Entertainment

The Trailer for HBO Max's Heaven's Gate Cult Docuseries Will Freak You Out

Aliens! Suicide! New Age religion!

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Maybe the scariest thing about cults is that it doesn't matter who you are—anyone could find themselves stuck in one. The Heaven's Gate cult, in which people were brainwashed into believing that they could turn themselves into extraterrestrials and board a spaceship to go to another world, ended in 1997 when the bodies of 39 members—all of them wearing identical Nikes, sweats, and draped in a purple sheet—were found dead in ritual suicide after the passing of Comet Hale-Bopp. Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults, a new docuseries from HBO Max, dives into the inner workings of the cult, with never-before-seen footage of the members and the belief systems concocted by the group's notorious leaders, Do and Ti. 

HBO Max describes the series as "a thorough examination of the infamous UFO cult through the eyes of its former members and loved ones. What started in 1975 with the disappearance of 20 people from a small town in Oregon ended in 1997 with the largest suicide on US soil and changed the face of modern new age religion forever." The series will be presented in four parts, composed of real footage of the cult and interviews with survivors and those connected to the members. 

Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults debuts on HBO Max on December 3. 

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.