In this article from 2007 https://culteducation.com/group/968-heaven-s-gate/9583-there-were-40-of-us-in-death-pact-i-was-left-to-find-the-bodies.html Rio Diangelo makes the following claim,
“I’m the last Heaven’s Gate member on Earth, so there must be a reason why I’m still here”.
As I’ve previously documented Rio was described as a “former classmember who left class in late February of 1997” by the class themselves in the document that they sent to the various recipients of the FedEx packages. Only OSCODY was described as a “current classmember” and Rio had this document himself so why would he claim that he was the “last surviving member on Earth”? Maybe because he’d been claiming that since late March of 1997 as part of a marketing scheme that he and Nick Matzorkis cooked up after all of the media fanfare surrounding the “largest group suicide in U.S. history”? When RKK and I confronted Rio about this claim in 1997 Rio had the gall to say, “I am the last person to leave the class before they exited and that is all that I have ever claimed to be”. And yet here he was ten years later spouting this “I’m the last HG member on Earth” garbage.
On Art Bell in August of 1997 Rio used the term “sole surviving member” to describe himself and when Art asked him if he was “still a member” Rio answered yes.
Why wouldn’t Rio ever show anyone the letter that the class sent to him? Why didn’t Rio show the public the document that described him as a “former classmember”? Can we trust the following claim from this article https://culteducation.com/group/968-heaven-s-gate/9584-heavens-gate-cult-member-speaks.html,
“DiAngelo said he wanted to be with the group when it carried out its suicide plan, but leader Marshall Applewhite told him that it was part of the plan for him to stay behind”.
In one version of the story of Rio leaving told by Rio himself he stated that “the same” feeling that told him to join the class was what led him to go to Do in February of 1997. He admitted that during that conversation Do said, “it sounds like you want to leave the class” and then Do left the room for a bit. When He came back Do supposedly said, “it MAY (emphasis mine) be part of a larger plan”. I believe that Rio told this story in one of the many interviews that he gave in 1997 or 98. Later he seemed to drop the word “may” from his discussion of that conversation with Do.
If it was “part of the plan for him to stay behind” then why didn’t the class leave ANYTHING behind to back up this claim? Here’s a quote from the class’ letter to the ISP that was hosting hg.com,
“Enclosed is a list of others who are receiving this information simultaneously-many of these are individuals who have spent varying degrees of time in the class and who for INDIVIDUAL (emphasis mine) reasons found themselves OUTSIDE (emphasis) mine the class at this time. We believe you know Rio who is now working……”
There was no mention of the “plan” for Rio to “stay behind”. Was it part of that “plan” that Rio go on Art Bell and state that RKKODY was doing things in a “non-approved manner, he wasn’t given a task by Do”. Except for when Do called RKK in December of 1996 and asked him to open up a mailbox under the name Right To Know. Except for the class sending RKK and RKK only the disks with the Final Press Release and Exit Statements of Students with instructions to upload them and to “assist” with “your computer skills for whatever length of time feels right to you”.
And Rio actually said, “It was my task to put it on the Internet”. Uhhhh, put what on the Internet? He wasn’t given the Internet acct. info so he couldn’t even access hg.com. But the greatest Rio quote of all is I think the following when he stated that RKK’s first failed exit attempt “may have been for profit”. As RKK himself stated, “swallowing six grams of phenobarbital is a pretty risky marketing scheme”. Perhaps Rio was jealous because RKK was given more important “tasks” than him and maybe even Rio was jealous of RKK’s level of commitment so he had to go on Art Bell and launch a cowardly attack on him that Mark King called to join in on.
The alliance between Mark and Rio makes perfect sense to me in that they are both very deceptive and very ego-driven. Rio claimed that “part of my task was to help people understand the philosophy and the belief system” and yet he never once in all of his self-aggrandizing interviews mentioned the hundreds of audio tapes that would do the very thing that he claimed was his “task”. Rio wasn’t even in the class before 1994 and the audio tapes go back to 1982. What’s more important, Rio’s three years in the class or fifteen years of Ti and Do and later Do instructing the class in the ways, thinking and behavior of the Next Level?
If Rio was so important then why did the class mention to MRC/SRF that “we suspect RKK and OSC would likely be a big help” but made no mention of Rio? Why were the masters of the Exit videos given to RKK with instructions to “duplicate” and “distribute” them but not to Rio? Why didn’t Rio return any of RKK’s phone calls that started on March 25th? Why didn’t Rio bother to contact any of those other former class members on the list before he went to the Rancho Santa Fe house and before he called 911? Why were RKK, OSC and MRC/SRF each given 10k by the class but not Rio.? Why did Rio accuse RKK of “exploiting the class’ materials for profit” after he had signed a $2.5 million deal with ABC for a movie of the week?
Maybe Rio isn’t who he claimed to be, the “sole surviving member”. Maybe he liked all the media attention that he was getting. Maybe he wasn’t serving the Next Level with his actions.