DeKalb County, GA – DeKalb County police arrested an alleged cult leader on Wednesday and charged him with rape, false imprisonment, and sending sexual explicit messages.
Police said the charges stemmed from accusations made against 40-year-old Eligio Bishop on March 30 by a woman who had recently left the group called “Carbon Nation,” WAGA reported.
Bishop, the leader of Carbon Nation, also goes by the names “Natureboy,” “3God,” “The Messiah Demigod,” and “Master Chief.”
DeKalb County police executed search and arrest warrants at Bishop’s Arbor Chase rental home at about 6 p.m. on April 13, WAGA reported.
“I came outside, police were circulating with the helicopter I’d seen first, then I come to the front window and see they are outside with guns pointed at the doors, pointed at the windows,” a member of the group living in the house with Bishop told reporters after the raid.
Bishop’s followers appeared in formation in the driveway of the home and said their leader had been wrongly arrested, WAGA reported.
Police are continuing to investigate allegations that Bishop mistreated women in the home and wouldn’t let them leave.
But his supporters claimed that was not the case, WAGA reported.
“This is a revolving door, you can come in and out as you please, no one is being… no one is going to hold you against your will here,” a female member of the group said as she stood in formation.
A man who was part of the group told WAGA that the woman who filed charges against their leader had consented to the things she had complained to police about.
“We teach sexual education and we believe in nudity,” the man explained. “And so that’s one of the charges that’s trying to be brought against my Chief that’s for revenge porn, but the female that was here, the woman that was here, she gave consent to actually release it for sexual education.”
“It’s not just like porn, it’s for educational purposes,” he told WAGA.
Carbon Nation has been described as a cult by many, but Bishop called it a black counterculture organization.
He told the Associated Press in 2020 that he thought it was cool that authorities were calling him a cult leader.
“The first time I heard that, I thought it was kind of cool,” Bishop said. “Me? A black man, a cult leader? I’m from the hood.”
Bishop has claimed that Carbon Nation has been misunderstood everywhere they’ve gone, the Associated Press reported.
Carbon Nation was forced to leave Costa Rica in 2017 and has also be asked to leave Nicaragua and Panama.
Several members, including Bishop, were arrested in Hawaii in June of 2020 for violating the state’s quarantine rules, the Associated Press reported.
A grant funded airfare for 18 members of the group to be sent from Hawaii back to California while Bishop was still in jail.
Critics of the group said that past members have described life in the commune-style “family” and said they were asked to give up their money and belongings, WAGA reported.
The same critics have said members aren’t allowed to leave Carbon Nation after they join.
One of the male members of the group said that women come and go from Carbon Nation because they may not like what they learned about themselves while they were participating, WAGA reported.
Bishop’s supporters said the latest allegations were just another organized attack on their leader.
“3God is a very caring being, a very loving being, he’s very caring, he’s very holy,” one of the woman in Carbon Nation told WAGA.
Bishop is facing charges of rape, false imprisonment, and three counts of sending sexual explicit messages in connection with the allegations by the woman who recently left the group, WXIA reported.
It is against the law in Georgia to send nude or explicit material without the express consent of the person in the pictures.
Bishop’s group posted a video to Instagram on Thursday in which the leader told his supporters in a phone call from jail that he was a “sweet person” who was “trying to help people” and was “misunderstood,” WXIA reported.
“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,” Bishop told his followers.
The leader of Carbon Nation has 25,000 following on Instagram and 90,000 subscribers on YouTube, according to WXIA.