Skip to content

Where do I sign up? (some of the craziest cult leaders you’ve probably never heard of)

January 12, 2010

A lawsuit was filed recently in Arizona against a business called Dahn Yoga.  It is alleged that the owner of the studios, and man by the name of Ilchi Lee, has been running a cult.  Former employees and members say that recruits “are unknowingly subjected to an intensive program of psychological manipulation, indoctrination and various techniques of coercive thought reform designed to induce them to become Ilchi Lee’s disciples and devote themselves to serving him and his ‘vision.’ ” 

His vision includes your money

Whatever.  I say if you got yourself into it, it’s your fault.  I also think that the title of cult leader is a cushy job.  You get to make everyone do things for you, they give you all your money, you get to have sex with anyone you want.   Not only that, they’ll believe anything you say.  Tell them the earth is square.  Sure!  Tell them they need to kill every person they see making a lane change without signaling.  Done deal!   Why would anyone not take that job.  Hell, you could make your underlings do anything you asked them to, no matter how wacky.  They would totally do it, and have your back on any issue.  Of course, that could backfire if you get bored and want to leave the cult because they will also hunt you down and kill you.  Take the following as examples: 

Lord of our Righteousness Church 

In 1987, a Seventh-Day Adventist preacher by the name of Wayne Bent got a message from God while sitting on his couch.  “You are the Messiah” God said.  Wayne must have replied “sounds good to me” and decided to start his own church.  Originally located in New Mexico, his church eventually moved to Idaho and hilarity ensued.  The cult, now about 100 members strong, operated relatively quietly for about 15 years until a British journalist did a piece on them.  Wayne, now calling himself Michael Travesser, decided that October 31, 2007 was a good day for the world to end and proceeded to relay that information to his congregation.  There were stings attached, however, as he also told the congregation that God also told him that he needed to sleep with seven virgins before that happened.  

"That was easy. Maybe I should have said ten virgins."

Cult members offered up their daughters and Travesser obliged them by making sure God’s work was done.  October 31 came and went.  When the world continued to function, some cult members became disenchanted, left, and narc’d on their leader.  He was arrested, tried, and convicted of criminal sexual contact with minors and was sentenced to 18 years in state prison.  No word on whether he was one of seven virgins offered up there. 

Unnamed splinter sect of the RLDS 

Jeffrey Lundgren had disagreements with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that he was a member of, his biggest being the fact that they ordained women. (See where this is going)  He decided along with his wife that they needed to start their own branch of the church.  They recruited 10 other members and bought a house in Kirtland, Ohio for all the members to move into.  Of the 12 members, seven moved into the house.  The family of Dennis Avery was dragging their feet, and Jeff didn’t like that very much. 


Jeffrey took a job as a guide for the local RLDS church and made sure that all the money everybody else made went straight to him.  Avery, despite having full faith in Lundgren, set aside a small bank account for his family to use.  Lundgren found out about it and started talking to other members about the financial troubles Avery was causing the cult. (Even though Lundgren was the reason for most of the problems)  Lundgren originally had a plan to have his members take over the temple where he worked, killing anyone who got in their way.  It apparently was because it was about to be discovered that he stole $40,000 from the temple.  

They have so much money, they just leave it lying around for employees to happen upon.

He eventually changed his mind and told his members that in order to see God they had to kill a family of five.  Luckily for them, the Avery family was the perfect size.   The other member lured the Avery’s to a barn, where they were brought to Lungren one by one for him to execute.  He was later caught, tried,  and executed for his crimes that he called “pruning the vineyard”.  Charles Manson would be proud. 

The Order of St. Charbel 

This one was started in 1968 by William Kamm who said he had a conversation with the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He decided that just being a cult leader wasn’t good enough, so he renamed himself Pope Peter II.  Conveniently, he said that Mary also told him that, despite being a pope, celibacy did not apply to him and he needed to find 12 queens and 72 princesses who would all become his wives. 

If he's a pope, where's the funny hat?

He started making prophecies that didn’t quite pan out, including the start of  WWIII and that he would be named successor to Pope John Paul II.  Anyways, while he was collecting queens and princesses to “spawn a new human race after the world was cleansed and burnt by a ball of fire”, he was arrested on charges of aggravated sexual assault on a 15 year old girl.  He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

The Ant Hill Kids 

In 1977, a man named Roch Thériault started a commune in Quebec that the media dubbed “The Ant Hill Kids”.  This guy was especially bad.  He had as many as 40 people at his commune, 26 of the children.  True to cult leader form, all nine adult women in the compound were basically his sexual servants.  But Roch wasn’t the nicest guy in the world. 

Roch and Chuck Manson would get along just fine

Thériault, claiming to be the reincarnation of Moses, based his teachings on the obedience of women, the sinfulness of his followers, and the absolute power of himself.  He convinced all the women that they needed to bear his children and did not take kindly to insubordination.  He cut off the arm and removed the teeth of one of his “wives”, and castrated one of the men.  He killed his legal wife by disembowelment, which is what eventually landed him a hefty sentence on a murder conviction.  But even after that, some of the other wives went on conjugal visits and bore him three more children… What?  I was in my 20’s once and remember the trials and tribulations of relationships and sex.  This guy is cutting off arms and pulling out teeth and he has women lined up wanting nothing more than to bear his children.  I’m in the wrong business. 

If these guys could do it, I totally could.  I mean, I’m way better looking than any of them.  I’ll call it Christian’s Christians.  So therefore, go ahead and sell all your possessions and send me the money.  Once I have the money, I’ll tell you where to send the women. I’ll even send you an official membership card, a bumper sticker,  and an autographed self portrait.   Until then, go forth and proselytize heathens.  That is all.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2010 12:58 pm

    Your picture of the RLDS temple is actually a picture of a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    • January 12, 2010 2:00 pm

      Noted and changed. This new image should be correct. (At least according to Google.) Thanks.

    • Ndeux permalink
      January 14, 2010 9:53 am

      The temple pictured is actually the temple of the RLDS (changed to the Community of Christ) in Independence, Missouri. It is not a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    • Mark permalink
      January 14, 2010 11:27 am

      No, the picture is actually a picture of the temple of the group previously known as the RLDS church, now called Community of Christ (I think).

  2. blackwatertown permalink
    January 12, 2010 3:04 pm

    Those guys (apart form being awful) made one big mistake. They thought small. If only they had sucked in more followers they could have become respected faith leaders, presiding over churches rather than cults.

  3. spacedteacher permalink
    January 12, 2010 5:29 pm

    Dear Sirs / Ma’ams :

    How come you chose not to report on the biggest cult of them all. The Order Of The DANGS { DumbAss Nubian Guys} headed by Saint Obama? Is there a more dangerous cult in existence today?

    • Caitlin Douglas permalink
      June 22, 2010 1:46 pm

      Yes, Christianity.

  4. January 12, 2010 7:25 pm

    Wow, never even heard about any of these guys. Most I knew of was Hale Bop, Manson, and Jim Jones’ people… that and Scientology but everybody’s heard about Scientology.

  5. January 12, 2010 7:41 pm

    I am Emperor Ming. Send me your money & virgins now

  6. Mark permalink
    January 14, 2010 11:29 am

    I don’t get it…I can’t even get my own wife to have sex with me and my kids to clean their rooms…

    • Mark permalink
      January 14, 2010 11:34 am

      Maybe I need to stop grooming myself and grow a beard…

    • Dr. Jon Nash/Robert Price permalink
      April 18, 2015 1:13 am

      but… can you get your wife to clean their rooms…while you have sex with “your” kids…
      in other words: keep complaining about how hard it is to be a narcissistic psychopath…
      but to be fair, what really grinds my gears is: “Whatever. I say if you got yourself into it, it’s your fault.” ever heard of the “Milgram experiment”? how ’bout the “Asch experiment”?
      ever heard the phrase: “it can’t happen here”?

  7. January 14, 2010 2:41 pm

    FACT: Charles Manson never killed anyone.

    • Kyle permalink
      January 14, 2010 2:55 pm

      If his trial happened today he wouldn’t be in prison. This is regardless of how others or myself feel about him.

      • January 14, 2010 5:53 pm

        While your fact may be true, he would still go to jail today. Conspracy to commit murder will get a life sentence just about as fast as murder itself. It’s just like if someone were to hire a hitman. He may of not actually committed the murders, but it was because of his words that they occured.

    • Brian permalink
      January 14, 2010 11:12 pm

      Right just like Christianity hasn’t caused the majority of the wars and carnage throughout the past 2000 years.

      • January 15, 2010 4:26 am

        Because all those wars were never politically driven. Religion is not a cause, religion is a tool for the puppet master.

  8. January 15, 2010 8:35 am

    Don’t forget Corky from the cult of Summuum, and of course Large Group Awareness Training Seminars like Landmark Education and Psi Forum–groups that are making their ways into schools by well-meaning but gullible parents and teachers.

    These groups do in one weekend what it takes Scientology years to do–isolate, extract money, cause people to leave their families and work for the Forums, and leave them destitute and extremely unpleasant people.

  9. CPS4407 permalink
    September 21, 2011 6:16 am

    Roch Thériault started the Ant Hill Kids in Burnt River Ontario not Quebec!

  10. June 5, 2013 8:03 pm

    Hello There. I found your weblog the use of msn. This is
    a very smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  11. July 28, 2013 2:13 pm

    I delight in, result in I found just what I used to be having a look for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  12. May 24, 2014 12:57 am

    Instead of trying to figure things out intuitively (which doesn’t work because
    it’s a figurative oxymoron), we must instead receive information, paying attention to what comes.

    Mc – Millian was a Thurgood Marshall Prestige Award recipient and recognized by Ebony magazine as one of the nation’s top leaders under 30.
    Deshawn Scroggins, an Arkansas Tech student and Kappa pledge, was listed in serious condition at UAMS on Friday.

  13. Dr. Jon Nash/Robert Price permalink
    April 18, 2015 2:07 am

    Sadly, there are very few *secular* (would use italics…) websites/databases online regarding this topic.That said, if you peruse Stephan Hassan’s website you will find no shortage. In other words, it’s not hard to dig up hundreds of cults no one has ever heard of.remember “satanic-panic”? i don’t. i do, however remember a lot of “hoop-lah”
    about this new-fangled phenomena called “cults”…during the eighties…
    Point? I guess that would be that the so-called Satanic-Panic has now been (from my view)
    conflated with this “issue”…i would encourage the reader to, at this point, look up testimony
    of those victimized by any given ‘pyramid-scheme’…and ask: should this be regarded as a “New Religious Movement”? Regardless of semantics, i sincerely hope some of you will do your homework to-nite^^. today’s Zen-riddle: why aren’t more athiests more concerned with mind-control-cults? (i promise you, this comes from an atheist; me 🙂


  1. World’s Strangest | The Craziest Cult Leaders You’ve Never Heard Of
  2. How bizarre « Irreligious
  3. Stuff « Nanobots Will Enslave Us All
  4. A Whole Lot of Good Stuff (Tidbits from the first 100) « A Whole Lot of Nothing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: