WEIRD Cults That You Won't Believe
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6 Full Circle
Do you remember the 10 Things I Hate About You? It famously featured Andrew Keegan, who spellbound every teen girl in the 90s with his bad boy good looks. Well, now he’s using those charms to be a cult leader.
Keegan founded Full Circle in 2014 and within the year, it came under fire for some seriously weird practices, including producing and distributing some shady sort of kombucha. I guess even 90’s teen heartthrobs can become a cult leader in the right circumstances.
5 Ho No Hana Sanpogyo
The Ho No Hana sect is a new “religious movement” founded by someone who calls himself “His Holiness” Hogen Fukunaga. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as “that foot reading cult”, because their founder claimed that he could make medical diagnoses and fortunetellings by examining people’s feet. At one point Ho No Hana claimed around 30,000 members but many believe this to be an inflated number.
The Ho No Hana sect would often make pretty similar conclusions for the people who got their feet read by them. Usually it was that the lives, health, or finances of those attending would quickly decline unless they attended a seminar held by the cult. Attendance to which would cost 2.25 million yen or 20,000 dollar. Coincedentally, His Holiness Hogen Fukunaga realized that he was a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and could read feet when he was 24 and had around 500 million yen of debt on his shoulders.
4 Chen Tao
The Chen Tao or True Way Cult was founded by Hon-Ming Chen in the 90s. The fundamental beliefs combnie buddhism, Taoism, crazy UFO-related human origin stories and believe that there demons disguised as humans acting as bad influences to “normal people”.
The True Way Cult has origins in Taiwan, but it began as a part of another religious group that had originally started in 1955. It was in the mid 90’s when Hon-Ming Chen decided to break with the group and move to Texas with other members to start their own divergent group. Perhaps what they are most known for was a millennial prophecy that claimed god would be seen on all TVs across America on March 31, 1998 exactly at 12:01 A.M. Of course, this prophecy did not come true. Among other strange beliefs they held, the True Way Cult believed that two young boys in the cult were reincarnations of Buddha and Jesus Christ himself and that they would find a quite “Jesus of the West” that looked like Abraham Lincoln.
When Hon-Ming Chen’s millennial prophecy did not come true in 1998, the cult dissolved, falling a part due to a lack of faith in their leader’s spiritual abilities.
3 Order of the Solar Temple
Claiming to be based on the ideals of the secret society of the Knights Templar, the Order of the Solar Temple was formed in 1984 by Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret. The Order of the Solar Temple believed that things in the world were wrong and that there was not enough emphasis on spirituality in most of society. They believed that they would be apart of a great transition for humanity through the second coming of christ through a solar god-king. Yeah, it doesn’t really make much sense to us either.
In the mid 90s, actions of the cult began to escalate from strange teachings in secret to more dire actions. The lives of a few dozen were lost through several different actions from 1994 to 1997, many of them justifying the deaths with spiritual mumbo jumbo. This would lead them to become classified as a criminal organization rather than a religious group.
2 Aum Shinrikyo
This cult was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984 in Japan. They took on an accumulative belief system that combined parts of Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Hinduism and the writings of Nostradamus and concepts from Yoga. As you can tell, Aum Shinrikyo was a strange group. They also of course had a doomsday prophecy that predicted a world conflict that would be instigated by the United States of America. They believed that this would mean lethal consequences for pretty much everyone on Earth except those who subscribed to the Aum Shinrikyo beliefs for some reason.
While the infamous Subway Sarin Attack was conducted by a few members of the Aum Shinrikyo, it was not orchestrated by the cult as a whole. Still, this lead them to being classified by a terrorist organization by many countries including Russia, Canada, the United States, and even Kazakhstan. In 2007 the cult split into two groups: Aleph and Hikari no Wa. Both of which are still under surveillance in one way or another for their dangerous beliefs.