The religious sector has always been something I was hesitant about entering. Hypothetical or otherwise. Yet modern day religions all pale in comparison to what we’ve seen in the independent ventures of Cults.
Video games paint a pretty terrifying picture of what religious gatherings could be. Not saying that they don’t exist in reality but things tend to get very and very dark. From human sacrifices to unrealistic lore about a demonic god controlling everything from the shadows, and even culling the number of innocent people in order to fulfill prophecies.
Games like Outlast 2, a game in which two cults rage a losing battle between ‘the true god’ and the antichrist not yet to be born. While I haven’t played the game, I have watched a full playthrough and I can say I’ve seen enough to say that shit is fucked up. Keeping the schoolhouse flashbacks out of the equation, the schism between the cultists puts me on edge. Having a man running a ‘Christain’ organization that claims he was spoken to by God to gather people, sleep with all the women and then their children, then guided to kill the babies because they could potentially be The Antichrist. The other faction believes the baby Antichrist is the true god. It gets violent, horrific, and pushes people into doing things no human should.
Then you have cults like Unitology from Dead Space. Yeah, I know a Dead Space reference so close to another one, but we’ll live. The Unitoloigists found the alien artifact on Earth, dubbed the Marker. This artifact gave humans the chance to give the idea of a god even more power, claiming they were actually aliens all along. This cult gained so much of a following that it made way for mass suicides and human sacrifices. To make matters worse, there was more than one Marker, making this religion spread like wildfire. The more markers found in the galaxy, the more proof that God was communicating, sending a message. The markers basically sent off low-level waves that caused people to hallucinate while it released an alien contagion that killed the living and reanimated the corpses. To some, the hallucinations were signs from god and people rising from the dead were the miracles. It only fanned the flames, creating more fanaticism.
My final mention just so happens to be one from my favorite series, Fallout. The Children of Atom are down right nuts. Now, they may not be cultists in the normal sense, not in a spoopy way, but what they do is just as terrifying. They believe that god, or Atom, is the raw nuclear energy that comes from the fallout from the bombs dropped. They base their camps around highly irradiated sites, soaking in all the rads while being seemingly unfazed. While if the main character wanders through it, they nearly die from exposure in seconds. In Far Harbor DLC for Fallout 4, they go so far as subject the people who want to join them to drink nuclear waste. This would then lead to a vision and probably a ton of internal tumors and pain. This is a group who obviously knew that the power of the atom bomb caused the world to fall apart and killed possibly millions, and yet decide to live next to the nuclear shells left behind, just to soak in Atom’s light.
I am so glad that I don’t subscribe to groups like these because I know my life wouldn’t be safe anywhere near these groups. Also, I’d be too afraid to do anything at all around people with such religious devotion while they mindlessly slaughter people.