Ever since making its debut, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, the in-depth documentary chronicling the rise and fall of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs has become one of the most talked about 2022 Netflix shows. Over the course of four episodes, the series dives into the life and times of notorious religious figure and how he was eventually brought to justice for crimes committed against his congregates.
If you have already watched the true crime series and want to check out other titles that capture some of the same feelings, touch on similar subject matter, or center on massive criminal investigations, there are plenty of Netflix documentaries that fit the mold, like the 10 titles found below…
Our Father (Netflix)
The 2022 Netflix documentary Our Father centers on a group of seemingly random strangers who discover that not only are they all half-siblings, their biological father was the fertility specialist who assisted their parents in having children. As the story unfolds and more brothers and sisters are found, the gravity of Dr. Donald Cline’s scheme becomes all the more severe.
Although devastating, heartbreaking, and unnerving, Our Father is incredible in its scope and scale. As the documentary plays out, more of Cline's crimes are exposed to his children who are left wondering how many new siblings are out there waiting to be found.
Murder Among The Mormons (Netflix)
One of the best true crime documentaries on Netflix since its release in 2021, Murder Among the Mormons centers on the investigation of three pipe bomb attacks in Salt Lake City (the home of the Latter-Day Saints) that rocked the church and community when two of its members were killed in 1985.
Murder Among the Mormons shows how the bombings committed by forger Mark Hoffman had an impact on the Latter-Day Saints community.
The Keepers (Netflix)
Released in 2017, The Keepers chronicles the story of Cathy Cesnik, a nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore who mysteriously disappeared in November 1969 before being found dead a few months later. However, the high profile case remained unsolved for decades before it resurfaced when one of the murdered woman’s students came forward with new information about the killing and alleged cover-up by church officials.
One of the things that works about The Keepers is how it focuses on more than just the crime with a wide scope and scale that dives into how the Catholic community and all of Baltimore was impacted by it.
Wild Wild Country (Netflix)
The six-part documentary series Wild Wild Country recounts the rise and fall of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian guru who formed a popular and incredibly controversial commune in the rugged Oregon wilderness in the latter part of the 20th Century. But as the series unfolds, it becomes painfully clear that a utopia can’t last forever, especially when multiple crimes are being committed within its confines.
Wild Wild Country and Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey share a few things in common, including in-depth explorations of religious/spiritual movements, how people are welcomed by those communities and later trapped, and how powerful figures behind the groups abuse their power as much as they abuse their followers, both physically and spiritually.
Abducted In Plain Sight (Netflix)
Released in 2019, Abducted in Plain Sight tells the story of Jan Broberg Felt, who was kidnapped not once but twice throughout the 1970s. To make matters worse, it wasn’t a stranger who took the young girl from her home, but a close family friend from their close-knit Mormon community in Idaho.
Although not necessarily an enjoyable experience, Abducted in Plain Sight is almost required viewing for those who have watched Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey and want to know more about other crimes that were committed by trusted members in close-knit religious communities.
Pray Away (Netflix)
The 2021 documentary Pray Away centers on the controversial “conversion therapy” movement throughout the United States and how its survivors and former leaders are still dealing with the impact it had on the LGBTQ+ community all these years later.
Pray Away and Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey may seem like they don’t have much in common besides both having titles featuring the word “pray” in the title but it goes much deeper than that. Both documentaries do a tremendous job of showing how religious leaders can use their faith as a form of control that can cause great harm.
The Family (Netflix)
The five-part docuseries The Family tells the story of a conservative Christian group who used its influence and power to become one of the major players in American politics, as well as the various crimes, scandals, and investigations that followed its members around Washington, D.C.
Again, this is a political documentary series that shows how those in prominent positions can use their power to take control and do what they can to hold onto it no matter what it takes or who gets hurt in the process.
One Of Us (Netflix)
The 2017 documentary film One of Us tells the story of Ari Hershkowitz, Luzer Twersky, and Etty Ausch, three former members of the Hasidic community in Brooklyn who decided to leave everything they’ve ever known behind in order to escape a world of pain, sorrow, and abuse.
Those who took interest in seeing how the decisions of a religious leader can impact their community in Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey will be more than familiar with the subject matter in One of Us.
The Staircase (Netflix)
Before being turned into an HBO Max limited series starring Colin Firth, The Staircase was a 13-part documentary series detailing the murder of Kathleen Peterson and the trial of her husband, novelist Michael Peterson, who was arrested and charged in connection with her mysterious 2001 death.
Unlike most of the documentaries on this list, The Staircase doesn’t put its primary focus on a particular religious group who was swept away by a charismatic leader, though it does deal with an oversized personality with a closet full of skeletons.
Inside The Criminal Mind (Netflix)
The documentary series Inside the Criminal Mind is broken up into four episodes, with each dealing with a different type of criminal — serial killers, kidnappers, cult leaders, and crime lords — with portions dedicated to names like Jeffrey Dahmer, Pablo Escobar, Charles Manson, and several others.
One of the main topics of the “Cult Leaders” episode is Warren Jeffs, the key figure in Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey. Although not as in-depth or insightful as the 2022 multi-part series, Inside the Criminal Mind puts the man and his crimes into context, especially when compared to other notorious figures.
Each of these documentaries offer something different for people who watched Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, especially for those who want to learn more about similar situations and powerful religious leaders. But remember, you will need an active Netflix subscription to enjoy these docs and others like them.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.