Your tip

12 Celebrities Linked to a Cult: See Famous Figures Caught Up in Controversy

Composite photo of Andrew Keegan, Kylie Jenner, and Will Smith.
Source: MEGA

See the stars who were rumored to be a part of a cult over the years.

Jul. 8 2024, Published 7:30 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to FlipboardShare to Email
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Andrew Keegan

andrew keegan
Source: MEGA

Andrew Keegan sparked rumors he was a "cult leader" of Full Circle, the spiritual organization he founded years ago. He addressed the buzz in a February episode of the Boy Meets World rewatch podcast "Pod Meets World."

"I moved to Venice in my early twenties and just got really immersed in the culture and the community," he explained, adding, "There was the old Hare Krishna temple… and it was sitting there empty and we were like, 'Yo, why don't we just get some people together and let's open this place up."

The Camp Nowhere star said that while his Full Circle experience became "a little jarring," the organization remained a positive force in the community.

Keegan also pointed out how the group's name probably led to the misinterpretations of the organization's purposes.

Article continues below advertisement

Elvis Presley

elvis presley
Source: MEGA

Late King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley found himself in the same center of attention after founding the Self-Realization Fellowship and running it with Sri Daya Mata, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Ji.

The "Can't Help Falling in Love" singer reportedly became a frequent visitor of the group as one of its members and followed Daya Mata's teachings. Reports said he wanted to play a huge role in the group, but Daya Mata reportedly discouraged him from doing so.

"The work of the entertainer is different than the work of the spiritual leader. It's neither worse nor better. Simply different. The inner peace you seek can be yours no matter what your work," Daya Mata reportedly told the rocker.

Jared Leto

jared leto
Source: MEGA

In 2019, Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds to Mars created a "cult" and invited their fans to a retreat in Croatia. Hundreds of Leto's devotees appeared and participated in the three-day music festival, surprising the public when he sported white robes at the time.

The band also posted an update on X alongside the caption, "Yes, this is a cult #MarsIsland."

Article continues below advertisement

Joaquin Phoenix

joaquin phoenix
Source: MEGA

Joaquin Phoenix has been open about his experience growing up in the Children of God cult. His family left the organization when the Napoleon actor turned 3.

Speaking with Playboy in 2014, Phoenix opened up about growing up in the group.

"I think my parents thought they'd found a community that shared their ideals," he noted. "Cults rarely advertise themselves as such. It's usually someone saying, 'We're like-minded people. This is a community,' but I think the moment my parents realized there was something more to it, they got out."

Article continues below advertisement

John Lennon

john lennon
Source: MEGA

Hollywood cult Source Family made headlines due to its bizarre, true story. Father Yod, the founder, was reportedly close to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. No further details about The Beatles member's potential membership emerged, but Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were said to be regulars of the cult, as well.

Article continues below advertisement

John Travolta

john travolta
Source: MEGA

John Travolta was also associated with the Church of Scientology. Germany categorized the organization as a cult, but others have referred to it as a religion.

The Grease actor reportedly joined Scientology in 1975 but left due to health issues and the eventual death of his wife, Kelly Preston.

Religious Cult
Article continues below advertisement

Kirstie Alley

kirstie alley
Source: MEGA

The National Enquirer previously alleged that Kirstie Alley was "grooming her grandson" for Scientology after dragging her son, Waylon Tripp Parker, into his first cult event.

She had been a member of the church since the 1970s and revealed that it helped her overcome her drug addiction. Even before her death in December 2022, the Cheers alum reportedly spoke about dishing more information in her first Scientology tell-all.

“Kirstie finds it cathartic to share her experiences,” a source said. “And when she feels like her faith is being judged or questioned, she will take on anyone who comes her way.”

Article continues below advertisement

Kylie Jenner

kylie jenner
Source: MEGA

Kylie Jenner was linked to the Orgonite Society, with reports claiming that Jaden Smith brought her to the s-- cult when they were still dating. Rumors intensified when the Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum was spotted holding a large crystal "with healing powers."

The Kylie Cosmetics founder never addressed the buzz.

Article continues below advertisement

Oprah Winfrey

oprah winfrey
Source: MEGA

Oprah Winfrey sparked rumors she might be part of Scientology. They were seemingly confirmed when CBS aired a controversial ad during the talk show host's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Scientology critic Jeffrey Augustine told The Sun, “CBS and Oprah’s production company have a responsibility not to help promote a cult like Scientology to millions of people. They should not be taking the Church’s money, it’s pretty disgusting and extraordinarily hypocritical."

The religion's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, infamously defended South Africa's racist apartheid regime. He added that the people in the country were not "civilized enough" to vote.

Article continues below advertisement

Tom Hanks

tom hanks
Source: MEGA

Tom Hanks was the subject of the since-debunked rumor about him being in a s-- trafficking cult alongside Winfrey and Gayle King. Per the report, members of the so-called Black Eye Club cult welcomed politicians and celebrities through strange initiation rituals: receiving black eyes.

Article continues below advertisement

Toni Braxton

toni braxton
Source: MEGA

As a child, Toni Braxton endured the time she spent in her parents' cult, Pillar of Truth, where women were required to wear full stockings in the summer "to cover their nakedness."

"I began connecting religion, God and church with judgment, anxiety and guilt," she wrote in her book, Unbreak My Heart.

Article continues below advertisement

Will Smith

will smith
Source: MEGA

Signs that Will Smith could be a Scientologist emerged over the past years. Leah Remini also claimed that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith started a Scientology School.

Director Pedro Almodóvar penned his Oscars diary published on IndieWire and reflected on Will's controversial appearance at the ceremony.

"What I saw and heard produced a feeling of absolute rejection in me. Not only during the episode, but afterward, too, in the acceptance speech — a speech that seemed more like that of a cult leader," he added. "You don't defend or protect the family with your fists, and no, the devil doesn't take advantage of key moments to do his work."



More From Radar Online

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.