‘Preyed on Her Weakness’: Police In Missouri Are Searching for Four Missing Adults and Two Children Believed to be Linked to an Alleged Online Cult

Atlanta Black Star/January 14, 2024

By Taylor Ardrey

Police in Missouri are looking for six missing people who are believed to be linked to an alleged online cult led by an incarcerated man who touts himself as a “prophet” and “revolutionary.”

The Berkeley Police Department said the group led by Rashad Jamal [White] — who is a social media influencer, poet, and rapper with thousands of followers across platforms — disappeared in St. Louis County last summer, KSDK reported. It includes Gerille German and her son Ashton Mitchell, Naaman Williams, and Mikayla Thompson.

Per the report, Ma’Kayla Wickerson and her 3-year-old daughter Malaiyah have disappeared, too. Family members are desperate to know their whereabouts and if they are safe. Wickerson’s mother said the 25-year-old had stopped going to work and iced them out before unexpectedly moving out.

“She was probably suffering from postpartum depression. Meeting these people online, and they just preyed on her weakness,” Cartisha Morgan told the outlet.

Police said Williams started what is described as his “spiritual journey” in 2022 and connected with Thompson online, the report said. She picked him up from Washington, D.C., and both returned to Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Jamal runs a YouTube channel called “The University of Cosmic Intelligence,” which has nearly 200,000 subscribers and was created following the death of George Floyd in 2020. In a recent video on Jan. 2, he slammed the idea of being labeled as a cult leader.

“I’m just giving you my opinion on a plethora of different subjects: from metaphysics to quantum physics to molecular biology to marine biology to geography to Black history to world history. I’m giving you my opinions on these things,” Jamal said to the newspaper. “That doesn’t make me a cult leader.”

Jamal is currently serving time in Georgia after being found guilty of one count of child molestation and cruelty to children, according to the report. He was given an 18-year sentence in August and now records his teachings over a phone in prison.

On his Instagram page, Jamal shared a Change.org petition titled “Rashad Jamal Is A Black Activist Wrongfully Convicted,” calling for his release. It has just over 3,000 signatures.  

Jamal has also denounced the allegations regarding the missing group, reportedly last spotted at a Quality Inn hotel on Aug. 13. German’s mother said she noticed a change in her behavior before she left her Mississippi town with her son, noting that she spoke about Jamal’s lectures, per KSDK. She left behind her daughter.

“I would like to know that they’re OK so that I can get a good night’s sleep. I would like to know they’re not hungry, they’re not cold, that no one is making her do things that she would have to pay for in the long run,” Shelita Gibson said.

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

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