INTERNATIONAL CULT SOCIETIES
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER is the intense, action-packed sci-fi adventure starring Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and Rose Leslie, from the visionary Director Breck Eisner and the producers of 300, Riddick and the Fast & Furious franchise.
Hundreds of years ago, the mighty warrior Kaulder (Diesel) vanquished the all-powerful Witch Queen, thus defeating the witches who had wreaked bloodshed on the world for centuries once and for all. But in moments before her death the Witch Queen cursed Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved family.
To mark The Last Witch Hunter arriving on Digital HD from 29th February and on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 7th March, courtesy of Entertainment One, we explore the idea of cult societies and look at The Axe + Cross in The Last Witch Hunter. The Axe + Cross formed in AD 1211, when an army of priests, warriors and farmers-turned-fighters swore an oath to crush the witch threat that tormented the world. Cursed with immortal life, Kaulder, the Last Witch Hunter, is all that remains to fight the witch threat and protect the human race.
Church of Bible Understanding
The Church of Bible Understanding is a destructive cult founded in 1971 by former atheist and vacuum repairman Stewart Traill in Pennsylvania. Traill teaches that he is the reincarnation of Elijah, and that he understands the true words of God. Whilst members lived in a small commune and donated 90% of their income to the cult, Traill himself owned four planes and a mansion. Throughout the 1970s, the cult expanded to other parts of the United States including a mission in Haiti, where Haitian children were reportedly bribed to join the cult in exchange for food and clothing.
The Raëlian Church is a UFO religion founded by Claude Vorilhon, who claims to have been contacted by aliens. The cult believes that an American woman underwent a standard cloning procedure, which led to the birth of her new daughter Eve in December 26, 2002. National authorities and mainstream media investigated the church’s activities as a result of controversial statements by Clonaid’s head Brigitte Boisselier the day after the birth. The Church denies the belief of a supernatural or Ethereal God because they believe humans are descended from aliens whom they call Elohim.
The Church of Scientology was created by L Ron Hubbard (Elron) in 1952 as an extension of his earlier self-help teachings. Scientology and the organisations that promote it have remained highly controversial and are often quite secretive. Journalists, governments, religious groups and other critics worldwide have often referred to the organisation as a cult particularly due to the treatment of the churches critics.
Many famous celebrities support the beliefs of scientology; some of these notable names include Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
The Unification Church (Mooneyism) is a religious movement started by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. They believe that Jesus did not die and that the Lord of the Second Coming must be a man born in Korea early in the 20th century, who must marry and have children. In 1993, Chung Hwa Pak released a book containing allegations that Moon conducted sexual rituals on six of the married female disciples to prepare the way for the virgin who would marry Moon and become the True Mother.
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Golden Dawn cult society is a ‘magical order’ that was active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were one of the largest single influences on the knowledge of the paranormal. They are the inspiration for many present day concepts of ritual and magic such as Wicca and Thelema. The Golden Dawn system was based on hierarchy and initiation with women being admitted on an equal basis with men. It is rumoured that there have been many well-known Brits throughout history who have been part of the order including Bram Stoker, W.B Yeates and Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Illuminati are the prime focus for conspiracy theorists, as while there is no solid evidence of their existence, they are the first name on everyone’s lips when every unexplained disaster and mystery comes to light. Whenever there are shocking events in history, there are also conspiracy theories to the Illuminati being involved; these range from the assassination of President J. F. Kennedy to the destruction of the Twin Towers and the ‘faked’ moon landings. Famous reported members are widespread and said to include Jay Z, his wife Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Bob Marley, Jim Carrey and Will Smith.
The Order of the Skull and Bones
A secret cult society founded by students from Yale University in 1832, is an organisation much like the Illuminati that is rumoured to play a critical role in international conspiracies. Skull and Bones selects new members among students every spring as part of Yale University’s ‘Tap Day’. Theories have suggested that The Order of the Skull and Bones actually run the CIA. Due to its exclusivity and elusiveness, the club draws much fascination and has been featured in many aspects of popular culture, including TV shows; The Simpsons, American Dad, Veronica Mars, Family Guy and Gossip Girl.
The Order of The Axe + Cross
The brotherhood of The Axe + Cross formed in AD 1211 in what is now Macedonia. The group was an irregular army of priests, warriors and farmers-turned-fighters who swore an oath to crush the witch threat. Cursed with immortal life, Kaulder, the Last Witch Hunter, is all that remains. Once, The Axe + Cross fought only with the unaided blade, but Kaulder learned to harness the power of the elements and wield them against the coven. His sword is called Hexenbane, has cut countless witches to smoking ribbons beneath its edge. St. Chrysostom’s church in Manhattan is the modern day headquarters of The Axe + Cross. Hidden in the catacombs below are council chambers and the world’s largest witch prison; the Sentinel.
The Last Witch Hunter is available on Digital HD from 29th February and on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 7th March, courtesy of Entertainment One