[[quoteright:350: [[VideoGame/FarCry5 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fc_falls_end_ncsa.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"I am your father, and you are my children".]]

->'''Roseanne''': ''Edelweiss Corrections School''? What's that, some kind of brainwashing camp?\\
'''David''': No. It says right on the brochure - "[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial This is not a brainwashing camp]]."
-->-- ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'', "Springtime For David"

The word "cult" has many slightly different uses in RealLife, some of which carry a weight of negative connotations and as such are controversial. (If you really want to go into detail, see the [[Analysis/{{Cult}} Analysis page]].) Here's the short version:

As typically used in fiction, "cult" is a pejorative term for what is more objectively termed a "new religious movement". These groups, being religions of recent origin, struggle with small membership, low social standing (generally), and a nigh-unbreakable association with a single charismatic figure, which can be devastating if this person is still alive and capable of scandals and social missteps. All this, coupled with the understandable anger of established Real Life groups at being labeled cults, means that fiction is likely to stick to a tropable stereotype (which is interesting) over an accurate depiction of a new religious movement (which is likely to be offensive and/or boring).

You can expect a fictional new religious movement to fall under one of the following types:

* SecondComing: A sectarian group based on an established religion, this is a group led by an individual who styles themself as Jesus Christ (or [[CrystalDragonJesus another important religious figure]]) returned/reborn.
* [[AncientAstronauts Alien Worshippers]]: A group who base their worship on popular modern myths, with beliefs and practices grounded in [[HollywoodScience sketchy science]] and misconstrued theory more than spirituality.
* Revivals: A restorationist group who base their beliefs on forgotten religions which only a few still practice. This may border on AncientConspiracy, TheMasquerade, or both.
* ReligionOfEvil: This group worships {{Satan}}, a GodOfEvil, [[Creator/HPLovecraft Cthulhu]] or some other [[TheLegionsOfHell demonic]] or [[EldritchAbomination cosmic being of evil]]. Usually involves lots of OminousLatinChanting, summoning up of things [[EvilIsNotAToy best left alone]], and living sacrifices. Especially of the [[HumanSacrifice human kind]] (bonus points [[VirginSacrifice if the sacrifice is a virgin]].)
* ApocalypseCult: These guys actively seek to usher in the apocalypse, usually by summoning some long forgotten GodOfEvil to make the world anew.
* BreedingCult: A cult that intends on populating the Earth with a specific type of human, whether it is a master race or a superhuman.
* CargoCult: Worships a particular nonliving MacGuffin.
* ScamReligion: A false belief system, often invented whole cloth by a ConArtist, that provides a convenient way to take advantage of people.
* MysteryCult: A cult with ultra-exclusive membership that requires total secrecy from all its members, and only long-time/inner circle members get the privilege of knowing the full picture about the cult's creed.

TV cults will usually have one or more of the following notable features, regardless of origin:
* Communal living, with members expected to remove themselves from their former lives (physical isolation).
* Absolute secrecy (social isolation).
* Meetings that take the form of a SecretCircleOfSecrets.
* A supposedly-healthy yet horrible (or at least unpopular) diet; beans of various kinds are popular, as well as other [[StrawVegetarian vegetarian/vegan]] options. The purpose of this diet is usually to either break members down or make them easier to control[[note]]It's hard to think for yourself when you're hungry, or not getting enough protein.[[/note]], or to suppress "lustful," "violent," or "base" urges.
* An [[ManipulativeBastard authoritarian yet charismatic leader]], who may or [[StrawHypocrite may not]] believe his own story.
* Members who do manual labor for little or no pay, either to grow food, do construction work, or make money for the leaders through a business.
* Members who are expected to turn their worldly goods over to the group.
* Members who are not allowed to have any authority of their own -- parents cannot determine what happens to their children; women cannot determine who has (or does not have) sexual rights to their bodies; children may be sexually abused, or punished in bizarre ways.
* A group which is explicitly shown to be a ScamReligion.
* The home, camp or compound which comes under siege by police or federal agents. (Needless to say, cults are popular bad guys on shows ''about'' [[PoliceProcedural police]] or federal agents.)
* Polygamy and/or pedophilia.
* A large arsenal of illegal weaponry and adherents willing to wage war with the government.
* Mass-suicide, either planned and foiled, or used as a DownerEnding.
* Members being required to enter into a BureaucraticallyArrangedMarriage, sometimes in a mass wedding, sometimes not; or, all women required to "marry" the leader.
* {{Brainwashing}} (through psychological techniques or, in less realistic works, [[MoreThanMindControl Mind Control technology or magic]]) that keeps the members faithful and dedicated.
* Deprogrammers. Especially in the 1970s, when small Christian cults were rife, the deprogrammer was often portrayed as a heroic, knightly figure who rescues (kidnaps) attractive young women out of the cult and subjects them to hours of debriefing, encouraging them to question the cult's teachings. Some deprogrammers did do this, less so today; [[http://www.icsahome.com/articles/persistence-of--deprogramming--stereotypes-in-film Joe Szimhart]], a real deprogrammer, advises filmmakers on realistic portrayals.
* HappinessIsMandatory. Anything less is seen as lack of faith, or insufficient commitment to the faith. [[SlaveToPR Especially when it happens in public.]]
* Goals of WorldDomination, creating a master race, saving souls, etc.
* Obsession with the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
* A strict delineation between who is "in" and who is "out." Sometimes members are forbidden to interact with non-members.
* A very strict hierarchy. Sometimes, one's position in the hierarchy may change, other times, it is fixed.
* Emphasis on [[BecauseDestinySaysSo fate and destiny]].
* MandatoryMotherhood, especially for women, generally with the goal of creating a master race, producing the ChosenOne, producing endless "soldiers" for {{God}} (or a similar figure). [[BabyFactory Sometimes, these women will almost always be pregnant, or told that their only or primary purpose is making babies]].
* Rituals involving BloodMagic, sex, etc.
* Incest, especially if it involves the leader(s).
* Members who are not allowed to question or criticize any of the group's beliefs or practices, or who have been threatened with violence/ostracism/ridicule/financial ruin/etc. if they dare to do so.
* Leaders who may threaten to sue anyone (insiders or outsiders, current members or former members, or people who have never been part of the group) who dares to criticize the group.
* Leaders who are fixated on an AssimilationPlot, or with creating a HiveMind. Emphasis on conformity; members may have to wear uniforms at all times.
* A network of CulturePolice or ChurchPolice, who "[[BigBrotherIsWatching observe]]" (read: spy on) members behind their backs, and report any (suspected or actual) wrongdoing or questioning to the leader(s). There is very much an undercurrent of "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, and if you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide."
* Cult leaders who ''do'' succeed in conquering the world (or at least a portion of it) setting up a theocratic government, usually with an AppealToForce if citizens don't accept the new leaders/government/religion.
* Very strict and rigid rules and dogma.

They show up in almost any show, from CrimeTimeSoap and PoliceProcedural to SpeculativeFiction. In SF series, it's likely that what they worship is real, and at the very least more powerful than anything they have experienced before; see SufficientlyAdvancedAlien and GodGuise. In comedy, it's common to [[CargoCult build one around something truly ridiculous.]]

A cult-like cabal is often at the center of an AncientConspiracy.

Many aspects of the standard depiction are [[RippedFromTheHeadlines drawn from real events]], based on such incidents as Film/{{Jonestown}}, the Heaven's Gate, the attack on the Branch Davidian home in Waco, Texas, and others. Expect there to be an element of ReligiousHorror. If a cult is being played for humor value, it will usually [[ChurchOfHappyology very closely resemble]] the Church of Scientology.

Subtropes including the following:
* ApocalypseCult
* BreedingCult
* CargoCult
* MysteryCult

Don't confuse with the horror RolePlayingGame '''TabletopGame/{{KULT}}''', the {{Freeware Game|s}} ''VideoGame/{{Cult}}'', the series ''Series/{{Cult}}'', or with the rock band, '''[[SpellMyNameWithAThe The]]''' [[Music/TheCult Cult]].

Even the most well-regarded cults should not be confused with {{Cult Classic}}s, which are almost always entirely different. (Although in [[Film/TheWickerMan1973 some]] [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate cases]], you'll get a CultClassic that deals with an actual cult.)

Former Cult members are given to coming up with [[ReligionRantSong Religion Rant Songs]] once disaffected.

[[Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease Real Life examples are not allowed]] [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment for obvious reasons]], but if you are concerned a that group may fit this description, you might consider checking out [[UsefulNotes/{{Abuse}} our Useful Notes page on Abuse]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Doma Organization in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is half corporation, half cult, in that its corporate side is merely a front and financial supplier to its members' worship of [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the destruction of (to their eyes) a world filled with irredeemable evil]].
* Similarly, the Hikari no Kessha ("Society of Light") in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' has corporate backing, but are just in it to destroy a world full of sinners. In both, the penultimate figure their beliefs are based on is [[EldritchAbomination an ancient, corrupting, semi-sentient influence from beyond the stars]]. Both Doma and the Society recruit their members by MoreThanMindControl.
* Yiliaster from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' is somewhat similar to the two mentioned above, but they don't recruit members and are hinted at being much more powerful.
* The cult revolving around "Friend" in ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys''. This begins to change as the cult forms the Friendship Party of Japan and initiate a totalitarian takeover of the Japanese political system [[spoiler: and, eventually, that of the rest of the world]].
* In ''Manga/KingOfThorn'', the [[HumanPopsicle Cold Sleep]] project was sponsored by a cult called Venus Gate. They planned to harness the power of [[TheVirus Medusa]] to remake the world, only to discover too late that EvilIsNotAToy.
* The Lemures of ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'', who worship the immortal MadScientist Huey Laforet. They believe that if they serve him, they may obtain eternal life for themselves. [[spoiler: Huey is not actually capable of making others immortal, and regards them with amusement and scorn for believing this.]]
** In the novels, there's [=SAMPLE=], a cult that worships ''pain''. They designate a child as their "sacrificial god," then brutally torture the child, supposedly as a means of having them take on all the pain the worshippers would be feeling instead.
* ''Manga/AiKora'' has a truly bizarre example, the Church of Bluish-Purple, run by a loony with a fetish for bloomers (as in ''buruma'', super-short girl's gym shorts).
* An example appears in ''Manga/PetShopOfHorrors: Tokyo,'' but it's hard to tell if it's a straight example or subversion. In one of the stories, a teenage delinquent is accepted into a group led by a woman claiming to be an Angel. None of the girls do anything ''wrong,'' as everyone says: they do community work, farming, visit the sick and elderly...the only law seems to be that the girls must give up their cellphones and never eat a bird. Suddenly, all of the girls drop dead, seemingly at the exact same time, and their leader is nowhere to be found. However, it turns out that [[spoiler:they all died of grief after learning the food they ate was contaminated and accidentally mixed with chicken meat. They were so horrified that they ate bird, they all dropped dead at once. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Count D says he firmly believes the leader was an angel who took the girls to Heaven.]]]]
* One drives the plot of a ''Manga/FrankenFran'' chapter. A man comes looking for his missing daughter, having gotten a lead suggesting they might know something about what happened to her. It eventually turns out that she was kidnapped and ended up becoming their messiah figure, but she fell ill, so they brought in the eponymous experimental surgeon. Fran saved the girl's life by [[spoiler: converting her into an enormous factory, with her physical body reconfigured to be hooked up to the facilities. The stereotypical low-pay work the cultists were doing was running the machines that stood in for her digestive, endocrine, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Yeah, reproductive. She's pregnant, [[{{Squick}} at age ten]], on top of everything else]].
* The Cult of the Sacred Eye plays a major role in ''Manga/FutureDiary'', as the Sixth Diary Holder is the leader of said cult. She is worshipped by them as an oracle, and has lived in the temple complex for almost all her life (she herself is well aware that she isn't an oracle, but plays the part because that's what she's done all her life). [[spoiler:Revealed later to be a hoax started by her parents when she was a young child, and after her parents were killed in a car crash, the other leaders of the cult imprisoned her and used her as a SexSlave. It's not made clear exactly how she regained control of her followers since then.]]
* In the manga Manga/{{Arisa}}, the titular character's class has been sucked into a cult revolving around "The King" whose followers text him their wishes, and each "King Time" he selects one to grant.
* ''Manga/AfterschoolCharisma'' (aka ''Japanese WesternAnimation/CloneHigh'') has a bizarre cult that takes root among the clones lead by a clone of the legendary 3rd century Japanese witch-queen Himiko who worship the spirit of Dolly the Clone Sheep. [[WidgetSeries Yeah]].
* In ''Manga/KotouraSan'', Hiyori's family run one in the manga, named after their family name. The anime changed it into a ''dojo''.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', Black Mage Zeref is worshiped as a god by at least one cult. Several characters were once slaves to a cult dedicated to reviving him [[spoiler:never knowing that he wasn't actually dead.]] Dark Guild Grimoire Heart and Dark Guild Tartaros were cults in all but name dedicated to Zeref as well. [[spoiler:During the TimeSkip after Tartaros' defeat and Fairy Tail's disbandment]], "Avatar", yet ''another'' cult of Zeref worshipers appears. Zeref seems to attract fanatical worshipers like honey attracts flies.
* ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' had the Luud Cult, and alien cult that worshipped a giant machine.
* The worldwide cult of Kira in ''Manga/DeathNote''. They did not know who Kira was, but believed him (just as [[AGodAmI he believed himself]]) to be TheScourgeOfGod.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Back during the Dan Jurgens-era of ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'', there was a cult of people who praised Superman like a God. It wasn't something he liked. After [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman Superman died]], they began seeing him as a more messianic light, waiting for the day he would rise from the grave. And when four people bearing the S-Shield rose, ''factions'' took hold, each one rooting for the four bearers. It got to the point where Maggie Sawyer started to worry that a gang war of sorts would break out between the four.
** Another group of Superman worshipers would emerge years later, kidnapping and attempting to kill ComicBook/LoisLane for marrying Clark Kent rather than Superman.
* In the ComicStrip/{{Nero}} album "De Boze Tongen" it is a sect that is the antagonist. Though the name is not known. All we know is that they want Nero to be their president. They would then carry out a collection of horrible actions under his name. Nero refuses and the sect attempts throughout the whole album to force him to become the president.
* The 2 people from a small sect that appeared in ComicBook/SpirouAndFantasio in album #37, called ''Le réveil du Z'', is this. Their name of it is not known at all and all we probably know else is that they greet with the term Kakebuke. They have aside from the belief that aliens landed on planet earth also the belief that the earth is flat, like a flying saucer. The reason that these 2 are in the album is to talk with Fantasio about the events that happened in the previous album, which was called ''L'horloger de la comète'', in the hope that it proves that their beliefs are true. After they hear his story they find out that he is not useful enough to justify their beliefs and proceed to make him drunk.
* ''ComicBook/BatmanTheCult'' deals with the Caped Crusader and his investigation into mysterious goings on with kidnapped vagrants. [[spoiler:A cult ran by Deacon Blackfire captures Batman and [[BreakTheBadass breaks him]] before Jason Todd rescues him. They, then, proceed to take control of Gotham until Batman and Robin reclaim the city.]]
* ''Manga/{{Dokuro}}'': The [[CorruptChurch Nirvana Church of Creation]].
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': Far too many to count. Let's just say that in a city as big as Mega-City One, there are quite a few crackpot cults and religions led by wannabe godheads that the Judges have dismantled. The scarier examples aren't beyond human sacrifice or even worship monsters like the Dark Judges.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Dogbert in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' started his own cult on one occasion:
-->'''Dilbert:''' I think you've taken this cult idea of yours too far.\\
'''Dogbert:''' Who says it's a cult?\\
'''Dilbert:''' ''You'' said it's a cult!\\
'''Dogbert:''' That word has a bad connotation. I prefer to think of it as a bunch of morons who have nothing better to do with their lives.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CultStuck'' has a rare sympathetic example. The Sufferists are a little eerie and a lot fanatical, but they're also dedicated to bringing peace and nonviolence to an extremely [[CrapsackWorld brutal world]], and look downright saintly [[ALighterShadeOfGrey compared to the totalitarian empire they're opposing.]] [[KnightInSourArmor Karkat]] is worshiped by the titular Cult, as they believe him to be the Sufferer's reincarnation ([[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane which may or may not be true]], though Karkat himself [[StopWorshippingMe strongly denies it]]). He dislikes this- with good reason; they forced him to act as their messiah, and his duties involve spreading a lot of ridiculous propaganda- but admits that just being a normal cultist would be a pretty good life.
* In ''Fanfic/CampNightmare'', [[spoiler:the alleged day camp is actually a front for a ''very'' wide-spread cult.]]
* ''Fanfic/AgesOfShadow'': The Shadow Walkers started off as secret society of shadow magic users, more interested in personal power and bullying villagers into submission than anything else. Then [[FallenHero Jade]] found them and reorganized them into a proper ReligionOfEvil based on the [[AGodAmI worship of her "Yade Khan" persona]], at which point they dedicated themselves to [[TakeOverTheWorld conquering the world in her name]].
* ''Fanfic/TheElementsOfFriendship'' has the Cult of Pi, from which the Pie family is descended. They worshipped Discord during his original reign, and after his petrification, they started preaching his return and how his enemies would be turned to stone themselves. Over time, this evolved so that they stopped worshipping Discord, and switched entirely to rocks.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%%* Zero Church from ''Film/LoveExposure''.
%%* ''Film/RaceWithTheDevil''.
%%* ''Film/{{Borderland}}''.
* ''Film/RedState'' has the Five Points Trinity Church, a group of Fundamentalist Christians led by SinisterMinister Abin Cooper who lure in "sinners" to kill them.
* ''Film/RosemarysBaby'' has straight-ahead Satanists.
* ''Film/{{Dagon}}'' is based on "Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth" by Creator/HPLovecraft.
* [=MindHead=] from the Creator/SteveMartin movie ''Film/{{Bowfinger}}'', a blatant parody of Scientology.
* ''Film/TheWickerMan1973'', which gets bonus points for being a cult film that's actually ''about'' a cult.
* ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'' had the Thuggee.
* ''Franchise/ChildrenOfTheCorn'' has a community of children who have killed everyone over 19 in their community and worship "He Who Walks Behind the Rows", who it turns out is quite real.
* ''Film/SilentHill'' has a Manichean-type religion with Puritanical Christian overtones and apparently worships a goddess. It is not the same cult from the [[Franchise/SilentHill game series]].
* ''Film/MouthToMouth'' is based on director Alison Murray's actual experiences with a cult made up of homeless teenagers who want to stop using drugs and seek to change the world.
* The Children of the Yeti, from the Creator/{{Troma}} film ''Film/YetiALoveStory''.
* ''Film/BubbleBoy'' has a cult of cheery people led by none other than Fabio. The cult even has all members with the same name, similar to the King of the Hill example.
* ''Film/LordOfIllusions'' features a Cult led by an evil wizard named Nix in the Mojave Desert.
* ''Film/TheSacrament'' has journalists documenting their effort to save a coworker's sister from a Jonestown-like group.
* ''Film/SoundOfMyVoice'' is about two documentarians infiltrating (and getting sucked into) a mysterious cult led by a young woman who claims that she's from a post-apocalyptic future.
* ''Film/MarthaMarcyMayMarlene'' has a young woman escaping a religious cult and trying to reorient herself in the everyday world.
* ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pastin69D5c Moira informs Charles and Alex]] that cults began to sprang up after the public discovered the existence of mutants, and some of these secret societies believe those with special abilities are part of a SecondComing.
* ''Can Ellen Be Saved'' from 1974 has John Saxon as a heroic deprogrammer hired by Leslie Nielsen and Louise Fletcher to kidnap their teenage daughter (Katherine Cannon) from The Children Of Jesus and its seductive leader, played by Michael Parks.
* ''Film/{{Sweetwater}}'': Josiah formed a small one made up of a few men and his two wives after apparently leaving Mormonism in Utah. His men are unhappy they don't have wives of their own as he promised them yet though.
* The Order of the Coagula from ''Film/GetOut2017''. [[spoiler: Its elderly white members seek immortality by [[GrandTheftMe transplanting their brains into younger, healthier African American bodies]].]]
* ''Film/TheSisterhoodOfNight'': The Sisterhood is accused of being one in the news media based on the accusations made against them.

* ''Literature/TheGirls'' is a RomanAClef about [[UsefulNotes/CharlesManson The Manson Family]] and the 1969 murders. Teenaged Evie is drawn into a cult led by a scruffy would-be musician named Russell. Russell lords it over a ragged collection of young women who worship him and sexually service him.
* The cult of Ravinia in ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'''s ninth book, ''Raven Rise''.
* The cult led by L. Bob Rife (an apparent portmanteau of Ross Perot and Creator/LRonHubbard) in Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/SnowCrash.''
* The Unspeakable Darkness from ''{{Literature/Valhalla}}'' and ''Ragnarök'' have all the hallmarks of a cult, though they may also qualify as the EldritchAbomination most cults worship.
* The ReligionOfEvil cults in the short stories "Under the Pyramids", "The Horror at Red Hook" and ''Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu'' by Creator/HPLovecraft.
* The book-burning Star People in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic''.
* In ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', Ankh-Morpork is revealed to be rife with tiny little cults who are ostensibly trying to bring their dark god to power (so much so that a cultist actually gets about halfway through an extensive password routine before it falls apart and the guy behind the door realizes he's got the wrong address); most of them just wanted to add a little mystery to their lives to impress chicks, though.
* ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr''. The renegades led by Jason Delandro, who worship the alien invaders.
* The Christians are regarded this way by Literature/MarcusDidiusFalco, a PrivateDetective in AncientRome.
* The young adult book ''Leaving Fishers'' is about a cult with high-schoolers. They claim to be a religious group, but their methods are clearly abusive. (One character tells a cult-investigation group about them, and learns Fishers meets every single trait of cults.)
* The Order of the Rings of God in Faye Kellerman's ''Jupiter's Bones''.
* When you get closer to its core membership, The Sharing in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' is constructed much more like a cult than the all-ages scouting program it pretends to be. Of course, its actually a recruitment method for [[PuppeteerParasite the Yeerks]], but this is part of the way they lure people in.
* Subverted in ''Maggody and the Moonbeams'', where a reclusive all-female Christian sect is actually [[spoiler: a front for a group of battered women in hiding, whose members are being exploited for cheap manual labor by their corrupt leader]].
* All over the place in ''Literature/{{Kraken}}'', ranging from the Lovecraftian-but-relatively-benign [[EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods Church of God Kraken]] to the dreaded [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Chaos Nazis]].
* ''Literature/{{Petaybee}}'': Shepherd Howling leads a doomsday cult that encourages pedophilia and other interesting forms of child abuse.
* ''Literature/TheSubjectSteve'': The Center for Nondenominational Recovery and Redemption could be described as a cult and a rest home, combined.
* The Mysteries from ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' are a cult that spun off from the benign Jesk religion- where Jesk worships a Force-esque life energy called the Dor, followers of the Mysteries seek to manipulate it to their advantage. The Mysteries is characterized by secrecy and bizarre rites that sometimes involve HumanSacrifice- as such, it's not very popular and tends to exist only in small, secretive groups.
* A rare positively portrayed example in Creator/OctaviaButler's ''[[Literature/ParableOfTheSower Parable]]'' series. The main character, Lauren Olamina, starts a cult called Earthseed which believes that God is change. They are persecuted by the Christian America sect, which probably fits more of the cult stereotypes.
* In ''Literature/{{Bumped}}'' there is a Christian cult called Goodside. They are more or less like Amish people TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture.
* In ''Literature/OryxAndCrake'' and ''The Year of the Flood'', it's clear that most people in-universe see the God's Gardeners as a cult. Whether or not it really is a cult depends largely on the reader's perspective, although parts of the latter book told by members of God's Gardeners provide a more nuanced view.
* Black Lotus in the ''Literature/SanoIchiro'' series.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' [[Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]:
** ''Doctor Who'', of all things, has a spinoff relating to a cult of madmen worshipping paradox itself - Literature/FactionParadox.
** There is also a ''[[Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse New Doctor Who]]'' book, entitled ''Night of the Humans'', which features a cult based around a horrible picture of a clown. The whole book is, essentially, a very paranoid and more than slightly creepy rant about religion (but specifically Christianity). The book's entire message is, literally, "Be very very afraid of [[ArtisticLicenseReligion what I imagine religion to be]]".
* The followers of R'hllor in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' throw people into fires as sacrifices and claim to see visions in fires. This is in [[TropesAreNotBad total contrast to the very mainstream]] fantasy counterpart religions of Faith Of The Seven, also called the New Gods (Catholic/High Church of England) and worship of the Old Gods (a naturist religion).
** However the Ironborn are quite similar to R'hllor worshipers. The Ironborn worship the Drowned God, and drowning people to the sea is an acceptable act of sacrifice to their god. Also the worshipers of the Old Gods use to conduct human sacrifices to the Godswoods.
* The second novel in Taylor Stevens' ''Literature/VanessaMichaelMunroe'' series, ''The Innocent'' (2012) has Munroe infiltrating a cult called the Chosen of God to rescue a child who was forced into its ranks eight years earlier, and has since been subjected to brainwashing and repeated sexual abuse. This cult is a thinly veiled {{Expy}} of the Children of God, which Stevens herself was born into and escaped from, after which she completed her education and turned to thriller writing.
* ''The Patron Saint of Butterflies'' by Cecilia Galante is about Mount Blessing, which is a religious commune in Connecticut led by the charismatic leader Emmanuel. Agnes loves the cult, meanwhile her cousin Honey rebels against its strict rules. Their grandmother, Nana Pete, who isn't in the cult, takes them away from the cult when Emmanuel refuses to send Agnes' seriously injured brother to the hospital. The book is based in the author's childhood experiences in a cult.
* In ''Converting Kate'' by Beckie Weinheimer, the protagonist Kate was raised in the Holy Divine Church, but leaves it after her father's death.
* The Surivors in the ''Literature/CHERUBSeries'' are a cult that is an offshoot of Christianity, linked to an eco-terrorist group called Help Earth. They have a fortified and armed compound in the middle of the Australian outback, where they further brainwash the most intelligent children of cult members. This compound is destroyed at the end of the book.
* The Luskentyrians in ''Whit [[EitherOrTitle or]] Isis Among the Unsaved'' by Creator/IainBanks is a small cult based in a farmhouse in Scotland. Although the main character is a True Believer, she's also intelligent and insightful enough to recognise that, while the cult's founder (her grandfather) is obviously the Chosen of God, he's also a bit of an old rogue. [[spoiler: It turns out he's much more of a rogue than she imagined, while at the same time less of a fraud than the reader might expect. He really did have a religious experience, and devoted the rest of his life to figuring out what it meant. It's her brother who wants to turn it into a ScamReligion.]]
* Several in the comic neo-noir ''Literature/GetBlank''. Mostly Satanist in flavor, with the First Reformed Church of the Antichrist, the Order of the Morning Star, and the Sons of the Crimson Gaze, but there are others including the Ordo Templi Orientis and the [[ChurchOfHappyology Rosicrusophists]].
* The Society of the Meek Ones in ''Literature/{{Scorpius}}'' is a mish-mash of various religious doctrines, and its true purpose is to produce suicide bombers for profit.
* ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' has the Bear-Cult, which is a schismatic offshoot of the Alorn Church, mostly focused on being manipulated by whichever villain is in the area that week. Its tenets range from the harmlessly ridiculous - wearing bear-skins and staggering drunkenly about the woods is a common manifestation of their faith - to a much less entertaining vein of overt racism; based on an ambiguous phrase in Belar's holy book, they believe the Alorns have to lead the other nations into the war with the Angaraks by subjugation, a plan which would embroil the West in a massive war and leave it wide open for Torak to conquer most of the world. Most of the characters treat Bear-Cultists as morons who are dangerous mostly because they're too stupid and ill-informed to know how counterproductive their approach would actually be.
--->'''Barak''': A good Bear-Cultist isn't thinking about fighting Angaraks, because all of his attention is focused on subduing Sendaria, Arendia, Tolnedra, Nyissa and Maragor.\\
'''Durnik''': Maragor doesn't even exist any more.\\
'''Barak''': That news hasn't reached the cult yet. After all, it's only been about three thousand years now.
* ''Literature/{{Pact}}'' has protagonist Blake Thorburn being recruited by a cult while homeless, wherein sex was used by the cult leader to control his followers and food was limited. The experience left him with a [[HatesBeingTouched instinctive negative reaction to physical contact]], because he came to associate it with being manipulated and used.
* In the ''Literature/DredChronicles'', two of the six gangs on the lawless PrisonShip Perdition are basically cults. One, led by a guy just known as Priest, essentially worships its leader. The other is led by a woman called Silence, and they're essentially death-worshippers. The latter are considerably smaller, but turn out to be more dangerous.
* In ''[[Literature/EddieLaCrosse Burn Me Deadly]]'', Father Tempcott's group are basically a dragon cult, believing that dragons are real and will return to [[ApocalypseCult burn the whole world]] apart from the few faithful. [[spoiler:They're a little bit right, since dragons are real and eggs have indeed survived, but they're wrong about dragons being basically gods — they're just particularly smart animals, and wouldn't care about cultists.]]
* In Creator/SandyMitchell's ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novels, a footnote mentions that a cult worships Cain as the physical embodiment of the Emperor's will -- something that would have horrified him if he ever found out.
-->Then the prophet spake: saying\\
"Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments."
--> [[spoiler:Alem Mahat]], ''The Book of Cain'', Chapter IV, Verse XXI
* ''Literature/BenSnow'': In "The Edge of the Year 1900", Ben spends New Year's Eve 1899 with a group following a woman who had vision that the world would end withe coming of the year 1900.
* The Children of the Light in ''Literature/MyLifeWithTheLiars'' are a more realistic take on a cult. They live on a compound in the Arizona desert, are led by a corrupt man called Father Prophet, and raise children to believe they are doomed if they aren't formally inducted into the cult by their thirteenth birthdays.
* In ''Literature/TheHandmaidsTale'', a [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]] [[UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}} Christian]] cult has managed to gain a stronghold in {{Eagleland}}, following a series of [[GreenAesop environmental disasters]], {{Sterility Plague}}s, and social upheaval. They even took over the country, and managed to change its name to Gilead, and established [[TheTheocracy a theocratic government]] there. Women are treated as second-class citizens and have been divided along the lines of their fertility and marital status: Wives (wives of the wealthiest and most powerful men of Gilead), Econowives (women who are married to less wealthy or powerful men, and also capable of having children without getting a Handmaid involved), Handmaids (women who can't get married due to being considered DefiledForever, but are fertile, and so used to bear children on behalf of Wives who can't), Marthas (older or sterile women who work as household servants), Aunts (women who are too old to bear children, and instruct/brainwash women who have been selected as Handmaids, also the only women allowed any sort of education), Jezebels (women who have been sterilized, and who work in brothels that are sanctioned, or at least tolerated, in the Republic of Gilead due to a cultural belief that [[ImAManICantHelpIt men cannot control their lustful urges]], but [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland aren't supposed to]] ''[[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland enjoy]]'' [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland sex with their wives or with Handmaids]]) Daughters (virgin daughters of wealthy and powerful men, who will one day be given in {{Arranged Marriage}}s to other wealthy men), and [[UnPerson Un-Women]] (women who don't conform to Gilead's ideals, such as [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs lesbians, feminists, and lesbian feminists]], Jezebels who [[MenGetOldWomenGetReplaced grow old and lose their sex appeal]], or Handmaids who fail to bear healthy children for their masters, and who are sent to work camps to clean up radioactive sludge without any personal protective equipment.) Scientists, abortion doctors, Catholic priests, homosexuals, and people of color are executed, either by hanging, or by being sent to the aforementioned work camps.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Craster and his daughter-wives seem to worship the White Walkers as gods. He claims the Walkers will not trouble him because he is a "godly man" and even without him, his wives greet the birth of a male child as "a gift for the gods."
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': the Goa'uld Seth, after spending a long time as a disembodied symbiote in a canopic jar, takes a new host and tries to found a new religion on Earth to worship him as in days of old. The cults he founds always end up either being disbanded by the police or committing mass suicide, with Seth escaping in yet another new host; this pattern is how SG-1 and Jacob find him.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'', during an investigation of a bombing, turned up a cult in the middle of Manhattan worshipping a con-man as a new messiah. He was a semi-delusional fraud; as he was convicted, he used thumbtacks to give himself stigmata. His entire "flock" killed themselves hours later.
* Between the original show and the ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', the good guys have encountered several cults; the SVU episode "Charisma" had a particularly heinous one. When a pregnant preteen girl is brought to the hospital, a path is traced to a cult she's a member of. During a standoff at the start of the episode, all the children in the compound are killed by its leader. In the climax of the episode the pregnant girl threatens to kill Olivia if she tries to stop him and cannot be talked down. A horrific ending (as Olivia might have to shoot the child to save herself) [[spoiler:was barely averted because the leader claimed in a rant he was greater than God - the girl killed him instead.]]
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' had a cult around a fake "witch" who also hoarded its members' worldly possessions. (And made them eat mungbeans.)
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Glory (the Big Bad of season five), being a god, naturally had a cult who worshiped her, even though she was an evil, de-powered and kind of obnoxious god. And her followers were mostly barely-competent minor demons.
** "Lie to Me" included a cult of teenagers that worshiped vampires.
** "Reptile Boy" had fratboys who serve (girls to) a demon.
* In an episode of ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'', Robert gets suckered into a lame but loving cult, but is horrified to discover that they too like Raymond better.
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Gul Dukat, a Cardassian who hates Bajorans, forms a doomsday cult based on Bajoran religion in an attempt to kill a few of the people he hates. His plan fails, though, when his followers question his reluctance to metaphorically drink the Kool-Aid first.
** Actually, the cult already existed. It's not a Doomsday cult; it's one that worships the Pah-Wraiths because they have lost faith in the Prophets following the Occupation, believing therefore that their Pah-Wraith enemies might not be so bad after all. He just subverted it to his own ends, claiming that the Pah-Wraiths were giving him visions. They actually were, and so the Kool-Aid may really have been their idea. [[SealedEvilInACan The Pah-Wraith really are evil]], and the cult are just mistaken.
* ''Series/{{Millennium}}'':
** The eponymous Millennium Group, at least in the second season and parts of the third.
** Selfosophy, a [[ChurchOfHappyology Scientologyesque]] cult.
* A subversion appears in the first season of ''Series/VeronicaMars''. Secrecy (sort of), organic diet, isolation, authority clash... and they're actually decent people, whose "secret crop" is Christmas poinsettia flowers. The kid Veronica "saves" is "deprogrammed" back into a jerk, though she learns about his real soft spots and he remembers her somewhat fondly from her time infiltrating the cult, making him a useful source of information in a later episode.
* ''Series/{{Neighbours}}'' had some of the characters drawn into a cult that was very much a BrandX version of Scientology, which turned out to be the work of a con-man who became a recurring villain.
* ''[[Series/MadanSenkiRyukendo Ryukendo]]'' has the whole town temporarily turn into a UFO-worshiping cult in one episode, complete with dancing and chanting. It turned out to be a trick by the MonsterOfTheWeek, but they weren't aware of that.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' had so many examples it would be best to designate between straight and subversion:
** Straight: A Satanic cult made up of the members of a small town PTA ("Die Hand Die Verledzt").
** Subversion: A vegetarian cult that believes in "walk-ins" (moments of spirit possession) that turns out ''not'' to be tied to the abduction, drugging, branding, and inoculation with extraterrestrial DNA of a group of small town teens ("Red Museum"). They were connected, though somewhat indirectly. The Cult's founder was involved with the conspiracy, and enforced vegetarianism because the conspiracy was running a secret experiment involving the town's meat supply and they needed a control group.
** Straight: A doomsday cult that believes in reincarnation and ends up taking part in a mass suicide ("The Field Where I Died").
** Straight: A murderous cult that worships a slug-like parasite that they believe to be the Second Coming of Christ ("Roadrunners").
* ''Series/TheMentalist'' has the reoccurring cult "Visualize."
* An episode of ''Series/ColdCase'' dealt with a cult that preached a new beginning by eliminating the past; in a slight subversion, instead of a mass-suicide, the cult was planning mass-''patricide'', killing their fathers as a tribute to their "new" father figure, the cult's leader.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' had the eponymous OCD detective infiltrate and get completely sucked into a cult, whose charismatic leader is played by real life OCD sufferer Howie Mandel. Humorously, while Stottlemyer's partner Randy and several other characters were trying to deprogram Monk, Monk manages to convert Randy. In a plot twist double-whammy, Monk manages to both alibi the cult leader ''and'' break up the cult: [[spoiler:the leader claimed that he was never, ever sick, but on the night in question he was secretly receiving cortisone injections to deal with back pain. The cultists, upon discovering their leader is a fake, simply abandon him.]] Even liars sometimes speak the truth. For some reason Monk seems not to have appreciated, afterwards, that however dishonest the cult leader might have been, he had more success than Dr. Kroger ever had had in helping Monk overcome his OCD.
* Nina on ''Series/JustShootMe'' once belonged to a Moonies-like cult called the Church of the Rising Star. It has been suggested throughout the series that Nina has belonged to various other cults.
* The Church of Synthiotics in ''Series/WildPalms,'' with its "New Realism" philosophy.
* The ''Series/TouchedByAnAngel'' gang encountered one and revealed themselves when the leader was about to commence a mass suicide in response to authorities arriving. Monica convinces everyone to leave instead; the deluded leader starts a fire in response. The angels rescue everyone but him, as he refuses to accept their help.
* In ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'', Shawn joins a cult who convinces him to give up all his friends. He leaves when Mr. Turner is in a motorcycle accident, and the leader wants Shawn to not see him, so he rejects the group.
** Other than that, it's very non-cultish. The Center isn't difficult to locate, there's no chanting or monetary aspect, and everybody appears well rested and nourished. They even have video games.
* An episode of ''Series/CSICrimeSceneInvestigation'' had the team investigate a cult-induced mass suicide. [[spoiler: The sole survivor found out the leader was a fraud (who founded cults, drugged the members and left with all the money they'd collected from their families before they woke up), but believed he was just testing her and killed him. Since she didn't realise that the "poison" would just knock them out for a while, she ends up getting something stronger to "make sure nobody suffers"...]]
* Parodied on ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'' in the two-part episode "Blank Stare," where Jerri is lured into a "collective cooperative community service operation outreach program project." The leader/messiah of the cult ends up hating her so much that he forces her to ''leave'' despite her enthusiasm and willingness to assimilate.
* [[Series/{{Friends}} Joey]] was a part of a cult but "[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Five hundred bucks to]] [[ChurchOfHappyology get to level 3?]] Forget it!"
* Echo infiltrates a Branch Davidian style cult in the ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' episode ''True Believer'', with an outcome similar to that in Waco.
* ''Series/HomeAndAway'' has had a couple of cult stories. The one from more recent memory involved Tash getting involved with The Believers, whose leader had a prophetic dream involving her and her then-unconceived child. Which meant that the plan involved the leader's son getting Tash pregnant with her daughter Ella.
* On ''Series/{{Community}}'' Pierce insists that he is a Laser Lotus Reformed Neo-Buddist but the rest of the group keeps telling him that he is actually in a cult. Notable claims of his religion include that people's essences are stored in jars called "Energon Pods" until they develop the technology to give them new bodies (these jars bear a striking resemblance to lava lamps), and that its members can develop superhuman powers by advancing to high levels in the church.
* In Volume Five of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', we are introduced to Samuel Sullivan, who runs a carnival that is essentially a cult for "[[DifferentlyPoweredIndividual specials]]."
* "The Ugly Ducklings" are the focus in two episodes on Series/KamenRiderFourze lead by a ballerina who worships a Zodiarts known as Cygnus and where other students do good deeds which is valued on a point system. [[spoiler: One of those members actually ''is'' Zodiarts and the cult--being stupid--forces him to transform into Cygnus. They disband after that.]]
* In the ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'' episode "Bloodbath", Starsky is abducted by the followers of the memorably creepy Simon Marcus.
* In the ''Series/MrShow'' episode, "Heaven's Chimney," [[Creator/DavidCross David]] has apparently joined a cult lead by "The Bob [Odenkirk]" and is planning on "going up Heavey's Chimney." Creator/TomKenny and a few other cast members have to deprogram him. Said sketch also included the cult's greeting "Terra-da-loo!" which fans of the show tend to quote frequently.
* From ''Series/TheFollowing'': SerialKiller Carroll's titular following. He prefers to think of them as his friends. It begins to fall apart shortly after he escapes from prison and takes control of it, since it's members are all ''psychos.''
** Debra Parker, Hardy's new superior, keeps on telling him not use any word relating to the word cult, and doesn't want the FBI to label it a cult, noting the implications it carries. He later finds out she's the head of the FBI cult (Alternative Religions) unit. [[spoiler: Then it turns out she was raised and abused in a cult herself.]]
* ''Series/{{Cult}}'' is, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as you'd expect]], all about this. Specifically, the cult seems to be composed entirely of obsessive fans of the titular ShowWithinAShow, which is also about a cult. [[MindScrew Head hurting yet?]]
* On ''Series/TheListener'' the IIB investigates the death of a cult member. The cult itself turns out to be mostly benign and the killer turns out to be [[spoiler: a crazy member of the group who took it's message way beyond what the leader intended]]. The leader even admits his insistence that his followers cut all ties to their past was a big mistake and works to make the group less insular.
* TrueDetective is a police procedural about two mismatched cops investigating a cult over an extended period of time.
* ''Series/OrphanBlack'' has the Prolethians, [[TheFundamentalist fundamentalist]] Christians who are against the existence of clones and try to eliminate them at every opportunity. In their initial appearances, they are portrayed as believing that ScienceIsBad, but later [[spoiler: they do in-vitro fertilization using Helena, so obviously science can't be that bad.]]
* Played for laughs in the ''Series/WhatsHappening'' episode "Rerun Sees the Light." They worship Ralph, a head of lettuce.
* A running gag on ''Series/TheColbertReport'': [[http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/07oysy/john-green here]] an interviewee asks Stephen Colbert if he's a cult leader. There's a pause of about two seconds where Colbert looks at the camera and this sinks in, and then the audience ''howls'' and starts a chant of "Ste''phen!'' Ste''phen!'' Ste''phen!''" Way to allay suspicion, Nation.
* The ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' episode "The Farm" sees the team dealing with a rehab facility turned cult at the titular farm.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' sees the BAU tangle with a number of cults:
** Season One episode "The Tribe" has one kill college students at a party and members of a racist group, using Native American war rituals. Reservation Police John Blackwolf is brought in and note that the murders are [[TheThemeParkVersion confused mishmashes of tribal rituals]]. It turns out they are actually racist white people stirring up racial tensions to start a race war. Hotchner and Blackwolf stop them from shooting up a Native American school while pretending to be members of the racist group getting revenge.
** Season Four episode "Minimal Loss" features a cult that was once a libertarian compound before an exiled member returned and took over. Prentiss and Reid try to go in undercover, but end up as hostages and the rest of the BAU must negotiate for their release.
** Season Nine episode "Persuasion" has a cult of homeless vagrants inhabiting the sewers. The leader Ceaser has them commit petty thefts while giving him a share, and is controlled by a mysterious man known as The Doctor. They are being investigated by the BAU for drowning death of members who did not give their shares to the leader, as well as man named Finn Bailey looking for his sister. The Doctor turns out to be [[spoiler:Marvin Caul, the stage magician who introduced Finn to the cult]].
** Season Ten episode "The Forever People" has a cult that convinces people the world is going to freeze over, and that they must freeze themselves to prepare for this. The BAU believes them responsible for the freezing deaths of ex-members and [[spoiler:they are half right as the murders are being committed by a member behind the leader's back]].
* Occasionally on ''Series/WithoutATrace'', the trail of a missing person leads to a cult. This typically results in the team trying to rescue other members the cult has trapped.
* An episode of ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'' has Walker's female partner infiltrate a cult camp to rescue somebody's daughter, but then she becomes a prisoner herself that requires Walker to come to her rescue, [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse leaving the fate of the daughter in question]].
* ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' reveals in its third episode that [[BigBad Vandal Savage]] has his own cult which [[AGodAmI worships him as a god]]. In exchange for their loyalty and financial support for his {{Evil Plan}}s, he shares with them the blood of Carter and Kendra each time he kills their latest reincarnations, as it [[BloodMagic extends their own lives significantly]].
* On ''Series/TheOfficeUS'', [[CloudCuckooLander Creed]] claims:
--> "I've been involved in a number of cults, both as a leader and a follower. You have more fun as a follower. But make more money as a leader."
* ''Series/ThePath'': Meyerism, a New Age religious sect which is at the center of the series.
* ''Series/BarneyMiller'' once dealt with an ordinary Middle America couple who wanted their daughter kidnapped from her cult, The Light of the East Temple and Herbarium. The cult has a Hindu-Buddhist ambience, while their leader LooksLikeJesus and seems reasonable. He reassures the parents that many young people are not up to the discipline required (no drugs, no tobacco, no alcohol, no sex) and the turnover at the temple is very high.
* ''Series/TheExorcist'' has the Friars of Ascension. A supposed [[CorruptChurch Catholic charity organization]], whose members include many "[[VillainWithGoodPublicity pillars of society]]", they're actually a collection of Satanists, who willing play [[DemonicPossession host]] to demons in exchange for wealth and power.
* On ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'', Nora reflects on how she joined a hippie cult back in TheSeventies, [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe because its leader accepted her in spite of her shyness and severe stutter]]. She (and several other women) eventually got married to the cult leader, though as time went on, his other "wives" left the cult and left him. Nora was the only one left after the rest of the cult eventually disbanded, and he felt disillusioned. He told her to leave, like the others, and she promised him that she wouldn't, causing him to lash out at her. In response, she calls him a "son of a bitch" and pushes him off a cliff in a fit of anger. Later, while in {{Prison}} for manslaughter, she becomes the center of a cult, and shows herself to be NotSoDifferent from her cult-leader husband.
* This trope is one of the central themes of ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCult''. It starts out as a group using serial killings and large-scale psychological warfare in order to tap into the public's fear and anger, in the hopes of overthrowing the corrupt system and bringing about an equal society. Except that's all a lie fed to its members -- cult leader [[DarkMessiah Kai]] just uses all that fear and anger to get himself a political career, at which point he shifts to far right-wing beliefs (racism, misogyny and totalitarianism) and works towards using his new influence to institutionalize all those beliefs.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Music/ENomine features one of the ReligionOfEvil variety in the video for "Das Omen."

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/KevinSullivan's Army of Darkness was basically his own personal cult in the original run of [[Wrestling/NationalWrestlingAlliance Championship Wrestling from Florida]]. He would visit NWA Ring Warriors long aftere it's demise to preach about PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad ruining the world.
* Basically any stable ever run by Wrestling/{{Raven}} has been one of these, be it in Wrestling/{{WCW}}, Wrestling/{{ECW}}, or Wrestling/{{TNA}}. Some are more insane than others, such as the rather {{Narm}}y Serotonin.
* Back during the Wrestling/AttitudeEra, the WWF had Wrestling/TheUndertaker's Wrestling/MinistryOfDarkness where Taker would go kidnap C-level guys on the roster and "convert" them into his followers with new names. There was also to a lesser degree [[VampireTropes The Brood]], who were briefly part of the Ministry themselves.
* In 2005, Cibernético started his own religion, La Secta Cibernética, centered around worship of himself and against Wrestling/{{AAA}} founder Antonio Peña. His main followers were Charly Manson, Chessman and the Black Family. While nursing a knee injury Cibernético's religion was usurped by Muerte Cibernética, who renamed himself Asesor Cibernético. Though Charly and Chessman remained loyal to Cibernético, they no longer believed he should be worshiped.
* The Order of the Neo Solar Temple in Wrestling/{{CHIKARA}}. Led by Wrestling/{{UltraMantis Black}}, they've been known for brainwashing and converting enemies. The crowd usually bows to them when they enter, even.
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} has had the [[SmugStraightEdge Straight Edge]] [[BaldOfEvil Society]], as led by Wrestling/CMPunk (incidentally, a former member of Raven's Wrestling/{{TNA}} group the Gathering), and later [[Wrestling/TheNexus The New Nexus]], which seemed very culty with the whole "Faith" thing they were doing.
* Wrestling/TheWyattFamily have some very creepy cult-like trappings to their gimmick, although the word "cult" has actually been used overmuch concerning them. Wyatt himself comes across like a mash-up of [[Film/{{Fallen}} Azazel]], [[Film/CapeFear Max Cady]], and Charles Manson with his deranged promos, and he's accompanied by two devoted "sons" ([[Wrestling/BrodieLee Luke Harper]] & Erick Rowan) that obey him without question.
* Wrestling/JamesStorm's Revolution, which involved him manipulating and sometimes outright kidnapping other wrestlers and "transforming" them in a backwoods shed lead to some viewers calling him a cult leader.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Everywhere. Most are devoted to the Chaos Gods, or are set up by [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong Genestealers]] to call down the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranid hive fleets]]. But the "[[BlackAndGrayMorality good guys]]" have them too - there are many cults dedicated to the Emperor in unorthodox but non-heretical ways, while [[SuperSoldier Space Marine]] Chapters tend to incorporate their Primarch or the beliefs of their homeworld into their religious practices. Naturally, the [[ChurchMilitant Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus]] keeps a close eye on these tolerated cults.
** The [[MachineWorship Adeptus Mechanicus]] worships a living machine for a god. But it's okay, ''really'', because it's an aspect of the Emperor. They're probably not fooling anybody, but nobody wants to piss them off too much since they're pretty much the only ones who know how to use most of the machines and have their own in-house paramilitary forces to boot. The fact that they might actually be worshiping the [[EldritchAbomination Void Dragon]] and this being Warhammer, probably doesn't bode well.
* In the skirmish game ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'', using a 40K variant and set on the eponymous planet, a player's force could belong to the Redemptionist Crusade, a sect that relates to the normal Emperor-Worshipping Imperial Citizens (you know, dogmatic, intolerant, heretic-burning, etc.) about in the same way that David Koresh-style sects relate to standard Evangelical Christianity. They are TOO fanatic even for Imperial Society, and hence are outlaws to be killed on sight.
* In ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'' the two primary religions in The Empire are the Cult of Sigmar and the Cult of Ulric. Sigmarites worship Sigmar the founder of the Empire who ascended to godhood, while the the latter worships Ulric the god of winter. The two are more benign examples as they are dedicated in protecting the Empire, but the two groups often have a tug of war for power and influence over the Empires rule.
* Also extant in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''. In its setting, the term "cult" is value-neutral, though. The makers [[LampshadeHanging even said in one book]] that if the word had the same negative connotation in Creation as it does in real life, many organizations normally calling themselves cults would vehemently deny that they were such.
** There is actually a "Cult" background, which specifically refers to your character having worshippers. Some, most notably the Alchemicals, try to [[UnwantedFalseFaith dissuade them]]. Pretty much everyone else responds with "w00t, free [[{{Mana}} motes]]!" The main cults not directly related to worshipping Exalts are typically devoted to [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Yozis]], local deities, or their ancestors, and one signature character - the deathknight known as the White Walker or Harbinger of the Ghost-Cold Wind - has dedicated his existence to forcing a fair arrangement on both sides.
* The same applies in ''TabletopGame/RuneQuest'', older by about 25 years; practically every resident of Glorantha joins a "cult" of one of the hundreds or thousands of gods, and gains some magic from that god. Even the state religion of the Lunar Empire is technically a "cult".
** The game uses the older, anthropological definition for a "cult", a tiered religion that teaches deeper mysteries of the cult's beliefs to those in higher positions than those in the lower ranks. Since religious understanding comes with very real supernatural power and responsibility, it makes sense for nearly all religions to form as cults -- especially after the God Learners unintentionally demonstrated what happens when people try to collect as much of the knowledge as possible without giving a thought to the responsibilities.
* Very common in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' (though evil gods who are ''actual'' gods--as opposed to demons or devils--tend to have organized churches). Most recurring Arch-Devils and Demon Princes have their own cults, as do certain powerful elementals and other pseudo-deific entities.
** One of the very first ''D&D'' adventures, ''The Temple of the Frog'', concerned a raid on the cult of an evil amphibian-god.
** The 3rd Edition version of the ''Deities & Demigods'' {{Sourcebook}}, which contained guidelines for designing religions and godly pantheons, described the dwarven earth goddess Dennari, whose followers were described as a benign MysteryCult.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' has the Cults of the Dragon Below (everywhere) and the Blood of Vol (which has a couple of temples in most countries but is mostly kept secret), both of which fall under the heading of ReligionOfEvil in most cases.
* A few pop up in the Freedom City setting for ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'', mainly dedicated to [[HollywoodVoodoo Baron Samedi]] and [[EldritchAbomination the Unspeakable One]].
* The {{Mook}} level monster in ''TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror'' are Cultists, specifically Cultists dedicated to awakening whichever sleeping God is trying to wake up and destroy the world this session. They usually have a few extra rules that change depending on which [[CosmicHorror Ancient One]] is in play.[[labelnote: Examples]]Cthulhu's worshippers are particularly grotesque and horrifying, Hastur's ride flying monsters, Nyarlathotep's are without number, etc [[/labelnote]]
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' has a number of cults as furniture and backdrop as much as villains of a scenario.
* ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' is filled with all kind of variants, with various books covering them:
** ''Antagonists'' has an entire chapter dedicated to the various types of cults in the setting, how they work and how they can be used in your campaigns. These include sex cults, murder cults, frauds, secret societies and cults led by actual supernatural beings.
** ''TabletopGame/MummyTheCurse'' has it as a core elements; most mummies have a cult surrounding them, serving as their anchor to the real world.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Cabal in ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'', and 100 years later Cabalco (essentially the same cult disguised as a multinational coporation).
* The ancient Pagan-Supernatural-Judeo-Christian-Kabbalistic mishmash cult from the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' series. Though it's rather overlooked in the second game, the first game explains it in great detail, and in the third game, [[spoiler:being a chronological sequel to the first]], that same cult becomes a very important part of the storyline.
* The cult in ''VideoGame/GuardiansCrusade'' screams of evil but never ''actually'' does anything bad... until a certain point later in the game. From this point, the player can (optionally) return to towns from earlier in the game to stop the cult members that have transformed into optional bosses.
* ''VideoGame/ThiefIITheMetalAge'' revolves around the apocalyptic Mechanist cult which has schismed from the [[CrystalDragonJesus Pseudo-Catholic]] Hammerite church.
* ''Videogame/BreathOfFireII'''s Church of St. Eva.
* Spiderweb Software's ''VideoGame/{{Exile}}''/''VideoGame/{{Avernum}} III'' allows you to join an anti-magic cult. If any of your characters have magical abilities, they give up their use permanently. This choice makes the game a bit more difficult, and in particular prevents you from stopping a plague of cockroaches, since you can't cast a fireball spell. However, you can always do that quest before joining the cult. The Anama appear again in ''Avernum 5''.
* The Happy Happy Religious Group headed by Mr. Carpainter from ''Videogame/{{Earthbound}}'', which kidnapped Paula and was obsessed with the color blue. The quest that involves them would also mark the StartOfDarkness for Pokey, which would ultimately see him becoming TheDragon to BigBad Giygas, [[spoiler: and later becoming a major villain in Earthbound's sequel, ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', as well]].
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' had Los Illuminados, essentially a cult of {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s.
* ''VideoGame/CampSunshine'', a 16-bit survival horror game, has a cult that [[spoiler: put demons into the killer when he was a child, which is why he kills in the first place.]]
* ''Videogame/EternalDarkness'' had at least one cult worshipping the [[EldritchAbomination Ancients]]. The main branch was run out of a French cathedral, and used a made-up Christian relic to lure in human sacrifices.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'':
** "'''The Cult of the Damned!''' ''... I need to print more brochures''"
** The multiple other cults in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', like the Wyrmcult, or the Burning Blade Clan.
** Twilight's Hammer, the Auchenai ... "I always wanted to start my own religion. ...so I did!"
*** The Twilight's Hammer became {{Dragon Ascendant}}s in ''World of Warcraft''. Back in ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Warcraft II]]'', they were just another orc clan. In ''[[MeaningfulName Cataclysm]]'', they wanted to [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt destroy reality]].
** "[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial We're not a cult, so much as a maniacal group of fanatical, blade-wielding zealots.]]"
* [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries The Brotherhood of Nod]], led by the man named [[DarkMessiah Kane]], ''started out'' as a secret society/cult whose members believed Kane's prophecy [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Tiberium]] will allow humanity to achieve ascension. When Tiberium actually arrived on Earth in the 1990's, Nod gradually went from a secret society to a global terrorist movement to [[NGOSuperpower something resembling the Islamic State]] in terms of reach, influence and ability to field armed forces. In ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars Tiberium Wars]]'', Kane uses Tiberium to summon an AlienInvasion. In ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianTwilight Tiberian Twilight]]'', [[spoiler:he and his followers use a portal left behind by the aliens to actually ascend.]]
* ''[[Videogame/{{Fahrenheit}} Indigo Prophecy]]'' (known as ''Fahrenheit'' in Europe) has not one but two cults that are MacGuffin organizations. At least one reviewer, Yahtzee from [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation The Escapist's]] WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation, has labeled the combination of a cult trope with the sudden emergence of superpowers as [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/34-Condemned-2-Bloodshot "Indigo Prophecy Syndrome"]]
* Fygul Cestemus from ''Videogame/SoulCalibur'', who were responsible for the creation of Astaroth, and for turning the Spartan warrior Aeon Calcos into Lizardman.
* The Fellowship in ''Videogame/UltimaVII''. The entire cult is modelled after the [[ChurchOfHappyology Church Of Scientology]], from the founder and leader who bears more than a passing resemblance to Creator/LRonHubbard, to the obviously rigged personality test the Avatar receives early on.
* The Brotherhood of the Dark Rapture from ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersJericho'', a cult dedicated to unleashing the malevolent Firstborn unto the world.
* Team Aqua and Team Magma of ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', to the point where they are thought to actually be a cult villainous group.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'''s Team Galactic, whose leader wishes to [[AGodAmI remake the universe in his own image]], and whose primary targets are essentially the Pokemon version of ''gods'', are actually more closely related to the thug like Team Rocket than cult like Magma and Aqua. Most of the {{Mooks}} you encounter are unaware of [[BigBad Cyrus's]] goals. In contrast, ''every'' member of Teams Magma and Aqua are aware that succeeding in their plan will result in the world being flooded/dried up.
* The Children of the Atom in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', a group of people in the Town of Megaton who worship the giant unexploded bomb the town is named for. Their essential belief is everytime a nuke explodes a new universe is created. They're obviously crazy, or at the very least completely unaware of exactly how the bombs work which isn't surprising considering there aren't many people left who can properly explain how an Atom bomb works to them. Despite their obviously nutty beliefs they're quite harmless and the residents of Megaton tolerate them, even if most of them think they're nuts. The even gather round at times to watch Confessor Cromwell, the Church's leader, preach about how the bomb is so great! Probably because its good entertainment or they're one of his followers. Even if you effectively disable the bomb Cromwell continues to preach about its gloriousness. Of course, blowing up the bomb and killing him and everyone else, according to him, would probably be a blessing to everyone.
** Lampshaded in-game, where the sign that points to the Church building in Megaton reads 'Local Cult'.
** The Children of Atom take a nasty twist in the DLC ''Broken Steel'', when one of the high-ranking members starts [[spoiler: Stealing the Aqua Pura destined for megaton, and then irradiating it to lethal levels]].
*** Amusingly you can talk them out of it by pretending to be their CrystalDragonJesus.
** The original game had the Children of the Cathedral, a front for that game's BigBad. The second game has [[ChurchOfHappyology Hubologists]], a cult the player can either join or massacre.
*** One of the many bits of unimplemented content in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' was a quest to procure fuel for their incompetently rebuilt two hundred year old space shuttle which they intended to use to return to their "Sky Father". A fully voiced epilogue for them exists in the game's code, apparently if the player character got them their fuel they would take off shortly after... and find out that they failed to make the hull airtight. Not getting them fuel would result in them concocting a fuel-analogue and blow the shuttle to hell during takeoff. Too bad it wasn't implemented because it'd be pretty damned funny.
*** Sounds like this idea influenced a quest in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. In this particular quest, you can choose to aid a group of ghouls in their quest to use an old rocket in order to reach space and leave behind the racist human oppressors. Their leader is more or less a cult leader, though he's much nicer and decidedly not psychotic. If you get them the fuel, they take off successfully (unless you deliberately sabotage the launch). [[spoiler:Amazingly enough, if their flight goes off without a hitch, the epilogue states that they actually survive and return to Novac in order to help defend it from Caesar's Legion.]]
*** The Hubologists return in the Nuka-World DLC of ''Fallout 4'', now lead by the descendant of the cult's founder. They believe a UFO ride to be an actual spacecraft and wish to use it to travel to space. [[spoiler:Depending on how much power you give the UFO, they either survive with or get die from the G-force]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'''s spiritual predecessor ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland}}'' and its [[VideoGame/Wasteland2 sequel]] has a few cults of its own.
** Similar to Fallout's Children of Atom, the Servants of the Mushroom Cloud refer to radiation as the "Great Glow" that guides them while worshipping Albert Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. In Nevada they have a radical offshoot of the cult known as the Mad Monks who worship a nuclear missile and ensure peace by threatening to [[TakingYouWithMe use it on the region if they're attacked]].
** The God's Militia is a cult in Los Angeles based around a violently militant interpretation of the King James Bible that wants to take over Hollywood.
** The Children of the Citadel are a cult led by the BigBad that believes turning people into cyborgs is the next step in human evolution.
* In ''VideoGame/SecretFiles: Tunguska'', the cult in the game believes that they were descendants from aliens. [[spoiler:They are also responsible for your father's kidnapping, but turns out to be the ''good guys'', kidnapping him to protect him from the evil corporation trying to create mind-control machine from the remains of TheTunguskaEvent and silencing anyone related after [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness they have outlived their usefulness.]]]] The sequel has a more traditional doomsday religious cult [[spoiler:who's responsible for all those disasters]].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series has a variety, mostly falling under one of the sub-tropes, including ApocalypseCult ([[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Mythic Dawn]], the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Thalmor]] from a certain point of view), ReligionOfEvil ([[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Sixth House]], [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Dragon Cults]], [[JerkassGods certain]] Daedric Cults, Hackdirt), and ScaryAmoralReligion (most other [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Cults]]). Breakdowns are available on those trope pages.
* Spaghetti Cultists, who [[AnonymousRinger worship a Flying Spaghetti Monster]] from ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', the EvilCounterpart of the game's Lawful-Good [[{{Whatevermancy}} Pastamancers]].
* The Church of Unitology in ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' is a very large, very successful cult by the time the games take place, but it is still a cult. One that seeks to control over an artifact of evil that turns people into necromorphs, and spread it through out humanity.
* The Tarronians from a [[NothingIsScarier particularly creepy]] mission in ''VideoGame/{{SWAT 4}}'' are part ChurchOfHappyology and part [[BrainwashedAndCrazy batshit insane]] apocalyptic [=Cult=]. Especially toward the end where you find [[spoiler:the child graveyard in the basement and learn that they've murdered their own kids in preparation for the end]].
* The [[TheUnfettered Gaians]] and the [[CorruptChurch Messians]] in Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The Covenant, a multi-species theocratic hegemony whose leaders don't even realize [[spoiler:they're running a suicide cult]].
** The Covenant's more religious remnants, like the one introduced in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'', are often referred to as "cults" by the UNSC.
** On the human side of things, there's the Triad, which teaches that every human has three lives, with spiritual transcendence only occurring when you linked all three. Its leader is the rather sinister Dasc Gevadim.
* The Cultist faction in ''VideoGame/UFOAftershock''.
* Dr. Wood in ''VideoGame/DieAnstalt'' starts one among the patients partway through his therapy. He takes their most precious material possessions from them, and in return gives them little ravens-claw trinkets and goes through a little "faith-healing" routine with them. He never does anything with the items, only taking them to bolster his own percieved self-importance.
* The Cult of Kefka from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', which was formed after Kefka became a god over the ruined world, and worshipped Kefka for no other reason than possibly fear. Also referred to the Fanatics. They also have a theme song that has ominous chanting.
* The first ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' had the "People of the Eye", who worshipped, and were attempting to resurrect, the [[LizardFolk Creator Race]]. It's stated a few times that many of the cult's lower-ranking members had only a vague idea of the cult's actual goals, which might explain why they were working to ressurect a race of creatures that despised all warm-blooded races and were planning to kill or make slaves of them the minute they came back.
* The {{Freeware Game|s}} ''VideoGame/{{Cult}}'', [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin obviously]], revolves around the protagonist infiltrating one. It's not made clear what they worship, but it seems to involve meditation and the Bible.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' has the Children of the Firehawk, who worship Lilith as a fire goddess. Lilith herself is mostly ambivalent towards them as they're mainly obsessed with setting themselves on fire but keeps an eye on them in case they do anything particularly bad, such as human sacrifices. Similarly, the Bloodshots have come to worship arms dealer Marcus Kincaid as "The Gunbringer" after he sends them a shipment of complimentary weapons in an attempt to sell to both them and the Crimson Raiders, even erecting a massive six-armed statue of him that spits out guns in exchange for human sacrifices.
** The ''Player'' gets a cult after the end of the Firehawk cult questline, where you save people from said Children of the Firehawk. Lets just say anything and everything can possibly create a cult on Pandora.
* ''Videogame/WoodruffAndTheSchnibbleOfAzimuth'': The Schnibble Cult.
* There is a rather disturbing one called Black Circle in the sixth game of the ''CarolReedMysteries''.
* ''Videogame/MetalSaga'' has the Gluteus Maximus cult, which is a cult of bodybuilders. [[spoiler:You can even join this cult and get one of the bad endings, in which your party comes out with {{Heroic Build}}s. It doubles as a NonStandardGameOver since you also get this scene if you lose any battle while in the church.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series, references are made to the Epsilon Program, a ChurchOfHappyology-esque group, mostly in passing on the radio. In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV,'' the Epsilon Program takes a larger role in a series of side-quests for Michael, asking him to perform various tasks in order to advance through the Program's ranks, a lot of which involves paying increasingly higher amounts of money.
** The Altruist cult is malevolent cult that disconnected society and all members had so happened be mainly mentally-ill Baby Boomers believing younger generations are 'creating' all world problems.
** Children of the Mountain is therapy-like cult that Franklin could be member if he wants and also happens that one of two Frankin's safehouse happens be living beyond their headquarters.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'', the Abbey of the Everyman is a slightly creepy, but otherwise perfectly normal religion with a number of harsh penalties for sin. Probably doesn't even count as a ReligionOfEvil. Their biggest problem is probably that they're too eager to blame things on the Outsider, the local [[SatanicArchetype devil analogue]]. The Outsider in turn strongly dislikes them ([[SeenItAll he's too old to really hate]]), and flippantly refers to them as "that cult dedicated to hating me." In ''VideoGame/DishonoredDeathOfTheOutsider'', it is revealed that the Abbey [[spoiler:is descended from the cult that originally created the Outsider by murdering an orphan boy in a profane ritual. The most high-ranking members of the Abbey always knew that the Outsider was not the ultimate evil they claimed he was. This makes the Outsider's comment more true than it seemed at the time; all of the Abbey's power comes from using him as a scapegoat]].
* The ''Videogame/SengokuBasara'' series has Xavism, a ParodyReligion of Christianity with Happyology elements that worships founder Pontiff Xavi. While extorting money from people does play a role in the religion, Xavi it seems is a genuine LoveFreak who does actually believe in his silly dogma. For the most part, the Xavists are largely the comedic relief of the series and even have a talent for [[EasyEvangelism getting other characters to convert]], most notably [[TheChessmaster Motonari]], AKA "Sunday Mori".
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has Humans Against Monsters, who are technically more of a religiously-motivated hate group but have a rather cult-like ambience to them all the same. They believe that humans are the chosen race of the God of Order Saradomin and are thus entitled to do whatever they please to nonhuman races, which is rhetoric fairly close to a number of RealLife racist organizations. Despite the unfortunate acronym of "HAM," they aren't played for laughs at all and have a number of rather disturbing deeds to their name, including reviving the Ogres' dead with magic to wipe out the living Ogres and attempting a mass drowning of the Goblins.
* ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma'' has Salvation, a cult that worships Grigori, the dragon, and prays for him to come and bring destruction to all of Gransys.
* The Cult of the Eternal End in ''Videogame/EndlessLegend'', they are led by malfunctioning [[{{Precursors}} Endless]] robots, who's main goal is to destroy all traces of the Endless in Auriga. Their faction specialty is the ability to forcibly convert neutral villages into their faction, and get free units from them.
* The Disciples of Ragnos are the antagonists of ''Star Wars: VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy''. The cult's goal was to try to resurrect the ancient Sith Lord Marka Ragnos, with their leader being the [[VideoGame/JediKnightIIJediOutcast last game's]] [[TheDragon Dragon]], Tavion.
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreed'': Both the Assassins and the Templars qualify, to an extent, and outsiders often identify them as such. Both have a somewhat sinister ideology (Assassins believe in ensuring humanity's freedom by... well, the name is a clue; Templars believe that the truly enlightened- themselves- should have absolute control of humanity's government), induct members with spooky rituals, and so on. They don't publicly advertise themselves, unlike many cults, and many of their more far-out beliefs (like the one about {{Precursor}} aliens) are actually completely justified.
** They're outdone by the Instruments of the First Will, a group of weirdoes devoted to [[spoiler:Juno, the setting's GreaterScopeVillain]], and who are fanatically devoted to them. Even the Templars are weirded out by these guys.
* The Divine Ascension in ''VideoGame/PandoraFirstContact'', its a combination of Scientology, North Korea, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Facebook]]. When people enter it all information about them used to blackmail them into obeying the groups orders, or they could face being sent to a reeducation camp in Siberia. Its leader Lady Lilith Vermillion started the whole thing as a started to believe she was a god, after surviving a bullet to her head. When Pandora is discovered she sets her sights to it, with the intent of claiming the planet for her own.
* Each and every one of the [[PowersThatBe Elder Powers]] from the ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' series had one in the first game, which were even directly called Cults. They mostly advocated killing followers of other cults that their god didn't like, and once you joined one, [[ResignationsNotAccepted you could never leave]]. The Powers mellowed out a bit by the time of the second (current) game, and now ask for dedication through Guilds that offer fewer rewards to the faithful but that it's possible to leave for a [[BoltOfDivineRetribution price]].
* Cultists can show up anywhere in ''VideoGame/DarkestDungeon''. The front-line berserkers mostly spam "Rend for the Old Gods", which can leave your adventurers battered and bleeding, while the Acolytes mix [[MindRape Stress damage]] and pushing heroes around the battleline to screw with your plans. [[spoiler:When you get to the Darkest Dungeon itself, you find that the Heart of Darkness has mutated some of its most faithful cultists into new, horrible-looking forms with {{Lovecraftian Superpower}}s.]]
* In ''VideoGame/VerdictGuilty'', there's a cult dedicating to waking the people up through chaos and destruction, and Yohan is a foot soldier in it. [[spoiler: Actually, it's a tool of the BigBad, who's out for money and power.]]
* ''Videogame/FarCry5'' deals with a doomsday cult that is obviously inspired by the Branch Davidians that has somehow managed to take over an entire county in Montana.
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' and ''VideoGame/SunlessSea'' feature a cult that worships an EldritchAbomination. An uncontrollable HorrorHunger that compels them to eat everything in sight (and sometimes feed themselves to each other) isn't even the worst thing that happens to those who pursue this too far.
* Part of ''VideoGame/CultistSimulator'' is starting one, based on whatever your chosen bit of eldritch lore is. You can turn acquaintances into cultists, and from there into exalted cultists - as long as they line up with the principle of your cult.
* A rogue group of machine lifeforms in ''VideoGame/NierAutomata'' break off from the network to find religion, which eventually turns into a suicide cult that 2B and Pascal must escape from while machine fanatics swarm the building helping everyone inside to [[DeadlyEuphemism "become as gods."]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{MAG ISA}}'' -- The antagonists are part of a fictional cult known as [[http://mag-isa.thecomicseries.com/comics/pl/119615 ''The Order'']]. Their belief system is a mixture of Christianity and New Age beliefs.
* In the BackStory of ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'', Arikos's crimes stem from leading a cult of Talmi who believed that he could turn them (back) into humans. In truth, Arikos used the cult as a means to produce his Celeste offspring, and not only killed off any "failed" offspring , but also any members of the cult who had outlived their usefulness (specifically older members who could no longer work / bear children) throughout the process.
* In ''Webcomic/TemplarArizona'' there is a cult of people founded by 'Jake', whose core beliefs revolve around theft, polygamy, and breeding, and refer to themselves as 'Jakes' or 'Jakeskin' (Jake's kin).
* The demon K'Z'K has its own cult in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', complete with a leader who plays fast and loose with her interpretation of scripture. Very much a ReligionOfEvil.
* A group of cultists shows up on a couple of occassions in direct opposition to the Light Warriors in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''. It's name is never mentioned as it "cannot be said or written without driving you mad." The cult is a good example of a ReligionOfEvil and appears to worship beings similar to those found in Creator/HPLovecraft's works.
* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', the group comes across a poster for 'Angelo's Kids', and since [[ExpositionFairy Julie wasn't there]], Rocky had to explain to the others that 'Angelo's Kids' is both a youth cult and a pyramid scheme.
* Nutritionists form a cult around a “Lemonade” soda sticker in ''Webcomic/RomanticallyApocalyptic''.
* Timothy/Camellia in ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerso'' spent a couple of his teenage years in a doomsday cult focused on one of the series' resident {{Mon}}s.
* The world of ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' has several groups who are seen in-universe as cults, with the Kyorl'solenurn clan being the largest with the most direct influence on the politics of the world. Originally a more zealous branch of the religion of Sharess, ever since the mainstream religion began it's decline several centuries ago they've grown increasingly isolationist and extreme. On the opposite end are Nether Cults like the group that eventually became the Vloz'ress, which started as [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=444 a fairly harmless group]] who kept to themselves but still faced persecution for their beliefs. Once [[ManipulativeBitch Sene'kha]] took it over and killed most of the mode moderate members, including the original leader, things went FromBadToWorse.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', the man known as "Tengu" enslaves minds one by one and makes them physically identical with no sense of personal identity through a magic enchantment. The process took him months the first time he did it but in a magic saturated area he was able to do it in a single night. He refers to his victims as his flock and thinks of himself as a shepherd.
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', Robot S13 has started a cult that worships Kat as an angel. It's implied it's [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1143 not his first time]], this tendency is why Antimony found him disassembled in the first place.
* In ''Webcomic/MeatyYogurt'', a possible alien landing prompts the creation of an alien-worshiping cult called [[http://rosalarian.com/meatyyogurt/2013/06/10/the-smile-time-cosmic-farm-co-op/ The Smile Time Cosmic Farm Co-Op]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'', Serafine leads a cult that practices a corrupted form of Voodoo and worships the ''loa'' Maitre Carrefour. She invites Mordecai to join, and forcibly carves a Voodoo symbol into his chest when he refuses.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Hymn of One in ''WebVideo/{{lonelygirl15}}'', which was [[PathOfInspiration actually a front]] for an evil organisation. The Hymn of One also appears in ''WebVideo/KateModern'', which portrays it in a slightly more sympathetic (though still villainous) light.
* [[http://www.featherlessbiped.com/filk/evilfilk.htm Here]] one more sinister assembly is revealed in the best tradition of Cult Investigation (and they [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking use the dandelion as their symbol]]!).
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'': Marzipan runs a kindergarten program she calls "LURN": "Life-blossoms Undergoing Re-programming Naturally". The "children" (actually dimwitted grown men Homestar, Homsar, and Strong Mad) are referred to as "life-blossoms", the crayons all have politically correct names ("dermal discoveries" instead of "skin flesh", or "blue" instead of "black") and can't color ("so that no one life-blossom outshines the others. That way, they're ''all'' special!"), and the grades are renamed things like roots and grass to give an eco-friendly image even though they still map to letter grades in concept. Strong Bad is somewhat incredulous.
--->'''Strong Bad''': Marzipan, what kinda cult you runnin' here?
--->'''Marzipan''': Oh, pretty standard.
* In the {{Website/Neopets}} plot "Spooky Food Eating Contest", during the catacombs phase, you can encounter three kinds of cultists; Evil, Indifferent, and Friendly. Depending on your actions, they can either reward you with an item or curse you, no matter what kind you bump into.
* Gail from ''WebVideo/DeagleNation'' may be a part of one, considering she reads from and follows the teachings of a "Forgotten Bible".
* ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'' has the Cult of Malcolm, a cult led by a butterfly named Shrignold that worships a sick version of love.
* In ''[[https://zaubererbruderasp.deviantart.com/art/X-691003917 X]]'', there is a cult, heavily implied to be TheKlan, who summon [[ThoseWackyNazis Adolf Hitler]] out of Hell.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Meg is drawn into a cult based almost completely on the Heaven's Gate. Although she's got no idea it's a cult. And then there's Peter founding his own, though short-lived (and more benign), cult.
* The Movementarians on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' drew the titular family, and most of Springfield, into a collective based on worshiping a UFO. (They made them eat lima beans, although a diet of low-nutrition gruel was used to break down hard cases. Homer compensated by eating an entire month's supply.)
** It turns out the writers based the Movementarians mostly on Scientology. They managed to do this as Nancy Cartwright, a Scientologist, doesn't believe it's a cult. Go figure.
** In the episode "Lisa's First Word", Homer mentions that his cousin Francine (originally Frank) joined a cult: "I think his name is Mother Shabubu now."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' had Gadget (as part of a TenMinuteRetirement) join the "Cola Cult". It worshiped TV commercials for soda ("Come along, you belong, feel the fizz of Coo Coo Kola!"), and instead of mass suicide, it had the followers give up their worldly possessions, where they were secretly hoarded by the cult's brutish second-in-command. In a mild subversion, the leader fully believed in the commercial's rather upbeat message, though the Cult was still broken up at the end.
* ''WesternAnimation/StrokerAndHoop'' were targeted by a cult of "enlightened cannibals", who drug people and surgically remove their vestigial organs for the group's consumption.
** Though they ''did'' commit mass suicide via poisoned appendixes to ascend to a comet, so not that enlightened.
* ''WesternAnimation/WaitTillYourFatherGetsHome'' had an episode in which the daughter joined a cult. It was a relatively benign cult in the sense that the leader was simply scamming for money-- sort of like the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh]] without the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Rajneeshee_bioterror_attack bioterror attacks.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Luanne gets caught in a cult whose members all take the name of Jane.
** And guess what happens when Peggy tries to get her out?
*** "You're thinking of Blonde Jane and Old Jane."
* [[WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife Rocko]] was set to confront his archnemesis Dingo but he had joined a cult led by a unicorn.
** Don't forget the Schnitzel Club, which Heffer falls into.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' had one posing as a P.R. firm, whose founder had already created several other different cults, all of them destructive.
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeRenegades'' has one being led by Tomax and Xamot, with some AppliedPhlebotinum [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwashing]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'', the Flamekeepers' Circle is a cult that worships an alien named Dagon, whom they believe uplifted early humanity. The Circle believes that Dagon will return to Earth one day and bequeath more alien technology to humans and transform Earth into a paradise. In the meantime, the Circle promotes the use of alien technology to improve life on Earth via modernization of schools, hospitals, etc. -- this aspect of the Circle is what draws in Julie. All in all, a fairly benevolent cult. [[spoiler:Too bad [[ArchEnemy Vilgax]]'s OneWingedAngel form looks exactly like Dagon...]] [[spoiler:And when Dagon does return, he transforms everyone on Earth into his FacelessGoons.]]
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' in the episode "Swing on Thru to the Other Side", where Spinelli develops a cult devoted to following the teachings of Swinger Girl.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}'', Woody's new girlfriend has him join a cult and they are going to jump off a cliff and be taken by a spaceship. Malloy asumes its a suicide cult and grabs him in time,[[spoiler:then its revealed that there really was a spaceship and Woody gets left behind and blames Malloy.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' season 5 premiere has the settlement known as Our Town. It's populated by ponies who thought something was missing from their lives and thought they found it in this commune, led by a charismatic leader called Starlight Glimmer. She preaches that individuality and differences -- in this show's context, ponies' cutie marks and corresponding special talents -- lead to disharmony, and to reach true friendship, everyone should have their cutie mark and individual magic removed via magic, replaced with a = sign for a cutie mark and bland mediocrity. The settlement itself and the ponies there have a dull, uniform look ([[AmazingTechnicolorWildlife relatively anyway, for the ponies]]), at first sight everyone's always smiling suspiciously broadly, and under the happy surface any trace of individuality or longing for a different state of affairs is heavily policed against. Oh, and they also try to use actual old-fashioned Hollywood brainwashing when necessary, locking ponies in a room with propaganda constantly playing on a loudspeaker.