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Holy Hell (2016)

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Holy Hell is a 2016 American documentary film by Will Allen about his experiences as a member of the Buddhafield cult for 22 years. The Buddhafield started as a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s, and continues in Hawaii today, often recruiting through yoga studios. The cult's leader, who has several names but is typically called Michel, Andreas, The Teacher or Reyji, born Jaime Gomez., and is claimed to have abused his followers. The film uses footage Allen shot during his capacity as the group's videographer and new footage of interviews with former members and of the group in Hawaii.

The 1993 Waco incident appears to have had a big influence on Gomez (just like it did on Marshall Applewhite in Heaven's Gate): Gomez voiced his anxieties to his then-follower Will Allen after the Waco siege. Allen pinpoints this as the moment when Gomez's paranoia began. Gomez left his followers for six months to find a new location for the group. Gomez also began to undergo increasing amounts of plastic surgery around this time, as well as recommending his female followers undergo similar procedures. Gomez also attempted to get followers to report on each others' perceived digressions. He kept one follower from seeing her father before he died, and encouraged another to get an abortion, claiming religious reasons.


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