Dancing for the Devil’s Miranda Derrick says she is receiving death threats

Miranda Derrick, who was the subject of Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult, said she and her husband have been receiving death threats since the release of the Netflix docuseries.

The dancer said in a video posted on her social media on Monday that she and her husband James Derrick felt “like our lives have been put in danger”. While she was enjoying trying to mend her relationship with her parents and sister, Derrick said she doesn’t understand their motivations for making the documentary.

“Hey guys, I know I don’t normally make this kind of content, but I just wanted to be transparent and a little vulnerable with you,” Derrick said.

“Before this documentary, my husband and I – we felt safe,” she said. “Now that this documentary is out, we feel like our lives have been put in danger.”

The three-episode series premiered on 29 May on Netflix, and follows Derrick and her sister Melanie Wilking. It shows how Derrick became estranged from her family after she joined 7M that Netflix said “was a cult masquerading as a management company”. 7M is led by Robert Shinn, who is also the leader of Los Angeles’ Shekinah Church.

Dancing for the Devil shows how Derrick met her husband, and her subsequent introduction to the Shekinah Church, which the documentary claims is behind her estrangement from her family who allege that the invite-only church functions as a cult.

Derrick said she and her husband “have both been followed in our cars”.

“We have received hate mail, death threats. People have been sending us messages to commit suicide. We’ve been stalked,” she said.

“Someone said that, if I see you on the street, I’m going to come and get you so you better get security. Someone also said that, if I see you walking on the sidewalk, I’m going to come and shove you in the trunk of my car.”

The dancer, who has 2.7 million followers on Tiktok and 1.7 million on Instagram, said that these threats were likely caused by the documentary and blamed her parents and her sister for participating in the documentary.

“I honestly – I don’t understand how my parents and my sister thought that this documentary would help me or would help our relationship in any way. I just don’t understand that.”

At the end of the documentary, it seemed like Derrick and her family were communicating and on their way to a reconciliation, but Derrick’s recent post suggests that may not be the case anymore.

“I have been getting together with my family for the past couple of years, privately, to work on our relationship, to make things right, to mend what has been broken. I’ve been loving getting together, laughing, just enjoying each other’s company. And this documentary has made it very difficult to continue doing that.”

“Honestly, I think that my parents, my sister have focused so much on this documentary that they’ve forgotten about working on any relationship with me and that hurts. That hurts me to say,” she said.

After the documentary was released, Derrick released a statement on her social media saying that the “documentary is a one-sided story” and that she is not a “victim”.

“I love my Mom, Dad and Melanie and they will forever be a part of my life,” Derrick wrote on her Instagram Stories on 4 June.

“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 parents and sister are not religious. They immediately called me going to church twice a week a ‘cult.’”

However, Wilking told Access Hollywood that Netflix reached out to both Derrick and her husband. “They were reached out to many times. And declined every time,” she said.

In Dancing for the Devil, documentary maker Derek Doneen digs into the Wilkings’ allegation that Derrick was coerced by Mr Shinn to cut off ties with her family, and traces the history of the church and its ties to 7M Films.

Several former 7M dancers have said Mr Shinn chooses to specifically engage with TikTok-famous dancers, taking advantage of their vulnerability as aspiring artists who had moved to LA to chase their dreams. They added that a majority of their income would go to Robert in the form of tithes and fees, and they were forced to attend lengthy, late-night Bible study sessions and encouraged to cut off contact with their friends and family.

At least one former member, named Lydia Chung, has sued Mr Shinn’s church, claiming she was brainwashed and scammed out of $4m.

“This is a cult. This totally ruins people. You hear about the people who went to Vietnam—going through such a trauma, many people cannot function as a normal human being—this is what it does,” Chung told The Daily Beast.

The Independent has reached out to 7M for comment.

Dancing for the Devil: The 7M TikTokCult is available to stream on Netflix now.