CNN is airing the documentary film Holy Hell which tells the story of Buddhafield, a cult in West Hollywood that was popular in the 1980s. The film, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, was made by Will Allen. Three weeks after graduating from film school, Allen joined Buddhafield. (He was introduced to it by his sister.) Allen eventually became the personal assistant to the leader of the group referred to in the film as Michel. Michel believed he was a Christlike figure and Allen documented Michel and his followers on film.
Allen left Buddhafield in 2005. He recently told Vanity Fair, “I am upset and I cry every day now but I also have a great sense of humor. You have to laugh at your mistakes, you have to laugh at your choices, otherwise you’re just going to be in pain your whole life.” Holy Hell will air on CNN on Thursday, September 1 at 9pm.