close menu

What We Know About AMERICAN HORROR STORY’s Cult (So Far)

Beware, for this piece is full of creepy clowns and seriously major spoilers for American Horror Story: Cult. You’ve been warned!

Now that the dust has settled on the second episode of Ryan Murphy‘s sensationalist seasonal anthology series, American Horror Story, we’re starting to get a picture who of just who makes up the cult from this season’s subtitle. Though the first episode hinted at Evan Peters‘ Kai being a burgeoning manipulator, it didn’t really confirm much about the cult or its leader except that Kai’s a racist opportunist willing to utilize the election results for his own gain and Peters’ is extremely committed to his role (that Cheetos scene won’t easily be forgotten). So we’re here to breakdown the who, what, where, and why of this weird and wild world. 

Why Did the Cult Start?

Beginning on the night of the 2016 election, we saw the visceral split between the devastated liberal house of Ally and Ivy, and the ecstatic nature of basement dwelling Kai, who quickly seized the moment to head on down to the local courthouse to encourage lawmakers to allow chaos to reign. After being taken down a few pegs by Mr. Chang, the friend and neighbor of Ally and Ivy, Kai left the courtroom defeated, muttering “there’s nothing more dangerous on this Earth than a humiliated man.” We can take from those words that Kai has big plans, and he’s already been fostering a co-dependent and cultish relationship with Winter, who seems to be his first follower. Kai is clearly planning on taking advantage of this new and unsettled political climate, creating a cult that seems to run on the currency of fear.

Who’s Leading It?


Meet Kai, just your average GamerGater, trigger warning hater. Whether Kai is actually a raving racist maniac is less important than the fact that he’s incredibly happy to use racism and racist fear to gain power, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. A new development is that Kai’s reach might be larger than we initially thought. Although the show seems to imply that his cult career is just beginning, could it be that Kai already has followers? The creepy clowns that ride around in an ice cream truck terrifying rich liberals seem to hint that might just be the case. If that’s what the creators have in store, just how long has Kai been sowing these seeds of discontent? And how many people has he already recruited?

Who’s In It?


Billie Lourd is really doing the most as her bitter Hillary campaign volunteer turned creepy babysitter from hell continues to wreak havoc on her new charge. Lourd’s Winter is the show’s most enigmatic character as we’ve yet to find out exactly what her relationship is with Kai, but we certainly know she’s doing his bidding. Evoking every parent’s waking nightmares here, Lourd is fully grooming young Ozymandias (lol who knew Murphy was a Watchmen fan?) to become part of their fledgling murder cult whilst highlighting the really bad parenting going on in that house. Why won’t Ozy tell them he’s watching snuff videos online? Or that his babysitter is forcing him to lie about witnessing a clown murder? Guess they’re too busy running their fancy butchery and raising property prices to look after their kid.

The Wiltons

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark introduced us to Ally and Ivy’s new neighbors, Meadow and Harrison, who not only have an unconventional living arrangement but are also super suspicious beekeepers and Nicole Kidman superfans. Oh, and they just so happened to be around to film Kai’s staged assault by Mexican migrant workers. Beehives were a huge part of the advertising campaign for this season, so we can assume that these new additions will be a large part of the storyline. Harrison even delivered a disturbing mini-rant about how bees are the world’s most efficient community and how everyone would be better in a hive.


So those are our (practically) confirmed cultists. But could there be one more member the show doesn’t want us to know about yet? Alison Pill’s Ivy always seems to be conspicuously absent when the clowns show up. Even though this is clearly played to make Ally seem crazy, could it be that Ivy, too, is in Kai’s cult? We know this one seems far fetched, but Falchuk and Murphy love a signposted twist and this one is ripe for a juicy mid-season reveal.

What Do They Want?

Ah the big question! At the moment it seems like reigning chaos down on the liberal minded women of Michigan seems to be their only goal, but we can look at the cult’s actions so far to guess what their bigger plans might be. We already know that at some point Evan Peters will be playing Charles Manson, and his Kai definitely seems to be taking some pages from Manson’s book. Utilizing heated racial tensions, white supremacy, and fear to start a race war was the mission of Manson and his family. Could it be that Kai believes the same? His focus on attacking immigrants and people of color certainly seem to suggest so.

Where do you stand on this season so far? Have you spotted any potential cult members we’ve missed? Are you just desperate to see Evan Peters playing seven cult leaders? Let us know in the comments!

Want More American Horror Story?

Images: FOX

How FARGO Turns Ewan McGregor into Two Characters

How FARGO Turns Ewan McGregor into Two Characters

A Definitive Ranking of All the Candy from WILLY WONKA

A Definitive Ranking of All the Candy from WILLY WONKA

Meet the Voice Behind MORTAL KOMBAT's

Meet the Voice Behind MORTAL KOMBAT's "Finish Him!"