Information On "Higher Source"

The New Cult Awareness Network (Bought by Scientologist) Recommends 'Experts' Regarding 'Heaven's Gate' Suicide; List Includes Gordon Melton

The "New" Cult Awareness Network, March 27, 1997


[Note: WARNING! The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) was recently bankrupted and bought up by Scientology. We strongly recommend you do not contact them for assistance.]

Information gathered by CAN indicates that the originators of the “Higher Source” group were Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Trousdale Nettles respectively a psychiatric patient and a psychiatric nurse. The group was established in 1975 under the name of “The Total Overcomers.”

CAN is urging investigation into the presence of drugs at the Rancho Sante Fe mansion of the Higher Source and the pychiatric backgrounds of the group. Of interest is that psychiatric drugs were also found in large quantities at Jonestown and drugs were manufactured by and administered to members of the Japanese-based Aum Supreme Truth.

Mass suicide has repeatedly been found to be rooted in a bible-based apocalyptic view of the world. This view holds that one can reach an afterlife, a heaven or a paradise-like location, and they believe suicide is a shortcut to attain this eternal life. “Mix extreme apocalyptic views with use of psychiatric drugs, and you have a cocktail for disaster,” said CAN president Isadore Chait.

CAN urges that the investigation into the suicides include:


  1. What drugs were present in the mansion and what drugs were being taken by the deceased.


  2. Who prescribed them.


  3. Whether the leader took psychiatric or other drugs and urged them on others.


  4. Whether psychiatric treatments were delivered to the leaders or members of the group.

    CAN is continuing its own investigation into the background of the leaders of the group and will keep the media informed. In the meantime, CAN warns that the mass media beware of fanatical anti-religious statements being made, painting all religions or groups with the same brush stroke and creating further hysteria.

    Experts who are well schooled in religion and sociology must be relied on for statements and comments.

    Such experts include:

    Dr. George Robertson:
    Chairman of the Cult Awareness Network
    Vice President Maryland Bible College

    Dr. J. Gordon Melton:
    Executive Director
    Institute for the Study of American Religions
    University of California, Santa Barbara

    Dr. Jim Richardson:
    Center for Justice Studies
    University of Nevada-Reno

    Dr. Newton Maloney:
    Professor of Psychology
    Fuller Theological Seminary

    Barry Fisher:
    Religious Liberty attorney

    Dr. John Saliba:
    Professor of Religious Studies
    University of Detroit
    (313)993-1653 (FAX)

    Don Sills:
    President World Council on Religious Liberty

    William Bainbridge:
    National Science Foundation
    Sociology Dept
    To see strange Web site by William Bainbridge click here

    Nancy Ross:
    Religious liberty attorney
    Ross & Green - Washington DC

    Dr. James E. Woods:
    Professor of Church/State Studies
    Baylor University

    Oliver Thomas:
    Counsellor on Religious Liberty
    National Council of Churches

    Dr. Lonnie Kliever:
    Dept of Religious Studies
    Southern Methodist University

    Barry Lynn:
    Executive Director
    Americans United for the
    Separation of Church & State

    Brent Walker:
    General Counsel
    Baptist Joint Committee
    on Public Affairs




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