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Marshall Applewhite Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Spur, Texas, USA
Died in Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA  (suicide)
Birth NameMarshall Herff Applewhite Jr.

Mini Bio (1)

Applewhite was born in Spur, Texas the son of a Presbyterian Minister. He graduated from high school in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1948. Applewhite briefly enrolled to study as a Minister but changed his mind and went into Music. In 1952 he graudated from Austin College. He then did a brief stint in the US army corps from 1954 to '56. By 1959 he had obtained his Masters in Music from the Univ. of Colorada at Boulder. He was hired as choral director at Univ. of Alabama in 1961. From 1966 to '70 he taught music at Houston's Univ. of St. Thomas. Applewhite even played leading roles at the Houston Grand Opera. However, in 1970 he was dismissed for 'health reasons of an emotional nature'. He even underwent some psychotherapy but of no avail. By 1972 he had divorced his wife and was estranged from his 2 children. During this period in his life he met divorceé Bonnie Lu Nettles a former nurse and mother of 4 who was now interested in astrology. The 2 lived as common-law partners and moved to Las Vegas and Oregon looking for 'spiritual awakening'. In 1974 Applewhite was jailed in Texas for auto theft and credit card fraud. In the period after his release Applewhite and Nettles began calling themselves "the Two" and "Bo" and "Peep" (respectively) and also "Do" and "Ti" (like the musical notes). They began to collect a group of disillusioned followers preaching that the body was just a 'container' and that a great big 'mother ship' would come from outer space to collect the true believers before the end of the world. The press initially dubbed them as a 'UFO cult'! In 1985 when Bonnie died from cancer, Applewhite said that she had been collected by the 'mother ship' and only her container (body) was left behind. By 1993 they were called 'Total Overcomers Anonymous'. On January 17, 1994 when an earthquake rocked California they claimed that it was a sign that the end was near. Applewhite and his followers now needed another sign. They got it, in March 1997 when comet Halle Bopp appeared in the night skies. Applewhite along with 38 other followers made a videotape recording their last messages for loved ones. At their 'ranch' - Rancho Sant Fe (30 miles north of San Deigo, California) they committed mass suicide by consuming vodka laced with phenobarbital and covering their heads with plastic bags. They were all dressed in black with new nike shoes - a uniform by which the 'aliens' who would pick them up could identify them by. They were found a few days later in their bunk beds. Applewhite would not have said it was suicide - they had simply "moved on".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Sujit R. Varma

Spouse (1)

Ann Frances Pearce (1 July 1952 - 1964) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (3)

Many years before the mass suicide, the TV-movie Mysterious Two (1982) was inspired by some of the beliefs and statements of the Heaven's Gate cult. The character portrayed by John Forsythe, named "He" in the film, was loosely based on Marshall Applewhite, who went by the name "Do" as the leader of Heaven's Gate.
Marshall Applewhite founded the Heaven's Gate religious cult in the 1970s, cultivating a small but devoted following over the years. Applewhite and 38 of his Heaven's Gate followers committed mass suicide on March 26, 1997. Their deaths were timed to coincide with the passage of the Hale-Bopp comet, which Applewhite believed contained a spacecraft that would carry them away.
Applewhite and Nettles were huge fans of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and they brought ideas from sci-fi to the group - resulting in theories like that Virgin Mary had been taken aboard a spaceship and impregnated with Jesus. It also led to the members that would eventually kill themselves to wear patches that said "Heaven's Gate Away Team," which you can see in the group's farewell video, a reference the specialized crew that went on missions to alien planets in _Star Trek (1980). [Rolling Stone, 2017].

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