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For Immediate Release: Rockin' Rich Lynch Remembers Heaven's Gate on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Group's Deliberate Departure

On March 26, 1997, authorities from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department discovered the bodies of the 39 active members of a group known as Heaven's Gate who believed a UFO was flying along in the tail of Comet Hale-Bopp and they took that as their cue to make a departure from this planet. Now, on the 25th anniversary of this disturbing and tragic event an author from France is revisiting the subject via a new fictional book that he has just released.


Nashville's Rockin' Rich Lynch is gaining global followers with his quirky marketing ideas.

Nashville's Rockin' Rich Lynch considers himself pretty well-versed in the subject matter as he along with fellow musician John Sheehan (www.johnsheehan.net) sat down to compose a song and a cautionary tale about the creepy yet intriguing cult as the 10th anniversary of their passing neared in 2007.

"John had the original idea for the song and I brought the idea of visiting the Heaven's Gate website to try and summarize their story," Lynch recalled. "With the help of some of the cult leader's own words and overall ideology we had our lyrics complete in about fifteen minutes. It look a little longer to get the classic-rock infused 'Kingdom Tonight' recorded in the studio."

"I know a little something about finding followers from around the world and via social media," said Lynch whose marketing plan includes wearing apparel from some lesser known teams that play the sport of American football. "I have developed quite a fan base through a quirky and fun marketing plan. But, it still blows my mind that the story of Heaven's Gate is still resonating out there in the wider populace - and, because it is - there is resurging interest in our song."

Take for example the fact that French author Quentin Bruet-Ferréol just played the track to a packed audience at a pub last week in Paris during his book release party for his brand new "God Will Come like a Thief in the Night" that takes a fictional look at the cult in the modern day. Now, as the 25th anniversary of those unfortunate events approaches - and seeing that the message and strange circumstances surrounding Heaven's Gate devotees is still attracting curiosity seekers - we figured we needed to ask Quentin a few quick questions about the motivation behind his project.


Purchase and play "Kingdom Tonight" at the above link.

RRL: What is the premise of your book?

QBF: How can you die with a smile on your face? How can the Heaven's Gate cultist kill themselves in such a way, calmly and almost joyfully? The idea behind my novel was to try and solve that mystery. However weird, I believe it's a human mystery that holds a key to our own mind. My idea was to put the reader in the cultist's shoes, make him dive into their beliefs, and to experience their incredible story : to the world, it's a tragedy, but to them it was an awakening. It was transcendence. It's a novel, with a blend of facts and fiction, and it reads like a noir thriller or a Philip K. Dick novel, transporting you into their alternate reality and living their strange lives. The book is called God will come like a thief in the night, it's just been published in France by Bouquins Editions and has been nominated for two book awards.

RRL: Why do you think that a quarter of a century after the group's departure the message of Do and Ti still resonates?

QBF: In a way, it doesn't : they were adamant that their "Exit" was the end, and that humans weren't supposed to create new churches in their names, or to take over in their place. Today, very few people still believe. However, Heaven's Gate resonates as a religious group : it was ahead of its time in the way they lived in another dimension, mixing Christianity, science-fiction, Internet culture and conspiracies - but also their focus on gender. In many weird ways, the world has grown closer to Heaven's Gate!

RRL: One more - How did you become interested in the subject of Heaven's Gate? and Is this your first book?

QBF: I've been writing about strange beliefs and fringe groups for years on my blog Tryangle, in France. It all started when I stumbled upon the Heaven's Gate website in 2014. I started wondering how it could still be online, if they were all dead ? I'm not the only one to have sunk into that rabbit hole, but for seven years, I worked on telling their story in a new way : a novel with twists and turns that dives inside their minds. There is no easy answer to the Heaven's Gate mystery, that's why I decided to make it into a novel : to let the reader decide what to think of it. Let him face the strangeness!


The author, the book and the song.
Photo by Hannah Assouline (courtesy of Quentin Bruet-Ferréol)

Related Links: For more information on ROCKIN' RICH LYNCH and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Rockin' Rich Lynch on BandCamp | Musician - John Sheehan | Kingdom Tonight - Song Page | Quentin Bruet-Ferréol on Instagram | "God Will Come Like a Thief in the Night" on Amazon.com (French edition)

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