Nov 4, 2023

Trial date set for accused cult leader 'Natureboy' Eligio Bishop

Bishop faced a DeKalb County Superior Court judge on Friday where the judge set a trial date and denied him bond once again.


Paola Suro (WXIA)

November 3, 2023


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A trial date is now set for accused cult leader Eligio Bishop, also known as "Natureboy." 

He faced a DeKalb County Superior Court judge on Friday where the judge set a trial date and denied him bond once again. His trial date is set for February 20, 2024. 

Bishop, 40, remains in DeKalb County Jail without bond pending a trial. He faces charges including rape and false imprisonment. So far, his legal team has requested bond several times - all met with denials. He's also switched attorneys at least three times before trial has even started.

On Friday, his attorney asked for Bishop to be let out on bond, arguing that Bishop has never been convicted of a felony and is not a risk to intimidate.

“It can easily be trialed in a week," his attorney said. "I know people who have been in custody longer than Mr. Bishop. I know that’s part of the court’s consideration. Let’s work off the fact that he’s been in custody for nearly 2 years.”

The state disagreed, saying he is a a flight risk, as he’s been deported from several Central American countries, and has a criminal history in Hawaii, adding that they believe he’s at risk of intimidating witnesses, primarily victims.

“After Mr. Bishop was arrested, many of the witnesses to this event left the state of Georgia and are now residing across the country. We’ll need time in order to possibly use compulsory process to have those individuals appear," the attorney representing the state said in court Friday.

11Alive reached out to his supporters and former supporters Friday morning. A woman who claims to be one of his former cult members and did not want to be named out of safety concerns said that after Bishop’s arrest, she’s been trying to move forward.

“I don’t really follow up on that - but he’s going to get his justice," she said. "I pray he gets the help he needs.”

Bishop could be heard saying, “This is crazy,” as he walked out of the courtroom, where none of his supporters - who tend to be at all hearings - could be seen.

He had tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube accounts that referred to him as "Th3 3God". He projected a messianic self-image as the leader of the "Carbonation" group before he was arrested on rape and abuse allegations in 2022. 

His videos and sermons portrayed him as a God-like figure, and he said in one message after his arrest: "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 was arrested after a former member of the cult who identified herself as his girlfriend said he posted revenge porn "because she left him." Police reports detailed that the woman told police that "she had joined a sex cult in which her boyfriend is the leader" and that "she did live together with Mr. Bishop and he has posted sexually explicit videos of her and him without her consent on Twitter (now the social media platform X)."

Both his wife and another former cult member later told 11Alive he had sexually and emotionally abused them.

Developments in "Natureboy" Eligio Bishop rape, false imprisonment case in DeKalb County

  • Early June 2023: Judge denies bond for Bishop, again. The judge also denied his motion to file "out-of-time demand" for a speedy trial as it had yet been a year since his indictment.
    "The Court asks the State to work hastily to prepare this case for trial, as the Court intends to bring this case to trial as soon as practicable."
  • June 29, 2023: Pre-trial hearing
  • July 27, 2023: Another motion on Bishop's behalf to withdraw his attorney.
  • November 3, 2023: Trial date set for February 2024 during a motions hearing. Bond was denied again.


Bond hearing set for alleged cult leader 'Nature Boy,' DeKalb court records show




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