Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Holy Hell": Looking Inside a Cult

I just finished watching "Holy Hell." It was on CNN a few nights ago and I'd heard a pre-show interview on the radio, which snagged my interest. So I decided to check it out tonight after I noticed it on Netflix.

It's a documentary about a group of people who spent years -- some decades -- in a cult called the Buddhafield under the guidance of a guru known as Andreas (AKA Michel). Andreas used a warped understanding of Buddhism to help teach personal growth and enlightenment. Through the Teacher, those in the Buddhafield were able to bliss out and experience something huge and powerful.

Those in the Buddhafield lived for the Teacher and for the group. When they weren't working, they were performing service for the group, or they were serving the Teacher. They exercised daily and obsessively and abstained from caffeine, alcohol, and sex.

The Buddhafield gradually became more insular and more focused on praising Andreas and less about teaching spiritual enlightenment. Then, after 22 years, the Buddhafield imploded after the Teacher's sinister secrets errupted and the scope of his abuses became commonly known.

It was really interesting to see the ex-members' stories on how their involvement with the Buddhafield began, how it got crazier and crazier, and then eventually how it all fell apart for most of them.

It's definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it yet.

No comments: