Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dateline Host Lester Holt Says 'Mother God' Stands Out As The Most Memorable Episode Title

"Dateline NBC" has always been known for its attention-grabbing episode titles. During its more than thirty years on the air, the creators of the show have come up with some truly memorable ones. The best are both short and provocative, a combination of words that brings weird, even frightening images to mind. Sometimes, the title is difficult to contextualize until you watch the episode. We're talking about the likes of "The Secret Keepers," "Kill Switch," and "Stealing Paradise." We're sucked in right away because, as "Dateline" anchor Lester Holt said during a 2022 appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," we know the story is going to feature "normal people who are suddenly thrust into these incredible situations."

When DeGeneres asked Holt if he had watched one recent "Dateline" episode, Holt recalled the title in particular. The story that she asked Holt about was entitled "Mother God." "I remember even that title when I announced it," he said. "I said, 'Do we have this right? Mother God?'" DeGeneres then asked Holt if he had a "favorite" title, listing a number of standouts, including "The Milkshake Murders" and "Death in the Dentist." Despite it being a newer entry in the "Dateline" canon, Holt revealed that "Mother God" was among his most memorable episode titles ever. But what's it all about?

The story of "Mother God" is a truly harrowing one that made headlines well beyond the NBC news magazine program. Here's what went down.

The story of Mother God is fascinating

It stood out to Lester Holt, but this two-hour "Dateline" episode most likely lives in the memory of countless viewers, too. Its full name is actually "The Ascension of Mother God," and it's about a group that has been called a cult by former members. It tells the story of Amy Carlson, a spiritual searcher who became the head of an order known as Love Has Won. She began referring to herself as Mother God and demanded that her followers do the same, hence the episode title. During her tenure as the spiritual conduit of Love Has Won, Carlson became increasingly erratic, violent, and tyrannical.

Carlson's health also began to rapidly decline. According to Insider, this was likely because she was regularly ingesting colloidal silver, which she and LHW followers would promote as a health supplement. It reportedly had the opposite effect, building up in her system to the point that she was essentially poisoning herself. After her death, her mummified body was discovered in the Colorado home of some of her most loyal supporters. As true crime stories go, this is up there with the most unbelievable. It's no wonder that a docuseries is in the works at HBO, to be helmed by documentary filmmaker Hannah Olson ("Baby God").