Did Jared Leto just… start a cult?

Jared Leto is a 48 year old american actor, musician and song-writer. He started his career in the 1990’s with small television appearances, before gaining recognition with his role in “My So-Called Life”. Since then, he has starred in many movies including world-famous Requiem for a Dream, Dallas Buyers Club (for which he won the oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2014) and more recently the role of Joker in Suicide Squad. He’s also lead vocalist and songwriter of the band 30 Seconds to Mars, an alternative rock band formed by him and his brother Shannon Leto. 

But lately, Leto hasn’t been making headlines because of his artistic abilities, but rather because of something a lot more …disturbing; is it possible he started a cult? His band has always carried a string of dedicated followers, most of them women, who seems hartley devoted to the band and its lead vocalist. So devoted, it seems, they are willing to travel to the desserted island Leto calles “Mars Island ”, where they spend their time listening to their “prophet” (as the actor is referred to) preach and perform private concerts to his followers. The official description of Mars Island is 

“Mars Island is a three night, all inclusive festival experience. Relax and restore with yoga amongst the trees, take a dip in the pool, catch a midnight screening or gaze at the stars, and catch two intimate performances with Thirty Seconds To Mars. Mars Island is an experience like no other.” 

Leto’s tweet

However, Jared Leto himself referred to it as a cult, ironically tweeting “Yes it’s a cult” the 15 august 2019. Many of his followers also wear bands stating “Yes, it’s a cult”, and even though it seems to be a way to poke fun at those who genuinely believe it to be one, this doesn’t make it any less disturbing. Leto likes to refer to his fans as “the echelon”. Echelon means a level or rank in an organization, a profession, or society, something that might also spark some level of curiosity. One of the main things most cults seem to have in common is that members have a desire to “go up” in the hierarchy of the cult,or gain more rank, as being closer to the leader means they will get “saved”. 

So yeah, it might seem like the whole “Mars Island is cult” idea is a little far-fetched, but it doesn’t really take an experto to understand why it’s a little worrying to say the least. Cult leaders never actually wake up and decide to start a cult that praises them as their lord and savour, it’s something that “naturally” happens. People get so caught on the attention and the feeling of being needed they actually start believing themselves to be godlike figures who are able to lead people towards salvation. This psychosis grows as the number of people following them grows as well. 

There have been many examples of cults starting of as jokes, as was the case of the church of SubGeniuses, a church started as joke in Texas by Dough Smith and Steve Wilcox, which now has factions in New York, San Francisco, Arkansas and many other major cities across the US

Now, an actor and song-writer, who has built his whole career on making other people like him isn’t the best example of someone save from falling into this deranged mentality.

So far, there is no hard-core evidence to prove Mars Island is a cult, or that Jared Leto has gone crazy, but the facts are there for anyone to make their own assumptions. No one is trying to discredit anyone, much less such an amazing actor as Leto, so this was brought to you in the spirit of spreading information that could be helpful (or at least entertaining for some people). 

Sources: 

https://www.rawmusictv.com/article/2019/Jared-Leto-has-started-a-CULT-on-an-island-and-his-followers-call-him-Prophet

https://www.kut.org/post/documentary-explores-texas-born-church-thats-been-running-joke-40-years

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