40 Shocking Cults From Around the World

11Eastern Lightning

Eastern Lightning

In China, there is a doomsday cult named Eastern Lightning that’s an offshoot of Christianity that believes Jesus is currently living in China as a Chinese woman. It has been alleged that they abduct their targets for conversion and force them to convert by employing beatings and coercive tactics. It has been linked with more than 100 incidents of violence and has been trying to make inroads into the Indian northeastern state of Nagaland whose population is 88% Christian.

12Twelve Tribes

Twelve Tribes

The Twelve Tribes is Christian cult in USA which opens delis in each area it has a division in, luring new members in with delicious looking sandwiches, smoothies and salads. Their goal is to recreate the 1st-century church as it is described in the Book of Acts.

13Superior Universal Lineage

Superior Universal Lineage

In 1989, a Brazilian UFO cult that went by the name of Superior Universal Lineage, tortured, mutilated and castrated 19 boys between the ages 8-14. Its cult leader, a woman named Valentina De Andrade, believed and preached her followers that Jesus was an alien and that boys born after 1981 were evil. She fled the country and continues to preach and live among her flock in Argentina (as of March 2022).

14Jim Jones, Monkey Salesman

Jim Jones, Monkey Salesman

Notorious murder-suicide cult leader Jim Jones of the Jonestown assacre was a door-to-door pet monkey salesman before he became cult leader.

15Jim Jones, Racial Integrationist

Jim Jones, Racial Integrationist

Jim Jones, the cult leader infamous for the mass suicide of Jonestown, was a racial integrationist and helped racially integrate various types of public places in Indianapolis in the 60s, and got a Humanitarian award for it.

16Leo Ryan

Leo Ryan

US Congressman Leo Ryan went to Guyana on behalf of his constituents who had relatives in the Peoples Temple cult. While helping people escape from Jonestown, he was shot and killed by the cult’s leader Jim Jones. He is 1 of the only 2 Congressmen ever to be assassinated on the job. Ironically, Leo Ryan’s daughter, Shannon Ryan, used part of her father’s life insurance money to join the Rajneesh cult in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon.

17Jim Jones' White Nights

Jim Jones' White Nights

Peoples Temple leader, Jim Jones would routinely schedule “White Nights” where he would wake everyone in the commune up with sirens, make them line up, drink wine from a cup. He would then tell everyone that the wine was poisoned, and stage actors in the crowd to convulse and collapse. It was considered “loyalty test” and those who weren’t ready to die for the cause were physically beaten and emotionally/mentally abused. These “White Nights” happened so frequently that nobody thought he would actually do it. Some survivors didn’t even show up to the final white night because they were so sick of attending them.

18Jim Jones' Grape Flavor Aid

Jim Jones' Grape Flavor Aid

The Peoples Temple cult of Jonestown committed mass suicide with cyanide-laced punch. Although Jim Jones owned a large storage container full of Kool-Aid, grape Flavor Aid is what was ultimately used in the Jonestown massacre.

19Peoples Temple & Mr. Muggs

Peoples Temple & Mr. Muggs

The Peoples Temple cult of Jonestown had a chimp mascot named Mr. Muggs, who they claimed to have freed from scientific experiments. They shot him in the head during the mass suicide.

20Jonestown Survivors

Jonestown Survivors

A handful of people survived the mass suicide at Jonestown in 1978 where over 900 people took their lives, including a hearing-impaired man that didn’t hear the announcements over loudspeaker, and an elderly woman who slept through the whole thing.