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It used to be that the only definition of the word cult was a religious system considered to be strange or sinister. Here's some modern-day cults.

Here are all the modern-day cults that are the definition of creepy

Modern humanity has adopted the practice of forming cult followings. We think of things like TV shows or video games that aren’t necessarily financial successes, but are intensely admired by a group of people as having a cult following. It’s truly a modern comfort that groups like these are often what we mean by “cult” when we use it in conversation these days. 

It used to be that the only definition of the word cult was a religious system considered to be strange or sinister. Despite our own cultic obsession with things like Shadowhunters and Gotham at Film Daily, it’s the latter definition of a cult that we’re referring to today. 

It’s sometimes interesting to marvel at the oddity of people’s beliefs and practices. If that’s a hobby you enjoy, this article is for you. Keep in mind that reader discretion is advised though, since some of these cults participated in self-harming activities. 

Ho No Hana/Yorokobi Kazoku no Wa

Into feet? Love horoscopes? Then this would be the cult for you! Ho No Hana was a fortune-telling cult led by Hogen Fukunaga who claimed he could tell a person’s past and future just by looking at their feet. 

In this 30,000 member cult, Fukunaga would swindle people into paying for expensive medical treatments after diagnosing them with supposed serious illnesses. He extorted 1.3 million dollars from 30 members this way. As a result, Fukunaga was sentenced to twelve years in prison. During his trial, Fukunaga insisted that he “never deceived people, but only rescued the human race with the help of the voice of heaven”.

Order of the Solar Temple 

Not going to lie. This sounds like a sacred place straight out of The Legend of Zelda. Unfortunately, it’s something much less fun. This French cult claims its heritage from the Knights of Templar. 

They believe in the importance of the spiritual over anything physical or temporal. Order of the Solar Temple’s main goal is to assist humanity in getting through a great “transition” that will lead to the second coming of Christ as a “solar god-king”. This cult has claimed the lives of over 53 people in mass suicides. 



Nxivm cult has its headquarters in Albany, New York. Its name is pronounced Nex-E-um and it claimed more than just a creatively spelled name. The leader of Nxivm was Keith Raniere, and his members knew him as “Vanguard”.

Nxivm boasted itself as a self-help company, but ended up being a front to recruit women for a secret society called “The Vow”. Rituals included laying women naked on massage tables and branding them with a square-shaped symbol below the hip. Its goal was supposedly to help people experience more joy in their lives. The Federal District Court of Brooklyn eventually busted Raniere for sex-trafficking and racketeering. 

Church of Euthanasia 

This cult created a “suicide assistance hotline”. Uh, yeah. You read right. Software developer, Chris Korda, wanted to create an environment conducive to “restoring the balance between humans and the remaining species on Earth”. At one point the cult website featured a tutorial on how to commit suicide by asphyxiation. 

In the spirit of devaluing humanity, she created the main edict of never procreating. The Church claims to only support “population reduction” in support of bettering the environment by voluntary means only. Three of Korda’s main beliefs are the encouragement of abortion, cannibalism, and sodomy (since she valued any sexual activity not resulting in procreation. 


This cult’s beliefs are a lot less triggering. Raëlism was originally formed in 1976 and they believe that all human life was genetically engineered by extraterrestrials thousands of years ago. A well-known belief of theirs is that famous religious figures like Jesus and Buddha are actually the representatives of these extraterrestrials called “Elohim”. 

The symbol of Raëlism is pretty controversial since it’s literally a swastika embedded on the star of David, and their cult is still active today.

Can’t get enough of cults? Check out these cult documentaries on Netflix: The Keepers, One of Us, Holy Hell, Enlighten Us, and Deprogrammed.

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