“Looking back, it was insane,” the former teen heartthrob shared. “I was putting down 10s of thousands of dollars.”
Andrew Keegan is opening up about speculation he used to run a cult.
While appearing on the Pod Meets World podcast, co-hosts Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong and Will Friedle gave Keegan the opportunity to debunk or explain the rumor.
“You mean when I woke up one day and I was anointed a cult leader?” he asked with a laugh during the iHeart podcast. Keegan — who reached “heartthrob” status after roles in projects including 10 Things I Hate About You, 7th Heaven, Party of Five and more — made headlines in 2014 after starting his own spiritual movement.
At the time he was living in Venice Beach in California and found himself “immersed in the culture and the community.”
“There was this interesting group of hippie types, if you will, in Venice. I’m sure if you went on the west side, there’s definitely a lot of spirituality,” he explained on the podcast. “I was connected with some folks and we had this opportunity. This old Hare Krishna Temple, it was sitting there empty and we were like, ‘Why don’t we get some people together and let’s open this place up?'”
However, looking back on the experience, he now called it “insane,” admitting the hit the movement took on his bank acocunt.
“Looking back, it was insane. I was putting down 10s of thousands of dollars, but we opened it up and spent three years and really did build an amazing friend group,” Keegan said. “We went through something really significant from 2014 to 2017.”
The cult speculation began back in 2014 when Vice wrote a profile on the actor starting his own religion.
The publication described his group called Full Circle as a “temple and spiritual movement” with its home base in Venice Beach, California. The publication wrote that its journalist was greeted by a man named Third Eye who was part of the “inner circle”. There were also mentions of healing crystals, self-help speeches and “desert-inspired ‘Lord of the Rings’ costumes.”
“I probably should have had a little bit more media training at the time,” Keegan continued on the podcast. “They just really created a very interesting, colorful story and put it together … we really just got together and did a Sunday thing. We did almost 1,000 events in three years and it was actually really hard. It was really beneficial to a lot of people, I still hear about it now, where people are like, “That was such a great time.'”
Keegan went on to say Full Circle was the “opposite” of what people would imagine, claiming there was “no doctrine” and it was just a place to bring “people together.”
“It was fun to take the opportunity to play to what some people think I do now, so why not have fun with it,” Keegan told TooFab at the show’s premiere at the time. “This was the perfect venue to explore that creatively. It is an extreme, most extreme version of what we do, but yes, there are things about it that we drew from to create the show.”