11 Significant Cults Masquerading as Other Things

What is a cult that pretends it’s not a cult? My favorite answer to this question is obviously every cult denies they’re a cult. However, I had to share when I stumbled into a thread of interesting responses.

1. Mormons

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As one former follower puts it: “They [Mormons] believe God lives on a planet closest to a star named Kolob.” However, when Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit, they added, “Earth got sent away to a different solar system.”

Another ex-Mormon shared his rather unusual experiences in the temple, where he’s taken blood oaths and learned secret handshakes and passphrases. Shockingly, he also mentioned being probed about the specifics of his sexual activity from as young as 12, by old men.

2. Herbalife

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The Herbalife company. “Despite being accused of being a pyramid scheme, they continue to function similarly.” This user explained many childhood acquaintances who became addicted to Herbalife acted and sounded like a cult.

Similarly, I watched this happen with childhood friends with It Works and Lularoe. The multi-level-marketing companies are terrible at scamming people into joining downlines that pad the 1% at the top.

3. The Duggar Family

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The Duggar Family is a family on a show reality show that ran seven seasons called 19 Kids and Counting. All of the kids’ names begin with the letter J. The family are devout independent Baptists and frequently discuss values of modesty, purity, and faith in God. I’ve never seen it, but it sounds culty.

4. Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Jehovah’s Witnesses made this list at number four. When leaving the religion, several former members shared their tales of being immediately removed from friends and family. One explained, “It was overnight. Not even a goodbye.”

Related: 10 Notorious American Cults: Where Are They Now

5. Crossfitters

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Several cross-fitters confessed to being in the CrossFit “cult.” I have a cousin who does CrossFit, and it definitely gave me cult vibes, especially hearing him talk about it. One shared, “I think the key is that cult-like mentality is a good way to overcome the inertia that a lot of people have when it comes to working out.”

6. Southern Pentecostal Baptist Snake Handlers

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I did not know this was a thing. Southern Pentecostal Baptist Snake Handlers. These churches handle snakes, and one person who grew up around one said, “They honestly believed only their members were going to make it to heaven. We saw some crazy stuff in that building.” There are about 40 of them in the south and four in Canada.

7. The BTS Army

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The BTS Army refers to the fans of the K-Pop band BTS (Bangtan Boys). BTS is the one who defined the army as Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. While many agree that BTS is fine, the fans are a complete cult and act insane.

8. Texas A&M

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Many people in the thread acknowledged college football could be culty, but Texas A&M takes the cake. One user confessed, “My family legit shunned me when I said I didn’t want to go there because it was a cult. Thereby proving it’s a cult.” Several others shared similar stories.

9. The Amish

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“The Amish. They control nearly every aspect of their followers’ lives and live in an incredibly insular society.” This user explained that some sects allow their kids to experience Rumspringa, where they are no longer under the control of their parents on weekends and are not yet under the church’s authority because they are not baptized. But most return in fear of being shunned by everyone they know. Additionally, did you know that most Amish run puppy mills?

10. Military Wives

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Military wives. Or any [insert occupation of their husband] wives. Anyone who bases their entire identity on either being a mom or their husband’s career. Others equated most mommy groups as falling into this category.

Related: Top 15 Most Haunted Places to Visit in the World

11. Elon Musk Fans

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Finally, there’s no escaping this guy. He’s on every list and made it on this one, Elon Musk. Many people agree that followers of Elon Musk are very culty.

One suggested he could murder someone, and his fans would still offer he was innovative and make an excuse for him. Finally, they stated, “His followers sound like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now when they talk about him.”

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