Top products from r/cults

We found 24 product mentions on r/cults. We ranked the 46 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

Next page

Top comments that mention products on r/cults:

u/holdnofear · 1 pointr/cults

I do not think that what you have said is ridiculous and I would be interested to find out more, but I honestly can't see how you are describing a cult by the established notions of what a cult is. The article you linked to is very interesting. It is certainly conceivable that cyber culture has led to new potential ways for cults to form.

You might be interested in the movie Heavenly Creatures (a true story). This immediately springs to my mind trying to comprehend Andrew Walker. Without comparisons to Scientology in the article (which are a bit fanciful since there is nothing to suggest he ever studied 'the tech') this is an elaborate sexual game among people who already preferred to substitute reality for fantasy. Walker was a scammer able to manipulate others by phantasmagorical delusions. He was not really able to run a cult, but find women that wanted to have a personal relationship with him and accept him as a fantasy version of himself. It is admitted multiple times that those who knew him understood what he was doing had no genuine basis but they went along with it anyway. When sex is involved it is no longer being a follower but an active participant. People are much less likely to talk about these aspects of cult involvement because they are embarrassed. It seems that very few, if any men were taken in by him. It is rude to say this, but honestly it is not that difficult to look at photos of Walker and his first serious follower and take a wild guess what was in it for her. She is the very stereotype of an unattractive nerd fangirl who met an attractive, interested in her fanboy who channeled the spirits of her sexual fantasies for kinky sexplay.

What it sounds like you are talking about in your other examples is women using the internet to meet other people, form personal relationships with them and then manipulate these relationships for gifts/money. As you say - "Somehow, for some reason, these people were giving money/time/services/items to these leaders for absolutely no gain. Not spiritual, not emotional, not physical or tangible. It's hard for me to fathom why, then, people would do that."

There are many women and men who form followings online for this reason. There are also various examples of 'catfishing' including perhaps most famously Talhotblond and Mati Te'o's fake girlfriend

You mention people being 'brainwashed' but this is a popular misconception about cults and how they work. It is an unproven theory advanced by the early anti-cult movement that is not accepted by the vast majority of scholars as having any genuine scientific basis

How do you feel that brainwashing is happening? As you say methods were 'hit and miss (mostly miss)'. You say that you were almost indoctrinated, can you provide more details about this? You also say that you have witnessed people being manipulated to commit crimes 'nothing heinous' - what specific kind of crimes are you referring to? What is the 'leader' you refer to like personally?

You mention that people are drawn into online fandom under false pretenses but continue to have a relationship with this person once they realise she is not telling the truth. It is not clear what this person has to offer if their fandom is bogus but I am willing to guess she may be (or pretend to be) a young attractive woman? I am also wondering if most or all of the 'followers' you refer to are men?

When you say you saw the methods of the 'leader' what you describe is basic online scamming that predates the internet through Lonely Hearts Scammers. Bonnie Lee Bakley parlayed her life as such a scammer into marrying celebrity Robert Blake. Besides this book you can find many examples of exactly what you describe in true crime including 411 scams and Nigerian begging scams - which people still do actually fall for despite how well known and documented they are.

u/SunshineStateSingle · 1 pointr/cults

Glad you were able to find a book that helps you. Here's a link to the one I mentioned as well:

The downhill process was a slow decline that happened the longer she was involved with them (it's been more than 8 yrs now I think). The last I talked to her, she was using one of their life coaches and was coaching people herself. She's also involved with another GT member so she's in it to win it, so to speak. I learned from Singer's book that telling someone they're in a cult will just drive them further into it, so I didn't express my concerns to her. I tried pointing out some inconsistencies in GT's teachings, but that made her hostile so I stopped. I cut off contact with her a few years back, I don't know how she's doing now.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom, I know how frustrating it can be. I wish I had more answers, I'd just suggest keep reading good-quality sources on cults and get as much info as you can. Also, if you have someone to talk to about it (like a counselor) that can make it easier too. Hope things start getting better for you all.

u/not-moses · 2 pointsr/cults

I was far from sufficiently sophisticated enough to be able to understand the long-term ramifications of turning Bangkok into the Amsterdam of Southeast Asia after the governments in the Philippines and South Vietnam closed down most of the brothels there many years ago. I "get it" now, however.

There's tremendous money in turning a city into a world-renowned sex resort. Enough to make it possible for the people who profit directly therefrom to buy all the political influence they need to keep it going. As well as to set up "conversion cults" to brainwash the unsuspecting and turn them into sexual slaves they can then sell to the highest bidders who operate the sex parlors.

(To be fair, this has been going on at least since the earliest days of the old "Silk Roads," but in the half century preceding the turn of this century, humanist organizations -- including agencies of the United Nations -- had made some inroads into the elimination of it. In the last 20 years, however, the return of authoritarianism and sex-addicted male chauvinism at high levels of political power have evidently disempowered such efforts.)

The process of "conversion" works about like this: The Typical Path of Cult Involvement. See also How Cults use Benign Portals to Seduce new Recruits (in my reply to the OP on that thread), though many of sex slaves in hardscrabble Southeast Asia appear to have been kidnapped or even sold into slavery by desperate parents or older siblings, eliminating any real need for conversion more or less as this outfit seems to be doing it.

Believe it or not, there are evidently deals like this in the US. Evangelical / fundamentalist / charismatic / ostensibly (but not actually) "Christian" "orphanages" (mostly in Appalachia and the deep South, but also in the plains states just west of the Mississippi River) where mostly female children are "converted." (The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog author Bruce D. Perry has dealt with a fair number of them over the past 30 years.)

Anyone who understands the politics and history of slavery as well as These Truths author Jill Lepore can pretty easily connect all the dots: From sex to money and back again.

u/goldenette2 · 1 pointr/cults

I forgot that part. I hope you get something helpful out of it.

ETA: since I was around acolytes of the EST founder for years, I did a fair amount of reading at the time. Mostly the information I see coming up about him looks heavily PR whitewashed. This book is at least one useful piece of nonfiction:

u/cantch00seaname · 1 pointr/cults

I didn't forget about you and sorry it has taken me so long. All of my books turned out to be at my parents house... which I still havne't gotten over there to look. There was one in particular that I was trying to remember the name of.

I did however find two real base level introduction to new religious movements in America. It is like some others I read while studying religion awhile back.

  • New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader
  • Cults and New Religions: A Brief History

    The second one seems to be more up your alley. I will also get you a list another list once I get to my parents house and look through all the old school books.

    Also, there are books that deal with some of the cult scares of the late 80s and early 90s. I can't remember the one I read and really enjoyed. But I do remember hearing this one was good- so I can't say from personal experience. However, despite it's title it is supposed to take a look at how satanist view themselves and debunk a few of the rumors on them.

  • Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America

    Given the nature of what you are interested it may not be bad to go back to the beginnings of mystery cults(if only to give some perspective of how mystery cults began and how the psychology has changed):

  • Greek Mysteries: The Archaeology of Ancient Greek Secret Cults

    I know it's not the list you were looking for, or the list I wanted to give, but maybe it will help. Again, I'll eventually get to look through my books and give you a more in-depth list.
u/TLSOK · 1 pointr/cults

Wowee - I had not heard of them before. Amazing how many crazy cults there are. Poking around online, I found this recent book by an ex-member -

Better Than a Turkish Prison - What I Learned From Life in a Religious Cult - Sinasta J. Colucci

and they get a pretty serious Wikipedia page -

one thing I am a bit curious about is the founder - Gene Spriggs (Yoneq) - I assume he is still heading the organization? And where is his main base? Does everyone get to meet him? And what are they taught about him?

u/AyLilDoo · 2 pointsr/cults

You sure know your NoI history! Or should I say "true facts?" ;-) But here's the thing- I'm not sure they're a cult. Yes, they're in the sidebar, and yes they are indeed: high pressure, us -vs- them, insular, secretive, and have very eccentric theories about black supremacy and UFOs. But when you consider the Nation against Dr. Margaret T. Singer's 6 Conditions for Thought Reform, I'm not sure they quite fit.

Now if you don't ascribe to Singer's guidelines, fair enough. But perhaps we can still find common ground. Ever heard of the Death Angels? They were a FoI (Fruit of Islam) offshoot that absolutely terrorized San Francisco in the early-70's, and definitely a cult. Check out the book Zebra if you haven't already.

u/illlllllilillilillll · 1 pointr/cults

Check out this book. It was REALLL easy to read (and I dislike reading). Small book, big print, interesting content.

u/SinastaColucci · 1 pointr/cults

I was in a cult called the Twelve Tribes Communities for almost eight years. I just finished writing a book about my experiences.

u/MagicalUnderWhere · 1 pointr/cults

I don't have experience with any. This is why your thread interested me. I need a better therapist. Stopped going to the last one after I eventually realized she wasn't able to even recognize the problems Mormonism caused me let alone help me recover from them.

These are books I have seen mentioned different places, but I haven't taken the time yet to delve into any of them. I often get caught up with choices and procrastinate making a move forward.

Recovering Agency: Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control

When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

Combating Cult Mind Control

u/Inn_Unknown · 2 pointsr/cults

For those who may find this intresting, in teh video I discussed the Aldolfo Constanzo Cult and their murder of Mark Kilroy.

I grew up in the neighboring town where Mark lived and was raised, I actually know his parents and have visited their hwouse and to this day they still have a PC I built for them. I will admit it was a weird and eerie vibe in the home and turns out the room we were putting the PC in was originally Mark's bedroom. They had pictures of him everywhere. His parenst are very nice people and it really was a sad what happened to him. They won't discuss it with people, but his father did write a book called Sacrifice, you can see in teh link below.


Sorry I wouldn't feel right not at least telling this and letting people know this book exists.

u/lillllllllllllllliil · 7 pointsr/cults

Most of the time groups commit mass suicide because the leader is in trouble with the law, or is in fear of losing members because of internal drama, politics, etc.

Jim Jones and his folks all died because Jones believed he was losing his grip on his people. It's been suggested that Jones did NOT order Congressman Ryan murdered, and that those were Jonestown members acting on their own accord. Regardless, Jones was sure the US Government would come in and shut them down, so he ordered the suicide.

The members of Order of the Solar Temple (OST) committed suicide because the leaders said a baby born outside of the group's permission was the anti-Christ and they ended up killing the baby and the parents. There was a lot of police pressure, the leaders saw their power eroding, people leaving, police investigations, so they called for the mass suicide.

Marshal Applewhite of Heaven's Gate was under pressure and was losing a lot of members. So he tightened his grip, which made more members leave. With Do dead, and with him losing control and losing members, he concocted this comet idea and they all killed themselves.

There are more, but these are the big ones. As for murder, OST murdered the anti-Christ baby and the family, Manson's family committed murders, in the end, Jonestown people were said to have murdered some people who didn't want to drink the poison and they killed the Congressman.

So I suppose the bottom line here is that it's simply too hard to predict which groups will cross that line and commit murder, and which groups will commit mass suicide. There's really no telling, because any tightly controlled, insular group is capable of doing either under the right circumstances with the right type of leader. But skip 5 years earlier for Jonestown or Heavens Gate and I bet no one would have thought that mass suicide was possible.

One book that does a good job of pointing out all of this is:

Death Movements: The Suicide Cults Paperback – April 10, 2017 by T. Linsay Cole

Cole does a good job of keeping it short and sweet, but really points out all of the inner political drama and the real reasons for the leaders eventually calling for mass suicide -- in most cases it's because they were in trouble with the law and their reign was about over, or it was because they were losing members and felt their empire was crumbling.