Cults & Conspiracies seeks to understand the evil that we do to each other and the psychological drives that inform those actions. Inspired by season 2 of Hulu's #ThePath, Cults & Conspiracies investigates how cults and radical ideologies work their dangerous magic on the unsuspecting.
MP Super News's dark-leaning, inquisitive show has looked at the Jonestown Massacre and de-programming techniques, but this episode we're talking to David Christopher, a former member of the sexually motivated alt-community the Buddhafield sect, subject of the Oscar nominated documentary Holy Hell.
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Ex-cult member David Christopher spoke to Cults & Conspiracies about life in The Buddhafield sect, talking about how he came to join this bizarre group. First and foremost, Christopher says, "suffering will really drive you to find something more in life:"
I was a NYC actor, struggling, trying to make my way, looking for something more. The world as most of us see it didn't make sense to me... I met a girl who introduced me: she was living a life that I had only read about in books...
Many people are susceptible to cult life, Christopher says, because "there's something lacking in their childhood, they didn't have strong family ties, or those ties were polluted somehow." The people in The Buddhafield sect were so desperate to find a purpose, that they were taken in my their charismatic leader, Andreas, whom Christopher describes as "this old gay troll," who would constantly be surrounded by attractive disciples washing his body.
I called him my Master for ten years of my life... and this mystique was all created around him. There are 150 of literally the most beautiful people you've ever seen, treating him like their master.
Sexualization Within The Buddhafield Sect
Andreas presented himself as a spiritual guide rather than a god, but used sociopathic techniques to keep his followers in line:
There was some weird shit, I mean, Andreas was a pretty bizarre character...
Sex was always presented as a lower thing, secondary to meditation and oneness with a higher purpose. However, Andreas was very sexual with his followers, and discouraged them from sex with other members, just as they were discouraged from following their own goals. Everything was for his own twisted pleasure.
Christopher says that he never directly witnessed any of the reported sexual abuse within the cult, despite the fact that it happened to several people he was close to. He does recall several peculiarly sexualized incidents: "everyone would dress up at Halloween, usually as something very sexual" — this particular incident culminated in a deranged porno scenario, a "skit" called Lord of the Cock Rings.
If you've enjoyed today's discussion of Cults and Conspiracies, check out Hulu's original series, The Path, streaming now.
Next week, Cults & Conspiracies will review some of the most enlightening moments from the previous episodes in a special round-up of what the show has learned.