back to top

Scary Wikipedia Pages About Cults That Are For Adults Only

Manson is only the start.

Posted on

Disclaimer: This post contains highly disturbing content.

1. The Branch Davidians

Public Domain / Via, FBI, Public Domain / Via

The most famous member of this cult was probably David Koresh. Koresh and his followers were part of the famous Waco siege at their compound near Waco, Texas — there was an intense gun battle with the ATF and the FBI ending in a huge fire that killed around 80 members, including children. The siege lasted 51 days.

2. Heaven's Gate

Via, ABC / Via

On March 26, 1997 police found the bodies of 39 members after a mass suicide in a San Diego mansion. They were found wearing Nike Decades shoes (which were discontinued as a result), identical black shirts and sweat pants, and their bodies covered by a square purple cloth.

3. Rajneesh movement


Popularized by the recent Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, the Rajneeshees (followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) founded a commune called Rajneeshpuram in central Oregon during the '80s. They fought with locals for many years, and there was even an internal assassination attempt on Bhagwan's personal doctor.



Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Presenting itself as a multi-level marketing organization that "offers personal and professional development" seminars, NXIVM is widely reported to actually be a front for an alleged sex cult. You may have heard about it in the news lately with the arrest of Smallville star Allison Mack.

5. The Manson Family

Hulton Archive / Getty

Famously led by Charles Manson, the Manson Family came to national attention after the murder of actress Sharon Tate in 1969. Manson himself was not there during the Tate murders, but he was the one who ordered them.

6. Peoples Temple

David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images

Found by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana, the cult is best known for the mass murder/suicide at Jonestown (the Jonestown Massacre) in Guyana. Over 900 people died, making it the largest loss of American civilian life in a single, non-natural, event (until the September 11 attacks).

7. The Ant Hill Kids

CITV / Via

At its peak, the group had 40 members, including children fathered by Thériault, their self-proclaimed prophet. He would punish members who strayed by making them break their own legs with sledgehammers, cut off the toes of other followers, and sit on lit stoves. He was later arrested, received a life sentence, and was killed in prison by a cell mate.


8. Blackburn Cult

Gabriel Hackett / Getty Images

Founded by a mother-daughter duo in 1922, the two believed they could communicate with angels and resurrect the dead. They had been accused of killing one member in an oven, poisoning another, and making many others disappear. The cult disbanded when May Otis Blackburn, the founder, was arrested for grand theft.

9. Aum Shinrikyo

Afp / AFP / Getty Images, Junji Kurokawa / AFP / Getty Images

Founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984, this is a Japanese doomsday cult that is still active today. The cult carried out a number of deadly sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo during the mid ‘90s. The attack in 1995 killed 13 people and left more than 6,000 injured with some still experiencing after-effects over 20 years later.

10. Order of the Solar Temple

Damien Meyer / AFP / Getty Images, Andre Pichette / AFP / Getty Images

Formed in 1984, this “secret society” claimed to be based on the ideals of the Knights Templar. They are best known for the murder-suicide of 74 of its members from 1994-97 — events included the murder of an infant, a ritual “Last Supper,” and mass suicides in a variety of locations.

11. True Russian Orthodox Church

Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP / Getty Images, Afp / AFP / Getty Images

This religious group rejected processed food and considered bar codes “satanic symbols.” In the late ‘00s they lived in a cave, but slowly emerged over the course of 2008 as a result of the cave collapsing, possible suicide attempts, and toxic fumes from two dead cult members.


12. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

Alexander Joe / AFP / Getty Images

The group was formed after its two founders claimed to see visions of the Virgin Mary. They followed the Ten Commandments to a T. In 2000, 330 members were killed after a fire broke out in one of their churches. Whether this was a mass suicide or murder is still unclear.

13. The Family

Newspix / Getty Images

Led by yoga teacher and self-proclaimed "living god" Anne Hamilton-Byrne, this 500 member group set out to "build a perfect race through a collection of children." This included dying the kids hair bleach blonde and having them injected with LSD as part of an initiation. Many of the children in the cult were allegedly taken as newborns from hospitals.

14. Ripper Crew

CBS / Via

This Satanic cult targeted women in the Chicago area during the early 1980s. They are suspected of kidnapping, raping, mutilating, and murdering as many as 20 women. Thomas Kokoraleis, a member of the cult said the group performed cannibalistic and sexual rituals and called the ring leader's place a satanic chapel. Thomas is set to be released from prison soon.

15. Source Family

Drag City / Via

This group was founded in the 1970s by Father Yod, who had previously been accused of murder twice. He and his commune resided in the Hollywood Hills and had 140 members. Aside from leading the commune, Yod also ran one of Los Angeles' most popular health food restaurants known as The Source. At the time of his death, he had 13 wives. Cabo Cantina now stands where The Source restaurant used to be.

16. The Narcosatanists/Matamoros

Lions Gate

Led by Adolfo Constanzo, they would often team up with drug cartels and perform spells that would ensure the cartel's success and grant them protection. They began by sacrificing animals during their rituals, but then eventually moved onto human sacrifices. They are believed to have killed 15 people and run what one witness calls "a human slaughterhouse." Their most famous killing and mutilation is that of spring breaker Mark Kilroy in 1989.

17. The Holy Rollers

Carrite / Wikipedia / Public Domain / Via

A cult popular with women, The Holy Rollers believed their founder, Edmund Creffield, could receive messages from God and prepare them for the apocalypse. He used sleep and food deprivation to keep his followers in line with his beliefs. Creffield also tried to seduce the women in order to find "the second mother of Christ." He was later killed by the brother of two of his followers. That follower then took revenge and killed her brother.