This documentary gives viewers an
intimate view of what life is like inside groups that some former
followers say are cults operating.
members have consistent stories about how the different
organizations actually work," explains G. Scott, "and the
techniques they say were used to control them, even though the
belief systems can be miles apart."
"The modern rise of cult-like groups is not something experts can
easily quantify, but there is a proven trend away from mainstream
churches, towards other forms of spirituality. There has been a lot
of talk about
Destiny Church, since the covenant of 700 followers."
The two-part documentary consists of ex-believers'
stories, and investigates the similarities they say exist between
The documentary includes abuse survivors
who have never spoken before, including the first ever interview
with a young woman born into the controversial Centrepoint commune,
the first of her generation to speak out.
It also features Ualesei Vaega, a New
survivor from Waco, Texas, where an FBI
siege ended with the
death of 86 followers of David Koresh in a devastating fire.
"As you would expect, the effects of
something like Waco are deeply traumatic," Scott continues.
Vaega's story is even more powerful because he witnessed Koresh
go down the path of collecting guns, having sex with young
girls, and yet Ualesi came back to New Zealand even though
people around him were too deeply brainwashed to make that key
decision to leave."
Ualesi Vaega lost his brother, sister in
law and many good friends in the tragic fire.
As the documentary show, a similar armed stand-off was only narrowly avoided in New
Zealand at Camp David, a walled compound north of Christchurch.
"The scary things about Camp David,"
says Scott, "is that when the police raided their weapons
stockpile, the members were hidden and watching them arrive
through rifle scopes. Many of those guys had military training.
Even today, some say there is still a stockpile of weapons
buried on the West Coast."
The documentary will reveal all this
as well as the tactics cult-watchers and academics say should warn
people that a group may want total control of their followers'