10 Extremely Weird Religions – Listverse
We have previously published a variety of lists on strange religious practices, religions you never knew existed, and weird cults, but not a list of bizarre religions. This list is designed to fill the gap by discussing ten religions that most of us have not heard of (for a good reason, as you will see). Be sure to use the comments to tell us about any other bizarre religions and, especially, your own experiences of them.
Scientology hws featured on a previous list, but if I didn’t include it here, the comments would be inundated with “where’s Scientology?” questions. The Church of Scientology is a cult created by L Ron Hubbard (Elron) in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system called Dianetics. The Church of Scientology holds that at the higher levels of initiation (OT levels), mystical teachings are imparted that may be harmful to unprepared readers. These teachings are kept secret from members who have not reached these levels. In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as an alien ruler of the “Galactic Confederacy.” According to this story, 75 million years ago, Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes, and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects.
9 Creativity Movement
The Creativity Movement (formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator) is a white separatist organization that advocates the whites-only religion, Creativity. It was also a descriptive phrase used by Ben Klassen that included all adherents of the religion. The term creator does not refer to a deity but rather to themselves (white people). Despite the former use of the word Church in its name, the movement is atheistic. Creativity is a White Separatist religion that Ben Klassen founded in early 1973 under the name Church of the Creator. After Klassen died in 1993, Creativity almost died out as a religion until the New Church of the Creator was established three years later by Matthew F. Hale as its Pontifex Maximus (high priest), until his incarceration in January 2003 for plotting with the movement’s head of security, Anthony Evola (an FBI informant), to murder a federal judge.
8 Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
Obviously, spelling is not a fundamental part of this religion! Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY) was founded in 1981 by members of Psychic TV, Coil, Current 93, and several other individuals. The ever-evolving network is a loosely federated group of people operating as a unique blend of an artistic collective and magic practitioners. TOPY is dedicated to the manifestation of magical concepts lacking mysticism or the worship of gods. The group focuses on the psychic and magical aspects of the human brain linked with “guiltless sexuality.” TOPY has been an influential group in the underground Chaos magic scene and the wider western occult tradition throughout its existence. TOPY’s research has covered both Left-hand path and Right-hand path magick, various elements of psychology, art, music, and a variety of other media. Some of the influences on the network have been Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare, and Brion Gysin.
7 Nation of Yahweh
The Nation of Yahweh is a predominantly African-American religious group that is the most controversial offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites’ line of thought. They were founded in 1979 in Miami by Hulon Mitchell, Jr., who went by the name Yahweh ben Yahweh. Their goal is to return African Americans, whom they see as the original Israelites, to Israel. The group departs from mainstream Christianity and Judaism by accepting Yahweh ben Yahweh as the Son of God. In this way, their beliefs are unique and distinct from other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups. The group has engendered controversy due to the legal issues of its founder and has also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Miami Herald. The SPLC has criticized the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh as racist, stating that the group believe blacks are “the true Jews” and that whites are “white devils.” They also claim that the group believes Yahweh ben Yahweh has a Messianic mission to vanquish whites and that they hold views similar to the Christian Identity movement.
6 The Church of All Worlds
The Church of All Worlds is a neo-pagan religion founded in 1962 by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and his wife, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. The religion evolved from a group of friends and lovers who were, in part, inspired by a fictional religion of the same name in the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. The church’s mythology includes science fiction to this day. They recognize “Gaea,” the Earth Mother Goddess and the Father God, as well as the realm of Faeries and the deities of many other pantheons. Many of their ritual celebrations are centered on the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece. Following the tradition of using fiction as a basis for his ideas, Zell-Ravenheart recently founded The Grey School of Wizardry inspired in part by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school in the Harry Potter novels.
5 Universe People
The Universe People or Cosmic People of Light Powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil sv?tla) is a Czech religious movement centered around Ivo A. Benda. Its belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other “contacters” since October 1997 telepathically and, later, by direct personal contact. According to Benda, those civilizations operate a fleet of spaceships, led by Ashtar Sheran, orbiting the Earth. They closely watch and help the good and are waiting to transport their followers into another dimension. The Universe People’s teachings incorporate various elements from ufology (some foreign “contacters” are credited, though often also renounced after a time as misguided or deceptive), Christianity (Jesus was a “fine-vibrations” being), and conspiracy theories (forces of evil are supposed to plan compulsory chipping of the population).
George Lucas’s Star Wars has produced millions of fans, and it has now provided the foundation for a (sort of) religion—Jediism. Most people are aware of the basic tenets of the Jedi from their own viewings of the movies—light side/dark side, supernatural force that binds the universe together, etc.—but some actually follow these beliefs in real life. There is no central structure or official beliefs for the Texas-based “Temple of the Jedi Order;” nevertheless, Jediism is usually found to be nontheistic and desirous of doing good. What qualifies as “good” is defined by each individual Jedi as there is no absolute moral standard within the religion. However, they do have a general code for its followers—“The 16 Teachings of the Jedi.” Those who take Jediism seriously value the idea of the Force as energy for good in the world, though they dismiss the reality of Darth Vader, Jawas, a planet called Tatooine, and the ability to move objects or people using the Force. It is not that they believe these Star Wars materials to be factual, but that they find the concept of the Force to be a spiritual or philosophical guide to life. It’s probably the weirdest, considering that it binds fictional values from a movie series as well as beliefs from Asian religions like Buddhism and Taoism.
3 Prince Philip Movement
The Prince Philip Movement is a cargo cult of the Yaohnanen tribe on the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu. The Yaohnanen believe that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort to Queen Elizabeth II, is a divine being, the pale-skinned son of a mountain spirit and brother of John Frum. According to ancient tales, the son travelled over the seas to a distant land, married a powerful lady, and would, in time, return. The villagers had observed the respect accorded to Queen Elizabeth II by colonial officials and concluded that her husband, Prince Philip, must be the son of their legends. When the cult formed is unclear, but likely, it was sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. Their beliefs were strengthened by the royal couple’s official visit to Vanuatu in 1974 when a few villagers had the opportunity to observe the prince from afar. Prince Philip was made aware of the religion and has exchanged gifts with its leaders and even visited them.
3 The Church of Euthanasia
The Church of Euthanasia (CoE) is a political organization started by Reverend Chris Korda (pictured above) in the Boston, Massachusetts, area of the United States. According to the church’s website, it is “a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring the balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth.” The CoE uses sermons, music, culture jamming, publicity stunts, and direct action combined with an underlying sense of satire and black humor to highlight Earth’s unsustainable population. The CoE is notorious for its conflicts with Pro-life Christian activists. According to the church’s website, the one commandment is “Thou shalt not procreate.” The CoE further asserts four principal pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism (“strictly limited to consumption of the already dead”), and sodomy (“any sexual act not intended for procreation”). Slogans employed by the group include “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself,” “Six Billion Humans Can’t Be Wrong,” and “Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus,” all of which are intended to mix inflammatory issues to unnerve those who oppose abortion and homosexuality.
Nuwaubianism is an umbrella term used to refer to the doctrines and teachings of the followers of Dwight York. The Nuwaubians originated as a Black Muslim group in New York in the 1970s and have gone through many changes ever since. Eventually, the group established a headquarters in Putnam County, Georgia, in 1993, which they have since abandoned. York is now in prison after being convicted on money laundering and child molestation charges, but Nuwaubianism endures. York developed Nuwaubianism by drawing on a wide range of sources which include Theosophy-derived New Age movements such as Astara, the Rosicrucians, Freemasonry, the Shriners, the Moorish Science Temple of America, the revisionist Christianity & Islam, the Qadiani cult of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the numerology of Rashad Khalifa, and the ancient astronaut theories of Zecharia Sitchin. In one Nuwaubian myth, white people are said to have been created as a race of killers to serve blacks as a slave army, but this plan went awry. Here is a list of some of the more unusual Nuwaubian beliefs:
1. It is important to bury the afterbirth so that Satan does not use it to duplicate the recently-born child.
2. Furthermore, some aborted fetuses survive their abortion to live in the sewers, where they are being gathered and organized to take over the world.
3. People were once perfectly symmetrical and ambidextrous, but then a meteorite struck Earth and tilted its axis, causing handedness and shifting the heart off-center in the chest.
4. Each of us has seven clones living in different parts of the world.
5. Women existed for many generations before they invented men through genetic manipulation.
6. Homo sapiens is the result of cloning experiments that were done on Mars using Homo erectus.
7. Nikola Tesla came from the planet Venus.
8. The Illuminati have nurtured a child, Satan’s son, who was born on 6 June 1966 at the Dakota House on 72nd Street in New York to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of the Rothschild/Kennedy families. The Pope was present at the birth and performed necromantic ceremonies. Former U.S. President Richard Nixon raised the child, which now lives in Belgium, where it is hooked up bodily to a computer called “The Beast 3M” or “3666.”
The Nuwaubians built a city modelled on Ancient Egyptian buildings in Putnam County, Georgia (pictured above). It has now been demolished.
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Text is derived from Wikipedia.Jamie Frater
Jamie is the founder of Listverse. When he’s not doing research for new lists or collecting historical oddities, he can be found in the comments or on Facebook where he approves all friends requests!