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The Gospel of Gwen Shamblin, the Weight-Loss Cult Leader Who Poisoned Women’s Brains

The Remnant Fellowship Church is a non secular cult that peddles weight-loss applications and Marina Zenovich’s HBO Max docuseries The Approach Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin (Sept. 30) exposes its nefarious marriage of Christian zealotry and self-image counseling. Based by Gwen Shamblin, who had initially risen to fame and fortune courtesy of her The Weigh Down Workshop food plan enterprise, the Remnant Fellowship Church operated as a shameless money-making enterprise for its creator, who acted like a prophet and demanded full obedience from her acolytes. Child abuse, misogynistic sexual manipulation, and murder soon followed, though the destiny of the group stays, at the moment, up within the air, since on Might 29, 2021, Shamblin, her husband Joe, and 5 different church members perished in a airplane crash.

A five-part non-fiction sequence whose last two installments will arrive in early 2022 (and can presumably deal with each Shamblin’s upbringing and the fallout from her demise), The Approach Down is the story of a Tennessee native whose childhood within the Church of Christ—an ultra-conservative Protestant motion that didn’t enable ladies to talk, pray or preach in public—taught her the worth of asserting domination by way of strict biblical doctrine. On the similar time, her fixed private struggles with weight all through her faculty years led to her to check diet. Earlier than lengthy, she had mixed her two favourite pursuits into one useful resolution for the ladies of America: The Weigh Down Workshop, which forwarded the concept women should only eat when they feel hunger pains, and to in any other case convert their cravings into worship of the Lord.

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The Remnant Fellowship Church

HBO Max

The Weigh Down Workshop was a brand new twist on an age-old technique (generally generally known as “intuitive consuming”), however Shamblin’s charismatic character and non secular fervor helped flip it right into a worthwhile enterprise, and rapidly put her on the national-media radar. Finally spreading to international locations around the globe, Shamblin’s Weigh Down Workshops grew to become a phenomenon, this even though they have been clearly pushed by revenue. As quite a few Remnant members recall, Workshop occasions have been designed to hawk Shamblin’s books and movies, and to solicit donations (first items, then simply money) from attendees. By 1999, the Weigh Down Workshop had grow to be such a profitable enterprise, and Shamblin had remodeled herself into such a revered guru, that she took the subsequent logical step and established the Remnant Fellowship Church, which Workshop staff and members have been anticipated to affix.

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