10 Infamous Cults and Their Involvement in Murders

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Explore the chilling and mysterious world of cults and their sinister leaders. We’ve compiled a list of 10 infamous cults known for their involvement in murders and heinous acts, demonstrating how charismatic leaders can manipulate and control their followers to commit unspeakable crimes.

From the darkest corners of human history to more recent events, these cults are both fascinating and terrifying. So, brace yourselves!

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Aum Shinrikyo

Led by Shoko Asahara, this Japanese doomsday cult gained infamy in 1995 when they carried out a deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 13 people and injuring thousands more. In addition to this attack, the group was involved in other murders and illegal activities.

The Manson Family

Charles Manson, leader of The Manson Family. (Booking photo, 1971: San Quentin Prison)

Charles Manson’s infamous cult, known as The Manson Family, orchestrated a series of brutal murders in 1969. Most notably, they murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others at her home. The following night, they killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, writing messages in blood at the crime scenes.

The Narcosatanists (Los Narcosatánicos)

This Mexican cult, led by Adolfo Constanzo, was responsible for a series of ritualistic murders in the 1980s. They believed that their black magic rituals, which involved human sacrifice, would protect their drug smuggling operation. In 1989, authorities discovered 15 mutilated bodies, and Constanzo was killed in a police standoff.

The Black Widows of Colombia

The Black Widows were a group of female assassins led by the notorious Colombian drug lord, Griselda Blanco. Known for their brutal tactics, they were responsible for multiple murders during the 1970s and 1980s as part of the infamous Medellín drug cartel’s operations.

READ NEXT: 10 Terrifying Real-Life Cults That Haunted History

The Thuggee Cult

10 Infamous Cults and Their Involvement in Murders
A group of Thuggee’s about to strangle a traveller on a highway in India in the early 19th century. (Public domain)

Active in India from the 14th to the 19th century, the Thuggee cult was a secretive group of criminals who worshipped the goddess Kali. They were notorious for their practice of strangling and robbing travellers along the highways. It is estimated that they were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people during their reign of terror. It’s where the word ‘thug’ comes from.

The Children of God

Founded by David Berg in the 1960s, The Children of God was a religious cult that promoted free love and the sexual exploitation of women and children. The group has been linked to several murders, including the murder-suicide committed by former member Ricky Rodriguez in 2005, who sought revenge for the abuse he suffered as a child within the cult. Now known as the Family International, the group has shrugged off its connections with the original group.

The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors

Led by Dwight York, the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors was a cult based on a mixture of black supremacist beliefs, Egyptian mythology, and UFO conspiracy theories. York was arrested in 2002 and later convicted of child molestation, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit murder.

The National Socialist Underground (NSU)

The NSU was a German far-right extremist group with cult-like characteristics. Between 2000 and 2007, the group committed a series of racially motivated murders, bombings, and robberies, targeting individuals of Turkish and Greek origin. The group’s activities only came to light in 2011 when two key members died in an apparent murder-suicide.

Church of the Lamb of God

Ervil LeBaron, a polygamist and former member of the Church of the Firstborn, formed his own cult called the Church of the Lamb of God in the 1970s. LeBaron and his followers were responsible for a series of murders, targeting rival polygamist leaders and former members who defected from the group. The group remains one of history’s most infamous cults.

The Kirtland Cult Killings

Jeffrey Lundgren led a splinter group of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, during the 1980s. In 1989, Lundgren and several followers murdered a family of five, believing it was a divine directive to cleanse the group of sin. Lundgren was executed in 2006 for his role in the killings.

The Power of Persuasion

These 10 infamous cults show that the power of persuasion and the influence of a charismatic leader can have devastating consequences. These cases serve as a stark reminder of the dangers that can arise when vulnerable individuals are drawn into the grasp of manipulative figures who prey on their fears and desires.

At least you learned where the word ‘thug’ came from!

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