Cults have been around for ages, and they amaze, terrify, and confuse us in so many ways. These groups are all about breaking from the norm and challenging long-held ideals and values. All over the world, strange entities have formed and some even continue to rock the world with backwards or socially-unacceptable rituals, behaviors, and beliefs. Cults are usually made up of extremists of some form or another. Followers usually engage in odd and puzzling acts and hold bizarre beliefs. Rituals, behaviors, and interactions accompany the philosophies and laws held by these weird groups of people. Cults are formed all over the world, and some have even been mentioned in mainstream society.
Some cults are created on a seemingly sound basis, while others are completely out there and hold no proven stability or truth. Leaders and founders full of unfulfilled promises, mysterious allure, and captivating ideas pull in followers, and some cults have amassed thousands upon thousands of members.
The ten weirdest cults in the world are outlined below. Some of these groups were founded on ancient beliefs and traditions, while others were born from modern society and culture. Some cults are frightening, others are silly, and some leave us scratching our heads.
9. The Cargo Cult
The Cargo Cult is a group of people who mostly live in the Southwest Pacific regions as well as New Guinea. These folks share the belief that the modern technology that we enjoy today has been left behind by long-ago ancestors. This cult is religious in nature and has amassed a large following. Their belief is that the more developed societies have advanced technology and products (or “cargo”) that the cult members must discover. What does this mean for you? The smart car, tablet, and smartphone you claim possession of are actually being hunted down by The Cargo Cult. They believe that these items are gifts their ancient ancestors left for them. In reality, World War II contributed to the cult’s beliefs, as many island nations in the Pacific became hotspots for foreigners and their products.
8. The Church of Maradona
Maradona refers to Diego Maradona, a former soccer player from Argentina. His fanatical South American followers absolutely adore the now-retired athlete, and boast that he is the best in world history. This cult was created almost twenty years ago, on Maradona’s 30th birthday (October 30th, 1998.) Today, more than 80,000 people from 60 countries belong to The Church of Maradona. These people differ from other die-hard fans in that their lives revolve around the athlete. They name their children Diego and treat Maradona like an idol or deity. They also keep a record of the years Maradona has graced the earth, and they place special value on the number 10, which was the athlete’s jersey number. They even have commandants about spreading the word and love of Diego Maradona.
7. The Creativity Movement
This is a cult that was formed by Caucasians with a superiority complex. They created their own “White Religion,” which they deem “Creativity.” It serves as an alternative to Positive Christianity, which does not belong to any church. The Creativity Movement clings to their beliefs of false Christianity with a flair for racial supremacy and dictatorship. Followers of this cult deny the events of the Holocaust, and seeks to expand the Caucasian race on religious terms. The leaders of this cult have met disastrous ends. The founder, Ben Klassen, killed himself twenty years after founding the cult in 1973. Another leader, Matthew F. Hale, was imprisoned for trying to murder a federal judge through an inside FBI job.
6. Ho Na Hana Sanpogyo
Hogen Fukunaga created this Japanese cult. It is usually called “the foot reading cult” because Fukunaga believed that he could diagnose people’s ills by taking a look at their feet. Created in 1987, it came into being after its creator proclaimed that he was both the Buddha and Jesus Christ, reincarnated. This happened at a spiritual meeting, and Fukunaga quickly amassed followers. Yet, with foot readings that cost $900, many of his thousands of followers became wary. Many suspected that he was pocketing the money for his own personal gain. He ended up repaying more than 200 million yen to the followers he hoodwinked. As for outsiders, the cult’s followers say that only Ho Na Hana Sanpogyo trainings and lucky charms can save them.
5. The Body of Christ
This is a group of people who turn to personal revelations, rather than the Bible. Followers of this cult have made news due to child deaths; one from lack of nutrition and another for lack of medical attention. You see, the people belonging to this cult believe that God will give them direct signs and instructions. They await these signs before taking any kind of action. The Body of Christ rejects the long-held systems in society: education, government, banking, religion, medicine, science, and entertainment. They refuse to work with civil and government entities, and turn a blind eye to assistance. They await doomsday, when the rest of the world will explode, but they will remain safe.
4. The I Am Cult
This is a cult that tries to be a blend of every religion on earth. They center around Saint Germain, whom one of the cult’s founders, Guy Ballard, claimed to have met. Guy and Edna Ballard deem themselves extremely similar to Saint Germain, and they created this cult with the goal of doing away with individuality. Followers of this cult have their minds brainwashed into thinking that they can use the power of the mind to achieve their wildest dreams. The I Am Cult once had over a million followers. They were fed information that Guy Ballard had his spirit transported to another realm of Saint Germain. Another crucial piece of information: Guy Ballard is said to be directly descended from Shakespeare, Rasputin, and Merlin.
3. The Russian Cult of Gadget Hackwrench
You may have thought that the Japanese were crazy, cartoon-obsessed people. Now, take a look at The Russian Cult of Gadget Hackwrench. This cult revolves around the Disney cartoon Gadget Hackwrench from Disney’s Rescue Rangers TV show. They hold her to be a deity and the perfect sister of earth’s god. They hold Gadget Hackwrench to be a goddess of mystical power, embodying ideal beauty, joy, and truth. Her allure is believed to be unattainable, and she possesses great knowledge that a human could never achieve. Followers burn candles and create makeshift shrines to Gadget Hackwrench while chanting in the hopes that she will make their wishes come true.
This is a cult revolving around UFOs. It was founded in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon and holds the belief that all earthly beings and life was crafted by aliens in their science laboratory. Raëlism states that the aliens were transformed into human beings after engaging and interacting with their human science experiments. Cherubim, angels, and gods are believed to actually be the aliens in mistaken identities. This is the biggest UFO-related cult/religion in the world. It holds a philosophy on self-determination in a sexual sense, individuality, and humanitarian efforts. Erotic sensualism groups have been formed by Raëlism members. Their beliefs are said to be featured in the Bible as the “Age of Apocalypse” and “Revelation.”
This is a cult related to Hinduism and is said to have branched off from the Kapalika order in the 1300s. Members of this cult practice cannibalism, and followers tote around cups made from human skulls, called kapalas. They feed off of many frightening things, such as rotted food and animal excrement. Followers aim to achieve the ultimate level of enlightenment. In order to fulfill this goal, they need to carry out raw and vicious rites, ending with consuming rotting human flesh. The Aghori believe that evil does not exist, and think of everything in the world as god. Followers meet in crematories, adorn themselves in human ashes, and eat from the kapalas. They often walk around in the nude and take an ascetic view of life.