'This is a cult.' The true story behind the Netflix series all your friends are watching right now.

Known on TikTok as The Wilking sisters, Miranda and Melanie Wilking amassed millions of followers, thanks to their popular dancing videos which also earned them a range of lucrative brand deals. 

But, according to a new Netflix documentary, things changed when Miranda met her husband, James Derrick, also known as BDAsh, and signed with talent agency, 7m Films. 

The talent agency — founded by Robert Shinn, a pastor at the Shekinah Church — is the subject of the documentary, Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult, that alleges the group of signed dancers were exposed to a cult-like environment.

Throughout the three-part series, it’s alleged that the glamour of the group — which ultimately included red carpets walks, television appearances and plenty of money — was a facade. Instead, it’s suggested the dancers were brainwashed by the religious leader, who maintains the agency is not affiliated with his church, and forced to cut ties with their families. 

The series includes interviews with Miranda’s sister, Melanie, as well as their parents, Kelly and Dean, who share their feelings about losing Miranda to what they believed was a cult.

Watch the trailer for Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult. 

Video via Netflix.

The family first expressed their concerns publicly in 2022 via social media, when they speculated that 7M was a cult. Several other former 7M dancers also feature in the documentary, all accusing Shinn of controlling and manipulative behaviour. 

Read more: The Wilking sisters had millions of followers online. Then one of them joined a cult.

Along with audio recordings of Shinn’s sermons, the interviews reveal members were asked to "die" to themselves and their families, meaning ceasing all contact to ensure they all went to heaven in the end. 

"Dying to yourself means that whatever you want or whatever you need, you have to 'die to it,' because whenever you die to something, it’ll come back to life and resurrect," one former member shared in Dancing for the Devil.

Another former dancer said members were taught to "die to your family in order to save them," and heighten their chances of "getting into heaven one day."

Who is Robert Shinn?

As well as being the founder of 7M, Shinn is the founder of the Shekinah Church in Los Angeles, originally formed as a religious community for Korean Americans. 

Robert Shinn. Image: Netflix.


Sisters Melanie Lee and Priscylla Lee joined the church in 1999, living in a house with other members until Melanie left, losing contact with her sister as a result. 

Speaking in the documentary, Melanie said Shinn promised members the type of love they’d "never really experienced". She also alleged they paid church members very little to work as employees in their multiple businesses, including a café, two mortgage companies, two real estate companies, and two flower shops.

Shinn started 7M Films in 2021, recruiting already successful dancers, including Miranda and her husband, James, to live together in one house where they created dance content that focused on modern choreography to classic hits. 

In 2022, Shinn filed a defamation lawsuit against multiple former members who had alleged 7M was a cult. In 2023, several more former members joined the complaint, alleging fraud, forced labour, human trafficking and sexual battery. 


The case is due to go to trial in 2025, but no criminal charges have been filed against Shinn. 

Where is Miranda Wilking now?

Now known as Miranda Derrick having taken her husband’s surname, Miranda remains a member of 7M to this day, regularly posting dancing videos to social media.

While Miranda paints a picture of family unity, occasionally posting family photos to her social media accounts, the documentary suggests this is mostly for show. 


In a statement released via Instagram since the documentary’s release, Miranda says while she loves her family, she doesn’t agree with their perspective. 

"I believe that this documentary is a one-sided story," Miranda wrote. "I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 2020 and asked my family for some space in the very beginning to collect my thoughts and process my new walk I wanted to take with God.

"My family didn’t honour the space I asked for and I saw a different side of them I’ve never seen before. Honestly, it made me mad, frustrated and annoyed that they were being so overbearing and chaotic."

Miranda said she had been willing to continue posting content to the Wilking Sister account, but her sister had logged her out. 

"So I had no other choice but to start my own account and pursue my own career. This documentary has created a further challenge between us as I work to overcome this public attack," Miranda wrote.

She further added that she was not a victim, not in any harm and not being abused. 

The documentary’s executive producer, Jessica Acevedo told Glamour magazine she hoped people would continue to dig into the story and ask questions. 

You can watch Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult on Netflix now.

Feature image: Instagram/@itsmirandaderrick

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