cult followings

HBO Max Throws Another Cult Doc to Its Devoted Followers With The Way Down

You can tell you’re in for a good cult docuseries by the hair. Tiger King had the mullet. The Vow had Keith Raniere’s nasty little ponytail. The trailer for The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin begins with a jump scare of the titular church leader’s freakishly large southern do, which looks like the result of an experiment gone horribly awry at the Bumpits factory. Shamblin led the Tennessee-based Remnant Fellowship Church, which rose out of her “Christian-based diet program” and fell to infamy when two members of the church were found guilty of the murder and assault of their 8-year-old son. The trailer for the series has plenty of juicy talking-head moments, with one interview subject saying, “How members of Remnant behave is a bit like Handmaid’s Tale and Stepford Wives,” and another giving this chef’s kiss of a sound bite: “To me, the devil is a myth. But I’ve met Gwen Shamblin and she’s real.” This series comes out on HBO Max September 30, four months after Shamblin and six other church leaders died in a plane crash. The plot thickens.

HBO Max Throws Another Cult Doc to Its Devoted Followers