The Heaven's Gate cult is one of the more 'iconic' - if that's the right term - cults of the 20th century. The purple robes, the 'kool-aid' spiked with cyanide and the Nike sneakers seem like fiction... but they're not. Believing they were all going to enter the 'mothership' that came in the form of the Hale-Bopp comet, 39 members of the religious group took their lives on March 26th, 1997.
With the primary income coming from web design, the group left behind a decidedly digital legacy: a continuously maintained web site, unchanged since the late 90s. A time capsule of sorts.
It's easy to laugh... it's outlandish. But the looming new millennium created some interesting subcultures - the post/trans-humanist Extropians a curious parallel to the out-of-body Heaven's Gate ideology. This was a perfect storm of technological expansion and almost-post-religious thinking all set in the background of a new millennium.