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Apocalypse Cult

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Red Mage: I have a question. At any given point in history, there are doomsday cults. Such as yourselves. For a thousand years, your kind has striven for and preached an end of times that will never be.
Cultist: Your question?
Red Mage: My question is: What's it like to be as stupid as you are ugly?

A dark take on the Cult, an apocalypse or doomsday cult tends to crop up in fiction wherever Cosmic Horror Story, Film Noir or Crapsack World elements are present, with the members actively seeking to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. There are several flavors of apocalypse cults, but most seek to awaken or make possible the return of some god of destruction to destroy the world and "make it anew". Others seek to end their own lives to escape what they believe is the end of the world or to have a better afterlife.

They will often be seen conducting arcane rituals of untold horrors and believe they will be rewarded with the equivalent of paradise for their service (they may be mistaken). As they are often a form of Religion of Evil, they tend to be practitioners of The Dark Arts and/or Martyrdom Culture. Human sacrifices, necromancers, zombies, and other forms of undead are optional but often seen among their ranks. They may also involve an Apocalypse Maiden or Barrier Maiden.

Unfortunately, some such groups have existed in Real Life. Documented ones include:

No real-life examples are allowed here because of the high standard of proof that such a group has to have to be considered such in Real Life; the definition is maddeningly subjective in the absence of such ironclad proof. Note that all of the above groups include extensively documented murders/suicides done with the apocalyptic religion as a sole motive. Also note that none of the groups above exist anymore (Aum Shinrikyo's members are still active, but Aum Shinrikyo itself was divided into Aleph and Hikari no Wa in 2007), enough that documentary journalism, investigations by authorities, and other objective proof has entered the record regarding them.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • SEELE from Neon Genesis Evangelion, who may have been somewhat inspired by Aum Shinrikyo. They dress everything up in pseudo-kabbalistic imagery, to the point of giving various entities and objects names from Christianity or Judaism (the monsters attacking Japan are called Angels, the progenitor entity of these called Adam, the progenitor entity of all terrestrial life called Lilith) while advancing the Human Instrumentality Project, which involves bringing about Third Impact and merging the souls of all humanity with Lilith, essentially causing their deaths as individual beings. To the point that, in End of Evangelion, as Third Impact is taking place, they recite various ritualistic phrases together, and refer to the process as the Red Earth Ceremony.
    • To be fair it's heavily implied that it's Judaism and Christianity that stole their names and imagery from the Angels rather than the other way around. Both religions are apparently based on the instruction manual that came with Adam and Lilith which we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • Project A-Ko: Uncivil Wars/The VS has an unnamed cult of Space Pirates that believes in cleansing the universe of corruption by destroying it. They worship their founder, Lady Xena, and the Dragon God, a powerful dragon that Xena desires to control, though they also believe in God and claim that their destruction is God's judgement of the "degenerate" universes.
  • Pacific Rim: The Black: The Sisters are a mysterious group mentioned in Season 1 as collecting Kaiju eggs for an unknown purpose, and being feared by other bandit groups. Season 2 expands on this as they become the main antagonists — they're revealed to be Kaiju cultists who worship the Precursors as gods, kill every man they encounter while abducting and brainwashing women to join their ranks, and are ultimately seeking to turn the Boy into a Kaiju Messiah that will lead the Kaiju in finishing the conquest of the world.

    Comic Books 
  • In DC Rebirth, the followers of Mr. Oz are a group dedicated to causing disasters and violence across the planet in Oz's name after he used their dissatisfaction with the world to manipulate them into believing they'd be granted the opportunity to reshape it In Their Own Image. Oz himself is revealed to be Superman's father Jor-El, who was rescued from the destruction of Krypton by Dr. Manhattan and orchestrated all of it to prove to Superman that Humans Are Bastards after being forced by Manhattan to continually bear witness to the worst of humanity.
  • The Grant Morrison run of Doom Patrol features the "Cult of the Unwritten Book", a religious order that wishes to bring about the end of all reality through the summoning of an Eldritch Abomination known as the Decreator, which they believe is God's opposite. While they manage to summon the entity, the Doom Patrol find a way to slow down its destructive properties, making it so it can only "decreate" a few inconsequential objects at a time.
  • A major element of East of West is a group called "The Chosen", a cabal comprised of leading members of each of America's seven nations that conspires to bring about the apocalypse.
  • Giantkiller: Richard Gray Brigstine and his cult see the arrival of the Daikaiju as the end of the world and formed a religion dedicated to killing for and then being killed by Jotun.
  • In the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. 'verse, there are a large number of cults and secret societies — Project Ragna Rok, the Oannes Society, and the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra, to name a few—hoping to trigger the apocalypse. Most of them are operating under the logic that the world is going to end anyway, but if they're the ones who pull the trigger, they'll at least have some measure of control over the destruction.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • The Seventh Heaven Apocalypse Day Group that shows up in "The Pit" arc are praying for the end of the world every day. They think they finally get their wish during a juvie riot when a tanker full of bio-acid comes barreling through the window of their church, but no such luck. The Ax-Crazy ex-Judge Priest later grants them their wish, however.
    • The Death Cultists who started showing up after Necropolis are citizens who believe in the omnicidal creed of the Dark Judges and wish to free them from containment. On more than one occasion, they have. The worst one by far is the Mortarian sect, which gathers thousands of colonists to engage in ritualistic suicide on the planet Thanatopia. Unlike the former example, the Death Cult is illegal in Mega-City One.
  • Runaways has The Pride, an Apocalypse Mafia, who are plotting to bring about the end of the world as we know it in exchange for 20 years of obscene wealth and power and the chance for their kids to live in a paradise.
  • Simon Dark: The Geo Populous cult is trying to summon a swarm of demonic things to eat Gotham in order to let an even greater evil into the world. It's unclear what the members were looking for before the lot of them were possessed but the cult seems to have started off more benign and then things went wrong when their leader got taken over while creating Simon.
  • Star Wars Legends: The Heinsnake cult from Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin worship a prophecy that a Dark Messiah (whom they believe to be Vader) will lead them in plunging the galaxy into eternal chaos.
  • The Transformers Megaseries: Bludgeon's Decepticons worship the mad Transformer Thunderwing. They awaken him and set him loose to destroy other planets, believing that doing so will somehow undo the damage that the Transformers' war has done to their home planet Cybertron.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Ares and his children have a number of Earth-bound minions to help them kick off World War III. Though, given the Gods' considerable powers and longevity, it's not clear if these guys are entirely willing or even human.

    Fan Works 
  • The main antagonists of The Bridge: Humanity's Stand are Red Dawn, a group that worships the Big Bad Bagan and attempts to destroy Planet Terra in his name by exploiting technology and Kaiju.
  • When the Child of the Storm universe reveals its version of Krypton's destruction, we learn of the Cult of the Eradicator, a group named for a Destroyer Deity from Krypton's ancient mythology. When Jor-El revealed that the planet's core had been destabilized, the Cult went about telling everyone that this was a good thing, as they were all meant to be destroyed, and thus they opposed both sides (the Science Council who wanted to ignore Jor-El's warnings and General Zod who wanted to overthrow the Council to somehow save Krypton) in the resulting Civil War, believing that they should let it happen. They also view Jor-El as some kind of prophet of doom to be venerated, much to his horrified despair.
  • Dead Man Walking: It's mentioned several times that countless people are flocking to worship Cthulhu in the wake of his return. Cartman, Kyle, and Wendy have a run in with a store full of them, when the gang stop at a gas station on their way to face Cthulhu himself. Prompting Kenny to blow up the building with a propane tank so they can escape.
  • Domovoi expands on the Kaiju Cultists briefly seen in Pacific Rim. They venerate Newt because he was able to Drift with a Kaiju and thus see into the minds of their gods, but they also want to actively prevent the Shatterdome from being able to counter the aliens' next attack, since they believe the Kaiju are a divine punishment. Ironically, the Precursor aliens are disgusted by the religion, since they see themselves as having Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions, and they respond to High Priestess Mikhail's drift attempt by mind raping her.
  • Friendship is Witchcraft has an ongoing subplot involving Fluttershy leading a cult that worships The Smooze, and intends to summon him to destroy Equestria.
  • The King Nobody Wanted: The Horse Killers who are springing up among the Dothraki seem to be such a group, responding to the collapse of Vaes Dothrak by killing horses in the belief that if the Dothraki do this, the Great Stallion will reward them for their faith with new horses and the conquest of all their enemies.
  • The Superwomen of Eva series has The Light of the Divine, who believe the Angels are God's judgment and are willing to do anything to facilitate them destroying the world, up to and including getting their hands on black-market super weapons and try to kill the Children and the titular super-heroines (and anybody who gets in the way. As an example, they kidnap Shinji on Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton with full intent of executing him later). They are mentioned as one of the various reasons the Evangelion universe is a Crapsack World in all stories where they appear, some stories have them as a Starter Villain for the superwomen to deal with, and on some others they have been created and are being funded by NERV without their knowledge, as a means for Gendo to have disposable soldiers that will eliminate anything he deems an obstacle to "The Scenario".
  • The War of the Masters: The Cult of the Masters in its various forms, one of which is the indigenous religion among the Orions and Undine. It seeks to bring about the return of what the Orions call the Good Masters, a race of Eldritch Abominations which in previous "cycles" obliterated multiple great civilizations.
  • In Worldwar: War of Equals, doomsday cults become popular across the Western world after the Race Conquest Fleet is discovered, and some later rise up and attack military installations in San Francisco (they all end up arrested by the FBI and Homeland Security).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 12 Monkeys follows a time traveler from plague-devastated 2035 sent back to 1996 to prevent a mysterious group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys from releasing the virus. A twist at the end reveals that the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is actually an environmentalist protest group who freed animals from the New York Zoo and had no interaction with the virus at all. Instead, the virus was released by an assistant at the lab where it was developed.
  • Apocalypse Cult: While investigating the legend of a mysterious group of religious people living in the forest, a local news crew becomes trapped in the grasp of a doomsday cult, who are about to execute their final act of devotion and biblical punishment.
  • Downplayed in Beneath the Planet of the Apes with a Cargo Cult of human mutants who worship the last surviving nuclear weapon, a Doomsday Device known as "the Alpha and the Omega". They sing dissonant versions of traditional Christian hymns, but with the word "God" replaced with "Bomb". Downplayed because the mutants don't seem to be in a hurry to bring about the end of the world, but they firmly believe that the day will come when they must, and it will be their glorious divine duty.
    • Battle for the Planet of the Apes, which is sort of a prequel, shows how the cult was founded with good intentions to safeguard the bomb and keep it from being used.
  • Cast a Deadly Spell: The Big Bad plans to use the Necronomicon and a virgin sacrifice to summon Cthulhu and the rest of the Cthulhu Mythos deities, which would devastate the world.
    Lovecraft: What kind of world?
    Hackshaw: A world of the unburied dead, and a sky dark with ashes. A blasted, maimed planet.
  • Ghostbusters (1984). In the Back Story, Ivo Shandor's Gozer worshippers conducted rituals intended to bring about the end of the world.
  • Hellboy (2004) has an apocalypse cult as its main villains. They were originally founded by an undead Rasputin, with support from Nazi Germany to provide an occult superweapon to win the war. However, Rasputin's real goals was to bring about the entire end of the world, and he brought Hellboy to Earth to make that happen (which backfired). In the main timeline of the movie, Rasputin still has a few Nazis on his team, who don't want to live in a world where they lost the war, and see his plan as a way to create a new "Eden".
  • Jonestown documents the Real Life cult mentioned above. It was originally a socialist community led by Jim Jones, which by the time of its death was living in a closed community in Guyana, hiding from the nuclear apocalypse and the American government (which Jones had told cult members would enslave them). When a congressman actually started poking around, Jones had him murdered and then convinced/coerced his followers to drink poisoned punch, then committed suicide himself to avoid arrest for his crimes.
  • The segment "Safe Haven" of V/H/S/2 is about a film crew who was interviewing members of an Indonesian cult when they all decide to kill themselves on camera to join Heaven on Earth. Then it turns out it's not just a suicide cult when they come back as undead creatures and they successfully summon what appears to be the Devil.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur is the leader of one; his objective is to eradicate most of human civilization and reshape it as he sees fit. The Four Horsemen are his adherents who are tasked with aiding their master achieve his dream of a "better world" where only the strong are permitted to exist.
  • At the start of Zack Snyder's Justice League, Wonder Woman thwarts a group of self-described "reactionary terrorists" aiming to blow up four city blocks and indiscriminately murder hundreds of civilians for the sake of destroying civilization. Their lines from the theatrical version blaming the Kryptonians are omitted, making them come off as Terrorists Without a Cause.

  • Variation in The Beginning, the last Animorphs book. Two years after the Yeerk defeat, terrorists have started attacking alien tourists on Earth. The worst of them are cults that think the presence of aliens is staving off a long-awaited apocalypse.
  • In Cold Copper Tears, the cult of the Devastator aims to release a world-destroying dark god from its prison. Lampshaded and deconstructed by the Dead Man, who points out that, subconsciously, the cultists don't really want to end the world, they're just morbid and petty enough to get a charge out of thinking they can.
  • Amusingly, this is a thing that applies to the After the End world of Cthulhu Armageddon. Apocalypse cults existed before the rise of Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones but have become the dominant faiths now that, well, they've been proven real. It's all but stated that the Great Old Ones don't notice those who call upon them, unlike the Other Gods who draw sustenance from humanity's dreams.
  • In the Daybreak series, Daybreak itself is a bizarre movement that is part naturalist religion, part anarchist philosophy, whose members are brainwashed via memetic programming into hating modern civilization. This leads them to unleash plagues of nanites and genetically engineered microbes which are designed to destroy any technology more advanced than steam-based, while also setting off fusion bombs (essentially super nukes) in strategic places. After the resulting collapse of most of society, they form tribes who continue to preach the evils of technology, while trying to destroy any attempts to restore society and counter Daybreak.
    • A major plot point involves the Post-Raptural Church, a Christian fundamentalist sect which emerges in the aftermath of Daybreak, claiming that all the deaths resulting from Daybreak were the Rapture, and signaled the start of the seven-year period leading to the Apocalypse. They become increasingly influential in the American south, which is under the control of the Temporary National Government, soon becoming the official religion of the region. And eventually, when the best last chance to restore the federal government fails, they outright take over, declaring their territory the "Christian States of America".
  • Less common in the actual works of Howard P. Lovecraft than one might think (there are cults with other goals than a complete apocalypse), but the Whateley family in The Dunwich Horror serve as a concrete if small-scale example of this, explicitly working towards the goal of helping bring about the "clearing" of the Earth of its current occupants.
    • The cult of Cthulhu from The Call of Cthulhu seek nothing less than to awaken the eponymous Great Old One in his city of R'lyeh.
    • Also applies to the The Shadow Over Innsmouth where the Deep Ones and Half-Human Hybrids are awaiting the day that Dagon (implied to either be the same entity as Cthulhu, or one closely allied with him) will rise and destroy the world. However, the actual events that drive the story have little to do with this apocalyptic endgame, which they seem to be looking forward to with little enthusiasm, and are mostly just the Deep Ones finding a way to pass the time.
  • The Everything Box parodies this with two rival doomsday cults, each vying to obtain a particular apocalyptic artifact to unleash the End Times in the name of its respective patron Demon Lord. One operates out of a fried fish restaurant and suffered a schism over the spelling of its patron's name. Both are oddly sanguine about the prospect of pitching themselves and the planet into eternal torment.
  • Humanx Commonwealth series: A cult called the Order of Null appears in Flinx's Folly and later novels. They have learned of the approach of the galaxy-devouring Great Evil, and see it as their role to remove any obstacles to its coming. This includes Flinx himself, who is the Chosen One fated to destroy it. It is later revealed that they are abetted by none other than Flinx's archnemesis Mahnahmi, a powerful telepath and an embittered nihilist.
  • In the Hunter novels by Mercedes Lackey, this is the back story as to why the world is a dystopian future with otherworldly monsters as threats to be fought back against. Back when the world was starting to go bad, most Christians saw it as the start of the Apocalypse. When the Rapture didn't happen (Christians being raised to Heaven while everyone else went to Hell), a group of Christians in the Middle East stole a nuclear weapon and set it off in hopes of kick-starting the Apocalypse. All it did was just made things even worse, as it broke the barrier between us and the otherworldly monsters.
  • In Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus! trilogy, the Illuminati Prime (the five most powerful people in the world) are actively seeking to Immanetize the Eschaton — i.e. bring about the apocalypse — to make themselves immortal and provide a massive blood sacrifice to their Elder Brothers and Sisters, the Lloigr of Cthulu.
  • Kim Newman:
    • In Jago, the title character is the self-proclaimed messiah of an apocalyptic cult who develops Reality Warper powers, so the protagonists have to stop him before his powers expand to the point where he can make the world end according to his beliefs.
    • In "Cold Snap", Richard Cleaver unleashes the Cold, an extradimensional entity that seeks to turn the world into an eternal Ice Age. The Diogenes find themselves in an Enemy Mine situation with (amongst others) both the aforementioned Jago and a pair of Old One worshippers. Catriona wonders about the wisdom of allying with people who only want to stop the apocalypse because it's not their apocalypse.
  • Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again: The Tokyo Godzilla Society is framed as one, posting fliers all around Tokyo proclaiming that Godzilla is a god of destruction come to punish Japan for having grown soft and weak in the wake of its defeat in World War II. While Professor Yamane is the chief suspect due to his insistance on not killing Godzilla, it's later discovered the culprit was a con artist who'd been trying to spread panic and terror, and who gets crushed flat by Godzilla for his trouble.
  • China Mieville's novel Kraken has some Lovecraftian doomsday cultists as among the good guys. One of the main conflicts is a bunch of cultists from different apocalyptic cults warring over which apocalypse they want to see happen and when, and the squid folks are amongst the most patient, friendly, and easy-going about the whole business (making them natural allies for the heroes against the nastier and more aggressive sects).
  • Kris Longknife has the Abdicators, a neo-Luddite cult that Kris tangles with in Intrepid. The Abdicators, who arose during the Human-Iteeche War, are convinced that all humanity must hide itself away in the face of alien invaders who will boil humans' eyeballs in their own blood (that isn't a joke, that's literally their words), after which good aliens will come to take away the survivors. When Kris encounters their colony on Xanadu there's apparently been a religious dispute: the good aliens are now referred to as angels. The Abdicators later try to frame her for their assassination of Greenfeld dictator Henry Peterwald by Colony Drop, thereby starting an apocalyptic war between the Wardhaven and Greenfeld blocs of planets so that spacers stop visiting them and the evil aliens won't find them.
  • In The Laundry Files, a number of cults try to bring their Eldritch Abomination deities to Earth which would result in the deaths of millions and End of the World as We Know It. The Cult of the Black Pharaoh is the oldest and most dangerous one of these.
  • In the early Science Fiction story Les Xipehuz, some mystics form one when they realize that humanity is doomed from what seems to be an Alien Invasion
    From this anguish the mystics created a bleak cult, a cult of death preached by pale prophets, the cult of Shadows stronger than the Stars, Shadows that came to engulf and devour the Holy Light, the resplendent fire.
    Everywhere on the edges of the wilderness, one encountered the emaciated silhouettes of initiates, silent men who periodically wandered amongst the tribes, relating their awful dreams, the Twilight of the imminent great Night and the Death of the Sun
  • In The Lives of Tao and its sequels, The Genjix are seeking to terraform Earth to match the conditions of the Quasing homeworld. Doing so will kill all non-Quasing life on Earth.
  • Scarlett Undercover: The Children of Iblis seek to open a portal between human and jinn realms, and may actually be jinn themselves.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story "Shoggoths Old Peculiar" has an (initially) Unfazed Everyman American tourist who visits the picturesque English town of Innsmouth and converses in a pub with the friendly Cthulhu-worshipers who live there. He ends up with a bad hangover and a "feeling of nameless dread" (TM).
  • In Tom Robbins's Skinny Legs And All, Reverend Buddy Winkler is working with terrorists who plan to bomb The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, so that the Third Temple can be built.
  • Joe Hill's novella Rain, from Strange Weather, includes a doomsday cult operating in the protagonist's neighborhood. They don't appear to be much more than the stereotypical weirdos who wear silvery robes and tin plate hats and who conduct strange ceremonies, but their leader spent time in jail many years prior for abusing his wife and daughters as part of his strange beliefs, and three members try to abduct the protagonist so that she can be forcibly converted into their fold.
  • Sacred And Terrible Air: It is revealed that Mesque has embraced the nihilist ideology of Ambrosius Saint-Miro and is trying to intentionally bring about the end of the world.
  • The first Simon Ark story, "The Village of the Damned", deals with the mass suicide of members of a doomsday cult. In the anthology The Quests of Simon Ark, Edward D. Hoch notes that in 1955—several decades before the Jonestown massacre—several editors rejected the story as they considered the premise too far-fetched.
  • The MacGuffin in Temple is an idol carved from a rare element not found on Earth that can be used to power a planet-destroying bomb. Various groups try to get a hold of it to hold the world for ransom, but in the end, it falls into the hands of a doomsday cult formed from various terrorist groups and the remains of Aum Shinrikyo, who intend to detonate their bomb no matter what.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 12 Monkeys has the Army of the 12 Monkeys. Aside from unleashing The Plague that kills most of humanity, it turns out that their true ultimate goal is to collapse time completely. This is because that their mysterious leader, the Witness — whom they venerate as a prophet and Dark Messiah — has shown them that doing so will turn all of reality into the Red Forest, a place where they can relive all their happiest moments with their loved ones, at will, forever.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has Glory's worshipers, mostly a group of ugly, sniveling demons who want to help her unlock the barriers between dimensions. This would both allow Glory to return to her home hell dimension and pretty much destroy our plane of existence (and many others) as reality itself unravels in the chaos of the walls between dimensions fall apart.
  • Fear the Walking Dead: The main antagonists of the second half of Season 6 (having been introduced as a secondary threat in the first half) are a group led by a man named Teddy, who believe that since death and destruction are a natural part of the life cycle, then the Zombie Apocalypse is something that should be accepted and allowed to play out rather than fought. As such, they intend to seal themselves up in a makeshift bunker to ride it out... after first destroying every other survivor settlement they can find, since anyone trying to preserve and rebuild pre-apocalypse society is anathema to their beliefs. To this end, they intend to hijack a beached nuclear submarine and use its missile compliment to wreck the continent.
  • In one of the Bad Futures on Fringe the Over There universe has already been destroyed and a group called the End of Dayers are deliberately tearing apart the fabric of reality in our universe as well.
  • In The Leftovers, many of these have sprouted up in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of 2% of the human population. The first season most prominently features the Guilty Remnant (an antisocial and nihilistic cult devoted to being "living reminders" of the Sudden Departure) and Holy Wayne's group (a cult of personality formed around the strange and enigmatic Wayne Gilchrist, who seems to genuinely have the ability to remove people's pain). Adding to the spiritual uncertainty and the fuel that creates these cults is the fact that many people agree that whatever happened was not The Rapture, as the disappearance includes everything from babies to The Pope to thieves and murderers. Or as one character puts it in an early episode, "The Pope I can understand, but Gary Busey?! How does he make the cut?"
  • Madam Secretary: Henry McCord deals a number of times with the Covenant of John, a Christian extremist cult that in its first appearance gasses much of its own membership after Henry is made as an infiltrator trying to break it up. In later appearances, they're used as a stand-in for various far-right Western Terrorist groups in the United States.
  • Played for Laughs in Parks and Recreation with the "Reasonablists", a small group of people who worship the lizard god Zorp the Surveyor. They took over Pawnee during The '70s but didn't really appear to have caused much long-term harm, and in the present day, the aging members mostly just make incorrect predictions on when the world will end and hold "End Of The World" gatherings in the local park.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Seth", the team tracks the eponymous Goa'uld to a series of cults he's led on Earth through much of history (the current one being an armed commune in Washington State).
  • In Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, the retirement-home Satanists who are trying to capture the Book of Pure Evil want to make Todd into the Pure Evil One who will destroy the world.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt begins with Kimmy and her friends being freed from a fake doomsday cult, the leader of which had kidnapped and held them under false pretenses for 15 years.
  • Father Jude and Sister Celine are investigating some of these in You, Me and the Apocalypse.

    Other Sites 

  • Malevolent features at least two: the group that sought to summon Shub-niggurath and the group seeking to summon the King In Yellow. One is much more active—and thus much more of a present threat—than the other.

  • The Sydney Scroungers are occasionally harassed by "The Assembly of True Judgement" in the Pacific Rim universe, a cult of Kaiju worshippers who believe the Kaiju have been sent to punish humanity for their sins.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu had Cthulhu Mythos cults trying to do this in several campaign adventures.
    • Shadows of Yog-Sothoth. The Lords of the Silver Twilight try to raise the island of R'lyeh to the surface and free Cthulhu so he can take over (and destroy) the world.
    • Masks of Nyarlathotep. Cult groups controlled by Nyarlathotep himself try to perform a ritual that will let hordes of Mythos monsters into the world to destroy mankind.
    • The Fungi from Yuggoth. The Brotherhood of the Beast tries to cause a worldwide catastrophe by arranging for terrorist attacks, the summoning of gigantic dholes, and the activation of a giant monster in Egypt, all on the Day of the Beast.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Anything that involves worship of Tharizdun is going to wind up as one of these sooner or later, as Tharizdun is the god of Omnicidal Mania and was sealed away by other gods (Good and evil alike) to stop him from destroying the multiverse.
    • Most cults dedicated to Demon Princes have some elements of this trope, as the general goal of demons is to make everything that's not the Abyss into the Abyss, preferably giving it their own personal flavor of horrifying doom in the process. Of course, it's just as likely that the cult won't want the world destroyed and the Demon Lord will have to settle for just causing misery and spreading their personal philosophy, but the ultimate truth of demons is that they will never rest until the entire multiverse is torn to shreds. Anyone who believes this isn't the case is either deceived or deluding themselves.
    • Cults of Juiblex, the Demon Lord of Oozes and Slimes, are hard to present as anything but apocalyptic, given Juiblex's nature as a barely-sentient monster who exists only to absorb things into itself, so they tend to not even bother and just recruit the sort of people who already like the idea of reality being absorbed into a featureless mass of slime.
    • 4th Edition's Nentir Vale setting prominently features the Cult of Orcus, which is bent upon summoning the Prince of Undeath and thereby ending civilization as we know it. This is especially true of certain low-level pre-made campaigns such as "Keep on the Shadowfell."
    • In 3rd edition, the Wakers of the Beast were dedicated to awakening the tarrasque, an unkillable fifty-foot-tall spiked eating machine that will devastate the world if not kept in hibernation.
    • Forgotten Realms: The Church of Shar aims to help their goddess goal of plunging Toril into everlasting darkness.
  • In Exalted, anyone in the Neverborn's employ is technically an apocalypse cultist since the Neverborn want the world utterly destroyed, allowing them to finally die. In practice, most of them are just in it for the power.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Rovagug is the literal god of world-shattering destruction, to the point where his title is "the Beast of the Apocalypse". Any religious group dedicated to Rovagug is thus almost guaranteed to be an example of this trope.
    • The Dominion of the Black, a Cosmic Horror space empire that is believed to routinely hurl entire armadas into black holes as a tribute to oblivion, has a Golarion-based cult known as the Night Heralds. There are carved clocks in ancient ruins counting down to the Dominion returning in force; one of the words worked into these clocks is "harvest".
  • The Zodiac Order from Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution. They're dedicated to ushering in an event called The Eternal Storm, which will result in massive depopulation and humans with psionics powers taking their rightful place as rulers of the humanity.
  • In Shadowrun, Winternight was a Norse apocalypse cult that actively tried to end the world several times. They tried in 2061 to divert Halley's Comet into a collision course with Earth. In 2064, they almost plunged the Sixth World into the Dark Ages thanks to their plot colliding with a Gambit Pileup that crashed the Matrix and seriously damaged its infrastructure.
  • Siren: The Drowning features the Current of Acheron, a faction of Abyssal Sirens who want to ensure the Deluge will happen because they honestly believe the world is such a crappy place destroying it really is the only sensible option. Because of this stance, they are absolutely hated by other Sirens, including the other Abyssal Currents, and usually have to operate in secret in order to survive.
  • In Warhammer, minor cults of flagellants often arise in the Empire, usually from the survivors of towns that have been destroyed by monsters or the like. Believing that they live in the "end times" of war between good and evil (which might not be inaccurate), they gather together into bands and throw them at their foes. Empire players can actually field them as troops — they have a special rule which forces them to wound themselves at the beginning of each round of melee combat, but their fervor drives them to excel at slaughtering the enemy.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Genestealer Cults. The Tyranid Hive Fleets send Genestealers to land on the planet and begin picking off and infecting isolated individuals who generally won't be missed. First generation Genestealer Hybrids look monstrous, but as the generations continue, they begin to assimilate until they are indistinguishable from the host species by the fourth generation. Once a cult grows large enough, they introduce themselves to the public community through the facade of a harmless religious or political movement, with a psychic "patriarch" figure guiding the whole cult. Once the cult has grown large or influential enough, the patriarch receives a psychic signal from the Hive Fleet and the cult begins a full rebellion (often Running Both Sides of it) — even if the cult loses the ensuing civil war, they would still likely have greatly undermined the planet's defensive strength and left it wide open for the invading Hive Fleet.
    • A large number of Chaos cults believe the Dark Gods will scour away the corrupt Imperial authorities and bring a new, less terrible era. In practice, these cults tend to either be put down by Imperial authorities or find a way to summon either Daemons or Chaos Marines and then find themselves being used as Cannon Fodder (for the Chaos Marines) or food (for the daemons). The very unlucky - such as those who end up calling the Word Bearers - end up as both!
    • For a rare case in which the cultists are eight-foot-tall Super Soldiers, the renegade Space Marine faction known as the Purge believe the galaxy is irrevocably corrupt, and worship the plague god, Nurgle, in the hope that he will see fit to wipe away everything in it with the plague to quite literally end all plagues. Since Nurgle seems more interested in not doing that, possibly because his power depends on having plenty of living things around, they have to get a bit proactive, generally leading to the deaths of billions.
  • Unsurprisingly, a lot of them show up in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Whereas the titular Garou are either trying to stop the Apocalypse or make sure their final battle against the Wyrm ends in victory, many of those aligned with the Wyrm want to hasten the end of the world. The Black Spiral Dancers, for instance, think the Apocalypse might free the Wyrm from its torment and give it the revenge it deserves, whereas some higher-ups at Pentex think this whole "Apocalypse" thing means they can put their secret plan to rule over the shattered remnants of humanity as a corporate dystopia into action. And then there are the small, misguided Garou camps who think that the best way to ease the suffering of the world and end the spread of the Wyrm is to just get the Apocalypse going already.

    Video Games 
  • ANNIE: Last Hope, a game set two months After the End, has a cult called the Party Gang who abducts survivors to partake in death-matches, where they'll need to fend off released zombies besides avoiding getting shot.
  • Arrogation: Unlight of Day revolves around the player character investigating an abandoned Chinese village in the 1980s, where it turns out the population was indoctrinated by a Japanese Cult who took over the place and conducted some inhumane experiments on the locals; having forced the entire village to convert to their cause, they drove the village's population of 2,348 to killing themselves, with 2,236 bearing self-inflicted injuries with rudimentary farming tools. Another 111 set themselves on fire when tools doesn't work.
  • Baldur's Gate has the cult of Bhaal, God of Murder. Every single one of his adherents is an Omnicidal Maniac Serial Killer that wants nothing more than to watch the world burn, with even followers of some of the other evil gods being disgusted by them. To make matters worse, every so often he has children called Bhaalspawn compelled to Take Over the World in his name with the Player Character of the first two and potentially the third games being prominent examples.
  • In the Danganronpa series, Ultimate Despair is a quasi-religious organization that successfully ended civilization through a massive domino effect of violence purely for the sake of spreading despair and To Create a Playground for Evil. Its members are all sadomasochistic, amoral lunatics who have no qualms about murdering friends and family or performing self-mutilation, and many survivors of the chaos they cause just end up being brainwashed into being as fucked up as they are.
    • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, after the world was struck with devastating meteor showers, the leaders of the world began work on the Gofer Project to try and save at least a fragment of mankind. However, they were opposed by an extremist cult implied to be Ultimate Despair who began proclaiming that the end times had begun and chanted in the streets that mankind deserved damnation. They eventually began the Ultimate Hunt, chasing the sixteen students who'd been selected for the Project across every corner of the globe to try and stop them from leaving. However, in the game's final chapter all of this was revealed to have been Fake Memories implanted in the cast and the entire game was a Meta Sequel.
  • Darkest Dungeon has a cult of madmen who accept the Eldritch Abomination that the Ancestor awoken as their new god and seek to spread its knowledge. They are rewarded for their efforts in the Darkest Dungeon quests.
    • Darkest Dungeon 2 introduces a relatively more "mundane" example with the Fanatics, a cult of crazy zealots who engage in city-wide destruction and Book Burning.
  • In Dead Space, the Unitologists utilize the Marker to bring about a Zombie Apocalypse as part of an Assimilation Plot. It goes about as well as one would expect.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Cassandra's personal quest centres on a cult known as the Order of the Fiery Promise, who believe the world must end for it to be reborn as a paradise. Notably, the cult sets itself up as the Arch-Enemy of the Seekers, as they believe they were supposed to be Seekers and that the other organization somehow stole their powers. In the course of the game, they are led by the former High Seeker, who went slightly mad after learning the secret of the Seekers' abilities.
    • A codex also mentions a short-lived cult known as the Empty Ones, who believed that the darkspawn were the Maker's tool for ending the world. They were completely wiped out during the Second Blight when their entire membership gathered before the darkspawn horde.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 has the Children of Hargon, who worship the God of Destruction and preach that buiding is a mortal sin and destruction is the path to salvation. Most of the characters are under their influence when the game starts.
  • Dragon's Dogma has Salvation, worshipers of the Dragon as the bringer of the end-times and the recurring enemies of the Arisen. The Dragon himself sees them as little more than an annoying nuisance and otherwise has no interest in them.
  • Elden Ring has multiple flavors of people who worship some manner of horrible death.
    • Anyone who willingly worships and/or calls upon the Frenzied Flame counts, as the Flame's doctrine states that all of life was a "mistake" created by stealing power from a primeval source called the One Great, and that suffering will only be ended when the Frenzied Flame burns everything to return the world to the One Great. Most of its worshippers are either Ax-Crazy (often because the mere presence of the Frenzied Flame causes madness) or have crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
    • Then, there's the Scarlet Rot, which is a kind of cross between uber-poison, rabies, and acute radiation syndrome. Yes, there are people who worship it, as embodied by the Empyrean Malenia, who has been cursed by the Rot since birth. Rot cultists' beliefs involve the infected losing their minds and turning into monsters as a good thing, and seek to spread the Rot across the world. Malenia herself does not care to be worshipped in this way and instead spent her whole life suppressing the rot within her by sheer force of will.
    • The Volcano Manor is actually a cult devoted to the Lord of Blasphemy (a fusion between the demigod Rykard and the God-Devouring Serpent). Their stated goal is to prevent the Elden Ring from being restored by killing Tarnished, but their real goal is to feed the champions they recruit to Rykard so that he can eventually grow strong enough to devour gods... and the world along with them.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Mythic Dawn in Oblivion are attempting to destroy the safeguards between Nirn and Oblivion so that they may summon Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of destruction. Cultists are promised to go to Paradise when they die... Paradise being a realm in Oblivion that's only really a paradise for Mankar Camoran, the cult's leader. Camoran at one point has a sermon that details the cult's ideology beyond the promise of Paradise; somewhat unsurprisingly, it contradicts most of the series' other lore (claiming that, among other things, the planet Tamriel is a realm of Oblivion and Lorkhan is its Daedric Prince).
    • The Dragon Cult from the setting's ancient history may count, depending on whether or not they were aware that Alduin was destined to devour the world. One basion explored in Skyrim ended up going the "suicide cult" route when their enemies besieged them, leaving the Dragonborn to discover, among other disturbing sights, a mass grave of very small bodies.
    • The Thalmor, an Altmeri (High Elven) religious extremist sect who have reformed the Aldmeri Dominion of old during the 4th Era, have elements of one. Though only hinted-at in-game, former developer written supplementary texts flesh out their motivations. Officially, the Thalmor subscribe to the old Aldmeri belief that they are the descendants of the gods themselves (the Aedra and Ehlnofey), and the reason they've banned the worship of Talos is because it is blasphemous to them that a lowly man became a god after his death. Unofficially, they also subscribe to the old Aldmeri belief that the creation of the mortal world (Mundus) was a cruel trick pulled on their divine ancestors by the malevolent "creator" god, Lorkhan. This "trick" robbed their divine ancestors of their pre-creation Complete Immortality, and if Mundus could be unmade, as they believe, their spirits would return to this divine form. Following the events of the previous games in the series, Talos very well may be the last Cosmic Keystone keeping Mundus extant. By stamping out the worship of Talos, they hope to deprive him of prayer and, thus, kill him. (There are hints that they may not be wrong about this, but there are also hints in the lore that "pre-creation divinity" they seek was really a prison of unchanging stasis...)
  • Fallout:
    • Despite their name, the Followers of the Apocalypse are an inversion of this trope - they're "following" The End of the World as We Know It in the sense that they're operating in its aftermath. Their goal is to prevent the mistakes that led to the death of the old world and do a lot of humanitarian work, preserving and passing on pre-war knowledge of medicine and agriculture to help society rebuild.
    • The Children of Atom are a religious group that worship the very concept of radiation, personifying it as the entity "Atom." When they were first encountered in Fallout 3 they were a harmless local cult worshipping the unexploded nuclear bomb in the center of the town of Megaton, but the Children showed a darker side in the Broken Steel expansion when they started irradiating otherwise pure drinking water to spread Atom's holy Glow. By Fallout 4 they've become much more militant, and Children of Atom encountered in the Commonwealth are as aggressive as Raiders, blasting away with Gamma Guns or hurling Nuke Grenades. The group in the Far Harbor expansion has claimed a pre-war submarine pen as its headquarters and has come into conflict with the other settlements on the island — they view the irradiated Fog that covers the land as a blessing from Atom, and the others' attempts to combat it as blasphemy. One way of dealing with them is to give the cult's leader the launch key to the nuclear sub stuck in the pen, and then convince him to fire its nuke so the Children may experience the glory of Division.
  • The Project at Eden's Gate from Far Cry 5. Their insane leader believes the end of the world is nigh, and he's made it his purpose to train people to survive it, whether or not they're willing. This means a lot of kidnapping, brainwashing, and hoarding weapons. Disturbingly, the game ends with the revelation that he was all too right about that impending apocalypse.
  • As the lesser moon Dalamund started to fall in Final Fantasy XIV, a cult known as the Lambs of Dalamund formed to worship their "descending god" and welcome the end. When Dalamund was destroyed and revealed to be a prison for Bahamut, the Lambs were outraged at the "death" of their god and persist to this day, working profane rituals with the Void to do the work of ending life themselves.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening has the Grimleal, worshippers of the Fell Dragon and the main antagonists of the game. Their goal is to revive Grima through dark rituals and Human Sacrifice, which would kickstart the End of the World as We Know It. Their reputed reward for all this work? Their god kills them first so they don't have to suffer through the hell on earth that will follow.
  • Ground Control: The Order of the New Dawn was this in the past. What separates the Order from the run-of-the-mill kooky death cult is that their apocalypse, mostly through plain luck, pretty much happened on schedule and was large enough to be interpreted as divine intervention. The Order has, by the time of the game, parlayed the influence this gave it into becoming one of the largest political entities in human space.
  • The "Patient Zero" campaign in Hitman (2016) follows the titular hitman's attempts to stop one of these from committing bioterrorism in an attempt to bring about the end of the world. The first mission's target, the cult's founder, has founded and promptly lead to ritual suicide multiple cults like this in the past, and is implied to be a Serial Killer whose modus operandi is founding cults and convincing them to commit ritual suicide.
  • Kirby Star Allies: The main antagonists are one of these, consisting of the mysterious hooded leader Hyness and his generals, the Three Mage-Sisters. The plot is kickstarted when one of Hyness's rituals causes dark hearts to rain over Planet Popstar and corrupt its residents. Kirby, who was hit by a lighter heart that gives him the ability to make friends with his enemies, sets out to find the reason behind it. As revealed through his Motive Rant, Hyness and his cult were banished to the edge of the galaxy after using magic to stop "a galactic crisis", and now vow to take their revenge by restarting the world. His intention is to summon the dark lord Void Termina, Destroyer of Worlds; his first ritual was a failed attempt to do so. His second attempt succeeds via Human Sacrifice, but naturally, Kirby puts a stop to this.
  • Knight Bewitched: Typhus the World-Breaker has a doomsday cult, the Cult of Drakon, that worships him and has been making the rounds trying to collect more people for it. They fully support his plan to wipe out humanity, even though most if not all of them are humans.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features the Yiga Clan, a cult split off from the Sheikah tribe that worships Calamity Ganon and exists to resurrect him and kill Link. Dialogue in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom shows that they know perfectly well that they serve/worship an Omnicidal Maniac and want to help him anyway. It's not uncommon to be talking with a seemingly normal NPC when they'll suddenly reveal themselves as a Yiga and try to kill you.
  • Mass Effect: The geth heretics worship the Reapers and actively aid them in their latest purge of the galaxy's spacefaring races. Indoctrinated races also count as this, including one hanar in 3 that thinks that since the Protheans, who the hanar worshipped, became the Collectors, the hanar should serve the Reapers.
  • Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven has the Temple of Baa, a millenarian doomsday cult that preys on the desperate and needy, and are trying to bring about the apocalypse by working for the Kreegans. They have many suspiciously cheap temples throughout the game, and you fight their cultists and priests regularly.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: Allegiance, a far-right Christian group that sees the BETA as servants of God and attempts to obstruct the United Nations in its efforts to fight off the Alien Invasion. They prove to be pulling the strings of the Well-Intentioned Extremist Refugee Liberation Front when they attack the UN base in Alaska in the Spin-Off Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.
  • NieR: Automata: One rogue faction of Machines has developed a Robot Religion and invite the protagonist over for peace talks. Unfortunately, they find that their head priest kicked the bucket right before the Android ambassador arrived, leading the Machines to declare that he's ascended to godhood and decide "We'll all die together and become as gods!" Cue the protagonist having to fight her way through a factory complex filled with Machines alternately trying to kill her, trying to kill each other, or killing themselves.
  • Pokémon: While they're never explicitly referred to as cults, a few of the evil Teams seek to awaken Olympus Mons that could indeed cause an apocalypse.
  • The Secret World features no less than three of these.
    • The first and most prominent of them is the Morninglight: ostensibly a worldwide New Age group centered around self-help and the eventual evolution of humanity, they're eventually revealed to be worshiping the Dreamers, and are devoted to their apocalyptic release from captivity. They were actually created by Lilith as a Scam Religion to provide her with a ready army of followers in her attempts to enslave the Dreamers, and most of their doctrine was engineered so that they'd follow her commands without question; even their leader Phillip Marquard was just a Puppet King. Unfortunately, the Dreamers went over her head by corrupting Marquard and turning the Morninglight into a proper Apocalypse Cult.
    • The Fear Nothing Foundation in Tokyo. Another self-help group supposedly dedicated to helping its membership overcome their fears, the events of Issue #9 reveal that they were behind the subway bombing that kickstarted the events of the game, intending it as the first act in a move towards the apocalypse. They're actually a secret branch of the Morninglight, and accept orders directly from Marquard. They've also committed mass suicide by the start of the game in order to consecrate the detonation of the Filth-Bomb. For good measure, the FNF draws a lot of inspiration from real-world cults like Aum Shinrikyo (hence the subway bombing).
    • The Cult of the Aten, by far the oldest and most aggressive example: a creation of the Dreamer-corrupted Pharaoh Akhenaten, its members worshiped one of the Dreamers as the sun god Aten and devoted themselves to summoning him to Earth. Though supposedly wiped out following Akhenaten's death, it simply went underground until 2012 - whereupon it resurfaced in the village of al-Merayah as a full-blown insurrection, devoted to resurrecting the Black Pharaoh and completing his mission.
    • There's actually a fourth example hidden in the backstory in the form of Sol Invictus, essentially the Roman Morninglight. Unlike the Atenists, they really have been wiped out for good, though their branch in the Carpathian Mountains came dangerously close to accessing one of the Gaia Engines with a little help from Lilith, before being killed off by Octavian. Plus, Lilith eventually went on to build the Morninglight around their doctrine.
  • Shardlight has the Acolytes of the Reaper, who have decided that, being that death in the short-term is a virtual certainty, it shouldn't be feared and avoided but rather welcomed, because the world is such a crapsack that whatever is on the other side has to be better than it, even if there's nothing at all. That said, they forbid suicide since they believe it would piss off the Reaper by messing up his plans.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Two examples featured early in the franchise are the Messians, representing the Law faction, and the Cult of Gaea, representing the Chaos faction. While members from both factions do get killed by Hikawa in Nocturne, they get replaced by the Assembly of Nihilo and the Mantra respectively. Afterwards, in IV, they get replaced by the Ashura-kainote  and the Ring of Gaea.
    • Toward the end of Persona 3 a doomsday cult heralding the appearance of Nyx to bring death to the world appears. Though it only exists behind the scenes, it is led by Takaya.
    • Persona 4 also has a downplayed version near the end as the fog covering Inaba makes the people more and more apathetic, it's implied that cults have started popping up.
  • In StarCraft, the Tal'Darim are a faction of Protoss who worship Amon, the rogue Xel'Naga and aid their master in his schemes. However, they are a subversion since they don't know Amon is planning an apocalypse — they think he "just" wants to conquer everything and will reward them by uplifting them into Hybrids. In Legacy of the Void, the Tal'Darim Alarak is enraged when he learns Amon has no intention of sparing the Tal'Darim from his planned apocalypse and teams up with the heroes to bring down his former god.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has the Church of Sydonai on Roak. A cult led by the Grigori Tamiel, they aim to resurrect the archfiend Asmodeus by sacrificing one of the Featherfolk. They gather followers by preaching about Asmodeus cleansing this desperate world, while simultaneously spreading a dangerous illness that turns people to stone and then obstructing the distribution of its remedy.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic most of The Empire was unaware of Emperor Vitiate's plan to end all life in the galaxy, but the Jedi Knight storyline shows that a select few high-ranking Imperials were actively helping him do so as part of a death cult built around his lies that he would make them live on through the Force.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has the Brotherhood of the Ninth Circle, a cult of vampires trying to bring about Gehenna, the vampire apocalypse. They do so by cultivating infectious diseases in their bodies and spreading them to mortals on who they feed. As this tactic is starting to get the CDC involved, your character is tasked with covering up the Masquerade, fast.
  • Vampyr (2018): One minor NPC is a crazy priest who believes London is being struck by The Spanish Flu as punishment for mankind's sins and the only way to save it is to torch it to the ground, so it can be reborn stronger and purer than before. What makes him qualify for this trope instead of the average crazy is that he is willing to kill himself alongside all the others since "God will know His own".
  • The Kudur Cult in Vandal Hearts 2 is the most dangerous outside faction manipulating the Natran Civil War. While they may lack the military might of the Zora-Archaeo Empire or the endless treasuries of the Republic of Vernantze, the cult was the organization that pulled the trigger on the powder keg that started the war. They extensively recruit from people who have had their lives devastated by the war, and they are trying to spread a zombifying magical spell across the entire continent. It eventually turns out that their leader, who is a body surfing former cardinal who has been alive for over 150 years, is trying to use the civil war as a distraction to break into the sealed underground chambers of the Holy Nigran Cathedral because it is said to permit an audience with God Himself. What nobody expected was that the sealed chamber is actually the remains of an ICBM missile silo from a long-gone era, and it appears to contain a still-working genetic manipulation machine that transforms him into a horrific monster.
  • Warcraft:
    • The Cult of the Damned probably also counts, even if they "merely" want to turn the whole world undead instead of outright blowing it up. As far as Quel'Thalas and Lordaeron are concerned, they did succeed in driving civilization to the brink... for a while.
    • The Twilight's Hammer cult was originally an orcish clan but turned into worshipers of the Old Gods with the end of all mortal life as their goal. They were most prominent during the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm expansion in the wake of the dragon Deathwing's world-shattering return to Azeroth.

  • In 8-Bit Theater, the cultist, being a parody of H. P. Lovecraft's works, wants to provoke the apocalypse because it's cool.
  • The Cult of the Night Walkers from Baskets of Guts was all about helping their undead master to turn the entire world's population into walking corpses.
  • Timothy from But I'm a Cat Person was raised in a cult like this.
  • Nox in The God of High School, a vaguely Abrahamic one operating in a world where All Myths Are True. They label users of Charyeok, a power that enables martial artists to bolster their abilities with the help of deities and mythological entities, other than themselves as heathens and plot to destroy the world for "turning its back on God".
  • In Mystery Babylon, Delilah is the leader of a Babylonian cult which worships Kick Girl as Mystery Babylon and wants to aid her in breaking the seal on the Pit, releasing the demons within, and bringing about the Apocalypse.
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • The religion of Aylee's species holds that they are chosen by God to destroy the universe. (The world? They destroy whole planets as a matter of course.) It's likely just a rationalization for their nature as a Horde of Alien Locusts.
    • The Cult of K'Z'K is an ancient group devoted to the Destroyer Deity, Kozoaku. They have spent thousands of years trying to either free Kozoaku from his seal or summon a different demon to destroy the world in his stead. They are mostly comprised of weaker demons and Too Dumb to Live mortals lured by lies of power.

    Web Original 
  • Less is Morgue has a surprisingly benign example with the Children of the All-Knowing Milton, an apocalyptic cult with a belief system based around dessert, particularly pudding.
  • SCP Foundation has a good few of them, often using SCP items in their plans.
    • The Children of the Scarlet King are the setting's version of Hollywood Satanists, worshipping the Scarlet King, the go-to Satanic Archetype. They're the ones who created SCP-231, which involved raping and forcibly impregnating 7 girls with increasingly horrible monsters, forcing the Foundation to repeatedly do something unspeakably awful to the last girl lest her progeny finally end the world.
    • The Sarkicists believe in an Almighty Idiot that they can parasitize for fleshcrafting powers. The nicer ones (few and far between) see this as stealing godhood from a universe-destroying monster for humanity and live pretty normal lives if you don't mind the Body Horror. The majority of them are Evil Is Visceral personified and wish to rule over the ruins of the old world as evil, monstrous deities.
    • The Fifth Church (which is described as being the religious equivalent of a Monster Clown) is a Church of Happyology with a belief system that's mostly Word-Salad Horror, with the only real coherent parts being a belief in warping reality to fuse with the higher 'fifth world'. And they tend to Ret-Gone people they dislike and may be worshipping a creature that retgones everyone related to anyone who learns that it exists, and turns people into creatures that can't be identified as human (they look the same, but they're not human and you can't think of them as such).
    • SCP-029, "Daughter of Shadows", is the center of the Thuggee cult (the version that the producers of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were thinking of), who believe that if they sacrifice enough lives in her name, her mother Kali will appear to end the world. Though in this case, most members were probably affected by 029's mind control.
    • The Children of the Torch are a minor example, as their desire is limited to using 108 human sacrifices to summon their deity as a gigantic firestorm- very bad for the immediate vicinity, but not going to end the world unless done repeatedly.
    • The Order of the White Sun worship an Eldritch Abomination called the White Sun, and wish to summon it to Earth, which would be Very Bad.

    Western Animation 
  • The Esoterica worship the main antagonist of the third season of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien known as the Dagon. They believe that the Dagon will bring forth a second stage of enlightenment for humanity, although he actually wants to take over the universe.
  • In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, Ezekiel Rage constantly quotes from the "Book of Rage" and has many followers aiding him in his plans to wipe out humanity.
  • The Red Lotus, an anarchist cell in The Legend of Korra, is revealed to have plotted to free Vaatu, the Greater-Scope Villain of the franchise and the most powerful, evil spirit in existence. They were unaware that he was an Omnicidal Maniac, however, subverting this trope, since they believed he would help restore balance to the world, and not destroy it as he intended.
  • The Owl House: "Edge of the World" reveals that the Titan Trappers are dedicated to bringing back the Collector, an entity that wishes to kill everyone in the Boiling Isles for kicks. They even try performing a ritual sacrifice.
    • The Coven system as a whole is this, as though almost no one knows it, their dedication to Emperor Belos is enabling him to brand them for genocide against the whole population with no resistance.
  • South Park:
    • The leader of the Anti-Semitic Jews captures Moses in order to ready the world for the return of Haman.
    • The cult of Blaintology in "Super Best Friends."
    • And of course, the Cthulhu cult featured in the three-episode "Coon and Mysterion" arc.

Alternative Title(s): Doomsday Cult