KOB-TV: Welfare check at cult compound


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Wasn’t sure how the headline was going to read on this post. First came word earlier today that convicted sex offender Wayne Bent is fasting…again. I wondered if that was even a story. Bent has fasted several times; to include a “final” fast or two.

Had to ask: Was this merely crying wolf? An effort to generate a lil’ more pub?

Next, I received word that Bent is fasting out of concern for the fate of a young woman within his his flock who’s reportedly been fasting for about a month now.

The young woman is known as Esther. Her mother, “Hanifa”, has commented on Beyond90Seconds.com about Esther’s condition. Hanifa’s updates—both here and at strongcity.info—subsequently yielded responses (including many heartfelt concerns) from this blog’s readers. Those reactions can be found within the comment section of the January 2, 2009 post, Breaking news: Wayne Bent ends prison fast.

Finally, in its 6pm newscast this evening, KOB-TV (Albuquerque) reported that sheriff’s deputies conducted a welfare check at Bent’s Strong City compound today.

That’s a headline. And here’s KOB’s story:

Welfare check conducted at cult compound

On Monday, deputies visited the Strong City Cult compound in Northeastern New Mexico to check-up on a young woman who’s been starving herself since Wayne Bent was sent to prison, according to Bent’s son.
Bent’s son says the young woman has not eaten since December 30th. That’s when Wayne Bent was sentenced to prison.
The woman, known as Esther, is protesting Bent’s prison sentence for touching a naked underage follower.
Jeff Bent, the son of the cult leader, said Monday that deputies did a welfare check on “Esther,” and then left.
On the Strong City website, Wayne Bent writes that he’s been fasting himself, but he is trying to get the young woman to stop her fast. Bent is also pleading to be released on house arrest so he can be with the girl and convince her to eat.
Bent, according to a prison spokesperson, is in the medical unit at the prison in Los Lunas.
Bent is serving a ten year prison sentence on a conviction for criminal sexual contact of a minor.

6 thoughts on “KOB-TV: Welfare check at cult compound”

  1. There seem to be many different ways to look at Wayne Bent’s return to fasting. All this time that Esther has been fasting, now 28 days, I kept wondering how this would be effecting Wayne. I mean that girl obviously has very deep feelings for her former lover, or healer or however they define their relationship. At her young tender age, she would feel that she must try and do something quite dramatic, for him, and since “fasting,” seems to be the acceptable temper tantrum by these people, she appears prepared to die for him!

    For the past 28 days what have been Wayne’s thoughts on all of this? According to his post on Strong City he has been telling her to stop. So now, after all this time of always listening to the words of Michael, she appears to not be listening now. That in itself seems quite a contradiction from the past. I thought whatever Michael Travesser said they did.

    Are we to believe that the only way that Esther will listen is if Wayne can return and speak to her in person? Does anyone believe that will happen? After all this is PRISON not just some protest march or some little kid trying a tantrum on his parents. Why would the prison system care about a fasting girl? Her parents are the ones that should be dealing with that. But of course her mother, supports this. And really no one understand that!

    But I too will give Wayne at least the appearance of caring about Esther. Although I am thinking that this is more a publicity stunt. But to me the entire situation, the long fast by Esther, and now the protest by Wayne, would be not exactly the right way to be trying to launch an appeal.

    One thing for sure these people do seem to be running their own little drama series at Strong City. I am not sure though that any of their bizarre actions in the past, enacted the results they desired. Has the cause and effect they have demanded ever come to pass? Do they honestly believe that Esther’s fast will bring Wayne back to them? And how will they all feel if she dies? That is a thought that I personally just am very uncomfortable and too sad to even think about.

  2. Wayne is not fasting to get Esther to start eating again, he is fasting to get out of prison! Talk about spin!

  3. Hanifa, God gave you a precious child and you are allowing your child to take her own life. Esther will never know the joy of living as long as you have. She’ll not ever get the chance of having a child of her own one day. She will miss out on so many things because you are standing by and allowing her to die.

    You are her mother, now, and forever no matter what happens. Go to your precious daughter and take her burden away from her and do this fast in her stead. Have you ever wondered if this is a test for you?

    I know that if I could have a child, if I had a daughter, I would lay down my life for her. That would be my job as a mother.

    I envy you Hanifa for what I will never be able to have. Please do not allow your daughter to die. God gave you this precious precious life.

    WB has asked Esther to stop fasting. Why are you all no longer listening to him?

  4. Esther’s real reason for fasting, sounds about right to me. That poor girl has so much guilt plaguing her mind right now, for so many many reasons, and not the least of which is her link to causing all of this to have spun out of control.

    That was quite a blog post by Mr. Redman and I encourage all to read it.

    There is also apart of me that wonders if now Esther might realize at some level that what she did with Wayne was very wrong? A person can love another with all their heart, but if that love is not pure and not right, the mind will occasionally allow those little doubts to creep in and cause some second thoughts. But in this case that would only be adding to Esther’s torment.

    I feel so sorry for this poor girl. Here she is at what should be the most wondrous time of her life and she is literally dying for or because of Wayne Bent.

    I saw on another thread that her sister Lorraine is asking for suggestions on what to do … I only wish I knew what to suggest. I do believe though if that were a family member of mine, going in there demanding to remove them, even kicking and screaming, might not be out of the question.

    Hanifa, truly you are a very strange mother to allow and condone this, and I feel sorry for your judgement day, if this precious daughter dies for such a pitiful cause!

  5. Pingback: Sister pleads for help as young woman starves « Beyond 90 Seconds

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