Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, commonly known as Do and Ti (as well as other names, all of which were understood to be nicknames for the aliens residing with them, whose real names were to be kept secret from humans) founded Heaven's Gate in the 1970s. As a UFO religion, Heaven's gate teaches that salvation will come in the form of rescue by benevolent aliens before the world is destroyed.
Mass SuicideHeaven's gate is most known for the mass suicide 39 members committed in 1997 during the approach of the Hale-Bopp comet, the tail of which they believed contained a spaceship. Applewhite was among those suicides; Nettles had died of cancers several years earlier.
However, there are still Heaven's Gate members in existence who continue to spread the message of their faith, hoping to save more of humanity before the inevitable apocalypse.
The Kingdom of HeavenThe term "Kingdom of Heaven" refers to the aliens who will eventually save some of humanity, and also who will eventually destroy life on this planet. Believers also commonly speak of seeking to reach the Next Evolutionary Level, commonly simply known as the Next Level. This is synonymous with joining the Kingdom of Heaven.
Walk-InsCentral to their beliefs is the concept of the "walk-in," of an alien consciousness permanently taking over the body of a human. A person needs to be of sufficient development to be a viable container for such an alien consciousness.
The first walk-in occurred to Jesus, who then attempted to warn humanity of the wishes of the kingdom of Heaven. For most of his life, Jesus possessed the soul of a human. It was only when his ministry started around age thirty that the walk-in occurred.
Bo and Ti were also walk-ins. It was understood that their human souls were gone. Specifically, alien visitors replaced their souls in 1972. Their purpose was that of Jesus: to teach the way of entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
One cannot gain entrance without the personal teachings of a Representative of the Kingdom of Heaven: that is, of a walk-in. Simply reading about the teachings, for example, is not enough, nor is tutelage from a standard believer.
SalvationIn order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one must separate from worldliness. Emotional ties to this world, including identification with humanity, will prevent salvation. As such, believers avoid former friends, family, sex, individuality, money, personal possessions, and occupations. Several male members voluntarily underwent castration to help in this goal. One simply cannot be part of the Next Level so long as they have ties to humanity and human living.
Recycling, Refurbishing, Re-SpadingVery soon now, the Kingdom of Heaven, which planted this world with life in the first place, is going to recreate it, destroying the old and transforming it into something new. This is referenced as recycling, refurbishing, or re-spading. Present humanity will be destroyed, so the only way of escaping this process is to reach the Next Level.
At each recycling, new souls are deposited into sufficiently evolved bodies, commonly referred to as vehicles. Only those possessing these "deposits" have a chance at salvation, because they have the potential for the possession of a Next Level soul. The asceticism of this religion is further preparation for that soul, and even after that the soul must prove itself worthy in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Otherwise, it survives recycling and is replanted on Earth to continue to learn and grow until it has fully matured.