Cults are always the subject of controversies and many, to not say most, of them are really crazy if you are to look at things from a logical point of view. Here we list 10 of the apparently craziest and controversial cults which successfully made it to major news front pages at one or more points in time!
1. The Order of the Solar Temple
Started by a Belgian leader Luc Jouret who was also a known neo-nazi, this cult was formed in 1984 under a Christian facade claiming it to be the second coming of christ. They sacrificed a child in 1994 labelling him anti christ and then a few days later committed suicide themselves. The cult has since been deemed criminal.
2. Bhagawan Shri Rajneesh’s Community
Formed in 1980′s this cult was known for raising of cult towns and the leader had hoards of Rolls Royce cars in his name. In Oregon, allegedly he poisoned people with Salmonella to alter the election results in his cult’s favor.
3. Branch Davidians
These people believed strongly in the theory of apocalypse, but after an FBI raid on their Texas church compound which left 76 people dead, the cult almost disappeared.
Started in France in the 1970′s the Raelian cult has weird beliefs like UFO’s to be a part of most of the religions and possibility of something like a mind transfer. They also believe that cloning can lead to reincarnation.
5. Villa Baviera
Formed by Paul Schneider, a former Nazi party member in 1961, this was majorly formed by a group of German immigrants in Dignidad. They were charged and found guilty of torturing and molesting children.
6. Manson Family
One of the most brutal and violent cults, was formed by Charles Manson (guitarist) who was followed by a ‘family’ of criminals from his prison time. He preached that an apocalyptic war between blacks and whites was impending and sent his followers to murder people in order to show it to blacks as how it needs to be done. But in reality, he only planned murders of people who did not support him for his musical ambitions.
7. Heaven’s Gate
Leader Marshall Applewhite propagated a belief that earth would be recycled and only way to escape and survive is to hitch a ride on the comet Hale Bopp in March of 1997. Around 40 members along with Applewhite poisoned themselves wearing bands of ‘Heaven’s Gate Away Team’.
8. Aum Shinrikyo
This anti-social cult formed in the mid-1980′s and struck the Tokyo subway with the Sarin Gas killing few and injuring thousands. They believed they would develop some supernatural powers.
9. People’s Temples
Started by Reverend Jim Jones in an effort to help the jobless and homeless people, the cult was accused of abuse within of the members. Later a mass suicide was also conducted involving more than 900 people who drank poison.
Scientology is probably one of the greatest frauds being perpetrated right now. They claim that an intergalactic warlord ‘Xenu’ brought his people to earth 75 million years ago an blew them up with H-bombs. Yes, they know him by name!
For another list of top ten cults with a bit more detail, see here.