(TMU) — Thirty Seconds to Mars, the rock band fronted by actor Jared Leto, held an island retreat in Croatia last month that looked more like a cult ritual than a retreat. And while it is not unusual for rock bands to hold intimate high-dollar retreats at exotic locations, it is a bit unusual for the attendees to all be wearing the same color while gathered for sermons from the band’s frontman.
The band posted photos to their social media pages showing the strange scene with captions like, “Yes, this is a cult.”
Yes this is a cult and here’s the prophet pic.twitter.com/xVcTj2CYVF
— EchelonRiodeJaneiro (@Rio_To_Mars) August 15, 2019
Leto himself seemed to be doing his best to look like Jesus.
The Meniac Messiah….
Seduction is his game… 💜 pic.twitter.com/SCN8iI5qj2
— P⨺OL⨺ ₪ ø lll ·o. (@PaolaOnMars) August 15, 2019
The band’s official Instagram page even posted a photo which appeared to show Leto with a halo over his head.
The “cult” tagline has been a part of the band’s marketing for years, but it now seems that they are forming what appears to be an actual cult.
Yes it is and I'm proud to say I am one of the believers.
🙏🤗❤💃🎶🦄🥒🥵🐜😂😎🌈 Thank you for the best 3 days of my life. #LiveLikeADream #MarsIsland #MarsIsland2019 #yesthisisacult #youwouldntunderstand 😜 pic.twitter.com/Ca0ljFe8j4
— Matti (@altum68) August 15, 2019
Admission to the congregation is not cheap either. It is not clear how much tickets were for the recent Mars Island retreat, as the information page has now been taken down on the band’s website, but they had a similar event last weekend in Malibu where the cheapest tickets went for about $1000. The more expensive “VIP” packages, which allow attendees to have some privacy in their own rooms, cost as much as $6,500.
All of this is incredibly ironic considering Leto once claimed that the band was “anti-greed” in a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’m not anti-record company, I’m anti-greed. I’m pro-fairness, pro art, pro-creativity. I believe there’s a way to have a successful company be profitable and treat audiences and artists really fairly,” he said at the time.
The band also seems to have a very strange concept of “fan participation,” as they once hosted a contest in which the winner was granted a night of sleeping in Leto’s bed. They have also reportedly personally requested that specific fans get a tattoo in the band’s honor.
“If people like Thirty Seconds to Mars, they really, really, really like it… We have this cult, this family, these believers,” Leto said of his fans in 2013.
Yet, despite the love that they claim to have for their fans, they feel the need to wear rubber gloves at their meet and greet signing sessions, which cost around $1000.