MASTER manipulators, twisted teachings and demonic-style killings… meet the evil female cult leaders whose horrifying actions have stunned the world.
From the Australian yoga teacher who pumped children with LSD to the teen girl who hacked non-believers to death with an axe, these gruesome goings-on will shock and scare you.
Delusional cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne was on a drug-fuelled mission to gather children in preparation for an apocalyptic war.
The Australian yoga teacher took kids from their brainwashed parents over the course of nearly 20 years, and raised them as her own at a secluded property in Lake Eildon in Victoria state.
Despite fawning over these youngsters, allegations of beatings, starvation and drugging them with hallucinogenic drug LSD in the 1970s and 80s are still rife.
Hamilton-Byrne bleached the hair of the 28 children bright blonde and dressed them in matching smocks and jeans.
The whole sickening practice was revealed when one “daughter”, Sarah Hamilton-Byrne, was expelled in 1987 for her rebellious behaviour and alerted police to the cult.
Hamilton-Byrne, who was handed a fine but spared jail, is seeing out her final years with dementia in a nursing home, while a reported power struggle is underway into how the group will continue.
Detective Lex de Man, who led the investigation into the cult, told The Age: “My only regret is she was never held totally to account for the misery she caused to the former cult children.
“I have no sympathy for the woman I consider the most evil person I ever met in my police career.”
Clementine Barnabet is considered to be the first African American female serial killer.
In 1912, the 18-year-old shocked Lafayette, Louisiana, when she confessed to axing 17 people to death as part of her devotion as the high priestess to the ‘Church of Sacrifice’.
The teen, who led the cult, believed that riches and immortality could be gained through human sacrifice.
Seven families – 40 people in total – were brutally killed by members of the group.
Barnabet murdered two families who had refused to obey “messages from God”.
Nurse Bonnie Nettles co-founded Heaven’s Gate with Marshall Applewhite.
Based in San Diego, California, the cult combined elements of Christianity with a belief that UFOs would provide followers with new bodies.
Nettles, the interpreter of signs and mystic of the group, developed cancer but believed she could not die.
She passed away in 1985, twelve years before the group’s mass suicide.
In 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had killed themselves in order to reach what they believed was an alien spaceship following Comet Hale-Bopp.
Each member, including Applewhite, was wearing the same outfit, had Nike trainers on their feet and were draped in a purple cloth.
Los Angeles-based preacher Aimee Semple McPherson founded the Foursquare Church.
She was billed as a miraculous healer and was visited by tens of thousands of sick people who wanted to be touched by her healing hands.
McPherson stirred up the crowds by speaking in tongues and “curing” her followers by making them walk and see.
Her disciples footed the bill for her stunning Angelus Temple in Echo Park in appreciation.
In 1926, she vanished while swimming in the Pacific Ocean, and when she finally turned up a month later in the small Sonoran town of Agua Prieta, Mexico, she claimed to have been kidnapped.
Eventually, she was brought back to the U.S. on criminal charges for the hoax, and died of a presumed Seconal overdose in Oakland, California, in 1944.
Brazilian cult leader Valentina De Andrade founded the Superior Universal Alignment.
She started preaching in 1981 after receiving extra-terrestrial messages through divine cosmic beings.
A central belief was that children born after 1981 are evil and must be killed.
She is believed to have rounded up boys aged between six and 14 to “eradicate” them.
The children were tortured, raped and stabbed to death.
The bodies had been mutilated with genitals and vital organs removed.
Group members were accused of murdering 18 boys but De Andrade escaped custody by fleeing the country.
She continued to preach and live among her flock in Argentina.
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