Why Are We Suddenly All Obsessed With Cults?

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Cults are fertile ground for endless documentaries, movies, TV shows, books, so much so that there seems to be a new Netflix show about one every month. But why?

Our fascination with cults comes from the same place as our fascination with serial killers and true crime, we love to gawk at the extremes of humanity from a safe space behind a TV screen or page of a book and think, that could never happen to me.

These cult leaders become macabre celebrities. Charles Manson. David Koresh. Keith Raniere. It’s incredible to think these leaders have brainwashed thousands of people into giving everything they have to one person under the guise of a community.

In some cases, these cults do actually create entire communities by themselves.

Rajneeshpurum was a city built in Oregon, US by the Rajneesh movement led by Bagwhan Shree Rajneesh (otherwise known as Osho). The hit Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country details their rise, expansion, and collapse, including the largest instance of domestic bioterrorism in the USA.

For a writer, it’s hard to resist the pull of a cult narrative and for viewers, hard to not binge just one more episode, especially when the cult in question features recognisable faces.

NXIVM is one of the most talked about cults of the moment. It has so gripped the world that, since its demise in 2018, a record number of documentaries, movies, books, and podcasts have been made about it. The Vow and Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult are the two most popular docuseries and give different perspectives on the cult. Both do, however, mention the leader Keith Raniere’s strange obsession with late-night volleyball.

Content retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/why-are-we-suddenly-all-obsessed-with-cults_uk_6481d381e4b04ee51a92f3ec.

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