There are many cults which pervade modern life. Some of them are commonplace and even considered mainstream, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others are far from societally acceptable such as the Ku Klux Klan.
What makes a cult? In general, it’s an organization which promotes a dramatically extreme worldview with very little transparency as to its inner workings and membership requirements. Most are organized around a charismatic, self-appointed religious leader.
Cults are usually shut off from the world, and their members become rapidly isolated. You’d have thought that famous people would be immune to their pull, but in fact, many famous people have become involved in cults.
You won’t believe who is in 8th place on our list.
10. Valeria Lukyanova
Valeria Lukyanova is a Ukranian supermodel. She’s become globally famous for her “human Barbie doll” look. She is also a member of the breatharianism cult. They believe that “air and sunshine” will supply all a person needs to live just as long as they are faithful enough.
She said, “In recent weeks I have not been hungry at all; I’m hoping it’s the final stage before I can subsist on air and light alone.”
9. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer’s run in with breatharianism came early in her career before she was famous. She only discovered that she was in a cult when her ex-husband Peter Horton explained it to her. He knew because he was working on a film exposé of another cult at the time.
8. Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin probably doesn’t remember his time as a member of the Children of God cult. He was only 4 when his parents decided to leave. The cult is famous for child abduction and the kidnapping of adults. It also focuses on sexuality under the guise of fundamental Christianity. Joaquin’s not the only big name star to have been in a cult, you’ll never guess who’s at number 5 on our list.
7. Rose McGowan
Rose was also in The Children of God as a child. She spoke to People about her time with the cult, “Like in most cults, you were cut off from your [outside] family. There were no newspapers, no television. You were kept in the dark so you would obey. … [Women] were basically there to serve the men sexually.”
6. Neil Bush
The son of a former president, Neil Bush wasn’t immune to the pull of the cult, either. He was a member of the Unification Church founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in South Korea. Neil worked tirelessly to promote the church in America and famously supported the “World Peace King Tunnel” proposed by Rev. Moon. The tunnel was supposed to go under the sea to link Alaska with Russia.