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Human beings are impressionable that’s for certain, most people want to find a place where they feel like home, where they belong, with like-minded people, all working towards a similar goal.

When someone offers them a purpose, introduces them to a group, makes the group of people a cult, a dangerous one. But it’s not always that simple, the person who lets them in each other’s life chooses who stays and who gets in. You have to work to get in and have to exactly do what the leader wants, as the leader of the Manson family, Charles Manson said:

“When I stand up on the mountain and I say “Do it!”, it gets done, and if it doesn’t get done, then I move on it, and that’s the last thing in the world you want from me.”

The leader can spot you, recruit you and break you and remake you and before you know it you’ve become totally different, someone who they want you to be.

From Jim Jones to Charles Manson, every cult leader has something in mind, they use their followers or family to accomplish their wicked mind’s deeds.

Manson Family

If you want to make an impact in the world a cult is a pretty decent place to do it but not always with your interests in mind. Truth be told cult leaders can make people do some pretty crazy things like in the case of the Manson family.

Manson Family, Deadliest Cults
Charles Manson(left) and Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel (left to right) walk from the jail section to the courtroom during the trial for their role in the Manson Family murders. (Bettmann / Contributor)

Having spent most of his life in prison, Charles Manson wasn’t a well-educated man but he was an intelligent man. He was for some a philosopher and an artist someone who would be easily looked up to in the 1960s.

His followers were too willing to listen and live their lives enveloped in art and communal living made perfect targets for Manson, who behind the guise of a philosophical genius was a manipulative wolf behind sheep’s clothing.

Manson had managed to assemble a commune of about 20 people, which included more number of females than males.

In the beginning, the Manson family led a pretty decent life, it was an enlightened life of a spiritually and psychologically fulfilling life or at least that’s what Manson said.

Manson was a role model for the family and they looked up to and that’s exactly what his followers did. They performed duties as servants for him.

Having followers tightly around his fingers he would begin to question their core values and beliefs. He’d erased the world they once knew and rebuild in his own image.

Charles Manson was able to turn some of his followers into bloodthirsty monsters. He spoke to his family and insisted that an apocalyptic race war was imminent and that they were the ones who had to initiate it, and he figured that the best way to do that was to commit bloody horrible murders to attract media attention and then blame it on black people.

The terror brought on by Manson and a select a few of his brainwashed followers ended the decade of love in 1969 where 9 brutal victims were committed.

Victims included actress Sharon Tate and coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Even though the family committed 9 murders, Charles did not commit any one of them. He just brainwashed and told his followers to commit horrible murders to attract people.

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Sharon Tate was eight-month pregnant at the time she had been strung up and stabbed to death while she pleaded for the love of her unborn child.

The word Pig was written in her blood on her door, the word WAR was cut into another victims’s abdomen. Manson had offered these people something that a lot of people look for in their life.

A purpose, a way to stand out and makes something your own but unfortunately that thing belonged to Manson the entire time.

Charles Manson had brainwashed his followers and brainwashing is most effective in an environment that a person trusts or at least they think they trust.

Aum Shinrikyo(Aleph)

Aum Shinrikyo is a Japanese cult formed by Shoklo Asahara in 1984, It carried out the deadly Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995 and was found to irresponsible for the similar sarin attack the year before.

Aum Shinrikyo, Deadliest Cults
The Aum Shinrikyo group, led by Shoko Asahara, centre back

The members would come to take part in a unique style of yoga and meditation led by its teacher Shoko Asahara. By 1989 Shoklo became more than just a yoga instructor, he began to infuse multiple religious ideologies into his teachings and claimed that he was Japan’s fully enlightened Christ who would not only save his followers from sin but also from the inevitable Armageddon he had predicted.

The cult had developed a bit of a tarnished reputation arising from claims that they would often keep members who tried to leave captive or perhaps murder them. The Japanese government still granted them official status as a religious organization.

As 1990 began Shoko started to fill his believers head with warnings claiming that the United States was about to attack Japan and initiate the end times.

So Aum Shinrikyo began to stockpile weapons and military hardware and in 1993 they had started developing Sarin.

Sarin is a colourless odourless liquid classified as a weapon of mass destruction. A powerful nerve agent it prevents proper operation of glands that acts as the off switch for glands and muscles.

Without an off switch you glands and muscles are constantly stimulated. Symptoms of exposure will begin within a few seconds and the body will secret all liquids uncontrollably.

Form Sweating – Vomiting – Diarrhea, Sarin is incredibly lethal and can kill you in just minutes.

In 1995 Shoko has recieved a word form one of his followers that police were planning to raid his facilities. So in order to distract them from raiding his facilities, he had some of his members release Sarin gas into the Tokyo subway system.

13 people died as a result of Sarin exposure, 54 were injured and nearly 1,000 people were effected by the gas.

Thankfully this didn’t stop the police who raided his properties regardless as a result of the raid police had discovered explosive chemical and biological weapons such as anthrax. Millions of dollars in cash, Gold, LSD, Methamphetamine victims imprisoned in cells, a Russian military helicopter and enough sarin to kill over 4 million people.

Shoko was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging in 2004 and though he still lives, he disassociated himself from the cult which is still active today under a new name.

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Movement for the restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

The movement for the restoration of the ten commandments of God was based in Uganda. Leaders believed that the apocalypse would come on January 1st of 2000. They believed highly in ten commandments that they often wouldn’t speak as not to accidentally break the commandment of bearing false witness.

Deadliest Cults Tend Commandments of God
Uganda’s Kanungu cult massacre that killed 700 followers

The group was a breakaway Catholic cult that would often take in defrocked priests and nuns and give them positions of authority.

January 1, came and went and there wasn’t a single apocalypse in sight but nothing happened and in order to restore the faith of the followers, the leaders reset the date to March 17th of 2000.

Hundreds of followers gathered at church on the day of March 17th and shortly after the building erupted into flames with all of the followers inside.

After the flames stopped over 700 bodies were found with strong evidence indicating that the act was not suicide but murder. A number of the bodies had been poisoned, some had been strangled and the rest were burned alive.

Heaven’s Gate

Heaven’s gate was formed by Marshal Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, was an American UFO religious millenarian cult based near San Diego, California.

Deadliest Cults, Marshal Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles
Heaven’s Gate mass suicide leader Marshal Applewhite Credits: CBS8

Like most cults, the belief of an incoming apocalypse was forced upon its members. They believed that the only way to survive would be to ascend to the next level of existence and if they all killed themselves at precisely the right moment they would be taken to an alien spacecraft hiding behind a comet that had been passing by.

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On March 26th on 1995, Marshall Applewhite and 38 of his followers were all found dead in a luxurious mansion they had been staying in. All of the followers had died from ingesting poison and were found dead in their bunk beds.

All of the followers were dressed identically with plastic bags over their heads.

Jonestwon Massacre

Founded in 1955 by Reverend Jim Jones, the People’s Temple was firmly based on socialist principles. Jim Jones believed his followers to be the purest communists dedicated to live for socialism, total economic radical and social.

Deadliest Cults Jonestown Massacre

The cult moved over the years and eventually settled in South America in a place that they named Jonestown.

Not all was well inside the cult, as some of the members of the cult decided that that kind of lifestyle wasn’t for them and they wanted to leave.

Congressman Leo Ryan accompanied by the members of the media and some concerned relatives of the people’s temples members had gone to visit Jonestown. People were held against their will.

As part of a government investigation, Jones was reluctant but eventually welcomed them when Leo had arrived one of the members of the People’s temple had slipped an NBC correspondent a note. The note read “Please help me get out of Jonestown and included his wife’s name and as time went on other people chose to defect from the people’s Temple as well so Leo Ryan had gathered up the defectors and decided to take them home”

Jones has set one of his followers to pose as a defector and as the plane was moving along down the runway, he withdrew a gun and began firing at all the occupants on board thankfully he was disarmed but other members of the people’s temple were on the ground and open fired themselves and Leo Ryan was killed with four other occupants.

The next day Jones called the meeting and had filled a large metal tub with a flavoured drink mixed and a number of deadly chemicals he told his followers and that they must commit revolutionary suicide or else their children would be tortured and converted to fascism, many members willingly drank the Kool-aid but as they started to die others began to erupt into panic.

A number of people were taken and forced to consume the poison while some others managed to get away and at the end over nine hundred were lying in the ground.

Jim Jones died from self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Jonestown Massacre would be the greatest loss in American History until September 11.

Now that you’ve read about the deadliest cults in the history, read about Top 5 Unsolved Mysteries and then read about the Mystery behind Bermuda Triangle.

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