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As it turns out, quite a few businesses just happen to funnel your money from innocuous purchases into horrifying, sexually abusive cults.

If you’re reading this, you may be sipping on a warm tea. If that tea is a Yogi tea, immediately toss it to the floor with disdain. The parent company that owns Yogi teas, 3HO, was founded by a cult leader who sexually abused his followers.

If you find yourself still thirsting for tea, but are reaching for a box of Sleepytime tea, STOP! One of the company’s co-founders was a firm believer in The Urantia Book, a creation story that acted as a new-age bible, touting racist ideologies, nonsense belief structures, and aliens.

Now that you’ve lost your taste for tea in general, maybe it’s time to sit down for something to eat. But I sincerely hope that you’re not tucking into that steak with Oneida cutlery.


Founded and named by a eugenics-touting sect in the 1800s called the “Christian Perfectionists” (alternatively titled “Type-A Christians”), the cutlery supported the Oneida community. In favor of “complex” marriages and run by the cult-like John Humphrey Noyes, every time you drag an Oneida spoon out of a cereal murky bowl of milk, you will now hopefully think of free love and “complex” marriages.

Tony Alamo jackets are so
good it’s only fair you buy
them to help fund his cult.

At this point, your head is spinning. I find that the comfort of a nice, warm jacket will often ground me. Unfortunately, if you’re reaching for your favorite, disgustingly gaudy designer denim jacket, you’re in for a shock.

Pedophile and cult leader Tony Alamo created the brand that’s been worn by everyone from Miley Cyrus to Nicky Minaj. The now-dead Evangelical leader was so confident in his clothing, he believed that his personal reputation wouldn’t affect the sales of the jackets at all.

“The clothing is so groovy, everyone wants it no matter what they think I am. No matter what, the superstars are going to want my jackets.”


So you decide to do the right thing and get rid of that jacket. Clothing is still clothing, so you decide to donate it to someone less fortunate. Hopefully, you’re not using a Planet Aid box for your donations!

Run by the Danish Teacher’s Group, the Planet Aid bins have been stealing charitable donation money and using it for their own purposes for decades. The goodwill sent to poorer African nations was diverted to buy a $25 million property in Baja, California.


You may start to feel that everything is run by a cult with nefarious purposes. This isn’t (necessarily) true, but hopefully it’s a lesson that success and morality are not equal. In order for the society we live in to be more equitable, we have to be smart about where our money and time goes to. Cults have a scary way of cropping up and persisting throughout the ages, and the only way we can tackle them is by thinking critically and informing ourselves.

I hope this article has inspired you to be a little more charitable in your life. You may decide to give some money to your local church to help with a food drive.

But wait!

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Casey Karaman is a writer, performer, improviser, and teacher who has worked with the Washington Improv Theater. He has performed in multiple theater productions, most recently in Second City's production...