05/05/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT
Correspondents were baffled by the decision of Heaven's Gate cult members to end their own lives (PEOPLE, April 14), but not, on the whole, sympathetic. As for Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley, fans would gladly follow him to the comet of his choice.
The Heaven's Gate members willfully left their families and friends to follow an ex-con. They chose to leave their children and cut off all communication with the rest of the world. They may have been searching, but one thing is clear: they were incredibly selfish! If moving onto the next "level" means turning away from loving family and friends, count me out!
KATHLEEN MCHUGH, Rochester, N.Y.
I can't believe all the news coverage about why these people committed suicide. It's plain and simple. These people were a bunch of idiots.
JAMES BARFIELD, Columbus, Ga.
It deeply saddens me to see people who believe spiritual enlightenment can only be attained through death. I pray that wherever they are, they are at peace.
ILEANA MUNOZ-RENFROE, via e-mail
As a 16-year-old, I find it disappointing that I will have to raise my children in a world where such intelligent, educated people can be so stupid.
LAUREN WILLIAMS, via e-mail
I hope and pray that other cult members will see the warning signs when one leader isolates them from family and society. When you place all faith in the teachings of one man, tragedy is bound to happen. Marshall Applewhite was truly an angel of death.
KlMBERLY W. ROSSER, Martinez, Ga.
History is littered with the bodies of people who died for their beliefs. We call them martyrs. Who knows but that the Heaven's Gaters are laughing their heads off in their spaceship following in the wake of Hale-Bopp.
COLEGATE WOTTON San-Angelo, Texas
Michael Flatley has the creativity and talent to achieve what we all dream about. I admire his confidence—mistaken for arrogance—and adore the fact that his energy makes us all feel like dancing right along with him.
TESA BUSH, Lake Waccamaw, N.C.
I and many other Flatheads would like to nominate Michael Flatley of Lord of the Dance as Sexiest Man Alive. Please forward this request to the proper department.
JULIE LASTINGER, Lexington, Ky.
That Michael Flatley is a gifted dancer all would agree. But after viewing him as Lord of the Dance, I would suggest a more appropriate title: Michael Flat-ley and His Stormtroopers. Too much machismo accompanied by explosive and annoying bolts of lightning every time he appears onstage make me want to whisper in his ear, "Michael, less is more."
LOIS FISHER-CORCORAN, Chicago
Please set the record straight. Our late mother, Augusta White, did not write "the beloved western classic Git Along Little Dogie." She was a help to our father, John I. White, in his writing of the book Git Along Little Dogies, Songs and Songmakers of the American West, published in 1976. The book was about the people he knew and songs he researched to sing as the Lonesome Cowboy on the '30s radio program Death Valley Days. The authorship of the song is unknown. It was, however, first recorded in an 1893 journal of Owen Wister, author of The Virginian.
JENNIFER WHITE FISCHER Chatham, N.J. and JONATHAN P. WHITE, Naples, Fla.
How pathetic that Las Vegas Deputy District Attorney Robert Teuton doesn't have anything better to do with his time than prosecute a 10-year-old for writing in cement. He obviously was never a kid.
ANN TAMASl, Kansas City, Kan.
I live in Las Vegas, and I am sick and tired of seeing this story misrepresented. First of all, since he is a minor, the media was not given access to Jeremy Anderson's background. Second, police and school officials attempted several times to contact Jeremy's mother while he was in police custody. She was the sole reason he was in jail for five hours. Next, his mother refused to reimburse the construction company, so they had no choice but to sue for damages. As for the strip search, Jeremy underwent a mandatory strip search, taking off everything but his underwear. He was not handled as an adult would have been in the same situation. Las Vegas Metro police know this, and so should everyone else. As for the claim that a worker told him he could write his name, no child in his right mind would go up to a strange group of construction workers and ask to draw in 343 feet of freshly laid cement. Parents need to teach their children right from wrong.
ROBERT KLEIN, Las Vegas