An inside look at Buddhafield, a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.


Will Allen
4 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Amy Allen ... Self
Cristala Allen ... Self
Gina Allen ... Self
Will Allen ... Self (as William Francesco Allen)
Jennifer Baca ... Self
Alessandra Burenin ... Self
Vera Cheiffo ... Self
David Christopher ... Self
Phillipe Coquet ... Self
Radhia Gleis ... Self
Julian Goldstein ... Self
Jamie Simone Gomez ... Self - Buddhafield cult leader (archive footage)
Greg Gorey ... Self
Murti Hower ... Self
Chris Johnston ... Self


An inside look at Buddhafield, a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Will Allen has stated that after he left the cult in 2007, he suffered an existential crisis. After considering making a film out of his experiences with the cult to heal from the trauma, he attended the Sundance Film festival and became inspired after viewing Keep the Lights On (2012) and sought ways to make his film. In the following four years, he worked on and developed the documentary. See more »


Chris Johnston: There's this social interplay that happens between highly codependent people and pathological narcissists. Who is going to give a person who needs constant adoration and attention, who is going to give that to them, ceaselessly? Somebody who relies on him as the source of their self-esteem. And they'll say, "You seem like a normal, rational, intelligent human being. How did this happen to you?"... It's what we do every time we come into a religion. We take on their beliefs as truth. You will do...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing song written and performed by _Cabot Budlong_ former member for 20 years. Abused, still surviving... See more »


Features Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »


Sky Inside
Written by Cabot Budlong
Performed by Cabot Budlong & Jody Lazslo
See more »

User Reviews

Great documentary that breaks down the fundamentals of a cult
18 September 2016 | by maddiea14See all my reviews

Frankly, I'm a bit baffled at a lot of these reviews.

I have seen numerous reviews implying that these people are stupid, that this wasn't actually a cult, that men in their 20's can't be sexually abused and why didn't they "just leave" and a whole myriad of other things. I think that's a pretty ignorant perspective.

Personally, I can empathize with these people on a small scale. I did not undergo the intensity that they experienced, but I was in a similar situation for about 18 years. I can tell you that anyone can get drawn in to that kind of codependent abusive cycle, given the right circumstances. It's psychological. It's not crazy. They're not stupid. It's just human behavior, when presented with the right stimulus.

This documentary touched me, and shed light on so many topics surrounding abuse, trauma, codependency, cult psyche, manipulation tactics, I could go on and on. It reveals a common truth about most people, that we want to be loved, accepted and apart of something, and sometimes you get trapped in those ideals. My heart breaks for these people, and I feel angry at the comments and reviews calling them stupid and gullible. I feel like that defies the entire premise of the documentary, because I think that it broke down the exact fundamentals of how a cult works. Cults don't always start out like cults. But somewhere along the way, everything turns inside out and people are usually in too deep to see it from a rational perspective.

This was a fascinating and revealing tale, and I highly recommend watching if you have any interest in psychology, sociology, religion, cults... just watch it people. And try to see through their perspective and experiences rather that judging from your own.

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Release Date:

27 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Holy Hell See more »

Filming Locations:

Oahu, Hawaii, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,238, 29 May 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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