The past few weeks have ushered in the fast rise and even more breakneck fall of a previously little-known Tennessee commune, or intentional community, called The Garden when a couple of its members started producing compelling TikToks and inviting anyone and everyone to come visit them. The fact that they published their address on their TikToks and marketed The Garden as a kind of utopia raised red flags for many people as communities like this usually have a vetting process and don’t so blatantly market themselves. This led viewers to investigate The Garden, and the people currently living there, further, and to speculate even harder. Is The Garden a cult or just a bunch of people trying to live sustainably and save the Earth?
The first episode of A & E’s goes deeper into the bizarre Hollywood sex slave cult NXIVM partly led by Smallville actress Allison Mack. In a preview for the show, former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson recounts being branded at Allison Mack’s house with male leader Keith Raniere’s initials, but the brand also incorporates the initials of Allison Mack.
Friday's episode of Dr. Phil showcased the story of Jordan Reichenberger, a 27-year-old street preacher who disappeared off the streets of Austin on Halloween night 2016. His concerned family found Jordan days later in the small town of Wells TX, where the church is located. Residents of the town say it's a regular occurrence for the families of young adults to come there searching for their loved ones.
In recent years, a few reports have emerged about the controversial practices of a small East Texas church that ex-members refer to as a “cult.” The next two episodes of The Dr. Phil Show feature ex-members and their families describing what they went through. One man who appears on the episode airing today, entitled “Accusations of Drugging and Indoctrination: One man’s days inside the controversial Church of Wells,” claims he was “habitually drugged.”