At one point in our lives, many of us have experienced the sensation of loneliness.
We've tried our best to fit in but seemed to fail at every turn to join an accepting community of like-minded people.
But that doesn't always come easily, but when it does, we go all in without really doing our research because we prefer to hold onto that initial feeling of acceptance.
Unfortunately, not all groups have genuinely good intentions. Because before you know it, you find yourself having been sucked into a cult.
Or maybe something that isn't but feels like one. But what is that exactly?
Thankfully, Redditor MichaelScottssmug put our minds at ease and asked the Reddit beehive:
"What isn’t a cult but feels like a cult?"
Facebook groups can include some very manipulative personalities.
The Dog Owners Group
"Some dog owners groups on facebook are very culty like. Got banned from one group for not crate training my pup. I like her sleeping in my bed as it helps with my anxiety."
"Yep, and they can be completely nutso in either direction. Some of them are all micromanage every moment of your dog’s life, constantly showing dominance so that it knows you’re the alpha. Flip it on its back twice a day and stare directly into its eyes until it looks away in submission. Take away its dinner every now and then and make it watch as you throw it all in the trash, just to keep it from getting too comfortable. If it doesn’t respond to hand signals and commands in six languages, you’ve utterly failed.”
"And others are like 'if you have any rules or boundaries whatsoever with your dog, then you’re basically Cruella DeVille. Your dog’s needs and desires should be prioritized over literally everything and everyone else in your life, including your other pets, your spouse, your children, and yourself. If anyone is allergic to/scared of/just not a big fan of your dog, you should instantly cut them out of your life because your dog should BE your life.'”
"Mommy groups. And even specific groups. Like a cult within a cult."
"Joined a cloth diapering group. I was excommunicated for using Pampers at night."
"Breastfeeding? If you aren’t nursing till 4? Bye!"
The One That Got Away
"My wife just left one. For a while, she found some feeling of belonging when she was feeling lonely at home. However, it wasn't worth the toxicity. Even by social media standards, there were some sh*tty indoctrinated people in there."
Consequences Of Soliciting "Mom Knowledge"
"An acquaintance of mine got called out in the most glorious fashion when she got sucked into the local Facebook mommy group."
"She posted asking for 'mom knowledge' of how to handle a teething baby and got the insane responses you would expect. (Giving the baby hard liquor; puting special crystals around the house; you name it) Her husband caught whiff of the insanity, and instead of waiting to get home that evening, replied to the post, 'Perhaps you could ask your husband, the PEDIATRIC DENTIST. He probably has actual, proven medicine for this situation.'"
"I don't know what he said when he got home that night, but she never publicly posted in the mommy group again - probably to the benefit of their son."
"I have a good friend like this who is always trying to win motherhood. We have similarly aged kids and I’m a pretty laid-back parent for the most part so I make an effort to not compete in any way. She is a great mom, I can’t argue with that. But the more I avoid the competition, the more intense her parenting hacks become. She now has an entire household economy based on pom-poms that her kids have to earn and then pay back for things as simple as going outside or reading a book. Apparently this is supposed to teach them… Some thing. And apparently asking my kids to do chores to earn actual cash is somehow harming their psychology but I couldn’t tell you how or why."
"I agree with this 100%. I'm a lawyer the number of times I've had Mom's come to me about something being discussed in their mom group and how I need to make it right is astonishing. It gets even worse when they bring up how Laura said whatever the issue is is illegal and they need to be compensated for it. It's like I'm sorry but no you aren't entitled to compensation because you are concerned about the perfectly legal fertilizer your neighbor is using on his lawn unless there are actual damages or injuries caused by it. And 'as a mother' isn't a sound legal argument either."
"Those insane pro breastfeeding groups are very cult like in my experience. (Not bashing breastfeeding, I did it myself. But so many women in those groups talk about formula like it’s literal poison)"
"Similarly those crazy free birth types."
Certain auto communities make Redditors feel like they're going nowhere fast.
"Audi ownership (at least in the UK). I had an Audi Q3 as a hire car recently and other Audi drivers were suddenly letting me out at junctions, offering me parking spaces and even stopping to talk to me as if we'd known each other for years. I'm actually serious about this. It was weird."
What The Duck?
"I add Jeep owners to this. They leave ducks on each other's Jeeps??? Why???"
The Duck Discussion
"I only recently found out about the duck thing. I was walking out of the gas station and there's this lady just staring in my jeep, making little apprehensive motions as if she was going to get in. I ask if I can help her and she's saying she wants to leave a duck on the dash but she was afraid my dogs in the back seat might bite."
"She was so determined to give me, a random jeep owner, a duck that she was; standing in the cold, risking dog bites (not really as my boys are friendly goofballs but she didn't know that) and taking the risk that I might perceive this as someone trying to steal my truck/mess with my dogs or any other conclusion I could jump to at the moment."
"Ultimately I took her little Dracula duck and chatted with her for a couple of mins. Nice lady but very eccentric. The entire dash of her jeep was COVERED in rubber ducks. Like a duck army large enough to make her jeep float, no space to spare."
"It still sounds way nicer than "BMW cult" which consists of constant attempt to break as many road rules as possible in certain time."
Some Redditors' cult-like fears hit too close to home.
A Living Nightmare
"My condo association.. No I will not host the ritual at my place again this month, Dave!"
Fixing The HOA
"My wife worked her way up to president of our condo association. She's so anti-HOA that she has basically made it non-functional and doesn't enforce anything. One of our neighbors is also anti-HOA and he got elected as treasurer so now they have a majority vote on the board and overrule the other voting member who is a snobby hateful old lady."
"Thanks all for the kind words, I want to clarify when I said that my wife has made the condo association non-functioning, I'm referring to the petty BS like welcome mat size and thickness that the previous HOA board seemed overly obsessed with. As a result, they ignored a lot of building maintenance and my wife is solely focusing on upgrading and fixing issues that were ignored for years or even decades."
The One To Vote For
"My father made a point of becoming president of any condo association (called Strata where I live). He didn't want power, he just wanted to make sure nobody else abused the position."
"At his previous apartment he was president for 5 or 6 years. He was pretty strict about maintenance. No matter how expensive, if something needed fixing, he levied for it and got it fixed."
"An older member (it was kind of a retirement home) really didn't like that. He wanted to pay as little as possible until he sold his unit. So when a roof levy came through, he went to every resident who was super old and kind of confused. He spun elaborate tales of corruption and got a couple dozen proxy votes in his pocket. He then used those proxy votes to vote himself in as president and vote my dad out."
"My father sold his unit less than 30 days later. He knew the guy was going to run the place into the ground and wanted out."
"Less than a year later the whole apartment complex was sold off to a developer who was going to level it. Apparently the roof maintenance they decided not to do caused big problems they couldn't afford to fix."
I'm admittedly a hardcore fan of Disney, but let's be real. There are some weird, obsessed fanatics who are literally mad for the mouse, and I'm not even close to that level of mania.
Especially when it comes to merchandise. When I used to work at a Disney park, there would periodically be limited edition merchandise for sale to commemorate a specific event or anniversary. Annual pass holders would line up before the park opens to make sure they can snatch as many of these coveted items are allowed per purchaser so they can sell them on eBay for a king's ransom.
Disney pins are what many of these crazed fans are after, and they show up in line wearing lanyards decorated with their rare collection of pins for bragging rights.
I have no idea what they do for a living since they were always at the parks. Probably living off their eBay money.
I love Disney, but there are definitely others in the cultish community that put my level of passion to shame.
It's very popular to create rumors about certain historical figures to which there is no concrete evidence.
Such as the sexual orientation of Abraham Lincoln or the alleged illicit behavior of Lewis Carroll and Hans Christian Andersen.
Understandably, these mostly baseless, though not necessarily false, theories are left out of history books.
However, there are facts about legends of history which have, indeed, been proven true, but are also left out of history books.
Namely, because it's not the sort of information many would consider in polite conversation, let alone be talked about in schools.
Even if it is no less fascinating than anything else we might learn.
"What’s a NSFW detail about a historical figure that’s normally left out of the history books?"
Dubious Contributions To The War Effort...
"During WW1, sex workers in Britain were more expensive if they had STD's."
"This was because if a soldier hired them and got infected, the soldier could be honorably discharged, and not have to fight in war."- KaleBrew
Talk About A Huge Relief...
"Ancient Egyptians believed the god Atum created the universe by pleasuring himself to ejaculation, and that the ebb and flow of the Nile corresponded to how much."
"To honor this, the pharaohs ceremonially pleasured themselves into the river."- -weeflets go luna fun GIF by PBS KIDSGiphy
The Downside Of Their Journey...
"Lewis and Clark described the screaming sh*ts that they got from eating unfamiliar food (camas) in detail in their journals."- ayriana
Shameful Thanks For A Hero
"After Alan Turing cracked the enigma code, essentially ending WW2 years earlier than expected and saving countless lives, he was thanked by the British government in the form of chemical castration."
"All because he was a gay man."- Dangerjayne
Talk About Man About Town...
"Probably said here elsewhere, but Victor Hugo, author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame among other tales, was a notorious philanderer who had affairs on top of affairs with sex workers throughout his life."
"When he died, ALL of the brothels in Paris had to close because so many attended his funeral."- JLWilcoclassic film vintage GIF by FilmStruckGiphy
None Of Our Business What They Got Up To In Private...
"Pyotr Tchaikovsky was a submissive bottom."
"In one note, never before published in Russian or English, Tchaikovsky wrote of a young servant 'with whom I am more in love than ever', adding: 'My God, what an angelic creature and how I long to be his slave, his plaything, his property!'". Reddit
The Secret Lives Of The Founding Fathers
"Patrick Henry, the American founding father better known for his quote, 'give me liberty or give me death', kept his wife imprisoned in a cellar because of her frequent outbursts due to postpartum depression."
"His wife had eventually died in that cellar, and he had buried her in an unmarked grave."
"10/10 quote but the wife killing part always seems to get left out of history texts."- sortatoxic
"Ben Franklin was a notorious flirt, and hit on and/or ploughed just about every woman he ever met."
"Single women, married women, young women, old women, women of title, women of the royal line."
"Protestant women, Catholic women."
"All of them."- TheLastIronManGiphy
Taken To Heaven... Just Not Back...
"French President Félix Faure died during oral sex"- Wiesterfeler
His Bubble Was Bound To Burst Eventually...
"It's said that Henry VIII 'exploded' in his coffin."
"Dogs then licked up the Henry juice."- B1LMAN
It's understandable why most of this information is left out of history books.
Particularly those used in schools.
Even if it might make students' attention might be a bit more attentive...
We've sure been hearing the term "conspiracy theory" a lot lately.
And if history has taught us anything, it's that it would do us all good to avoid them altogether as they are rooted in falsehoods tied to clandestine government plans and sinister plots–which, yeah, doesn't sound good.
But like anyone spinning a rumor, people tend to latch on to spurious information that cannot be verified by science or fact because it's just easy to go along with it without taking the time for research.
But there are some conspiracy theories that do make us wonder if there is something to them.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor BipolarSkeleton asked:
"What conspiracy theory do you completely believe is true?"
A majority of extremely wealthy people or organizations tend to be very secretive. What must they be hiding? These Redditors have a few ideas.
Money And Violence
"a lot of rich people help terrorism and movements to destabilise a nation or a region to make money from its resources or people."
"In my home city (in the UK) a heroin dealer was convicted of lacing his product with poison and causing the deaths of homeless people."
"In court he claimed that the local council payed him off to get rid of some of the homeless people in that way."
"His defense was 'why would I kill my customers.'"
"I have met one person that worked with the council and believes the story to be true, and years later I met some people that had worked with a homeless charity at the time. They claimed they knew it was the case but there was nothing they could do to prove it expose it."
"This one pertains to my university, but some people may have the same experiences with theirs."
"So students who choose my university send applications in by December. The entire COVID shutdown happens in March, around the same time university acceptances are starting to be sent out. Each first year student has guaranteed residence."
"Everyone is wondering what the new teaching model will be, and it’s announced that it’s mixed. 30% in person, 70% online."
"At this point, if you’re in first year, and all your courses are online, why pay for residence? You can do class online. But the university sees these discussions, and know they’ll lose A LOT of money if they don’t have students in residence."
"So what is announced? Almost EVERY first year has at least 1 person class. Meaning? They have to be on campus. MEANING, they have to live in residence."
"Idk if this makes sense to anyone but I thought it was interesting."
All About Appearances
"Everyone I tell about this tells me I'm overreacting and it's just a conspiracy. But I strongly believe large companies who use eco friendly products around customers only do it to make themselves look good, and to make the customer feel like pollution is their fault when they use for example, plastic straws. When in reality using eco friendly straws barely dents the amount of pollution the company itself makes behind the scenes."
People have speculations about high-profile individuals.
Slave 4 U
"That Britney Spears is either being held hostage or otherwise in a very compromised situation."
Captured Or Deceased?
"Shelly Miscavige is either dead or being held prisoner by the Church of Scientology."
Shady FBI Director
"J. Edgar Hoover had ties to the mob and gave preferential treatment to certain crime families/organizations while crushing others."
"Also, his stranglehold on American intelligence made him a figure presidents feared."
Failed predictions led to last-minute detours.
Change In Plans
"Disney absolutely believed that Hillary Clinton was going to win the 2016 election, so they started building her animatronic for the Hall of Presidents well in advance, and after trump pulled off a victory, instead of starting from scratch they just kinda made a couple half-a**ed adjustments to the Hillary model and put it up on stage."
"Trump winning literally ruined the season of South Park that year because they wrote it with the intention that trump/garrison would lose."
While people are free to believe anything they firmly know to be true, it's wise to do a background check before another Pizzagate happens.
Don't be that person who goes down a dark rabbit hole and becomes confused about what is or isn't reality.
Because news flash: the earth is not flat.
Hate to break it to ya.
You don't have to be acquainted with someone to know enough about the kind of person they are.
Observing their attitude around people or what clothes they wear can easily give away a stranger's temperament that identifies them as either superficial or genuine.
Of course, being judgmental based on one's appearance is not an unfair assessment. However, you know deep down inside, we all have the predisposition to do exactly that.
Redditor Expwar was curious to hear about how a certain demographic gets around and asked:
"What vehicle is only driven by a**holes?"
Car accessories really are a dead giveaway about the person behind the wheel.
"Any truck with a sticker of Calvin peeing on the logo of the other model truck."
"Any vehicle with a Punisher sticker."
"Nissan Altima with expired paper plates."
Dongles In Motion
"Anything that truck nuts have been installed on."
A vehicle's condition says a lot about its owner like what a front lawn says about the homeowner.
"With a faded gold paint job and sh**ty, bubbled window tint. Alternately going 95 in the right lane, or 45 in the passing lane."
"Failing engine, $500 paint job, and $10,000 rims..."
These might be the worst of the bunch.
"Every vehicle that I’m not driving. You’re all a**holes."
The Speed Spectrum
"Everyone faster than me is a maniac and everyone slower than me is a moron."
"Edit: oh my GOD I've gotten a dozen notifications that really want to make sure George Carlin gets credit. You guys can stop replying with that now."
– Altruistic-Pop6696 ·
Amateur Little Drivers
"These red and yellow cars from Little Tikes. They're all bad drivers. Pretty sure they don't even have their licence."
How They Roll
"Around here (South Alabama), the same guys who you would label as 'A**holes' are the guys who drive trucks with the front suspension lifted to the sky and the rear suspension is dropped to the street, and they slap on rims that look like a regular rim was put through a paper shredder, then stretch paper-thin tires on them, not to mention they either cut their exhausts down or put exhausts on that have no catalytic converters, and as such, they're louder than a machine gun."
"They're really a**holes."
"Whoever has unnecessarily super bright lights at night. I wonder where I can apply for my blindness allowance."
To me, it doesn't matter what car you have. Just be a good driver and respect the road and others who share it with you.
Tailgaters or drivers who cut in front of me without signaling are all jerks regardless of whether they're driving a Tesla or an old station wagon.
Affairs and infidelity are sadly a more common part of life than we care to admit.
People cheat. it seems to be part of the human condition.
Are we meant to be monogamous?
That's a story for a different article.
I say though, if you're going to cheat... have some basic human decency.
Don't cheat with people you all know.
And how are BFFs not automatically off limits?
Redditor Gifwii wanted to hear all the ways we'd all react when betrayed by the ones we love.
So they asked:
"If you caught your best friend having sex with your wife, what would you do?"
How can people betray one another like that?
GrossSay Word Lol GIF by Desus & MeroGiphy
"Be weirded out because they are brother and sister."
"Haha... I'm also dating my best friend’s sister."
"I'm more concerned on how he found her body."
"If he's really your best friend, he helped bury it."
"I don't think he would. I had him neutered as a puppy."
"This reply was made extremely funny (or concerning) by the fact that I took it as someone neutering an actual person when they became friends."
Never Cry Wolf...
"Take his car keys and drive to his place. It's all yours now buddy."
"Hol' up, remember to make it official. You have to p*ss a border around your new acquisition like in Never Cry Wolf, and if any relatives of the former owner are present you need to mark the ones you can't mate with, and you know, mate with the others."
"With that logic, I guess his house and and family are mine now? That's okay with me, his wife is pleasant to be around."
Betrayal...Julio Cesar Rome GIF by Luis RicardoGiphy
"That happened to me 30 years ago and I haven’t been able to fall in love since."
"I'd be more unwilling to make best friends than rather than unable to develop a crush."
The rudeness of it all.
An Assist?Season 4 Flirting GIF by FriendsGiphy
"Ask if she wants help..."
"Since they're the same person."
"Have sex with his wife. It’s only fair."
"My ex fiancée had an affair with a married man. Talked to his wife, she and I made a sex video and sent it to them."
"I'm not a vengeful nor petty person but this kind of turned me on."
"Record it for evidence then talk to a divorce lawyer on how to get a divorce without losing anything."
"Thank them both and move on with my life."
"In most states, the fault isn't a thing that matters beyond the reason. It just may waive the cooling off period... at fault divorces mattering in regards to separation of property ended in the 70's for the vast majority of the country."
"Apparently they discovered that people lie, and it is rarely a clear cut 'this person is the only one guilty.'"
"I'd have to leave, or else I'd commit murder. I would then leave forever, I think I would just leave everything behind and become a nomad at that point and never look back."
"Also my first thought. Never a more compelling moment to finally hit the road and live every day like it's my last."
"Maybe tomorrow I'll wanna settle down..."
Lost to Me
"Well, it is an extreme level of cheating. One thing is to find your wife in bed with a lover but whole other to find her with your best friend. It is multi-level betrayal and that would leave a huge impact on my future life. Not that I would be sorry for losing that person but because it would make me hard to trust anyone after that. Hope that never happens to me or anyone I know."
LOLbill murray nw GIFGiphy
"Exclaim, 'Bob! What the hell? I HAVE to sleep with her, but you??!!'"
This is more common than you think. Watch Dateline.
How would you react in this situation? Let us know in the comments.