Heavens Gate Heavens Gate and the Branch Davidians are a good example of Stanley Milgrams theories. It shows how people respond and follow what authority says. Heavens Gate was a cult founded by Marshall Applewhite referred to as Do by his members. He convinced 39 people that he was dying of cancer and he persuaded them that if they followed him to death, a spaceship in the tail of the comet Hale-Bop would come and take them to the New World. To enter the ship they needed to leave their bodies. Applewhite made the thirty-nine members of the cult dress, talk, and look the same. He made them all wear the same clothes, he shaved everyones head, and made them refrain from using personal pronouns such as he and she. They were also not permitted to marry, have sex, drink, and had to give all their possessions to the cult. They packed their bags with clothes and each person carried $5 bills, quarters and their passport for their trip to the New World. On March 26, 1997, thirty-nine men and women affiliated with Heavens Gate committed suicide by ingesting a combination of Phenobarbitals mixed with applesauce and alcohol. Their obedience is evidence, of course, that they put faith into what Applewhite said. Palcowski 2 Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted a study focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. He was interested in how far people would go in following the orders of a person in authority. His experiment consisted of teachers who he recruited and learners who were students or actors. The teacher was asked to read a list of word pairs and to ask the learner to recite them back. If the learner got the correct answer, then they moved on to the next word. If the answer was incorrect, the teacher was supposed to shock the learner starting at 15 volts and going up to 450 volts, in 15 volt increments. Although the teacher thought they wer…
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