I’ve always been fascinated by cults.
No, I’m not joining one. Calm down.
So I’ve always been fascinated by cults and recently fell down a rabbit hole of podcasts about them (a review to come later, but I will tell you that Generation Cult, IndoctriNation, and the Waco season of American Scandal are really great), plus caught a couple of cable shows about them. This popped up in my recommendations on Amazon Prime, so I figured that it would be worth a look.
This hour-long documentary profiles the Lord Our Righteousness Church (sometimes referred to as Strong City) and its leader, Michael (nee Wayne Curtis Bent), who live on a compound in Utah. British filmmaker Alex Hannaford produced and narrates the documentary and it hits all of the notes that you’d expect from a profile of a cult. You’ve got a leader who appears charismatic, followers who are entranced, young women as consorts, escaped former members who want their family or children back, and a prophecy that the world will end on a specific date (and then the reworking of said prophecy and gaslighting of followers when it doesn’t happen).
My reaction to this is mixed. Yes, I fell asleep about halfway through, but that’s because I was watching it late in the evening and was more tired than I thought I had been (plus, I was sitting in “the chair” that puts everyone to sleep), not because it was boring. And maybe I find my reaction this way because I’ve seen or heard so many of these types of stories already. I will say that I was not intrigued by the leader as much as I was by his followers and by the efforts of a parent to get her children out of there (and then their glee at escaping back to the cult). It’s a decent hour to kill if you’ve got nothing else to watch, but I think you’re better off spending your time on any number of other documentaries or podcasts.
Watch or Skip?