Parents' Guide to

Cults and Extreme Belief

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mildly sensationalized docuseries has disturbing details.

TV A&E Reality TV 2018
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This informative and mildly sensational series highlights the inner workings of cults and religious extremists. From NXIVM, an alleged sex-trafficking cult, to Jehovah's Witnesses, each episode of the news magazine uses interviews, archived footage, and roundtable discussions to detail what goes on in each. In addition to describing the recruiting and conforming tactics employed by group leaders to get members to comply, it also highlights the long-lasting and far-reaching consequences members face, including loss of income, PTSD, living with guilt or fear, losing loved ones, and, in some cases, legal prosecution.

The show isn't meant to be objective, and the conversations are purposely disturbing enough to be both entertaining and ominous. Not everyone will agree with the characterizations of some of these groups, either. But Cults and Extreme Belief still offers some important insight into the characteristics shared by most cult leaders that make them, and their philosophies, attractive to vulnerable people.

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