forum Religion/Subculture query
Started by @ElderGodSeeba petsbing bing 🐸

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@ElderGodSeeba petsbing bing 🐸

Hello! So I've had this culture/race I've been working on for a few years now, but only now has it start to become relevant in a few of my recent stories.

So there's this cult. Think like Jamestown but less aliens and more human sacrifice. This all happens in the early 90s btw.

So there's a cult of people who are like- all albino. I haven't decided if it's actually albinism or if im gonna invent a new pigment disorder for them- but they've all inbred for centuries and now their genes are all fucky. Now- these people speak the native dead language of the land they inhabit. I would like to make them native people- but they have a different belief system from the rest of the Natives. I guess my question is, can 99% if ancient natives believe one thing, while 1% believe something similar but also entirely different? They're a pretty isolated group, right on the south coast, if that makes any difference.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Absolutely! Especially if the 1% were originally an offshoot of the 99%. For instance, a genetically mutated individual leads his family astray religiously, into what his tribe deems heresy. He and his family are exiled. They go off and make a village of their own, where they slowly inbreed and build a society. His heresy gets worse and worse, and once he dies, it all gets so bad its unrecognizable as the original religion.
This is totally a thing that happens.

Alternatively, you could have their genetic issue be a result of some curse, which gives them a different racial history than the 99%, and also a different religious one. They worship different gods or have different traditions based on their different background. That is a thing that happens as well.

I would caution you against making them albinos, though. In a world where you can, just create your own problematic pigment problem. Maybe they're blue tinted. Maybe they have strange patterned scarring that they're born with. Maybe they're so inbred, they all come out looking super similar, even down to facial features, so you can always tell one of them in a crowd. Or something.
But making a real world disability like albinism your human-sacrificing cult (I'm assuming the bad guys) is kinda a bad look, in some people's minds. Just be careful of that.

@ElderGodSeeba petsbing bing 🐸

That's a good point about Albinism- I make my own pigment disorder then. The whole thing is that they're really pale, and have white hair and light blue eyes, so I suppose it doesn't have to be specifically albinism. Though, it's less about human sacrifice and more like- Mass su*cide. They basically tie heavy rocks to each other and then walk out into the sea and drown, because of some passage that says something about the end of times or pleasing a god? (it's still kinda in an idea stage).

The religion hearsay is a good idea, idk I just hesitate to do it because I always imagined the natives really like- dedicated and involved in the stories that have been passed down, so it's kinda ooc to have some guy just go "actually- you're wrong 🤓" I thought maybe he could've just, interpreted the story differently than the others??

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

So most real world heresy doesn't start in direct contradiction. It starts with something like a fixation on a specific part of the doctrine, or an overemphasis on one aspect of a deity. If it's a multi-deity religion maybe it's worshipping one god above the others. But it initially starts in their Devotion to the religion, and slowly, they drift from the core values, until it's concerning. That's when it gets called heresy.
If that heresy is unchecked, like nobody corrects the person, or they just get kicked out, it will get worse and worse until it's a totally different system of beliefs. But still based in devotion.
Wouldn't have to be a direct contradiction from the start.


Since it's a suicide cult, the founder could just be crazy, which would explain a sudden departure from orthodoxy.

@ElderGodSeeba petsbing bing 🐸

I think im using the word "cult" incorrectly.
It starts thousands of years ago and slowly becomes more isolated and different until they become a sort of subculture/subreligion. They still follow the same gods (im open to changing that though), I think I might just have them misinterpreted or derive on one of the gods, like you said.

Following a scripture that says something like all loyal soldiers of this God will descend into the sea, and one guy decides one day that he is one of those soldiers, and starts his own little tribe and then they all think they're descends of a soldier of God so they follow suit??

I'm just trying to figure out why they pick that certain time to drown. Could it be like- a weather even or a "sign" from the God to let them know it's time??

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Cult is the correct word, I think, for what you're looking for. It's typically used for a religiously deviant group, often tightly controlled by one person who acts as a prophet and dictator, whose actions are outside the social norms of the time. Unwavering devotion to this ideal is kinda a connotation of that too.

Any emphasis on only 1 part of a religion creates a twisted version, even if the same gods are kept, so that would certainly work, I think. The more ambiguous the scripture, the better.
And as for why now- it could be any number of things. The 'prophet' gets a vision. There's a natural phenomena that looks like a sign (i.e. an eclipse or a massive earthquake). They're facing major persecution and have to go now, or they'll all die the wrong way. These are all reasons a group might decide the time is now.