What do pagans, witches, heathens, Mafia, unhinged cultists, Klingons, investment fraudsters, death metal bands and evangelical Congresswomen have in common?
If you are considering joining a group, grove, coven, or magical order, which requires a blood oath, do not take this requirement lightly. There is a reason why it is has the history that it does among criminal brotherhoods, secret societies, martial ryu, and ancient religions.
R. Allen Stanford’s relationship with the chief regulator of his Antigua bank was closer than most.
At a meeting in 2003, they became blood brothers, cutting their wrists and mixing their blood in a “brotherhood ceremony” that Mr. Stanford’s chief financial officer said promoted an elaborate scheme to hide a multibillion-dollar fraud from American and other regulators.
The group's greatest adversary, a man known as the Albino, has been located, and the foursome can now fulfill the blood oath they made decades ago to kill him. Dax is unsure of whether or not she can go through with the oath that Curzon made. Kang reminds her that as a Trill, she has no obligation to fulfill what her symbiont promised.
– Star Trek Deep Space Nine, "Blood Oath"
What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't pass.
Hal Davis thought maybe the Heaven's Gate cult — Hale Bopp, here we come — might also qualify as blood covenanters, but despite their creepy oathiness, they don't appear to have gone the blood route (voluntary castration doesn't count).
Actually, they sound more like socialists.
They were found lying neatly in their own bunk beds, with their faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Windrunner athletic shoes, and armband patches reading "Heaven's Gate Away Team."
Bachmann is on track with the fact that blood oaths have arisen as a way of fighting government power. But such pacts have a way of going too far. Sicilian resistance to outside rulers was what led to the Mafia, for example.
And cultism simply doesn't have a great record when it comes to making life better, plus it can be bad for property values. Hal points to the account of Heaven's Gate again:
While the press never knew it, the cult had sent a suicide letter to [the owner of the 9,000-square-foot mansion the cult rented]. The tone of the letter suggested that they were actually doing the owner a favor by creating a famous event that would make the house an invaluable shrine. In reality, after the house was cleared of the bodies and their belongings, significant physical damage remained, which amounted to well over $200,000. Looking for some kind of break, the home owner tried to appeal his property taxes, only to receive a letter in return from the San Diego Assessor's Office that rejected his appeal on the grounds that a mass suicide in his property did not qualify as a disaster. Eventually, he was forced to give the property back to the bank. The bank sold it at a deep discount to a nearby neighbor who promptly had the house bulldozed.