Don't miss the next show!

Join our newsletter to receive a monthly summary about new collections published.
Don't worry, no crap, no spam, we hate that stuff too LOL

the best documentaries hero image popcorn
Documentaries about Cults

16 Best Documentaries about Cults: You Will Shake Your Head

In this article we dive into the extremely twisted world of cults, with the 16 best documentaries about cults

Intro: Documentaries about Cults

Some people perceive cults as a fascinating group of people, while others see them as horrifying. Are you one of those who love watching documentaries about cults? Don’t worry; we got you covered. Below, we have listed the top and highly recommended cults documentaries. Read on to know further.

1. Cults, Explained - Netflix Documentary about Cults

One of the top documentaries about cults presented on Netflix is entitled “Cults, Explained.” This documentary shows how the internet and social isolation affect a person to manifest cult-like behaviors. Aside from that, it also assesses past cults. The documentary progresses by examining the reasons why the internet community allowed these cults to exist even without a fixed leader.

The said documentary gained a lot of followers by discussing different past cults, which include Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Father Divin, NXIVM, and many others. Cults, Explained also shows the common characteristics of a cult, the possible reasons a member might leave, and the steps to join a cult. This documentary is a beneficial show for students of Criminology or Social Psychology courses.

2. Cults - History Channel Cults Documentary

Are you being curious about how cults are formed and how each cult member behaves? If so, then the Cults – History Channel Cults Documentary could be the greatest documentary of cults you should watch. This documentary discusses cult inception to their ruination. If you have not watched any cult documentary before, then this could be the greatest documentary you should watch alone or with your friends who also want to know more about cults.

The said documentary discusses the dark world of these malicious groups of people. It displays extreme beliefs that they pass on from generation to generation. Perhaps, one of the most eye-catching aspects of this cult documentary is that they are diving into the deepest hole of cult characteristics and the psyche of its members.

3. The Jonestown Massacre: Paradise Lost - Documentaries about Cults

The Jonestown Massacre: Paradise Lost is a special documentary about cults displayed on the History Channel. It talks about the last days of Jim Jones, the People’s Temple, and Jonestown. According to the survivor accounts and eyewitnesses, this documentary shows the final week before the mass murder-suicide of the residents in Jonestown, which has happened on 18 November 1978.

The show displays how erratic and paranoid was Reverend Jim Jones was at that time, maybe because of the pressures he received. Jones was the one who ordered his followers to commit mass suicide. One of the members who survived that insane order was Hyacinth Thrash. Aside from her, Jones’ son also survived the massacre.

4. The Dark Side Of The Church Of Scientology - Cults Documentaries

The Church of Scientology was established in 1954. From the start of its initiation, the said church was involved in several controversies. These include claiming Scientology as a legitimate religion, their point of view about psychiatry, predatory financial practices, mistreating its members, and aggressive attitude in terms of dealing with its critics and enemies. Aside from that, the Church of Scientology was also known for its exploitative practices.

This documentary about The Dark Side of the Church of Scientology shows the reported allegations of the church representatives to its members. If you want to know more about the accusations towards the Church of Scientology and its dark side, then you should watch this documentary.

5. Heaven’s Gate - Documentaries about Cults

Heaven’s Gate is another greatest documentary about cults. This documentary shows the formation of the cult in 1974. Heaven’s Gate revolves around the story of Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, who took a trip to discover spirituality. In line with that, they considered themselves as the witnesses of Revelation. This had helped them to attract a number of people in the 1970s.

According to the witnesses, Heaven’s Gate practices a combination of Ufology, New Age, and Christian millenarianism. Thus, the cult has been recognized as a UFO religion.

After thorough research, the cult members think that they are ready to encounter their heavenly bruv. The result of this act was posted on their website, which helped the San Diego County police investigate the scene.

6. The Cult of David Dobrik: How to Keep A Group Obedient - Documentaries about Cults

At the start, many loved the prank videos performed by David Dobrik on his YouTube channel. Many were fascinated with his everyday life, his group of friends, and his overall lifestyle. When he started his channel, all his contents were meant to make his subscribers laugh. But when his channel started to boom and gained a lot of followers, his attitude and the way of pranking his friends became more intense and dangerous.

This documentary shows how manipulative David Dobrik is. He used to manipulate his friends or anyone under him. He also received several allegations of sexual assault, but he remained careless. If you used to be a fan of David Dobrik’s pranks, then this documentary may open your eyes and mind.

7. The Dark World of New Age Gurus - Documentaries about Cults

The Dark World of New Age Gurus is a special documentary that reveals the dark side of the Secular Humanist New Age religions. This show uncovers con artists and their get-rich approach that uses religion to make an income. These New Age Gurus use the spiritual needs of people to make money.

New Thought and New Age is a pseudoscience religion established by grifters and con artists as their way to earn money from the uneducated and ignorant spiritual seekers.

8. The Multilevel Marketing Cults - Documentaries about Cults

This is a documentary about cults that uses a Multi-Level Marketing strategy to earn money by selling services and products. It exposes and gives reasons why MLM strategy is a kind of illegal pyramid scheme. This is a must-watch show, especially by those customers and companies who may have been involved and victimized by the members of this cult.

9. Jehovah's Witness Cult - Documentaries about Cults

Have someone ever knocked through your door and said they are Jehovah’s witnesses and started encouraging you to switch religion with them? If so, then you should watch this documentary about Jehovah’s Witness Cult. The documentary exposes the experiences of four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to firsthand accounts and exclusive interviews with these members, they claimed that they experienced sexual abuse when they were still included in the organization.

10. Dangerous Mormon Cult - Documentaries about Mormons

The Dangerous Mormon Cult is a documentary that exposes the dark acts of Mormons. If someone came towards you and said they are a Mormon, you might be asking what Mormon is all about. As someone who knows a Mormon, you have probably seen a Mormon temple. But, there are lots of things you didn’t know about them. These include the foods they don’t eat, their problematic themes, and their teachings. This real-life documentary will answer all your thoughts about this religion, or should we say cult?

11. The Cult with CIA Ties - Cults Documentaries

The documentary about The Cult with CIA Ties shows the lawlessness, amorality, elitism, secrecy, and counterproductive mindset of the group. The cult is composed of clandestine professionals working in the CIA. The documentary unveils how their transactions work and who protects them. This cult has a rapidly increasing number of members aside from those in the government. It also has members from the labor, finance, and commerce field.

12. The Group - Documentaries about Cults

The group is a cult of adolescent drug abuse programs that exists in most parts of the country. This group of individuals wanted other people to think that they are good people, and they have rescued lots of teenagers from being engaged in drug addiction. Although some people believe it, others don’t, especially when they find that this group uses cult-like practices to keep their teenage followers under their control.

The Group is a documentary that traces back the five-year journey of its director through several programs aiming to protect teenagers from drug abuse. According to the interviews with expert witnesses, archival photographs, and former members of the cult, The Group often tells the background story of their ‘rescued’ individuals and how they struggled with drug addiction. They also shared their experiences after leaving The Group.

13. The Lost Women Of NXIVM - Cults Documentaries

Another cult documentary that is worth watching is The Lost Women of NXIVM. This documentary shows you the real situation that four women experienced when they were still a member of the NXIVM group. The Lost Women of NXIVM is a documentary that will reveal either these women died or vanished. It will also uncover the real reason behind this mysterious situation. The show will trace the eyewitnesses, informants, and former members of the group to make the investigation work.

This documentary will also clear the inner workings of NXIVM, including the branding members, sex trafficking, and fancy “self-help” classes.

14. Siberian Cult Leader Thinks He's Jesus - Documentaries about Cults

Can you say someone who thinks it was the reincarnation of Jesus, a mad man? Well, most of us would say yes, but a former traffic police officer established a cult and made the people around him think that he is Jesus. This documentary focuses on the story of Sergei Torop, who is also popular with an alias Vissarion. This mad man was arrested by the Russian authorities for establishing an illegal religious organization, which was alleged as a cult that practices emotional abuse and makes an income from his followers. If you will take a look at Torop’s face, would you believe that he could be a reincarnated Jesus?

15. This is Japan’s Most Evil Cult - Documentaries about Evil Cults

This documentary talks about the evilest cult in Japan that was established. Aleph, which was initially known as Aum Shinrikyo, was established by Shoko Asahara in 1984. It was considered a terrorist organization and doomsday cult in Japan. This group was the reason behind the deadly attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995. The group was also held responsible for the attack in Matsumoto sarin before 1995.

This documentary shows how Asahara and his followers were punished and held responsible for these two attacks in Japan on 6 July 2018. These incidents gave great terror to the Japanese.

If you want to see how these situations happened and how they were planned by a single group, then you should watch Japan’s Most Evil Cult documentary. This will surely leave you frightened.

16. The 5 Worst Cults of All Time - Cults Documentary

Have you ever wondered what pushes a person to engage in a cult and practice cult-like behaviors? What causes someone to leave their families, disregard their jobs, and even commit something that will take their own life just to fulfill their promise in joining a cult? The 5 Worst Cults of All Time is a documentary that will answer all your queries regarding cults. Most of us would think that the members of a cult are sheep or weak-minded. But the truth is that these groups use a psychological strategy that will encourage individuals to commit what the cult leader says. And that could be one of the interesting yet scariest things about cult members.

Documentaries about Cults: Conclusions

How did a cult form? How do they recruit members? How do they operate? These are just some of the questions that we want to know about cults. In almost every country, there is at least one cult established which continuously encourages innocent individuals to join their group.

If you think someone is trying to recruit you as a cult member, will you accept the offer? Watch the top documentaries about cults that we listed above to enlighten yourself about the dark side of cults. Many cult members became a victim of suicide, sexual abuse, murder, exploitation, and many more. Cult is an illegal organization.

If you find this content helpful and enjoyable to read, do not forget to share this with your friends or anyone you know who is also interested in learning more about cults.

Picture credits: @thoughtcatalog on Unsplash

Images credits: