Is Doc Antle a Cult Leader?

Tiger King has been everywhere lately. No one would have ever thought of the situations behind these privately owned zoos before Netflix casts light on them. The drama, the mystery, and the lives of these Big Cat owners have captured the interest of millions during this time of isolation. Carole Baskin’s suspected Mariticide, Joey Exotic’s hit out on his rival and Doc Antle’s big cat euthanasia. But it was Doc Antle who seemed the most suspicious, due to his alleged cult-like behavior.

             Doc Antle

            Kevin Antle, known as Doc Antle owns The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species. He’s a pretty popular Big Cat trainer in the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The doctor of Natural Science has lent his animals to big Hollywood films and even Britney Spears for her MTV Video Music Awards performance in 2001.

            Cult Allegations

            During the second episode of the series, ironically titled ‘’Cult Personality” it is revealed that each owner has somewhat of a cult-like following. Carole had her devoted volunteers and Joey’s employees were seen as social misfits. But Doc Antle allegedly hired young, impressionable women. Women who joined as his intern at a young age do to their love for animals and now reside on his property in separate estates. During an interview with Oxygen he called his lifestyle “complex” when asked about which house, he lived in.

Barbara Fisher, Doc’s apprentice from 1999 to 2007, had recounted her time at the reserve, explaining that young women had to sleep with him to move up from the roach-infested horse stalls.

“There was a certain personality of the woman that he wanted. They were virgins or close to virgins.” Fisher said.

She went on to admit to him choosing their clothes and having their names altered. China was originally Michelle, Moksha was named Meredith, and Rajnee was Renee. She herself had her name legally changed to Bala. Cult leaders often strip its members of identity such as name changing.

Multiple people who have been in contact with Antle has lamented about the number of “wives” he had. Some even speculate around four or five, but only three were shown.  One interviewee, Tim Stark, even referring to them as being “trained”.  

“I kinda idolized him, you know. Hell, number one, not just because of the way he had the animals and stuffed he had, the way he had them women trained. For his own damn, you know. . . “Harem” and shit you.”


            The cult comparisons didn’t stop there. Everyone on the reserve called him Bhagavan, meaning a friend of God. His own son called him “The master of the Universe” in his own Universe. Immediately people had a similar conclusion that Doc Antle was a leader of some kind of cult or at least a harem of interns turned lovers, except for him.

            He reportedly told Oxygen “The cultist thing about us is that I totally believe that yoga has helped me stay limber and made my life a better thing”

            But cult leaders usually don’t admit to having cults.