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Forget Manson’s Family: Here are the weirdest cults of all time

Oh, cults – the wacky social clubs for those who take life’s quirks to the next level. While we’ve all heard about the notorious Manson’s Family and their shenanigans, it’s time to put them on the back burner and dive into a buffet of weirdness served up by other equally eyebrow-raising cults. Brace yourselves, because we’re about to take a rollercoaster ride through the annals of history’s most bizarre belief systems. 

Get ready to raise an eyebrow or two as we explore the world of cults that make you go, “Wait, seriously?”Buckle up, earthlings, because the Heaven’s Gate cult took “beam me up” to a whole new level.

The Unhinged Ufologists: Heaven’s Gate

These self-proclaimed UFO enthusiasts, with a passion for looking skyward and a penchant for matching Nike sneakers, believed that an alien spacecraft was tailgating the Hale-Bopp comet, ready to scoop them up for a cosmic joyride. Led by the enigmatic Marshall Applewhite, who sported a charisma that could make even the most skeptical raise an eyebrow.

Their secret ingredient? A hefty dose of self-deprivation and adherence to an ascetic lifestyle. Yep, we’re talking about ditching those earthly possessions for a one-way ticket to the cosmic Costco. But here’s the twist: as the comet finally made its close flyby of Earth, the cult members donned their snazzy matching outfits, complete with armband patches like they were heading to a peculiarly extraterrestrial theme party. 

With a cocktail of antsy excitement and bizarre belief, they popped some farewell pudding cups (because nothing says cosmic journey like a last supper) and lay down for their ride of a lifetime. Alas, the spaceship they’d been eagerly awaiting never pulled into the driveway, leaving us all wondering if the alien equivalent of Google Maps had let them down.

Fashionably Fanatical: The Aum Shinrikyo Trendsetters

Move over, Milan – there’s a new fashion capital in town, and it’s not your typical runway affair. Enter the Aum Shinrikyo cult, a group that made hazmat suits and biochemical bling a must-have ensemble for the avant-garde apocalypse enthusiast. These folks managed to turn the world of cult attire into a chaotic concoction of terror and toxins, making even the most fashion-forward gasp in horror.

Led by the enigmatic Shoko Asahara, who seemed to have taken a page from the “How to Rock Bedazzled Goggles in a Cult” handbook, Aum Shinrikyo emerged as a blend of spirituality, anime aesthetics, and a dash of doomsday. Imagine a world where meditation and mass destruction weren’t mutually exclusive. Asahara even had his disciples practising yoga poses while brewing up biological concoctions.

So, if you ever find yourself yearning to express your inner mad scientist while also achieving enlightenment (and, uh, ending the world), just remember that Aum Shinrikyo paved the way with their signature style. Stay tuned, dear readers, because we’re not done exploring the freaky and fabulous world of cults that dared to stand out in ways we never saw coming.

Pastafarians & Flying Spaghetti Monsters

Pasta lovers, rejoice! If you’ve ever felt a spiritual connection to your plate of spaghetti, you’re not alone. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is here to offer you salvation with a side of marinara. This cult – ahem, I mean, parody religion – emerged as a snarky response to the heated debate about teaching intelligent design in schools.

Decked in colanders and pirate regalia (because who doesn’t want to be blessed by a Pastafarian pirate?), these devotees celebrate their faith in a way that’s as flavorful as their theology. And let’s not forget the reverence for “Pirates, Global Warming, and the Decline in Pirate Numbers” – after all, causation and correlation are best served with a dash of humor.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster reminds us that faith can come with a side of satire, proving that you don’t need a stuffy religious script to engage in a hearty debate about the cosmos and carb consumption. So, the next time you twirl your fork in a plate of spaghetti, just remember: you might be indulging in more than just dinner. 

So, while Manson’s Family might’ve had their moment in the spotlight, the world of cults is a treasure trove of eccentricity that spans time and space. From fashion-forward apocalypse enthusiasts to pasta-worshipping skeptics, these groups prove that when it comes to the human imagination, there’s no limit to the bizarre.

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