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  • Cults: Dangerous Devotion
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Cults: Dangerous Devotion

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cults
  • Directors: History
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002C8YS6K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,240 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The dark and dangerous world of cults has long been a source of both fascination and fear. What attracts followers to cults and, more importantly, what makes them stay?

In this special feature-length documentary, journey behind closed doors into a secret world where faith and devotion give way to desperation and despair. From the bizarre prophecies of Charles Manson to the desperate paranoia of Jim Jones, cult leaders draw followers into worlds of power, obsession, and sometimes death. Hear from parents who have lost their children to cults and travel back in time to examine how cults have been attracting devotees throughout history.

Featuring archival footage and interviews with renowned scholars, survivors, and faithful adherents, CULTS: DANGEROUS DEVOTION is an eye-opening examination of a hidden world few people will ever see.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is, by and large, a pretty good - and certainly interesting - look at the mindset of cults and especially cult leaders, with comparisons drawn among several prominent examples. Robert J. Lifton, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry, and other experts basically lay out the characteristics that define a cult and expound upon the flawed psychological similarities that leaders of fanatical cults seem to share. Then this knowledge is applied to several classic examples of dangerous cults: Warren Jeffs and the FLDS Church, Jim Jones and the People's Temple, Shoko Asahara and Aum Shinrikyo, Charles Manson and his "Family," David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, and Paul Schäfer's Colonia Dignidad in Chile. Warren Jeffs is actually the lightweight in this group, as his sexual exploitation of children never got a chance to crescendo into an apocalyptic act of death and destruction.

Of course, Jim Jones remains the most darkly fascinating cult leader of them all, not only because of the hundreds of lives his madness snuffed out in the jungles of Guyana (including that of Congressman Leo Ryan) but also because we have the audiotapes of that final hour of the People's Temple. Survivors such as Tim Carter are also more than willing to talk about their experiences - so we know quite a bit about Jim Jones' maniacal madness. Most people should also be familiar with the imprisoned Warren Jeffs and his long list of crimes, while the flames of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco also remain fresh in the American psyche. This documentary's discussion of these aforementioned cults is quite good, but I would rather focus my attention on the less familiar cult examples showcased in this video.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on July 21, 2011
I was expecting more from this show than I got. I guess I'm not surprised considering it's coming from the History Channel, but this video seems to go for the dramatic and sensational at the expense of truly exploring the cults it documents. What I mean by that, using its coverage of Jonestown as an example, is that the video documents lots of photos and footage and has an exciting narrator and reveals all sorts of events that occurred, but not much about the underlying reasons people followed them. Not much on their doctrines, their actual practices. Not much about how they convinced people to join and stay. Even the former member they interviewed, they only used snippets of him talking about events, and not about how he became involved. I think this is definitely an important, if not THE most important, aspect of understanding cults, if we are to protect ourselves and others against becoming involved in them. If you want the basics of these cults and want to be creeped out by scary footage and photos, get this video. If you want an in-depth exploration of the mentality and methods behind these groups, look elsewhere.
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This product can be used well in high school or college psych classes within the realm of social psychology and conformity.
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