The best documentaries about cults and cult leaders remind you that it's incredibly easy to be caught up by a charismatic personality. The best cult and cult leader documentary series ever shown on television catch you up in familiar stories with more depth than documentary films about cults. If you’ve been looking for the best cult documentaries to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the best cult and cult leader documentary series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.
With the rise of true crime films, podcasts and shows, stories about cults are making their way from television documentary films to full series. Whether a documentary show about cults looks at a new leader and following each episode, or the show focuses on one story each season, shows about cults and people caught up in religion are some of the most compelling documentary series on television.
Which shows do the best job sharing the stories of people caught up in cults? Vote up the best cult documentary shows and add any documentary series about cults and cult leaders that are missing.
Leader: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Wild Wild Country (Netflix, 2018) is a documentary series directed by Maclain and Chapman Way. When Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh AKA Osho, the world's most controversial guru, builds a utopian city deep in the Oregon desert, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, George Meredith, Ma Anand Sheela
Leader: Various, includes Peter Moses Jr., Sean Goff
Following: Various, includes LDS, the Samaritans
Deadly Devotion (Investigation Discovery, 2013) is an American true crime documentary television series. The show follows crimes and the people wrapped up in unique subcultures and secret societies that live according to their own set of rules, rituals, and traditions. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Rick Pasqualone
Network: Investigation Discovery
Leader: Jim Jones
Following: The Peoples Temple
Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, also called The Mad Messiah, is a 1980 television miniseries about the Peoples Temple led by Jim Jones, and their 1978 mass suicide at Jonestown. Based on the book by Charles A. Krause, entitled Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Account, the film was originally shown on television on April 15, 1980. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Tony Curtis, Powers Boothe
Leader: Various, includes Keith Raniere, Warren Jeffs
Following: Various, includes Children of God, NXIVM
Cults and Extreme Belief (A&E, 2018) is an American documentary television series. Each episode examines the world of organized organizations, alongside former members. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Teddy Hose, Eden Shea Beck, Stephanie LeHane