A “nun” was brutally murdered in Oregon. However, the Seattle Times reveals that she was not really a Roman Catholic nun at all, but instead the follower of the self-proclaimed “bishop” and reclusive cult leader, Francis Konrad Schuckardt.

Schuckardt was a well-known cult leader during the 1980s. And though he claimed to be a “bishop,” he was never even ordained as a priest and only briefly attended “pre-seminary” before dropping out.

The man known as “Bishop Shuckardt” was once a high school teacher and popular public speaker. He cast himself as an opponent to Vatican II and modern Catholicism. This provided Schuckardt an excuse to invent his own church and gather followers from around Seattle.

But Schuckardt’s church became a destructive cult. And like other cult leaders he ruled over his kingdom like an absolute monarch. However, eventually the “bishop” was publicly exposed as little more than a sexual predator and drug addict.

And though Shuckardt demanded harsh punishment and penance from his followers, when confronted with his own sins he fled. He left the Seattle in 1984 with a group of core followers and $250,000.

Shuckardt sinful life caught up with him three years later when police raided a group refuge in California. Authorities seized a stash of prescription drugs, guns and $75,000 in cash.

It seems that Shuckardt wasn’t really willing to wait and receive his rewards in heaven either. Police found gold coins, silver ingots, German marks, Swiss francs, Canadian dollars, and bank records that reflected accounts the would-be “pope” kept around the world.

The “bishop” managed to squirm out of that situation and apparently continued to lead his cult without much notice for almost twenty years. That is, until the two “nuns” in Oregon who were fund raising for him, were brutally assaulted while praying the rosary. One was ultimately strangled to death.

This tragedy offers sad proof that despite repeated exposures and even arrests, some cult leaders can still manage to go on. And it seems that some cult followers are apparently willing to forgive almost anything, despite denouncing and condemning others.

One of Shuckardt’s devotees offered this apology, “We’ve had popes who have been real scoundrels, and people still recognized them as pope.”


However, rather than some historical pope from the past Shuckardt’s survival simply proves that many cults my never die out. And that there is almost always a faithful remnant of “true believers” that will soldier on no matter what. Just ask the bad “bishop.”


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