There is a thin line that separates cult from religion, an extremely thin line that inspires debates and intrigues. There are elements present in religion that are also found in a cult, such as the elements of worship, dogma, and authority. Unlike religion, however, the doctrines and practices of a cult are not accepted by the greater population. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cult is defined as 1) formal religious veneration; 2) a system of religious beliefs and ritual; 3) a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; 4) a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator; and 5) a great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work.
The mention of the word “cult” conjures images of men and women dressed in masks and robes, gathered around a bonfire, chanting out some strange and creepy lines. While those images are not especially inaccurate, there are more to cults than just strange robes and chants although strangeness does seem to play a huge factor. Let’s go through 15 of the creepiest cults to have ever been reported.