Rolling Stone reports that the new, fascinating HBO docuseries Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God explores the strange, tragic world of a modern-day cult. The hallmarks of their belief system: awaiting the redemptive return of deceased luminaries, supposedly led by the spirit of comedian and actor Robin Williams.
The HBO series also explores the lives of Carlson’s followers, who firmly believed in a reality greatly removed from the conventional.
They also apparently “received” psychic messages from Williams, which furthered the group’s detachment from reality. The extreme practices and beliefs of the Love Has Won cult, the Hannah-directed documentary details, led to the tragic passing of its leader, Amy Carlson.
Police discovered Carlson’s mummified body encased in a sleeping bag and Christmas lights in April 2021. She led a life that rocketed from the normal to the extraordinary. Previously a McDonald’s manager in Dallas, Texas, her path veered radically into a dark and strange direction after consuming ecstasy, leading her to believe she was a divine, reincarnated entity.
Love Has Won depicts a vivid, albeit disturbing picture of her transformation from a young, outwardly ordinary woman to an emaciated shaman, lost in a maze of her own distorted beliefs.
The HBO series also explores the lives of Carlson’s followers, who firmly believed in a reality greatly removed from the conventional. In particular, they embraced concepts like 5D living and “final ascension.” The followers also sported titles like Commander Buddha and Archeia Hope—all of whom formed a surrogate family around Carlson, serving her every whim and, much worse, enabling her destructive lifestyle.
The hallmarks of their belief system: awaiting the redemptive return of deceased luminaries, supposedly led by the spirit of comedian and actor Robin Williams.
Love Has Won additionally explores the cult’s surprisingly robust financial operations. These include selling various “lifestyle brand” items online—creams, gels, etc.—to fund their activities and Carlson’s extravagant demands. Their apparent prosperity gospel aside, the documentary portrays a band of true, genuine believers immersed in their faith.
Born in 1951 in Chicago, Robin Williams, the actor revered by the cult, was a versatile talent and hugely adored comedian, famed for his improvisational skills and wide range of voices. After studying at the prestigious Julliard School in Manhattan, Williams emerged into fame with his role as the alien Mork on the TV series Mork & Mindy.
Love Has Won advances a chilling story—that of a group growing so alienated from societal norms that their only solace lies in their leader’s delusions.
Long before the strange darkness of Love Has Won and the cult that would obsess over him, the actor’s career embodied a winsome blend of crowd-pleasing comedy and nuanced drama. Williams won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Good Will Hunting. He also earned acclaim for his roles in films like Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Aladdin. Truly, his high-energy, even frenetic style and knack for rapidly shifting between hilarity and poignancy endeared him to audiences.
The actor’s untimely passing in 2014 saddened the world, leaving behind a legacy of laughter, pathos, and an immense, profound impact.
Ultimately, Love Has Won advances a chilling story—that of a group growing so alienated from societal norms that their only solace lies in their leader’s delusions. It’s a tale oscillating between sadness and horror; audiences will witness extreme degrees of manipulation and delusion, all eventuating a woman’s death, along with the destruction of many lives.
All of which amounts to a stark reminder of the dangers behind blind faith, alongside the profound human costs of extreme belief systems.