Best Cult San Francisco 2006 - Church of Scientology
Although it may be unfair to argue that L. Ron Hubbard's controversial Church of Scientology was the lubricant that allowed Tom Cruise to famously jump up and down like a 5-year-old on Oprah Winfrey's couch, that act doesn't help its case. Started in 1953, the religious movement is yet another group that claims to "provide real solutions" to all your problems via "breakthrough discoveries," but it has yet to mix up a single batch of Kool-Aid. Still, what other group has that much pull with the A-list celebrity crowd? What sect gets to call the gorgeous Transamerica Building its San Francisco control center? Who else has Beck believing that 75 million years ago a galactic ruler named Xenu brought humans down to Earth, and then blew them to bits with hydrogen bombs, thus releasing their souls? And now Scientology followers are setting up shop in front of Old Navy and BART stations on a daily basis, ready to take your e-reading on coolly designed Sony PSP–like contraptions, in the process elevating the tried-and-true recruiting method of prancing around the airport with shaved heads, daisies, and pamphlets. Take that, Hare Krishnas.