18 Scary Wikipedia Pages About Cults That Are For Adults Only

Note: This post contains highly disturbing content.

1.Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God

black and white photo of a man
12 News / Via youtube.com

Started by Ervil LeBaron in the 1970s in Chihuahua, Mexico, the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God was a group originally part of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) movement. They had split from the Latter Day Saints and moved to Mexico in order to continue practicing polygamy. Ervil often fought with one his brothers, Joel, and eventually orchestrated his murder. Over time, Ervil threatened many other polygamist leaders to pledge allegiance to the Church of the Lamb of God and was also responsible for dozens of deaths or "blood atonements," as he believed them to be.

2.Heaven's Gate

a news coverage of the Heaven's Gate leader
Brooks Kraft / Sygma via Getty Images, ABC / Via youtube.com

Founded in the 1970s by Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite, Heaven's Gate is most known for the March 26, 1997 discovery by police of 39 members after a mass suicide in a San Diego mansion. They were found wearing Nike Decades shoes (which were discontinued as a result), identical black shirts and sweat pants, and their bodies covered by a square purple cloth. The discovery was highly-televised at the time and dominated news headlines for weeks.

3.The Branch Davidians

the family of three and a building on fire
Elizabeth Baranyai / Sygma via Getty Images, Mark Perlstein / Getty Images

The most famous member of this cult was probably David Koresh. Koresh and his followers were part of the famous Waco siege at their compound near Waco, Texas — there was an intense gun battle with the ATF and the FBI ending in a huge fire that killed around 80 members, including children. The siege lasted 51 days.

4.Peoples Temple

bodies in the field
David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images

Founded by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana, the cult is best known for the mass murder/suicide at Jonestown (the Jonestown Massacre) in Guyana. Over 900 people died, making it the largest loss of American civilian life in a single, non-natural, event (until the September 11 attacks).

5.Rajneesh movement


Popularized by the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country, the Rajneeshees (followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) founded a commune called Rajneeshpuram in central Oregon during the '80s. They fought with locals for many years, and there was even an internal assassination attempt on their founder Bhagwan's personal doctor.


  Amy Luke / Getty Images, Jemal Countess / Getty Images
Amy Luke / Getty Images, Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Presenting itself as a multi-level marketing organization that "offers personal and professional development" seminars, NXIVM is widely reported to actually be a front for an alleged sex cult. You may have heard about it in the news lately with the arrest of Smallville star Allison Mack. HBO released a docuseries in 2020 called The Vow that delved into NXIVM's shady practives via former members.

7.Aum Shinrikyo

  Afp / AFP / Getty Images, Junji Kurokawa / AFP / Getty Images
Afp / AFP / Getty Images, Junji Kurokawa / AFP / Getty Images

Founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984, this is a Japanese doomsday cult that is still active today. The cult carried out a number of deadly sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo during the mid-'90s. The attack in 1995 killed 13 people and left more than 6,000 injured with some still experiencing after-effects over 20 years later.

8.The Ant Hill Kids

  CITV / Via youtube.com
CITV / Via youtube.com

At its peak, the group had 40 members, including children fathered by Thériault, their self-proclaimed prophet. He would punish members who strayed by making them break their own legs with sledgehammers, cut off the toes of other followers, and sit on lit stoves. He was later arrested, received a life sentence, and was killed in prison by a cellmate.

9.Blackburn Cult

  Gabriel Hackett / Getty Images
Gabriel Hackett / Getty Images

Founded by a mother-daughter duo in 1922, the two believed they could communicate with angels and resurrect the dead. They had been accused of killing one member in an oven, poisoning another, and making many others disappear. The cult disbanded when May Otis Blackburn, the founder, was arrested for grand theft.

10.Order of the Solar Temple

  Damien Meyer / AFP / Getty Images, Andre Pichette / AFP / Getty Images
Damien Meyer / AFP / Getty Images, Andre Pichette / AFP / Getty Images

Formed in 1984, this “secret society” claimed to be based on the ideals of the Knights Templar. They are best known for the murder-suicide of 74 of its members from 1994–97 — events included the murder of an infant, a ritual “Last Supper,” and mass suicides in a variety of locations.

11.Source Family

cult members in LA in 1973
Gravitas Ventures / Via youtube.com

This group was founded in the 1970s by Father Yod, who had previously been accused of murder twice. He and his commune resided in the Hollywood Hills and had 140 members. Aside from leading the commune, Yod also ran one of Los Angeles' most popular health food restaurants known as The Source. At the time of his death, he had 13 wives. Cabo Cantina on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood now stands where The Source restaurant used to be.

12.True Russian Orthodox Church

  Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP / Getty Images, Afp / AFP / Getty Images
Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP / Getty Images, Afp / AFP / Getty Images

This religious group rejected processed food and considered bar codes “satanic symbols.” In the late ‘00s they lived in a cave, but slowly emerged over the course of 2008 as a result of the cave collapsing, possible suicide attempts, and toxic fumes from two dead cult members.

13.The Family

a woman sitting next to a large portrait of her younger self
Newspix / Getty Images

Led by yoga teacher and self-proclaimed "living god" Anne Hamilton-Byrne, this 500 member group set out to "build a perfect race through a collection of children." This included dying the kids' hair bleach blonde and having them injected with LSD as part of an initiation. Many of the children in the cult were allegedly taken as newborns from hospitals.

14.The Holy Rollers

black and white photo of the mountains
Peter Knight / Getty Images/500px

A cult popular with women, the "Holy Rollers" was started in the early 1900s in Corvallis, Oregon, and believed their founder, Edmund Creffield, could receive messages from God and prepare them for the apocalypse. He used sleep and food deprivation to keep his followers in line with his beliefs. Creffield also tried to seduce women in order to find "the second mother of Christ." He was later killed by the brother of two of his followers.

15.Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

  Alexander Joe / AFP / Getty Images
Alexander Joe / AFP / Getty Images

The group was formed after its two founders claimed to see visions of the Virgin Mary. They followed the Ten Commandments to a T. In 2000, 330 members were killed after a fire broke out in one of their churches. Whether this was a mass suicide or murder is still unclear.

16.Ripper Crew

the mug shot of Thomas Kokoraleis
CBS / Via youtube.com

This Satanic cult targeted women in the Chicago area during the early 1980s. They are suspected of kidnapping, raping, mutilating, and murdering as many as 20 women. Thomas Kokoraleis, a member of the cult said the group performed cannibalistic and sexual rituals and called the ring leader's place a satanic chapel. Thomas is set to be released from prison soon.

17.The Narcosatanists/Matamoros

arrows pointing the mass graves
Barbara Laing / Getty Images, Bettmann Archive / Getty

Led by Adolfo Constanzo, they would often team up with drug cartels and perform spells that would ensure the cartel's success and grant them protection. They began by sacrificing animals during their rituals, but then eventually moved on to human sacrifices. They are believed to have killed 15 people and run what one witness calls "a human slaughterhouse." Their most famous killing and mutilation is that of spring breaker Mark Kilroy in 1989.

18.The Manson Family

  Hulton Archive / Getty
Hulton Archive / Getty

Famously led by Charles Manson, the Manson Family came to national attention after the murder of actress Sharon Tate in 1969. Manson himself was not there during the Tate murders, but he was the one who ordered them.