Lebaron Family Documentary Daughters of the Cult is not on Netflix. Daughters of the Cult is a five-part documentary series produced by ABC News Studios that features interviews with surviving ex-members of a Mormon fundamentalist cult led by Ervil LeBaron, who ordered the assassination of countless opponents.
Hulu has just released a stunning documentary series on Ervil LeBaron, the head of a homicidal polygamous fundamentalist sect – here’s everything you need to know about Daughters of the Cult, including the plot and who’s in it.
Several documentaries about cults and their nefarious leaders were released at the end of 2023, including Netflix’s Escaping Twin Flames, HBO’s Love Has Won series centred on Amy Carlson, aka “Mother God,” and Paramount Plus’ Born in Synanon and its investigation of Charles E. “Chuck” Dederich.
The fact that the latest batch of cult-based programming includes interviews and perspectives from those who lived through it is what makes it so powerful. This is certainly true with Daughters of the Cult, which is told through the perspective of LeBaron’s descendants.
With all of Daughters of the Cult’s episodes now available on Hulu, here’s everything you need to know about the documentary series.
Polygamy was no longer tolerated by the Mormon church by the early twentieth century. However, this did not prevent renegade fundamentalist believers in the practice from settling in Mexico with their followers. By the late 1960s, Ervin LeBaron and his brothers Joel and Verlan had established a crude colony in Chihuahua for their flock. Joel was the prophet of The Church of the First Born of the Fullness of Times, which celebrated multiple marriage, while Ervin was the charismatic face man, persuading people to the cause and keeping the tithes coming in. Ervin, on the other hand, want more power and control over the financial juice. Soon after, he broke away from his brethren to found The Church of the Lamb of God, with himself as the sole prophet.
“I was fully convinced that we were God’s people,” Celia LeBaron writes in Daughters of the Cult. “And even losing my sister could not shake my faith.” Celia, Anna, their brother Hyrum, and all of their siblings were raised to accept Ervin’s every command, which he frequently claimed came directly from the god. Weapons training became mandatory as well, particularly after Ervin adopted the notion of “Blood Atonement.” What Mormon historian and blogger Lindsay Hansen Park described as a defunct tenant of the mainline LDS church became important to Ervin’s thinking system, providing justification for murdering any perceived rivals, including his siblings and other fundamentalist leaders.
Daughters of the Cult will dive more into Ervin LeBaron’s grip over his children and followers, which finally led to over 30 homicides, some perpetrated after his capture via jailhouse order laced with religious zealotry. Brainwashing, coercion of young women into sexual relationships and plural marriages with older men, and the experiences of Anna and Celia, first as children forced into a life on the run and then as those who escaped the cult – it’s a true crime stew curdled in fear and the nature of one man’s murderous, greedy god complex.