‘Hellbound’ Explained: What Is the New Truth Society and Arrowhead?

Netflix’s Hellbound Korean drama takes on what it means to be a sinner and be condemned to hell. In a new world order, a new religion and church called the New Truth Society rose to power led by Jung Jin-soo (Yoo Ah-in) in Hellbound. The church quickly gains new followers who start to believe their doctrine of living a righteous life. Among the New Truth Society is a sub-cult called Arrowhead. Arrowhead works outside the church with violent means and little organization.

Members of the New Truth Society in 'Hellbound' K-drama wearing green jackets.
Members of the New Truth Society in ‘Hellbound’ K-drama | via Netflix

‘Hellbound’ focuses on people receiving prophecies of their death 

Director Yeon Sang-ho’s K-drama centers on a new world phenomenon that takes hold of society’s way of living. People receive a prophecy from an angel on when they will die, what time, and that they will go to hell. Jin-soo has been documenting the phenomenon around the world for years. He believes it is a message from God that humanity has not lived up to his expectations.

Jin-soo informs everyone it is a call to live a righteous and just life. Anyone who fails to do so will receive a prophecy. His teachings led to a new church called the New Truth Society. But amid a new world, some people misinterpret the phenomenon and become a sub-sector called Arrowhead.

The New Truth Society follows Jin-soo’s doctrine

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Jin-soo is the leader of the New Truth Society that many may describe as a cult in Hellbound. The church is more rooted in evidence of the phenomenon. They locate individuals who have received the prophecy and try to understand their sin. Jin-soo and his followers organize public demonstrations of the condemned deaths. The New Truth Society instills fear into the public to live a sin-free life by documenting their deaths and the trio of emissaries from hell. 

The New Truth Society does not wish to intervene in the prophecies or stop them. Instead, they use them as an advantage to spread their message. There is another aspect to the church. As they hold immense influence, they also have VIP members. They wear masks to conceal their identities and get a front-row seat to the public events.

Is Arrowhead a sub-cult to ‘Hellbound’s’ New Truth Society? 

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According to Looper, “The Arrowhead cult, on the other hand, is a much more aggressive and violent group that believes that God wants them to go after the sinners marked for damnation.” Audiences are introduced to a character named Skull Face. He wears fluorescent makeup and a skull headpiece and holds live streams to the public. He is a self-proclaimed member of Arrowhead. Through his live streams, he uses anger and exaggeration to appeal to his audience. 

Skull Face explains the group adopted the name because, “When God decides to release an arrow, we, the Arrowhead, should fly and hit a target.” Unlike the New Truth Society, Arrowhead uses the phenomenon to instill absolute fear with no repercussions. Skull Face releases the face and details of the condemned and tells his followers their supposed sins. 

The members of Arrowhead resort to violence and brutally attack the condemned. In Hellbound, the members range from teenage delinquents to outcasts. Arrowhead’s goal and doctrine are unclear. They use the phenomenon as a free for all for violence and power.