Dancers Sue 7M Films Claiming Owner Runs a ‘Cult’

A year after Rolling Stone reported that a company that managed TikTok dancers was allegedly isolating its clients, a new filing makes those accusations official

Rolling Stone/March 21, 2023

By Andrea Marks

Three dancers who previously worked with the controversial church-aligned company 7M Films are suing their previous talent manager and pastor. Aubrey Fisher-Greene, Kylie Douglas, and Kevin “Konkrete” Davis have joined four other complainants in accusing 7M owner and pastor of the Santa Ana–based Shekinah Church Robert Shinn of running a “cult” and taking advantage of his followers. The filing names Shinn, 7M, and Shekinah, along with 17 other entities and individuals.

“Shekinah is a cult operating under the guise of a religious institution,” reads the cross-complaint, accepted in court on Tuesday. “Robert refers to himself as ‘the Man of God’ and preaches to Shekinah members and that [sic] without submitting to him and without Shekinah, their lives will be cursed. Robert required full physical and economic and control [sic] over Shekinah members.”

An attorney for Shinn did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment on the new filing. In 2022, 7M denied asserting undue influence over its dancers or taking advantage of them to Rolling Stone.

The filing is part of an ongoing lawsuit initiated when Shinn filed his own complaint in October 2022 against a former church member, claiming she’d extorted and defamed him. (That defendant has denied the allegations and is countersuing Shinn in the cross-complaint.) This represents the first legal action taken by dancers against the company and its leadership since allegations surfaced a year ago about alleged “cult”-like management practices within the company, whose high-gloss dance videos draw thousands to millions of views on TikTok. The 7M dancers in the complaint were also members of Shekinah, the Santa Ana-based church where Shinn serves as pastor. (The filing, a cross-complaint to the earlier lawsuit, was filed most recently on Friday as an exhibit to a declaration, and was approved by the judge in the case on Tuesday.)

According to the cross-complaint, Shinn exercised control over his church members’ lives and asked them to give large amounts of money to him. He deployed “deputies” — called “mentors” and “sub-mentors” — to exert control over their fellow church members, the filing states. These deputies “did his bidding including collecting tithes from other members, moving money from members’ bank accounts, instructing members where to live, and instructing members on how to spend nearly every waking moment of their time,” according to the filing. The cross-complaint alleges Shinn even interfered with members’ healthcare, claiming he sent members to a Covid vaccine clinic where a Shekinah member working there “pretended to shoot cross-complainants with the vaccine, but just squirted it onto their arms.”

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.