Prosecution shares social media videos of accused cult leader

In one of the videos he is recorded saying, “I am not a woman, I am not a man, I am God.”

Atlanta News First/February 23, 2024

By Brittany Ford

Atlanta, Georgia -- The trial for an accused cult leader charged with rape continued in Dekalb County Friday.

Eligio Bishop, 40, is the alleged cult leader of a polygamist group called “Carbon Nation.”

Prosecutors played social media videos posted by Bishop. In one of the videos he is recorded saying, “I am not a woman, I am not a man, I am God.”

Prosecution called cult expert Rick Alan Ross to the stand.

Ross says he has studied the group and has observed dangerous behavior regarding Bishop, “About his authority, about his knowledge and about his expertise, what his mission is and how people should respond to him. He has a general lack of accountability. I would say that fits the profile of a destructive authoritative leader from what I’ve seen.”

Bishop is accused of raping one of his followers in March 2022. The alleged victim claimed Bishop posted revenge porn of her online when she left the group.

The defense has stressed her statements to police contradict that any sort of rape occurred.

“In that interview, she described making love. Making love is what she described. She used those words,” said defense attorney Rob Booker said.

Courtney Townsend is a former member took the stand. “What would happen if someone upset or angered Mr. Bishop?” asked prosecution.

“I would say that emotional abuse begins,” said Townsend.

Townsend during testimony stated there was backlash against the allege victim, “We collectively worked on videos to throw dirt on her and make her seem crazy.”

Carbon Nation has been widely covered for getting kicked out of different states and countries, including Hawaii, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.

Bishop is standing trial on rape, false imprisonment and three counts of prohibition on nude or sexually explicit electronic transmission charges.

If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole

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