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The Documentary 'Holy Hell' Offers A Disturbing Look At A California Cult

Updated 27 Sep 2019 15.3k views13 items

While the Buddhafield cult lacks the name recognition of other infamous cults, it has lasted far longer than most of them put together - and largely under the radar. Buddhafield is what happens when a failed actor starts a religious group. Everyone looks amazing, they work out constantly, and there’s a wealth of damaged people drawn to the leader who claims he can make them feel whole. Buddhafiel's enigmatic leader has, at various points in his life, been known as Michel, Andreas, and Reyji.

The documentary about Buddhafield, Holy Hell, tells the story of Will Allen, a longtime member of the cult who escaped in the mid-2000s. Throughout the film, Allen speaks with other former members and traces the rise of Michel, who is now living in Hawaii.

Michel followed the traditional cult playbook of cutting members off from their families and changing their names, but then he took things farther with a series of detestable actions. The Buddhafield cult remains active in Hawaii, but anyone who sees Holy Hell will know to stay far away from its Speedo-wearing messiah. 

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