The Infamous Cults Quiz

The Infamous Cults Quiz
Image: Brooks Kraft/Corbis

About This Quiz

Some cults promote harsh conservative judgment; some are more into free love and spaceships. Others are incredibly dangerous, harming their own members and innocent people. With this quiz, we'll see how much you really know about infamous cults.
What is the name of the cult that believes humans were created by aliens called Elohim, who pretended to be angels when they appeared in the past?
Heaven's Gate
Raëlism
Raëlism began in the 1970s and is often associated with claims that they can clone humans and an attitude of very liberal sexuality.
Shining Path

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The Brethren, founded by Jimmie T. Roberts, disallows members from using modern conveniences and forbids children from…
speaking
looking at members of the opposite sex
playing
The Brethren believe all celebration should be saved for the imminent return of Jesus Christ (which has been imminent since the 1970s), so the kids can't play.

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Which cult is known for its mass weddings, with hundreds of couples married simultaneously in huge ceremonies?
the Branch Davidians
the Sign of the Moon
the Unification Church
Members of the Unification Church are sometimes called "Moonies" because of their association with founder Sun Myung Moon.

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What did the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God predict would happen on March 17, 2000?
The Virgin Mary would come to Earth and carry the cult's members to Heaven.
When Mary did not arrive, the cult leaders caused explosions and fires that killed hundreds of cult members.
The Earth would be destroyed by God's vengeance.
Israel would declare war on the U.S.

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What is it called when the loved ones of a cult member arrange to have that person kidnapped away from the cult and retrained for cult-free life?
decultification
deprogramming
Deprogramming is a controversial activity that isn't always successful.
re-education

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Which cult engaged in a practice of recruiting new members by sending women members out to have sex with them, something they called "Flirty Fishing?"
the Children of God
The Children of God ran into trouble both because of sexually transmitted diseases and for their publications which promoted child-adult sexual activity.
Heaven's Gate
the People's Temple

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The People's Temple massacre occurred in what South American nation?
Guyana
The People's Temple commune in Guyana, called Jonestown, was the site of the massacre.
Brazil
Uruguay

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How many people died in the People's Temple Jonestown massacre?
918
918 people died, the worst cult-based massacre in U.S. history.
1212
233

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What cyanide-laced substance was given to the People's Temple members to facilitate the Jonestown massacre?
grape Kool-Aid
The incident gave rise to the phrase, "drinking the Kool-Aid," often used to mean, "believing in something because someone told you to."
orange Gatorade
Pepsi

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Leo Ryan was shot by People's Temple guards while attempting to investigate Jonestown. What government position did he hold?
U.S. ambassador to Guyana
Congressman
Congressman Ryan is the only member of the House of Representatives to be assassinated while in office.
FBI investigator

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What did the Aum Shinrikyo cult use to attack the Tokyo subway system in 1995?
radioactive materials
sarin gas
The sarin gas attack killed 13.
AK-47 assault rifles

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What does Aum Shinrikyo mean when translated into English?
Supreme Truth
Translation is tricky since the cult's founder combined Sanskrit and Japanese to create the name, but Supreme Truth is the generally accepted translation.
Eternal Shrine
Fire of Heaven

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Cults preoccupied with preparing for the end of the world are often known as…
doomsday cults
Doomsday cultists sometimes believe only they will be spared in the coming apocalypse, but cults have also committed mass suicide when they thought the world would end.
New Testament cults
revisionist cults

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What federal agency conducted the final assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas in 1993?
the Department of Homeland Security
the FBI
Although the initial raid on the Branch Davidians was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the final assault which set the compound on fire was conducted by the FBI.
the National Guard

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Who was the leader of the Branch Davidian cult?
Francois Davide
David Koresh
Koresh, who was born Vernon Howell, took over the cult in the 1980s.
Lucas David Davidson

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What terrorist attack was conducted on the anniversary of and inspired by the Branch Davidian Waco raid?
Columbine massacre
1993 World Trade Center bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing targeted a building that housed federal agencies as revenge for the Waco incident.

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What doomsday cult believed they were descended from the Knights Templar and died in a series of mass murder/suicides in the 1990s?
Ramtha
Order of the Solar Temple
The Solar Temple's members believed their leader was Christ and that they'd go to another planet when they died.
Oahspe Faithists

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What phrase did Charles Manson use to describe the apocalyptic race war he foresaw?
Revelation
Helter Skelter
Manson took the phrase from the Beatles song "Helter Skelter;" one of the cultists wrote it in blood at one of the murder scenes.
Armageddon

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What actress was among those murdered by the Manson Family?
Grace Kelly
Sharon Tate
Tate was nine months pregnant at the time she was killed.
Romy Schneider

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The Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide believing they'd be transported onto a spaceship traveling behind what comet in 1997?
Swift-Tuttle
Hale-Bopp
The astronomers that Hale-Bopp is named after probably wish the comet had become famous for some other reason.
Haley's Comet

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What notable footwear were the Heaven's Gate cultists all wearing when they killed themselves?
Birkenstock sandals
brand new Nike sneakers
The Nike sneakers were a strange detail of the mass suicide scene that the media focused on at the time.
Wolverine work boots

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What did the Rajneeshpuram cult do in Oregon in 1985?
They sent letter bombs to county committee members.
They poisoned salad bars with salmonella.
The salmonella poisoning was part of a bizarre scheme to gain control of county government.
They tried to build a nuclear fission reactor.

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What other method did the Rajneeshpuram cult use to try to win county elections?
They threatened county election officials who counted the ballots.
They registered to vote dozens of times each using fake identities.
They invited thousands of homeless people to move to their city.
The cult hoped the homeless people would pack ballot boxes in their favor. Did we mention that it was a bizarre scheme?

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JZ Knight, founder of the Ramtha School, claims to channel the thoughts of a being who is how old?
100 years
35,000 years
Knight channels a 35,000-year-old "ascended being" named Ramtha.
2,000 years

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The town of Yerba Buena in northern Mexico was home to a cult in the 1960s led by a former prostitute who did what to those who tried to leave the cult?
killed them and drank their blood in a ritual
Magdalena Solis possibly suffered from delusions that she was a reincarnated Incan goddess and needed to drink blood to maintain her immortality.
had sex with them to convince them life in the cult would be better
cut out their tongues so they couldn't tell anyone about the cult

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Thelema was a cult created by what notorious English occultist?
Aleister Crowley
Crowley was once described as "the wickedest man in the world."
Ozzy Osbourne
Margaret Thatcher

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The establishment of a caliphate and an apocalyptic battle in the Middle East are the goals of the terrorist group known as…
ISIS
While other Islamic terrorist groups have political goals alongside their religious aims, ISIS' cult-like goals are primarily based on a religious prophecy.
Hamas
Shining Path

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A far-right cult active in the U.S. in the 1970s and 80s that advocated white supremacy was called the Covenant, the Sword, and the…
Arm of the Lord
The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord fell apart after a peaceful FBI standoff ended with the leaders being arrested.
Flame
Righteous Path

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Adolfo Constanzo, leader of a cult in Mexico in the 1980s that was popular with drug cartels, kidnapped and murdered 15 people for what purpose?
He had to show the cartels he was tough by committing murders.
He used various body parts to cast dark magic spells.
Constanzo's reputation as a black magician and spellcaster was reinforced by the grisly body parts, including brains and spines, that he extracted from his victims.
He enjoyed the taste of human flesh.

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The Church of Satan, founded in 1966, has a notable relationship with Satan. What is it?
They believe each member of the cult is a child of Satan.
They believe their high priest is Satan born in human form.
They don’t actually believe that a supernatural being called Satan exists.
The Church of Satan doesn’t worship a literal demonic entity called Satan.

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You Got:
/30
Brooks Kraft/Corbis

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