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further reading reveals that this was the drug used in the heaven's
gate cult suicide. All members passed on. The drug was combined with
vodka. Plastic bags were used to cause asphyxiation should the
cocktail fail. I think that combination was the key to their success.
In Heaven's gate, a lethal dose of phenobarbital was not used, even
combined with alcohol. The combination was used to put the person in
a coma only, to avoid the pain of asphyxiation. After coma was
reached, a cult "brother" applied the plastic bag and the person was
asphyxiated. The members basically killed each other in three shifts,
each shift asphyxiating the last. We know this because all of the
used plastic bags were found, which were removed and a purple cloth
draped over the face of each cult member. Only the last two members
at the compound were left to dose themselves, and were found with the
plastic bags in place. They may have used a higher dose of
phenobarbital; however, phenobarbital and a plastic bag is a very high-
risk way to go, even with alcohol, because phenobarbital is slow-
acting and does not take effect immediately, and one usually runs out
of air and asphyxiates before the barbiturate can take effect.
So it is not realistic to claim that the Heaven's Gate members died
from phenobarb, alcohol and plastic bags, because they did have help
from others (which people here would not).