Cult leaders are known to control their followers by using the power of belief. Cults can propagate a limited worldview, making it difficult for members to fault their actions even when they include terrifying violence, abductions, and mass suicides. Read on to find out the most influential cult leaders.
Shoko Asahara established the religious group Aum Shinrikyo, which first began as a yoga school and blended Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. Initially, the group encouraged and sought spiritual mindfulness, amassing several acolytes in Japan. Later, the group began propagating Doomsday occultism and prophecies, and Asahara later claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha. Asahara’s manipulative empathy and charisma opened the gates to a massive population of devotees with a promise that they could get hold of the power of God by undergoing the proper training.
David Koresh was the charismatic leading force of the Branch Davidians group and took control in 1987 following the death of the group’s predecessor. Koresh had a deep knowledge of the Bible and believed that he could communicate with God and prophesize the imminent end of the World and the Second Coming of Christ. He convinced around 100 individuals to reside in his secluded compound referred to as Mount Carmel near Waco, Texas. Koresh used his position to impregnate several young ladies. Meanwhile, Koresh was propagating the teachings of End Times and establishing an Army of God. However, he was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 1993 to possess illegal firearms.
Jim Jones commandeered the genocide of over 900 cult group members of the Peoples Temple in Guyana. Born in 1931, Jim Jones founded the group in the 1950s before the group’s settlement in San Francisco in the 1970s. The racially integrated church provided legal services, drug rehabilitation, and free food to idealistic youths dejected by the politics played during that period. Jones’ started to schmooze with local politicians to establish valuable relationships and forced his loyal followers to hand over their belongings and their relatives to send funds to the church. Jones’ preaching soon became paranoid and started referencing a coming Doomsday.
There you have it! Above are some of the most influential cult leaders. Through their belief, these cult leaders have been able to control their followers. You can take time to research about them in case you will like to know more.