The Most Evil Cults In The History of Mankind

What is a cult? And how does someone know if the faith they
are following is harmful? …Cults differ from traditional religions
as they tend to be closed off from the world and run by a single charismatic leader. In a cult, everything depends on the personal
relationship with this leader, and followers are often required to separate themselves
from the rest of the world and adhere to strange belief systems and ritualistic behavior. Which cults are the biggest and baddest? That’s what we’ll be looking at today,
in this episode of The Infographics Show: Top 10 Deadliest Cults. In 2012, archaeologists may have discovered
the oldest cult when they unearthed objects that shed light on how one was operating in
Judah at the time of King David. The archaeological excavation was of the 3,000-year-old
fortified city Khirbet Qeiyafa, located about 19 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Researchers uncovered rich assemblages of
pottery, stone, and metal tools, and many art and cult objects. The archaeologists also uncovered shrines
from the time of the early Biblical kings in the Holy Land, providing the earliest evidence
of a cult. “This suggests that the population of Khirbet
Qeiyafa observed two Biblical bans of pork and graven images, and thus practiced a different
cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines,” Garfinkel said in a press release issued by
the university. The discoveries also offer support for the
Biblical depiction of King David, he said. But the claims were also met with skepticism
by other scientists and it’s not easy trying to verify exactly what was going on 3,000
years ago from digging a hole in the ground. So what about cults of recent times? Well, here’s our list of the 10 deadliest
ones. 10. Ho No Hana or Yorokobi Kazoku no Wa – that’s
quite a mouthful, as well as a very dangerous Japanese cult. The 30,000-member Japanese organization was
led by Hogen Fukunaga who claims he can see someone’s past and future by looking at
their feet, according to the Japan Times. Presiding Judge Tsutomu Aoyagi accused Fukunaga
of exploiting people’s fears. “He used shocking words to fuel their concern,
falsely claimed their diseases can be cured through training in his cult, and swindled
exorbitant amounts of money from them,” the judge said as he denounced Fukunaga’s
acts as a vicious crime. Fukunaga extorted $1.3 million from 30 followers
by diagnosing them with serious illnesses with his fake foot therapy. Thankfully this quack was sentenced to 12
years in prison. He should be out by now, but we couldn’t
find out if he has a new line of work. 9. Church of Euthanasia – From spinning records
to cult leader! The Church of Euthanasia was founded in 1992
by software developer and DJ Chris Korda. Korda was inspired by Dadaism, an artistic
movement that emerged during World War I with a mission to “to destroy the hoaxes of reason
and to discover an unreasoned order.” In 1995, Korda created a “Suicide Assistance
Hot-Line” to help Americans kill themselves. The number was displayed on a billboard along
with the message: “Helping you every step of the way! Thousands helped! How about you?” The idea was to play callers pre-recorded
instructions on how to end their life. Thankfully the phone company wouldn’t activate
the line. During the 1990s the church even appeared
on the Jerry Springer Show. The church still has a website, though it’s
hard to tell how dangerous the organization is today, and Korda seems to have moved on
to 3D printing. 8. Order of the Solar Temple – In Geneva in
1984, The Solar Temple was founded by Luc Jouret, a homeopathic physician, and New Age
lecturer Joseph De Mambro. The central teaching of The Solar Temple was
that the Earth would face some sort of apocalyptic event in the mid 1990s, and to prepare for
this event, members believed it was necessary to enter a higher spiritual plane. As part of this process, 53 members of the
Solar Temple were murdered or committed suicide in Canada and Switzerland on October 4 and
5, 1994, and the buildings in which they died were set on fire. The following year, another 16 bodies were
found in the French Alps, also burned in a similar ritual. According to the LA Times, each body had at
least one bullet wound, and at the crime scene, investigators found vials of toxic drugs and
sedatives. 7. Rajneesh or Osho cult – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh,
also known as Osho, began a spiritual movement in 1970, which was an odd mix of capitalism,
meditation, and open sexuality. Osho arrived in America from India and set
up a commune in Oregon. His followers tried to take over the Wasco
county government by poisoning the entire town, contaminating salad bars in local restaurants. Over 750 people fell ill and 45 were hospitalized. Though Osho was the supposed spiritual guru
behind the cult, the lady in the driver’s seat was Ma Anand Sheela, an Indian-born American–Swiss
spokesperson of the Rajneesh movement, who was eventually convicted of multiple attempted
murders. The crazy story was aired on Netflix recently
in a six-part documentary called Wild Wild Country, that shocked viewers with tales of
poison and paranoia. 6. The Children of God – In 1968, David Berg
started The Children of God, a cult that was described in an article for the Guardian as
“devoting themselves to the worship of Jesus Christ and promiscuous sex.” Berg announced that female members should
have sex with men so as to convert them. He named this practice “flirty fishing.” In his 1979 annual report, he stated that
his FFers, or flirty fishers, had “witnessed to over a quarter of a million souls, loved
over 25,000 of them, and won about 19,000 to the Lord.” This promiscuous practice was eventually stopped
due to AIDS-related concerns. “It was religious prostitution,” Berg’s
daughter Deborah said. “I had to quit looking at the man as my
father but as the leader of a worldwide movement that was destroying lives”. David Berg, who is also known as Moses David,
is now living in seclusion, but still communicates to his converts through letter writing. 5. The Manson family – Charles Manson is best
known for being a serial killer, but when you look at cults online, his name consistently
comes up. This is because in 1967, he organized a group
of followers under the name the Manson Family. Though not exactly a religious cult, the so
called Manson Family incorporated ideas from Scientology, Satanism, and various new age
ideologies. Manson preached to his devotees that the United
States was on the brink of an apocalyptic race war known as Helter Skelter, named after
The Beatles’ song. On August 1969, Manson ordered his followers
to carry out a twin set of killings including that of film director Roman Polanski’s pregnant
wife, Sharon Tate, and supermarket executive Leno LaBianca. Manson’s followers committed a series of nine
murders at four locations in July and August 1969. In 1971, he was convicted of first-degree
murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people. Manson served out his life sentence at California
State Prison in Corcoran and died at age 83 in 2017. 4. The Faizrakhmanist movement – A self-proclaimed
prophet had a vision from God. He would build an Islamic caliphate under
the Russian city of Kazan. The digging began in the early 2,000’s and
70 followers soon moved into an eight-level subterranean labyrinth of cramped cells with
no light, heat, or ventilation. It wasn’t until 2012 that Russian police
discovered the underground Islamic sect. According to British newspaper The Guardian,
the leader, Fayzrakhman Sattarov, who at the time was 83-years-old, had his followers living
in “a series of dirty, damp cells on eight different levels underneath a shabby house.” Aged between one and 17, the children rarely
saw the light of day and had never left the property, been to school, or seen a doctor. Sattarov, who declared himself a prophet in
contradiction to the principles of Islam, was charged with negligence, said Irina Petrova,
deputy prosecutor in the provincial capital of Kazan. 3. The Branch Davidians – In 1981, David Koresh,
born Vernon Wayne Howell, went to Waco, Texas, to join the Branch Davidians, and by 1990,
had become their leader. The 1993 standoff between federal agents and
the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, is one of the most well known cult stories,
and it dominated news headlines for months. The FBI was attempting to arrest leader David
Koresh and so raided the group’s 77-acre complex, when they began to exchange heavy
gunfire at the site. Four agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms and six Branch Davidians were killed in the firefight. What happened next was one of the most televised
cult standoffs in history. For 51-days, Koresh and most of his followers
refused to leave the compound. FBI negotiators tried to reason with Koresh
but to no avail. The standoff ended when agents and armored
vehicles raided the building, but a fire- which witnesses claim Koresh set himself-
broke out and engulfed the complex. Only nine people inside survived. Critics called what happened at Waco a massacre. The siege left 75 people dead, many of whom
were children. 2. Heaven’s Gate – Heaven’s Gate was an American
UFO religious cult based in San Diego, California. It was founded in the early 1970s by Marshall
Applewhite, a Texas music teacher, and Bonnie Nettles, a nurse. They met during a stay in a psychiatric institution,
and renamed themselves Bo and Peep. Heaven’s Gate was the first well-known cult
of the Internet era, using this new technology to share their beliefs and recruit followers
online. In March 1997, 39 members, including Applewhite,
wearing black track suits and sneakers, ate apple sauce laced with barbiturates, and washed
it down with vodka. They then lay down with bags over their heads;
wearing purple shrouds. They died believing their bodies would be
transported to a UFO travelling in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet. A strange and dangerous story, Heaven’s
Gate is still one of the most notorious cults of the 20th century. So where do we go from here? Number 1 is where we go…to The People’s
Temple Agricultural Project, better known as “Jonestown”, a remote settlement established
by the Peoples Temple, an American cult under the leadership of reverend Jim Jones, in north
Guyana. His former followers report that the leader
encouraged physical fighting, spying, and the use of fear. At its peak, the Temple had connections with
many left-wing political figures and boasted 20,000 members, though it’s hard to verify
the actual numbers. There’s a great deal to be said about this
cult, but it’s without doubt best known for the events of November 18, 1978, when
918 people died in a mass murder & suicide pact. The mass suicide and killings at Jonestown
resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act prior to
the September 11 terrorist attacks. Of the nearly 1,000 church members who began
the day in Jonestown, only 33 survived to see the next day. Without a doubt, this makes The People’s
Temple Agricultural Project the deadliest cult on our list. So, can you think of other deadly cults not
mentioned here? Have you ever come into contact with a real
cult? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to watch our other video called
Why Was Jack The Ripper Never Found? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time!

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