50 Terrifying Facts About Cults From Around the World

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26Jonestown Survivors

Jonestown Survivors

A handful of people survived the mass suicide at Jonestown in 1978 where over 900 people took their lives, including a hearing-impaired man that didn’t hear the announcements over loudspeaker, and an elderly woman who slept through the whole thing.

27. At the turn of the 19th century, there was a Christian “love (sex) cult” named Holly Rollers which existed in Oregon. The cult ended in a series of assassinations, counter-assassinations, and an assassin suicide in Seattle.

28. The atheistic Cult of Reason was sponsored by the French revolutionary government to replace Catholicism. Notre Dame's altar was dismantled, and provocatively dressed women posed inside representing virtues like Reason. Cemetery gates in France had to bear the inscription "Death is an eternal sleep."

29. The Israelite Cult, ‘House of David’ had a barnstorming baseball team from 1920s onwards. Its players wore long hair and beards while they played exhibition games against major league teams. They spawned the “Black House of David” who played against Negro League teams.

30. Order of the Solar Temple was a religious cult which its folowers claimed was based upon the ideals of the Knights Templar. In October of 1994, when they began their mass suicide plot, they started with murdering of a 3-Month-Old boy, who they believed to be the Anti-Christ. They stabbed him repeatedly with a wooden stake.

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31Ugandan Doomsday Cult

Ugandan Doomsday Cult

‘Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God’ was a Ugandan doomsday cult, whose followers surrendered their wealth to the church. After the prophesied date passed many disgruntled followers demanded their money back.

32. When the leaders of ‘The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God,’ an Ugandan doomsday cult, failed in their prediction of the end of the world, leaders of the cult predicted a second date of March 17, 2000 and organized a celebration during which they poisoned, stabbed, and blew up 778 of their followers. Their leader escaped authorities and is believed to still be alive.

33. In 1978, a dangerous cult called Synanon tried to murder an opponent by placing a de-rattled rattlesnake in his mailbox. The snake did bite Attorney Paul Morantz, but he survived and went on to prosecute Synanon, as well as the Church of Scientology, Hare Krishnas, and more.

34. Japan has a cult called ‘Happy Science’ whose leader claims “to channel the spirits of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucius” (among many other beings) and claims to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Cantare.

35. Magdalena Solís also known as ‘The High Priestess of Blood’, was a Mexican serial killer and cult leader who was responsible for orchestrating several murders which involved drinking of the victims’ blood. She proclaimed that blood is the only food the gods can ingest and that their goddess needed to drink it to preserve her eternal youth.

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The Skoptsy was a Russian religious sect who believed that human genitals were a mark of original sin and the removal of sexual organs restored followers to a pristine state. Male followers were originally castrated and emasculated with a red-hot iron, called the 'fiery baptism.'

37. In the 1800s, leader of the Celestia cult named Peter Armstrong gave 600 acres of land to God but the State of Pennsylvania took possession and sold it because the Almighty didn’t pay his taxes.

38. The Petropavlovka settlement in Russia is home to a cult named ‘Church of the Last Testament’, whose leader Sergei Torop believes he is Jesus. He has over 5,000 followers, who believe in aliens, suicide as acceptable and that the end of the world is imminent.

39. Adolfo Constanzo was a Mexican drug dealer and serial killer. He eventually he became the leader of his own cult ‘Narcosatanists.’ His followers believed he was a “dark wizard” and gave him the nickname ‘The Godfather’ (El Padrino). His cult was also said to be associated with the notable Gulf Cartel. He often performed ritual sacrifices on humans that involved boiling brains and bones in cauldrons full of blood.

40. Alexander of Abonoteichus was a roman era cult leader who made people believe a sock-puppet was a snake god. He was so influential that even the emperor joined his cult. A few skeptics who opposed him were Christians, epicureans, and writer Lucian of Samosata, who tried to expose him as a fraud.

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41Inverted Cross Cult

Inverted Cross Cult

The inverted cross only became associated with Satan in the 19th Century when a French cult leader was accused of holding erotic Black Masses. He believed the inverted crucifix symbolised the 'Reign of Love' as opposed to the 'Reign of Suffering’ of the traditional cross.

42. Adnan Oktar is a popular Islamic creationist cult leader. He has a very popular tv show (Building Bridges) in Turkey on which he is surrounded by Versace-wrapped blondes called kittens that call him master and talk about Kim Kardashian.

43. Roch Thériault was a self-proclaimed prophet of a 70s Canadian doomsday cult named Ant Hill Kids. He maintained multiple wives and concubines, impregnating all female members as a religious requirement, and fathering 26 children. He once tried to cure a woman’s stomach ache by jamming a plastic tube up her rectum to perform a crude enema with molasses and olive oil. He then cut her open and ripped part of her intestines off with his bare hands. She died from the inflicted damage. Claiming to have the power of resurrection, Thériault bored a hole into her skull with a drill and then had other male members ejaculate into the cavity. She did not return to life.

44. Hulda Golemgeske Hoefs Ziebell was a cult leader during the Great Depression forced her adherents to only drink orange juice, milk, and honey, believing solid foods were of the devil.

45. Maximilien Robespierre who was one of the leaders of the French Revolution, was also the founder of a form of Deism “The Cult of the Supreme Being.” He intended for it to become the state religion of France.

46Oneida Silverware Cult

Oneida Silverware Cult

The Oneida silverware company was started by a religious cult that practiced promiscuous sex. They practiced free love and would have menopausal women train the young males how to not ejaculate during sex as a method of abstinence. Their leader, John Humphrey Noyes, reserved the virgin girls for himself and his cronies. They also made silverware. Eventually the cult dissolved and became a silverware company that is still in business today.

47. Charles Guiteau, the assassin of US President James A. Garfield, was rejected from a utopian free-sex community, and they nicknamed him Charles Gitout. The community eventually became the Oneida silverware company.

48. A 19th-century american cult leader, named John Murray, claimed that if he built a clockwork body (built with supposed instructions from God) it would come to life as the spirit of the lord enters it and thus Jesus would return to Earth as a robot.

49. In the 1960s, there was a cult called The Source Family who lived in a commune in the Hollywood Hills. Their leader Father Yod was in a rock band and had 13 wives. He eventually died in a hang-gliding accident.

50. There was a cult that formed around the same time as Christianity which worshipped the emperor Hadrian's young gay lover Antinous, believing the boy was resurrected as Osiris after he'd drowned in the Nile.

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