TikTok star makes video mocking her family for saying she has been abducted by a cult

TikTok influencer Miranda Derrick in a video mocking her family’s concerns that she has been indoctrinated into a cult. The man looming in the background is her husband James, and is jokingly meant to portray a shadowy figure controlling Ms Derrick. (screengrab)
TikTok influencer Miranda Derrick in a video mocking her family’s concerns that she has been indoctrinated into a cult. The man looming in the background is her husband James, and is jokingly meant to portray a shadowy figure controlling Ms Derrick. (screengrab)

TikTok influencer Miranda Derrick, 24, posted a video mocking her family's concerns that she's being controlled by a religious cult focused on dancers.

In a video posted on Monday, Ms Derrick dances while her husband, James, looms in the background wearing all black. At the end of the video James reveals himself and asks her if they go can go get food.

The video is meant to mock the concerns from her family and others that she has been indoctrinated by a cult allegedly run by 7M Films, the production company the TikTokker performs under. The post is captioned "When you're TAKEN ... way too long to film. IFYK."

Ms Derrick's family posted a video on 24 February tearfully explaining that the woman had essentially cut them from her life. They claimed that she missed her grandfather's funeral in 2021 and had blocked her family members on social media. The video was posted on Ms Derrick's birthday, the second birthday in a row Ms Derrick did not spend with her family.

The TikTokker began posting high production dance videos along with her sister, Melanie, as the "Wilking Sisters" - Wilking being Ms Derrick's maiden name. The duo gained more than 2 million followers on TikTok for their dance videos, before their uploads stopped abruptly in 2021.

@itsmirandaderrick

When you’re TAKEN…way too long to film⚠️ #iykyk sorry @BDash 🤣

♬ original sound - Miranda Derrick

Ms Derrick then began posting under her own social media pages under 7M Films. Her husband, James, and well as a rotating stable of other dancers who appeared in the videos, are also members of 7M. It was after she joined the production company that Ms Derrick began to drift from her family.

“Miranda is a part of a religious group, and she’s not allowed to speak to us,” her sister said in the tearful video.

Ms Derrick has maintained that 7M has not taken her or forced her to do anything, and that her distance from her family is a result of unrelated deterioration between her and her loved ones.

But Ms Derrick's family are not the only ones who have complained that their loved ones have changed and become isolated since joining with 7M.

Several people connected to the Los Angeles dance scene have also posted on social media that they've become concerned for their friends and loved ones who have become involved with 7M.

The founder of 7M films is Robert I Shinn, and in addition to his company, he is also the head of Shekinah Church in California. Ms Derrick and other 7M dancers reportedly spend a large amount of time at the company's mansion in Los Angeles.

At least one former member has sued Mr Shinn's church, claiming she was brainwashed and scammed out of $4m.

"This is a cult. This totally ruins people. You hear about the people who went to Vietnam—going through such a trauma, many people cannot function as a normal human being—this is what it does," Lydia Chung told The Daily Beast.

A spokesperson representing Mr Shinn and 7M responded to the allegations in a message to The Daily Mail.

"The false and sensational allegations about 7M stem directly from a dispute between 7M-represented dancer Miranda Derrick and her estranged family. Despite her family’s claims, Miranda is a successful businesswoman and a loving wife and daughter who cares very much about her family," the spokesperson said. "It is pathetic and contemptible to try to turn her private family matters into a tawdry public scandal for clicks and clout."

The spokesperson called the allegations "wildly offensive and riddled with inaccuracies," but said the "false claims" would "not deter 7M from supporting Miranda in whichever endeavors she chooses to pursue next”.