite began recruiting new members. Soon after the 1995 discovery of the comet Hale-Bopp, the Heaven’s Gate members became sure that an alien spacecraft was on its way to earth. In October 1996, Applewhite rented a large home for the cult in Rancho Santa Fe. He explained to the owner that his group was made up of Christian-based angels. In late March 1997, as Hale-Bopp reached its closest distance to Earth, Applewhite and 38 of his followers drank a deadly mixture of phenobarbital and vodka and then lay down to die, hoping to leave their body containers, enter the alien spacecraft, and pass through Heaven’s Gate into a higher existence. 21 women and 18 men of varying ages

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