A US WOMAN, said to have been inspired by photos of emaciated Jews in Nazi death camps to start a weight loss ministry, will shortly be featured in an HBO Max documentary, The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin. You can see the trailer here.
Shamblin may have been best known for her admission that she formed her views on dieting by looking at pictures of Jews during the Holocaust. She once told CNN’s Larry King, ‘How in the Holocaust did you have all these people getting down real skinny? They ate less food.’
Because it was their choice, right?
The Christian Post, in a headline that manages to appropriately misspell Shamblin’s name as SHAMlin, reveals that, in the five-part documentary, the crazy charlatan’s behaviour comes under fire in various interviews with people who were exposed to her faith-based diet plan – “The Weigh Down Workshop” – and her ministry, Remnant Fellowship Church in Tennessee.
The Remnant Fellowship is said to have more than 1,500 members and 150 congregations worldwide. Critics have often accused the ministry of being similar to a cult for its focus on weight loss and addiction.
HBO Max describes Lara’s ministry as having “a carefully curated image,” stating that she and her the church:
Fielded accusations of emotional, psychological and physical abuse, and exploitation for their alleged cult-like practices.
Following the fatal crash, the church founded in 1999 hailed the victims as:
Some of the finest and most loving people that you would ever come across.
The church also said that Shamblin’s work and ministry would continue after her death.
Finally, as far as Remnant Fellowship Church and Weigh Down Ministries are concerned, Michael Shamblin and Elizabeth Shamblin Hannah, Gwen’s two children, and the church leadership intend to continue the dream that Gwen Shamblin Lara [her full name] had of helping people find a relationship with God.
The first three episodes of the documentary begin on September 30, while the final two will air early next year.
If you intend watching the series, please don’t snack while doing so. It will only make Jesus cry.