Top Ten Most Frightening Cults of All Time

Cults are pretty scary things. The word "cult" even means "a group of people having religious beliefs and practices regarded by others as strange and sinister", or sometimes just some kind of religious sect directed and devoted towards one big belief or thing. Not all cults are bad, actually, mainly they're harmless but sometimes extreme religious groups. However, there are some that aren't exactly harmless, and you definitely never want to meet these frightening groups! Enjoy!
The Top Ten
1 The Order of the Solar Temple

The Order of the Solar Temple is a French cult and religious sect that believed the world would end in the 1990s. They are absolutely horrible and have gotten well known for the mass murder and suicide of many of their members (allegedly 74).

The insane leader of this horrible cult once believed that a random three-month-old baby was the "Antichrist" from the Bible and was meant to stop his religious movements, so he repeatedly stabbed the poor baby with a stake, murdering him. They performed a so-called "last supper" (based on Jesus' last supper before he was crucified), and during that, over 40 people died from bullets, poisoning, and by other means.

Many other members committed horrifying suicides that often resulted in other people's deaths. Children were killed in fires, and so much more. This horrible cult is terrifying (how could you stab a baby?!?), and you never want to meet them, though thankfully they're now basically extinct.

2 The Matamoros Human Sacrifice Cult

This horrible and terrifying Mexican cult is actually quite modern. In 1989, a Texan university student went missing when going near the Mexican border to check out a bar. Four weeks later, people slowly began to find body parts identified as his, starting with his brain. After finding his remains over a few weeks, they began to find more and more bodies, all dismembered similarly, which eventually led them to this cult.

The death and dismemberment of these people were carried out in some kind of religion of this cult, a modified, drug-influenced version of it. In the first couple of days alone, they found over a dozen mutilated bodies, and more followed. The cult members, who were basically drug smugglers using their so-called religion as an excuse, thought that these horrible human sacrifices and dismemberments would make them never be caught by the police and make them bulletproof.

However, when a member was found by the police with bodies buried on his property and lots of weed in his possession, it didn't take long for the rest of the members to be found.

3 Aleph

Aleph is a scary Japanese cult and terrorist organization that thinks the doomsday or end of the world is coming and that they have to prepare for it. That's not uncommon with cults, but these guys take it to another level. If you've heard of the deadly Tokyo Subway Sarin attack back in 1995, it killed over a dozen people and injured over 5,500.

Once you join, there's no leaving the cult unless you want to be hunted down and brutally murdered, which is what happened to all the people who left. They have carried out many assassinations and assassination attempts and once even tried to cause an anthrax epidemic, which thankfully failed. Even worse, they carried out many other chemical attacks, the worst being the one that killed people on the Tokyo Subway.

This is a pretty horrifying cult, and while many of the people involved in these terrorist attacks were captured or even executed, there are likely still branches active today. This group has one of the most ludicrous ideals and goals, and they are extremely frightening to this day.

4 The Superior Universal Alignment

The Superior Universal Alignment is an Argentinian cult that ended up supposedly murdering almost fifty young boys. Like many other cults, they have their own strange beliefs about what divinity and God really are, and this led them to commit some truly horrifying acts.

Most of the murders were committed by this crazy serial killer leader, Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues de Brito. The boys, mainly aged 8 to 14, were found naked, castrated, and with signs of sexual violence, which makes this despicable man seem even worse. Some of the bodies had burns, and some of them even had their eyes gouged out. While it seems like it was just the work of a serial killer, he actually had a cult and used its religious ideals to justify the murder of those young boys.

5 The Manson Family

The Manson Family is an American cult that was active back in the 1960s and 1970s, with an estimated 50-some members. They may not have been super big, like some of the most terrifying cults like ISIS and the Ku Klux Klan, but their cult was crazy. Some of the crimes they committed were pretty awful, and they murdered around a dozen people for strange reasons and injured quite a few more, through shooting, beating, or even stabbing.

They usually left messages using their victims' blood when they were finished, usually something describing the person like "political piggy." Their attacks were seemingly random but mainly targeted African-American individuals. The way they murdered them and left messages on the wall is pretty scary.

6 Eastern Lightning

Eastern Lightning is yet another crazy cult that originated in China, this time believing that Jesus has returned to Earth and is living as a Chinese woman for some reason. Also known as the Church of Almighty God, their insane beliefs and ideals and their whole religion are already scary enough, but what's even worse is how awful some of their actions are and how insane and dangerous some of their members are.

One time, they did a mass kidnapping of most of the leaders of the China Gospel Fellowship. They had some crazy riots during which they committed crimes. Worst of all, one time six members entered a restaurant and asked everyone there forcefully for their phone numbers, probably in the hopes of recruiting more members. One woman, a 37-year-old mother, refused and was beaten to death using mops, a chair, and by being stomped on the head, which is absolutely horrible in every way.

There's a reason why the Chinese media calls it "China's most dangerous cult."

7 NXIVM

This is one you've probably at least heard the name of, as everything happened as recently as October 2020. The fact that it's gained so much attention, some of it good for the cult, is one of the scariest things about it.

NXIVM is an infamous American cult that involves sex trafficking, racketeering, and forced labor, but it claims to just be a multi-level marketing company. Though many of the people near the top of this cult, including leader Keith Raniere, were put behind bars in late 2020 and remain there, Raniere and his associates apparently still manage to direct the cult, and it is still active today.

They falsely advertised their company, which caused people to join. Once they joined, instead of getting what they were promised, they were subjected to illegal psychological experiments and were abused emotionally, physically, and even financially. Sometimes, they were even sex-trafficked.

What makes this cult so scary is that, in today's developed society, they were able to become a well-known company while, in reality, they were abusing and sex trafficking people.

8 The Aghori

The Aghori are an isolated sect or cult that resides in India and have one of the strangest beliefs and scariest rituals, which often involve things happening to people's bodies after they die (usually involving people eating the bodies). They make jewelry and other items from human bones, usually taken without the consent of their owners. They have been known for a long time to be cannibals who eat humans, alive or dead.

They're still around, but thankfully their numbers are quite low (estimated to be about 70). There have been some interesting encounters with them, some of them even filmed, that are quite scary. One time, a guy started to ask a question, and an Aghori said, not joking at all, "Stop talking or I'll bite your head off!"

9 School of the Prophets
10 Scientology
The Contenders
11 Angel's Landing
12 Heaven's Gate
13 Peoples Temple
14 Unification Church
15 The Family (Australia)
16 International Churches of Christ (ICOC)
17 Westboro Baptist Church
18 Love Has Won
19 Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God
20 Universal Medicine
21 Synanon
22 Happy Science
23 True Russian Orthodox Church
24 Sonnenorden (Order of the Sun)
25 Ho No Hana
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