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January 4, 2015 — Dr. Benjamin Zeller

Do you recall the “Heaven’s Gate” UFO cult that committed mass-suicide in 1997 as a way to ascend to the Hale-Bop comet’s companion craft? So does this week’s guest, Dr. Benjamin Zeller. His new book “Heaven’s Gate: America’s UFO Religion,” examines Marshall Applewhite (“Bo”) and his group of doomed believers and the emergence of new religion in the 21st Century. His book is an insightful, sobering examination into a darker side of UFO belief, and Ben is this week’s guest on the Paracast. Dr. Zeller is a researcher and teacher of religion in America. He focuses on religious currents that are new or alternative, including new religions, the religious engagement with science, and the quasi-religious relationship people have with food.

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