Who is Rashad Jamal? Alleged cult leader tied to missing group behind bars in Georgia

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BERKELEY, Mo. – Six people with ties to the St. Louis area have been missing for nearly five months, and authorities believed they were involved with an online cult before their disappearance.

The Berkeley Police Department in St. Louis County describes Rashad Jamal as their alleged cult leader.

Jamal, whose legal last name is White, is a self-proclaimed prophet with tens of thousands of followers through his TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and YouTube channels.

In videos published on his YouTube page, Jamal says he comes from Chicago. He also creates spiritual music videos for his social media platforms.

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Authorities say Jamal is serving an 18-year sentence in Georgia for child molestation, a ruling that reportedly took effect last year. He was also ordered to 22 years of probation after his jail term.

In a video shared via YouTube last week, Jamal claims, “The only law I have broken was speaking out against oppression,” and “The only thing I am guilty of is freeing the minds of my people and speaking out against this system, and I’ll never back down from that.”

FOX 2 first reported on the Berkeley Police Department’s report of the cult and missing group on Monday.

Since then, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had the opportunity to interview Jamal on the phone from his prison in Georgia. According to their report Thursday, Jamal maintained his innocence in the child abuse case and denied any labels as a “cult leader.”

Berkeley police still assert that Jamal’s “spiritual cult teachings” are connected with the disappearance of four adults and two children.

Authorities say some missing members part of an online cult were caught on camera meditating in a backyard. (Photo provided by: Berkeley Police Department)

Search efforts continue for the six missing people. Police say that group includes:

Mikayla Thompson, 24, of St. Louis

Naaman Williams, 29, of Washington D.C.

Gerrielle German, 28, of Lake Horn, Mississippi

Ashton Williams, 2, of Lake Horn, Mississippi

Ma’Kayla Wickerson, 35, of St. Louis

Malaiyah Wickerson, 3, of St. Louis

A group called “Missing People of America” shared pictures of the missing people on their Facebook page earlier this week.

The Berkeley Police Department said the group was living in Ma’Kayla Wickerson’s home near St. Louis Lambert International Airport for months before vanishing. Police claim the group joined an online cult without a particular name before disappearing.

Among the group that disappeared, police say some changed their name to a spiritual God or Goddess on social media, quit their jobs, and cut connections from their family and close friends.

Investigators tell FOX 2 that Jamal’s rhetoric “includes a mix of polygamy, sovereign citizenship, ancient mythology, and cosmic universe beliefs.”

Nexstar media company News Nation reports that Jamal’s followers have also been connected with several criminal cases, including two through which his followers were accused of murder.

Prosecutors have not charged White in connection with anyone’s disappearance from the St. Louis-area. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the missing people, contact the Berkeley Police Department at 314-524-3311.

NOTE: Video attached above is from FOX 2’s report Monday on the six people who disappeared.


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