How to create a cult, a step by step guide.
0. Be literally delusional. Or an immediest guru of dubious virtues (or have your phobias and illness be mistaken for virtues).
1. Rip off a bunch of symbols, motifs, and mythology from the closet exotic cultures relative to your own.
2. Create a fake history about how your secret society has already existed for thousands of years.
3. Miraculously, you were the modern founder of this society who had recently been reconstituted from the ground up after some unspecified catastrophe. Or you received mystical revelation from your local alien/spirit/spirit-alien.
4. Write a shitty thesis on the core philosophy of the society. Maybe philosophically unsound reasons for doing whatever the hell you wanted, or your delusions wanted. Like drug fueled orgies.
5. Recruit people.
6. People get scared and want to leave. Call them deluded and lost, and reassure your cult that everything is okay.
7. You died.
8. A new leader emerges, whose way more charismatic, and smarter than you. He had you deified and used as an immortal rallying point for the cult.
9. Get incorporated. Become a profitable Business. OR do something stupid and in public, and lose membership fast until the cult becomes defunct in the next decade. If the cult want to tangle with the government or the taxmen, they get destroyed by the wrath of authority in an eyeblink.
10. You become a cautionary tale in biographies, documentaries, comic books, and sensational hollywood movies, where you get played by an A-list actor whose way better looking than you ever hoped to be.