Will Allen spent 22 years of his life as a member of Buddhafield, a spiritual community led by a charismatic leader known, among other chosen names, as Michele. Initially based in West Hollywood, Calif., Buddhafield relocated to Austin in the 1990s when Michele became concerned that his group would be targeted by the Cult Awareness Network. Anchored by footage he shot during his time in Buddhafield, Allen’s documentary Holy Hell shows how he and many other members of the group devoted to their lives to Michele before they discovered that the man who was known as both “The Master” and “The Teacher” harbored a dark secret that exposed him as nothing more than a psychologically and sexually abusive cult leader. While Buddhafield ceased to exist in 2007, its presence in Austin can still be seen in the form of the grand building members constructed on Bee Cave Road that now houses the One World Theatre. Holy Hell will screen 7 p.m. July 15 and 7 p.m. July 20 at the AFS Cinema with Will Allen and former Buddhafield members in attendance.
Aired: July 7, 2016
Web sites: http://www.holyhellthedocumentary.com, https://www.facebook.com/holyhelldocumentary/ and http://www.austinfilm.org/