New Religion does not equal a New Religious Movement
We have all heard of Hollywood stars belonging to new religious movements such Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise being part of Scientology or Leah Remini leaving the Church of Scientology. What is fascinating is a Hollywood actor founding a new religion. Andrew Keegan an American actor known for his acting in the 1999 version of ’10 Things I hate about You’ and ‘7th Heaven’ has founded a new religion called Full Circle. Carol Kuruvilla reported for the NY Daily News explains the new religion in depth.
Full Circle is based out of Venice Beach, California in a building that represent the neighbourhood’s storied history with religion. It is in a church that used to house a Protestant congregation before becoming a Hare Krishna temple. In May of 2014 the building got a new occupant, Andre Keegan; he leased it to being a religious movement called Full Circle.
This movement uses healing crystals and colon cleanses to expand consciousness and create a spiritual revolution. Some are calling this a new religion and often pair the words a new religious movement. But is justifies to call this freshly established group a religious movement?
Full Circle claims to provide an “experimental environment designed to creatively expand consciousness through visual and performing arts, movement classes, workshops, forums and healing therapies”. The basis of this faith is a belief in synchronicity and the nature of time, it is a circle and Keegan explains that the centre is now. The Full Circle Church is run by a core group of eight members who take Keegan’s word as the ultimate say. They describe their philosophy as advanced spiritualism and believe that their tenets are based on universal knowledge.
Andrew Keegan had an odd series of events that led him to conclude his mission was ‘to take the war out of our story and promote peace’. So why the name Full Circle? Andre Keegan explains it as the following: “Synchronicity. Time. That’s what it’s all about. Whatever, the past, some other time. It’s a circle; in the centre is now. That’s what its about.
Now that I have explained what Full Circle is with the limited resources out there, due to its newness. Is Full Circle a New Religious Movement? – According The Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements edited by Hammer and Rothstein, NRM can be viewed as new organizations with ‘specific developmental requisites’ and they go further to say that these new organizations need high levels of member commitment, sufficient fertility levels to maintain movement size. Based on this alone Full Circle is not yet a New Religious Movement, while it could be underway to fulfill such criteria to this date is not yet one. By no means am I denying that in the future it could be.