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'Dancing for the Devil' TikToker Miranda Derrick says she wasn't 'brainwashed' by a dance cult: 'I am not a victim'

Eammon Jacobs   

'Dancing for the Devil' TikToker Miranda Derrick says she wasn't 'brainwashed' by a dance cult: 'I am not a victim'
  • TikTok star Miranda Derrick said she hasn't been "brainwashed" by pastor Robert Shinn.
  • "Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult" focuses on the dancer's involvement with Shinn.

TikTok star Miranda Derrick has broken her silence about a documentary that alleges she is in a cult.

Netflix's "Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult" looks at a controversial Christian pastor, Robert Shinn, and the Shekinah Church, a small nondenominational Christian ministry he founded.

The docuseries follows several TikTok dancers who are part of an alleged cult run by Shinn, which is believed to be posing as management company, 7M.

It charts how Derrick started out on YouTube with her sister, Melanie Wilking, where they vlogged their lives as they worked to become professional dancers in Los Angeles.

In "Dancing for the Devil," Wilking explains that the two sisters parted ways soon after Derrick started attending Shekinah Church in Los Angeles and that she later signed with Shinn's management firm, 7M Films Inc.

On Tuesday, Derrick addressed the docuseries in a lengthy statement on her Instagram story and gave her side of the situation regarding the split from her sister and their family.

"To keep it simple, I did not want to be around them at that time because I felt threatened by them," she said, adding that she felt like they were also trying to control her behavior.

She went on to say that her family isn't religious, claiming that's why they don't understand why she goes to church, before denying their claims that Shinn brainwashed her.

"This documentary has created a further challenge between us as I work to overcome this public attack," Derrick explained. "No one likes to be portrayed as their brainwashed/ not in control of her own life shell of herself/human trafficked daughter/ sister when that just isn't the truth."

"I can't convince anyone to believe anything. I am just a woman trying to live my life. I am not a victim, I am not in any harm, I am not being abused," she continued. "I've never asked my family or anyone else to 'help' me in any way. Respectfully, what I choose to do with my life is up to me."

On June 2, Wilking also gave an update on Instagram about her relationship with her sister, explaining that they've since reconnected and that Derrick came to her wedding.

"We believe that one day my sister and the other victims will realize their love for their families and faith was exploited. When that happens, we will be here for them without judgment," she wrote.

The three-part docuseries includes interviews with several TikTok dancers who detail what it was like to be part of the church and their reasons for leaving Shekinah.

They allege that Shinn's teachings encouraged them to cut ties with their families as a way of saving them in the eyes of God, as well as donating over half of their TikTok earnings back to the Church.

It's unclear how much Shinn and Shekinah have made from 7M, but in 2009, former member Lydia Chung filed a lawsuit alleging that Shinn defrauded her of $4 million. According to the Daily Beast, the judge ruled in Shinn's favor.

In 2022, Shinn filed a defamation suit against former members of the church, and they later filed a counter-suit accusing Shinn of fraud, sexual harassment, and forced labor.

Their case is set to go to trial in July 2025, according to CNN.

A representative for Shinn denied the accusations in a statement to the Daily Mail in 2022, saying: "While the recent portrayals of Dr. Robert Shinn and 7M Films have been wildly offensive and riddled with inaccuracies, those false claims will not deter 7M from supporting Miranda in whichever endeavors she chooses to pursue next."

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