Ben Anthony Beyond 90 Seconds churches cults New Mexico News Wayne Bent

Filmmaker gathering stories behind the Wayne Bent trial

Ben Anthony interview (2)

Five days of a high-profile trial are not all that’s slipped into the lens of Ben Anthony’s documentary shoot for the National Geographic Channel.  The British filmmaker tells his primary focus has been on the experiences of the former members of Strong City gathered at the criminal trial of Wayne Bent in Taos last week and today.

Bent’s trial began December 8 and was expected to conclude on Friday.  The jury is expected to return to the courthouse today to resume deliberating Bent’s fate.

In an interview lasting just over 34-minutes conducted on Saturday, December 13, Anthony tells about his experience covering the trial last week.  He shares unique insights on a story that he has covered for more than a year.

In the audio interview here, Anthony:

  • explains how he felt shunned by current members of Bent’s church for most of last week.
  • shares how this documentary will take a different approach than “The End of the World Cult” and “Inside a Cult”.
  • describes a reunion between the alleged victim “Healed” and Wayne Bent.
  • discusses his previous documentaries and describes the types of topics he most enjoys pursuing.
  • shares what he thinks the lack of a verdict last week could mean is happening inside the jury room.
  • explains why his camera has been focused on KOB-TV’s Jeremy Jojola.
  • details how former and current Strong City members have interacted in Taos.



archive: Ben Anthony interview (1)

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DA: Bent has “50/50” chance of 2008 trial date (PODCAST)

Donald Gallegos mp3
Donald Gallegos mp3

In a phone interview with this morning, District Attorney Donald Gallegos said it’s possible the criminal case against controversial church leader Wayne Bent may not take place this year.  Pressed for a prediction, Gallegos said he feels that there is a “50/50” chance the trial will get underway in 2008.

Donald Gallegos  iTunes
Donald Gallegos iTunes

If the Bent trial is pushed to 2009, expect a new judge to be assigned to the case.  Learn the reason why in the podcast interview with Gallegos.

While Gallegos explained that he could not discuss specifics concerning the State’s case against Wayne Bent (yes, that certainly includes evidence), he did provide several insights into the legal process, especially factors that could affect a trial date.

Gallegos stressed that the State is ready to go to trial and that the alleged victims are ready, too.

On May 20, a grand jury indicted Bent on four counts: two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, unclothed. And two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

TODAY’S *PODCAST (Total run time is 12:39)

*In my introductory remarks in today’s podcast, I reference the British documentary, The End of the World Cult.  If you’d like to watch it, you may do so below:

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7 virgins Ben Anthony churches CNN cults documentary film Larry King Larry King Live Larry King Live transcript law enforcement LKL transcript Michael Travesser National Geographic National Geographic Channel News NGC polygamy Prudence Welch religeon rush transcript seven virgins Strong City television transcript true crime Union County virgin virgins Wayne Bent

Larry King Live *VIDEO*: “Inside a Doomsday Cult”

New Update: ( May 25, 2008 ) A reader of this blog has correctly pointed-out today that the Larry King Live videos are no longer available. Turns out the person who had posted these videos on Youtube has had his account suspended.

Update: Rush transcript of Larry King Live program


Here is a look (below) at last night’s Larry King Live program concerning Wayne Bent and The Lord Our Righteousness Church. The program appears here in 5 parts.

Larry King’s panel:

  • Jeff Bent, son of church leader Wayne Bent
    -“First of all, he’s not Jesus Christ.”
    -says documentary’s claim that father had predicted “the end of the world” is a lie
  • Prudence Welch
    -much more from Welch in my interview with her here.
  • Rachel Bernstein, psychotherapist & “cult expert”
    -“I see him (Wayne Bent) in the candy store of his own making.
  • Ben Anthony (film producer)
    -“Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”
    -“…also quite a disturbing experience…”
  • Allen Armstrong, Former Minister of Bent/Travesser’s Church
  • Matt Grubs, KOAT-TV reporter
  • Capt. Robert Shilling, New Mexico State Police
    -says W. Bent’s bail reduced from $500,000 to $50,000 at Thursday’s arraignment

This program begins with an update on the Texas polygamy case making news in recent weeks. Guests are Rod Parker (spokesperson for Yearning for Zion Ranch familes) and KTVK-TV reporter Mike Watkiss.

This program concludes with Anderson Cooper promoting his AC 360 look at developments in the “cult-like” Charles Manson case.

(*clicking play button at lower left of video window conveniently keeps you here. Clicking play button in center of video takes you to youtube)

What do you think of what came out of this program? You’re comments are welcome below.

(*After searching the ‘net this morning, I found that “torbenmiller” had uploaded these videos on youtube. Thank you, torbenmiller.)

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