My friends got me addicted to My Favorite Murder, and now MFM got me addicted to Heaven’s Gate. What’s Heaven’s Gate, you ask? Well, let me blow your mind, tiny millennial! Heaven’s Gate was a cult who believed they were aliens/angels. And they committed the largest mass suicide in American history.
Wow, that sounds like a very upsetting and sad podcast. And you’re right, it should be. But this was brought to you by the team behind Missing Richards Simmons (which I was obsessed with), and it’s narrated by Glynn Washington. Glynn is not only the experienced and respected host of Snap Judgement, a storytelling podcast on NPR, he’s also a former cult member.
Glynn’s insights and compassion towards these people that could easily be written off as crazy is what makes this podcast so fascinating. He was a cult member. He knows what it’s like and he knows what they’re thinking. Glynn places pieces neatly down for all of us to understand. And he connects the dots. And bit by bit, the audience can start to understand how Heaven’s Gate came to be.
In terms of tone, the podcast can be a bit dry in comparison to say, My Favorite Murder. And you’re not following events in real-time, like Missing Richard Simmons. But there’s something about the way Glynn presents the story that sucks you in, just like the way The Two suck in their followers. This is cult-making 101, and anyone with an interest in the cults, in UFOs, in science fiction, and in religion, this is the podcast for you!
Glynn talking about his own cult experiences are particularly intriguing. What better way to understand cults than to have it explained by an ex-cult member?
The recordings from The Two themselves is… interesting? Though I suspect that in a few more episodes things will take a turn for the sinister.