Heavens Gate

This essay has a total of 590 words and 3 pages.

Heavens Gate



Heavens Gate Heavens Gate and the Branch Davidians are a good example of Stanley Milgram’s
theories. It shows how people respond and follow what authority says. Heavens Gate was a
cult founded by Marshall Applewhite referred to as “Do” by his members. He convinced 39
people that he was dying of cancer and he persuaded them that if they followed him to
death, a spaceship in the tail of the comet “Hale-Bop” would come and take them to the New
World. To enter the ship they needed to leave their bodies. Applewhite made the
thirty-nine members of the cult dress, talk, and look the same. He made them all wear the
same clothes, he shaved everyone’s head, and made them refrain from using personal
pronouns such as “he” and “she”. They were also not permitted to marry, have sex, drink,
and had to give all their possessions to the cult. They packed their bags with clothes and
each person carried $5 bills, quarters and their passport for their trip to the New World.
On March 26, 1997, thirty-nine men and women affiliated with Heavens Gate committed
suicide by ingesting a combination of Phenobarbitals mixed with applesauce and alcohol.
Their obedience is evidence, of course, that they put faith into what Applewhite said.
Palcowski 2 Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted a study focusing
on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. He was interested
in how far people would go in following the orders of a person in authority. His
experiment consisted of “teachers” who he recruited and “learners” who were students or
actors. The teacher was asked to read a list of word pairs and to ask the learner to
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