Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Execution by elephant

Learned something brutal the other day, thought I'd share it here.



Apparently for centuries in South east Asia (particularly India) Asian elephants were trained in the art of torture and execution. 
Death by elephant was used as a form of capital punishment. 
The animals were trained to torture and crush their victims, often stomping on them or sitting on them to crush them. They could be taught to inflict a slow or quick death on command.
What a way to go, jeez.

(above left: listmaze, above sickchirpse)


Corpsewood manor murders


Corpsewood Manor is an allegedly haunted abandoned mansion located in the woods of northern Georgia. 
Those who visit the remains of the property in search of a scare claim to feel a sense of despair, see phantom dogs and human shaped shadows and hear faint harp music. But the real story behind the haunted rubble is much more terrifying and tragic than the movement of a shadow from the corner of your eye...

(image: weekinweird.com)

Although a sight of beautiful decay and a treat for urban explorers and paranormal researchers alike, the manor has a tragic story dating back to the early eighties involving the murder of a couple- a retired university professor Charles Scudder and his partner Joseph Odom. 

The pair moved to the rural area in search of a peaceful and quiet existence, sadly they got the opposite. 

Things were going well at first, amazingly Scudder and Odom built the property by hand- it was a simple structure of course, but they were self-sufficient and could grow their own produce and even make wine on the property. 
The interior of their hand built home was the opposite. It was fixed with the rare and antique items that Scudder loved to collect. He had a taste for the finer things when it came to art and music, often playing his golden harp into the night.



The couple was murdered by a young man they had befriended in the local area named Kenneth Brock who used to regularly visit and partake in the couple’s homemade wine. 

Some say he may have been sexually involved with the pair and struggled with his feelings about it.

 His partner in crime was a friend named Samuel West whom later remorselessly referred to the slain couple as “queer devil worshippers” during the trial. (Charles Scudder had once joined the church of Satan out of curiosity like many, but was not active in the church and had no real religious affiliations) 
They had arrived at corpsewood manor in a group of four under the false presense of having a small party. Both Brock and West had both been sniffing glue before their arrival and continued to do so throughout the night. 

Brock mercilessly shot Odom and the couples passive pet dogs to death with his hunting rifle before he shot Scudder in the face several times. 

(image weekinweird)

“I asked for this” were the final words of Charles Scudder. Nobody is really sure about what this meant.

Although the motive for the killing was money, the pair escaped with barely anything. 
They were caught and sentenced and remain in jail to this day.

Sylvester the mummy, Elmer McCurdy and Julia Pastrana

I always wondered how sideshows attained their mummies, so after a bit of quick research decided to share with you the stories of 3 mummies in particular. 


1.
Sylvester the mummy, who now resides at the “ye olde curiosity shop” in Seattle, was said to be discovered in the Arizona desert in the 1800′s. 
It was determined that he had been shot in the stomach and had mummified naturally in the sand and hot climate. He toured the sideshow circuit before settling into his home at the store in the mid fifties.

(Left image sideshowworld, right image wikipedia)

If you want to visit Sylvester, just stop by the store at
1001 Alaskan Way, 
Seattle, 
WA 98104
+1 206-682-5844

2.
Elmer McCurdy, also known as “The Bandit who wouldn’t give up” was displayed as a sideshow oddity, after being shot and killed by the police in the 1920’s. 
When the traveling show that displayed his preserved remains disbanded, he found a new home in a Californian carnival park as a prop, scaring the visitors who believed that he was merely a dummy. His remains resided there until they were accidentally discovered in the mid seventies, when a member of a film crew attempted to move what he assumed to be a fun house prop, only for the brittle arm bone to break off as he pulled on it. 

(image Wikipedia

You can pay your respects to Elmer and visit his grave at
Summit View Cemetery 
Guthrie Logan County 
Oklahoma,
 USA

3.
The mummified body of Julia Pastrana, known throughout her sideshow career under many aliases, including “the ape woman”, “the non-descript” and “the bearded lady” due to the black hair that grew all over her body as a result of hypertrichosis. 
She was a talented woman who could sing, dance and speak several languages. She brought in a lot of revenue to the sideshow, so much so that even after her death her husband (who was also her manager) refused to retire her. 
Her body was embalmed, preserved and displayed, along with the remains of a child she had lost.

(images sideshowworld.com) 

Julie was buried in Sinaloa de Leyva in Mexico where she grew up. 

The rope walker doe


Nobody knew the name of this entertainer as he lay dying after falling from a tightrope in the middle of a busy street in Texas in 1898. 
Apparently he was described as a very old man with a pegged leg who had been hired to walk the tightrope carrying heavy items on his back as a promotional stunt to bring attention to a local store. 

He refused to reveal his identity and was buried simply as “Rope walker”. 

If you want to read more about him go here

(Image: findagrave)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Benjaman Kyle identified as William Burgess Powell.

Do you guys remember Benjaman Kyle? The man with no identity? 

If not, here's an old post from my tumblr from when he actually found out who he was.

The man who has been without an identity for 11 years finally knows who he is. 
Found behind a dumpster outside of a Burger King and hospitalized, Benjaman woke up with no memory of who he was, and was diagnosed with retrograde amenesia. 
Unable to work without any form of I.D, Kyle was dependent on those who helped him out in Jackson, Florida, where he’s lived for over a decade while searching for who he is. 

 Genetic genealogist, CeCe Moore, was able to figure out his identity using the same process used in finding biological parents in adoption cases. 

He made the following Facebook post:
  “MY IDENTITY HAS BEEN FOUND! It is now the start of the eleventh year since this began and I never thought this day would come. A little over two months ago I was informed by CeCe Moore that that they had established my Identity using DNA. Many people had shared their DNA profiles so that they could be compared with mine. Through a process of elimination they determined my ancestral bloodline and who my relatives were. A DNA test taken by a close relative has confirmed that we are related. I have been in contact with them and plan on visiting them next week. I will soon have a Social Security card and a new Florida ID card. I am reserving my new name for now until I have met my new found relatives.

Well, here's another update on that. Turns out his real name is William Burgess Powell.

The first article to reveal his name can be read here:
It's a very good read!

(link originally found here!)

Murder of Vera Holland and suspected killer Christopher Halliwell


I was browsing some unsolved murders like I sometimes do when I have a spare half hour and read about the unsolved murder of Vera Holland. I started writing the article and assumed it was going to be a short one until I found out about a suspected serial killer named Christopher Halliwell who could potentially be responsible for the death of not only Holland but an array of missing women in and around the area over the years since the eighties. 
I was actually pretty shocked at the amount of missing woman and unsolved murders of women there were and Halliwell is a real piece of work. I would like to flesh out the details and go all in with these cases at a later date- so expect this post to get an overhaul in the near future. 

On the 16th of November 1996, the body of a murdered woman, later identified as 47 year old Shinfield Rise resident Vera Holland, was found burning in a mound of illegally dumped waste which had been set ablaze by her killer. 

Firefighters recovered her remains as they battled the fire at a fly tip known to locals as “two bridges”, just off the A327 motorway- a stones-throw away from the victim’s home. It was later revealed that she had been asphyxiated.

Holland had been missing since the 14th November 1996 after she went out with the intention of picking up take-out food from KFC. Her husband reported her missing when she failed to return, and was later informed of the devastating news.
The crime still remains unsolved 20 years later.

With no suspects or persons of interest, attention turned to a remorseless, suspected serial killer and former taxi driver, Christopher Halliwell, who is currently spending life in prison for the murders of 20 year old Becky Godden in Swindon in 2003 and 22 year old Sian O’Callaghan in Wiltshire in 2011.
Both the locations of the bodies of Godden and O’Callaghan were under a 50 minute drive from Shinfield and there is an eight year gap between the two murders. Both victims had also been strangled.  

In fact, there is a string of missing people’s cases and unsolved murders in the south-west of England from 1995 onwards that could possibly be the handy work of Christopher Halliwell.

Officer Steve Fulcher (who lost his position while working on the case due to gross misconduct) highlighted what he considered an important detail: Three women went missing or were possibly murdered in the south-west on the same date, March 19th, of different years- Sian O’Callaghan (A confirmed victim) Linda Razzell (although her husband was arrested) and yet another missing woman, Claudia Lawrence (also unsolved). He expressed his disappointment with the local police for not further exploring the connection after he was relieved from his position.

This article in the Sun newspaper contains a statement made a friend of the killers ex-wife stating "The date was “special” to the killer, 52, as it was the one on which he was dumped by a girlfriend in the Eighties."

Halliwell. 
(Pic source: dailymail)

According to an article in the Guardian from this year, Halliwell was inquiring how many victims it would take to be officially classed as a serial killer while he was incarcerated for an unrelated crime. An old cell mate of Halliwell's, an armed robber by the name of Ernest Springer, told interviewers that the suspected serial killer would constantly talk about serial killers and was particularly interested in Myra Hindley, whom was something of an idol to him. The twisted taxi driver’s internet search history exposed an interest in an array of exploitative pornography.


Investigators do not believe that Callaghan and Godden were Halliwell’s first victims, and believe that there are probably more unsolved murders of woman that could be the work of Halliwell- including Linda Razzell whose remains were found in Swindon in 2002. He is not as of yet forensically tied to any of the cases but they say that does not rule him out as the potential perpetrator. 
A woman named Sally Ann John, who went missing in Swindon in 1995, and lived very close to Halliwell at the time, is also thought of as a possible potential victim. She worked as a call girl, and Halliwell was known for requiring the services of those working in the sex industry and would cruise around the red light district in his taxi (a green Toyota Avensis )- which is where he met Godden. [X


Halliwell also had a collection of pencil drawings in his home, with rural or isolated locations as the subject. These were thought to be indications of the burial sites of other victims.[X]

If you have any information of the murder of Vera Holland, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant authorities.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Michel Rostand and the Buddhafield cult: Holy hell

Remember how I was on a cult documentary binge last month? 
Well I watched a more recent title called "Holy Hell" (2016) [X
It's available from all the usual places like itunes, amazon etc.

Anyways it's about this group called "The Buddhafield" that was active in the mid eighties (and presently), lead by a speedo wearing, narcissistic control freak referred to by his followers as "the leader" or simply "Michel".
One of the members was a film student called Will Allen, who documented his time there and went back to interview members years later to talk about what happened.
The whole film has a really unnerving, sinister vibe to it. I was obviously expecting  the truth to be revealed throughout the documentary of course, but no matter how many cult films I watch, I'm never exactly prepared for that unsettling feeling of watching the leaders act dissolve and finding out the reality of abuse and control.

I do like the way the story was told and the style it was filmed and edited in. You should check it out if you're looking for something to watch.

Here's the trailer for it. 


CNN did a report after the documentary came out in search of Michel Rostand, which you can watch here.
You can also read an article by the huffington post here

You may also be interested in...


In late 2006/early 2007, then 19 year old Ria Ramkissoon starved her 16 month old son, Javon Thompson, to death under the orders of Toni Sloan, aka “Queen Antoinette”, who was the leader of the “1 Mind Ministries” cult. A new mother with a troubled home life and an incarcerated partner (attempted murder charge); she originally joined the cult as a disappointed reaction to the places of worship in the Baltimore area. At a loss for what to do with her life, and unsure of what direction to go in, she decided to move into the “1 Mind Ministries” house after being recruited by existing members who actively pursued her.. (click to read more

Recently I’ve been binge watching videos about cults and cult survivors and the like and thought I’d make a post on five documentaries that you can watch right now.
1.“Cult Witness” [X] This documentary includes interviews with a young ex-cult member detailing the techniques used and the process he went through. It also briefly interviews members of other cults such as the “UFO” cult “Gentle wind project” whose leader scammed this particular member out of thousands of dollars in return for alien prophecies, and the story of a member of “Children of God” which brings me to number 2 on my list… (click to continue)

Then eighteen year old Nancy Lynn Jason was last seen on the 20th of July 1977 in Bethesda, Maryland. Nancy was a “Premie”, a member of a religious group called “Divine Light Mission” which was founded in India in the sixties by leader Shri Hans Ji Maharaj. The Western sect of the group is classed by many as a cult. Maharaja’s youngest son, Guru Maharaj Ji (later Prem Rawat) brought the Divine light mission to the west against his families wishes, spreading branches of the DLM across the US, England and other countries in Europe"Eventually the family split in anger and took control of (click to continue

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Hey horrors!
I honestly, for the life of me, cannot recall how I came about reading articles on Frances Glessner Lee, but I'm so glad I did.


The patron saint of police, Frances Glessner Lee, had always had an interest in forensic science. 
She was denied a formal education in medicine and law and instead was married off to an attorney in training. During her time as a stay home wife and mother she pursued other hobbies at home such as sewing, art projects and making miniatures and doll houses.

Three children and many years later in the 1940’s, the marriage had ended in divorce and that nagging passion in forensics reared its persistent head again- this time as an interest in crime. This interest was inspired by the hundreds of cases that she had notice go unsolved. 

She noticed that the authorities seemed to be largely untrained in solving murder cases, and so following a hefty inheritance she dedicated her time, knowledge, funds and energy to helping provide proper police training in the art of evidence collecting and file building.

She liaised with witnesses of crimes, local people, police who were at the scene as well as morgue staff who dealt with the body, in order to collect statements and evidence to put together case files.
 Her favorite pastime of miniature model making came in extremely useful as a training tool to officers and investigators as she crafted small models of rooms, furniture and victims to use in demonstrations when training. Murder weapons, unchecked mail, position of furniture, stained clothing and fabrics were pointed out as important clues to solve the case.



These impressively detailed hand crafted tiny crime scene dioramas came to be known as “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”.




You can interactively explore the nutshells here and try to solve the crimes [X]

All images are from the deathindiorama site.
And all credits for such can be found here [X] as well as here [X]

Nicolae Minovici- hanging for science

I came across this picture online and just had to find out exactly why I was looking at a reclining man casually hanging himself. This guy was wild, check it out. 


A Romanian criminologist and forensic science professor named Nicolae Minovici routinely hanged himself in the name of research for his paper “Study on hanging” published in the 1900s.
Using a series of ropes, knots and pulleys he would auto-asphyxiate himself to experience both the physical and psychological effects it had on the human body and mind. He would then report his findings such as ringing in the ears, visual disturbances and other phenomena, and would experiment on other test subjects by choking them and having them report their experience too.



(All pictures found at madsciencemuseum)

The disappearance of Kimberly Ann Moreau and youtube channel 00b4as6


After an argument with her boyfriend on the 11th of May 1986, then 17 year old Maine resident, Kimberly Moreau, skipped her junior prom to party with a girlfriend two men in their mid-twenties whom they had just met.
The timeline of the night reveals that she made sure to stop by her family home around 11pm to inform her sister that she’d return in an hour or so. Her sister neglected to ask any further questions- something she would forever come to regret, but provided a description of the car that Kimberly left in- a Pontiac trans am in white.

That would be the last time that any member of the Moreau family would ever see Kimberly again.
Brian Enman- one of the two 25 year old men the girls were with that night, was the last person to have contact with the missing teenage girl that night. He insisted in his statement that, as per Kimberly’s request, he had dropped her off a fair distance from her home (around half a mile) so that she could take a walk and reflect on what had happed between her and her boyfriend that night.  

Many people were sceptical of Enman’s statement, including the police and the missing girl’s family, who commented that it would be completely out of character for Kimberly to do something like that. Needless to say, Brian Enman was a person of interest in the case; however he was never convicted for the disappearance.

(pic source: centralmaine.com)

Kimberly’s father, now in his early seventies, has searched high and low for his daughter over the years with the intention of "giving her a proper burial"- he revealed to the Portland press herald in 2015.
As with many high profile missing peoples cases the family received many phone calls from anonymous people claiming to know where their missing daughter was- All hoax calls with dead end answers or course. 


Another presumed hoax to pop up was a coded YouTube account- user “00b4as6” who began posting content relating to Moreau's disappearance one month after local police searched Brian Enman’s property and surrounding land. Reddit subunresolved mysteries dissected the videos in their comments section with the senses that although unnerving, they are not convinced that the videos are legit.

The videos are no longer available and have been removed, but Top15’s Y/T channel does talk about the mysterious channel in this video here [X]

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Kimberly Anne Moreau please do not hesitate to contact the
Maine State Police on 1-800-228-0857 or 207-743-8282

(pic source: central Maine)


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Suicide in Malaysian pop music video

Warning: topic of suicide. Scroll past if you need to.


The music video for this Malaysian pop single by Joyce Chu possibly captures a persons suicide.
Many are in debate about the authenticity of the claim, as what appears to be a body falls from the white building in the background while the words “When I say I miss you” are sang at 1:42.
Arguments stating it is editing, an actual suicide or even a ghost are argued in the comments section of the MV.
Those who know the area say that the sign the body falls in front of actually very far in front of the white building the body seems to fall from and a picture showing the distance can been seen here  in this gossip life Asia article. 

Horror movie Marathon 3




Thought it was time for another Horror movie marathon post,so here you go!
I'm sure you've seen a few of these already, but hopefully you can find something new that you like.
(Also, the previous list is here << click it
And my documentaries about cults post is here << click it)


1.The Wailing (2016) /Goksung (2016) [X]
A small rural village in a South Korean town is stricken by a mysterious illness after a strange, elderly Japanese man moves there. The sickness causes those suffering to act violently and murder one another, eventually resulting in death. It is up to investigating officer Jong-Goo to unravel the mystery.

2. A girl walks home alone at night (2014) [X]
A vampire in a small town in Iran stalks men in the local area who harass women. 


3. Mama (2013) [X]
Two young girls are discovered living in a dilapidated cabin the woods after being missing for five years following the death of their parents.
An entity follows them to a new home, an entity whom they call”mama”.
This film is presented by Guillermo del Toro and starts Javier Botet. To read a post on Javier click here << 

4. Train to Busan (2016) [X]
A man and his daughter are taking a train to Busan when there is a sudden zombie outbreak. 

5. Silk / Gui Si (2006) [X]
A Taiwanese paranormal horror film about a scientist who attempts to harness the energy of spirits and entities to use in the development of an anti-gravity tool he is working on. He and his team capture the spirit of a boy who attempts to communicate with them even though he can’t speak. 

6. The Descent (2005) [X]
A group of friends go caving in North Carolina and find themselves being stalked by cave dwelling predators who begin to hunt them.

7. It Follows (2014) [X
After sleeping with a new partner, a teenage girl realizes she’s been cursed and must pass the curse on to someone else or she’ll die.

8. Misery (1990) [X]
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same title, this movie is the story of a writer and an obsessive fan who traps the man in her house and forces him using violence to rewrite her favourite character back to life. 

9. I saw the devil (2010) [X]
A secret agent hunts down the serial killer who murdered not only his girlfriend, but an array of victims from adults to children. He releases and recaptures the man several times in a series of tortures in search of revenge.

10. Clown [X]
I haven’t actually watched this yet, but I thought the backstory was kind of cool. Apparently there was a fake trailer for the movie online with Eli Roth’s name on it and Roth actually decided to join the project as a producer.
The film is about a man who finds a clown costume in the basement of a house and puts it on to entertain his son and his son’s friends at a birthday party. When it’s time to take it off, he can’t. The costume starts to merge with his own skin and begins to taken over him. 
If you’ve seen it already let me know what you think in the comments below!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The murder of Elyse Pahler


Heads up- This post has some graphic details.


In the mid-nineties three teenage friends and band mates, Joseph Fiorella, Jacob Delashmutt and Royce Casey murdered a local girl as a human sacrifice to the devil as part of a supposed “satanic ritual” in Nipomo Mesa, California. 

They claimed to be inspired by the lyrics of the thrash band Slayer and said that they chose Elyse Pahler (the victim) due to her blonde hair, blue eyes and the fact that she was a virgin.

The ritual, they told the court, would give them the power to be skillful musicians and become a successful band. The three enticed Pahler to spend time with them one summer evening, offering her cannabis.


Delashmutt would later admit that they indulged in drugs on a daily basis, regularly using meth and acid. He went on to say that Fiorella was obsessed with the idea of murdering Elyse Pahler and had found some other meaning or message in the lyrics.

The evening ended in the teenage girl being choked with a belt, before being stabbed non-fatally multiple times and eventually bleeding to death from her wounds. Fiorella, Delashmutt and Casey were said to have partook in having sex with the girl’s corpse on more than one occasion, revisiting the body which they had concealed in a eucalyptus grove in Arroyo Grande. Casey was the first to admit to the crime more than half a year later.

Attempts made by Pahler’s parents to sue Slayer, their label and distributers- accusing their lyrics of inspiring the youths to commit the act, were unsuccessful. The court ruled that although the music was of a dark nature, that it was not the driving motive behind a premeditated murder that embodied all the characteristics of a sexually motivated crime.

The three were sentenced 25 to life. 

Wikipedia page [X]
Rolling stone [X]
sanluisobispo [X]

The missing Skelton boys

Scroll past this post, or select another from the navigation bar above to avoid mentions of child abuse (Non graphic details within post)

If you need help, do not hesitate to contact an organization that can help you. 
childhelp org. [X]
Thehotline.org [X] (U.S based with a lot of resources)

“How to break a neck” was one of John Skeltons final Google searches leading up to the disappearance of his three sons (9, 7 and 5 years old) in 2010.
Thanksgiving should have been a happy occasion spent with family, but for one Michigan mother, Tanya Zuvers, it would prove to be the worst day of her life.
She and her husband were no longer living together as they were going through a divorce, so the children split their time between parents.

When Zuvers called Skelton to request she get the boys back early for the holidays, he informed her that it wasn’t possible, relaying various excuses about how they were out of town or that the kids were with a friend of his. The children’s mother pushed for answers, until John Skelton finally admitted that he was making the phone call from a local hospital bed. He had attempted suicide by hanging, he said.

He then went on to say the friend he had left the boys with, was a woman he’d met online named Joann Taylor. Despite investigation, no Joann Taylor was ever located, and neither were the three boys.


Skelton’s house was searched by local police and found to be in a chaotic state of disarray. The place had been trashed. The local area was searched but turned up nothing.
Skelton claims that Zuvers had been abusing the children and that he had handed them over to an organization called “United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries” to protect them from their mother. No organization was ever located. Sources do indicate that Zuvers is registered on a sex offenders list due to time served for having a sexual relationship with a 14 year boy from her neighborhood in the late nineties.
She denies abusing her own children.

Skelton served as his own lawyer in court, directing questions about himself to his wife who refused to look him in the eye. Although he wasn’t charged with the murder of his sons, he was sentenced to between 10-15 years behind bars.

Where are the missing skelton boys?
If you have any information please use the details provided on the above poster to contact the relevant departments. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Documentaries about cults

Hey everyone, hope you had a good Halloween.

Recently I’ve been binge watching videos about cults and cult survivors and the like and thought I’d make a post on five documentaries that you can watch right now.


I’ve always been a little interested in this topic (you may remember some of my previous cult posts) but what lead me to writing this post was actually…well…Amway (previously Quixar)
If you don’t know Amway here’s an excerpt from good old Wikipedia

 “Amway is an American company that uses a multi-level marketing model to sell a variety of products, primarily in the health, beauty, and home care markets. Amway was founded in 1959 by Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos.”

It all started when a friend of mine began chatting to an old friend that he hadn’t seen in years over social media. 
They made plans to meet at a mutual friend’s house and when he showed up, the guy had brought along an older couple who he (my friend) had never met before.
The old couple proceeded to pull out a lap top and began doing a full on power point presentation trying to convert him to becoming an Amway seller.
 They showed him some corny video of how he could have the best life ever if he just paid to sign up and pedaled their crappy products to family members, friends and strangers. He could be a MILLIONAIRE they said.
 They showed pictures of their bank statements with these insane balances and pictures of sports cars and these huge houses they claimed to live in.
He didn’t join of course.
It got me thinking, though, what the hell was it all about. I Googled the company and was shocked to see these massively attended meetings with dollars falling from the sky and speakers preaching like pastors about wealth and the company. Attendees were hemorrhaging cash just to show up to these strange spectacles.
Here’s the video I watched (old I know, but it is wild)

Dateline – Quixar [X]


From there I just started clicking around in the side bar at the suggested videos and started watching these cult documentaries, news reports and clips.

 I was always intrigued to know how one could be recruited into a cult. I was aware that recruiters usually targeted people who were down and out and promised to be the answer to all of their problems. I know they welcome new members with open arms (often using technique referred to as “love bombing)   feed them, shelter them, give them something to follow and believe in before using subtle tricks to brainwash, control and exploit them. I also became very interested in what makes a cult leader and really went down a rabbit hole on this one.

I’ve been following this channel called “Real life stories” for a few months now (you may have seen it on your YouTube dash if you watch similar content to me) and I’ve been enjoying their videos (They cover a broad range of topics). [X] << click to view their channel

I do feel I have to put a warning here.
Please scroll past this post if you do not want to read about mentions of child abuse, addiction and depression. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following charities / helplines.

Befrienders Worldwide [X]
Child helpline international [X]


1.“Cult Witness”
[X]

This documentary includes interviews with a young ex-cult member detailing the techniques used and the process he went through. It also briefly interviews members of other cults such as the “UFO” cult “Gentle wind project” whose leader scammed this particular member out of thousands of dollars in return for alien prophecies, and the story of a member of “Children of God” which brings me to number 2 on my list…

2.       “Children of God” / The family of Love/ The family / now The family international

(Pic sources:x family) 

The first documentary I watched on the children of God was “20/20 Children of God” which you can view here [X

It gives a fast paced overview of the terms for techniques, one such example being “Flirty fishing” [X] wherein female members would lure new recruits by flirting with or forming relationships with male outsiders. The episode itself concentrates on a mother who goes on a mission to retrieve her children from Bangkok, Thailand where they reside with their father- an abusive man who has brainwashed his offspring.
(Pic soure: Xfamily)

The leader of the cult, David Berg, A man referred to as “Moses” or “Moses David” has his own teachings, published as a series of volumes known as “mo teachings” which contain within disturbing chapters that involve suggested child abuse within the cult.
  
“The Love Prophet and the Children of God” Documentary [X]

“Children of God - Lost & Found” Documentary [X]

Moses passed away in the mid ninties.
If you’re interested to read more you can visit the X family website here [X]
You can read an article about a Child of God survivor here [X]


3.The Strong City cult /Lord Our Righteousness Church
[X]
(Pic source: Flickr)

Another one from the Real life stories channel. This Cult is based in New Mexico and lead by a man referred to simply as “Michael” who claims to be the son of God.
The members of this cult live an isolated life in a compound and believe that there is a coming apocalypse and they must follow the teaching and rules of their leader in order to guarantee their spot in heaven.
Because they are convinced that there is nothing for them on the outside world and that the end is nigh, the children are not provided with an education and are required to work from a young age.

Wayne “Michael” Bent, a lanky bearded manipulator, has many wives at the compound, including underage girls, and has even had sexual relations with his own son’s wife- something he insists was a direct order from God himself. His son, a depressed, broken shell of a man, looks forward to the apocalypse, a prophecy that never comes to pass, and is constantly postponed, as all 56 members of the group continue to be controlled, abused and manipulated.
I did a quick search to see what became of Bent, and it turns out that after the documentary was aired there was a police investigation (I should think so!)

He was convicted and according to Wikipedia “Wayne Bent was paroled from prison in February 2016 after being diagnosed with a cancer that threatened the hearing in his left ear.”

His website [X]
 Wikipedia [X]

4. Heaven’s gate 
[X]
(pic source: heavensgate.com)

I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard about this one.
A 70's UFO cult that became the topic of major headlines in the 90’s lead by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles out in San Diego.
This is the group that committed mass suicide in order to exit the earth on a spaceship called Comet Hale-Bopp. They were all covered in purple clothes and wearing Nike shoes when they were found, for some reason.
This is part of the initiation tape, wherein Applewhite stares at the camera (without blinking strangely) and gives a summary of what the cult is all about. [X]

Their website is still active, and if you contact those running it, they often reply. [X]

 
 (Pic source: youtube)

 5. Workers' Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought


Workers' Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought is a Maoist cult formed in the seventies and lead by Aravindan Balakrishnan.
Balakrishnan was said to have used rape and violence as well as mental abuse to control his female victims. By the time he was finished with them, they believed that he was a God. 

He claimed that he could control the powers of nature and the elements, that he could cause natural disasters and dissemble governments. “I am nature and nature is me” he told his followers. 

He began to “purify” the women, to “Clean” them of their previous lives and strip them of their identity and dignity, along with the help of his mind reading mystical assistant who he referred to as “Jackie”. 

Balakrishnan had invoked Jackie, who was an unseen force, to keep the women in line and in fear when he wasn’t around to do so himself. If they had disobedient actions or thoughts, Jackie would know. Jackie could torture and kill, he assured them. 
By having his victims cut off contact with their families, he managed to keep three of them for over 3 decades. Without family, without identity, without choice, they lost their dignity and freedom to Aravindan Balakrishnan. Any followers who had jobs outside of the cult would donate their entire salaries per week. 
They could not go out alone and would constantly have to be with another member when outside of the commune.

Balakrishnan was arrested in 2016 when one of the members reached out to a charity for help.
You can read my previous post on the case by clicking here <<


Watch
The roots of the cult [X]
Aravindan Balakrishnan's daughter speaks about her time in captivity [X]
Guilty verdict [X]
Balakrishnan claims to be framed, a member supports him [X]

Well that's all for this post.
Check out the CULTS tag on the blog for more posts.