Nichelle Nichols' Connection to the Heaven's Gate Cult Tragedy

March 28- Nichelle Nichols' younger brother, Thomas Nichols, 59, was among those who died near San Diego (Rancho Santa Fe) in the mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate Cult. The cult, which believed a space ship has arrived, shrouded by the Hale-Bopp comet to take them to a better life, conducted a mass suicide Wednesday, March 26. (By doing this, they believed they would be "transported" to the ship somehow. Anyone who has been following this story knows how complicated this group really was.) The cult was involved with computer programming, and has a website, which as you can imagine, is currently quite busy. (Don't expect many more frequent updates, either. :))

March 29- Nichelle appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Friday night (Mar 28) where she spoke emotionally, but as ever, both with grace and class, about the shock this situation has caused on victim's families. She hadn't had much contact with him for over 20 years due to the cult, however, he had started coming back in to her life again recently. He approached Nichelle to ask advice about how he could present the intentions of the Heaven's Gate group to people. Nichelle indicated that for her, the tragic irony of all of this is that she had just written a song Hale-Bopp about the Hale-Bopp comet as an approach in her involvement with educational programming for children. During the course of the interview, Larry King invited her to come back to the show for a full interview segment when the show will be from Los Angeles to talk about her remarkable career and her family's ordeal.

Our condolences go out to Nichelle.