Love Has Won: Love Has Won
November 27, 2023 11:13 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Tells the story of Amy Carlson and the obscure religious group "Love Has Won" led by her.

Streaming on Max - this 3 part documentary explores the workings of the "Love Has Won" cult as framed by the April 28, 2021 discovery of Amy Carlson's mummified corpse wrapped in blankets and Christmas lights in Crestone, Colorado.

One part New Age spiritualism, one part internet hustle and one part QAnon with a heap of cult controls all centered around Amy Carlson's claims of being "Mother God"
posted by drewbage1847 (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is disturbing in a way that other documentaries about cults haven't been. I think that's because a lot of the people involved (it was never that big of a cult, to be honest) are still believers. The documentary isn't outwardly critical toward these people -- if anything, it's empathetic toward them -- but I still think director Hannah Olson's opinions are pretty clear.

Their beliefs are such a weird mishmash and while Carlson had her charms, she still came across like a weird person to have a cult around her. I appreciate there was no speculation about her mental health and just presented the facts for the most part.

In the end, I don't know how much Carlson believed or how much she was just trapped by the circumstances she'd created for herself. Or both. Clearly this cult enabled her addictions and eating disorder (even while being abused by her) and it's just really bleak all the way around. (And that they kept her body around for weeks is ... yeah.)

Rebecca Solnit once wrote something like that she understands why people turn to cults as adults because they want the comfort of being told what to do like when they were children. I see that in a lot of the people who followed Carlson. Or maybe with her, they found a sense of family they were lacking. That just became toxic for everyone involved.

This just left me feeling sad for everyone involved.
posted by edencosmic at 1:18 PM on November 28, 2023 [4 favorites]

My wife and I sat and watched this whole thing with jaws dropped. It felt like the first time I'd ever really seen a cult where the leader was just as abused as the followers and that the real con artist in the cult was the guy with all the money at the end of the day.

As that third episode went on and she got weaker and was actively dying all I could do was recoil at the cruelty of it all.

And absolutely zero surprise on my part that at least one of the followers is a QAnon follower as well
posted by drewbage1847 at 3:24 PM on November 28, 2023 [2 favorites]

It seems the financial guy didn't clean them out until they turned up with her body. Guess he could have kept the grift going with "Father God", but decided to roll up shop at that point.
posted by Julnyes at 1:45 PM on December 5, 2023

Holy shit, I binged this yesterday and my jaw is still on the floor.

I can't imagine how emotionally or mentally damaged you'd have to be to find your Mother God and Father God in a perpetually hammered controlling narcissist and a meth-head ex-con grifter with a hair-trigger temper.

What wasn't explained was what the actual philosophy of the group/religion was, other than the collage of dead celebs (& Trump) who were apparently channelling via Mother God. I wonder if she actually believed it all, or saw it as a way to get lots of free stuff. Because, wow, did she like stuff.

Seeing her slow decline towards death was horrifying and it was obvious to me (recovering alcoholic) that she was dying of alcoholism. Add the colloidal silver on top of that, and I can imagine it was a horrific and painful death.

I absolutely loved the newspaper reporter woman, who described herself as half-redneck, half-hippie.

I'd also love to know why 'Father God' was wearing an ankle monitor during the segment where he was being interviewed, as this appeared to be long after it had been decided no charges would be filed against anyone.

Financial guy was savvy to have everything in his name. He was probably the only person who had a bank account amongst the lot of them.
posted by essexjan at 9:35 AM on December 6, 2023

I really want to know more about financial guy and his relationship with Amy. And they kind of glossed over how much they were tripping on mushrooms. And no mention of sex shenanigans other than the various guys admitting that they had "been physical" with Mother. It was cult refreshing that all the women weren't walking around perpetually pregnant. Though interesting how darn cute and adorable all these young women were. They aren't going to stay that way with the smoking and anorexia. Is this all a case of severe narcissism and mushrooms plus bog standard capitalist alienation? Didn't Amy have 3 children?
posted by amanda at 6:11 AM on December 7, 2023

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