Pray Obey Kill Review – A Shocking, Not Surprising, Account of Religion Gone Bad

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Pray Obey Kill, from HBO Documentary Films, presents a limited series detailing the true crime story involving a Pentecostal Christian community, personal power trips, sex, adultery, cruel and vicious cold-blooded murder under the banner of God's will.

The series opens with an emergency call. It is January 10, 2004, in Kuntby, Sweden. A tiny enclave of homes where the pastor Helge Fossmo, his second wife, Alexandra lived just down the road from their best friends Annette and Daniel Linde.

Immediately the story becomes a web of layered and well-hidden deceits, as two respected Swedish journalists, Anton Berg, and Martin Johnson, are unpacking the layers of lies, falsehoods, personal power trips and skewed doctrine, while the investigators unpack the evidence.


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Between the interviews with the investigators the episodes include the text messages sent between the Pastor and his neighbor's wife, Anette. The love triangle, which is the immediate assumption, is braided through the story, but when Anette is released, we understand she had no culpability in the crimes.

Mind Control

Enter a 26-year-old nanny, Sara Svensson, who lived in the Fossmo's home. She quietly recounts her interpretations of what she believed were explicit instructions from God. She explains how she "felt" impressed in her "spirit" and began receiving anonymous text messages open ended biblical scriptural reference which an impressionable mind, one susceptible to mind control, would interpret as God's will and direction for her.

Of course, as always in the Christian world, the explicit direction involved injury to someone else. In this case it was the murder of Alexandra Fossmo, the accused explained that she believed she had been told that Alexandra "should go home to be with the Lord."

Using Christianese, the episodes unpack the jargon, the misuse of biblical scripture, the inability to understand the meaning, both figuratively and literally, and to understand the intent. Believing that reuniting the brethren with Christ even through death, is noble, honorable and a benefit. This is simply another attempt to circumvent individuals by mind captivity.

The case gained instant international notoriety when the nanny confessed within days, claiming she was told to commit the acts of violence through a series of text messages from God.

Skewed Doctrine

What soon emerged, however, was a tale of a scandalous love triangle, adultery, and details of another suspicious death that had occurred years before. Behind it all were the mysterious actions of the sect's leader who exerted an increasingly powerful pull over her congregation.

Our two journalists begin to dig deeper into the Knutby Pentecostal Church, a 97-year-old organization, to determine who would gain with Fossmo out of the picture. Which is when we meet Asa Wuldau, who gave herself the name "The Bride of Christ."


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As they delve deeper into the sect's religious teachings, doctrine, interpretation, it becomes clear that somewhere they took a wrong turn and began interpreting scripture to fit their own personal agenda.

The shocking accounts of Wuldru control over the congregation was expressed by nearly every person interviewed. She was vicious, used physical abuse, demanded expensive gift or offerings to sedate her as if she were a volcano and the only way to stop her rage was through sacrifice of gold, jewelry, money, and gifts.

Abuse of Power

Asa Waldru, the self-proclaimed Bride of Christ was known to have intense feelings of jealousy, which caused her to react. Throughout the episode's former pastors of local churches and Helge Fossmo explained what could happen if Asa became jealous or if anyone fell out of favor.

A charismatic leader, she was able to manipulate minds of the congregants and other local church leaders. The leaders wanted to remain in good favor with her or at least not arouse suspicious if they disagreed with her teaching, doctrine or interpretation and possibly fall into disfavor.

By the third episode we understand Asa was on a personal power trip and used more than mind control, and preying on the sincerity of religious beliefs, she used secrets, seducing the pastor into a sexual relationship, enforcing a belief that God has chosen her and she in turn had chosen Fossmo, with her personal authority and he was to please, pleasure and satisfy her as it was his duty.


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The murders of Alexandra Fossmo and attempted murder of Daniel Linde, which began the series, were only the top of the iceberg. The death of Helene Fossmo, Helge's first wife whose death had been ruled a suicide, was reclassified as a homicide and it determined she was given a sedative vaginally so no evidence would be found in her stomach content.

The veil is removed and the inner court where the lurid secrets bound this community to lies, and the antithesis of their professions, is exposed.

Alarming abuse, scandalous and outrageous, Pray Obey Kill, a shocking although not surprising account of personal power trips, skewed religious doctrine, wrong thinking, secrets, shame, sex, and the allure of celebrity, debuts on HBOMax Monday, April 12, 2021. Check local listings.


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Country: Sweden.

Language: Swedish with English subtitles.

Runtime: Five episodes, 50minutes.

Director: Henrik Georgsson.

Written by: Anton Berg, Martin Johnson, Henrik Georgesson.

Producer: Ruth Reid, Tine Grew Pfeiffer.

Cast: Anton Berg, Martin Johnson, Asa Waldru, Helge Fossmo, Sara Sevenson and various members of the Knuty Philadelphia Church.

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