By Brian Birmingham

Following my interview with Sawyer, a former member of the Heaven’s Gate cult, I interviewed a man named Steven Hill, who is also a former member of Heaven’s Gate.

Steven Hill was the husband of Yvonne McCurdy-Hill (known as Dvvody in the group). Yvonne McCurdy-Hill and her husband joined Heaven’s Gate together in the fall of 1996. Steven Hill left the group after just one month. But the cult destroyed his family and scarred Hill’s life forever.

His wife Yvonne remained with the group and ultimately died with them. She was identified as one of the thirty-nine bodies found March of 1997 inside a Rancho Sante Fe mansion, which was the cult’s last home.

At the time of her death, Yvonne McCurdy-Hill was the most junior member of the group. She spent a little less than six months as a cult member.

There were two questions I wanted to ask Steven Hill.

First, could he corroborate what Sawyer said about minor children recruited and hidden by the group back in the 1970s.

Second, did he have any idea that the group was planning on dying together to make their “exit” to “The Next Level”? And if he DID know what they were planning, why didn’t he try to stop them?

Steven Hill’s answers to these questions is revealing.

He concurs that minor children were included within the group during the 1970s and that they were hidden. Hill totally corroborated Sawyer’s account.

Hill also said that while he was a member of Heaven’s Gate, he spent a lot of time reading in the group’s library. Apparently, cult leader Marshall Applewhite liked to collect any media reports about the group over the years. Hill saw old news clippings about Ti (aka Bonnie Nettles) and Do (aka Marshall Applewhite), which included magazine articles, old flyers advertising meetings the group held and various other media that Applewhite collected. It seems that every time the cult or its leaders were somehow mentioned in the news Marshall Applewhite added it to his archives. Within the group’s growing library were books about UFOs, channeling, and various other New Age-type topics. Hill specifically came across news articles that reported minor children ran away from home to join the cult and that they were subsequently hidden by the group from the authorities and their families.

Steven Hill and his wife left their newborn twin daughters behind with family when they abandoned their old lives to join the cult. Yvonne McCurdy-Hill was suffering from postpartum depression at the time she moved in with the group at Rancho Santa Fe. Hill was later asked to leave the group due to an illness. Mrs. Hill wanted to leave too. But she learned from her mother that her twins would never be returned to her custody. She ultimately concluded that without her children there was nothing meaningful left for her outside of the group.

Chuck Shramek then released the first image of the so-called “companion,” which was somehow supposedly trailing the Hale-Bopp comet, through Art Bell’s radio show.

Marshall Applewhite

When Applewhite learned about the “companion” he surmised that it was “marker,” a sign that he had been waiting for to begin the planning for the “exit,” which would take place four months later.

The deaths of the members of Heaven’s Gate were the largest mass suicide ever on United States soil.

Steven Hill was probably out of the group by the time the “companion” to the Hale-Bopp comet was widely known about publicly.

Hill said that he was monitoring the group’s website when he saw the “RED ALERT” warning, which began flashing in early 1997.

But he had no idea that the group was planning to die together.

Hill instead expected his wife to come home.

When Steven Hill learned about a mass suicide in California and realized that his wife was among the dead, his life was shattered.

And to this day Hill has no relationship whatsoever with the twin daughters, left behind when he and his wife joined the doomsday cult known as “Heaven’s Gate.”


4 comments untill now

  1. This report is full of misinformation innuendo in my opinion. “minor children”, “hiding”, that Steven corroborates with what I said by reference to some news article. Sure the authors opinion but there is so much to say about those little words and statements to do the story justice so here goes some of it for whatever it might be worth:

    First off I told Brian that there were two students who joined in 1975 or 1976 who I understood were 16 years old at the time. I only knew the specifics for one. She chose the name Jasper which became Jssody. She had been in some relationship with David, in the group known as Alxody who was 19 when he joined. His vehicle’s mother is well known in documentaries as Nancy and I know her well and have a great relationship with her though for all I know she may have passed by now as she was older than I and I’m 69 now.

    Since the process TI and DO were willing to have students for, (as they initially didn’t want to have students. They initially thought they would just go town to town telling what they knew. But in April of 1975 after their first meeting in N. Hollywood, CA to a packed house full of people, about a dozen wanted to join with them so they figured they could have students so then took the names, BO and PEEP cause they now had “sheep,” …that process included following some rules and if we didn’t like them then we didn’t have to join but one of the primary rules involved leaving all behind, including relationships and to have no aces in the hole, BUT they had no way of knowing if someone kept a bank account or house or car or whatever or if we made phone calls to someone while on the road for that first year. It was an honor system. But for Jasper since she was 16 and thus in this country considered a minor they made an exception and approved of her keeping those that cared about her informed of her whereabouts. I don’t recall but she might have been in foster care before then but not sure. She ended up leaving in about 1981 when the spacecraft hadn’t come yet so she wasn’t really all that serious anyway as for the serious students like myself I could have cared less about a spacecraft coming. I recognized TI and DO and their information as what I was living for. And I wasn’t lonely or needy or naïve or depressed nor desperate to belong to something as so many think they know about those who joined cults, like I’ve heard some of from Jayna Lalich, but even if cult members were, perhaps that’s because they just don’t fit into the programmed way to be – grow up, get married, build a career and/or family, subscribe to certain religions and/or philanthropic work, etc. and die. This “norm” also can mean stagnation but I’m not saying it has to.

    As to being hidden, that’s another type of misleading statement, verified as you say by Steven finding some article that talked about that. Well of course, we were all hidden. TI and DO were labeled dangerous cult leaders in 1975 nationally and people left all behind to join with them with the idea they’d leave on a spacecraft. Of course this is insane to many to look at seriously. They(we) were labeled the UFO Cult. The FBI wanted to talk to TI and DO to see if their group were responsible for the large rash of cattle mutilations that had occurred in those early 1970’s around Oklahoma and Colorado mainly. Ti and Do were certainly hiding and so was the entire group trying to stay low key but it didn’t stop us from holding public meetings and doing press stories all over the US for the next 9 months until TI called off that part of the “harvest” and we went into deeper seclusion. We were hiding – all of us because everyone except for the one or two “children” you called them, who from knowing Jssody was quite mature for her 16 years, did not want to have some investigator or cult awareness network person abduct them from the group against their will. All were always free to leave and even helped to leave and did throughout my 19 years. TI and Do even sent 19 of the original 100 or so out of the group and told us we made the “first cut”. I know this boggles the mind that they show so little resemblance to all the other cults but it’s true. They were completely ways that were truly out of this world.

    The report about Do’s response to the “companion” was all wrong which can be verified on the Heaven’s Gate web site. What he/they wrote was, that the Hale Bopp comet was the “marker” of the timing for the exit they had been expecting since 1975 but that it was “irrelevant” if the companion object being reported was a spacecraft or not.

    This report makes DO sound like a memorabilia collector who got off on keeping a scrapbook when that too was misleading. I’m not saying DO didn’t accumulate such material but for the 19 years I was in the group we didn’t have it hardly at all. We had a very small library all those years but I understand that was expanded. That should be seen as a good thing and isn’t that an indication that DO became less “controlling” to use that word used by Frank in the Heaven’s Gate Podcast series. They were never controlling but if we wanted to stay in their classroom of overcoming our humanness to qualify to be in a lab on a spacecraft, we had to follow their program and if we did it half heartedly it surfaced and they were given the choice to step it up or leave and it had become such a comfortable atmosphere/life style that DO in about 1990 said we had enough money to offer anyone to leave $2000.00 if they were staying primarily because living communally with a bunch of really nice people was easy in some ways compared to living in the real world where one has to worry about paying bills and taking care of children, etc.

    Do gave me $600.00 and a plane ticket to wherever I wanted to go and that was in 1994 so not part of that offer before but I chose to leave. I wasn’t asked or coaxed to leave as DO didn’t really want anyone to leave but if they weren’t willing to work on their issues that would keep them from gaining employment on a Next Level spacecraft then they didn’t want them to stay either.

  2. The cult destroyed his family?
    Didn’t Yvonne and Steven choose to join? If they chose to join a race car club and one died because of being in a crash, was it the fault of the race car club?
    I say it’s no one’s fault. I’ve had two partners in my life and in both relationships they were strong willed people and nothing I would say or do would change their mind on some things.
    I understand this analogy isn’t exactly the same thing, but that’s because race car driving is frivolous in comparison to what some who believe in an existing real God will do when they know what they are feeling. They certainly wouldn’t do anything to harm anyone else. I have no doubt that Yvonne was the vehicle for a very old Soul that recognized her Older Members. I can say that because of how strongly I recognized Them in 1975 and still do. These two really were the return of the Ones who were referred to as Jesus and his Father and I can show lots of evidence of that for those that are willing to consider it, yet I gain nothing personally from convincing anyone. In fact humanly speaking I lose out by Standing for Them.
    Steven and Yvonne’s daughters in my opinion are blessed to have parents who thought so highly about the true existence of God. We are not just chunks of flesh. We are all spirits and souls who can grow to know we are not these flesh bodies though need these flesh bodies to learn our lessons through. Those that exited were ready to graduate and their Older Member they recognized was with them and they knew it.

  3. Ti and Do were not insensitive to the fact that what they were teaching, if it spoke to someone, at that time, since they were present (incarnate) meant leaving all behind that would sometimes result in breaking up of families and relationships. What they said at the time in 1975 was that for those who felt to go with them, to give their all to the process of evolving Beyond Human, any who were left behind would receive special help from the Next Level unseen members who were helping in that and other ways. When they learned that Ron and Judy had left children behind which made it into the news in september of 75 they said they didn’t approve of abandoning children. They wanted to be informed of such things but if no one told them they couldn’t help out. As it turned out for Ron and Judy’s two children who I knew very well as my best friends a the time, Jennifer, about 4 or 5 at the time and Noah who was 1 yr old at the time were brought to their biological dad as Ron wasn’t. He lived in Portland area I understood and they at the time lived in Newport, Oregon. As it turned out Ron and Judy who took the names Aaron and Window didn’t stay with the group very long. I know Ron was in the group until late October of 75 as he spoke at the meeting my group held in Sante Fe, NM in October. In 1995 I visited with him in Eugene, OR and asked about Judy and he said when she left the group she didn’t return to get her children. I don’t know anything about those children but I’d like to know about how they were. Yes, such circumstances can seem destructive to families but that doesn’t mean they remain that way as many parents split up and children get raised by one or the other at times and they can be fine, though I’m not pretending it won’t be difficult for all involved and some will see this as a deal breaker to believing TI and DO were exactly who they said they were but that’s also a choice. To combat that Influence it can help to know that the human kingdom was designed so that families break up, be it from any number of reasons including the death of some of the family members.
    Even scientists don’t know why we die as all the cells of our bodies seem to restore themselves so why can’t that just go on and on and on? It’s because the Next Level knows there is an evolutionary kingdom level Above Human that a Mind can grow to recognize exists and can feel to grow towards and those members of that Next Level then become one’s Family and they don’t die. Jesus taught this as well as starting the process of leaving all behind to give one’s all towards making application for employment in the Next Level. It’s not just a job. It’s LIFE. I’m not saying this to encourage anyone to leave all behind at this time as even in tape #149 TI and DO say that, that is not appropriate to do for those who are still in school in this human kingdom and that’s us, that is if we are looking to take control over these human vehicles and look to TI and DO (and Crew) for help to learn all we can while we have this opportunity of human life.

  4. Sawyer,

    Thanks for confirming yet again that Marshall Applewhite allowed minor children to join his cult without any legal right as a parent or guardian.

    Of course you are intent upon rationalizing and excusing whatever Applewhite did no matter how horrible or destructive.

    “Existing real God”?

    The members of Heaven’s Gate were following a deeply disturbed man who was at best was delusional and sick and at worst a psychopath.

    Applewhite essentially controlled the group to death.

    Thankfully no children were murdered, but the fact that Applewhite abrogated parental rights and/or the legal guardian of the children demonstrates his poor judgement and lack of moral character.

    You going on and on about Applewhite’s nonsensical beliefs about his importance in the universe etc. demonstrates that you have never really sorted out what happened to you and are still programmed.

    I suppose that this cult remains the most important thing in your life. And that you cannot face the reality that Applewhite was mentally ill and tragically led his followers to their deaths.

Add your comment now