Mind control cults use techniques to manipulate people into believing their doctrines and joining their organizations. Powerful, charismatic and highly intelligent people, who are masters at manipulation and control, are typically the leaders of cults. Mind control cults have been successful at drawing people away from their families, convincing members to donate large sums of money, causing members to willingly take their own lives, and convincing members to murder. Here are 4 of the most dangerous mind control cults in history.
Jim Jones – Peoples Temple
Founded in 1955, Peoples Temple was led by Jim Jones, a person who studied Karl Marx and who successfully exerted mind control over his followers. On November 18, 1978, 918 people died at what was known as Jonestown. The cult was open to all races, and included as much as 50 percent African Americans. Efforts were put in place to help the poor, such as soup kitchens, clothing, job placement, etc. Jim Jones was known as a dynamic speaker. Faith healings were a regular part of the services, although many say they were staged. Eventually, Jones was able to assert further mind control, associating his beliefs with genuine communism, and causing people to leave their normal lives for the cult. He had sexual relations with many of the members and was a drug addict. Leo Ryan, a congressman from San Francisco, investigated the group and as a result, was killed by members of the temple. Soon after, Jones forced his members to consume a cyanine laced drink. Then Jones committed suicide by gunshot.
Charles Manson – Manson Family
The subject of one of the most frightening books ever written, Helter Skelter, The Manson Family, a 1960’s cult, was led by Charles Manson. Manson had a strong ability for mind control, especially when it came to young women. Charles “Tex” Watson, who became a Born Again Christian after the Tate/LaBianca murders, on first meeting Charles Manson described him as peaceful, caring and someone who loved unconditionally. Sex and drugs were plentiful in the Manson Family, but eventually Manson, who was convinced that the world would be destroyed by a war between black and whites called Helter Skelter, exerted enough mind control to convince some of the members to murder, specifically Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel. Movie Star Sharon Tate and the couple Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were among those who were killed. Manson, along with the others, were sentenced to death, but they received a life sentence due to California’s elimination of the death penalty. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, one of Manson’s remaining followers, pointed a gun at President Gerald Ford, and was convicted and sent to prison in 1975. She was released in August 2009.
Marshall Applewhite – Heaven’s Gate
A cult that is considered a “UFO” cult, Heaven’s Gate had a leader by the name of Marshall Applewhite. He was able to exert mind control over 39 members of the cult who committed mass suicide, along with Applewhite, to coincide with the Hale-Bopp comet which they believed would bring them to another world. They were found with purple sheets placed over their bodies in a rented mansion where they lived. The mansion was destroyed by the new owners after the deaths. Applewhite convinced his members that the Earth would be destroyed and “recycled” and that everyone had to leave it. A mix of Christian and New Age, Applewhite traveled across the country, spreading the word, with co-founder Bonnie Nettles, who died years before the group’s mass suicide.
Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibweteere – The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God
Founded in the 1980’s by Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibweteere of Uganda, The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was a mind control cult that broke away from the Catholic Church. In 2000, when the cult leaders said the apocalypse would occur, members of the cult died in fires, poisonings and killings that were either a mass suicide or a mass murder. The Ten Commandments were strictly adhered to by the cult. In addition, The Virgin Mary played a pivotal role in their worship and people like Mwerinde claimed to have received messages from her. Members joined the group to protest what they saw as stains on the Catholic church, the aids pandemic and political unrest in Uganda. They lived together in a remote farming community. Kibweteere is believed to have died in the mass suicides or murders. Mwerinde is believed to be alive, whereabouts unknown.