Is Buddhafield a cult?

This question comes up frequently for us online, so let’s take a look at why. 

Buddhafield, USA
There is an organisation in the States with which we are often confused. They use the name Buddhafield and are widely recognised as a harmful cult. They were the subject of a documentary in 2016 called Holy Hell. On a Google search, we’re usually vying for the top spot with the Wikipedia page describing the cult. We have tried to make things clear online, but removing the apparent association entirely is impossible because of the shared name.

Buddhafield UK started after the Buddhafield USA cult, but back then, people weren’t searching online for names or Instagram accounts with the same handle. ‘Buddhafield’ is not a made-up word – at least not by either us or the cult. It is a Buddhist term to denote ‘a paradisiacal sphere beyond the conditions of historical existence’. 

To be clear, we are Buddhafield – a UK-based events company and community of people who come together to create events, practice and work on land-based projects. We are not affiliated with the US-based Buddhafield cult in any way. It’s just the same name. 

Why don’t you change your name? 
We have considered it. Other people in the world and in the UK also use the term for their work or offerings, so that’s potential confusion as well—although less harmful. 

The main reason is that we’ve been using the name for nearly 30 years, and it is very well-known in our community and the UK festival scene. We also have our Buddhafield Cafe and Buddhafield Base project, which would also need to change their names.

We’re a relatively small charitable organisation, and the change would take a lot of time and resources. In the end, we’d still have a historical association with the name ‘Buddhafield’, and people would likely think that we were trying to hide an association through the change. 

We may consider the change again in the future if things get even more difficult via this association. 

Can you help? 
In the meantime, it’s helpful to us for people to comment that we’re not the US cult when we are accused of this online. You are welcome to share this article if you see something. We’ll also keep building a positive association with our name and asking Google and Wikipedia to separate us from the US associations. 

We’ll continue to offer our events, run our businesses and fundraise while navigating the strange world of the internet and the challenges of mistaken identity. 

Thanks for reading - see you out there somewhere.