When we hear the word “cult,” our mind might wander off to a Nollywood movie, probably starring Kanayo O. Kanayo as the lead character who has just used his mother for money rituals.
Cults can mean anything from extreme diabolism to sheer stupidity. While some cults partake in otherworldly juju, others are in it for the purpose of feeling good.
We’ve always watched movies with cults, but did you know that there are celebrities who have been in real-life cults?
Rose McGowan: McGowan is wildly known for her role in Charmed. She was one of the first actresses who spoke against Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconducts and was a key testimony in his indictment. The actress was raised in the Children of God cult. The cult reportedly believed in a blend of hippy ideals and religion. McGowan confirmed that the cult made her believe that the sexualization of women was normal.
Joaquin Phoenix: Phoenix, a staple actor, won his first Oscar this year for his title role in Joker. Phoenix, like McGowan, was also raised in the Children of God cult. It has been reported that he and his family used to travel across South America sharing their beliefs. After leaving the cult, the actor’s parents allegedly changed their family name from Bottom to Phoenix.
Glenn Close: Actress Glenn Close, infamous for her role as Cruella de Vil, and her family joined the Moral Re-Armament cult when she was just seven years old. They left the conservative cult after 15 years living in concentrated communities. Close has stated that growing up in a cult helped her acting career “as she always had to pretend she believed what the group told her.”
Tom Cruise: Cruise acted in The Eyes Wide Shut, a movie about a man who joins an exclusive sexual and powerful cult. But life imitates art, Cruise, who joined the church in 1990, is often considered the poster boy for the Church of Scientology. He introduced his ex-wives Nicole Kidman—who starred alongside him in The Eyes Wide Shut—and Katie Holmes to the religion, but it was reportedly his first wife, Mimi Rogers, who introduced him to church.
Michelle Pfeiffer: Michelle Pfeiffer, the ultimate Cat Woman, was involved with Breatharianism when she first moved to Los Angeles at age 20. The cult reportedly believed that one could live without food or water, as sunlight will provide all the nourishment you need.