The Paramount Network's Branch Davidian mini-series Waco comes to a close tonight, so it's time to start thinking about what's the next cult story to obsess over. Enter Netflix with Wild Wild Country, a documentary series about the curious case of Rajneeshpuram. Based on the trailer, we know how we'll be spending our St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Rajneeshpuram was a community of followers of controversial spiritual leader Rajneesh in rural Oregon that came in serious conflict with its neighbors in the town of Antelope in the early-to-mid '80s. The well-armed group conjured up uncomfortable specters of Jonestown, a comparison that reached its apotheosis when the Rajneeshees intentionally spread salmonella throughout restaurants in the Dalles, Oregon — an event which is still the largest bioterror attack in U.S. history — and plotted to assassinate Charles Turner, the U.S. Attorney tasked with investigating them.
It's a weirdly under-remembered story, but Wild Wild Country is going to change that. Told through a combination of archival footage and contemporary interviews, it asks questions about the difference between a cult and a religion and who the American legal system is designed to serve.
Wild Wild Country premieres on Netflix Friday, March 16.