In December 2018, two dubious websites regurgitated a year-old report saying that pop songstress Miley Cyrus had instructed her fans to "Worship Satan if you want to be rich and famous like me."
Killuminati (whose slogan is "Exposing The New World Order Illuminati") and Prepare for Change (whose exact purpose we were unable to decipher) published identically-worded articles recounting an alleged backstage exchange between Cyrus and a fan:
Miley Cyrus left her followers shocked and confused after advising her young fans to "worship Satan" if they want to become "rich & famous" like their heroes. The former Hannah Montana star left a group of fans bewildered after passing on the "pearls of wisdom" when asked for tips on how to gain success in the entertainment industry.
Following filming the NBC TV talent show, The Voice, on which Cyrus is one of the judges, a flock of young admirers had gathered outside the backstage exit, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol. As the Wrecking Ball singer made her way out of the exit with her security team, one of her star-struck fans asked her: "Hey Miley, do you have any advice for any of your fans that might want to follow in your footsteps and become a star?"
To which she responded: "Yeah: If you wanna be famous, and rich, it's easy... "But don't ask me, you need to ask Satan. "You can have it all." As a nervous laugh spread through the crowd, Cyrus stopped her bodyguards, seemingly annoyed by the response, and turned back to the crowd saying: "You think I'm joking?"
You asked me how to make it as a pop star and I just told you everything you need to do. "If you want everything that I have, then all you have to do is ask Satan for it and you can have it. "You need to stop asking Santa for Christmas presents and praying to Jesus because none of them exist. "Satan is our Lord, and when you let him into your heart and worship him instead of your make-believe God, then you can have it all."
The article originally appeared on 4 December 2017 on Neon Nettle, a disreputable website best known for hawking conspiracy theories and fabricated news items. It was subsequently deleted without explanation.
In the past, Neon Nettle has displayed a particular fondness for publishing made-up stories linking celebrities to Satanism. Another December 2017 article alleged, for example, that former child actor Macauley Culkin said Hollywood is run by "Satanic pedophiles," one of whom boasted that his shoes were made from the skin of a deceased child actress. A November 2017 article purported to quote musician Jay-Z about his supposed allegiance to "our true lord, Satan." Neither had any factual basis, and both were subsequently deleted.
The article about Cyrus not only accused her of worshiping Satan but repeated the false claims about Jay-Z:
Just recently, hip-hop star Jay-Z also opened up about his devotion to Lucifer, by telling fans that "God created Lucifer to be the bearer of truth and light," before declaring that "only idiots believe in Jesus."
Neon Nettle cited no sources to support any of these claims about Jay-Z or Cyrus. Nor have we found evidence elsewhere that either of these celebrities is an avowed Satan worshiper or has ever advocated Satan worship to fans. According to news reports, Cyrus was born into a devout Christian family and raised a Southern Baptist, although she has rarely spoken of her religious affiliation since becoming famous.
One of those rare moments occurred in 2010, when Cyrus told Parade magazine that she remains a practicing Christian:
“My faith is very important to me,” she says. “But I don’t necessarily define my faith by going to church every Sunday. Because now when I go to church, I feel like it’s a show. There are always cameras outside. I am very spiritual in my own way. Let me make it clear, though — I am a Christian. Jesus is who saved me. He’s what keeps me full and whole. But everyone is entitled to what they believe and what keeps them full. Hopefully, I can influence people and help them follow the same path I am on, but it is not my job to tell people what they are doing wrong.”
People can change their minds about their faith, of course, but given its provenance we find no reason to take the claim that Cyrus has turned to worshiping Satan as gospel.