19 March 2018 | shaunvanhaelewijn
I grew up in a Cult as a child. This is portrayed perfect.
The last two years I've been absolutely astonished about the sheer quality of docu-series Netflix has been bringing out. "Making a murderer", "Flint town", "The Keepers", to name a few.
But this one was especially on some level really emotional for me. As I myself was raised in a Indian cult. Not this one, but many aspects are almost identical. I am now 27 and I still struggle on a daily base with many things that were taught to me at such a young age. What struck me was how well portrayed this guy was. The almost hypnotically way he could look, and even walk, got people in some sort of a trance. I myself experienced many times where we saw our "Guru" talk, and he had the same aura that also Baghwan has. The other aspect that struck me was them talking about following, but you could feel they actually were all deeply in love with him. A cult leader is not someone you follow, you fall deeply and madly in love with him. This happened to my mother and even after leaving almost 15 years ago, she still can't stop looking to this new love. She never became a stable person again in her life.
The docu itself should be an example to future docu makers. The pacing is nearly perfect. The interviews are well paced, just a few people on different sides, and somehow you all get some sort of attachment to their side of the story. You strongly get the feeling from episode one that nothing is black and white. And that all of these people strongly believed in their cause. There is no one who had the complete truth or did the complete right thing. And Baghwan is equal mysterious in this documentary than in real life. Somehow they don't try to explain the person Baghwan, because you simply cannot explain him. In that way his followers were absolutely right. He is a one of a kind person, and to others he was a con man. For me? He is something in between.