Image: @Itsmirandaderrick and @Melaniewilking | TikTok
Melanie Wilking claims her TikToker sister is being held hostage by a cult

Melanie Wilking claims she hasn’t spoken to her sister Miranda Derrick in a year. In a 40-minute video posted on Instagram, Melanie is joined by her parents to speak about her concern for her sister. “It’s a very uncomfortable topic that has been haunting us [for] over a year now,” she says as she tells a spine-chilling tale. 

Miranda’s family fear that she is being held hostage by a religious cult. Miranda, a social media star who has over a million followers on Instagram and more than 700,000 followers on TikTok, blindsided her family by announcing a sudden marriage to fellow dance star James Derrick and cutting contact with her family. 

@itsmirandaderrick

Can’t stop us from dancin🕺🏼Comment your fav song to dance to!!! @RainO #fyp #ForYouPage

♬ original sound – Tik Toker

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Her family alleges that it is Miranda’s management firm 7M Films, which has been linked to the Seven Mountain Mandate Penetcostal religious movement, that is responsible for Miranda’s out of character behavior. 7M Films requires its members to live in a house together, which allows them to control and restrict their every move. Melanie also took to TikTok to spread awareness.

@melaniewilking

Thank you so much @gracewe1senbach for creating and posting this video. I have hope we will get my sister, and all of the other victims back because unfortunately, we aren’t the only people going through this heartache. I am so overwhelmed with all of the love and support my family and I have received. ♥️ #freemiranda #cult #wilkingsisters #mirandaderrick #melaniewilking

♬ original sound – Melanie Wilking

“The church is completely secluded,” she writes in the video, where her sister dances in a field to a Billy Joel song. “They want to control your life, time, and finances. She is not the only victim in this situation.” 

@the.cassiemarie

Wilking Sisters and 7M films management part 1 wilkingsisters tiktokdancers cult cultyvibes melaniewilking mirandawilking mirandaderrick culty

♬ original sound – the.cassiemarie

And the speculation that has taken over social media about Miranda’s new direction in life isn’t the first time that fears of a cult spread over TikTok. 

Last year, TikTok was buzzing with speculation over The Garden, a commune in Tennessee where the goal was to empower people to no longer need to rely on money. They grew their own food and built their own shelters — and TikTok users were convinced that there was something sinister about TreeIsAlive, who first posted about the commune. “Join us!” reads the caption of his first video. 

@treeisalive

Join us! 8967 Galen rd Lafayette, TN #ecovillage #permaculture #offgrid #intentionalcommunity #fyp

♬ original sound – Tree

Users backed up their concern with facts such as The Garden being near a Sundown Town, a town that is unsafe for People of Color in the night, and them being registered as a non-profit organization

@boredtodeaf

#stitch with @treeisalive this is a cult!! (1/2)#fyp #commune #communes #cults #cultescape #manipulaton

♬ Slumber Party (feat. Princess Nokia) – Ashnikko

@lolellakoundji

#stitch with @rocknrelmusic let’s talk about fear, and what it actually means #culttok#treeisalive#fyp#xyzbca#staysafe

♬ original sound – lolel lakoundji

 

More disturbing information emerged as well, such as one member claiming they killed and ate a cat and then turned it into a hat. 

@tallgirl6234

#stitch with @thomasedisonhatepage #treeisalive is a #cult full stop. This is not how a #commune or a #coop work. #thegarden

♬ SugarCrash! – ElyOtto

The Garden has since closed its applications to the public. It has no official designation as being a cult. Last year’s saga showcased how eager social media users are to spread and discuss suspicious content, particularly if it relates to a potential cult. Perhaps this is why Melanie continues to share her emotional story on Instagram and TikTok: maybe if more people pay attention, Miranda can be reached.