My sister & I LOVE cults. We try and find documentaries about different cults and shit.
Well, these past few weeks I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on different cults.
First, the Manson family.
“If you’re gonna do something, do it good. And leave something witchy.”
This cult was born in 1967 in the Haight/Ashbury section of San Francisco by one, Charles Manson.
Charles Manson lived most of his life in jail. He had a tough upbringing. Both his parents were in jail, and he started causing havoc at age 13.
There was a story told that in kindergarten, there was a kid Charles didn’t like, so he got his female classmates to beat the kid up. When he was called to the principal’s office, he told the principle, “I didn’t do anything. I can’t get in trouble for what they did”
Keep that in mind for the rest of this story.
Manson built his “family” to up to 25 members. All of his followers clung onto every word he said.
Manson was trying to break it big in the music industry. He hooked up with the drummer of The Beach Boys, showed him some of his music, pimped out some of the girls in his haram.
The drummer introduced him to his producer. The producer listened, but he wasn’t too impressed. So no record deal; on top of that, The Beach Boys took one of his songs and changed the words and claimed it as their own.
This was the beginning of what Manson called “Healter Skelter”.
Helter Skelter is the title of a Beatles song that Manson claimed had messages stating a race war was afoot. Supposedly, blacks will win the war, then Manson and his family will come out and regain power.
In August of 1969, Manson decided that they had to start helter Skelter by themselves. So Manson chose the home of the record producer and told three of his followers, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkle to kill everyone in the house.
Little did he know, the record producer didn’t live there anymore. That home was the home of actress Sharon Tate, who was 8 months pregnant.
The family brutally murdered everyone in the house, and wrote words on the walls in their blood. Sharon Tate was stabbed 20 times.
That wasn’t enough for them, the next night he chose Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Lisa Van Allen to go to a second home and repeat what they did the night before.
This time, Manson actually entered the house and tied up the owners of the home, the Labiancas.
Then they repeated what they did at the Tate house. The Labiancas were stabbed a combined 60 times.
They weren’t caught until Susan Atkins started talking while she was locked up on an unrelated charge.
The trial of Charles Manson was anything but a normal proceeding. He still had control of his group, so he would make them cause disturbances during the trial.
It didn’t matter, they were given the death penalty, which was overturned in California.
Charles Manson died in 2017 at the age of 82, I believe.
Second, Jim Jones and The People’s Temple:
Now this cult is so disturbing… but it started off with a really positive idea.
Jim Jones really believed in social justice. He preached as a child. In the 50’s, he went into the black neighborhoods of Indianapolis and would preach to them.
This was not the norm in those times. Everything was still segregated.
He even brought a black friend to his house one day, and he father said that the friend was not allowed in so Jim says, “Then I shall not come in either”.
He started his first church in Indiana. He wanted a blended church where whites and blacks could worship together. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to do that in a conservative state like Indiana.
So he moved (with about 100 followers) to Northern California. The group grew to over 1000 members.
It was around this time (about 1975), when Jim told his church that he didn’t believe in god, he believed in himself, but if his followers wanted him to be their god, he would gladly be that for them.
He started preaching about socialism and communism.
The group was very controversial. Jim Jones likes to embarrass and beat his followers in front of the entire congregation.
This information got out after a few members left the group. The stories were published in the newspaper and that’s when Jim decided to move the group out of the country, to a self- sufficient kinda utopia. This was located deep into the jungles of Guyana. Guyana was a socialist country, so he felt that would be a great home.
First, he had all the children come first, then their parents came next.
Everyone talked about how happy they were at Jonestown, but they honestly weren’t happy.
Jim Jones started talking a lot about mass suicide. He would even have drills he called “white knight”. He would give his followers wine, then once they drank it, he would say, “you were just poisoned, you have one hour to live” then he would tell them that it was a test to see how they would react.
They did the drill a few times.
Finally November 1978, a Congressman went to visit Jonestown. This was what started the issues.
The Congressman did not see any issues while he was there, but then he received a note from one of the followers asking to be able to leave with them.
The next morning, the defectors (about 15 or 20 of them) packed their things and loaded up with the congressman. The congressman was attacked by one of the followers before they left.
Once they got to the air strip, a truck filled with Jones’s security started shooting everyone. The congressman, and three media members were murdered (I also think one of the defectors was killed as well).
Back at Jonestown, Jones calls for a white knight. He gathers everyone at the pavilion (or home base of the community) and Jim Jones tells them what occurred at the air strip and he tells them their only option is to kill themselves before the government goes in and kill them.
Many people believed him and they were down to kill themselves. Some people weren’t.
They made a huge vat of kool aid laced with potassium cyanide (KCN) and he asked everyone to come up and take a cup and drink.
Parents were told to give their children the drink first, then drink.
He told them that they are committing “revolutionary suicide” and to “die with dignity”
913 people died that day, including 264 children. This was what was left of Jonestown.
I cannot look at the up close pictures. It’s so disturbing. Many bodies were left facedown and hugging their children.
Jonestown is one of those mindless stories that breaks your heart.
The 60’s and 70’s were a wild time in America.
David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX.
I personally love this man…. but that’s all the opinions I’ll give, here are the facts:
David Koresh, born Vernon Howell, became the leader of a sect of the Seventh Day Adventist’s Church called The Branch Davidians.
As a child, Vernon would do nothing but read the Bible. He memorized the New testament by age 14, then memorized the Old Testament by 18.
He joined the church around age 18, and began talking to the church leader, a woman whose name I cannot remember. But she took a liking to Vernon and allowed him to take over the pulpit.
This angered the son of the woman and a huge battle over the church raged on.
Of course, the battle ended up with Vernon winning. Vernon was now going by David Koresh.
They look back their old compound called Mount Carmel in Waco, TX and build their homes and lived communally.
Koresh practiced polygamy and had about 20 children. He actually came with a prophecy that the men of the compound were to be celebrate and all marriages were dissolved.
The Branch Davidians believed in a doomsday prophecy, where a battle between good and evil will lead to the end of the world where the good will over take the evil.
They began stockpiling weapons, AR-15s, Grenades, and started converting semi automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons.
Well, February 28th, 1993 was the beginning of what their doomsday would feel like.
The ATF and FBI planned a military type siege on Mount Carmel. They had undercover officers infiltrate Mount Carmel. David Koresh, knew that they were coming, and he knew that the people that infiltrated Mount Carmel were undercover agents.
The Branch Davidians knew the officers were coming, and they were prepared.
An hour long shootout left 4 ATF agents, and 6 Branch Davidians dead. David Koresh would not leave, and neither would his followers.
The siege went for 51 days. Koresh released about 20 people for the first 27-30 days. After that, no one left.
His 20 children and most loyal supporters stayed and wouldn’t leave.
The 51st day of the siege was when tragedy struck .
The FBI decided to break down the walls of the compound and insert tear gas into the walls to drive the Davidians out.
They all had gas masks, except for the children who had their faces covered by warm towels.
Finally, smoke was seen billowing from a second floor window. (It seems that multiple fires were set in three places inside the compound)
All of a sudden, boom! The entire building was engulfed in flames. 80 people perished in the fire, including David Koresh.
He, and 5 others were found with a gunshot wound to the head.
David Koresh was kinda sexy. I’m not even gonna lie.
But those are my three favorite cults.