Is Shekinah Church Still Active? Does 7M TikTok Cult Still Exist?

After all the allegations against the group, it’s incredible to learn whether the Shekinah Church is still active. Accusations of abuse and “cult-like” behavior first broke in 2022 when Rolling Stone seemingly connected TikTok dancers for 7M Films with a religious organization headed by pastor Robert Shinn.

Dancing For The Devil: The 7M TikTok Cult on Netflix explores Shinn, who founded 7M Films in 2021, and allegations against his company. 7M signs TikTok dancers and talent and has claimed that their talent’s following has grown from 1.78 million to 10.42 million followers. Shinn and 7M Films claim that both operations function independently and have no connections, however, both former 7M employees and church members have accused Shinn of controlling behavior. So is Shekinah Church still active? Read on.

Is Shekinah Church still active?

Much like other religious institutions that have been accused of horrible crimes, there’s been very little accountability for Shekinah Church because it’s still active. According to their website, “Shekinah Church International was born with the calling of saving one billion souls, raising up leaders for the Body of Christ and supporting the gospel with all means.”

The site goes on: “We are called to aggressively train God’s people to develop the fruit of the Spirit, which are divine characteristics of God Himself, so that they may really meet God in the deepest way. Only in this way, will one handle all the success and prosperity properly.”

The organization was founded by Robert Shinn in 1994 originally as a religious community for Korean Americans. In 2009, Lydia Chung filed a lawsuit claiming that Shekinah and Shinn “had isolated her from her family, brainwashed her, and defrauded her out of nearly $4 million, which was allegedly funneled to Shinn through the non-taxpaying church.”

In court papers, Shinn described the Shekinah group as a “small and tight-knit group of Christian believers committed to spreading their religious message through peaceful religious study and outreach.” The judge ruled in favor of Shinn.

Melanie Lee and Robert Shinn
Melanie Lee and Robert ShinnNetflix

“This is a cult,” Chung told The Daily Beast. “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.” She continued: “I don’t want to cause harm to anyone going to real churches,” Chung emphasized and alleged that the organization is “much worse” than Scientology or any other religious sect.

In 2022, several former members of 7M Films Management and the Wilkings family came forward alleging that Shinn forces members to cut out friends and family members and is overall abusive. The Wilkings family including TikToker Melanie alleged that her sister Miranda Wilkings (now Derricks) forcibly blocked all communication from them.

“Even though we were only in there for two years, it’s still two years of our life that we spent battling to give full attention to [Shinn] and his church,” hip-hop dancer Kylie Douglas told Rolling Stone. “We just no longer want him to be able to do that to anyone: the brainwashing, the manipulating, running people down—giving their time, giving their effort, giving their money, giving all they got for something that is a false hope.”

Little is known about Shinn’s whereabouts today but we do know he currently lives in Los Angeles with his son Isaiah. Days after the documentary was released, TMZ reported that the two criminal investigations against Robert Shinn did not result in any charges. The gossip site reported that law enforcement ultimately rejected the 2 sexual battery cases in April this year— citing insufficient evidence and a significant delay in reporting as the reasons for not bringing any charges.

His company 7M came forward with a statement about Miranda Derrick’s family’s allegations to Daily Mail. “Despite her family’s claims, Miranda is a successful businesswoman and a loving wife and daughter who cares very much about her family,” the statement read. It is pathetic and contemptible to try to turn her private family matters into a tawdry public scandal for clicks and clout. While the recent portrayals of Dr. Robert Shinn and 7M Films have been wildly offensive and riddled with inaccuracies, those false claims will not deter 7M from supporting Miranda in whichever endeavors she chooses to pursue next.”

According to the end of the Netflix documentary, Shinn revealed planning to go ahead with the lawsuit. “No criminal charges have been brought against Shinn. He has previously denied sexually abusing any member of Shekinah or any client of 7M. The civil lawsuit is ongoing. Robert and his co-defendants deny the claims against them. The case is set to go to trial in 2025.”

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