THE DARKNESS WITHIN LA LUZ DEL MUNDO on Netflix is a new documentary feature from Mexico. The focus of the documentary is the abuse by select church leaders. It has a focus on the victims and isn’t easy to watch. Read our The Darkness Within La Luz del Mundo documentary review here!
THE DARKNESS WITHIN LA LUZ DEL MUNDO is a new Netflix documentary about the true crimes taking place in a church. The subject is nothing new (unfortunately!), but these documentaries that focus on the victims are still relatively new. We hear directly from those who were abused and also from some of their close family.
Of course, for most of them, speaking up has cost them their families. This is exactly what we see happening in many of these cases; The church wins most of the time. And yes, we do also hear from several people still in the church as well as those who have decided to leave.
Continue reading our The Darkness Within La Luz del Mundo documentary review below. Find it on Netflix from September 28, 2023.
Organized religion is the devil
I am no fan of organized religion. In fact, I think there’s quite a lot of proof that it appears to be the work of the devil more than any God. We’ve already reviewed quite a few documentaries where organized religion has caused so much pain and suffering for those, who worship within their specific church.
The story in The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo is no exception. In fact, it isn’t even that different from some of the other documentaries we’ve watched and reviewed on this particular niche within true crime documentaries. This makes it all the more sad and angering, but at least these crimes are brought forward.
As you watch The Darkness with La Luz del Mundo, you’ll see aspects of this particular church that are also part of other organized religions. From mass weddings where the leader decides who gets to marry each other to the abuse of children.
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In 2019, Naasón Joaquín García, the leader of La Iglesia de La Luz del Mundo – and, lest we forget, a self-proclaimed “Apostle of Jesus Christ” – was arrested in the United States. The 26 charges included some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. From human trafficking to rape and even child pornography.
Multiple whistleblowers enabled victims to finally seek justice while there’s an ongoing battle with a congregation that continues to defend their church leader. After all, he was appointed by both Jesus and God and everyone else that matter, I’m sure. Well, according to himself, anyway.
Again, I am no fan of organized religion.
Maybe it should have been a mini-series?!
One could easily argue that it’s too long in its nearly two hours of runtime. However, I don’t think the issue is with the amount of minutes, but rather how it’s built. I love that the victims are finally heard, but it’s a very dark story, and watching it for two hours is hard. I want to watch it and hear their stories, but it’s almost too much to take in at once.
Instead of a documentary feature, this true crime case could’ve been presented as a mini-series in three episodes. Focusing first on telling the origin story of the La Luz del Mundo church, then how it evolved and the beginning of the sexual abuse, and finally the trial and aftermath of this.
To be fair, this is essentially the outline of the documentary. It’s just that the subject is so dark and heavy that it could’ve been a good idea to break it up. Well, it would’ve worked better for me, anyway.
Watch The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo on Netflix now!
The filmmaker of this important Netflix documentary is Carlos Perez Osorio. We’ve also reviewed his documentary The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo which you should check out as well. The two documentaries have very different subjects, so it’s not that you need to watch before the other.
Carlos Perez Osorio is proving to be a strong documentarist who looks at various important true crime cases from Mexico. This is a Mexican production (org. title: La oscuridad de La Luz del Mundo), which means it was made where this church has its headquarters.
Also, he consistently has a focus on the victims, which is something I always want to applaud. For this documentary in particular, it makes all the difference. This is their story so it’s paramount that they get to tell it themselves.
The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo is on Netflix from September 28, 2023.
For the first time, complainants against La Luz del Mundo megachurch leaders expose the abuses they suffered through exclusive interviews.