The Most Horrible Cults That Have Ever Existed Or Still Exist Today

Group of people chanting
Luan Cabral/Unsplash

Whether it's being part of a congregation or an academic sports team, communities are important because they allow people to have a sense of purpose and belonging.

While some may prefer having their own space, eventually, they'll want to have some sort of interaction with others.

But when there isn't a group representing like-minded people, those feeling dejected and isolated find each other to form their own communities.

However, there are some groups that are comprised of bitter individuals and engage in activities with nefarious intentions under the guise of fellowship.


Curious to hear what these groups might be that are hidden in the shadows or out in plain sight, Redditor playerhamdan asked:

"What are the most horrible cults that existed or exist?"

These are some of the most violent cults known in history.

"The Ant Hill Kids was pretty brutal."

– 123throwawaybanana

Ignorance Is Bliss

"I came here to say just that and I'm not surprised by the amount of people who haven't heard of them. When it comes to cults and serial killers, the worst of the worst fly under the radar because people don't like talking about them."

– Banananabees

Civilian Attackers

"The Rajneeshi cult from Oregon. Responsible for the biggest bio-terrorism attack by a cult (infected 751 with Food Poisoning/Salmonella in the Dalles). I worked with a guy who did wildland firefighting and he remembers working next to them and they had armed patrols on the perimeters. Only good thing is that their central building is now the YoungLife building in Antelope."

– AryLeventhal

Religion gets a bad name.

Too Close To Home

"From personal experience, the church Universal and triumphant that my grandmother was a member of and tried to kidnap me and my brother and take us to their bomb shelters in Montana because the world was about to end."

– LordBaranof

The Mormon Church

"Recovering mormon here. Our FLDS cousins are just what the church looked like under Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. While it might look like cult-lite today, 19th century mormonism definitely belongs on the list."

– couldhietoGallifrey

Jehovah's Witness

"Jonestown was definitely horrific, but the Jehovah's Witnesses' death count is far higher. It is estimated that over 30,000 Jehovah's witnesses have died due to the enforcement of their odd dogmatic interpretation of Mosaic Law on Blood."

"EDIT: They have something called the Hospital Liason Committee; that's Job is literally to show up at hospitals and bully sick dying people into not taking Blood as a treatment. Jehovah's witnesses are not just instilled with fear of being destroyed at armageddon if they take blood but also they are disfellowshipped (shunned) from all their friends and family"

– Pseudodumb

Unholy

"Children of God is pretty brutal. Joaquin Phoenix was born into it."

– impotentpote

Scientology

"The Louis Theroux documentary on them was chilling. He focused on interviewing ex-members and it showed the extreme lengths that the church will go to in order to harass former members. They had people turn up at their houses at all hours, sent them mass amounts of junk mail and threatening letters, had people just standing around staring at them all day, trying to get them in trouble at work, trying to get them in trouble with the law, calling their relatives etc. Just relentless bullying of anyone who decided to leave."

"It's like an entire religion made up of insane jealous ex girlfriends."

– Wind_Yer_Neck_In

It's truly terrifying how an organization can easily influence you without being cognizant of it happening.

"Elan One is one of these."

"Back in the 80's, during the time of the Troubled Teen industries height, Elan opened up to the public as a private institution under the goal of helping young adults and teenagers with education and also maturing them."

"This was not the case at all."

"The college benefitted off of the money to help fund their luxuries while they also regularly put each student through mental abuse. If I remember correctly, there were these group circles they'd have them do and they would force one random kid to fight the one in the center, or sometimes just have the biggest and the smallest against each other."

"If a student had not done well, or had not been 'up to standard', they would be tormented in different ways. I remember seeing footage of some kids wearing 'D U N C E' cones on their heads, and one where they put a kid in a bunny suit and left him out to sit in the cold."

"Conditions were horrible according to those who survived the place and escaped. I believe one source stated that there was even a basement where some kids would be strung up and lashed for hours on end."

"If you to know a more detailed explanation, look up 'The Cult in a Boarding School' by Nexpo on YouTube."

– JustFrenchBryan

Conspiracy Theorists

"QAnon, if you take a look on r/QAnoncasualties you’ll see how many lives it’s torn apart. One day you’re married to someone you love deeply and have a couple kids with them, and the next they’ve gone down this rabbit hole and you’re getting a divorce and trying to protect your kids from your former spouse who won’t stop talking about the end of the world, bloody uprisings, and other nasty things."

"Sometimes they even go so far as to try to poison themselves or their family with quack cures pushed by QAnon influencers"

– Straight_Ace

Grade school clicks can sometimes feel cultish.

I remember I was invited to a birthday party for one of the popular third graders in school, and I remember being thrilled at receiving an invitation after thinking they never liked me.

But my mom was wise to their ways after I was given a list of items to bring as presents to the birthday party and confirm ahead of time in order to secure my invite.

Mom didn't let me go to the ball, and for that, I'm grateful.

Newborn baby crying
Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.

With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.

Keep reading...Show less
A couple making out in the kitchen
We-Vibe Toys/Unsplash

Positive emotions are high among people in the blossoming phase of relationships.

Everything seems more romanticized for people in love due to the amorous joy in their hearts–which also influences their desire to frequently get it on under the sheets–or any other daring location in the heat of the moment.

But for those who've declared "'til death do us part," devoted couples may find that they are not always on the same wavelength sexually compared to when they first met.

Keep reading...Show less
Cemetary
Photo by John Thomas on Unsplash

There are a number of things people partake in spite of the known possible ramifications they have on their health and safety.

Up to and including smoking, bungee-jumping, recreational drug use, or simply bike riding without a helmet.

Indeed, even though they know that doing any or all of these things could possibly lead to their death, they do it anyway.

Sadly, even though many people go out of their way to avoid doing these things for that very reason, that still doesn't mean they keep themselves completely out of danger.

Sadly, there are a surprisingly large number of things that lead to an even more surprising number of deaths each year.

Frighteningly, these are things that the majority of the world's population does on an almost daily basis.

Keep reading...Show less
Waving American Flag
Photo by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

When Americans visit a foreign country, they tend to notice immediate cultural differences from the minute they step off the plane.

Unique bathroom designs, how you might have to be more specific when ordering coffee in Australia, how many businesses in Spain tend to shut down for a few hours to take a siesta.

Needless to say, this goes both ways, as when people from all over the world visit the United States, they tend to be surprised and amazed by a number of things.

Ranging from the amusing, such as portion sizes and ineffective tea brewing (at least for the Brits) to the truly baffling (HEALTHCARE).

Keep reading...Show less