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Cults. Brandon Cotner and HarleyAnn Heitzman. Objectives. To inform the class about cults and how they function. To provide examples of cults. To show the class other examples of religion. . Cults.

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Brandon Cotner and HarleyAnnHeitzman


To inform the class about cults and how they function.

To provide examples of cults.

To show the class other examples of religion.

  • Definition: a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to it’s rites and ceremonies.
    • Movements that stand outside mainstream religion
    • Adopt nontraditional beliefs or worship practices
manson family
Manson Family

Faith Group: Church of God, Family of Love, The Family

Assembled a doomsday cult

More than 100 individuals

30 miles outside of Northwest Los Angeles at Spahn Ranch

Charles claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ

Concerned about environment and pollution (hippie)

Convicted of several murders

Some murders were believed to be because of not believing in his music career

All murders were gruesome and stabbed multiple times

reasons for murder
Reasons for Murder

Highly hostile to society

Wanted revenge

Rejected by music industry

Entertained by death

Clear blame from friend, Bobby Beausoleil by committing a copycat murder

Sentenced to death penalty and CA revoked the death penalty

Life in prison

people s temple
People’s Temple
  • Jim Jones
    • 1931-1978
    • Degrees from Indiana and Butler University
    • Belonged to a mainline Christian denomination
    • Jim and his family referred to clan as Rainbow Family
    • Created translation: thebelief that him and his followers would die together and more to another planet and live happily together.
people s temple1
People’s Temple

Created as a mission for inter-racial, sick, homeless, jobless people.

Gathered over 3,000 people total

Second largest civilian loss, not occurring because of natural disaster besides September 11th

More than 900 people died

Originally in Indiana, moved to California

Rumors that Jonestown was being run as a concentration camp and people were being held against their will

Congressman Leo Ryan went to investigate and see for himself what was happening

After the visit, 16 members wanted to leave the cult, but this angered Jim Jones and the others.

While waiting to leave, a few armed members opened fire and killed the congress man and a few members of the press

Because of this, the group decided to commit a group suicide by drinking cyanide mixed with Kool-Aide

  • Klu Klux Klan
    • Formed in 1865 by a group of Confederate veterans
    • Original clan had over 550,000 members, second 3 to 5 million
    • Protestant Christians
  • “Ku” and “Klux” were thought as the sounds of the loading and locking a bolt-action rifle
  • Hate group formed to help protect white power
    • Against African Americans, Jewish people, and other minorities
    • Created to restore white power after the American Civil War
  • Used terrorism, violence and murder
goel ratzon
  • Accused of enslavement, rape, incest, and other sexual crimes.
    • 30 women kept as slaves in apartments
    • Goel was accused of fathering 41 children and having 21 wives
    • Controlled women with his hand
    • Brainwashing
goel ratzon1
  • Rules
  • 1 No women shall marry nor shall any woman attack another, either verbally or physically.Fine: 2,000 shekels (£330) into the family kitty
  • 2 No woman shall question another about her whereabouts.Fine: 100 shekels
  • 3 No conversation is permitted in rooms other than the living room. It is forbidden to talk nonsense.Fine: 200 shekels
  • 4 No woman shall sit idle when there are dishes to be washed, cleaning to be done, children to look after etc.Fine: 2,000 shekels
  • 5 Any two women caught fighting will be punished equally.Fine: 2,000 shekels

6 It is absolutely forbidden to question Ratzon on his whereabouts or intention.Fine: 400 shekels

7 It is permissible to ask to accompany him; but refusal is to be accepted without appeal.Fine: 300 shekels

8 No woman shall interrupt Ratzon or intervene in matters not concerning her.Fine: 500 shekels

9 All orders are to be obeyed immediately.Fine: 300 shekels

10 No woman shall work while a man of over 12 years of age is in the house.Fine 3,000 shekels

works cited
Works Cited

Hay, Jeff. World Religions (Greenhaven Encyclopedia). New York: Greenhaven, 2006. Print.

"Cult | Define Cult at" | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Web. 17 Feb. 2010. <>.

“GoelRatzon, Israeli 'harem messiah', arrested in Tel Aviv - Times Online." Times Online | News and Views from The Times and Sunday Times. Web. 19 Feb. 2010. <>.