Religions scholar Reza Aslan journeys to the holy city of Varanasi, India's famed "City of the Dead,” where the Ganges River is lit by the funeral pyres of dozens of crematoriums. He enters the world of the Aghori, a sect of Hindus who reject traditional Karmic notions of purity and pollution. Reza lets an Aghori guru put him through extreme rituals, visits a modern day leper colony, and attempts to purify himself in the notoriously polluted Ganges.
A battle is raging for the souls of the people of Haiti and Vodou is at the heart of the conflict. Evangelical missionaries in Haiti claim the country is in the grip of Satan. They believe that all of the country’s social, political and economic problems are the result of a blood pact made with the devil over 200 years ago. Vodou practitioners are seeing the faith that helped liberate their ancestors from the shackles of slavery now threatened by outsiders.
Reza heads to Jerusalem to immerse himself in the world of the Haredim—Ultra Orthodox Jews who live in isolated communities and reject the modern world. He explores the growing tension between the Haredim and secular Jews and what it will mean for the future of Israel as a secular democracy. Reza becomes fascinated by the NaNachs, a group of Hassidic men who have broken with the strict Haredim tradition and have taken to dancing in the streets to spread a message of joy and happiness.