“People have to be divided in order for them to be controlled.” I don’t know if there can be a better line to start my review of How to Become a Cult Leader.

There have been innumerable notorious cults in modern history. In fact, a cult is synonymous with such adjectives in general parlance.

Now, I am sure all of you must have watched many shows, read books, and crawled through articles trying to explore the idea of a cult.

Image Credits: Netflix

But what if there was to be a new documentary on the same topic but with an attractive twist?

How to Become a Cult Leader is new Netflix docuseries that serves as a handbook for you in case you wish to lead a group of indoctrinated individuals (I am sure you are not planning to).

As strange as it might sound, How to Become a Cult Leader churns out the stories of six infamous and scandalous cult leaders to connect with you on a narrative level.

How to Become a Cult Leader Synopsis

Basically, it is a satirical guide to becoming a cult leader. The show is spread across six episodes, each carrying the story of a cult leader.

And who are those six megalomaniacs? Well, the list includes, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Jaimie Gomez, Marshall Applewhite, Shoko Asahara, and Sun Myung Moon.

The narrative is divided into six parts: How to build your foundation, grow your flock, control minds, offer salvation, protect your image, and, finally, how to endure forever.

How to Become a Cult Leader is narrated by the legendary American actor Peter Dinklage.

What Works for How to Become a Cult Leader?

The brilliance of the series lies in its authenticity. It’s interesting and it is real. For me, intrigue matters the most even in a docuseries, for that’s how you are glued to the screen in the first place.

Real members of specific cult groups share their experiences and horrors without hesitation, adding a chilling dimension to the narrative.

There are writers, psychology experts, and researchers who drop significant descriptions in easy words.

Image Credits: Netflix

People like me, who are unaware of the American history of cults, get a hold of the 1950s and why it was the most vulnerable time for people, leading to the arrival of opportunists in cult leaders.

Moreover, the series exhibits smart storytelling, artfully connecting the stories of cult leaders in chronological order. 

Starting with Charles Manson, who didn’t achieve great prominence, the show strategically builds up to the most influential figures. 

This progression keeps viewers engaged, as they witness the gradual evolution of cult leadership.

The cherry on top is the narration by Peter Dinklage. He makes the series even more captivating. Dinklage’s quirky and engaging narration balances the gravity of the subject matter, occasionally even evoking laughter. 

His presence elevates the entire experience, ensuring that even in serious moments, the audience can appreciate a lighter side.

The pacing of How to Become a Cult Leader is commendable, never allowing the story to stagnate or become dull. 

Image Credits: Netflix

Its episodes are just the right length, complemented by a wealth of watchable real footage. This combination keeps the audience invested and craving more.

One standout feature is the use of examples within the narrative. The show draws parallels by showcasing other cults, even though they are not the primary focus. 

It provides a deeper context and a broader understanding of the patterns and strategies employed by cult leaders.

What Doesn’t Work for How to Become a Cult Leader?

There’s nothing exhaustively wrong about the documentary as such. In fact, I would love another season, if it is under work.

Should You Stream or Skip How to Become a Cult Leader?

Go ahead and watch it on Netflix.

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