This Traumatic Cult Documentary Is Now Streaming

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I have long been fascinated by the psychology behind religious cults. I’m intrigued by what makes a person susceptible to joining a cult and equally so by what leads a person to become a cult leader. Today’s documentary recommendation Holy Hell gives viewers an inside look at the Buddhafield cult that formed in the 1980s and continues (in some form) to this day.

The Buddhafield cult doesn’t have a violent ending like the Jonestown massacre or the Heaven’s Gate cult. But that’s not to say this story isn’t horrifying in its own right. Leader Jaime Gomez ruled his flock through stone-cold manipulation, thought control, and brainwashing. The further you get into the doc, the more of a monster Gomez is revealed to be. He took multiple names as he ascended to guru status. But for the sake of simplicity, I will just call him by his actual name.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Holy Hell is that it is directed by a former cult member. Will Allen was a follower of Gomez for multiple decades and served as the group’s videographer. Accordingly, he has years of footage to go along with the story he’s telling.

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