Documentaries about Cults

Re-Visiting Father and the Source Family [Cult Leader Jim Baker] (2005)

As some of you may know, way back when the 60s were having sex and the 70s created disco, there was this interesting little sect known as the Source Family. They ran their own macrobiotic restaurant (the first such restaurant in the US), made their own records with incredible (in diverse senses of the word) music, had (according to some stories) their own little prostitution ring to provide their fearless leader with his obligatory Rolls Royces, and generally had fun.

Now, said fearless leader was known as Father, Yod, Father Yod and/or Yahowha, and thought to be God by His followers. Obviously, He had to prove this, and did so by stepping off of a great height. Fly he did, for exactly the time it took gravity to propel him in the ground. His Holyness apparently did not yet know how to land properly, and neatly dug a person-sized crater, and filled it with His Sacred Remnants.

This spelled the end of the Source family.

Years passed by, until one day a student figured to do his senior college assignment on the Family. He traced some former cult-members and did interviews with them, and from those interviews, as well as some stock footage, compiled this here film.

 

Children of God: Lost and Found (2007)

In CHILDREN OF GOD: LOST AND FOUND, Noah Thomson sets out to interview other ex-Children of God, discovering that these young, second-generation members have often failed to thrive in the outside world, turning to drugs, crime and suicide, unable to adjust to a society indifferent to their abuse as children. Surprisingly, a few still find value in the Children of God, bowing to the organization’s request that they not give interviews, or telling Thomson they see nothing wrong with their upbringing. Thomson also reaches out to his mother several times in the film, asking her to be interviewed and defend the family she has chosen in place of her actual family.

 

Fear is the Master [Bhagwan Rajneesh Cult] (1987)

In this hard-hitting cinematic documentary, ex-followers reveal secrets of life under the domination of India’s infamous free sex guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, self-proclaimed God of the Universe.

We see how Rajneesh combines an eerie charisma with scientific mind control techniques to make his disciples psychically dependent on him. For the guru, this web of control means a regal lifestyle (he had nearly a hundred Rolls-Royces at his disposal). But for his followers, called sannyasins, living in the shadow of the Master means giving up family ties, working eighteen hours a day, seven days a week, for no pay and always being available to satisfy the sexual whims of the guru’s hierarchy.

Wielding millions of dollars with an iron fist, Rajneesh and his henchmen built a 100 square-mile separate state in rural Oregon USA complete with a highly-armed sannyasin security force. Like the tragic residents of Jonestown, the inhabitants of Rancho Rajneesh were taught to fear law enforcement officers and other outsiders. While tension and paranoia simmered, Rajneesh’s teachings offered the cynical consolation that, a bullet-ridden death can often accomplish what a life could not.

The world has heard the Rajneesh credo at other times, other places, from other tyrants. Might is right, hisses the bearded Master to his half a million fanatical devotees, that rule still remains…the rule of the jungle.

FEAR IS THE MASTER is a stark and uncompromising warning, a shocking reminder that if we do not learn from history we will be condemned to repeat it.

 

Heaven’s Gate: The Definitive Story (2007)

Hey, remember the Heaven’s Gate cult? The ones who dressed up in all black and ate poison because they thought that there was a spaceship hidden behind a comet which was coming to carry them to heaven? No? Well, long story short, they ended up being the largest mass suicide on US soil in history. At the end of the day, 39 of them were dead, and I for one applaud them for their bravery (as well as for their heroic efforts in ridding the gene pool of such gullible morons.)

This documentary, originally produced for The Learning Channel back in 2007, tells the tale of the group, from their humble beginnings on Haight-Ashbury back in the early 70’s, up until the fateful day when they drank the proverbial Kool Aid in the late 90’s. There are interviews with a variety of different people, including former members, family members of the victims, media members, law enforcement officers, and various talking heads. For anyone interested in crazy cults, this is a must download. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go meet the mothership….

 

Fall from Grace [Westboro Baptist Church] (2007)

The first feature-length documentary to explore the hate-filled world of Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS. Since the mid-90s, this group has participated in nearly 25,000 anti-homosexual demonstrations around the world. With signs that say things like “God hates fags,” “You’re going to Hell,” “Thank God for 9/11,” “God hates your tears,” “Thank God for dead soldiers,” the small congregation of 75 members has garnered international attention, especially now that they have targeted military funerals as a venue for their picketing. ‘Fall From Grace’ features interviews with Rev. Phelps, other members of the church, many of its dissenters, and two members that left the church and their family behind.

 

The Love Prophet and the Children of God (1998)

The Love Prophet and the Children of God is a riveting inside look at one of the world’s most enigmatic religious movements and its infamous founder, David Berg. Today, the Children of God have changed their name to The Family and altered many of their more unusual practices. Still, they insist, they are victims of religious persecution. Are they spiritual seekers or dangerous charlatans? Through the portrayal of a charismatic leader and his devoted followers, The Love Prophet and the Children of God explore the evolution of this new religious movement, and the thin line between faith and blind faith.

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2 Responses “Documentaries about Cults” →

  1. Joseph Stefurak

    November 20, 2013

    Well I have personal expierience with Eastern Religions and the New Age Movement and Christianity and have come into great great Wisdom which enabled me to be a member of Eckankar rejecting all of these other Elementary Religions. Eckankar is cirtainly no cult, rejects New Age beliefs and rejects Religious beliefs surounding the Idea “I AM GOD”. Eckankar simply teaches that their is a much greater reality than the various represenitives of “GOD” throughout this world and that this much greater reality can be known through expierience in Eckankar. Start out by reading the books authored by Sri Paul Twitchell.

    Reply

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