10 Essential Movies & Documentaries About Cults
"The Master" (2012)
Paul Thomas Anderson has admitted that his latest movie is "loosely based" on the early years of L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology. But as a bit of an amateur Scientology expert/obsessive myself, I can assure you that "The Master" is actually heavily based on the trajectory of Hubbard's organization, with many of the fictional cult's teachings and methods nearly exactly mimicking those of Scientology.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, the leader of The Cause, while Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie, a wayward drunk former soldier who is sucked in by Dodd's fatherly demeanor and promises that his philosophical teachings could cure what ails him. To Dodd, taming Freddie presents the ultimate challenge.