Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

This 10 million-view true crime about cults, dancing, and Tik Tok is Netflix’s new hit.

By knl9j Jun10,2024
News

Just ‘The Bridgertons’ is able to trump this frightening extravaganza in the weekly top ten.

Whoever does not find their true crime is doing so because they do not wish to. This includes everything from the most heinous and publicized crimes in the Spanish geography to genuine extravagances that we would have never heard of if it weren’t for some streaming series that came to their rescue. On the other hand, are you familiar with the extraordinary tale of a dancer who was kidnapped by a church that is part of a cult that thrives on Tik Tok influencers?

‘Dancing for the Devil: The 7M Sect on Tik Tok’, which is available to watch on Netflix, has reached 8,800,000 views in its first week (that is, it will have already surpassed ten) and has placed itself in the number two position of the most viewed English series on the platform, only ahead of ‘The Bridgertons’. This is the statement that is made by the video. It tells the story of Miranda Wilking, who, along with other dancers on the popular social network, finds herself trapped by the company that manages her careers, 7M Films. This company is owned by Robert Shinn, who is also the owner of an extravagant self-help sect that nullifies the personalities of its members and distances them from their relationships with their families.

This is what happens to Miranda, who begins her professional life working for her sister Melanie, but beginning in 2019, she begins to devote a greater portion of her time to volunteer work at the church that oversees her professional life. This is a true textbook sect, in which members are compelled to sever all ties with their roots and donate a significant amount of their profits to the group.

The documentary uncovers the extremely unusual linkages that exist in the United States between a very unique perspective of religion and its secular tentacles. Miranda Wilking’s tale is only one of many that are described in the documentary, which reveals these distinctive connections. In addition to being the account of a particular criminal case, this is an invitation to contemplate the numerous and hideous manifestations that capitalism can assume through the medium of the internet.

They were inseparable for a number of years, the Wilking sisters. Miranda and Melanie have been dancing since they were children, and they have gone on to achieve fame as a duet on social media. They have amassed millions of followers on TikTok and have formed lucrative collaborations with various brands. However, in 2019, Miranda began spending more time with members of the talent management organization that was linked with the church and represented her. As a result, she began to distance herself from her close-knit family environment. Because she eventually severed all communication with them, those who were closest to her were led to believe that there was more going on behind the scenes.

Miranda’s tale is told in the new documentary series Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult, which was made by Derek Doneen. The series also covers the stories of many other dancers who, like Miranda, became entangled in the 7M Films management firm, which is situated in Los Angeles and is owned by Robert Shinn. Melanie Wilking and the sisters’ parents, Kelly and Dean, caused a stir in 2022 when they made public statements implying that 7M was a cult and that Miranda was being exploited and controlled by the group. The Wilking family is featured in the documentary, and the interviews with member of the family reveal agonizing insights into what it is like to struggle with the abrupt absence of a loved one who has fallen under the grip of a charismatic leader. Doneen told Netflix, “I think audiences will be surprised by how easily regular people can get sucked into cult-like groups and how devastating the impact can be on families, friends, and communities.” Doneen was referring to the fact that the impact of cult-like groups may be devastating. The families who allowed us to enter as they worked frantically to save their loved ones are truly remarkable, and I am in awe of them.

In addition, the documentary Dancing for the Devil features the stories of dancers and other individuals who have fled 7M Films and are currently fighting to bring it down from the outside. In the words of Jessica Acevedo, the executive producer of the series, “This series is about exposing the wrongdoers and setting the story straight.” This is done with the intention of assisting those individuals who are still under the control of the church.

It is said that the CEO of 7M Films, Robert Shinn, viewed the business as an extension of Shekinah, the church that he has presided over for decades, despite the fact that 7M Films was initially established as a somewhat secular management company. It has been reported by a number of dancers who have subsequently left 7M that Shinn exerted an excessive level of control over them. Shinn allegedly dictated everything from the appearance of their dance routines to the decisions they made regarding their finances, including the need that they give a significant percentage of their earnings to the church. On a more personal level, the dancers were also discouraged from maintaining relationships with members of their families and loved ones who were not a part of 7M and Shekinah.

In addition to serving as a pastor at the Shekinah Church, Robert Shinn is the proprietor of the management firm known as 7M Films. Former employees of 7M as well as members of the church have leveled accusations of controlling conduct against Shinn.

Other dancers who were connected with 7M include Miranda Derrick, her husband James “BDash” Derrick, and Nick “Raino” Raiano. Another dancer who was involved with 7M is Miranda Derrick. An assortment of individuals, including Aubrey Fisher-Greene, Kevin “Konkrete” Davis, Kailea Gray, and Kylie Douglas, have departed from their employment with 7M.

“For all of us dancers who left, it is different to go from leaning on someone for approval for things and seeking their guidance on everything you’re doing to ‘OK, now it’s just up to me; I’m making all the decisions again,'” Douglas says to Tudum. “I’m making all the decisions again.” “It’s almost as if you’re relearning how to be yourself again,” the speaker said.

The Shekinah Church, which was founded by Robert Shinn, began to draw a significant number of followers in the 1990s. “His style of manipulation and control is typical of many other cult leaders,” Doneen said. “He is doing his own thing.” As was the case with the dancers in 7M, the early members of Shekinah were unable to maintain contact with their family members, were subjected to abuse, and were required to fork over excessive amounts to the church. Melanie and Priscylla Lee, two sisters who joined the church in 2001 and came under Shinn’s influence about twenty years before Miranda Derrick did, are referred to as “the earlier generation” by Doneen. “Melanie and Priscylla Lee represent the earlier generation,” Doneen explains. According to Doneen, he believes that the stories of the Lee sisters and the Wilking sisters are similar to one another.

Doneen adds, “They were in Shekinah for decades, and we see the pain they experienced trying to come back together and rebuild their relationship.” Shekinah is a place where they lived for decades.

In spite of the fact that the Wilking family was responsible for bringing Robert Shinn’s schemes to the attention of the entire nation, it turned out that 7M was only the bottom of the iceberg. When we first began, we were completely unaware of the Shekinah group that had been around since the beginning, which included the Lee sisters. During the course of the event, we were informed about Melanie Lee,” explains Acevedo. Because of the large amount of information that was being reported, we had an Excel file that contained the names of all of the persons who were associated with the church from the earlier years up till the present day.

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