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10 Things I Hate About You Star Andrew Keegan Says He Is NOT a Cult Leader

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    Andrew Keegan, best known for roles in 10 Things I Hate About You and Party of Five, appeared on Pod Meets World this week, and hit back at rumors that he was a cult leader. The show — a rewatch and nostalgia podcast centered on the show Boy Meets World — invited Keegan on, and it didn’t take too long before conversation wound around to some rumors that have apparently followed the actor for a while. In the conversation, he talked about a “group of hippie types” in Venice Beach, who ran a spiritualist movement. Admitting he gave the group thousands of dollars, Keegan denied that he had “started a religion,” as one report alleged.

    Because so many child actors are saddled with baggage and rumors, Pod Meets World apparently takes it upon itself to give its guests a forum to dispel any false rumors or internet urban legends about themselvse. “You mean when I woke up one day and I was anointed a cult leader?” Keegan asked when presented with the chance.

    “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,” Keegan said. “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?'”

    After the group had participated in Occupy Wall Street, Keegan explained, they had a strong desire to do something positive for the community. Naming themselves Full Circle, the group started engaging with the Venice Beach community in 2014.

    “Looking back, it was insane. I was putting down tens of thousands of dollars, but we opened it up and spent three years and really did build an amazing friend group,” Keegan continued. “We went through something really significant from 2014 to 2017.”

    The Vice article that made the place infamous — and branded Keegan a cult leader — dropped in late 2014. According to Keegan, the group was more like “a really cool community center for a bunch of people in Venice for a few years.” Of course, having one of your fellow members tell journalists that you’re the guy with the “ultimate say on all things” is going to raise eyebrows in an ostensibly democratic, spiritually-tinged gathering, so even if that’s true, it’s not surprising Vice had a different takeaway.

    “I probably should have had a little bit more media training at the time,” Keegan said 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.'”

    This also isn’t the first time Keegan has opened up about Full Circle and tried to dispel the perception fostered by the original Vice article. In 2015, he appeared on ABC’s Nightline to talk about his experiences with the group.

    h/t Variety

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