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Heaven's Gate member: Comrades 'misinterpreted'

Rio March 26, 1998
Web posted at: 4:01 p.m. EST (2101 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Speaking on the year anniversary of the day 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide in California, a man who joined Heaven's Gate in 1994 called the group a "monastery full of celibate monks" whose actions were "misinterpreted, misrepresented and manipulated to outrageous proportions" by the media

Rio DiAngelo, who knew of the group from his days as a member before the suicides, has written a book about his experiences with the cult. In an interview Thursday on CNN's "Early Edition," he said he had seen enough "lies, slander and defamation of character" to "warrant a major lawsuit."

"But my concern is not for money here," he said. "My concern is for freedom" -- a freedom he fears is being eroded by people unwilling to let others choose their lifestyle.

vxtreme Listen to the full interview with Heaven's Gate member Rio DiAngelo

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