Over the years, there have been quite a few celebrities that have mentioned their rather different upbringing in cults. Most of us think of Scientology as a cult, but plenty of Hollywood stars would disagree.
There are all different types of cults, but most involve living separately from the rest of society and have some type of religious base. Let’s check out some celebrities that have shared their alternative lifestyle being raised in a cult.
“Beetlejuice” actress Winona Ryder was 7-years-old when her family joined the cult/commune called Rainbow in California. They live there with seven other families for three years on 300 acres, without any electricity. This cult or commune doesn’t sound so bad.
“Walk the Line” star Joaquin Phoenix was raised in the Children of God cult, which was reportedly a hippie-type of group. He lived there until he was 4-years-old. The family left the group in 1977 because of the cult’s inappropriate sexual practices. His family surname was actually Bottom, but was changed to Phoenix to symbolize their fresh new beginning.
The actor never felt the religious community was like a cult. He claimed his parents just wanted an alternative way to raise their kids. They didn’t want to raise them in the Bronx as they had been raised.
David Arquette and his family lived on a commune called Skymont Subud in Virginia, along with some of his parent’ friends and their families. The commune was meant to be a utopian society, but there were no bathrooms, running water, or electricity. The Arquette family left the cult once their father, Lewis Arquette, began starring as a regular on “The Waltons.” All of David’s siblings are actors – Rosanna, Richmond Arquette, Patricia Arquette, and Alexis.
Singer Toni Braxton was a part of the Pillar of Truth when she was young. Her family was involved in an extreme religion, where women had to be fully covered. Holidays, music, movies, and drinking were all considered evil.
In Braxton’s memoir, Unbreak My Heart, she stated she pretended to speak in tongues when she was a little girl because that was evidence in the cult that you were going to heaven.
“Fatal Attraction” star Glenn Close and her family were part of the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) cult, living in communal centers for 15 years.
The cult based their religion off the practice of absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love.
Close left the cult at the age of 22-years-old but admits it affected her for many years. She had always been told what to think so was afraid to trust her own instincts. The actress said they made you feel guilty about any unnatural “desire.”
Rose McGowan, former star of “Charmed”, was raised in Italy in the Children of God cult. Her father actually ran the Italian chapter and she visited other communes in Europe.
People in the cult did not have newpapers or television and were basically cut off from the rest of the world. The family left the cult when she was 9-years-old.
Women were expected to serve men and they were allowed to have additional wives. Rose’s father worried that she would be molested and they left the group for the United States.