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Ma’Kayla Wickerson, 25, and her 3-year daughter Malaiyah. Photo: Police.

Missing St. Louis residents may be part of online cult

Police in suburban St. Louis believe six people who disappeared last year may be part of an online cult.

The Berkeley Police Department told “USA Today” that two children are among the group that vanished in August and are tied to Rashad Jamal, the leader of what he calls the “University of Cosmic Intelligence.” Police described the group as a “spiritual cult,” which has 200,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel. Three of the missing people are based in St. Louis, according to police.

“I would like to know that they’re OK so that I can get a good night’s sleep,” Shelita Gibson, whose daughter and grandson are among the missing, told KSDK TV. “I would like to know they’re not hungry, they’re not cold and no one is making her do things that she would have to pay for in the long run.”

Police believe convicted child molester Rashad Jamal (L), lured six missing people (R) into his cult. The missing clockwise on right are: 3-year-old Malaiyah Wickerson, her mother, Ma’Kayla Wickerson, 25; Mikayla Thompson,24; Gerrielle German, 27; Naaman Williams, 29; and Gerrielle German’s son Ashton Mitchell, 2. | Facebook/Attempt to Locate; Instagram/iam_rashadjamal

Jamal is serving an 18-year prison sentence in Georgia for child molestation, the station reported. Jamal, whose full name is Rashad Jamal White, denied knowing the six people who went missing and leading a cult. He told the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” that his University of Cosmic Intelligence is just a spiritual YouTube channel.

“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,” he said. “I’m giving you my opinions on these things. That doesn’t make me a cult leader.”

The members were active on social media and shared Jamal’s videos; disconnected from family and friends; quit their jobs; meditated outside without clothes’ and had polygamous relationships, police said. They also changed their names to honor what they believed were gods and goddesses.

The six people were last seen last August at Quality Inn in Florissant, and Berkeley police opened an investigation into the disappearance of four adults and two children from a rental home near St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“The purpose of sharing this information is to locate these individuals and bring awareness to other law enforcement agencies who investigate similar missing persons or come across sovereign citizens displaying this type of behavior,” Berkeley police said. “It is extremely troubling to the family members of all of the missing people. The level of disconnect these cult members have demonstrated with friends and family members is unfathomable.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice


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