The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo Review

By Romey Norton
Published: September 28, 2023 (Last updated: October 4, 2023)
The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo Review - Netflix documentary


This disturbing documentary offers a deep insight into the La Luz del Mundo church and its generations of abusive leaders. It’s gut-wrenching, compelling viewing.

Netflix brings a documentary about the abuse that happens behind closed doors in what should be a sacred and safe space. In this gut-wrenching documentary, The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo, which we review, survivors share their stories of how they were abused by three generations of La Luz del Mundo church leaders.

In 2019, Naasón Joaquín García, leader of La Iglesia de La Luz del Mundo and self-proclaimed “Apostle of Jesus Christ,” was arrested in the United States on 26 charges, including human trafficking, rape and child pornography.

This documentary hears the intimate and honest stories of people who decided to leave and denounce that name of faith, leaving behind years of conditioning and abuse.

The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo Review

We open to glamorous and extravagant temples filled to the rafters with people, all there to see, love, and praise Naasón Joaquín García. With over 15,000 temples across 58 countries, with roughly 5 million faithful followers, this organization was nothing short of impressive.

There are some beautiful aerial shots that show the magnificent buildings that are used for temples. You can see the extreme wealth that is poured into this religion.

Jane Doe is the name given to a woman who is a victim of a crime and wishes to remain anonymous. In this documentary, we hear from five Jane Does who filed charges against Naasón. They teach us about the church, its background, its beliefs, and how they became involved.

We see footage from the 90s and old photos to help demonstrate how young and impressionable these girls were at the time. There are also interviews with other church members, family and friends of the victims, and authorities. 

There is multiple footage used of the leaders throughout — walking through confetti, being praised by thousands of followers, standing at their incredible and expensive-looking podiums, to then being detained and in the courtroom.

READ: Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe Review

What this documentary does well is give a balanced view of the good and evil sides of this religion and its leaders. After we get past the glitz and glamour we see the gruesome dark side. Naasón is described as spoiled, rude, blunt, and more demanding than his father, and he was violent and sexually aggressive.

Hearing these women share their experiences with such detail and distress is gut-wrenching. I felt such sorrow when they were expressing their conflicted feelings as they wanted to believe and defend their predator, and blamed themselves. 

In the final section of the documentary we hear from the female lawyer defending all five Jane Does. She makes the point that Jeffery Epstein’s bail amount was 10 million dollars and Naasón’s was 90 million dollars. That might put into perspective how horrible and frequent his crimes were. However, their sentencing was miles apart. 

We see footage from the court case; all five broken Jane Does trying to be strong as they relive their abuse, is truly awful and heartbreaking to watch. Whilst we hear the women speak we watch Naasón’s reactions, which is difficult whilst he wears a mask, but he does not look at them and does not acknowledge them.

However, the judge does show emotion but clearly, he states his hands as tied as Naasón was able to make a plea deal — he pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including those with minors, and it’s agreed he would serve 16 years and 8 months. He was released on probation in 2022. 

Is The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo worth watching?

Yes. It’s well written and crafted so that you get a strong overview of the church, its position, and its followers so you understand the power and control Naasón had. You’ll learn how it’s run on manipulation, guilt, and using a person’s faith against them.

For two hours, the documentary has a consistent pace, and without the use of dramatic, upbeat music or flashing images, you can really focus on the victims and their stories. Through telling this trauma comes the message that if anyone else experiences similar situations, we hope they find the strength to come forward and tell their story.

What did you think of the Netflix documentary The Darkness within La Luz del Mundo? Comment below.

More Stories

Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Service