Here at RUSSH, we consider ourselves to be pretty avid consumers of cult content. On the one hand, yes, we are referring to cult-classic 90s films, but on the other, we do mean the real deal. If you need proof, simply look to our round-up of the best cult documentaries, or our feature on the new age of enlightenment. Needless to say, there isn't much that can rock us. That was until the trailer for HBO Max's new documentary, The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin dropped.
You may not be as familiar with Shamblin and her manipulative ways as you would be with other infamous cult leaders; but her influence and power rattled America like no other. So, how did she pave her way? By convincing men and women across the country that God had entrusted her with a secret formula to help people lose weight – and boy, did she make one hell of a career out of it.
What started as a Christian-based diet program very quickly steamrolled into Shamblin founding the Tennessee-based church; the Remnant Fellowship. Which, yes, you guessed it, was a front for a religious cult. The documentary, based on the best-selling book of the same name, unpacks how and why people felt so compelled by her methods, her rise to cultic-fame, and her eventual demise.
HBO Max will release the first three parts of the docuseries on September 30, with the final two episodes set to come in early 2022. There's no word just yet on how or where we'll be able to watch The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin in Australia; but in the meantime, check out the official synopsis and chaotic trailer below.
Read the official synopsis below
"After rising to fame with her Weigh Down Workshop, a Christian-based diet program that preached slenderness as next to godliness, Gwen Shamblin Lara founded the Tennessee-based church. Despite a carefully curated image, Lara and the church soon fielded accusations of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse, and exploitation for their alleged cult-like practices. Encompassing years of investigation and extensive interviews with former members and others personally impacted, The Way Down explores the legacy of Remnant’s infamous leader –whose life came to a shocking end after a plane crash in May 2021."
Watch the trailer for The Way Down here