TikTok star’s family says she’s being held hostage in a dance cult

Miranda Derrick addressed her family’s claims, saying: ‘Thank you so much for your concern but I am not involved in a religious cult’

Bevan Hurley
Friday 11 March 2022 22:05
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Miranda Derrick’s family says TikTok star being held hostage in dance cult

The family of a popular Los Angeles-based TikTok star claim she is being held hostage by a religious cult.

Miranda Derrick’s parents and sister said they haven’t seen the social media star in more than a year, were blindsided by her marriage to another social media dance star James Derrick, and that she is being “brainwashed” by her management firm 7M Films that is linked to the Seven Mountain Mandate Pentecostal movement.

Miranda Derrick has denied claims from her family that she is being held hostage by a religious cult

In a viral Instagram video posted on 22 February, Melanie Wilking and her parents allege the management firm is preventing them from seeing Derrick and tearfully beg her to come home.

“We’re living in fear,” they said in the clip posted on Miranda’s birthday.

The family rift apparently deepened when Derrick refused to attend her grandfather’s funeral in Michigan last January.

Her parents flew to Los Angeles to meet with her, and said their daughter was “totally different”.

Derrick addressed her family’s claims in a recent post to her Instagram stories to say she had stopped contact with her family due to a “disagreement” about her relationship with James Derrick, who she married last year.

She said after she moved out of the house she was sharing with her sister, she was blocked from accessing their joint TikTok account with several million followers.

“To everyone who has reached out asking if I’m OK and involved in a religious cult thank you so much for your concern but I am not involved in a religious cult.”

Miranda Derrick addressed claims she was being held hostage by a religious cult in a series of posts to her Instagram

Miranda Derrick says her family called the police to falsely claim she had been kidnapped

Miranda Derrick said she was forced to speak out about her family’s claims

Miranda Derrick said she cut off contact with her family after they called the police claiming her “black boyfriend” had kidnapped her.

“I ended up meeting up with the police officers and they saw that I was fine and we actually laughed about the situation,” Derrick wrote on Instagram.

In a separate response to her family’s concerns, Derrick posted an Instagram video in January of herself dancing to the Billy Joel song My Life along with the caption: “This is my life, leave me alone.”

Melanie Wilking posted a response to the clip on her TikTok account, which claimed her sister is involved in a cult.

“She’s a victim of a church-based CULT in the LA area and has blocked and cut off all contact with her family,” Melanie says in the TikTok.

“This video of her dancing with these lyrics is chilling after the truth has come out.”

The Michigan-born sisters formed a successful dance partnership that exploded in popularity on TikTok in 2020, attracting more than three million followers.

Wilking said had been “attached at the hip” as they built their social media following, but had since been blocked from all of her sister’s social media accounts.

She said she had been involved with 7M, but decided to leave the organisation after seeing several “red flags”.

Wilking claims 7M requires all of its dancers to live in a “hype house” and are not allowed to communicate with their families.

Mother Kelly Wilking says she doesn’t know if her daughter is safe.

Melanie Wilking and her parents Kelly and Dean Wilking posted a lengthy Instagram video claiming Miranda was in a cult

“As a mom.... I just want to hug her.”

Gawker reported 7M is a wing of the Shekinah Church.

The evangelical movement is said to be based on the Seven Mountain Mandate, which is a verse from Isaiah 2:2, which advocates for the conquering of seven facets of life.

One its most high profile supporters is the evangelical leader Paula White, who was Donald Trump’s “spiritual adviser” during his presidency.

7M Films describes itself as a “multifaceted organisation with both a film production company that develops and produces content and a talent management company that represents some of the top social media influencers in the world”.

The Independent has approached 7M Films, Derrick and Wilking for further comment. 

Derrick, who recently appeared on The Ellen Show, regularly performs with her husband, who is known by his social media B-Dash.

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