Buddhafield Cult Leader Jaime Gomez Loved Wearing Speedos And Eyeliner
May 22, 2023
Netflix newest docuseries, How to Become a Cult Leader, takes a tongue-in-cheek deep-dive into six of the most notorious cults of all time, exploring the mechanisms and personas needed to create and run a cult. Because, as Netflix explains, "there are harsh lessons to be learned from history’s most malignant manipulators."
Each episode in the series focuses on a different cult, from the Manson Family, to Peoples Temple, Heaven’s Gate, Aum Shinrikyo, and the Unification Church.
Viewers are especially entranced by episode three, which centers on the lesser-known Buddhafield cult, a group that rose to fame in the 1980s and 90s. In fact, a former Buddhafield member, Christopher Johnston, even talks about his experience in the doc.
The episode talks a lot about Buddhafield founder and leader, Jaime Gomez, and, like all cult leaders, he has a rather fascinating backstory.
So, who is Jaime Gomez and where is he now? Here’s what you need to know:
Jaime Gomez was Buddhafield's leader and founder. He was born to a wealthy Venezuelan rancher, and came to the United States to become a movie star, per CNN. At that point, he legally changed his name to Michel Rostand, but his dream was rather short-lived.
A former cult member, Radhia Gleis, spoke to the Daily Star, describing Gomez as "just a lovely guy—smart, funny, good looking and charismatic. I loved him."
While he was running the cult, Jaime went by “Andreas” or "The Teacher" and was sometimes called “Reyji” (“god-king”).
Yep. Jaime is credited as “Jaime Simone Gomez” in the iconic horror movie, Rosemary’s Baby, per IMDB. However, he didn’t have a speaking part.
Buddhafield was a former cult that Gomez founded, where he thought of himself as God, the documentary explains.
Gomez was known to wear a Speedo and eyeliner, and he would lead followers on weekend outings to rivers, mountaintops, and rocky beaches, where they meditated, CNN explains. The Austin Monthly explains that Gomez lured people in by promising "followers salvation through exercises like 'cleansing' therapy sessions and meditation."
For example, followers would do an exercise called shakti, which involved a supposed "transfer of energy" between Gomez and his followers. CNN describes it as "similar to an LSD trip" with flashing lights and a sense of bliss. Followers also partook in something called “The Knowing,” which was when they'd make direct contact with God.
People in Buddhafield were not allowed to have children or pets. Women were told to have abortions if they became pregnant, because they were told that children and personal enlightenment don’t mix, CNN says.
Jaime also made his followers undergo plastic surgery and follow a strict diet that prohibited sugar, gluten, and alcohol, Decider says.
Buddhafield was founded in West Hollywood in the 1980s, according to Austin Monthly. The cult relocated to Austin, Texas, in the 1990s, and eventually migrated to Hawaii in 2007.
Holy Hell explores the story of Will Allen, who joined Buddhafield after graduating from college. Will documented 20 years of living inside the community, per IMDB.
In Holy Hell, Will and others allege that Gomez sexually assaulted several members.
“When I suggested that I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore, his answer to me was, ‘Well, maybe you don’t need to be here anymore. Maybe you’ve outgrown this,'” a former cult member said in the documentary, per Decider. “It’s like being threatened with excommunication. I didn’t want to pay that price. What would I do? Where would I go?”
Gomez has never publicly commented on the allegations.
He eventually moved to Hawaii with his loyal followers, according to CNN. He reportedly still lives there and teaches yoga in Lanikai Beach.
For more details, you can check out How To Become A Cult Leader, streaming now on Netflix.
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These New Kicks Will Help You Smash Your Cross-Training GoalsWho is Jaime Gomez?He had a nonspeaking role in ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’What is Buddhafield?When was Buddhafield founded?The cult is explored in a 2016 doc, ‘Holy Hell.’Where is Jaime Gomez now?You Might Also Like