Netflix provides plenty of movie and television watching experiences, but if you're interested in learning about cults, you might find some of these movies make a great addition to your list. These include Holy Hell, Deprogrammed, Children of God, and Colonia.
A cult if often defined as an organization or group led by a leader that demands complete and total submission while discouraging freedom of thought and the expression of individualism. A form of mind control, cults frequently demand uniformity and submission and will use subversive techniques to ensure everyone obeys the group's leader. While there are many different cults, most groups share similar traits. You can learn about cults and the tactics they use at the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) Cults, An Outline Analysis. This is not a secular site, but the explanation of a cult is applicable to all.
First and foremost, in order to ensure that individuality is suppressed, mind-control methods are utilized to prevent free will, free thinking, creative ideas, and the use of logic and reasoning. One of the most common ways to suppress individuality is by breaking off relationships with friends and family members, changing the names of members and referring to them by a new name, and forcing them to memorize the group's teachings that originate with the cult leader.
Many cults operate on hierarchy type systems within the group that essentially provide control over the group. The leader will promote group members to positions where they are monitoring the cult members behavior and looking for any sign that a member is not following the leader's orders. Punishments are often used to bring members who exhibit their own personality traits back into submission to the group and the leader.
Once a person is involved in a cult it can be difficult to leave and the emotional damage that is done can last a lifetime. Leaving is not an easy process but part of a life-long journey.
The following cult movies on Netflix show what happened inside the destructive group as well as the fight for freedom outside. They are all currently available on Netflix, but movies are always subject to change. The movies tell the stories from real survivors who lived their lives inside the cult, as well as one fictional dramatization based upon accounts of life inside a cult.
Written, directed, and produced by former cult member Will Allen, Holy Hell is a 2016 documentary that chronicles Allen's 22-year journey with the group. Holy Hell is an exceptional documentary because it consists of real footage from the group taken over the years. Allen was fresh out of college and a filmmaker when he joined the Buddhafield, a new age-based spiritual group that attracted beautiful and successful people across California. The documentary also details survivor's accounts of the abuse and mind control they endured as well as how the cult ultimately imploded, causing Allen and many others to leave. Holy Hell was nominated for four awards, including two Critics' Choice Awards.