Founded in Minnesota in 1965, the Eckankar movement promotes the idea that one can separate their soul from their body and experience the “Light and Sound” of God by journeying beyond the mortal form.
The group has been heavily criticized for the fact that nearly all of founder Paul Twichell’s works have been plagiarized from other spiritual material or blatantly fabricated. The group has also come under fire for the fact that the primary spiritual leader is also the CEO of the company that sells the founder’s materials for profit.
Utterly Insane Cults: Raëlism
Raëlism itself began prior to its official 1976 formation during a series of conventions hosted in France. Raëlism devotees believe that extraterrestrials genetically engineered humanity thousands of years ago and have been guiding us throughout history through their representatives on Earth who typically have taken the form of major religious figures such as Buddha and Jesus Christ.
Members of Raëlism currently believe that the movement’s leaders are the modern-day versions of past Raël visitors and that they must teach the world to become peaceful enough to allow the Raëlist extraterrestrials to return to Earth and visit humans at embassies the Raëlist members have built around the world.