This site is so cool, it doesn't need a tagline.

Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 2
Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

You Stay Classy, Planet Earth

heavensgate.JPG

At first, I thought maybe the IO9 editors were having an off-day when they suggested that Cillian Murphy would make a better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire. Now, let me be honest: Do I like Cillian more than Tobey? Yes. Do I care much about Spider-Man or Spider-Man movies? No. (That's Laura's department.) But do I think Cillian Murphy would be a good replacement as Peter Parker for the Spidey 4 movie?

Uh, no. Because I don't smoke crack for a living.

No matter, because the people at IO9 are totally entitled to their opinions, right? It's their site.

And then they named Heaven's Gate "Best UFO Religion Ever", and I really have to wonder if somehow exhaust fumes haven't accidentally leaked into IO9 headquarters. (Do they have headquarters? We don't. It's mostly just us sneaking a few news items in during our day jobs.) (So my center of operations looks suspiciously like a newsroom bullpen.) (I guess that sounds cooler than I intended.)

Aside from the whole suicide/castration thing, I guess Heaven's Gate may have been a "cool" cult. They certainly didn't make a huge fuss about what they were doing in their spare time (unlike, as the article notes, Scientologists who can't STFU.) They were just a bunch of nerdy internet geeks with a website and a love of Star Trek. What the IO9 article really misses, however, is the fact that the Heaven's Gate website is still up and running at all.

This fact fascinates me to no end. The group offed themselves in March 1997, over eleven years ago. And yet their domain registration is still valid; their website -- dated as it is by its lack of annoying flash animation -- is still functional, no broken links to be found. How does that happen? How long did they pay to hold on to heavensgate.com? Obviously longer than ten years -- was it 20 years? 30? Did someone stick around to make sure the website was still running? Who's paying the new ICANN fees on the domain name?

Anyway, thinking about the whole thing just bums me out. I certainly wouldn't call it the "best UFO religion ever," but at least it can be said that the Heaven's Gate crew died happily, going somewhere they thought they'd be better off. To cheer me up, I dug out my old SNL tapes and found this sketch from April '97:

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Comments (1)

RoboPanda [TypeKey Profile Page]:

heavensgate.com domain is owned by:

Telah Foundation
Mark King

I'm not going to post his contact info here, but the domain expires 12/17/2011.

I found some weird site that says: "The 'new followers' at 'Heaven's Gate' are watchmen and will closely be monitering Mr. Kings movements and actions. We already brought him up to the Next Level, through meditation, on charges of apostacy and spiritual fraud."

Yeah, well, my cult lets me use meditation to bring people up on charges of apostacy and spiritual fraud, AND I get to use mind bullets. So there.