Unitology (Dead Space)
Dead Space's Unitology, otherwise known as The Church of Silliness, was formed after an alien artifact was discovered on Earth. As humans are so often wont to do, a significant number of people ascribed religious significance to this "Black Marker" because they didn't understand it.
Unitologists believe that humans weren't born on Earth, a belief started by a scientist (wrongly) guessing what the inscriptions on the Black Marker meant. Those indoctrinated into the church are often required to donate vast sums of money if they want to raise their status, and of course there are plenty of ritual sacrifices and mass suicides to keep things fun.
It's still slightly better than the Xenu shit, to be fair.
The Treeminders (Fallout 3)
When one thinks videogame cults, one of the first places to look is Fallout 3 and The Children of Atom, a church in Megaton that worships a dormant atomic bomb. That's pretty crazy, but it would be disingenuous to pick on these cultists as being any more mad than the rest of Megaton's residents, all of whom are seemingly fine with building their homes around a big metal box of nuclear devastation.
Instead, I'd like to talk about the Treeminders, a bunch of ignorant hippy jerks who live in the far-flung forest home of Oasis. They worship Harold, Fallout's longest-suffering mutant, who is being swallowed by a tree that started growing from his head.
As if dressing up like bad Legend of Zelda cosplayers wasn't enough, the Treeminders call themselves horrendously soppy names like Leaf Mother and Branchtender. They also deliberately ignore everything Harold tells them, pretending he's talking in allegories and metaphors when he's just trying to speak in plain English. Bunch of idiots.
The Order (Silent Hill)
The Order of Silent Hill truly dances along the lunatic fringe. These degenerate hicks love nothing more than worshipping malformed monstrosities as incarnations of God, taking drugs and setting little girls on fire. Many of them are driven insane by the cult's own cruel and unusual methods, and its special little orphanage has been responsible for the creation of at least one serial killer.
The Order's goals are your standard mental nonsense - bring about the apocalypse, ascend to paradise, yadda yadda yadda. It's their methods that are truly mad, however, ranging from evil to turbo evil, and culminating with the immolation of a teenage girl, who was then unnaturally kept alive beyond the human body's natural capacity for trauma, with her mother's full blessing, just so she could host some sort of deity.
In fact, a huge amount of The Order's doctrine revolves around Gods being inserted into fourteen-year-old girls. Something tells me the freedom of religion decree isn't going to let that one fly.
Catholicism (Dante's Inferno)
Dante's Inferno introduced us to one really bizarre little cult that seems to have a (fortunately loose) basis in reality. It's called the Roman Catholic Church, and you really ought to get a load of this stuff. Apparently, there's this thing called "Hell" full of monsters and fire and brimstone, and people get sent there to suffer for all eternity just for being a slut or wanting to eat too many pies. Not only that, but BABIES get sent to Hell if they died before a man in a black dress splashes some water on its head.
According to Dante's Inferno, this demented sect waged some sort of war in the Middle East to impose its belief on others, where soldiers were essentially allowed to rape and pillage to their heart's content. It sounds incredible, but somehow Visceral Games made it all sound borderline believable.
Thank God it's just in videogames!
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