• Nicole Sherwin

The Most Cooked Cults In Recent History

These cults are some of the most coercive, exploitative, dangerous organisations ever.

Source: GoSanAngelo

This segment is from the podcast episode, 'Cults'. Listen below where you get your pods:

Almost all cults are founded under the intention of forming an egalitarian utopia. However, almost all cults turn out to be coercive, exploitative and highly damaging. These are a few of the most cooked cults in recent history:


The People's Temple (Jonestown)

Source: Rolling Stone


We obviously have to start with the cult that defined all cults.


If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘drink the kool aid’ which you definitely have, this is where it comes from. Jim Jones started this 'progressive organisation' called 'The People’s Temple,' in 1955. It was meant to be free of violence and racial inequalities. It advocated for social justice and civil rights, with the aim of an egalitarian utopia. Shit, that sounds good, sign me up.


But thennn, their fearless leader Jim Jones moves his 900 or so followers to Guyana to escape the threat of Nuclear War, which actually in the scheme of crazy cult beliefs isn’t too wild, because it was the middle of the Cold War. Family members got a bit of a whiff of what was going down in Guyana and were like, “This is cooked, they’re brainwashed, they’re sleep deprived.” They sent congressman Leo Ryan to pop over and investigate in 1978. Jones was like, "Oh, shit, I think they jig is up." So one of his henchmen shoots the congressmen and Jones wraps it up by telling his people it’s time 'ascend to a higher level'. He orders his followers to drink a cyanide-laced kool-aid and shot the ones who resisted. Over 900 people lost their lives that day.

Heaven’s Gate