Stars Who Probably Run Underground Cults

It's one thing for a celebrity to be popular. It's quite another to be so absurdly, inexplicably beloved and worshiped that you might as well be your own religion. Which makes us wonder: how many stars out there are secretly underground cult leaders? There has to be a few of them, right? It would explain why they get way more love than they should, or why they simply won't ever go away. None of this can be proven—they're secret cults, after all—but we stand at least a puncher's chance of being right. Right?


Beyonce's talented, her music is fun, and as Super Bowl 2016 proved once again, she definitely has important things to say about womanhood and race. That said, the level of adulation she receives rivals the Pope by this point, and it's honestly baffling as to why. People loved her during her Destiny's Child days, but not at the level they do now, where her most ardent followers basically consider her a paragon of artistic perfection who can do no wrong. Criticizing her in any way risks the wrath of her rabidly angry "stans." But moreso than the unquestioning hero worship, Beyonce's ability to maintain near-total privacy, in an age where even dead people don't have that, is amazing and not a little suspicious. How many followers does she unleash to ensure no gossip ever makes press, or that albums stay unleaked until she decides to release it without advance warning? Alexander the Great only wishes he could've controlled the world like Beyonce does.

Kid Rock

By all rights, Kid Rock should've disappeared years ago. He had his time in the late-'90s nu-metal sun, but his music aged about as well as Limp Bizkit's did. Then he went country, which is usually a last-ditch gimmick for rockers too irrelevant to rock any longer, which should've been it. Not so, clearly: Kid Rock's warmed-over Skynyrd act is as popular as ever, and the man himself is as brash, braggadocious, and beloved as ever. He's like a less-insane Ted Nugent. When it comes time for this generation's music to become "classic rock," his stuff will likely be at the top of the list. So this has to be the work of cult-like subterfuge, right? His followers loudly flood every concert he performs, convincing outsiders that everybody loves the Kid and so should they. And hey, he does have that "Born Free" song we heard in that truck commercial, so why not? And there's another successful conversion to the Church of Kid.

Tom Cruise

If you're going to form your own cult, what better way to learn how to do so than join one? Tom Cruise's decades of devotion to Scientology has not only left him within just a few million dollars of untapping the religion's great secret origin story that anybody who watches South Park already knows. It's also left him with a great understanding of how to win people over. So whether he's left Scientology or not (tons of unverified sources say he has, though Cruise has kept quieter than he does whenever people ask about Lions For Lambs), he could easily be running his own Cruisology religion on the side, with a much simpler origin tale than Xenu's: "I am Tom, Tom is life." It would go a long way toward explaining why, despite how everyone mocks Cruise for his wackiness and calls him crazy and even dangerous for his backwards views of psychiatry and medication, virtually every movie he makes it a massive success. Even the few that flop, people enjoy him in them. If that's not proof he's controlling our strings while flashing that billion-dollar smile of his, we don't know what is.

Adam Sandler

Chances are, you claim to hate Adam Sandler, his overplayed jokes, his dumb baby voice, how he won't stop giving roles to his less-talented buddies, and how he smugly sets his moves based on where he'd like to go for a paid vacation. He's the worst, you say. And then, his iron grip on your mind tightens, and you give him all your money. It's like clockwork: he'll fim a movie for cheap and we'll give him $150 to $200 million for the pleasure of pretending to hate-watch it. Even The Ridiculous Six, that terrible straight-to-Netflix movie that portrayed Native Americans worse than old Bugs Bunny cartoons, set a Netflix record for most views in 30 days, and was even the number one viewed movie worldwide for awhile. It's the perfect cover for an Almighty: make people think everyone hates you, and then secretly seduce them into buying you your 15th football field-sized jacuzzi.

Insane Clown Posse

This one's almost a given. There's no reason a couple of old white dudes in bad clown makeup, rapping about magnets, should be as popular as they are. But holy hell, they are huge. And you don't find too many fairweather Posse fans—those who love them, really, really love them, eclipsing even Beyonce fans on the "pure blind worship" scale. We're pretty sure becoming a Juggalo involves indoctrination on a level even the Scientologists can't compete with, including endless blasts of their music until Stockholm Syndrome kicks in and the convert suddenly "gets it." Whatever there is to get about rapping clowns, that is. And that whole clown thing isn't just a fun gimmick, either—it's become a whole lifestyle for these people. Said lifestyle supposedly preaches the value of being yourself, but usually ends up with people wearing their own clown makeup and rapping about the same things their leaders do. Forget "what would Jesus do," now it's "what would Violent J do."

Michael Jordan

No athlete who's been retired this long, and who's as openly bitter as Michael Jordan is, should still be this beloved and worshiped. Unless, of course, they literally are being worshiped. This might be the case with Michael Jordan—20 years after he retired (not counting his failed run with the Washington Wizards, because oh God), he's still considered by many to be the undisputed coolest and greatest athlete ever. Comparing anyone to him is sacrilege, and his flock will defend everything he does. Even the Wizards thing. This despite proof that, outside basketball, he's a terrible businessman, bad actor, and not a great human being. His Hall of Fame speech, where he arrogantly lambasted anybody who doubted him for even a second, is proof of that. But when you command your own cult—as His Airness probably does—you can get away with these things. You can insult people, bully your teammates and coaches, and even wear a Hitler mustache when endorsing underwear. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even if you only got that power because you look awesome when chucking a ball into a bucket.