cult top

Back in the day, starting a cult was just as good a way to make a dishonest living as robbing banks or selling kidneys on the black market, but with the rise of the Internet (specifically,, attracting believers to your bogus religion seems like way too much work. Besides, Scientology kind of already has the market cornered.

Nevertheless, an inquisitive aspiring cultist took to Yahoo! Japan’s Chiebukuro question and answer site as part of his/her cult-founding due diligence, perhaps hoping for some basic advice like “keep human sacrifices to a minimum,” or “promise male cult members multiple wives.”

Instead, what the asker got was a detailed breakdown of what it takes to build a successful cult; an explanation so thorough and well-thought out, we’re actually considering a career change.

Whether intended as a joke or not, the original asker took to the site with this simple question:

“I’m thinking about making a new cult for some extra cash on the side. What sort of preparations should I make?”


And the answers:

“1)      Have some gimmick you can make money with. Don’t claim you can heal cancer or whatever – this will draw the attention of the authorities.

2)      Don’t claim you can perform miracles. Nobody buys into levitating anymore.

3)      Don’t bleed your believers dry. Ask for no more than 15% of their yearly income. They’ll stay longer this way.

4)      Don’t threaten believers with hell or purgatory to make them buy things.

5)      Set up your headquarters in a place with lots of nature so it seems like a paradise. Offer tours from all over the country.

6)      Don’t run for any kind of political office. This will severely complicate things.

7)      Expand. Buy and manage things like love hotels and real estate agencies. Lots of recognized religions do this in Japan.

8)      Distribute a newsletter. Keep those far-flung believers engaged!

9)      Take cues from established religions.

10)   When you’re trying to get new members, put on the appearance of a college extracurricular club. Advertise it as, “Life improvement classes” or “Meaning of life discussion forum.”

11)   Forget about communes. They stick out like a sore thumb.

12)   Don’t invoke God. Leaning on the name value of other religious deities reeks of fraud.

There you have it. Follow these rules and you should be making a killing within five years.”

Well, as he says, there you have it. So, while we have you here, could we interest you in attending one of our new RocketNews24 life improvement seminars?

▼ The original text from Chiebukuro


Title photo: Orbit

[ Read in Japanese ]