On the “Pod Meets World” podcast, co-hosts Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong and Will Friedle have often given their guests — many of whom are actors who grew up on television in the '90s — the opportunity to demystify the headlines about them.
During February 12 episodeAndrew Keegan was ready to do just that.
“You mean when I woke up one day and was anointed a cult leader?” he asked with a laugh during the iHeart podcast. Keegan, best known for his roles in “10 Things I Hate About You,” “7th Heaven,” “Party of Five” and for being an early “idol,” went on to explain that he moved to Venice Beach in his early twenties and “immersed himself in the culture and community.”
“There was this interesting group of hippie types, if you will, in Venice. I’m sure if you’ve been to the west side, there’s definitely a lot of spirituality,” he explained. “I was in contact with some people and we had this opportunity. This old Hare Krishna temple was empty and we were like, “Why don't we get a few people together and open this place?” »
The group had previously participated in Occupy Wall Street and wanted to “do positive things for the community” with the group, which they titled Full Circle, starting in 2014.
“Looking back, it was crazy. I was putting down tens of thousands of dollars, but we opened it and had three years and really built an incredible group of friends,” Keegan said. “We experienced something really important between 2014 and 2017.”
Keegan says he became a 'clickbait hub' as rumors of a 'cult' began after Vice reporter came to visit Full Circle and wrote a story about it in 2014, titled “One of the Stars of “10 Things I Hate About You” Started a Religion. ” In the article, the journalists wrote that they were greeted by a man named Third Eye, part of the “inner circle” of “enlightened” members, who told them that Keegan was the leader who had “the last word on all things.
“I probably should have done a little more media training back then,” Keegan said on the podcast. “They really created a very interesting and colorful story and put it together…we really came together and did a Sunday thing. We did almost 1,000 events in three years and it was really, really hard. It was really beneficial for a lot of people, I still hear about it now, where people say, “That was a really great time.” »
He said Full Circle was “the opposite of what one would imagine” when reading the stories, adding: “There was no doctrine. We were just bringing people together. “The Co-Creator’s Handbook” is the handbook we used… For all intents and purposes, it was a really cool community center for a group of people in Venice for a few years.
Fishel, who was a close friend of Keegan, said what he was explaining “sounds more like a group of people at Burning Man than a group of people at Heaven's Gate,” referring to the '70s cult directed by Bonnie Nettles and Marshall Applewhite.
“But the 'cult leader' is sort of leaning toward Heaven's Gate,” Keegan replied. “Maybe we should have come up with a different name. I thought Full Circle was pretty good, you know, what goes around comes around. I don't know. It wasn't something with such a specific agenda at the time. It just evolved from a group of people. We've hosted thousands of people over the years and a ton of events and dinners. I heard a podcast recently where they were talking about it and trying to understand it. In the end, they kind of landed on this, it seems like a cool place to hang out – and that's what it was.
Although Keegan has previously addressed the rumors, he went further in the new interview, addressing the fact that he filed a lawsuit for defamation.
“I think at this point we all know you can't really believe what you read. Anyone can call anyone as anyone. I actually ended up filing a defamation suit against AEG and Newsmax for one of the things that happened there,” he said. “They have the ability to say whatever they want. Fight it and it will end up costing you money and legal fees. Of course, this recent defamation case worked for someone.
Keegan sued Examiner and its parent company Anschutz Entertainment for defamation in September 2015, after an article claimed he was arrested for selling alcoholic kombucha without a license; he claimed he was not at Full Circle at the time. The case was then dismissed.
“I look back on it now and I'm like, I don't know anyone else who's called a cult leader, so it's kind of like a badge of honor,” Keegan joked at the end of the episode. .