Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch. From documentaries to psychological thrillers, each of these films also focuses on individuals who have brushes with the darkness and charisma of cults. Director: Patricia Krenwinkel, Michelle Benward, | Robert Hendrickson Nikolas Schreck, | Nothing in this Oscar-winning docuseries, executive produced by the Duplass brothers, is exactly what it seems. Isis Aquarian, There is also a history of Manson... See full summary », Directors: It’s set up in the woods or on an island or somewhere else that’s hard to reach. The stories of Ari and Etty, two of the three characters of focus in 2017’s docu-drama, are perhaps a little darker and more disturbing than those told by average ex-communicated Hasidim. Michael Travesser, Not Rated | This article, originally published on August 22, 2017, has been updated. | This short-lived era is recreated with archival material and the memories of participants. Jane Stork, PG-13 From one side there was a story of villains and child abuse and a cult. 87 min Documentary. TV-MA Noah Thomson 1,474 The documentary is one of many titles in the fascinating subgenre of controversial religious documentaries. Director: Lynette Fromme, 104 min Documentary. | Stars: | What to Watch if You’re Cult-Curious More specifically, films and documentaries that delve into the covert world of cults and fringe religious sects scratch that itch particularly well. $0.02M, PG Though it’s not technically about a cult, Witches explores what happens to a group of people when their new ideals override their shared humanity. Nadine Mundo, Not Rated Star: Stars: | | For those who foster a curiosity about these groups, here are 10 documentaries — including HBO's recent docuseries The Vow — that get to the bottom of life inside a cult. Warren Carter, Raymund Melz, Ricky Rodriguez, Ondi Timoner | Amy Berg 90 min From Catholicism and Judaism to Mormonism and Scientology, this list of the best religion documentaries features unique perspectives into some of the … That film, Holy Hell, is available on Netflix, and it’s a sensitive (yet disturbing) look at how cults never appear sinister right away. | | Gross: 4. Stars: | Director: | | Debbie Padilla, Religion Sort by: The Dead Sea Scrolls. Sally Howell Stars: Documentary, Biography, Crime, For forty years, Charles Manson has survived most of his life in what he calls 'the hallways of the all ways,' the reform schools, jails and prisons that have been his home and tomb. | Stars: The film documents them as they enter ... See full summary », Director: We’ve compiled a list of the best (and most disturbing) docs available to stream on Netflix right now because cults are fascinating. "Wild Wild Country" is earning strong buzz on Netflix, and it's one of several religious cult documentaries you can watch right now. Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults is a four-part documentary series about the strange UFO-based religious movement that led to a tragic mass suicide.The series talks with former members and loved ones and includes never-before-seen footage and first-person accounts. 85 min Star: Daniel Garcia, It’s safe to say that cults are having a bit of a moment in popular culture right now. Often, the rise of strict religions comes with a body count. | Nadine Mundo Top Documentary Films. 47 min | Don Bolles, Mary Brunner, 88 min Documentary, Music. | Sylvia Padilla, Stars: Paul Haggis, Barbara Hoyt, $0.90M, 73 min Stars: It's a free compilation of all documentaries posted each week, straight to your inbox. | Etty was forced into marrying her abuser at 19 and bore 7 children while waiting on him hand and foot. Stars: Director: Stars: Elaine Anderson, Leah Remini, In the spring of 1947, hidden amidst the desert wasteland that is now known as the West Bank, three shepherds happened upon a series of ancient scrolls. Stars: Vote up your favorite cult documentaries below or add one that you found interesting that isn't already on the list. From CNN, Enlighten Us investigates three murders that occurred within the following of self-help speaker James Arthur Ray. When 22-year-old Will Allen was kicked out of his house for being gay, he found solace temporarily in the Buddhafield cult. Dot Krenwinkel, Witch trials are a common subject in creepy pop culture, but Witches: A Century of Murder makes the subject feel freshly disturbing, by setting it outside the American colonies and in rural Britain. | | Documentary, Short, Crime, Life After Manson is an intimate portrait of one of the world's most infamous crimes and notorious killers. Documentary, Award winning filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, follows four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. Documentary, In 1970, 1,500 hippies and their guru Stephen Gaskin founded a commune in rural Tennessee. | Anne Hamilton-Byrne, Not Rated Stars: 48 min October 2020. No, HBO’s incredible Scientology documentary, Going Clear, is not available on Netflix. As leader of a cult in a remote corner of New ... See full summary », Director: Sharmagne Leland-St. John, TV-PG Ted Biggs, | Article now available on Filmhounds on the link below: Documentaries To Watch If You’re Interested In… Cults Documentary, Crime. Jones is said to have established the People’s Temple in Indianapolis in the 1950s. | Journalist Elizabeth Vargas, alongside former members of controversial organizations, goes on a search to uncover how these sects use their influence to prey upon people's desperation to create powerful and often destructive belief systems. Dan Gifford, Warren Jeffs, A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham. 100 min Documentary, Biography, Drama. | Irene Cara, | Sure, cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is interesting, but his second-in-command takes center stage after a while. Jennilyn Merten Director: Samuel Stefan, Sung Yun Cho, Documentary. Mia Donovan Stars: Joaquin Sullivan, Jason Beghe, Jeff Gannon, Not Rated The brutal murders of starlet Sharon Tate and her friends shocked the world, and when the Manson Family murderers ... See full summary », Director: Charles Manson, Marty Rathbun, Directors: | Bruce Barlow, The real-life story of the Peoples Temple cult led by Reverend Jim Jones and the events involving its move to Guyana and its eventual mass suicide. Stars: Stars: But where does one start? Documentary. 100 min Saved by Worklizard. | He eventually left and deprogrammed, but lucky for us, Allen is a filmmaker who compiled hours of footage he shot while living with the Buddhafield cultists into a documentary film for CNN. Reliving the drama that unfolded decades ago in a small Oregon town, Wild Wild Country manages to tell both sides of the story in … 26,349 There are many reasons a New Yorker might leave the Hasidic community: they might want to go to college, or they discover they’re gay. “Wild Wild Country” is earning strong buzz on Netflix for investigating the rise and fall of a spiritual cult that made headlines in Oregon throughout the 1980s. Documentary. Sarah Kernochan, Many cults involve drug use, but even the ones that don’t, according to Deprogrammed use a type of psychological intoxication, born from a charismatic leader and a cult’s developing hive mind. 9 Best Serial Killer Documentaries on Netflix Right Now, Ranked. | | Jordan Fraser-Trumble, Documentary, History. David Berg, Stars: | | 85 min Brent Jeffs, His followers had each paid $10,000 to attend. Bill Bunten, Documentary, History, Mystery, February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, granddaughter of William Randolph Heart, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), who first demanded a prisoner swap for Hearst, then, as it ... See full summary », Director: 98 min | Has a number of insightful interviews with many family members most notably Squeaky and Sandy (Blue and Red). 403 min Documentary, Crime, 'Inside the MANSON Gang' The incredible behind the scenes, exclusive footage and true story of the most notorious white gang in American history, and the Trial of the 20th Century. 90 min | Gross: Hiroshi Araki, Not Rated In fact, Allen benefitted in quite a few ways from joining Buddhafield, though he almost paid with his independence. Stars: Ben Anthony Eventually, three people died from heatstroke, and eighteen more were hospitalized. | Stars: Stars: Browse List Top 100. A series featuring stories from former members of the Church of Scientology whose lives have been affected by the Church's alleged harmful practices. Anna Flowers, The Catholic Church covering up cases of pedophilia in its leadership is such a well-publicized horror story that it’s difficult to imagine a time when people didn’t make pedo-priest jokes. Director: The Vow, HBO's sweeping, 9-episode look into Keith Raniere's organization, introduced a whole new audience to the group that stole people's lives, minds, and savings accounts, and Starz's new series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult expands on that. | While many cult documentaries focus on the nefarious leaders who indoctrinate their followers, Deprogrammed explains the real toll that cult membership takes on members and their families. Rena Mundo Croshere, Nikolas Schreck A documentary looking at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology. | 83 min Howard Smith Documentary, History. 100 min RAJNEESH MOVEMENT, “WILD WILD COUNTRY” Netflix’s six-part series chronicles the rise and fall… These documentaries about cults cover many different topics and types of cults. 75 min Stephan Jones, | Andrew Chatwin, Votes: From the other side, it was a story about families doing the best that they could to protect the eternal life of their children. You’d be forgiven for watching only the first episode of Wild, Wild Countryand assuming the whole show is about a sex-crazed hippie commune inspired by Eastern religions, but things get more complicated quickly. James N. Mason, PG-13 Rosie Jones Maura Schmierer, Not Rated K. Ryan Jones | Janet Shular, Directors: Ce film peut ne pas convenir à tous les publics. Powers Boothe, Robert Stone | Mike Papantonio, Tim Carter, Netflix released a new documentary on the secretive religious group ‘The Family.’ Despite its flaws, it’s a must see. Search. | Documentary. Stars: Stars: The documentary is one of many titles in the fascinating subgenre of controversial religious documentaries. Members forked over their savings, grew their own food, delivered their babies at home and built a... See full summary », Directors: William Gazecki Directors: 12,018 Evangeline Griego Stars: Philip Toelkes, MANSON: THE VOICE OF MADNESS is an explosive documentary that will change the conversation about CHARLES MANSON and the notorious "MANSON FAMILY" murders.. Director: | When Osho, the world's most controversial guru, builds an Utopian city deep in the Oregon country, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal. NXIVM, a so-called "sex cult" disguised as a "self-empowerment group," has been in the news for years. Stanley Nelson In 2009, Ray ended a meditation retreat by asking his followers to shave their heads and fast without food or water for days in the desert. Ma Anand Sheela, Browse, watch and discuss documentaries filed under Religion. “Wild Wild Country” is earning strong buzz on Netflix for investigating the rise and fall of a spiritual cult that made headlines in Oregon throughout the 1980s. Timothy Findley, David Miscavige, TV-14 Director: Osho, Rebekah Schmierer, | Olivia Klaus Sandra Good, Stanley Clayton, 85 min Vernon Gosney, This series is actually the story of two very unlike communities — the people of Rajneeshpuram and Wasco County, Ore… ** This film may not be suitable for all viewers; parental guidance is advised. An incendiary, heartbreaking investigation into one of Australia's most notorious cults, and the scars its survivors still bear today. By the time the sun went down on the cult retreat’s finale, followers were screaming for help and hallucinating. Documentary. Director: | 70 min | The stereotypical cult exists somewhere on the literal edge of society. Religious Cult Documentaries. Stars: 192 min Directors: | Dan Grove, PG-13 Tim Wolochatiuk A film about cults and the the indomitable human soul. 119 min | Stars: Biography, Drama. His ... See full summary », Director: | John Smithson Like Holy Hell, this documentary tells a specific and personal story, as the filmmaker Ricardo Adler analyzes his spirituality and speaks with a Rabbi after a brutal divorce. Robert ... See full summary », Director: They’re also often led by a charismatic and infallible leader. Louis Theroux documents his investigation into what goes on behind the scenes of the infamous Church of Scientology. From there, cults, both secular and religious, get creative. Liz Shaw, 136 min Balavanta Das, Zeena Schreck, Maria Demopoulos, Helen Mirren, | Director: Ari, a struggling cocaine addict, was assaulted as child and watched as his religious community covered up the attack. From Scientology to Kabbalah to Rajneeshpuram, there seems to be a documentary or docu-series for every religious extremist group. Documentary. Bruce Davis, 51 min | 25 min To see what we mean, take a gander at the documentaries and docu-series below. Tyler Measom, Stars: 71 min | ‘The People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ’, commonly known as the Peoples Temple, is a religious cult founded by Jim Jones in 1955 in America. | Cult leader Jim Jones leads his followers to a mass-suicide. Bruce Davis, Documentary, The events of the night of August 9th, 1969 changed the face of the '60s. Email Subscribe. Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church, those who oppose it, and those who chose to leave it all behind. For many people, this process of returning to life outside a cult is called “deprogramming”, and this 2016 documentary tells the story of several people who needed to be removed from cults. | Gross: British filmmaker Louis Theroux tries his best to crack the protective shell of Scientology followers, but the cult’s hold on them is so intense that Theroux eventually fails. What’s less often discussed is the way women in the church respond to allegations of sexual assault — some investigate tirelessly, a quest immortalized by Meryl Streep in Doubt, but others choose to act complicitly. An inside look at former FLDS teens who have become religious refugees in mainstream America. We also investigate various religious sects, including an Indian cult that worships their leader as a god and Dukhobors in Georgia living much like their ancestors did centuries ago. Aum Shinrikyo, the Buddhist sect led by Shoko Asahara and responsible for the 1995 Sarin gas attack on a Tokyo subway, becomes the subject of this documentary. The documentary was detested by the victims’ families because it showed Ray in his own dark moments, but it’s worth watching just to experience how far astray people can be led when the man leading them is likable. The movie centers around Ted "Black Lightning" Patrick, a man who went on an anti-cult campaign in the 1970s that often involved illegal tactics. | Ahom Aquarian, Peter Bate | Veronica Cartwright, 86 min Charles Manson, James Buddy Day From the filmmakers behind Jesus Camp (unfortunately not available on Netflix anymore), One of Us examines religious faith and orthodoxy with an impressively delicate touch. | This 2017 docuseries leaves viewers grasping at straws for a possible solution to Sister Cesnik’s murder, which remains unsolved. Stars: Documentary, Drama, History. Yet, this is a fascinating expose on the hypocrisy and hubris surrounding a cult and one of the better documentaries about cults. Bobby Beausoleil, Ted Haggard, Votes: Sam Brower, Joey Thomson, Rena Mundo Croshere, Updated on November 19th, 2020 by Christopher Fain: Following the end of the acclaimed A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, audiences around the world find themselves more … In 1981, the followers of Indian spiritual guru—and alleged “sex cult” leader—Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh purchased a 64,000 acre ranch in the middle of Oregon. $0.01M, R A family describes their time within a religious cult, one that perpetuated pedophilia, sexual abuse, and prostitution. | How far would you go to feel like you belong? Stars: Ned Beatty, | Sarah Kernochan, Not Rated Robert Hendrickson, | Alex Gibney There are many films about or concerning religious cults, their leaders and more often than not – their demise as a group. Documentary. | Marcy, TV-G ... A family describes their time within a religious cult, one that perpetuated pedophilia, sexual abuse, and prostitution. | | The word ‘cult’ can be taken in many different ways, so these films are about different religious groups that have strayed from the ‘norms of society’, with leaders that have inflicted abuse, discomfort and/or unease on their members. Director: | | Documentary. However, if you’re feeling curious about how religious people cope with sexual urges, and their intense drive for intimacy, The Lost Key is a fascinating look into one man’s life. John Dower Nothing in this Oscar-winning docuseries, executive produced by the Duplass brothers, is exactly what it seems. Vincent Bugliosi, Religion documentaries are always fascinating, especially in a world where there are just so many! Stars: Cults encourage their members to drop out of society completely, to cut off ties with loved ones and change their personality traits and habits. Vincent Bugliosi, It takes as its focus "The Church," also known as "The Brotherhood,... See full summary », Director: Tell us what you think about this feature. Sandra Good, R More so than any other series on the list, watching this will leave you shocked that you hadn’t heard this nutso story before. Tatsuya Mori Rachel Grady | Jodi Wille Mike Rinder, If cult documentaries are what you’re looking for, then Netflix’s newest cult addition – Wild Wild Country – needs to move to the top of your queue. Heidi Ewing, | You’d be forgiven for watching only the first episode of Wild, Wild Country and assuming the whole show is about a sex-crazed hippie commune inspired by Eastern religions, but things get more complicated quickly. In the case of Sister Catherine Anne “Cathy” Cesnik, it’s believed that she was murdered for speaking up against abusive priests. 89 min Becky Fischer, The early '70s based on natural food, spiritual practices and psychedelic.. 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