Television’s #1 home for true crime programming, Investigation Discovery (ID), and leading entertainment news brand, PEOPLE, announced today the premiere of PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS. Returning for its sophomore season, PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS delves into the twisted world of cults, exploring just how destructive and dangerous they can be to members and their families. The six-episode new season of PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS is produced by Lucky 8 and premieres Monday, June 3 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.
Anchored by the reporting of PEOPLE’s esteemed true crime editorial team, each episode follows one infamous cult from its creation, as power-hungry cult leaders use manipulation, sex and fear mongering to control and dominate their followers into blind loyalty. From “Children of God” to the Manson family, PEOPLE’s award-winning journalists are in the field exposing the abusive rituals and brutal conditions that exist within these organizations. The team speaks exclusively to survivors who narrowly escaped and are attempting to rebuild their lives outside the confines of these rigid and criminal organizations.
“The stories told from those who have escaped from these cults are incredibly harrowing – truly, stranger than fiction – which is why they both captivate and so intrigue our viewers,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. “ID continues our extremely successful partnership with PEOPLE for this new season, as they bring their expert reporting to our viewers on these secret societies that so often seek to dominate and control their innocent followers.”
“PEOPLE’s captivating true crime reporting continues to fascinate audiences with real stories that could happen anywhere in America,” said Dan Wakeford, Editor in Chief, PEOPLE. “ID is the perfect partner for these stories, which not only investigate the crimes, but also pay tribute to the victims.”
In the premiere episode of PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS, David Berg begins preaching an all-embracing gospel in the late 1960s. He quickly gains followers, including actor River Phoenix’s family, creating communes around the world forming the “Children of God”. However, Father David’s free love message gradually becomes sinister, as devotees are taught to give their bodies to whomever desires them. Adults must engage in religious prostitution, and children are required to have and observe sex starting at a very young age. Members of the cult are also subjected to violence in prison camps across the globe, where they are banned from having any communication with the outside world. Then, in 2005, Ricky Rodriguez, raised as the cult’s Prince, kills his former nanny and sexual abuser, and then himself – in an attempt to finally bring down the cult for good. Now, PEOPLE’s true crime team sits down exclusively with Christina Babin and Jemima Farris, survivors of “Children of God”, to hear their stories first-hand as they reveal their personal experiences of what happened under David Berg’s helm.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE INVESTIGATES: CULTS is produced for Investigation Discovery by Lucky 8, with Greg Henry, Kim Woodard, Isaac Holub and Dahlia Damaghi as executive producers and Dan Messina as supervising producer. For PEOPLE, Dan Wakeford and Alicia Dennis are executive producers. For Investigation Discovery, Liz Massie is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President.