Heaven’s Gate Cult Survivor Speaks Out 25 Years after Group’s Mass Suicide


This month marks the 25th anniversary the Heaven’s Gate mass murder. This was one of the most significant mass suicides in U.S history, with 39 members of the bizarre cult headed by Marshall Applewhite.

One survivor, who survived for a quarter century, is now speaking out in an interview.

Jana Gibbons was 16 years old when she moved into this mansion. She lived there for five years, and is now talking to ABC’s Diane Sawyer.

“My guess is three-quarters of the people never set foot outside the door, and I was one of them — ever. And there probably wasn’t even any open windows. It was like a little spaceship,”Gibbons stated.

The cult’s home was captured on a newly released video. Every minute of their lives was recorded, including how they slept, when they went to bed, and how they were toileted. There were also rules about talking.

Gibbons claims she was silent for many years. She was finally allowed to work as a waitress.

“Luckily we did start restaurant jobs at the very end, because I hadn’t spoken probably in four years,”Gibbons stated.

Gibbons felt compelled to escape after that first taste of freedom. 

Cultists captured their giddy goodbye videos, knowing that they were about for mass suicide. They were brainwashed to believe they were about to board an alien spaceship to transport them to a higher state of existence.

The brother of was one of the dead. “Star Trek” legend Nichelle Nichols.

“Most people, if put into the right circumstance, will tend to conform,”Lorne Dawson, professor in religious studies, says that the special will feature Dr. Lorne Dawson.

“The Cult Next Door: The Mystery and Madness of Heaven’s Gate”Tonight’s broadcast on ABC “20/20” at 9:00 p.m. and beings streaming Saturday on Hulu.