HBO Max has released the trailer for The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin, an original docuseries which premieres its first part on the platform next week. The five-part series will unveil the story of the late Gwen Shamblin Lara, a woman who made a whole bunch of people believe God gave her a secret formula to help people lose weight – and then made a highly successful career out of it.
The trailer provides some insight into what the docuseries will cover. It includes Shamblin’s best-selling book The Weigh Down, how people felt so compelled by her methods, the start of the Christian-based diet program (yes, you read that right), and the way she became the head of a religious cult, all the while her hair grew wildly – seriously, what was up with that hair?
The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin is directed by two-time Emmy winner Marina Zenovich. The filmmaker is no stranger to chronicling lives; she has directed documentaries about prominent figures such as Roman Polanski, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, and Lance Armstrong.
HBO Max will release the first three parts of the docuseries on September 30. The final two episodes are set to come in early 2022. Check out the trailer below:
Here’s the official synopsis for The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin:
After rising to fame with her Weigh Down Workshop, a Christian-based diet program that preached slenderness as next to godliness, Gwen Shamblin Lara founded the Tennessee-based church. Despite a carefully curated image, Lara and the church soon fielded accusations of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse, and exploitation for their alleged cult-like practices. Encompassing years of investigation and extensive interviews with former members and others personally impacted, THE WAY DOWN explores the legacy of Remnant’s infamous leader –whose life came to a shocking end after a plane crash in May 2021.