We all want to be part of something. We want to be with those who think like us, who enjoy the things we enjoy, who make us feel less alone and less weird. Some of us find that on the school yard at a young age. Others need to wait until we get to our first comic shop or horror convention. More and more people are finding their group online, which has lead to some… interesting… consequences for the world.
Still, some people go so long without finding a place where they are comfortable, a place that truly accepts them, that when they find a group that promises to, they give all of themselves to it. These groups tend to be spiritual in nature. Sometimes it’s a more respected religion, like Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Sometimes it’s a less respected religion, like Scientology. Sometimes it a religion that some guy came up with in a drug haze when he realized that he is god. We call these cults, and here are some of the weirdest ones out there…
The Creativity Movement
In the mid-1950s, Ben Klassen came up with an idea that revolutionized the can-opening world; the electric wall mounted can-opener. Apparently this idea was enough for old Ben to conclude that white people were superior to all other people. He took his can-opener money and his white supremacist views and went into politics, creating his own party, the Nationalist White Party. When that didn’t work out for him, he turned it into a religion he called Church of the Creator.
In the sure sign of any good religion, the Church of the Creator has changed its name a few times since its inception in 1973. After Klassen killed himself in 1993 (he’s buried in the “Ben Klassen Memorial Park” in North Carolina, which he bought and named himself), Matthew F. Hale took over and renamed it the New Church of the Creator. The name changed again, this time to the World Church of the Creator, after Hale went off to prison for trying to get an undercover FBI agent to kill a judge. The next leader, Adam Jacobs, also ended up in prison after he tortured a man for eleven hours.
Recently the New Church of the Creator got some coverage when member Craig Cobb tried to buy the town of Antler, North Dakota and rename it Creativity Trump. Or maybe Trump Creativity. He wasn’t sure.
In the 1970s, you couldn’t throw a stick without hitting a cult that believed a race war was going to happen real soon. From the above mentioned Creativity Movement to the Nation of Yahweh, the fear of the war between whites and blacks in America was at a fever pitch. All of these cults share the same inherent oddity of believing that one race is superior to another with the added bonus of ego and strange conspiracy theories, but none of them could lay a hand on the Nuwaubian Nation.
Founded by Dwight York, the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors hits all the best parts of a cult. York isn’t just a guy, he claims to be the descendant of Muslim leader Muhammad Ahmad (he isn’t) and the Nuwabian Nation had a real cool compound called Tama-Re for a while where York taught his followers some real fun stuff.
Nuwaubians believe that if you don’t bury the afterbirth from your child’s eviction from the womb, the Devil will take it and make a clone of your baby. They also believe that Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy hooked up with Satan and gave birth to his child in the Dakota Hotel in New York, as witnessed by the Pope. The baby was given to Richard Nixon to raise.
These days, Dwight York spends his time in prison, serving a 135-year sentence for, among other things, child molestation.
Prince Philip Movement
How about we get away from race wars and move into a cult that is more chill, like the Prince Philip Movement?
On the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu, which Wikipedia tells me is a little more than 1000 miles from Australia, there is a village called Yaohnanen, where the Kastom live. According to the ancient stories of the Kastom, long ago the son of mountain spirit took off over the sea to find himself a powerful woman to marry.
When the Kastom learned about Queen Elizabeth and how revered she was across the world, they figured that her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had to be the son of the mountain spirit. For some sixty years now, the Kastom have worshipped Prince Philip and Prince Philip has played into their beliefs. When he learned of the Kastom, prince Philip sent them a signed photo. When the Kastom sent Prince Philip a traditional club used for killing pigs, he again sent them a photo, this one showing him holding the club. In 2007 five members of the Prince Philip Movement traveled to England where they met with Prince Philip.
I wonder how often Prince Philip brings this up to Queen Elizabeth. I know I would mention it at least once a day.
Sect of the Gadget Hackwrench
More than a few boys and girls discovered their sexuality while watching TV. From catching the Beatles or Elvis on the ED SULLIVAN SHOW and watching Sally Field in GIDGET to seeing whoever the kids are into these days on MTV or the Disney Channel, we all find someone on the old tube hot. Some kids go in a different direction, and their first TV crush comes from a cartoon. Sometimes this crush never dies and it gets real weird. For the Sect of Gadget Hackwrench, that seems like the most obvious answer.
Gadget Hackwrench, a character from the animated series CHIP ‘N DALE: RESCUE RANGERS has herself quite a cult in Russia. Her followers, who plaster walls with giant stickers of Gadget, worship the cartoon mouse because they believe that she is not only pure and good, but that her technical prowess is well above the abilities of a mere mortal. Some of Gadget’s followers spend their time writing songs about their goddess while others create new art of her.
Fellowship of Friends
If you’re going to have a cult, there are worse places to set it up than California’s wine country. Founded by Robert Earl Burton on New Years Day 1970 (New Years Eve 1969 must have been a hell of a party for Rob), the Fellowship of Friends runs its own winery, school, theater group, ballet troupe, cemetery, and museum. The main goal of the Fellowship of Friends is to help its members awaken their spiritual selves so that they will become immortal. This is done by working to attain the highest forms of beauty, knowledge, and culture. In other words, be hot and smart, and you’re in.
Burton believes that he is an angel trapped in the body of a man. He claims to regularly speak to 44 other angels, including Ben Franklin. Former members of the Fellowship have accused Burton of brainwashing and sexual abuse, two things Ben Franklin happened to be a fan of.
*Header Photo: iStock