Is Kildalton Cross a Real Cult? Does Kildalton Church Exist?

In Terry McDonough’s serial killer film ‘Damaged,’ Dan Lawson and Glen Boyd’s investigation into the murders of two young women in the city of Edinburgh leads them to Colin McGregor, who was once part of a religious sect named Kildalton Cross. The group, with their moral compass and efforts to become God, turns out to be a cult. Kildalton Church, a church in the city, serves as the foundation of the cult, along with their belief in Ankh and many more. Even though the movie is a grounded thriller, the Kildalton sect doesn’t have a real-life counterpart. However, the screenwriters conceived the same by adding elements of reality!

The Mystery Behind Kildalton Cross and Kildalton Church

In real life, the Kildalton Cross is a monolithic high cross that is situated in the churchyard of the former parish church of Kildalton on the island of Islay in Inner Hebrides, Scotland. The Celtic cross and the adjacent medieval parish church, however, do not have any connection to the religious cult of Kildalton Cross and its church. There isn’t any cult based in the region with the same name and the roofless church in the place is not the establishment we see in the movie. The fictional cult is a creation of Gianni Capaldi, Koji Steven Sakai, and Paul Aniello, who penned the action thriller.

Scotland is not a land of many religious cults. Even though the country has a fair share of history concerning unorthodox faith-based modern groups, which can be traced back to Thomas Lake Harris’ 19th-century sect The Brotherhood of the New Life, there isn’t any known active cult based in the country with an emphasis on Ankh as the film depicts. In the modern day, Ankh is reportedly used as a symbol of African identity in both the United States and Europe, without any cultural roots in Scotland. One of the prominent active religious groups in the British country includes The Family International, which was formerly known as The Children of God.

The Children of God, like Kildalton Cross, was active in Edinburgh. One of the similar characteristics of both communities is the distrust of the outside world. McGregor, a Kildalton Cross member who eventually became a religious maniac, sees Catholicism and Judaism as threats and incorrect paths to God. Similarly, the beliefs of The Children of God deviated drastically from traditional faiths such as Catholicism with an emphasis on sexual freedom. However, Kildalton Cross doesn’t encourage liberated sexuality as The Children of God, which makes it the most significant difference between the two sects.

Old Parish Church in Livingston, Scotland, doubles for Kildalton Church in the movie. The present church building is dated back to the first half of the 18th century. However, there are records of a church in Livingston that can be traced back to the 12th century. The church doesn’t have any association with an unorthodox religious sect such as the fictional Kildalton Cross.

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