A TikToker has allegedly been inducted into a Los Angeles-based religious cult that targets dancers — and her familiy is concerned.
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Miranda Derrick, whose maiden name is Wilking, has not spoken to her family since January of last year, Derrick’s sister and parents allege in a tearful Instagram video that has gone viral and sparked myriad “conspiracy theories.”
In 2021, Derrick joined the entertainment management firm 7M Films, which some on TikTok claim doubles as the Shekinah Church, a Pentecostal religious sect that people believe is a cult.
Derrick’s sister, Melanie Wilking, spoke at length alongside parents Kelly and Dean Wilking in a video posted Feb. 24, in which they beg for Derrick’s safety and return home, alleging that she is being held hostage by 7M.
“You don’t need to cut us off. Life is going on and there are so many exciting things going on,” Melanie addresses Miranda in the video, which has more than 9,000 likes and nearly 2,000 comments. She adds that the past 12 months have been the “hardest year of her life” but “we can’t share that [with Miranda].”
The Post has reached out to Derrick, 7M Films and the Wilkings for comment after a follow-up video posted Wednesday showed a tense family “meeting.” Derrick denied being involved in a “cult,” but didn’t directly address any of the “concerns” from social media.
Miranda’s separation from her family began when the sisters were supposed to fly from LA back home to Michigan for their grandfather’s funeral last January. Miranda informed her parents she wouldn’t be coming home, and claimed her family “wouldn’t understand” why.
Her parents said they flew out to LA right after to see Miranda for themselves, saying the daughter that stood in front of them was “totally different.” They said it was odd behavior that Miranda would cut off and block her family, especially since the sisters were “attached at the hip.”
“We’re living in fear,” they said last month.
“As a mom, I don’t know if she’s safe,” Kelly said through tears. “I just want to hug her.”
In the video, which was posted on Miranda’s birthday, her mother says she hasn’t spoken to her on the phone since Jan. 18, 2021, and claims the family didn’t even know Miranda got married to a fellow dancer, James Derrick.
They say it all began when Miranda joined the 7M Films management company.
Films, which Gawker reported is an arm of the Shekinah Church, is based on the Seven Mountain Mandate, a verse from Isaiah 2:2. This particular belief movement, with emotion-based faith ideology, originated in 1975 and is followed by 25% of the world’s Christians, a staggering growth from 6% in the 1980s.
The followers of the Seven Mountain Mandate claim their job is to overtake education, religion, businesses, government, entertainment, family and the media, sanitizing them all of witchcraft or demons, according to Gawker.
The Wilking family alleges dancers like Miranda are the group’s next target.
On Jan. 15, Miranda posted a video of her dancing to “My Life” by Billy Joel with the caption, “This is my life, leave me alone.” About a month later, her family divulged their side of the story on Instagram.
Melanie then posted a video on her own TikTok, which now has over 227,000 views, claiming that her sister is involved in a cult.
“She’s a victim of a church-based CULT in the LA area and has blocked and cut off all contact with her family,” Melanie claims in the video. “This video of her dancing with these lyrics is chilling after the truth has come out.”
Melanie claims the church is “secluded” and invite-only, with little information available about them online. She also alleges that the group wants to control members’ lives, time and finances. Melanie urges viewers of her post to “flood [Miranda’s] comments” to ask her to contact her family.
Miranda, whose new husband is also affiliated with 7M Films, responded to her family’s claims on TikTokand Instagram four days after they posted their heart-wrenching video. She says she was forcibly removed from the sisters’ joint account and claims her family dislikes James.
“I am not involved in a religious cult,” she states. “I can say that everyone in our management group speaks and communicates with their families.”
She called her familial situation “unique,” saying they weren’t supportive of her decision to live her life with James, whom her parents called the police on when the couple first moved in together because of their disagreement over her life choices.
“I ended up meeting with the police officers and they saw that I was fine and we actually laughed about the situation,” she wrote.
James, who goes by BDash, claimed that Miranda’s parents were upset that a white woman was moving in with a “black man from Compton” who is divorced with a son, had no car and was living in a rented room.
However, he said 7M Films “helped me to become successful in a matter of months,” insisting that the group is “not a religious nonprofit organization but a secular for-profit company run by people who have faith in God.”
James and Miranda also crafted an Instagram page, @wilkingsisters2, inspired by Melanie’s account @wilkingsisters, so that the couple can “address the lies” her family tells, per the bio.
While The Post was not able to reach any parties on Thursday, Miranda posted a video Wednesday evening showing a meeting in Michigan with her parents, who said they were happy to see her in person and that they missed her. Miranda addressed looking “mad” in the clip, blaming the fact she and her loved ones are “being stalked, lied about, harassed and used for strangers’ social media gain.”
“Not that it’s anyone’s business but my parents and I had a 3-hour conversation today about our PRIVATE family issues and I’m going to leave that there unless I’m forced to talk about it,” she wrote.
She also blamed Katie Joy, who runs the page @withoutacrystalball on TikTok and YouTube, and her “cult-like followers” for interjecting into their family drama.
Since the escalating situation has gained viral attention, TikTok bystanders have turned into sleuths overnight, investigating what could possibly be happening to Miranda in the so-called cult.
The Michigan-born Wilkings sisters originally started their online dancing careers together as a pair. They posted videos of the latest TikTok trends and amassed more than 3 million followers after shooting to social media stardom in 2020.
We’ve been seeing rumblings on social media about this alleged “dance cult” for about a week now. See below for a rather in-depth thread on what’s been going on.
Y'all not about to get me caught up in the innerworkings of a content farm disguised as a religious dance cult whose members just make tik tok videos all day. Not first thing on Monday morning. https://t.co/Rhoedh6F5q
— Naima Cochrane (@naima) March 7, 2022