When a controversial guru builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, it causes a massive conflict with local ranchers. This docuseries chronicles the conflict, which leads to the first bioterror attack in the United States and a massive case of illegal wiretapping. It is a pivotal, but largely forgotten, time in American cultural history that tested the country's tolerance for the separation of church and state.Just watching the first two episodes alone provide a terrific insight into many of the ideas and topics from class. You will get fresh insight into why people are drawn to new religious movements and how those movements encounter tension with their surrounding environments. The creators of the documentary do an excellent job of letting both members of the group and members of the surrounding community provide their sides of the story.
Watching the series is not required for the class, but it is a great opportunity for you to see how many of the ideas we have discussed come to life in the real world.