Church’s Web site: Wayne Bent arrested

Updates (October 31):

Photo: Wayne Bent in ambulance waving to church members (

‘Messiah’ Cult Leader Arrested (Albuquerque Journal / subscription required)

Wayne Bent, who says he’s been anointed by God as the Messiah, was a no-show for a Las Vegas motions hearing in his criminal case. State District Judge Gerald E. Baca, who had specifically asked Bent to appear at the hearing in person, ordered that Bent be arrested when only his defense attorney showed up. Bent recently promised to stop cooperating with court proceedings. (Albuquerque Journal)

The legal question before Baca on Wednesday was to consider a change of venue for Bent’s upcoming trial, which the judge granted. Bent was scheduled to begin a weeklong trial Nov. 17 in Clayton, and it will now be in Taos at an undetermined date.
Baca agreed with defense attorney Sarah Montoya that Bent could not have a fair trial there.

Montoya pointed to answers to questionnaires mailed to jurors that indicate bias on the part of many of those who responded. “Some of these people said, ‘I hope he is found guilty,’ ” said Montoya. “It’s an out and out taint.” (Albuquerque Journal)

Apocalyptic Church Leader Arrested for Failure to Appear in Court (FOX News)
Cult leader arrested for failure to appear (KOB-TV/AP)

Thursday afternoon’s headline at

Michael Travesser Arrested

The Union County Sheriff’s Office came to Strong City and arrested Wayne Bent aka Michael Travesser at about 4:30 PM. His arrest was ordered by Judge Gerald E. Baca. He was transported to the hospital in Clayton by ambulance. Mr. Bent commenced his “no water or food” fast as he was driven out the gate. His fast will continue until he is delivered. The fast at Strong City will continue until our deliverance.

Update on court docs

No doubt some of the regular readers of this blog have been looking forward to the publishing of certain court documents related to the most recent developments in the Bent case. Please know that requests for public records have been made.

Update on “Return to Castle Dome, part 2

Many of you have been patiently waiting for the video about Wayne Bent and his church, Return to Castle Dome, part 2. I’d thought you might be interested in this update.

My goal had been to have that video available on this Web site today (Thursday, October 30). Unfortunately, while in the homestretch of editing the project at 3 o’clock this morning, my computer crashed. It all added up to a sleepless night and a trip to a local computer store.

The good news: A service tech just called to say the hard drive and its data have been saved. The operating system must be reinstalled, though. The cause of the crash was “a bad strip of RAM” that must be replaced. I won’t have my computer back until Monday, though. The project itself was stored on an external hard drive, so what’s been edited so far should be okay (fingers crossed).

Return to Castle Dome, part 2 features an interview with a man named Allen Armstrong. Armstrong is a former minister in Bent’s church who now speaks critically of Bent.

Return to Castle Dome, part 2 also features Wayne Bent’s reaction to Armstrong’s remarks. While Bent declined a phone interview, he did provide responses by e-mail on October 26 (the 18th day of his “final fast”).

Bottom line: Assuming the computer store gets my machine back to me when promised, and the video that’s been edited so far remains on the external hard drive, my goal is to post Return to Castle Dome, part 2 on Tuesday, November 4.

Part 1 of Return to Castle Dome can be viewed here.

44 thoughts on “Church’s Web site: Wayne Bent arrested”

  1. Mark –

    Thanks for all your hard work on this topic. I’m looking forward to learning more as you are able to secure documents.

    So sorry about the crash – gotta hate that!

    Hang in there!

  2. Cant wait to see how Jeff spins this into some awesome biblical prophecy. Even he is going to have to stretch pretty far to come up with that.

  3. Ron –

    Not at all. (On a purely cynical standpoint.)

    Jeff is going to remind us that “Michael” prophesied a “Year of Jubilee.”

    Tomorrow is the end of that year.

    If, Deity forbids, Wayne passes, Jeff will say it was a spiritual translation. (And those of us that think it was death are just not able to discern it because we are “of the world” or “servants of the beast.”

    They’re as good spinmeisters as any political campaign.

  4. Mark, thanks for the hard work and sleepless nights. Computers are great as long as they work right. I’m looking forward to seeing Part 2 no matter when it comes out, Part 1 was excellent!

    EMC, you could write their script or at least spin it for them.

  5. Mark Horner you are really quite the journalist. I am amazed at your perseverance in getting all the story.

    It is very difficult to keep on a story (I can speak from my own past efforts… I’m impressed with you). Your years of experience show up in your work. You are indeed a professional. I’m anxious to view that Castle Dome II piece.

    Please give us more interviews like the Prudence Welch video and the Trudy audio. I’m hoping this story explodes and this site is the number one source.

  6. – “State District Judge Gerald Baca had asked Wayne Bent, leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, to attend a hearing after Bent promised to stop cooperating with court proceedings. Baca issued a bench warrant when Bent did not show up.”

    I was under the impression that the telephonic hearing request had been granted until I looked at the posted court documents a little closer.

  7. – “In a telephone interview Thursday with the Albuquerque Journal, Bent’s son, Jeff Bent, said: “We don’t anticipate any future beyond Oct. 31.” He said the group is expecting God to “deliver” them “free from earthly claims.””

    I guess we’ll see. Will the fast end on Nov 1st?

  8. A photograph on the SC website shows some of the residents there on Thursday…they seem to be in reasonably good physical health.

  9. Maybe the reason the DA isn’t too concerned about the SC residents is becuase they saw evidence that they aren’t fasting like they said they were. Its hard to believe that the people who have been fasting food AND water since last weekend would be walking around.

  10. Maybe the people shown in the photo are the “upper echelon” and only the peons are fasting?

    If they don’t anticipate any future, then why is one of the residents videotaping the whole thing?

  11. ABQjournal – “The window for God’s deliverance ends at midnight and he fully expects to be delivered by God and has no plans beyond that, Jeff Bent said. The church members believe “that if (the deliverance) doesn’t happen, they don’t want to go on living.”
    He said does not mean they will commit suicide, just that “they want to stop sustaining life.”
    Jeff Bent said his father was taken to jail about 7 p.m. Thursday after being evaluated at a Union County hospital.
    Jeff Bent said all 45 church members stood outside and kissed and said their good-byes to Bent before he was taken away from Strong City in an ambulance escorted by sheriff’s deputies at about 4:20 p.m. ”

    Apparently Bernice was part of the farewell crowd also.

  12. ABQjournal – “Jeff Bent said some relatives of the church members have shown up at the compound to try to take fasting members away, but they have not been allowed onto the property.”

  13. How did they stop those family members from coming onto the property? What could have stopped anyone from going in to check on their relatives? Guns? Beefy bodyguards? Sherman tank? Or just Jeff Bent on the intercom?

  14. The church members believe “that if (the deliverance) doesn’t happen, they don’t want to go on living.”
    He said does not mean they will commit suicide, just that “they want to stop sustaining life.”

    I guess they’ve forgotten that they don’t sustain life, God does!

    God is the One who gives us life and He takes it away in His timing.

    If you truly believe in God and Eternal Life you’re playing with fire if you consciously choose to control certain situations and refuse the gift of life God has given you.

    And you won’t be answering for your decision in a court of law. You’ll be answering to God!

  15. A respect for the law? First there would be trespassing. Second (depending on the laws of NM) they could be considered to be a threat and shot by the property owner(s). Third, if they did drag their relatives away against their will (try proving it isn’t “their” will), then that would be kidnapping.

    They were probably hoping that a “Godly” person would have pity and allow them to see their loved ones.

    They would, of course, try to persuade them to leave but if it they really are convicted to do this themselves it wouldn’t have any effect.

    There must be some legal avenue they can pursue to gain access to their relatives?

    Where are all the lawyers tripping over themselves to offer their services for them?

    Could the families find a way to network and work together to help each other? Is there anyone who can bring them together and spearhead this effort?

  16. Tell Jeff that the spaceship is full of Heaven Gate folks, so there is no room for the Strong Cult folks on the 10/31 to Glory.

  17. To Michael’s loyal and faithful people, just remember that “the time of trouble is a fearful ordeal for God’s people; but it is the time for every true believer to look up, and by faith, see the bow of promise encircling you.”

    It is written, “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doorsabout thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants for their iniquity.
    Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for Him, and whose names are written in the book of life.”

  18. Sleuth… every “fact” you have disputed (attributing errors to me) have merely been queries (questions). When someone (like me) asks questions, they’re not claiming to have the answers (they’re looking for them).

    Raycot – I am suggesting following the civil disobedience lead of the anti-war and the environmental protesters. They didn’t let a few trespassing laws stop them. Like those people who did that tree-sitting up in Oregon… they just marched right in with the property owners holding guns on them…. but, those hippies really loved those trees.

    So, you can see their motivation. You gotta love something a lot to want to face danger and even break the law.

  19. Sam, these people do love their families, a lot!

    Not everyone is comfortable with breaking the law even for a good cause. They know their family members the best and will do what they think will help them through this time.

  20. Raycot – I am suggesting following the civil disobedience lead of the anti-war and the environmental protesters. They didn’t let a few trespassing laws stop them. Like those people who did that tree-sitting up in Oregon… they just marched right in with the property owners holding guns on them…. but, those hippies really loved those trees.

    So, you can see their motivation. You gotta love something a lot to want to face danger and even break the law.

    Sam Redman

    31 Oct 08 at 9:33 am

    I do see your point. Under “normal” circumstances that would seem to be the correct course of action.

    Remember that many of these family members have probably had all manner of verbal and emotional abuse heaped on them over the years as they have tried to get their relatives out of this cult. The SC folks have been convinced that association with these family members (or associates of “the Beast”) will cause them to lose their “salvation” through Wayne Bent. They are not likely welcome.

    Way back, when I was paying attention, this seemed to be one of Wayne’s favorite themes that he liked to harp on a lot:

    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

  21. Well, finally, sense and reason prevail.

    I wonder if the local police will do what the police in Mojave Counte, AZ, have had to do with Warren Jeffs. He’s been hauled off to the hospital (once, all the way to Las Vegas, NV, even) on a number of occasions recently due to his “fasting” (aka “hunger strikes”). The last I heard, the sheriff of Mojave County was asking the judge for a standing court order so he could force-feed Jeffs. I don’t know how that turned out.

    Anyway, with Warren, ooops Wayne, removed from the compound, will Jeff try to ride herd on the remaining followers?

  22. raycot that is a good desciption you used on luke as to how religion is manipulated by self serving pukes like wayne to manipulate the members., always remember.,, one piece of a crossword puzzle is nothing without all the other pieces, ,, and hear this

    2pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    as i have seen wayne has rewritten the whole religion

    anyway does anyone know what happened to wayne in his childhood or early teen to early twenties, was he tottally beaten down by his peers.,, raped., do jail time and get turned out.,, women hate him ., wives and children beat him to nothing???? what is it ,,, why does this puke of a man need to desperatly destroy the world and all the people,,, why does he have to devote his whole putrid existance to reading the bible preying to god(his god is lucifer)to show him how to become jesus and destroy all mankind??? you know he must feel like a true parisite underneath all that fake divinity and superman ego.,, ive seen some pathology on him where i now believe he is truly parasitic.. not like koresh or jones but more like saddam hussien.,, he will blend in wherever he is and his existance is all that matters.,, a man that truly stands for nothing.

  23. First of all, thank you Mark for this site. As I have stated previously, I do know people at SC and your site has been a way I can follow the events there. That being said, it saddens me that some of the comments here are so snide and uncalled for. There are many relatives who are in terrible anguish over the happenings at SC and to mock it is just unnecessary.
    Second, Mr. Redman: Surely you cannot compare a lot of trees in Oregon to a compound of PEOPLE in New Mexico. And I hope that you are not suggesting that the families of the SC members love them any less that the environmentalists loved those trees. To storm SC and drag someone off by force would not be love, at least not in the respect that I understand love. If you love someone, you also respect them and their right to be happy and believe in their own beliefs. We, as outsiders, may not agree with their beliefs but we do not have the right to force ours upon them. All we can do is love them and hope for their safety and pray.

  24. claire, part of our duty and responsibility as a civilized society is to do what we can do from a very strained and cuffed position to ensure that all people (especially children) have an equall chance to grow and mature and to do it with TRUE FREEDOM. We know now from history that freedom can be stolen by creative and predatory personalities without the victims knowledge and for whatever reason lots of these situations go beyond stolen freedoms and perverseness (which children should never witness) into direct criminal behaviors, and if i seem upset ,well its because i am, if it was all adults that could truly choose, i wouldnt waste my breath , but here its not, and like here once the abuse starts it snowballs always, thank god for it being stopped when it was, but im sure thier are members that will be devastated by this thier entire life

  25. i just went to the strong website and read some old files and im shocked that children are around wayne truly bent, his motivation and direction are recorded for all to see.,,, I cant believe any responsible D.A. with a sense of duty would allow bent to ever be around children again,, or out of an assylum.., if the D.A. postpones the trial to next year sometime then you can say the D.A. has a sense of duty for sure.,, wayne can blend in at the state hospital meanwhile,

  26. I understand your point and I agree on the societal level. I was upset by Mr. Redman’s comparative. The families are dealing with enough without having someone imply that they don’t love their family members enough to simply march in and do something. As you know, it is not that simple. And statements such as this:

    “Tell Jeff that the spaceship is full of Heaven Gate folks, so there is no room for the Strong Cult folks on the 10/31 to Glory.”

    are snide and unnecessary. It is no better than the un-christian rhetoric that flows from the lips of this “Messiah” and his son.

  27. I have been staying quiet for a couple of days now, watching and listening. Many of your posting on this forum have no idea how much we have invested into these current events. These are our family members. I was in this group for 18 years. I met my married my wife in this church and we have been married 17 years. I have seen all of the children grow up as babies into young mature men and women. The experiences we all shared were so full of sweetness and sacrifice for each other, never had I seen it anywhere on the face of this earth. The closeness that Wayne and Jeff talk about is very real among the people…. and yes, I still love them very, very much…. But yet, I love all them also enough to allow them the dignity to find, understand, and accept the real of their present realities without interferance from the outside, and without interferance from myself. It is called respect and trust. Not one soul dragged me out from Strong City. I left on my own free will, and I was totally free in the process. I was not forced in any way to stay or to leave. I followed my conscience. The remaining 45 people there on the property should be offered the same freedoms and respect. They are all adults, and there , as far as I know, no minors on the property. This is America, not Russia. I love my wife lillian with all of my heart. Our wedding vows are still intact, even though she is under a different understanding at present time. She is a free willed soul, who answers directly to God Himself. And it is His Job to reach her heart,not mine. He is the only Saviour of mankind, and responsible for his people’s deliverance, and only He has to answer only to Himself. I trust God… Period. Strong City also says that they too are trusting God to deliver them. I hope not, can not, nor will not take away their trust in their God for their deliverance. We are Americans, and we believe in freedom of religion. We all have the right to our freedom of feligion and to exercise our faith, or our lack of faith, in any way we desire. God is in control, and not I.

    Please understand what I am saying here. If anyone has the disire to go and stand outside the gate at Strong City, well go ahead and do it, but I will not go, unless God tells me to go. I know what God sounds like in my heart…. and so do all of you as well. If God tells you to do something, then do it. But I am not going to be pressured by any so-called well-meaning man to do anything. A huge crowd of souls beggng at the gate for admitance will not work. Force will not work. Armies will not work, for these people are beyond that influence. Fight fire with fire. Right now Strong City are using prayer and fasting. We should be doing the same. Only a God as powerful as our God will move these mountains, so let us trust Him.

    Saying mean things and talking down to them only makes it worse. They have to come to their senses in the same way all true people who trust and believe in God comes to their senses. It will happen when the moment is right, and when they need Him the most, and when they give their fight and give in to God. It will happen no other way. Nothing happens to them or to us unless God allows it to pass through His Hands first. I will wait and see what God will do next. It’s His responsibility.

  28. Thank you, Johnny. That is what I was trying, albeit rather clumsily, to say. My thoughts are prayers are with you and your wife, as well as all those inside Strong City and their families.

  29. It is 12:15 am in NM on Nov.1.

    This is what you find when you go to the SC website:

    This page is no longer available.

    My prayers are with all of you!

  30. Good post Johnny and I am mostly in agreement. If it were only the adults at SC making their own choices, it would simplify the situation greatly. Most of the concern here and temptation to interfere is motivated by an empathy and sympathy for the relatives of the SC folks, who feel so helpless and desperate right now. We have seen their pleas right here on this site.

    There is also concern that the residents of Strong City have been led astray by a con man and are about to suffer some very serious consequences as a result. But as you have alluded…if we give the State power to decide these matters, then where will it end?

    I do take exception with one statement…

    “We all have the right to our freedom of feligion and to exercise our faith, or our lack of faith, in any way we desire.”

    I do not agree that we have the right to excercise our faith, or lack of faith, in ANY way we desire.

  31. “Tell Jeff that the spaceship is full of Heaven Gate folks, so there is no room for the Strong Cult folks on the 10/31 to Glory.” – Ron

    Mark Horner, your “news blog” has turned into nothing but a nasty tabloid. This comment you have allowed to remain up is extremely cruel, ignorant, and insensitive to those who love and care for the people at Strong City.

    Ron, you are simply chomping at the bit to mock this entire situation every chance you get. I’m praying you find some compassion and decency to respect how others could be feeling right now.

  32. Grow up, people! I didnt make all of those silly claims about the world ending or becoming the Messiah. How many people have followed what they think is voice of God, only to find out that they have been listening to themselves.
    Did anyone change? Did the World end? I’m sorry if pointing out these facts makes me seem uncaring about these people. But just like a drug addict, sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to change your mind.
    I respect everyones right to state their opinion, but dont expect everyone to sugar coat the truth, sometimes the truth hurts and it still needs to be heard.

  33. johnny i just returned to the web site and i would like to just say god bless you and no matter how old we get we should never stop learning and always keep an open mind, it is the key to light, if given a certian situation we must always look for the direct opposite to get a better image or “defined mind picture” i know sometimes it may seem like im very opinionated and im working on that sometimes i forget that others may have yet to experience what i may have and i take it for granted that they should know something that they may not and i would just like to comment about america and freedom of religion., im raising this in genuine care and not to persecute, during your time with the group religion was the driving force of day to day life and i feel this is substantiate along with meetings, home study, talked about during adult conversation, and i suspect not asked of the kids to do the same, lets just say that for arguements sake, well given this example or image, what choice did the children have to religion??? how could they not be forced?? Thier whole existance is surrounded by this and how can they refuse when they see adult authority figures recieving praise and great admiration from others at the camp??Any child would literally be sucked into a blackhole of prophetic teachings and i know what i am going to say now is up for debate but to stare into the dark cave of the mind endlessly by a child that has no life experiences could destroy thier ability to recognize realities, im guessing johnny that you had life experience before the group and this may have been the reason for your ability to leave and function out of the group allthough i know its hard and i want to say that when they persecute you and im sure they do, ask yourself this, would a true friend do me this way, someone that really has my back,wand why do they need to do it, well its not to chastize you i can say that, but it is an attempt to hurt you ,blame you for what they themseleves have done as they must feel shame for what they have done to you for some period of the day, it may be only a minute or so but its enough and then they go back to denial and blame, god bless you

  34. It is time for me to unload, so please bear with me. Every child on this planet grows up in a chosen environment. The average American kid has zillons of opportunities, rich and poor alike, depending on what side of that dollar bill they stand. The effects of television and what it allures to are a powerful influence to all. Drugs, fashion, science, education, religion, comedy, Mom and Dad, relatives, friends, enemies all have their role in fashioning the minds of today and tommorrow. So what has Strong City done that is so wrong? Did they shield their youth from the known evils of our day? Do not the residents of this world pretty much have a good idea of what is good and bad? Most of what we know in this life is taught to us by the previous generation. I am a 54 year old baby boomer. My grand parents were the industrial age which got this mess started in the first place. My parents were the fruit of everybody wanting a “big” piece of that pie which my grand parents first baked. Two world wars were fought as everyone in these two generations scrambled around to and fro to get in line and get their piece of that pie. The smoke stacks belched their cause and effect into the sky and the waters were no longer sweet enough to drink anymore because as the waste products of greed and corruption went everywhere and affected everyone. My generation was the hippys, the flower children, and the druggies. we saw what our grand parents did and how our parents built the war machines and profited from it all, and we as a generation said, “Hell no, we won’t go!” But we threw our garbage still onto the ground, we laughed at “All in the Family”, bitched and swore at the condition of the world, but generally we did nothing to help matters at all. My generation formed co-ops, gated communities, 7-11s and Circle K’s on every corner, and we drove out Mom and Pop stores and businesses, and Walmarts are now everywhere. We threw ourselves into our music and rock and roll was born. Whites beat up on blacks, and racial tension exploded, against all people of color. Gays came out of the closets, and todays politics are only a reflection of most of the people’s mindsets. Censorship on the television is something of the past now. Sex, war, drugs, music, crime, disease, are all around us, and now these things are the norm. And to think it was safe to pick up a hitch hiker in the 1940’s and 50’s, and to leave your door unlocked, in those good ole days……
    Todays generation has to now pick up the pieces, and they are pissed. My generation was lazy and would not work like the generation before me. I mean we kept the ball rolling, but we didn’t want to go past that 8 hour work day. We wanted to get back to our debt, credit cards, 3 car garages full of toys and junk not made in America anymore. Todays generation has to fix what we broke, and we did not give them a set of instructions. Many of them can’t even read right. They don’t know what a broom and shovel is, or even how to take out the trash. They are marvels on their I-Pods, and computers, but who are going to do the heavy work nessessary to clean up the planet?
    Things look bleak everywhere, and nobody is willing to take responsibility for anything, but everyone is willing to blame somebody else for the troubles…. But the truth is, “I DID IT ALL !!!!”, and I did have a little bit of help from all of you.

    This is what Strong City taught me, and what we taught our children. This is why they want to leave this world behind. No space ship this time. They want God to whisk them all away. I can clearly ee what the children of Strong City was shielded from. They were loved in a very special way, but seriously, they are so heavenly minded, that they are of no earthly good. This is what we created at Strong City. This is why they are leaving, one way or another. The world drove them away, and they are done. This is how they are dealing with their own responsibilities in their part of creating this mess this planet is in. They know they all were guilty as charged, and is their solution to their cases. Somehow all of us must deal with it as well. We are all mortal men, and we are all in the same pickle. May God have mercy on all of us.

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