A Georgia man accused of running a cult that views him as God was ordered held without bail Friday after being charged with rape and false imprisonment.
Eligio Bishop, who also goes by “Nature Boy,” was arrested late Wednesday and charged with rape, false imprisonment and three counts of “prohibition on nude or sexually explicit electronic transmissions,” according to online jail records from the DeKalb County Police Department.
After receiving a complaint on March 30, the special victims unit began an investigation into Bishop, a spokesperson told the Daily News Monday. The specifics of the complaint are unclear.
Bishop allegedly runs a small cult sometimes called the Carbon Nation, which previously “centered around sexual and naturalist themes,” according to 11Alive. But recently, social media posts from Bishop have shifted to focus on him, referring to himself as “Th3 3God.”
A video posted by apparent followers on Instagram includes a jail cell call from Bishop in which he said he was he was “trying to help people” and is simply “misunderstood.”
“They want to crucify me, they want me dead, there’s hate that surrounds me, you can feel it, just like any other prophet — only me, I’m the return of the Christ,” he said.
It’s unclear when Bishop arrived in Georgia, but he and about 15 followers were kicked out of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in 2019 for “endangering and threatening the national security of those three countries,” the Costa Rica Star reported at the time. Bishop, who was described as a former model, stripper and sex worker, forced followers to surrender their money, credit cards and bank account information in order to join his cult, according to the Star.
In 2020, Bishop and 20 others were arrested in Hawaii for violating COVID-19 quarantine protocols.
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An Atlanta-area neighbor described multiple instances of abuse at Bishop’s house.
“Carbon Nation is his cult. He’s been whooping girls, beating girls, fertilizing girls, getting girls ready for marriage,” the anonymous woman told WSB TV.
Erikka Carroll, one of Bishop’s first followers who moved from New York to Honduras to be with him in 2006 but left a year later, told 11Alive that the abuse, both physical and emotional, dated back to her days as well, but that he’s “gotten worse over time.”
“He constantly says the same things over and over and over. You can’t watch any other teachers, you can’t read any other books, he wants everything to just be him. If you read how to brainwash somebody that’s basically how you do it,” she said. “He (now) has the women fighting each other, he’s putting his hands on the men. He always said he wanted a lot of wives. He wanted ten wives.”
After leaving the cult, Carroll checked herself into the hospital to “get my mind right,” she told the outlet, then began proper therapy.