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A Very British Cult Review

Multi-level marketing schemes and online scams have been a special interest of mine for a while now, so to see this documentary on the BBC that focuses on a scam that is aimed at men rather than women was really interesting to watch.

A Very British Cult looks at a wellness company called Lighthouse that basically targets people into becoming better people and scamming them out of thousands of pounds. On the surface Lighthouse looks like a place that could be really inviting and encouraging to reach your goals, including people that are in the same mindset as you and can help you grow and learn along this journey, but as you dive deeper into the company as a whole you start to realise that things are a lot darker than they first appeared.

The most fascinating thing about this particular scam is that they try to bundle people together so that they become an echo chamber for the brand, this even includes members living together in house shares in one particular area to make sure that they are not being coerced or influenced by outside voices, and of course anyone in their lives who lived with them prior to this move or had some sort of stake in their lives are suddenly completely blindsided by this company.

The scariest thing for me was how easily people could get sucked into it and how they would use the people that you love already against you. One particular man was constantly told that his partner doesn’t actually love him and that she is a toxic person just because she didn’t believe in what he was doing, and had good reason for not believing it because she saw how much his expenses changed due to the cult. And while it may be hard to really identify this place as a cult because it doesn’t match up to all the things we imagine, it most definitely is one because it’s indoctrinating people into a certain way of life that they wouldn’t have done if they weren’t so heavily coerced.

But as I said at the beginning, this certain scheme is really interesting because it seems to target men more than women. Often we see women being targeted by these schemes because they’re the ones that stay home with the children, they’re the ones that don’t have too much of an income so want to make money on the side, but to see this particular group target men and how men can feel inferior in this day and age and no longer have the same masculinity that they used to is really terrifying, because we often believe men wouldn’t fall for these scams as easily as they clearly do.

This is a fantastic documentary that really lets you know about these sorts of scams online and how something as simple as thinking that you’re joining a book club could become something so much bigger and so much worse than you could ever imagine. I’m glad it seems that they are being shut down and that hopefully these people that are indoctrinated into it can come back to normal civilisation and rekindle those relationships they’ve lost because of this cult, but until we actually see that happen I worry that people will stay indoctrinated because they’re already too far gone.

What do you think of the documentary?

Until next time.

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