Visual Encyclopedia

Cult

The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. The term itself is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. although this is often unclear. Other researchers present a less-organized picture of cults on the basis that cults arise spontaneously around novel beliefs and practices. Groups said to be cults range in size from local groups with a few members to international organizations with millions.

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An interesting documentary about a strange cult in Russia, called the Church of the Last Testement. They follow a man known to them as "The Teacher", who claims to be a modern reincarnation of Jesus Christ. "Deep in Siberia's Taiga forest is Vissarion, a cult leader who looks like Jesus and claims to be the voice of God. He's known as "the Teacher" to his 4,000 followers, who initially seem surprisingly normal. Over time, however, their unflinching belief in UFOs and the Earth's imminent demise made this group start to look more and more like some sort of strange cult."

Contributed by Sean Gay

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