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Jared Leto singing into a microphone
The Truth About Jared Leto's Bizarre Cult
History - Science
In August 2019, photos emerged on the Twitter account of actor and musician Jared Leto’s band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, under the hashtag #MarsIsland.
The post featured pictures of a white-robed Leto, Jesus-like in appearance, tending to flocks of similarly white-robed attendants. The caption read, "Yes, this is a cult."
Given Leto’s tendency for bizarre antics, many wondered if he was serious. The question remains a mystery, with journalists and fans alike trying to solve what Mars Island is.
Leto and his band sold three-day weekend passes to Mars Island, off the coast of Croatia. Attendees would get matching tattoos and participate in various activities.
The biggest draw would be a performance from Leto’s band, dubbed "Church of Mars." This wasn’t the first time Leto used cult-like vocabulary and imagery to describe his following.
The band has used the phrase "yes, this is a cult" to describe their fans’ adoration since 2013 and has held annual "summer camps" for the truly devoted since 2015.
It wasn’t until 2019 that the public grew curious and concerned after photos and videos of devotees, known as the Echelon, engaged in what seemed to be idol worship were released.
The truth behind Mars Island and its retreat may be simple: It’s a stunt from Jared Leto and his band to drum up publicity, cement their fanbase, and earn some extra cash.