A “cult” is generally regarded as a religious group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding population considers to be outside the mainstream or potentially dangerous. Cults usually expect complete devotion of your time and money. As for me I’ve been involved in cults and I’m not a huge fan of the label. But in some cases it really applies.
I’ve compiled 7 of the most dangerous religious sects for for you to learn something. And realize we live in a unique world. Religion as a whole shouldn’t be about control, it should be about setting mankind free.
Without further adieu.
Peoples Temple was a religious organization founded in 1955 by Jim Jones. By the mid-1970s it included over a dozen locations in California including its headquarters in San Francisco. It is best known for the events of November 18, 1978, in Guyana, in which 920 people died at the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project aka Jonestown and nearby airstrip at Port Kaituma, and Georgetown in an organized mass suicide/killing.
The mass suicide and killings at Jonestown resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural non-accidental disaster prior to the events of September 11, 2001. Casualties at the airstrip included, among others, Congressman Leo Ryan.
Aum Shinrikyo (currently known as Aleph) is a Japanese cult listed as a terrorist organization by several countries. The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The group gained international notoriety in 1995, when it carried out the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.
The name “Aum Shinrikyo” derives from the Sanskrit syllable Aum, which represents the universe, followed by Shinrikyo written in kanji, roughly meaning “religion of Truth”. In English “Aum Shinrikyo” is usually translated as “Supreme Truth”. In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Hebrew alphabet and Phoenician alphabets. It changed its logo as well.
In 1995, the group claimed they had over 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide. Police consider the existing groups Aleph and Hikari no Wa to be branches of the “dangerous religion”
Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religion doomsday cult based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985).On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was then at its brightest.
The Branch Davidians (also known as “The Branch”) are a religious group that originated in 1955 from a schism in the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists (“Davidians”), a reform movement that began as an offshoot from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (“Adventists”) around 1930. The majority of those who accepted the reform message had been disfellowshipped (removed from membership) from the Seventh-day Adventist Church because of aberrant teachings. The Branch Davidians have many theological beliefs in common with Messianic Judaism.
From its inception in 1930, the reform movement believed themselves to be living in a time when Bible prophecies of a final divine judgment were coming to pass as a prelude to Christ’s second coming. The name “Branch Davidian” is most widely known for the Waco Siege of 1993 on their property (known as the Mount Carmel Center) near Waco, Texas. The 51-day siege, by the ATF, FBI, and Texas National Guard, resulted in the deaths of the Branch Davidians’ leader, David Koresh, as well as 82 other Branch Davidian men, women, and children, and four ATF agents.
David Koresh and the Branch Davidians were never found guilty of crimes. And it remains one of the most controversials events in modern American history. Regardless because of the events that unfolded this disaster made the Branch Davidians one of the most dangerous cults ever.
Church of Euthansia
According to the church’s website, it is “a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth.” The Church uses sermons, music, culture jamming, publicity stunts and direct action to highlight Earth’s unsustainable population. The Church is notorious for its conflicts with Pro-life Christian activists.
According to the church’s website, the one commandment is “Thou shalt not procreate”. The Church further asserts four principal pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism of the already dead, and sodomy (“any sexual act not intended for procreation”). The church stresses population reduction by voluntary means only. Therefore murder and involuntary sterilization are strictly forbidden by church doctrine.
The Order of the Solar Temple also known as Ordre du Temple Solaire (OTS) in French, and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition or simply as The Solar Temple is a secret society based upon the existence and ideals of the Knights Templar. OTS was started by Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret in 1984 in Geneva as l’Ordre International Chevaleresque de Tradition Solaire (OICTS) and renamed Ordre du Temple Solaire.
In October 1994 Tony Dutoit’s infant son (Emmanuel Dutoit), aged three months, was killed at the group’s centre in Morin Heights, Quebec. The baby had been stabbed repeatedly with a wooden stake. It is believed that Di Mambro ordered the murder, because he identified the baby as the Anti-Christ described in the Bible. He believed that the Anti-Christ was born into the order to prevent Di Mambro from succeeding in his spiritual aim.
A few days later, Di Mambro and twelve followers performed a ritual Last Supper. A few days after that, apparent mass suicides and murders were conducted at Cheiry and Salvan, two villages in Western Switzerland, and at Morin Heights — 15 inner circle members committed suicide with poison, 30 were killed by bullets or smothering, and 8 others were killed by other causes. In Switzerland, many of the victims were found in a secret underground chapel lined with mirrors and other items of Templar symbolism. The bodies were dressed in the order’s ceremonial robes and were in a circle, feet together, heads outward, most with plastic bags tied over their heads; they had each been shot in the head. It is believed that the plastic bags were a symbol of the ecological disaster that would befall the human race after the OTS members moved on to Sirius. It is also believed that these bags were used as part of the OTS rituals, and that members would have voluntarily worn them without being placed under duress. There was also evidence that many of the victims in Switzerland were drugged before they were shot. Other victims were found in three ski chalets; several dead children were lying together. The tragedy was discovered when officers rushed to the sites to fight the fires which had been ignited by remote-control devices. Farewell letters left by the believers stated that they believed they were leaving to escape the “hypocrisies and oppression of this world.”
A mayor, a journalist, a civil servant and a sales manager were found among the dead in Switzerland. Records seized by the Quebec police showed that some members had personally donated over $CAD1 million to the group’s leader Joseph Di Mambro. There was also another attempted mass suicide of the remaining members which was thwarted in the late 1990s.All the suicide/murders and attempts occurred around the dates of the equinoxes and solstices in some relation to the beliefs of the group.
Another massacre related to the OTS took place during the night between the 15 and 16 December 1995. On 23 December 1995, 16 bodies were discovered in a star-formation in the Vercors region in France. It was found later that two of them shot the others and then committed suicide by firearm and immolation.
On the morning of 23 March 1997, five members of the OTS took their own lives in Saint-Casimir, Quebec. A small house exploded into flames, leaving behind five charred bodies for the police to pull from the rubble. Three teenagers aged 13, 14 and 16, the children of one of the couples that died in the fire, were discovered in a shed behind the house, alive but heavily drugged.
Michael Tabachnik, an internationally renowned Swiss musician and conductor, was arrested as a leader of the Solar Temple in the late 1990s. He was indicted for “participation in a criminal organization,” and murder. He came to trial in Grenoble, France during the spring of 2001 and was acquitted. French prosecutors appealed against the verdict and an appellate court ordered a second trial beginning October 24, 2006. He was again cleared less than two months later on December 20.
Children of God
The Children of God began in Southern California in the late l960s, founded by self-styled guru and pedophile, the late David Berg. The CoG believe themselves to be God’s elect, offering redemption only to those who join them and adhere to their strict codes. One of Berg’s edicts was the “Law of Love”, which allowed adult males to have sex with anyone they wanted, including children – Berg called this “sharing”, and anyone who wasn’t willing to “share” was accused of not loving God enough. Girls from the age of 10 were used in recruitment, offering prospective cult members sex in a practice called “flirty fishing”. This group is known for pedophilia and extreme abuse of children.