I Will Never Look at TikTok Dance Videos the Same After Watching This Freaky Cult Documentary

Kick ball change and never talk to your family again

A collage from Dancing with the Devil TikTok cult doc

I've scrolled my share of dance videos on TikTok, from Charlie D'Amelio to Montana Tucker, and I've never really thought much about them beyond, "Wow, they're good at dancing." But after taking in all three episodes of Netflix's Dancing with the Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult, I'll never look at a vertically-shot, dancing social media video the same way again.

The mini docu-series begins with the story of Miranda and Melanie Wilking, sisters from Michigan, who became TikTok stars in their own right. They grew up with a love of dance and moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. But when casting directors advised them that they wouldn't make it far as a duo, they decided to take things into their own hands and produce their own content, growing a massive audience on their terms.

"Good for them! Doing it on their own!" You might be thinking. But no. This is a Netflix cult documentary. So obviously things take a turn. See, the content game is all about audience sharing, which means collabs are a must. So the Wilking sisters partnered up with various TikTok-famous dancers, including B. Dash. Sparks flew between Miranda and B. Dash, and they would eventually get married and make lots more videos dancing together.

"Yay! A love story! How nice!" you might be thinking. But no. This is the part about the cult. Turns out B. Dash is tied up in a church-slash-management-company (never a good combo!) called the Shekinah Church, led by Pastor Robert Shinn. Shinn, keenly noticing that a big slice of his devotees had massive audiences, decided to "help" them with their brand deals and content creating under the management leg of the church, 7M, scoring them big contracts and lots of money.

"Nothing wrong with doing business and making money!" you might be thinking. But no. Remember how the management company is also a church? The dancers are forced to tithe the majority of their earnings back to the church.

"Kinda seems like Shinn makes the dancers dependent on him," you might be thinking. Yep. On top of that, he instills the belief that in order to prevent their loved ones from going to hell, they must cut them off completely.

"But surely the sisters still communicate?!" you might be thinking. Nope. Miranda goes radio silent on her parents and sister, essentially cutting them out of her life completely all while still outputting dancing vids with other dancers within their tight, closed-community circle.

"But she didn't cut her family off completely!" you might be thinking. And you'd be correct. Miranda and her family do have occasional contact, but it's on Shinn's terms. No talking about the church and everything is staged for social media. This is what I found to be the creepiest part: After Miranda's family makes a video that goes viral, pleading for help to get back in touch with their daughter—even calling the cops to rescue their daughter and arrest Shinn—they show up in Miranda's social media feed looking happy and content, as if everything is normal. In fact, they even make dancing videos—the same type of media that pulled Miranda into the cult in the first place.

"Eek, I'm not sure I'll ever look at dancing TikTok videos the same way again."

Told ya.

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Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...