When we hear the word ‘cult’, it doesn’t usually conjure up positive connotations and with good reason. The many cults and we have seen with their secretive, exploitative and sometimes deadly practices in the 20th century alone is made even more astounding when you factor in that according to the International Cultic Studies Association, as many as 10,000 cults still exist in the United States today.
Not all cults are as famous, or should we say infamous, as the likes of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple and their mass murder/suicide at Jonestown agricultural commune in Guyana. Or Marshall Applewhite convincing his 39 adherents to commit ritual suicide so they could board an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp.
Some cult leaders went beyond the ‘convincing their followers to commit suicide’ part and just went straight to outright murdering them. The four lesser known cults you are going to read about here did not gain as much notoriety as the two aforementioned cult leaders, but that doesn’t mean their crimes were any less shocking, bizarre and heinous.