4 user 3 critic

Join Us (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 23 June 2007 (USA)
Award winning filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, follows four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. The film documents them as they enter ... See full summary »


Ondi Timoner


Ondi Timoner

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Raymund Melz Raymund Melz ... Himself
Deborah Melz Deborah Melz ... Herself
Joaquin Sullivan Joaquin Sullivan ... Himself
Liz Shaw Liz Shaw ... Herself
Tonya Rogers Tonya Rogers ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marshall Applewhite Marshall Applewhite ... Himself (archive footage)
Karen Chrisman Karen Chrisman ... Herself
Marc Crisman Marc Crisman ... Himself
Martin Crisman Martin Crisman ... Himself
Sean Crisman Sean Crisman ... Himself
Benjamin Dwyer Benjamin Dwyer ... Himself
Deidra Dwyer Deidra Dwyer ... Herself (as Diedra Lee Dwyer)
John Dwyer John Dwyer ... Himself
Zachariah Dwyer Zachariah Dwyer ... Himself
Jorge Ederly Jorge Ederly ... Himself


Award winning filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, follows four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. The film documents them as they enter Wellspring, the only accredited, live-in cult treatment facility in the world, where they learn the true extent of the brainwashing they have all experienced. Eventually they return home to bring the Pastor and his wife to justice and try to begin to rebuild their damaged lives. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There are thousands of cults in America, this is the story of one.




Not Rated


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 June 2007 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$10,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Raymund Melz: Either we become bitter or we become better.
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References Braveheart (1995) See more »


performed by Tristeza
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User Reviews

A film about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
10 April 2008 | by joinus2007See all my reviews

I agree with Robert Koehler's Variety review, which suggests a proper context for engaging with these characters and this subject matter:

"Skeptical viewers may wonder how such outwardly conventional and otherwise unremarkable people could allow themselves to be dominated by one man -- particularly someone like Melz, who comes off as a stern control freak on camera. Lifton and other experts remind that the very nature of belief, plus the power of a particularly strong leader, makes the mind vulnerable to cult-like obedience. It's this lesson, as well as the vivid recording of actual events, that makes "Join Us" an unusually useful doc."

Also, check out this review from Docuchick:

"Ondi Timoner hit the doc scene like Layne Staley hit the heroin — a long painful road that appeared fast and out of nowhere.

Timoner's seven-year-in-the-making-rock-doc DIG! won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize a few years ago and put her on the "scene" and this time around she's taken her study of Anton Newcombe's brainwashing abilities (on himself and those around him) and harnessed some of those themes in her new documentary film called JOIN US.

JOIN US reveals America is the world's breeding ground for Cults and religious fanatics, and JOIN US is a documentary that follows a group of individuals trying to separate themselves from this troubled reality. Stirring, emotional, and raw — JOIN US peeks inside the controversial and "hush-hush" world of religion and cults."

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