100 Sci Fi Cults

Many of us feel like science is the enemy of religion. We believe that as we discover more of the universe all around ourselves that the need for gods and monsters will fall by the wayside, cast off the way a child leaves their toys behind when they step into adulthood. However, religion runs deep through people, and the need to believe is not altered or changed by new discoveries, technologies, or facts.

In many cases, these things only lead to new (often stranger) permutations of religion.

From attempts to reach nirvana through uploading one’s consciousness into digital neural networks, to remaking one’s form into something approximating the divine through manipulation of the genetic code, to the act of terraforming as a duty of faith, religion can take unexpected forms in the distant future. The need to believe in something, and to seek purpose in the greater universe, can lead people in all sorts of unexpected directions.

Of course, many of these cults have dark sides to them. Because when all the horizons have been pushed, and all the curtains of the universe are thrown back, we often find that we are the monsters warned about on those ancient maps.

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  • The Vessels of Shaera Fann There are many faiths who claim their members are merely vessels for some form of divinity. The disciples of Shaera Fann take this very literally, however, claiming they have found a being of divine wisdom and knowledge that fills them. Those who take the sacrament of this cult are presented with a light, fluffy, delicious substance that is both filling and nourishing. It is not a foodstuff, though, but a fungal extension of the great fruiting body of a colossal mushroom that ties the cult together in a kind of hive mind. The cult watches over this gigantic fungus, helping to spread it to others by masking its sporing and infection as just another religious ceremony.
  • Temple of The Heart’s Desire Deities of love and sexuality have long held places of cultural significance, and the Temple of the Heart’s Desire claims to be carrying on this proud tradition. While it offers counseling services and rather “athletic” displays during services, there are many who argue it’s just a scam claiming to be a religion in order to avoid prostitution laws.
  • The Brothers and Sisters of Iron For centuries, parts of humanity enslaved others in order to maintain power. When this system was finally thrown down, however, mankind made robotic servants to do the labor that their fellow humans demanded a living wage to do. The Brothers and Sisters of Iron believe, however, that these machines have souls, and that they must be valued, respected and cared for the same as one would for any person. While there have been incidents of violence tied to some sects fighting for “automated recognition” as the movement for recognition of the humanity of automata has come to be known, the cult by and large seeks peaceful solutions to the oppression of this new generation of slaves.
  • The Penitent The idea that one’s whole lineage can be stained by great sin is a very old idea. This is the core of the Penitent’s faith, as they attempt to perform acts of service in order to balance the sins of their ancestors. From maintenance and cleaning, to emergency response, and even military service, the Penitent seek to do the most good for others with their lives. And while that may sound good and noble on its face, this cult of sacrifice and martyrdom can go to extremes if it is not carefully watched and tended.
  • Manifest Banners Humanity’s ego has often put it in the center of the cosmos, and given our species an out sized amount of importance in the grand scheme of the universe. This cult takes this tenet as a core belief, and it views humanity’s destiny as going forth to conquer the stars, and tame every corner of the cosmos. All habitable worlds need to be found, and dead worlds need to be made habitable once more. While the adventurous spirit draws many to this cult, the imperialism and intolerance of many of its core ideas is not very far beneath the surface.

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