The BEST Episodes of Cults and Extreme Belief

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Network: A&E

Journalist Elizabeth Vargas, alongside former members of controversial organizations, goes on a search to uncover how these sects use their influence to prey upon people's desperation to create powerful and often destructive belief systems.

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World Peace and Unification Sanctuary

#1 - World Peace and Unification Sanctuary

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 19, 2018

Former "Moonie" Teddy Hose, tries to alert the public to a gun-obsessed Unification Church offshoot known as the Sanctuary Church of Newfoundland, Pa. Sean Moon, the charismatic leader and a son of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon, preaches an extreme gospel featuring his father as "returning Jesus" and guns at the center of worship.

star 7.90
29 votes
Children of God

#2 - Children of God

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jun 6, 2018

Amy Bril recounts her childhood growing up in the Children of God, a group notorious for pedophilia and “religious” prostitution. Amy and others born and raised in the group are banding together to address a suicide epidemic among fellow survivors.

star 7.74
31 votes

#3 - NXIVM

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired May 28, 2018

Elizabeth Vargas examines NXIVM, an organization that sells “self-help” seminars that they claim give people the tools they need to get their lives together and allow them to make a difference in the world. However, the group led by Keith Raniere, referred to by followers as Vanguard, stands accused of drawing supporters down a path of destruction that includes near-starvation diets, sexual assault, forced branding, pseudo-slavery, and blackmail. Luring in many high-profile Hollywood actresses to evangelize for his cause over its 20 years in operation, Raniere was recently arrested in Mexico and charged with sex trafficking, among other crimes. Former members of NXIVM share harrowing experiences of manipulation and sexual violation.

star 7.73
63 votes

#4 - U.N.O.I.

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jun 12, 2018

Growing up in the United Nation of Islam (UNOI), Elijah Muhammad was forced into child labor, physical abuse and squalid living conditions. Today, he has a unique opportunity to speak to the FBI in hope of getting justice for himself and the other children abused by UNOI and its leader, Royall Jenkins’, teachings.

star 7.67
27 votes

#5 - FLDS

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Jul 3, 2018

Many believed that when Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison for child sexual assault, the problems within the FLDS community would be solved--the group would disperse and members would wake up and leave the church. However, when Jeffs was locked away, it left devoted FLDS followers like Norma Richter to face a subsequent humanitarian crisis alone, and forced to fend for themselves in a world they were once taught to fear.

star 7.65
34 votes
Twelve Tribes

#6 - Twelve Tribes

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 26, 2018

Despite their hippie persona and rustic community businesses, The Twelve Tribes have long stood accused of physically abusing children and subjugating of women. Now disconnected from her family, ex-member Samie Brosseau, works to expose the Twelve Tribes abusive practices today.

star 7.48
31 votes
Jehovah's Witnesses

#7 - Jehovah's Witnesses

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired May 29, 2018

Former Jehovah’s Witness Romy Maple–a survivor of child sexual abuse–embarks on a journey to uncover why her pleas for justice were systematically ignored by top members of the organization.

star 7.40
53 votes
The Survivors Speak Part 1

#8 - The Survivors Speak Part 1

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 15, 2018

Former members of different groups meet to discuss their shared experiences with Elizabeth Vargas.

star 7.17
12 votes
The Survivors Speak Part 2

#9 - The Survivors Speak Part 2

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Jul 22, 2018

Former members of different groups meet to discuss their shared experiences with Elizabeth Vargas.

star 6.73
11 votes