I am fascinated by cults. How the very basic human need to want to feel a part of a community, to make sense of things that can’t be explained, to follow the word of someone so blindly can be so toxic honestly doesn’t surprise me. Often we forget that extremism can be found anywhere. These leaders bait vulnerable people (many who are highly educated) and are excellent marketers. It becomes an abusive relationship - which more often than not you’re unable to grasp what it was until you’ve left. You think, how could I have not seen the red flags? And if you’re in an entire community that doesn’t see the red flags, Asch’s Conformity experiments don’t seem so far fetched. I mean, #45 had people drinking bleach. It’s all a fine line.

Naturally I recently watched the HBO series on Heaven’s Gate. The cult of cults that believed they were going to ride the tail of the Hale-Bopp Comet and ascend to outer space, by committing mass suicide. And all this is to say, I was so struck by their marketing materials...

I’m not glorifying the events, obviously. But that artwork. I mean, they had an AWAY TEAM badge. In their final moments they wore matching black button up shirts, black sweatpants, Nike Decades and purple sheets (an image which I wont show here, I mean this is a portfolio site after all...) Their logo is apparently being ripped off by Lil Uzi Vert. And as we now know, its not cool until its being ripped off to sell shit.

The animators of the HBO series also did a phenomenal job, I watched the final animation of their “graduation” 5 times in a row. And to top it all off, their website is still up and running 23 years later.