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People Magazine Investigates: Cults

People Magazine Investigates: Cults

  • Premiered: 
    June 4, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: ID
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    2nd series in the PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES franchise, following People Magazine Investigates 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: cults

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Plot Synopsis

PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS is a one-hour docuseries that explores how destructive and terrifying cults can be to cult members and their families. Each of the 6 one-hour episodes dives deep inside a twisted American cult, building to that pivotal moment when blind worship turns violent and even deadly. From Jonestown to the Army of God, "People" reporters are on the front lines, revealing the untold stories of power-crazed cult leaders using mind control, sex, and violence to manipulate and dominate followers. Each episode follows the trusted journalists of "People" as they doggedly investigate the evolution of these cults, expose their bizarre and brutal day-to-day rituals, and speak first-hand to survivors who narrowly escaped lives of misery to put their cult nightmares finally behind them. The series opener highlights Tony Alamo Ministries. Initially, the Alamo Christian Foundation once held hope for a better society for young people seeking purpose. But when Susan Alamo dies of cancer, Tony reveals his dark side and turns his anger on his followers, including taking multiple child brides.

Season 2 of PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS premiered on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 9pm ET/PT on Investigation Discovery. In the season opener, "Children of God," David Berg begins preaching an all-embracing gospel in the late 1960s. He quickly gains followers, including actor River Phoenix's family, creating communes around the world forming the "Children of God". However, Father David's free love message gradually becomes sinister, as devotees are taught to give their bodies to whomever desires them. Adults must engage in religious prostitution, and children are required to have and observe sex starting at a very young age. Members of the cult are also subjected to violence in prison camps across the globe, where they are banned from having any communication with the outside world. Then, in 2005, Ricky Rodriguez, raised as the cult's Prince, kills his former nanny and sexual abuser, and then himself - in an attempt to finally bring down the cult for good. Now, PEOPLE's true crime team sits down exclusively with Christina Babin and Jemima Farris, survivors of "Children of God", to hear their stories first-hand as they reveal their personal experiences of what happened under David Berg's helm.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On Monday, July 8, 2019 at 8pm ET/PT, Investigation Discovery premiered "Word of Faith," the Season 2 finale of PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS. To this day, lost souls flock to North Carolina where they're promised deliverance from demons by Pastor Jane Whaley at the Word of Faith Fellowship. But deliverance comes at a price, including beatings, medical horrors, and psychological abuse.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Lucky 8