In a baffling and troubling turn of events, six individuals have gone missing after allegedly following a charismatic spiritual leader in Missouri. The group was last seen at a Quality Inn Hotel in Florissant, Missouri, on August 13, 2023. Authorities have been diligently investigating this perplexing case, shedding light on the enigmatic world of social media spirituality influencers and their devoted followers.
Among the missing individuals is Gerrielle German and her infant son, Ashton Mitchell, both hailing from Mississippi. According to reports by Fox News, they were among the followers of Rashad Jamal White, a prominent social media spirituality influencer who founded an online religious group known as The University of Cosmic Intelligence. White, with his substantial following on social media platforms, had garnered a considerable influence over his followers, which has now come under scrutiny.
The missing individuals have been identified as follows:
- Gerrielle German (Mississippi)
- Ashton Mitchell (Infant, son of Gerrielle German)
- Ma’Kayla Wickerson (St. Louis)
- Malaiyah Wickerson (3-year-old, St. Louis)
- Mikayla Thompson (St. Louis)
- Naaman Williams (Washington D.C.)
Authorities have uncovered that this group had become deeply entwined in the teachings and beliefs of Rashad Jamal White, who was considered their spiritual leader. However, White’s reputation took a dark turn when he found himself entangled in legal issues in August, around the same time these six individuals mysteriously vanished.
The Berkeley Police Department released a statement, saying, “The investigation revealed these individuals had become a part of a spiritual cult and they follow the teachings of a man named Rashad Jamal (White). Rashad Jamal has tens of thousands of followers across multiple social media platforms. It should be noted he was recently convicted of various crimes in the State of Georgia and is serving a lengthy prison sentence.”
White’s legal troubles culminated in an 18-year prison sentence, followed by 22 years of probation, for child molestation and child cruelty charges in Georgia. Despite his conviction, White vehemently maintains his innocence and denies any involvement as a cult leader or any knowledge regarding the disappearance of the six individuals who followed him.
What adds to the intrigue of this case is the unwavering support some of White’s followers
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continue to provide him. They assert that their leader has done nothing wrong and have even gone as far as to alienate themselves from their families, choosing to live “off the grid” and demonstrating financial irresponsibility with credit cards.
The missing adults were known to go by aliases inspired by various mythological gods and goddesses. Gerrielle German, for instance, was identified as Anatari Anu Ariel while residing in a Missouri residence with other members of the religious entity before their disappearance.
With the investigation into this perplexing case ongoing, authorities are urging anyone with information related to these missing individuals to come forward and contact local law enforcement or the FBI.
The mysterious disappearance of these six individuals serves as a stark reminder of the potent influence that certain charismatic figures can wield over their followers, even in the age of social media. As the investigation continues to unfold, it raises questions about the power dynamics within online religious groups and the consequences of blindly following individuals whose motivations and actions may be far from benign.