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Religious Cults and Their Beliefs

Updated on August 19, 2014

Religious Cults and their Beliefs

Religious Cults are ridiculed the world over, for their outlandish beliefs, and their even more outlandish behaviour, not only do we ridicule them but we shun them at every opportunity in the hope that they will go away and bother someone else. But there is no doubt that the people who create a religious cult are fantastic business people and know exactly how to market their target followers, without their business acumen, the cults would die a slow death and wouldn't be so popular.

Cults rake in billions of dollars every year from their gullible followers.

How much do you actually know about the cult religions? What do they believe in, apart from the Almighty Dollar?

Below you will find the some religious Cults and their strange beliefs

Sun Myung Moon

The Moonies

The Unification church or as they are better known The Moonies, have a strict moral code.

They believe that Jesus appeared to Sun Myung Moon when he was 15 years old.

Strangest Belief- The Moonies believe that if you spend money in this life, it helps to allieviate the suffering of those in the afterlife.

you can learn more about the Moonies from their website.

Peter and Eileen Caddy

The Findhorn Foundation

Founded in 1962 by Peter and Eileen Caddy and Dorothy Maclean.

the principle of The Findhorn Foundation is to build a self-sufficiant eco and spiritual community, that does everything together, growing food,building houses, and generating electricity via wind turbines.

They also spend alot of time dancing and celebrating together.

Strangest Belief

Followers are expected to live at the foundations house on the Scottish Isle of Iona, but only during the freezing winter months, to renew their Spiritual education.

for more info visit the Findhorn website

Bruce Hales

The Exclusive Brethren

The Exclusive Brethren also known as The Raven Taylor-Hales Bretheren was created in the early 1800s by John Nelson Darby, the current leader is Australian Businessman Bruce Hales.

They believe in Jesus, followers are banned from television, radio and the Internet and members are expected only to do business with other members.

Strangest Belief

Members are only allowed to socialise activly when they are celebrating the Lord's supper.

Although they don't allow members to use the internet The Exclusive Brethren do have a website.

David Miscavige

The Church Of Scientology

David Miscavige is Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center

Scientology addresses the spirit and believes that man is more than a product of his genes. Believers join together in pursuing the "Ultimate reality".

Each follower has a one on one session with a Scientology auditor to help locate that persons "Area of concern".

Strangest Belief

During Childbirth, the mother should be silent because it is believed that the noises evoke bad memories when the child gets older.

visit the Scientology website for more info

The Chaos Star

Chaos Magick

Chaos Magick was founded by Austin Osman Spare, Ray Sherman and Peter Carrol.

Chaos Magicians - Believe that reality can be altered through the power of will, seeing belief as a state of mind.

Strangest Belief

Chaos Magicians believe that they can help bring about the change that they desire through Orgasm.

The Chaos Magick website

Mario Rodriguez Cobos

The Humanist Movement

The Humanist Movement - was founded in the 1960s by Argentinian Mario Rodriguez Cobos.

The aim of the movement is to overcome suffering through social and mental changes in the present world. All followers have to undertake a strict non-violence vow.

Strangest Belief

That money has become the most important thing in the world, creating violence and injustice, meaning that people no longer have the possibility to live as decent human beings.

The Humanist website

There are literally thousands of Religious cults out there each with their own set of beliefs and different ways of living their lives. they are big business and the Almighty Dollar keeps rolling in.


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    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      And now the cult mentality is tripping into politics a little too much - guess they figured out that sometimes the herd mentality has other uses. It's hard to believe how this can happen, but it sure can and has!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Some of these I knew about, some I did not. Any belief that recruits others, becomes an obsession, and takes over someone's life is a cult. Religion has caused more wars down through recorded history, than any other cause. If I believe something, why can I not just believe it? But do I have the right to mesmerize and persuade others into believing the same thing? And if they don't, do I have the right to treat as less than human...or in the case of Jim Jones and Jonestown, cause them all to commit suicide? For me, my religion is within myself, and the oldest religion in the world is the worship of nature. That sounds a whole lot better to me than all the mumbo-jumbo these cult leaders spout. Thanks for this list and lots of things I didn't know.

    • profile image

      concerned parent 

      8 years ago

      I believe their is another cult to be on the lookout for in Tucson, a member of it by the of Art, who preys on the spiritually vulnerable. He preaches the Kingdom of the Beast, and the serpent seed. He became involved with my grown children who just moved out on their own. I was over for dinner one night, and he brought over this literature dictating his beliefs. It was all over this beast kingdom, ect..ver.y dark, gloomy and scary. Fear motivation stuff. He put in a movie about the holocaust, I am a jew, but it was a very scary movie, and only a reminder of darker times. He constantly involves himself with the kids daily lives-obsessivley. Hes much older, my first thought was pedifile, but hes even welcomed hiself and followers into their home uninvited, when they left door unlocked. My youngest daughter has begun to complain that he disturbs her, and calls her about their personal life. Its so scary to watch this and feel helpless because I have to wonder why my other child does see through it?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative. I'm not sure why but I'm also drawn to this kind of topic. I think what really makes cult different from religious group, is the weirdness or the oddity of some rituals. Stuff which isn't normally accepted by the society or by the general public.

      I'm not also religious because I believe that we shouldn't confine ourselves to certain ideas, beliefs or dogmas. Sometimes, the very that unites us is also the thing that divides us.

      I can say that I still have a good relationship with the supreme being eventhough I'm not active in the church. Also, I see no wrong in joining any religion as long as it will benefit you in terms of moral, spiritual and personal development. If joining a cult or religion will just give you headache or trouble, then why join? That's why we have brains, to use in making decisions and choices. Whatever your choice, it is your sole responsibility to face the consequence that comes along with it.

      Well, life is simple for me. It's the people that complicates it. Thank you for a very interesting topic. Be blessed everyone :)

    • profile image

      yo mama 

      8 years ago

      this was very helpful and informational.....thank you

    • profile image

      buda ninja 

      9 years ago

      i think the cult are very interesting but i would NEVER JOIN ONE they are very odd

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think this guy is very close. However, a cult is total control. They also teach that every 'religion" is a cult. Everytime, they describe themselves. Odd, eh?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      As a member of the Humanist Movement,listed above,from my experience, I'd say the info you have is not accurate. It is definitely not a big business.

      I've never taken a vow. But what's the problem with non-violence? The world could use more of that.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm new to the wonderful world of hubbing and I stumbled across your article because, for some inexplicable reason, cults interest me A LOT!!! Weird, I know. This was very informative. I thought I was pretty well read on the subject but you listed some cults I hadn't heard of. Thanks.

    • profile image

      mia pizzacalla  

      9 years ago

      thanks jimmythejock and i find your comment very interesting frogyfish cheers

    • menith profile image


      10 years ago from Helena, Montana

      I noticed some one in an earlier post asking what make s these groups cults. The popular definition of cult would include only fringe groups with really strange ideas like drinking poisoned cool-aid or dancing with poisonous snakes, etc. But in actuality the definition of cult in academia is mainly concerned with the number of adherents tot he religion. So, in truth, all religions are cults at one time or another in their history. Yes, that even includes Christianity. I forget what number of adherents are needed to go from being a cult to a religion, but there is an semi-official number.

      Otherwise, it is also dependent on the establishment of the state. If the religion were started in a place with an already established and powerful religion, then id would be a cult. At least by the establishments definition.

      My main point is that cults are not by definition evil. Yes, there are many that are or have been, but not all. As I said before, every religion has been a cult at one time. In the early days of Christianity, those people were considered to be in a cult. The same goes for the beginnings of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and many many others.

    • frogyfish profile image


      10 years ago from Central United States of America

      I wondered what this hub would be...very informative and somewhat sad to read of some of those 'restrictions', and the grasp they can obtain on people. I too agree, they are basically from evil, not God.

    • profile image

      Todd D. 

      10 years ago


      I dont' know if I sent this or not. I just got through reading your article on the Internet about the people who predict and fail concerning the end of the world and the Lord's coming. I agree with you totally in that these false prophets are constantly wrong and leading the people away from the Lord.

      I know, because I was in such a cult in the 70' s and early 80' s in Tucson , Arizona .

      They were heavily into the end-times and the leader ("the Prophet") had set a date for the Lord's coming for June 1981 and the end of the world for 1988. He based it on the 40 year generation starting with the restoration of Israel as a nation. They had other strange doctrines of devils such as to have nothing to do with your family if they don't believe like they do and that everything is a demon. This put you in a demonic sort of consciousness.

      But, primarily, they had you living for a day in the future that would never come and you were left with nothing after forsaking all and the Lord didn't show up. You were always being driven to "get in the word", "get in the word", which was only their interpretation. And they wanted you to be full time in the ministry to get prepared for the Lord's coming. So, it was all new to me and I didn't know it was a cult, but that really what these groups are. And they carry a heavy demon of religion, etc. with them.

      You can see more about what I am talking about under the heading "220 dates for the end of the world!Datesetters!" and-in-the-Arizona-Daily-Star(June-1981).



      Todd DeFrank

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      the only difference from a cult and a religion is an organized religion is the tax-exempt status. people will cling to any belief to soothe their woe

    • mandybeau profile image


      11 years ago

      No family member, but I do know of one teenager, that could take her families weird religion no longer, and no she wasn't Exclusive brethren, but another Cult.

      She decided to end it on her 20th Birthday, it is sad that people can actually believe in crap like this. Something that does this to a persons, mind, is not Christian, or God fearing,.

      My belief are that these Cults are solely money driven, and definitely from the Darker side.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Good article, but your information on 'chaos magick' is inaccurate. Chaos Magic (the 'K' added on is primarily a Crowleyan device which refers usually to ritual magick)is in itself is a set of occult techniques and paradigms. There is no cult in existence that goes under the alias 'chaos magick', and there never has been.

      However, there ARE orders (groups) that practice chaos magic, the most popular of these being the illuminates of thanateros, founded in 1978 by Ray Sherwin and Peter Carroll. The techniques of chaos magic are gathered from a variety of sources but the greatest influence is from the modern magician and artist, Austin Osman Spare. The IOT only charges members a small fee for hiring out venues for meetings, no one individual makes any money out of the organisation (which is more than can be said for churches, sports clubs, martial arts classes etc, similar organisations that bring practitioners together in a hierarchical structure).

      Furthermore, the higher grades (the magus and adept) each have an appointed 'jester' - the jesters role is to poke fun and criticise them, in order to stop them taking themselves too seriously, and from the lower grade members doing the same. I think you would be very hard pressed to find any other institution anywhere, in which a similar process is employed :)

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Interesting....aside from Moonies and Scientology, these others I hadn't heard of before.

      I agree w/chabrenas' comment below:

      "Neat collection, Jimmy - and good to have the links to the asociated sites. That lets readers make up their own minds."

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      12 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Good stuff, jimmy. Quite interesting.

    • Social Conscience profile image

      Social Conscience 

      12 years ago from Earth - Where are YOU from?

      A very interesting hub! I have links to follow. I'll be back!

    • Whitney05 profile image


      12 years ago from Georgia

      This is very interesting. I recently watched a "monk" episode in which he joined a cult to help solve a murder. They made him give them all his money. It was crazy.

    • chabrenas profile image


      12 years ago from middle of France

      Neat collection, Jimmy - and good to have the links to the asociated sites. That lets readers make up their own minds.

      On the question 'what constitutes a cult?' : My experience is that a movement is more likely to be labelled a cult by those whose own beliefs or culture are threatened by it. Hence just about everyone will call a movement that encourages mass suicide a cult, but a few mainstream Christian religions, and some governments, consider organisations like Jehovah's Witnesses to be cults. The Romans considered the early Christians to be a seditious movement - with good reason.

      I used to live just outside Findhorn, and knew some of the 'external' faces of the Findhorn Foundation, but plenty of locals eyed them with suspicion, spreading rumours about LSD sandwiches, etc.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      12 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Lds-Nana -

      I commented here because I have never (till now) seen humanists described as a cult. In fact, it is so out of order that I strongly suspect Jimmy was being tongue-in-cheek. I certainly hope so.

      Defending your own freedom when it is attacked is natural, even if the defence is a Ghandi-style show of non violent non-acquiescence.

      Aggressive, politically motivated foreign policy, as practised by the present regime in US, cannot be called 'defence' of anything at all, and is inexcusable.

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 

      12 years ago from Southern California


      Bringing up the idea, that some or all (?) those who are labeled 'cults' vow to not do violence... which is great, but what about war, to ensure freedom from bondage. I know that many, if not most wars, have been over power - over someone else, not necessarily defense for freedom.

      The United States, initially fought to have freedom. Is this a worthy cause to enact violence on others who would take away the freedom of others?

      I believe that to be free, is one of the greatest blessings in our lives. Many are not.

      Jimmythejock -

      What more can you tell us, about 'why' those who join a 'cult' (still have a hard time labeling anyone) refuse or vow to never engage in this way?

      Don't we all pray, that none of our sons and daughter are sent to war, for anything less than our freedom?



    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmy the jock 

      12 years ago from Scotland

      Thankyou everyone who has commented, I wonder though if anyone of you have ever been or had a family member who was in a "cult" and how it affected the people around you or them......jimmy

    • Rudra profile image


      12 years ago

      Its really amazing how people get carried away.

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      12 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Jimmy - risky territory, because one guy's religion is another guy's cult. I'm not sure 'humanist' belongs in this round up. To quote you -

      The aim of the movement is to overcome suffering through social and mental changes in the present world. All followers have to undertake a strict non-violence vow.

      Strangest Belief

      That money has become the most important thing in the world, creating violence and injustice, meaning that people no longer have the possibility to live as decent human beings.

      - There's not too much to argue with there, is there?

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 

      12 years ago from Southern California

      Jimmythejock -

      I will admit... on my way over here, I was sure I would find another article about Mormons being a cult.

      I just wanted to say, thank you, and that I appreciate the fact, that you did not.

      Sorry for misjudging you. That is as wrong, as those that judge mormons to be a cult. It is simply because of assumption and a lack of good information.

      I like writing on the Hub, and hopefully I can add to a better understanding and perhaps, even an appreciation for people of sincere faith.



    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      12 years ago from Chennai

      I was religious once, among other things, but such fanatacism led me to become just spiritual and shun religion.

      Thank you, Jimmy, for putting this bunch together. :)

    • Poetic Knight profile image

      Poetic Knight 

      12 years ago from Ottawa

      I have always felt that religion is the greatest destructive force in all the world. Faith (whoever that belief is in) is a great comfort, strength and joy in a persons life. Religion tears almost everything that is good in the world in some form or another. I know what I beleive and I am firm in that belief. I do not need a church or their doctrine to help me know what I believe. Yes it was religion that got me to learn about how I think and what my faith is but it was also a combination of a few religions that helped me along the way. However as I looked closer I found too too many inconsistancies and hypocracies for my liking. So I do not nor shall I ever be associated with any formal religion thank you God! I like this site and hope you add to it.


    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Yeah, Jimmy, these cults have got to go. Great hub, Jimmy! - Reverend wajay_47, Church of the Open Bottle.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Well I can only say, the comments by Brandy Owens reflects the ignorance of the general Public, everyone has something to say but nobody thinks of doing any research, to establish what constitutes a cult and what is a religion, and what is true warship, Jimmy is not making anyone laugh, he is just pointing out how stupid some people are, they have got no logical thinking ability and are very unreasonable.

    • Brandy Owens profile image

      Brandy Owens 

      12 years ago from Wherever life takes me

      Jimmy: Ah, thanks for clarification. Sorry for being testy, it's just a pet peeve when people make fun of others' beliefs. I probably came across differently than I meant to; I mostly wondered why these specific beliefs were written as cults and not others, but that's probably for space and time.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmy the jock 

      12 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Stacie, I hope you will meet Tom one of these days.....jimmy

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmy the jock 

      12 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Brandy, when I write to "have a laugh" or for readers to laugh, I write jokes, poetry, or amusing stories, Although I am not a religious person, I respect other peoples beliefs and religion. This article gives a brief description of the different religions and their beliefs, they are factual and all of the information that i have written here can be found on the individual websites that I have linked.

      take care.....jimmy

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      12 years ago from Seattle

      Luckily I am too broke to be attractive to any cults. However, there is a Church of Scientology two blocks from where I live. I always look in the windows as I pass, wondering if Tom Cruise is in town.

    • Brandy Owens profile image

      Brandy Owens 

      12 years ago from Wherever life takes me

      While I agree that cults aren't good in any way, what makes most of these cults? Yes, there are people who demand tributes or whatever, and live extremely hypocritically (ie, saying that money is evil but that everyone has to give all their money to the person in charge), but then one has to wonder; what's the difference between cults and religions? In a way, a few religions that call themselves a religion (not going to get into which ones) are actually cults in the way they demean everyone, yet they're considered a religion by everyone, not a cult.

      Most of this is best to just agree to disagree; if someone's very existence depends on what the people in their religion/cult believe, then it's pathetic, but then there are plenty of people who actually think for themselves and still believe in similar concepts. For instance, with the chaos magicians, the belief that change can be done through orgasm isn't new. It's been said/thought/believed for thousands of years. In fact, there's an entire separate religion that's been around for a long time that also believes that. What would make them a cult is if they use religious belief in order to get others to have sex with them. If they believe that you can just have sex with anyone you feel like, even masturbate, that's not cult tactics. The Humanist movement does make sense - people have always done evil things in the pursuit of wealth. However, what really would make them a cult is if he demands that others give their money and belongings to them, not their beliefs.

      It seems almost like the entire point of this hub was to make fun of people's beliefs, not to discuss any actual cults. Aside from that, there are tons of other cults out there that are a lot more dangerous than just believing in something that others don't.

      Sorry but it just seems like you posted this just to have a laugh.

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      Jimmy the jock 

      12 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks Patty I am not really a religious person myself, but i did enjoy researching this one. people have strange beliefs indeed.....jimmy

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you jimmy; this is a very informative hub.


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