Throughout history, individuals have sometimes found themselves joining destructive cults, in which a powerful leader is often held up as being divinely inspired. It’s estimated that tens of thousands of people may be involved in cults of various sorts today, many of which lead to terrible suffering and tragedy. Let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous cults in history.
The Branch Davidians, led by the charismatic David Koresh, is probably one of the most famous cults of all time. This group was based out of Waco, Texas, and had several thousand members across the United States and other countries. The cult began to attract attention from the public and authorities when reports of child abuse and animal cruelty began to surface. The group stockpiled weapons and fortified their compound, which led to a 51-day standoff with the U.S. federal government which eventually ended in the deaths of Koresh and 80 of his followers.
The People’s Temple, led by Jim Jones, is another infamous cult. Jones began his ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana, and eventually relocated the church to a compound in Guyana, where it grew to over 1,000 members. In 1978, Jones orchestrated a mass suicide of more than 900 followers, leading to one of the greatest tragedies in cult history.
Other dangerous cults include Aum Shinrikyo, based in Japan, which became notorious for its deadly gas attacks against innocent civilians. The Manson Family was another infamous cult, led by the charismatic Charles Manson. Though the group was eventually disbanded, Manson and his followers caused a lot of terror and chaos and led to the murder of several people.
There have been countless other destructive cults over the centuries, and many of them have ended in tragedy or suffering for their members. Thankfully, through education and knowledge, we can help better protect people from becoming involved in these cults and help them see the truth behind the lies.