Exemplary Codgers: Marshall Applewhite

Hello to you, fine readers. In an attempt to serve you better, I invite you to submit any story ideas you would like to see me cover in the comments box, as well as any demographic information you want to share. From what I’ve read, demographics are the key to blog success. The information you submit will be kept confidential to myself and your fellow readers. In turn, I would like to share with you my latest selection for my series of Exemplary Codgers: Marshall Applewhite.

Marshall Applewhite

At first, Marshall Applewhite (who went by the nickname “Do”) might seem like an odd choice for an Exemplary Codger due to his involvement with the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult (He was the leader). But I always try to see the good in everyone, and upon further investigation, he was actually ahead of the curve when it came to senior citizens adopting new technologies. As a matter of fact, the author of the Wikipedia encyclopedia notes that Heaven’s Gate was a high-tech “cybersect”. That is because Marshall Applewhite installed lots of electronics equipment around the Heaven’s Gate mansion to monitor the members. He also made this professional Web site for his cult, and this was back in the 1990’s when some people didn’t even have computers yet. And it’s still up and running to this day, no small accomplishment considering that people get their Web sites taken down each and every day because people complain. It was so successful that it even allowed Heaven’s Gate to support itself with the money they made from helping to develop the Web professionally.

Like any good codger, Marshall Applewhite was successful in influencing others. He got 39 people to believe that there was a flying saucer following the Hale-Bopp Comet, a belief they were willing to die for, no matter how absurd. Now that was in the early days of the Internet. Today, more people that that read my blog every day, but at the time, it was a very impressive number. Marshall Applewhite passed away in 1997 with the rest of his cult, which is probably just how he would have wanted it.

Until next time!


The Codger


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