Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'cults'

Of Cults and Cops in the Dominican Republic

October 25th, 2013 · No Comments

There’s no question that the Academy for Future Health seems like a rather nutty organization; if Google’s translation of its German-language philosophy is to be trusted, then the Academy apparently believes that the Vatican has ties to extraterrestrials, and that a bunch of elite financiers are hip to an approaching Doomsday. So when police in […]

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America’s Penchant for Reinvention

April 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Our vast nation’s architectural history boasts few curiosities more delightful than the Nuwaubian pyramids of Eatonton, Georgia, captured here in drive-by video. Some approximation of a backstory is available in this Macon Telegraph story; suffice to say that one must always be wary of religious leaders who were once aspiring musicians. (See also: Koresh, David; […]

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The Fate of a Rajneeshee Rolls

April 9th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Anyone who takes the time to comment on Microkhan is pretty much on my cool list for all eternity. But I reserve extra-special love for those who help solve the mysteries this project occasionally explores. And so let me offer a cosmically enormous high five to the reader who recently responded to this January 2011 […]

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We’ve Been Here Before

May 20th, 2011 · 8 Comments

I’m scheduled to begin a long journey to the southwest Oregon coast tomorrow, and thus have spent a good deal of the morning getting ready for the trip. While making sure that my digital recorder had enough battery juice to serve me well, I had an unexpected twinge of worry: What if the nutters handing […]

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Where the Gaudy Wheels Went

January 12th, 2011 · 10 Comments

I’m a few months late in noting a milestone in American cult history: the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh‘s commune in Oregon, after his followers’ unsuccessful attempt to tilt a local election by tainting some local salad bars. Though I was still in grade school when this all happened, I […]

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Someday Our Prince Will Come

August 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment

It takes a hard heart indeed not to be intrigued by the intricacies of a Vanuatuan cargo cult, especially one as puzzling as the Prince Philip Movement. The small sect believes that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, a native of Greece known primarily for his verbal gaffes, is actually a Vanuatuan spirit in disguise, and that […]

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Up on Trickle Creek

January 27th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Having spent some time in Alberta’s northern climes, we’ve taken an unusually keen interest in the arrest of Wiebo Ludwig, a religious patriarch with a Luddite streak a mile wide. Having served time for vandalizing oil-industry equipment in the past, Ludwig recently presented himself as man capable of coaxing a fellow pipeline bomber into giving […]

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The Jonestown Diet

January 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments

During one of our recent discussions about food taboos, a sage commenter noted that one of the theories regarding such prohibitions is that they aid social cohesion—if we can all agree to, say, eschew beef or Funyuns, we instantly have something that defines us in opposition to “The Other.” Given the inherent creepiness of that […]

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The Soviet Road Not Taken

January 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment

For anyone with even a passing interest in cult psychology, San Diego State University’s Jonestown Archive is well worth a thorough gander. Our favorite section, of course, is a compendium of primary sources that date back to Jim Jones’s earliest days in Indiana. Among the choice morsels contained therein is a petition that all members […]

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Bulletproof: The Boxers

November 24th, 2009 · 8 Comments

It is to the turn-of-the-century media’s great discredit that they referred to China’s quasi-Luddite rebels as “Boxers.” Had the minions of William Randolph Hearts been more adept at understanding Chinese, they would have realized that the rebels’ secret society translated more literally as “Fists of Righteous Harmony,” a far more poetic moniker for an organization […]

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Zezo’s World

August 7th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Once in a while, we receive a comment that merits bumping to the front page. Such is the case with an anecdote just appended to this April post, in which we wondered about the fate of Charles Manson’s children—particularly Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz, the product of his carnal union with Susan Atkins. A reader chimed in […]

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Married Priests Now

July 22nd, 2009 · 2 Comments

Given the rapid growth of Catholicism in Africa, it’s certain that the continent’s clergymen are set to play an increasingly large role at the Vatican. (Cardinal Francis Arinze, for example, has already been mentioned as a possible future pope.) But while the majority of Africa’s priests and bishops hew closely to Chruch orthodoxy, there are […]

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The King of Guyana, via The Cleve

July 14th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of Father Bernard Darke, a Jesuit priest who worked as a photographer for a Catholic newspaper in Guyana. Darke was beaten to death while snapping pictures of an anti-government protest. His assailants were all members of one of the most curious quasi-religious groups to ever grace the […]

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Whatever Happened to Zezozose Zadfrack?

April 22nd, 2009 · 12 Comments

The recent leak of this Charles Manson mugshot got Microkhan thinking about his youthful obsession with Helter Skelter, still a classic of the true-crime genre. The way that Vincent Bugliosi slowly reveals the paranoia at the Family’s core, as well as the crazy Beatles link, taught us a lot about narrative pacing—not to mention the […]

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