13 People Talk About Things That Aren’t Cults But Really Seem Like Them

I’ve been asked to take part in some “business opportunities” in the past that were really nothing more than weird pyramid schemes designed to make the folks at the top a lot of money.

And I’ve heard more than a few people tell me that those things are “just like cults.”

And I think they might be right…but that’s just one example of something that isn’t officially a cult but might be well on its way.

Folks on AskReddit talked about things that aren’t cults but seem like they are.

Let’s get weird!

1. Very strange.

“Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop”.

It’s like one of those elitist cults. She sells people $300-900 creams that last a week, claims they do outrageous s**t, and people buy right into it.

“Goop” sold the same product as “Infowars” they just marketed it differently.”

2. One time at band camp…

“Marching band, if you know people who have been in it they never come out the same.

And building off of that, drum corps.

Pay thousands of dollars to live with a group for 3 month abs practice every day.”

3. Sounds awesome!

“Corporate culture where you have a weekly discussion about the latest Corporate culture book the big boss man wrote (available on Amazon).

And everyone has been indoctrinated to use the buzzwords and to “live and follow the [easily identifiable term]” in all aspects of life.”

4. That’s weird.

“The National Honor Society

We had to take an oath while holding a candle.”

5. Here we go…

“Facebook mothers.

Outside of literal cults, I have never seen such a toxic hive of coercive ideological and behavioral conformism as I have in Facebook mommy groups.

I am dying to see the Netflix documentary on this because it’s genuinely perplexing.”

6. God help us.

“Instagram travel Influencers.

They all travel together, post same photos from different angles, review bomb companies that don’t give them free trips and there are circles within circles.

You cannot become a part of one without giving some sort of test.

Also, they purchase followers from same vendor.”

7. Go!


You get started easy enough, next thing you know you’re going for the next “level” (different race distances). You’re loyal to your brand that you swear by.

You use weird lingo, and sometimes is becomes most of your personality. I’m making fun of myself just as much as the other runners”

8. Thoughts on this?

“NA / AA.

I’m 4.5 years sober from alcohol now and I haven’t been to an AA meeting in 4.5 years.

I’m not gonna bash it for those who choose to use it for their sobriety, more power to them if it helps them stay sober, but it wasn’t for me.

I was repulsed by the “there’s no path to sobriety outside of us” mentality that permeates the meetings. It capitalizes on the alcoholic’s “all-or-nothing” mindset and makes anyone who doesn’t agree feel like they’re doomed to failure if they don’t “completely and wholly give themselves to the program.”

There are plenty of wonderful people in AA, but there are also plenty of not-so-wonderful people, and it’s easy for a fledgling to get bogged down in other people’s issues.

Anyway. Off my high horse now.”

9. Big time.

“High school sports.

I get that parents, teachers, other students will be exited for “the big game,” but where I live there is a damned-near cult mentality around high school football.

People who have zero connection to the school other than living in the physical proximity of it know the names of every kid on the team, their rushing stats, the team’s season-by-season record, etc.

Hell, I’m a teacher IN that school and I don’t really care that much. Sure, I am happy for the kids and I support them and want them to win, but at the end of the day it is just a fu**ing game.

Yet, people in our community nearly froth at the mouth in rage at anyone who dares to say that out loud.”

10. Uhhh, yeah…

“Sororities and Fraternities.

I had to wear white robes and hold a candle and chant things so many times in my sorority. The most culty was probably the ceremonies we had whenever a girl would get engaged.

She stands in the middle of the room as the hundreds of other girls circle slowly around her and sing, and then she would tell the story of how her boyfriend proposed. I thought it was a sweet tradition at the time but looking back it’s pretty weird.

And that’s nothing compares to the fraternities. The physical/mental abuse and sleep deprivation those guys have to endure just to be part of the group is disgusting. And they’re so loyal to the group afterwards because of that sunk cost.”

11. No more Keto.

“The Keto diet.

I’m attempting to lose weight and I had a dietician recommended the Keto diet. I joined a discord run by r/keto in order to get support. The keto diet is incredibly restrictive and I thought I knew what I was going into but boy was I wrong.

The members of this discord preached this keto isn’t a diet but a lifestyle c**p and were the most judgmental people I’ve ever met in my life.

They judged me for going close to my daily net carbs, choosing foods that were a little heavy in carbs in their eyes and for craving and missing high carb foods such as rice, bread and pasta and saying I would go back to eating them when I hit my target.

They mocked and looked down on me when I expressed that there is no way in hell that I would maintain that crazy lifestyle forever and that I can’t imagine giving up my favorite foods for the rest of my life. They also acted like their stupid diet was literally the only way I could lose weight.

I had a mini breakdown and told my dietician that I was done with keto.”

12. So weird.


And, ironically, people who hate all things Apple and think everything they produce is pure evil.

It’s basically like a sports rivalry mixed with religious zeal, and both sides see themselves as completely infallible.”

13. Never again.

“Extreme sports fans.

Back when people got newspapers, my ex would check out the best players in high school across a wide range of sports to see who was getting recruited to his favorite college team. Could be football or baseball or women’s soccer.

Didn’t matter the sport as long as the player went on to play for his college (that he never attended). He would have hours long conversations with guys exclusively about sports and this player or that player and would mention their hometown, high school, high school stats, etc.

When he watched his favorite sports on TV, he would yell at the screen, get mad at the refs, complain about how his team was doing if they were losing. He was superstitious and had certain rituals that had to be followed on game day. I picked our wedding date to avoid a conflict with game day.

When he lost his job, I had to convince him to stop paying $2k a year for season tickets. At that point he had been out of work for a year. We had two kids at the time.

I will never date anyone into sports like that again. It consumed him and was well past normal/healthy.”

What things do you think seem really culty?

Tell us what you think in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!