Must Read: 10 Topmost Historic Secret Cults In Africa

The origin of cultism cannot be traced back to any particular history, person or thing. It is something that emerged from time immemorial out of a common belief, interest or worship shared by different groups of people who uphold a common truth. Africa is not the only place associated with cultism, as many other nations in other continents have seen their own fair share of the practice and some of its devastating consequences.

However, unlike most cults abroad such as that of the Mormons which are identified with the strong spiritual control, their leaders have over their followers based on some twisted religious ideologies they create to suit their purpose usually for the benefit of the leader, cultism in Africa is more linked to the traditional values, religion and politics that have been practised from generation to generation. African secret cults are deeply-rooted and deduced from the socio-political, traditional and religious ideologies of dominating governance or wealth control and distribution. These cults are usually formed for the mutual benefit of its members, usually being led by a more powerful or influential head in the society or a small majority group among the cult with socio-political influential power.

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African cults are said to be stemmed from the African Traditional Religion which has embodied the worship of deities or a supreme being or higher power passed down from ancestors and adopted as a way of life by its followers. Every group formed for a purpose or mutual benefit does not work without a hierarchy and with the hierarchy comes politics, rules, do’s and dont’s, the strictness and the level of control within these groups gives birth to these secret cults which are usually exclusive, they only pick who they believe suits their purpose and most don’t take rejection lightly. African cults where said to have first started for the good of their members, however, cultism has become an evil practice filled with violence, with innocent lives being taken as collateral damage, not just in Africa but also around the world. This certainly makes it hard to believe that cults were ever created for any good. We take a look at the top 10 most historic secret cults Africa has ever known:

  1. Pyrate Confraternity: This secret cult now popularly known as ‘Buccaneers’ in most Nigerian universities and registered as the National Association of Seadogs’, was formed by Nigerian Nobelist Wole Soyinka and 6 of his friends for the good of the oppressed and less privileged and as a bridge in the social and tribal gap among people with their then motto as “Against all conventions”. However, it has become Nigeria’s higher education’s  biggest nightmare since Bolaji Carew and others where thrown out of the group in 1952 at the University of Ibadan, which gave rise to other confraternities associated with ruthlessness  and violence, the use of mystical powers ‘juju’ and deadly weapons which has continued to claim thousands of lives till date.
  2. Freemasons: The cult was established in the between the 16th and 17th century from the Egyptian mysticism and founded by Imhotep, who was believed to have healing powers and ability to strongly influence people and affairs of the community. Today the cult is spread across the world as well as within Africa with affiliates in Liberia and other African countries. The modern-day Freemasons are said to be mostly prominent business and political personalities and celebrities.
  3. Eckankar: The cult is a trans-national cult which has spread across many African countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Niger and Mali. The supreme leader is known as Mahanta, a pseudo-god which promises a higher state of spiritual freedom through subtle mind control of its followers and the belief in light and sound of God.
  4. Ogboni: The Ogboni cult is stemmed from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria associated with royalty and gerontocracy. They are regarded as the intermediary between the people and the ancestors. They believe in the preservation of the ancient tradition of the Ife oracle. They are believed to have a strong influence over the social, religious and political affairs of the Yorubas, and the details of their membership and brotherhood remains a secrecy among themselves.
  5. Doomsday Cult: This cult emerged in the western world and Asia and flowed into African countries such as Uganda and South Africa. They believe in rapture and the destruction of the planet and believe that they are the only group which will be saved. Their leaders recruit and control their members through hypnosis, and are associated with extreme violence including homicide and suicide.
  6. Ekpe Cult: It is a Nigerian cult associated with masquerades, whose members are mostly politicians and those in law enforcement. They are said to be powerful individuals who control wealth distribution and emerged from Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers states in Nigeria and have spread across Cameroun, Cuba and Brazil. They are mostly known for their notorious festivals and feasts.
  7. Neegee Society: This cult is associated with cannibalism which they believe gives them supernatural powers, and the extreme barbaric human sacrifices they make to their god. They are said to have the ability to transform into water crocodiles which translates as ‘Neegee’ and other supernatural beings to attack their victims.
  8. Desteni: It was founded by late Bernard Poolman in South Africa and is a modern-day cult mostly ran through the internet and recruits its members through mind control. They are associated with opposition to leadership and teach their own doctrine of leadership under their forum known as Desteni Leadership Forum. They exhibit an unclear notion of apocalypse which embodies the preaching of the forgiveness of Adolf Hitler, shaved hair, hydrogen peroxide absorption and the eradication of humans.
  9. Poro Cult: They initiate their members whom they prepare for cultural positions by taking them into the bush and unravelling their potentials through supernatural powers. They are found in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
  10. Sande Cult: They are the female equivalent of the Poro cult which involve expensive means to join. Those who cannot afford to join are said to undertake to kidnap as an alternative means of payment. The women are said to be taken into bushes for their initiation where they are cleansed, circumcised and groomed into becoming political holders, and are aligned with the laws of the Poro cult.

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