‘I’m The Return of Christ’: Alleged Polygamist Cult Leader Hit With Charges in Georgia

The leader of “Carbon Nation” was arrested on numerous charges including rape, false imprisonment, and sending sexually explicit electronic transmissions without consent.

Daily Beast/April 16, 2022

By Pilar Melendez

The leader of an alleged polygamist cult who often refers to himself as “3God” and “Nature Boy” is facing several charges this week, including false imprisonment and rape.

Eligio Bishop, the 40-year-old leader of the group Carbon Nation, was arrested this week on five charges on April 14—including rape, false imprisonment, and sending sexually explicit electronic transmissions without consent, the Dekalb County Police Department said. The arrest comes after a Wednesday night raid at his Georgia home, which included dozens of officers and a tactical team, according to WSB-TV.

He is currently being held at DeKalb County jail after Magistrate Judge Abbi Taylor denied his bail during a Friday court appearance, the severity of his alleged crimes. While authorities have not provided details into what led to the charges, police did confirm a “special victims unit investigation” into Bishop has been ongoing since March 30 after they received a complaint against him. The Wednesday raid, police said, included search and arrest warrants.

“There is no additional information at this time,” a police spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

According to DeKalb County jail records, however, the alleged rape and false imprisonment occured on March 24. Three days later, he allegedly sent explicit pictures in messages without the subject’s consent, prompting two counts on the prohibition on nude of sexually explicit electronic transmission charge.

“We teach sexual education and we believe in nudity. And so that’s one of the charges that’s trying to be brought against my chief that’s for revenge porn, but the female that was here, the woman that was here, she gave consent to actually release it for sexual education, it’s not just like porn, it’s for educational purposes” Daylin Armstead, a current Carbon Nation member, alleged to Fox5Atlanta.

Bishop did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, and it is not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.

Previous news reports state Carbon Nation members allegedly follow a vegan diet, believe in nudism and polygamy, and are forced to hand over their financial information to Bishop before leaning his “teachings.” Bishop—who boasts 25,00 followers on Instagram and 90,000 more on YouTube—describes himself as “Messiah” and “$Th33God.” Several of the YouTube posts include music videos and self-help instructional videos, and most urge donations to Carbon Nation via CashApp.

Erikka Carroll, a former member of Carbon Nation, told 11Alive on Saturday that the internet is where Bishop first lured her into the alleged cult. She said that in 2006, a Facebook post convinced her to move from New York to Honduras to help build a new community focused on nature. After a few months, Carroll said the group eventually settled in Costa Rica, where they “slept outside in tents” and ate only fruit and vegetables, before being made to work.

"We’d have to sit in these long meetings—he’d say we’d be facing our demons while doing that. But basically he’s just projecting onto you what he has going on inside of him," Carroll told 11Alive. "It was a lot of verbal and mental abuse.”

Carroll said she eventually left the group after witnessing verbal and physical abuse, and believes that since she left Carbon Nation, the group has only turned more sinister.

“Those people that are [still in the cult], their only hope is for [Bishop] to be locked up right now. For him to be locked up period. It's too many things he has gotten away with,” Carroll added, noting that Bishop “always said he wanted a lot of wives.”

On Wednesday Bishop posted a video at a restaurant in Atlanta. In tandem with several women, Bishop is seen yelling “the Black man is god” several times before adding “feel my power Black man, this is your power” in front of the restaurant's employees.

“I’m here,” he added.

On Thursday, several of his followers posted Instagram videos, in which Bishop’s voice is heard on a speaker phone explaining the situation to his supporters, noting that he was “trying to help people” and feels “misunderstood.”

“I know that I've scared a lot of people. But truly I’m a really sweet person,” he said. “They want to crucify me, they want me dead, there's hate that surrounds me, you can feel it, just like any other prophet—only me, I'm the return of the Christ.”

“We are here to be awakened. So this will not turn out like people think this is going to turn out,” he added, before several people can be heard agreeing with him. “I also forgive my accusers. My heart is light as a feather. I am in good spirits. No matter what happens…remember, I am with you forever.”

But this is not the first time Bishop has faced legal trouble for his role in the alleged cult. In June 2020, Bishop was among 21 people arrested in Hawaii for violating the state’s COVID-19 mandatory 14-day quarantine order. In an interview with AP about the arrest, Bishop admitted he is often described as a cult leader and thought the distinction “was kind of cool.”

“We’re a group of African-Americans that are protesting our conditions by leaving them,” he added. “They just make us look crazy on the internet.”

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