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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Did Andrew Keegan Run A Cult? 10 Things I Hate About You Actor Responds To Claim

Andrew Keegan was never a cult leader, but rather a man in touch with his spiritual journey in his early 20s. On Sunday’s episode of Pod Meets World, the star addressed long-standing rumors about his spiritual journey. In 2014, Keegan made headlines after some reports claimed that he had started his religion. 

In 2014, Andrew Keegan founded Full Circle, a community spiritual center based in Venice, Los Angeles. In a 2015 interview, Keegan described the group as a “non-denominational spiritual community center where people of all beliefs and backgrounds come together to meditate, practice yoga, and engage artistically.” New York Magazine reported in March 2015 that “the actual theology of the group is tough to pin down, but it seems to loosely follow Hinduism—or at least Russell Brand’s Sanskrit-tattoo version of it.”

In May 2015, the Full Circle temple was raided by California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officers. The raid was related to Full Circle’s distribution of kombucha, a fermented beverage made from sweet black tea. A spokesperson for the temple stated that they were unaware that they needed a license to distribute kombucha. Full Circle closed in 2017 because of financial difficulties, largely due to a sharp increase in property values in the area due to Google and Snapchat moving into the neighborhood.

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Andrew Keegan (IMDb)

Andrew Keegan recently set the record straight on claims that he started his religion after he bought an abandoned temple in 2014 to host a series of spiritual gatherings. “There was this interesting group of hippie types, if you will, in Venice,” Keegan clarified on the February 12 episode of Pod Meets World. “I was connected with some folks and we had this opportunity. This old Hare Krishna Temple, it was sitting there empty and we were like, ‘Why don’t we get some people together, and let’s open this place up?'”

Calling the group Full Circle, the 10 Things I Hate About You alum and some friends organized a string of dinner parties and other spiritual events at the temple over three years, but Keegan said defining that group as a cult is simply click-bait.

“There was no doctrine,” Keegan insisted. “We were just getting people together. For all intents and purposes, it was a really cool community center for a bunch of people in Venice for a few years.”

Not everyone saw it that way at the time, and the strange rumors continued. But while Keegan admitted he could have been a little more media trained during interviews about the group when all the cult allegations first started, he doesn’t regret that period in his life. 

“We opened it up and spent three years and really did build an amazing friend group,” Keegan shared. “We went through something really significant from 2014 to 2017.”

He further said that people still reach out to him to gush about how significant the events were for them, according to the Party of Five actor. “It was really beneficial to a lot of people,” Keegan said. “I still hear about it now, where people are like, ‘That was such a great time.'”

Andrew Keegan (IMDb)

Exploring Andrew Keegan’s career

Andrew Keegan Heying is an American actor. He is best known for his roles in television shows including Trinkets, Moesha, Party of Five, and 7th Heaven, and in films such as 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Broken Hearts Club (2000), and O (2001). Keegan gained fame for his role as Zack Dell in Camp Nowhere (1994), winning a recurring role in Thunder Alley (1994-95). He also played a love interest in Full House (1995) and guested on various TV shows before being cast in the 1994 drama Party of Five. 

Keegan was cast in a bit part in the ensemble science fiction film Independence Day (1996), which was a huge box office hit. That same year, he landed another recurring role on 7th Heaven, where he played a single teenage father in love with Jessica Biel’s character Mary. Keegan was then cast in three modern-day Shakespearean film adaptations: as the antagonist of Heath Ledger in the romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) (adapted from The Taming of the Shrew) and as Mekhi Phifer’s best friend in O (2001), adapted from Othello, and in A Midsummer Night’s Rave (2002), adapted from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Keegan then took roles in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, Cruel World, and A New Wave. He made his theatrical stage debut in 2009, playing Rigby in He Asked For It. He also won a lead role in Kill Speed (2010) and a supporting role in Love, Wedding, Marriage (2011). Keegan’s acting career began with his role in Greg Berlanti’s ensemble film, which won Best Picture at the GLAAD Awards.

For a while, Keegan cut back on his career to spend time with his new daughter and for spiritual pursuits. He then took on a villainous role as a sadistic and sociopathic vampire named Blake in the horror film Living Among Us (2018). He appeared in a much-praised 2020 episode of the teen drama Trinkets and a had supporting role in the crime drama Adverse (2020).

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