Cult-like groups don’t want to accept it, but they function as those organizations. A cult is a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs and rituals, or its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.
Some social groups pretend they are not cults. However, people in this AskReddit thread think otherwise.
Viral Strange has collected 18 cult-like groups people think are a cult.
1. The Herbalife company
Despite being accused of being a pyramid scheme, they continue to function similarly. Some people from my childhood became addicted to it, and they act very much like members of a cult.
They bought out the Cult Awareness Network so they wouldn’t be on the list.
3. Some companies
Yesterday, I actually observed a job posting that stated “Don’t bother applying if receiving money is your main motivation. Here, we live like a family.”
One of the most degrading things I’ve ever read was that.
Just to be clear, this job was compensated. They simply stated that they wouldn’t be paying you much, I presume.
4. The Duggar Family
You are basically at their whim. You are expected to pay tuition, costumes, dance wear, dance shoes, travel fees, competition fees, production fees, tickets, and do volunteer work, and give up your entire schedule.
If you complain at all about anything valid or not- they shun you by not giving your kid a good role or not moving them up a level. And they withhold attention from your child.
You literally must schedule all your life around ballet. And pay thousands and thousands of dollars so your kid can be in the back.
If you quit all the former dance parents and friends will shun you.
6. Jehovah’s Witnesses
As someone who comes from a family of Jehovahs and has actively practiced this faith in past times: It is 100% a cult.
Crossfitter here. We are absolutely a cult.
Phish fan also. HUGE cult.
8. The troubled teen industry (youth residential “therapy” programs that are underregulated and rampant with abuse, SA, and children’s deaths)
Edit: the earlier programs were closely based on the teachings of a cult called Synanon. Not every program open right now is a cult itself but their history is abusive and most programs do significantly more harm than good.
9. Southern Pentecostal Baptist Snake Handlers
Grew up going to one of these churches. Long drive to a small church hidden in the woods. They honestly believed only their members were gonna make it to heaven. We saw some crazy stuff in that building.
10. BTS army
There are the usual answers like religions, tech start-ups, etc.
And then there’s the BTS Army.
11. Texas A&M
My mom likes to tell the story of when I visited there as a high school senior. It was a one-night sleepover tour.
I hated it.
When she came to pick me up the following day I was waiting at the curb, sitting on my packed suitcase. I hopped immediately into the car and the first thing I said was, “It’s a cult. Let’s get out of here.”
My folks are in Amway, starting when I was in middle school. They were supposed to be millionaires by the time my dad retired (they are not).
Growing up, they were hardly ever home. They were gone every weekend at events that of course, they paid to attend. Every time we were driving, they played self-help tapes.
The worst though was that they wanted everything to be positive, nothing negative. Sad? Be happy. Angry? Be happy. I couldn’t have any kind of relationship with them beyond pretending everything was fine. A whole household bottles up their feelings for years. Once I was 17, I was hardly ever home. I slept at friends’ homes or came back super late after everyone was asleep. I left the day I turned 18.
It has completely consumed their lives. All of their social life is Amway, not because they cut people out who didn’t join, but because everyone who wouldn’t get sick of the sales pitch over and over. After I became an adult and left their home, any time we came back to visit, they were trying to recruit me and my wife. We stopped going over except for the primary holidays, and now hardly that anymore. They’ve stopped the sales pitch, but it’s their whole identity. We have nothing to talk about, except what’s going on with us, which doesn’t last long. It’s beyond awkward.
Fortunately, my wife has a delightful family.
13. Jeep owners
A lot of my friends and family tell me I’m unknowingly in the cult of jeep owners… I mean it’s a jeep thing they wouldn’t understand.
14. The Amish
They control nearly every aspect of their followers’ lives and live in an incredibly insular society. Sure they let their kids experience the outside world and choose for themselves through rumspringa, but they seem to set them up for failure by throwing them into the deep end with no preparation at a time in their lives (17-21) when people aren’t noted for great decision making. When the kids almost inevitably end up crashing and burning back into the fold, they are forced to remain for the rest of their lives through the threat of shunning where even their own parents will treat them as if they are dead and invisible. Sure they look quaint with their beards, buggies, and barns, but if you actually look at them critically, they’re as bad as any other cult, they’ve just been around longer.
15. Definitely MAGA
Some family members of mine, who I no longer talk to, got so crazy with Trump that they were comparing him to Jesus. Anyone who said differently was threatened. My uncle knew I was an Obama supporter and he got to a point where he was constantly harassing me, and threatening to shoot me over it. Never thought he would do it so I never took it that seriously. Haven’t talked to him in a few years but I’ve heard that he’s completely off the rails with it.
They’re money cults.
17. Sororities and fraternities
18. The Grateful Dead Family.
What a wonderful mixed bag of both amazing people and assholes.
What do you think about this discussion? Is there any other group that might suit well under the category of being a cult? Tell us in the comments below.