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Fans Raise Concerns About Jared Leto’s Self-Described Cult Retreat That Is Coming Back This Summer

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Camp Mars, Jared Leto

Jared Leto is well-documented to be rather alternative in his lifestyle choices but sometimes that over-the-top persona draws criticism.

The Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman has always had a cult following but some people believe he has attempted to harness that following and form an actual cult along with his brother, Shannon Leto.

As Leto continues to find more and more success in Hollywood, many are raising concerns about his more questionable behavior — including allegations about the cult.

Do Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds To Mars have a cult?

In 2019, Leto, 50, and his band invited their fans, who call themselves 'the Echelon,' to a retreat in Croatia.

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The retreat, which consisted of Leto dressed in white robes, had been a 3-day music festival for hundreds of his fans to enjoy live music, yoga, and movie screenings.

However, during the retreat, the band had tweeted photos of Leto, leading hundreds of people, while all of them were wearing white, captioning the picture, "Yes, this is a cult #MarsIsland.” 

The band has been using that tagline for years, including on social media, in merch, and in music videos. In 2013, Leto told The New York Times that it had started off as "a joke, a response to journalists saying, ‘You have such a cult following.'"

Leto hosts expensive retreats for his cult-like following.

The 2022 iteration of Camp Mars has multiple different kinds of all-inclusive packages which range from $1699 to $7199.

Leto and his band have been hosting these kinds of 'summer camps' since 2015, which were originally called 'Camp Mars.'

According to Billboard, the website, which is no longer running, stated, "This is a rustic nature experience expect to share your living space and live in a wonderfully communal way. The facilities are clean and safe but they are not four-star hotel suites with dinner mints on your pillows make sure you understand exactly what you are getting.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Leto spoke about the Camp Mars weekend, saying, "We have always looked to do things for our audience that are fun and unique. What better way to celebrate the summer than in beautiful Southern California with the Mars family in full.”

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The fans of Thirty Seconds to Mars, who call refer to themselves as "the Echelon," who describe themselves as "a group that seems overwhelmingly immersed not in music nerd-dom, but rather a more general sort of love for the community surrounding the band," are the reason why many people believe Leto's band has formed their own cult.

"If people like Thirty Seconds to Mars, they really, really, really like it... We have this cult, this family, these believers," Leto told the NYT.

The 'Suicide Squad' actor is also aware of the dedication his fans have with his band and even held a competition where the prize would allow a fan to sleep in his bed for a night. 

It seems that the cult Thirty Seconds to Mars cultivated was bred through the endless devotion their fans show them, which, for people who aren't in the fandom, can seem a bit unsettling. 

The Mars Island Retreat is anticipated to return to Croatia sometime in 2022, where I'm sure we'll see more of Jared Leto leading groups of people while adorning a white robe, and of course, more theories that Leto is actually just leading his own cult. 

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.

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