After Keep Sweet: Pray And Obey, 10 other Netflix documentaries to watch
Since he started, Be Gentle: Pray and Obeythe in-depth documentary chronicling the rise and fall of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leader Warren Jeffs, has become one of the most talked about Netflix shows of 2022. Over the course of four episodes , the series delves into the life and times of a notorious religious figure and how he was ultimately brought to justice for crimes committed against his followers.
If you’ve watched the real crime series before and want to check out more titles that capture some of the same feelings, tackle similar topics, or focus on massive crime investigations, there are plenty of Netflix documentaries that fit the mold, like The 10 titles found below…
Our Father (Netflix)
The 2022 Netflix Documentary Our father centers on a group of seemingly random strangers who discover that not only are they all half-siblings, but that their biological father was the fertility specialist who helped their parents have children. As the story unfolds and more siblings are found, the seriousness of Dr. Donald Cline’s scheme becomes all the more serious.
Although devastating, heartbreaking and unnerving, Our father is incredible in its scope and scale. As the documentary unfolds, more of Cline’s crimes are exposed to her children who wonder how many new siblings are waiting to be found.
Stream Our Father on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
Murder Among Mormons (Netflix)
One of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix since its release in 2021, Murder Among Mormons focuses on the investigation of three pipe bombings in Salt Lake City (the home of the Latter Day Saints) that shook the church and community when two of its members were killed in 1985.
Murder Among Mormons shows how the bombings by forger Mark Hoffman impacted the Latter-day Saint community.
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Released in 2017, The gardians tells the story of Cathy Cesnik, a nun and teacher at Baltimore Catholic High School who mysteriously disappeared in November 1969 before being found dead a few months later. However, the high-profile case went unsolved for decades before resurfacing when one of the murdered woman’s students came forward with new information about the murder and the alleged cover-up by church officials.
One of the things that works The gardians This is how it focuses on more than crime with an expansive scope and scale that delves into how the Catholic community and all of Baltimore has been affected by it.
Stream The Keepers on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
Savage Savage Country (Netflix)
The documentary series in six episodes wild wild country chronicles the rise and fall of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru who formed a popular and incredibly controversial commune in the rugged wilderness of Oregon in the late 20th century. But as the series unfolds, it becomes painfully clear that a utopia cannot last forever, especially when multiple crimes are committed within its confines.
wild wild country and Be Gentle: Pray and Obey share some commonalities, including in-depth explorations of religious/spiritual movements, how people are welcomed by these communities and later trapped, and how the powerful figures behind the groups abuse their power as much as they abuse their followers, both physically and spiritually.
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Removed in Plain Sight (Netflix)
Released in 2019, Removed in plain sight tells the story of Jan Broberg Felt, who was kidnapped not once but twice during the 1970s. To make matters worse, it was not a stranger who took the girl from her home, but a friend close to the family of their close-knit Mormon community in Idaho.
Although not necessarily a pleasant experience, Removed in plain sight is almost obligatory for those who watched Be Gentle: Pray and Obey and want to know about other crimes that have been committed by trusted members in close-knit religious communities.
Stream Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
Pray Away (Netflix)
The 2021 documentary pray away focuses on the controversial “conversion therapy” movement across the United States and how its survivors and former leaders are still coping with the impact it had on the LGBTQ+ community all these years later .
pray away and Be Gentle: Pray and Obey It might seem like they don’t have much in common besides having titles that feature the word “pray” in the title, but it goes much deeper than that. Both documentaries do a wonderful job of showing how religious leaders can use their faith as a form of control that can cause great harm.
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The Family (Netflix)
The five-part docuseries Family tells the story of a conservative Christian group that used its influence and power to become one of the major players in American politics, and the various crimes, scandals and investigations that followed its members in Washington, D.C.
Again, this is a political documentary series that shows how those in high office can use their power to gain control and do what they can to keep it, no matter what it takes or who is hurt in the process.
Stream The Family on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
Also try: Children of God on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
One of Us (Netflix)
The documentary film of 2017 one of us tells the story of Ari Hershkowitz, Luzer Twersky and Etty Ausch, three former members of Brooklyn’s Hasidic community who decided to leave behind everything they had ever known in order to escape a world of pain, grief and abuse.
Those who are interested in seeing how the decisions of a religious leader can impact their community in Be Gentle: Pray and Obey will be more than familiar with the subject in one of us.
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The Staircase (Netflix)
Before being made into an HBO Max limited series starring Colin Firth, The staircase was a 13-part documentary series detailing the murder of Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband, novelist Michael Peterson, who was arrested and charged in connection with her mysterious death in 2001.
Unlike most of the documentaries on this list, The staircase does not primarily focus on a particular religious group that has been swept away by a charismatic leader, although it does deal with an oversized personality with a closet full of skeletons.
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Inside the Criminal Mind (Netflix)
The documentary series In the criminal mind is divided into four episodes, each dealing with a different type of criminal – serial killers, kidnappers, cult leaders and crime lords – with parts dedicated to names like Jeffrey Dahmer, Pablo Escobar, Charles Manson and more others.
One of the main subjects of the episode “Cult Leaders” is Warren Jeffs, the key figure in Be Gentle: Pray and Obey. While not as in-depth or insightful as 2022’s multi-part series, In the criminal mind puts the man and his crimes in context, especially in relation to other notorious characters.
Stream Inside the Criminal Mind on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
Each of these documentaries offers something different to people who have watched Be Gentle: Pray and Obey, especially for those who want to learn more about similar situations and powerful religious leaders. But remember, you’ll need an active Netflix subscription to enjoy these and similar docs.