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Five Most Dangerous Cults

Updated on February 2, 2019
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College graduate, freelance writer, cooking aficionado. Political junkie by day and screenwriter by night.

1. The People's Temple

Probably one of the best-known cults in history is The People's Temple. The leader Jim Jones, became a symbol of mind control and brainwashing. Jones was in favor of a socialist lifestyle. Jones and his followers were forced to flee the United States when the government began to investigate them over charges of violence, abuse and illegal cult activity. They ended up settling down in Guyana, which Jones ended up calling Jonestown. This is where Jones convinced his followers to drink the infamous Kool-Aid and gave their lives over to the cult.

2. Branch Davidians

David Koresh was a charismatic leader who lived in a compound in Waco, Texas and warned his followers that the U.S. Government was the enemy of God. Koresh lived in his facility with high powered weapons and taught his followers to fight the authorities that threatened their life at the cult.

Koresh painted himself as the Messiah. In 1994, the ATF ended up going to the compound to investigate claims of sexual abuse of minors and illegal hoarding of weapons. A standoff ended in tragedy as tear gas was tossed into the compound, possibly resulting in fires that led to the death of 76 members. It's still unclear whose to blaim for the tragic fire.

3. Manson Family

One of the deadliest but smallest cults in America was the Manson Family. The group was led by the charismatic Charles Manson. Manson's believers believed that the Beatles' White Album was instructing them how to participate in Helter Skelter. This album led to Charles Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel to kill members of the upper class including actress Sharon Tate.

4. Scientology

While Scientology is not a "doomsday" cult as most others are, it still has a stronghold across the world. Many people have spoken out sharing stories of mind control, financial devastation, and criminal activity. L. Ron Hubbard created the first Scientology office on LaBrea and Sunset in Los Angeles. Well, known followers include Beck, Tom Cruise, and Priscilla Presley. Scientology has facilities all over the world, but its well-known center is the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.

5. Heaven's Gate

Heaven's Gate is probably the best-known cult that truly believes in UFOs and that the Earth was going to be wiped out and "recycled." They believed the only way to escape is to get off the planet. In 1997, when the Hale-Bopp comet appeared, Applewhite believed he saw the sign. He believed a spaceship was waiting for him and ordered the suicides of 38 followers and himself. Their bodies were later discovered in a house in San Diego.

© 2019 Lawrence


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