Religion is on the rise. 20,000 movements worldwide are based on beliefs as diverse as Oriental religons, esoteric therapies, Middle Age chivalry, Egyptian mythology, UFO's, angels and other New Age concerns.
Most average no more than 400 members and attract little attention. Others, like Heaven's Gate are very disturbing. They grabbed headlines when adherents committed suicide to join extra-terrestrials on a spaceship they believed trailed a comet.
This wide-ranging 2 part documentary casts an objective eye on an unsettling phenomenon to find out what motivates believers and why the trend is growing.
The film explores extreme sects, as well as popular movements like the atheist and affluent Church of Scientology in America and the Japanese-based Soka Gakkaï both of which promise members total happiness on earth.
Interviews with individuals who have first-hand experience, other witnesses, expert observers and archival records give viewers a unique window on the new religious landscape.