8 Craziest Cults

1/4/2007
Misc
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Tags: famous cults, cargo cults
     

1
Raëlism: scientifically advanced humanoid extraterrestrials created humans

Raëlism is the religious, naturalist belief system promoted by the Raëlian Movement, an atheist UFO religion founded in 1970s which focuses on the social ideas of sexual self-determination, individualism, and humanitarianism in the spirit of sharing and responsibility, which, they claim, will bring a new age of wealth and peace guided by those with greater intelligence, as predicted by main religions. They also believe in scientifically advanced humanoid extraterrestrials known by our primitive ancestors as Elohim (or "those who came from the sky"). Raëlism espouses belief that Elohim synthesized life on Earth through mastery of genetic engineering, and that human cloning and "mind transfer" are mechanisms by which eternal life may be achieved.

According to Raël, a message explaining our origins and future was dictated to him in December 1973, during personal meetings with a 25,000-year-old extraterrestrial named Yahweh who came in a UFO. The story goes that after terraforming the Earth, human beings from another planet — the "Elohim" (Hebrew for the word "God" as found in the Hebrew Old Testament, which the extraterrestrial himself translated as meaning those who came from the sky in ancient Hebrew) — created humans and all life on earth using DNA manipulation and genetic engineering. The message dictated to Raël during his encounter with the Elohim states that the Elohim contacted about forty people to act as their prophets on Earth, among which are those who founded the world's major religions (Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, etc.)

The Raëlians believe, furthermore, that the Elohim will visit the earth officially when enough of its population is peaceful and come to know about them. They believe this is foretold in all religious texts - the predicted "Age of Apocalypse" or "Revelation" (unveiling of the truth).




2
Cargo Cults: manufactured western goods ('cargo') have been created by ancestral spirits

Cargo cults are groups of religious movements in Melanesia, in the Southwestern Pacific, which believe that manufactured western goods ('cargo') have been created by ancestral spirits and intended for Melanesian people. Cargo Cult members believe that white people, however, have unfairly gained control of these objects. Cargo cults thus focus on overcoming what they perceive as undue 'white' influences by conducting rituals similar to the white behavior they have observed, presuming that the ancestors will at last recognize their own and send them cargo. Thus a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will at some future time give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.

The most famous examples of Cargo Cults have been the airstrips, airports, and radios made out of coconuts and straw. The cult members built them in the belief that the structures would attract transport aircraft full of cargo. Believers stage "drills" and "marches" with twigs for rifles and military-style insignia and "USA" painted on their bodies to make them look like soldiers.

The classic period of cargo cult activity was in the years during and after World War II. The vast amounts of war matériel that were airdropped into these islands during the Pacific campaign against the Empire of Japan necessarily meant drastic changes to the lifestyle of the islanders. Manufactured clothing, canned food, tents, weapons and other useful goods arrived in vast quantities to equip soldiers—and also the islanders who were their guides and hosts. With the end of the war the airbases were abandoned, and "cargo" was no longer being dropped. In attempts to get cargo to fall by parachute or land in planes or ships again, islanders imitated the same practices they had seen the soldiers, sailors and airmen use. They carved headphones from wood, and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers. They waved the landing signals while standing on the runways. They lit signal fires and torches to light up runways and lighthouses. The cultists thought that the foreigners had some special connection to their own ancestors, who were the only beings powerful enough to produce such riches. Over the last seventy-five years most cargo cults have petered out. Yet, the John Frum cult is still active on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu.

3
Heaven's Gate: committed suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship

Heaven's Gate was a secretive New Age religion. Knowledge of their practices is limited. Upon joining the group, members often sold their possessions in order to break their attachments with earthly existence. For many years the group lived in isolation in the western United States. Members often traveled in pairs and met with other members for meetings or presentations they gave to recruit new members. The members of the cult added "-ody" to the first names they adopted in lieu of their original given names (i.e. "Elaine-ody"). Group members gave up their material possessions and lived a highly ascetic lifestyle devoid of many indulgences. The group was tightly knit and everything was shared communally. Six of the male members of the cult voluntarily underwent castration as an extreme means of maintaining the ascetic lifestyle.

Thirty-eight cult members, plus Applewhite, the cult's leader, were found dead in a rented mansion in the upscale San Diego community of Rancho Santa Fe, California on March 26, 1997. The mass death of the Heaven's Gate group is one of the most widely known examples of cult suicide. In preparing to kill themselves, members of the cult drank citrus juices to ritually cleanse their bodies of impurities. Their suicide, conducted in shifts, was accomplished by ingestion of phenobarbital mixed with vodka, along with plastic bags secured around their heads to induce asphyxiation. Each member, for reasons unknown, carried five dollars in quarters. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants along with brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes and purple armbands reading "Heaven's gate away team".


4
Ho No Hana: the foot reading cult

Ho No Hana Sanpogyo (Ho No Hana Sanpogyo) is a Japanese sect often called the "foot reading cult." It was called this because its founder, Hogen Fukunaga, claimed he could diagnose illness by examining people's feet. He founded the group in 1987 after an alleged spiritual event where he claimed to have realized he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha. The group at one time claimed 30,000 members. However, Fukunaga charged $900 for the foot readings and a suspicion arose that he used the money to benefit himself. He was accused of swindling money from housewives and had to pay over a million dollars in damages. Now, Ho No Hana changed it's name to "Yorokobi Kazoku no Wa".


5
Aum Shinrikyo: carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subways

Aum Shinrikyo was a Japanese religious group created by Shoko Asahara. In 1995 the group was reported as having 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide. The core of Aum doctrine are Buddhist scriptures included in the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

The cult started attracting controversy in the late 1980's with accusations of deception of recruits, and of holding cult members against their will and forcing members to donate money. A murder of a cult member who tried to leave is now known to have taken place in February 1989. The cult is known to have considered assassinations of several individuals critical of the cult.

On the morning of 20th March 1995, Aum members released sarin in a co-ordinated attack on five trains in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters, seriously harming 54 and affecting 980 more. Prosecutors allege that Asahara was tipped off about planned police raids on cult facilities by an insider, and ordered an attack in central Tokyo to divert attention away from the group. At the cult's headquarters in Kamikuishiki on the foot of Mount Fuji, police found explosives, chemical weapons and biological warfare agents, such as anthrax and Ebola cultures, and a Russian MIL Mi-17 military helicopter. There were stockpiles of chemicals which could be used for producing enough sarin to kill four million people. After Asahara's arrest and trial, the cult re-grouped under the new name of Aleph in February 2000.


6
Solar Temple: killed a baby who was "the Anti-Christ"

The Order of the Solar Temple was a secret society based upon the new age myth of the continuing existence of the Knights Templar. According to historians, OTS was started by Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret in 1984 in Geneva. The two convinced their followers that they were members of the 14th Century Christian Order of the Knights Templar during a previous life, and that Di Mambro's daughter Emanuelle was "the cosmic child", and that she was the result of a virgin birth. She would lead them after death to a planet which was said to orbit around the star Sirius, but in order to do so they would have to die in a fire, as was prophesied for the end of the world.

In October 1994 an infant, aged three months, was killed at the group's centre in Morin Heights, Quebec. The baby had been stabbed repeatedly with a wooden stake. It is believed that Di Mambro ordered the murder, because he identified the baby as the Anti-Christ described in the Bible. He believed that the Anti-Christ was born into the cult in order to prevent Di Mambro from succeeding in his spiritual aim.

A few days later, Di Mambro and twelve followers performed a ritual Last Supper. A few days after that, apparent mass suicides and murders were conducted at two villages in Switzerland, and at Morin Heights — 15 inner circle members committed suicide with poison, 30 were killed by bullets or smothering, and 8 others were killed by other causes. Many of the bodies when found were drugged, possibly to prevent the members from objecting. The buildings were then set on fire by timer devices, purportedly as one last symbol of the group's purification. In western Switzerland, 48 members of a sect died in another apparent mass murder-suicide. Many of the victims were found in a secret underground chapel lined with mirrors and other items of Templar symbolism. The bodies were dressed in the order's ceremonial robes and were in a circle, feet together, heads outward, most with plastic bags tied over their heads; they had each been shot in the head. It is believed that the plastic bags were a symbol of the ecological disaster that would befall the human race after the OTS members moved on to Sirius.




7
Creativity Movement: "Inferior colored races are our deadly enemies"

The Creativity Movement is a racialist, and White-supremacist organization that advocates a "White Religion" called Creativity. Though "Anti-Christian" in a contemporary sense, the Creativity Movement is a surrogate of Positive Christianity, and is guided by elements of a pseudo-Christian racial Manichaeanism. The group also denies the Holocaust, embraces racial neo-eugenics with a religious mission that is dedicated to the "survival, expansion and advancement of the White Race exclusively."

The organization was initially founded as the Church of the Creator by Ben Klassen in early 1973. In the summer of 1993, Klassen committed suicide. It was later led by Matthew F. Hale until his incarceration on January 8, 2003 for plotting with FBI informant Anthony Evola to murder a federal judge. On July 22, 2002, two members of the organization were found guilty in federal court of plotting to blow up Jewish and Black landmarks around Boston, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to spark a "racial holy war."

Some of the "16 Commandments of Creativity":
  • It is our sacred goal to populate the lands of this earth with White people exclusively.
  • Inferior colored races are our deadly enemies, and that the most dangerous of all is the Jewish race.
  • Destroy and banish all Jewish thought and influence from society.


    8
    Chen Tao: "God would be seen on channel 18 all across North America"

    Chen Tao is, or perhaps was, the name for a UFO group that originated in Taiwan. It was started by Hon-Ming Chen. He was born in 1955, but claimed to be atheist until a religious experience in 1992. They believed that the Earth went through five tribulations going back to the age of the dinosaurs. Each of these tribulations were survived by beings living in North America who were rescued by God in a flying saucer. Added to that they believed the solar system is 4.5 trillion years old or roughly 300 times the age mainstream science gives for the entire Universe. Added to this they believe(d) that the solar system was created by a nuclear war.

    The group is best known for a highly publicized, and failed, prophecy in 1998. Chen predicted that at 12:01 a.m. on March 25, 1998 God would be seen on channel 18 all across North America. Whether you had cable, or what channel you had for 18, was irrelevant to God's appearance on that channel. However when March 25 came and went without the predicted appearance the group became confused. Chen offered to be stoned or crucified for the event, but no one took him up on this offer. He had earlier made a false prediction of finding a "Jesus of the West" who would look like Abraham Lincoln.


    Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
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