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

Melanie and Miranda Wilking rose to fame on TikTok as a dancing sibling duo. 

The Michigan sisters had, by the ages of 20 and 22, more than three million followers and over 176 million views. 

As their star rose, so did the opportunities—they appeared in dance videos for singers like Selena Gomez and Iggy Azalea. They worked with NBC, Victoria's Secret, Nike, Cover Girl and numerous other brands. 

They were as close as sisters come, as was their family. 

The sisters both moved to LA to follow their dream, but would regularly call, text and visit their parents Kelly and Dean who also regularly showed up in their videos. Then, in 2020, things started changing.

@melaniewilking FAM did it🤪🔥♥️ Thank u for over 1,000 vids to this song #familytime #wilkingsisters #wilkingdancechallenge #tiktokdancechallenge ♬ Wilking Sisters TikTok Dance Challenge Bdash Beat - Melanie Wilking

The sisters' followers noticed a distance between them, and it was growing. Miranda wasn't appearing in videos anymore. 

Behind the scenes, she'd met her future husband, fellow dancer James 'BDash' Derrick. Soon, James' videographer, Isaiah Shinn, introduced them to a religious group run by his dad where they were suddenly spending most of their time. 

Then, on February 24th, 2022, Melanie, and her parents Kelly and Dean went live on Instagram. 

"Today is my sister's birthday," Melanie began. "We're not allowed to contact her....we're blocked on absolutely everything."

The family revealed that they believed Miranda had fallen victim to a cult being run by Robert Shinn, founder of Shekinah Church. She was there, they said, with a bigger group of dancers who were all being managed by Shinn and his 7M Films talent company. 


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

Video via Netflix

Looking at Miranda's social media account from that time, everything appears normal. She's still dancing with her husband and doing collabs with other dancers (all from 7M). She's still in beautiful stylish clothes and she's still updating her followers on her life, her family are just absent from the picture. 

"She cut off all ties," her mum Kelly said. 

"I don't know anyone who has spoken to her from before. The only people who I think speak to her are from this religious organisation."

The video plea from the Wilkings went viral, and internet sleuths were quick to point out that it wasn't just Miranda. There were multiple other TikTok-famous dancers attached to the 7M brand, who also appeared to be affiliated with their manager's church. 

@itsmirandaderrick Wanna be bad just 🔥🔥🔥 @BDash @Nino&Julia DC: @Vik White & @BDash #mj #dance #trending #viral ♬ 오리지널 사운드 - Rude V 루드비

Some of those dancers have since left, and gave interviews for the Netflix series Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult, revealing the extent of Shinn's manipulation. 

They say he promised to keep the money flowing with brand deals and sponsorships, put many of them up in fancy homes he owned and gave them the space to build their brands and have 'content days' with other creators. 


But on the side, he was allegedly influencing them with his controversial teachings and getting gradually more and more strict, eventually forcing them to sign NDA's about what was being said in church.

The homes he provided for them to live in were said to be 'extensions of the church' and they were expected to attend services on Wednesdays and Sundays. There, they were taught to 'die to yourself.'

Robert Shinn. Image: Netflix.


In the docuseries, Shinn can be heard telling his sermon "bury yourself...get rid of yourself, and anybody and anything that reminds you of yourself, you gotta die to it. So when you die to it, the new nature is born."

Shinn taught that they weren't Jesus's disciple until they 'died' to their family in order to save them and grant them access to heaven. The goal was, to cut out all loved ones to "help" them. Parents, children, siblings, grandparents — they had to 'die' to all of them. 

In January 2021, the gradual pull back of communication from Miranda went one step further. She told her parents she wasn't coming home for her grandfather's funeral and for them it was the final straw. 

They knew something was very, very wrong. They called police around to check on her, but she fobbed them off. She was fine, she just had different grieving processes to her family, she told the officers. 

Miranda went on to live her life; she got engaged and then married, she chopped off her hair and she moved house. Her family were completely in the dark through all of it. She didn't contact them on their birthdays or Thanksgiving. 

@bdash_2 She said yes!💍 @mirandawilking1 🎥 @isaiahshinn #lifeisincredible #marriedlife ♬ Fly Me To The Moon - 2008 Remastered - Frank Sinatra

In December 2021, Melanie turned up at her sister's Christmas show hoping to speak to her. She gave her a huge hug and tried to talk to her, but "she was cold...no emotion". 

Her mother Kelly also managed to see her in person, convincing her to meet her for a coffee. But Miranda didn't stay long, and she had nothing to say.

"When you raise somebody, and you know her...and all of a sudden to see a shell of your daughter, there was just....her eyes were glazed over, she talked, but I almost felt like she didn't love us or something, anymore," her mum told Dancing for the Devil. 


Former 7M dancer Kylie Douglas was with Miranda through all of it and said she watched her friend's heartbreak. 

"She would say to me 'I do want to see them, but Robert was saying it's not a good idea.' 

"She cried sometimes because of how much she missed her family....she was sad, she did miss them, she did love them, but she's being brainwashed."

After the Wilkings viral video, Shinn changed his tune. He told his congregation Miranda's family was 'making a fuss' because they 'still wanted to control her' and changed his rules. 

He gave Miranda and the rest of his followers permission to see their families, but it appeared from the outside that the move was only to keep up appearances. 

It was around this time that Kylie and a group of the dancers started to grow uneasy with Shinn's methods. They realised the 7M dancers were living fairly separately from the rest of the Shekinah Church members, who they came to find out were treated very differently.

"We all came to a realisation that we've all seen some....some weird stuff," Kevin 'Konkrete' Davis Jr. told Dancing for the Devil.

Allegations of brainwashing, isolation, abuse of power, forced labour, defrauding people of millions and even sexual harassment. 

But while Konkrete, Kylie and a few of the other dancers came to the realisation they'd become part of a cult and decided to leave, Miranda and her husband were among those getting pulled deeper into the church. 


As the Wilkings shared, suddenly they had their daughter and sister back for visits and special occasions, but she was different. She banned them from talking about Shinn or Shekinah and their 'catchups' appeared to be mainly for social media. 

@itsmirandaderrick Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mother💐 I love you @Kelly wilking #mothersday #happymothersday #love #mom #family #iloveyou ♬ Isn't She Lovely (Acoustic Version) - Mount Hayes

She appeared at her sister's wedding (but not as the maid of honour Melanie grew up hoping she'd be). She saw Kelly for Mother's Day. There are videos of her dancing with her family. 

"Now, I feel like there's more hope because she's contacting my mum. I've seen her a couple of times," shared Melanie.

"[But] it's not even close to the relationship we had before. I wouldn't even call it a relationship, any encounter we've had with her it's so superficial."

As far as they're concerned, Miranda is still in a cult. A cult being run by Robert Shinn, who is waiting to face trial in 2025 based on civil charges filed by former 7M members and church members. 

The Wilkings have filed complaints with the LAPD, FBI, IRS and Attorney General.

Miranda's comments on social media are turned off and many think her latest dancing video with the caption, "Dancing it out with my sis by my side," featuring fellow dancer Kendra 'KO' Willis, is a swipe at her blood sister and family's involvement in the show. 

@itsmirandaderrick Dancing it out with my sis by my side🥰✨ @Kendra “KO” Willis #dance #love #joy #besties ♬ I'm Every Woman - Whitney Houston

Feature image: TikTok/The Wilking Sisters.

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