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Famous Cults of the World

famous cults stone circle

There are famous cults all over the world, with each one having its own set of beliefs and practices. While some cults are relatively small and unknown, others have millions of followers. Here are some of the most famous cults in the world:


The Church of Scientology is a famous cult that was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. The church believes that humans are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature, and they aim to help members regain their memories through various courses and counselling sessions.

Hare Krishnas

The Hare Krishnas are a Hindu sect founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966. They believe in karma, reincarnation, and the worship of the Hindu god Krishna.

Unification Church

The Unification Church is a famous cult founded by Sun Myung Moon in 1954. The church believes that Jesus Christ failed to complete his mission on Earth and that Sun Myung Moon is the second coming of Christ who will unite all people into one global family.

People’s Temple

famous cults jonestown
Photo of the Jonestown Massacre

The People’s Temple was a famous cult led by Jim Jones. The church had over 900 members before they all committed suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. Jones believed that the end of the world was coming, and he wanted to create a socialist utopia where everyone would be equal. Peoples Temple is famous for the Jonestown massacre when over 900 members killed themselves. They drank fruit punch laced with cyanide, and children first were forced to drink it too before adults were allowed to consume it. Jim Jones believed he could see into people’s souls, and he wanted his followers to help him go back home so that they could all live in a socialist utopia

Branch Davidians

The Branch Davidians were a religious sect founded by David Koresh in 1935. They believed that the end of the world was near, and their goal was to prepare for it by building a weapons arsenal and increasing their mass. In 1993, the FBI tried to serve Koresh with an arrest warrant, and they ended up committing a 51-day standoff with members of the sect. The conflict resulted in 76 deaths.

Heaven’s Gate

Heaven’s Gate is another famous cult that was led by Marshall Applewhite. The group claimed that Earth had been visited by aliens who provided spiritual guidance to those willing to join them as they abandoned their bodies through suicide to board a spaceship that would take them away from Earth before its imminent destruction

Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo is famous for carrying out the Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995, which killed 13 people and injured over 6000 others. The cult believed that they needed to carry out the attack to bring about the end of the world.

Manson Family

The Manson Family was a famous cult led by Charles Manson. The group was responsible for a number of murders in the late 1960s, including the famous Tate-LaBianca murders. Manson believed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and that his followers needed to start a race war so that they could rule over the world’s survivors.

Solar Temple

The Solar Temple is a famous cult that believes in the importance of solar energy and extra-terrestrial beings. They have been linked to several suicides and murders, including the deaths of 74 members in Switzerland and France.

Fascinated by cults? Why not read my psychological thriller about a cult, THE TENS.

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