Dear JB, for a book that is both screamingly funny and very informative,
get and read 'Why The Long Face
?' by actor Craig Chester.
One thing Chester tells us is that for an actor, the hardest thing when dealing with painful comments is distinguishing when this is information one needs to face in order to improve one's craft, versus when it is just projected bullshit.
If one cannot tell the difference, one becomes vulnerable to enduring abuse. And lots of us have graduated from abusive families and this can create part of the drive that leads to an artistic career. It is all too easy for a talented but intrusive acting teacher to re-enact the role of a tyrannical parent.
And what you are describing are various manifestations of intrusiveness.
An artist has to retain access to the true inner core of his or her self, and that has to be respected and protected. Acting coaches are in a position of trust and one is vulnerable with them, much the way one is with a psychotherapist.
But...acting coaches are not in a profession regulated by law and they are not required to follow the care givers mantra 'Above all do no harm.'
One thing that may set people in the arts up for exploitation is that in order
to gain success, contacts, one has to please authority figures and this in turn sets one up to endure boundary violations and insults one would never tolerate from a peer. There is a reason why comments about the 'casting couch' are as old as Hollywood itself. That sort of power imbalance between powerful producer and aspiring actor or actress is a drastic imbalance.
Diaghilev was reportedly a tyrant and sought to monopolize the lives of his
protege artists---yet he created some of the most spectacular innovations in music and dance. The costumes for Ballet Russe inspired the Parisian couturier Paul Poiret to create designs that freed the torso and eliminated corsets.
Dmitri Mitropoulos of the Minneapolis Philharmonic Orchestra was brilliant but also infamous for put downs that were hilarious--but only if you were not the person on the receiving end. If you were, this was not funny at all.
Chester described a brutal exercise in his acting school where students had to cry. In order to make them cry, they were put through a hot seat treatment.
At the end of the book he has a chapter on New Age spirituality and comments that many aspiring actors and actresses, including himself, get interested in this sort of thing.
Here is a very old thread 'Can a Dance Studio be a Cult?'
And..fame can bring its own problems.
As for the celebrities, they are probably easy to recruit because they are vulnerable, lonesome, and when they become famous, they find that fame isolates them. They become afraid to mix spontaneously with people. They are confined to socializing in structured settings, become spiritually hungry, have murderous work schedules. As a result they are easily targeted and hooked in by cult recruiters who know how to speak to their loneliness. And celebrities are not mistreated by adroit cult leaders; they're too valuable to be mistreated--stars are used to attract the innocent multitudes who are the ones who are exploited and bled dry.
For further parallels, go to the homepage for Rickross.com and look up in Groups, Sharon Gans and or Theatre of All Possiblities.