Miranda Derrick poses at the 2021 American Music Awards
(Amy Sussman / Getty)

Miranda Derrick Responds To ‘Dancing for the Devil’ Amid Ongoing Cult Investigation

Netflix’s new documentary Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult has shocked viewers with its investigation into a cult that exploited TikTok creators. However, one of the major figures in the documentary, Miranda Derrick, has now spoken out, denying its claims.

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Across three episodes, Dancing for the Devil explores how Robert Shinn created what many have described as a cult from his church-affiliated management company. Shinn founded Shekinah Church and the management company 7M Films. The Church’s website states that its mission is to “aggressively train” Christians to make them into “generals of God” who devote their lives wholly to the gospel. Meanwhile, 7M Films claims to represent some of the “top social media influencers in the world.” The Church and management company are deeply intertwined and boast the same cult-like environment.

According to the documentary, Shinn’s Church is actually a cult that he funds through exploiting influencers involved with 7M. Several former members and families of current members of the Church told harrowing stories of how Shinn allegedly tore families apart, encouraged members to “die to” themselves and their families, and recruited vulnerable TikTok dancers to exploit their talents, steal their income, and silence them with confidentiality agreements. Miranda’s family spoke out about how the apparent cult was allegedly exerting control over their daughter. Now, Miranda has broken her silence on the documentary.

Miranda Derrick disputes Dancing for the Devil allegations

In Dancing for the Devil, the Wilking family tearfully detailed how their daughter, Miranda, was seemingly encouraged by the church to cut contact with them. The documentary explains how Miranda and her sister, Melanie, garnered a social media following after dubbing themselves the Wilking Sisters and producing popular dance videos. Their social media presence led them to James Derrick, who was interested in collaborating with them. Eventually, James and Miranda began dating, and things were going well until the couple decided to join 7M Films.

After becoming immersed in the Church and management firm, the pair suddenly cut contact with Miranda’s family. Miranda left the Wilking Sisters, didn’t tell her family she and James were getting married, and missed her grandfather’s funeral. The family alleged that 7M was behind all of these instances, encouraging Miranda to cut contact with her family and exerting control over her actions.

However, Miranda recently took to Instagram with a lengthy statement denying Dancing for the Devil‘s claims. In her post, she explained she couldn’t go into detail due to legal matters and emphasized she was only speaking for herself and not anyone else in the documentary. She went on to claim that she distanced herself from her family simply because they disagreed on religious matters and her affiliation with the Church. According to Miranda, she was kicked off the Wilking Sisters’ social media accounts by her family instead of leaving voluntarily and decided not to attend the funeral due to the bad terms she was on with her family.

Meanwhile, she revealed that the documentary had come between her and her family, although they are in the process of making amends. Miranda concluded by stating that she was not a victim and did not want the documentary to paint her as someone who was not in control of her own life.

Miranda’s story is one of many in Dancing for the Devil

It’s difficult to determine the accuracy of Miranda’s account. On the one hand, one must consider that individuals within cults often don’t recognize that they are in a cult because of how intense the control and manipulation are. On the other hand, her account can’t be automatically discounted, and it is possible that difficult family dynamics were responsible for some of the distancing.

However, even if Miranda’s experience with Shinn’s Church and 7M Films wasn’t exactly what Dancing for the Devil describes, her story is just one of many to arise from the cult. Many of the former dancers for 7M Films have spoken out about their negative experiences but have faced challenges from Shinn, who in return, filed a defamation lawsuit against them. Several have now countersued Shinn, accusing him and his organization of brainwashing, abuse, exploitation, and manipulation.

Sisters Melanie and Priscylla Lee also told their harrowing and heartbreaking story, saying Shinn took advantage of the neglect they experienced as children, enticing them to join the Church with promises of community and comfort. They say he used their vulnerability to groom and sexually abuse the women. Although Melanie fled the church after Shinn’s sexual advancements, her sister remained with the Church and reports experiencing a decade of abuse before fleeing when she says Shinn’s fourth wife began harassing and assaulting her.

Like many cults, Shinn knew who to target. He targeted women with painful backgrounds of abuse or neglect, or rising dancers who would do anything to make their dreams come true and then used their vulnerability to allegedly exploit and abuse them. Dancing with the Devil isn’t just about Miranda’s story and her specific experiences with the alleged cult, as there are numerous victims, and the church and management company remain standing and continue to pose a danger to others.


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.