The band's obsession with money is not invisible to their faithful following, but observing fans discussing the cost of loving Thirty Seconds to Mars online can be rattling. There is a sense that while some of them feel ripped off, they are also fearful of fully expressing their disillusionment. In a lengthy article about the tightening of restrictions during signing sessions with the band, one blogger wrote: "The 10 seconds it took for them to sign PLUS the few minutes they’d stop in order to collect the present you brought them... seems short for the amount of money... but it was usually quite fun." Another wrote: "I paid 250$ just to have early entry [to a concert]. Over priced, however, it was the BEST show ever."
In addition to the obvious financial benefits, wrapped up in all of this cult business is Jared Leto's untethered self-absorption. In 2013, Leto went to the trouble of buying the rights to goofy modeling photos from his My So-Called Life days and then getting them scrubbed from the internet by threatening legal action.
Music journalist Raziq Rauf told KQED: "After Leto sent cease and desist letters to some of his fans, I decided [to repost] the photos. I duly received very threatening legal notices of my own, so ceased and desisted. While it was amusing, Leto is a very wealthy and powerful man with very wealthy and powerful people in his team. He's the one percent and I couldn't compete with that."
It was a moment that demonstrated how much Leto's narcissism stretches beyond the bounds of normal celebrity.