Cult leaders are almost always men, but some women have gone on to form cults. Consider the 18th century British Christian sect that grew around Joanna Southcott.
A deeply religious woman, she had a vision that she would give birth to the new Messiah, whom she named Shiloh. Dying in 1814, disciples waited for days by her dead body for the birth. When the smell became too bad, a doctor opened her up but found no child. Hence, it must have been spiritually born in heaven.
The Panacea Society was then formed, still waiting for Shiloh (some believe he is now here in the personage of Prince William) and also keeping a box containing Southcott’s wisdom. This box can only be opened in the presence of twenty four Anglican bishops. So far, the bishops have declined to attend the opening of the box.
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