The Purifiers are an anti-mutant hate group, willing to commit violent acts against mutants ranging from intimidation, arson, and lynchings.
Somewhat like earlier hate groups across history, the Purifiers are not a nation-wide "organization" as such, but more of a concept. "Purifiers" is more of a catch-all term for violent anti-mutant human groups, ranging from loose gangs to fairly well organized militias. There are also public figures that are also classed as purifiers that give public support and financial aid to anti-mutant causes such as politicians and businessmen.
The Purifiers were founded at some point by Matthew Risman, who hated Mutants because of their genetic differences. Eventually leadership of the Purifiers was handed over to Benedict Ryan, the host of a tv segment called The Ryan Hour, where he would find ways to turn the public against Mutants. His role as the Purifiers leader has been kept top secret, with only a chosen few being given this knowledge.
- In the comic books, the "Purifiers" were specifically an anti-mutant group created by William Stryker, in the God Loves, Man Kills storyline from 1983. They were much more overtly religious, explaining their cross symbols. In The Gifted, however, "Purifiers" seems to be more of a general term adopted by various anti-mutant militias, making them somewhat analogous to various other anti-mutant groups in the comics such as the "Friends of Humanity", etc.