The Weigh Way Down

May 29, 2021 was a beautiful spring day.  I was on a trail ride in the woods when my phone started to ping with text messages. My cousin was wanting to know if I was on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville paddle boarding. She was relived that I wasn’t because a private plane had crashed into the lake.

The seven people on board were all leaders of a local church, Remnant Fellowship Church. The church is located only a couple of miles from my house. They have been in the local news on several occasions, particularly after a child abuse trial.

In the 1990’s Gwen Shamblin started a weight loss plan, The Weigh Down. It is an extreme diet that basically has one pray away the pounds. The success of the diet lead to the church. Some locals have fought against the church since the started trying to buy what is now their church location. The members close ranks and don’t mix with those outside of the church, even in business. Their beliefs are different from the typical Baptist or Church of Christ churches that populate the area. They seem to be a cult.

The next weekend I was with my cousin for our semi-regular Sunday coffee on the porch. We had both been researching the church on-line and were excited talk about what we had learned. There is a treasure trove on YouTube. There is a very informative message board. Cousin found Gwen’s books in thrift stores.

Last week HBO Max premiered “The Way Down” about the church and Gwen. They were already filming before the plane crash. It is fascinating.  I highly recommend this first installment. The new two installments will arrive in 2022.

I also recommend episode 396 of the podcast Reality Life with Kate Casey where she talks with the Executive Producer of the documentary. Also, this a great pop culture podcast.

If you watch or have watch, let’s chat in comments. I’m just a little obsessed!

23 thoughts on “The Weigh Way Down

  1. leelah saachi says:

    this reminded me of a time where a small plane crashed on my favorite sun bathing spot on cliffs surrounding our summer house . The pilot died.I was not there then, thank God

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin says:

    I have not heard of Gwen Shamblin or her cult which is kind of interesting in that I thought I had tried every diet known to man and woman when I was firmly ensconced in the cult of diet culture. Praying was probably off the table for me at that time, which might explain it.

    I’ll look for the series next time we travel somewhere. It looks/sounds interesting, especially because I’ve been occasionally listening to the Conspirituality podcast.

    So glad you weren’t out on that lake!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Is conspirituality the name of the podcast? I have done deep dives into Scientology, the guru who did the too hot sweat lodges in the dessert on his wilderness retreats, and other “wellness” cults.

      I had only heard of Gwen because she is in the neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robin says:

        Yes, it is (the name of the podcast). They started with the latest conspiracy stuff and have been diving into the yoga and wellness industry a lot lately. Interesting stuff. I knew someone in the cult of Scientology when I was a girl. He was not a good person (that’s an understatement). The last time I had access to streaming, I watched a couple of documentaries that knocked some of the gurus off their pedestals.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy says:

    There are so many people “out there” who prey (pray?) off others. Years ago I was involved with some Native American and New Age groups that required a lot of discernment. It’s so easy to see how people can fall into rabbit holes of conspiracy theories and cultist leanings. I see even certain of my extended family members attached to questionable viewpoints…


  4. fgsjr2015 says:

    Jesus must be spinning in heaven knowing what atrocities have been connected to Christ-ianity. Christ unmistakably emphasized love, compassion and non-violence — especially towards ALL children — the opposite of what enables the most horrible acts of human cruelty to occur on this planet.

    Intense trauma from unchecked toxic abuse, sexual or otherwise, usually results in a helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it can act as a starting point into a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

    The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of medicating, either prescribed or illicit.

    Liked by 1 person

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