CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?


CULTS work to initiate us in the right direction, to distract us, or manipulate us for their gain?

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: IndieWire

“When people leave Cults, they do not know that they left a Cult.” – Sean Durkin

Although some people associate Cults with religious organizations as I told you in a previous article, religion is not always required. A Cult is a social organization or movement that is united by a mutual purpose to a reason or a leader.

So even though Cults claims to be not distinct from mainstream religions, there are many major differences between the two. Cults mostly like to “Swarm” potential followers, are more interested in controlling rather than guiding, and will occasionally establish a system in which only the leader can be trusted. 

Cults do not have to be cruel or violent. Such rigorous and authoritarian entities are all too often designed to facilitate abuse. As a result of this, several cults throughout history have become extremely dangerous to both members and non-members.

Before we move ahead, if you want to know more about the most dreadful cults in history, click the link below 


. Aum Shinrikyo

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: Imgur

According to A case history on the Aum Shinrikyo”, Aum Shinrikyo was granted “official religious corporation status” in 1989, which allowed the cult to operate under the radar for six years while developing chemical and biochemical agents. They were pretty much unknown outside of Japan until March 20th, 1995, when three Tokyo subway lines were targeted in a Sarin attack that killed 13 people and injured over 6000. This was not their first Sarin attack, either. Aum Shinrikyo was responsible for a sarin attack on several official authorities in Matsumoto, Japan, in June 1994. 

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: DW

The trials for the sarin gas attacks lasted nearly 20 years in total, and almost everyone involved in the attacks was convicted. Although the Japanese Supreme Court ordered Aum Shinrikyo to disband as a religious organization, its followers split into two groups, according to The Japan Times: Hikari No Wa and Aleph. Both groups are still being watched in Japan, as is Yamadara No Shudan, a splinter group made up mostly of women that emerged in 2015.

. The Family International

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: Wikiwand

The Family International has had more name changes than the majority of pop artists. Founded in 1968 as teens for christ in Huntington Beach, California, the cult went by the names Children of God, The Family of Love, and The Family before settling on The Family International or TFI in short.

David Berg, a former evangelical Protestant Minister, founded TFI. Berg decided to start his movement after being inspired by his unique interpretation of Christianity. Berg has also called himself King, Moses, David, and The Last Endtime Prophet over the years.

Regardless of what David Berg and his wife Karen Zerby have said over the years, TFI is undeniably a cult. Its dogmatism and abuses are concealed behind such a signal of Christian-based redemption, free love, and spiritual healing.

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: Filmdaily. co

David Berger died in 1994, but as TFI’s leader, he relayed with his followers through letters of spiritual and practical advice dubbed “Mo Letters’ ‘. Throughout his life, Berge wrote over 3000 of these letters, waxing poetic about his status as God’s last prophet to maintain his authority.

More than 130 communes dedicated to David Berger’s belief system sprang up all over the world when the cult was known as Children of God. In 1976, Berg renamed Children of God, The Family of Love in an attempt to capitalize on the hippie movement. Berg experimented with various forms of proselytizing during this time.

Flirty Fishing was a type of activity in the group, in which David Berg encouraged female members to have sex with 100,000 people to spread the Scriptures.

CULTs: A source of guidance or exploitation?
Image via: filmdaily. co

TFI followers are still advised to have sexual relationships with Jesus. Members are encouraged to enjoy the sensual aspects of their special communion with their messiah rather than viewing their relationship with their messiah as chaste and holy.

Following Jesus leads them through personalized sexual fantasies. Because Prophetess and King Peter are against Homosexuality, male members are instructed to act as a woman in these scenarios. Loving Jesus also entails graphic and elaborate poetry, visual art, and music. TFI publications abound, with many aimed at children and young adults.

The truth about Cult:

TFI members and those born into the cult have come out of the woodwork, to tell the truth about the cult since its inception. There have been numerous reports of child sexual abuse, as well as allegations of financial fraud.

In addition to the Phoenix siblings (Joaquin, River, and summer), actor Rose McGowan was born into the TFI family. They have all publicly condemned the cult. River Phoenix accused TFI of “ruining people’s lives” before dying of a drug overdose in 1993.

TFI’s reach remains enormous thanks to the internet. Its website boasts of member networks in more than 80 countries. TFI is still run by Karen Zerby and Steve Kelly, who describe it as an international Christian Community. Those who have faced assault, bullying, and coercion in the name of the Christian Community see things very differently.

There were numerous other cults that were flourishing at that time such as:

. Branch Davidians

. Order of the Solar Temple

. Manson Family


Cults were not inherent evil, but people’s wrongdoings or mentalities made them so. People are now afraid of the word “Cult”. 


Radhika is a journalism and mass communication student. She is a young and ambitious girl who enjoys writing. She enjoys writing about entertainment and awareness. She is currently employed by Asiana Times. Her enthusiasm for the K-industry is admirable.


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