Newspaper obtains State’s motion to “monitor” welfare of Strong City flock

Jeff Bent wrote about it on his church’s blog early Friday evening, and now the Albuquerque Journal‘s Web site has just published a similar story about the State’s apparent effort to check-in on the welfare of nearly 50-members of the Lord Our Righteousness church near Clayton, New Mexico.

Church leader Wayne Bent and many—if not all—of his followers are now 16 days into their “final fast”, and according to their Web site, they began going without water Friday.

Here’s an excerpt from the Albuquerque Journal’s article as it appeared on (subscription required) shortly after midnight Saturday (PST):

The Journal received a copy from Jeff Bent of a DA’s Office motion filed in District Court on Friday that asks a judge “to continue to allow the Union County Sheriff’s Office and medical personnel if necessary to monitor the welfare of these individuals.” The motion says “approximately 46 people are in jeopardy of harm from starvation and may not be competent … to look after their own health and safety” because of Bent’s influence.

The newspaper also reports that Bent’s attorney, Sarah Montoya, is concerned that the State may forcibly remove people from the church’s property.

Wayne Bent is scheduled to go to trial November 17.  He is charged with having had sexual contact with two girls and with contributing to the delinquency of minors.

According to Jeff Bent’s Friday evening post on

The order specifies the names of three individuals are to be removed from Strong City by force and taken to Las Vegas for mental health evaluation. spoke by telephone with District Attorney Donald Gallegos on Thursday afternoon.  When asked if his office was concerned about the welfare of the people living on the LOR’s property, Gallegos said, “Yes.”

83 thoughts on “Newspaper obtains State’s motion to “monitor” welfare of Strong City flock”

  1. The deputies just left… does that make sense?

    From the ABQJournal —

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Deputies Do Check at Cult Compound

    Journal Northern Bureau
    DES MOINES, N.M. — Union County Sheriff’s deputies performed a welfare check Friday on fasting cult members at the northeastern New Mexico compound of Wayne Bent — the self-professed messiah who is accused of having sexual contact with underage girls.
    Deputies left after being assured by Bent’s son, Jeff Bent, that everyone was OK.


    What could Jeff possibly have said, considering what was written in the letter by “Bernice.” Surely they knew the contents of that letter. So what would have caused the deputies to just go away? Did Jeff tell them that it was all just a publicity stunt, that they were just “yanking the public’s chain?” Did he tell them that people were actually eating nutritionally and drinking plenty of fluids? Did he show them the people in question actually taking nourishment?

    Or are these deputies a bunch of “Barney Fifes,” totally incompetent to make a proper evaluation of a crisis?

    Here you have a young lady announcing the she will begin a no-food, no-water fast (after having been on a lengthy juice fast, followed by water only) to the with the purpose of ending her life, and you have the leader of the camp giving his tacit approval and encouragement (by validating to her that the messages was receiving in her mind were from God). Plus, in her same document she defines her present state of mind (mental condition) quite well, when she states that she thinks that two people in their graveyard will be rising out of their graves.

    And the deputies just leave… very strange.

  2. I just read on the Strong City Web page that 2 officers from the New Mexico State police were permitted to search the camp, all private dwellings, and other buildings, and speak to all of the people there. They were looking for minors, but I wonder if they were also told to look for food in everyones personal pantrys and refrigerators in their dwellings. Was there food on the shelves in the camps store, especially fresh food? Are the people able to eat should they so desire, even if they want to cheat and eat behind everybodies back,(God Forbid), they should at least have the choice and opportunity. Did they look in Wayne’s refrigerator? Wayne has often said, if you are hungry, Come, and I will give you my can of beans. I am not being funny about this.

  3. Johnny: We are not as you are. We do not lie, cheat, or pretend. We do not love our stomach as you do. It is a real fast and a good portion of the land is now ceasing from food and water. Some are still on water, but this is completely at their own instruction. Yes, I have food in my house. I just don’t eat it, but I understand very well how impossible that would be for you.

  4. Sam,
    I am glad to see that you seem to have a better understanding of what an insane situation this is. Wayne is every bit as dangerous as a Charles Manson.
    My heart goes out to everyone that has been fooled by Wayne.

  5. Someone needs to tell Wayne Bent to his face that “he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!” Oh, wait, I’m telling you that, Wayne. Seriously, you’re a pompous ass and certainly not God, the Messiah, or anyone like that. Instead, you’re a poor little deluded man who is leading people off the cliff.

    Wayne, Jesus (or God) is not going to come down from heaven and rescue you from your folly, but the New Mexico State Police may do so (and if they do, I hope they send you a bill to cover their expenses). I’m certainly hoping that some of your followers come to their senses as the hours go on.

    (For the record, I have no connection with Wayne Bent or Strong City and heard about this whackaloon for the first time last spring when the state police raided Strong City.)

  6. It’s very probable that the reason the officers didn’t proceed with any other action is because the motion has not been signed by a Judge yet. The SP stated that clearly to Jeff when he allowed them to look around.
    As soon as it is signed, law enforcement will return and attempt to carry out all the orders contained in the motion, including removing people.

    Face the music like a man Mr. Bent and let your people go!

  7. Highly unlikely the NMSP will send a bill but we can always hope. Meanwhile, guess who WILL be paying for all of the shenanigans going on? You guessed it! The County, State and even Federal government will bear the costs and it comes out of the pockets of law abiding citizens who pay taxes.

    Oh and don’t forget that back in May WB said he didn’t have any money so was assigned a public defender – a right afforded to citizens of the country which WB so intensely dislikes!

    I do admire Ms. Montoya for her efforts on his behalf. She is doing her job and stays on top of everything. We should all be blessed with such a good attorney!

  8. Hello All.
    Has anyone considered that the government interference may be what will cause death to these people? They don’t appear to pose any threat to anyone from what I’ve read. Not even to children. Has any of the government actually read, from start to finish, the recent post s that Wayne and Jeff Bent? Or read any of their supporter or detractor’s comments written on other websites? If they have, it appears they only abstract what they want to make a point or an arrest. Isn’t that like taking a verse out of the Bible without understanding the context? Bad police. Why would the State waste resources while the people are still fasting? Besides, I don’t think that those people would “hide” anyone there, they always seem to be quite upfront with their beliefs, no matter how it will be interpreted or misinterpreted by the government, media, or former members. I think if any of the children returns, it would probably be posted with the headline “Fast Successful”; see, they aren’t hiding anything. As an outside observer, my understanding is that if the young adults return to their friends and relatives on the property the fast will be over. I think this is because these ‘children’ want to go there, not because they don’t want to go there and the fast is to force the children there. I think if these children DID NOT want to go there, then there would be no fast. In other words, I don’t think anyone is forced to be there, or made to feel guilty to stay. Maybe some people who have left can come forward and tell us their experience of leaving – were they just thrown off the property with their clothes and nothing else or what? Were they debriefed before returning to ‘civilization’?
    What is the huge uproar about them fasting anyway? Apart from the fact they are doing this based on their religious beliefs (and apparently that scares some people), fasting takes place all over the world for religious and non-religious reasons. You want to get in frenzy over a fast, take a good look at pictures of children in Dufar. Maybe that’s where all this attention should go instead of towards a handful of people, fasting for a religious reason, that more than likely will stop before anything happens. I think about 1/2 the American population could use a fast.
    The reason I have taken an interest in the recent ‘religious cult’ arrests: I have a brother that is strong in the Church of Scientology and has been since the late 60’s. I was terrified at first, this “cult” that “captured” my brother. His zeal for his new believes frightened me – I was only 17 and now my oldest brother was somehow changed. How sad. Fast forward 50 years and you know what? My brother is a minister of the Church of Scientology and I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s 65 and extremely healthy, happily married for over 20 years and still as enthusiastic for his religion but tempered with the wisdom of age. I know he’s fasted; some ‘weird’ fast is part of their thing; so what if it’s not ‘my thing’? Or if I don’t understand it?
    Why not just leave these NM people alone.

  9. All Wayne has to do is go to court and stand up for himself, but he knows that he will be found out to be a nutjob. Going on a hunger strike is almost an admission of guilt.
    With or without religion, the human body can only last so long without food and water.

  10. Actually, it’s not about returning the 2 children. In his own words:

    “Bent says he has not eaten anything since he had a bowl of cereal and fruit on Oct. 16, and he promises to fast barring a “deliverance” from God or unless the state drops the charges against him”.

    This has become an issue because the man doesn’t want to go to court and face charges for something that he did. He could very possibly be acquitted but it seems like he doesn’t want to take the chance.

    I do agree with you that our time and money could be better used by helping the many starving people around the world. I do what I can to help including in my own area as it is a very impoverished land. And I’m sure many people who write on this blog do too.

    But, it angers me that someone thinks they can make their own rules, while living on money from the government, then when called to account for improprieties against children refuse to answer the charges in the courts of the very Country they live in.

    Just my 2 cents worth!

  11. Inkydou,

    I greatly appreciate your opinion and heartfully understand your position, not that you have stated one. May I safey assume that all that you know about this case is what you have read on the media and blogs? You sound like an intelligent person, and this is helpful in dealing with facts. But media/blogs can only deal with words on a page. Words can express emotion, general information, and opinions, but they can never replace first-hand experience, nor the knowledge that a real life witness would have and be willing to offer. In the past 20+ years I have enteracted with outsiders from this church, many of them involved for many reasons, and yet some just out of courisity. People watch a television show andnget caught up in the story and may even cry, or get angry, and then right after the show they go out a get a pizza and geo on with their own real life. This is the case for many who post on these blogs. To many, it is just another show, but to many of us it is real life. To Wayne and his little company this is real life. To all the ex-members this is real life. To the folks who have loved ones in the cult, this is real life. Why, simply because this is our lives… it involves every shread of our being, and we all have something to gain and something to lose.

    I have sat at Wayne Bent’s feet for 18 years as a member in good standing of his church. Everytime Wayne issued a call for anything, I and all my friends in the church answered, and we gave our all for the cause. Wayne knows this all to well. I have seen Wayne laugh, cry, mourn, be depressed, be happy, and the whole range of human reasoning and expressions. I have read his words from day one, and understood his doctrine, beliefs, and feelings. Wayne may contest this now, but yes, I even knew his vision for the church, as many of us can relate and testify too. This Wayne Bent that I am experiencing now is not the Wayne Bent that I have known all of these years. This current Michael Travesser is not the Michael Travesser that I have known since I first encountered him since 2000. Wayne Bent would say to me now, “Johnny, you have never known me.” He can sweep me out the door with one simple sentence. The story of Wayne Bent has always been about control. His EST Training was about control. His 2 failed marriages were about control. His disbanding of the LOR church and firing of 3 ministers at Castle Dome was about control. The disbanding of all of the earthly marriages of all who lived at Strong City was about control. The “New Government” at Strong City is about control. The disfellowshipping of many former members from this church is about control. The shunning practices used so effectively by the church membership is about control. His saying that we could not have toothpaste in the little store at Strong City is about control. This final fast is about control. I think I have stated my case here, even down to the toothpaste. Wayne will be in control until his last breath. In prison, he would have no control. He would become a number and subject to the penal system. He will not go there, not if he has anything to do or say about it. He even trys to control the scriptures, but I know for a fact, that no man can control God.

    Wayne has created his perfect environment, and he has created his present situation. He was warned to NOT DO these things from the very beginning, even as far back as 1988 when The Song of Solomon was first introduced to the church. The LOR church Split/fell then, and now history repeats itself. Now we have the great and final conclusion. Wayne has said from day one, “That which-so-ever a man reaps, he shall also sow.” This is the life and the fruit of Wayne Bent. All of it. He did it all. It is not the State of New Mexico. It is not Prudence Welch. It is not the US Government. Wayne is a man caught in the middle of a huge pit of Quick Sand which has no botton. He is reaching out to twigs and roots which snap off. Even now his hands are full of broken branches, which are his followers, and they are going into the pit with him. Root and branches are destroyed together. But Wayne does have the power to throw these branches to safety, so they can be replanted and flurish. Will he release them? Will he do the right thing, and release his control, and at the same time, maybe even save himself, as he surrenders to God, and give Him control….

    Honestly, I must confess. My faith is weak now. I somehow doubt that Wayne will be a real man of God and be fully responsible for himself and these souls who cling to him. I made a grave error of judgement in my “Return To Castle Dome” interview. For the record, let it be known that Wayne and his church are indeed very suicidal. I pray that God will do what is required to save any souls who will be saved from this grave situation. There has got to be a Remnant saved. There has got to be.

  12. Sorry about the typing errors in this last post of mine, especially the misquoted scripture, I meant to say, “That which-so-ever a man sows, he shall also reap.” I wish part two of the “Return To Castle Dome” Interview would be soon coming. Allen Armstrongs views would be very timely right now.

  13. Thanks Johnny, that was the best summary of this situation. We can only hope that
    wayne will be exposed as a fruad to his followers before its too late.

  14. I also want to say something to everyone here. There is a very excellant chance that not one of Wayne’s followers at Strong City are able to read any of these appeals or comments. In the name of “Control”, from the last that I had heard, they have had the internet shut off to all of the individual dwellings. There are no phones as well. Only the people on Wayne’s hill (the leadership) have internet, phone, and Jeff Bent has all the keys to all of the cults vehicles. If an individual sitting alone in their dwelling right now, tomorrow, or later wanted to end the fast, and leave, and they are too weak to crawl out to the gate to flag down any passing vehicle… do you see the picture that I am presenting? Who would collect any dead body, that may come as a result of this fast? They are trapped, and not able to ask for help, because there isn’t going to be anyone strong enough to go around and knock on doors, to check on them. They are 31 miles from the nearest community. They are 41 miles from the nearest law enforcement and hospital. Cell phones do not work from strong City, for it sitts in a natural bowl of rocks and clifts. No cell phone signals. We could seriously be looking at the need for body bags within the next two or three days. Friends, make those phone calls, e-mails to anyone who has any influence. DO IT NOW !!!!!! There needs to be someone in there who can be there 24 hours and ready to bring out survivers. I would hate to think that any cry for help would have no possible way of being heard.

  15. Wayne,

    You have openly stated that you believe that you and the churches alleged civil rights may have been violated. When a person is dying, many thoughts go through their minds. People relive their lives in their heads, and make peace with their Maker. It is their final conclusion to all of their reasoning in this life. To die alone in one’s bed sometimes is not an option, but it is for these people there with you. Lets say, I’ll just pull a name out of the blue, Timothy, my former roommate, or anyone, maybe Salem, or my wife Lillian wanted to not go through with this fast to the death, and there was not one soul within 31 miles around to respond to this dying wish to be taken to another place, and there was no phone, or internet, or ANYWAY to get word out there to receive a helping hand,… would not that persons civil right to live be violated?

    Please allow someone onto the property to be there in that event, be it a health worker, a law enforcement officer, a neighbor down the street, anybody from the outside who can knock on doors and check on the people. Even Ghandi had servants who sat by his side during his 21 day fast, and when he broke it, and was too weak to help himself, and he asked for the juice, it was brought to him quickly. Have mercy on the possible soon to be helpless. You have no right to control this for these people. Give them dignity to control their last moments of their lives. Please consider the fatherless and the widows, and the soon to be ones.

  16. I know first hand that my mother has seen none of this as she is not allowed access to the internet and that she had to go somewhere at Strong City to use the phone. I don’t think these people can make a choice to leave as they are under the mind control of Wayne Bent.

  17. Hello Johnny,

    I have appreciated reading your recent comments on this blog, and Prudence’s web site. After fellowshipping with you for 18 years or so and getting to know you a little bit, it is nice to know you a little more, and to see who the “real Johnny” is. I am satisfied. What you must do, do quickly, old friend.

    You seem a little hysterical, forgetting the closeness and brotherhood of our land. The people here love each other and serve each other. The attacks of the false-hearted such as yourself, Prudence, Trudy and the others have only driven us closer into each other’s hearts.

    Each person here is checked on by another at least once a day, while others who are of a weaker constitution are checked on more often. You may remember that Grace is an R.N. with over 20 years of hospital experience including emergency room nursing, and she is keeping a close eye on everyone here. Our world is not like yours, old friend, where people are left to fend for themselves. We stand or fall together. Would any of your flatterers wipe your bottom for six months and take care of you full time if you were bedridden with stroke or illness? I doubt it. But I’ve seen that done here for more than one person.

    Fasting seems to terrify you. In all the years I knew you, food was a subject you would often speak of. It would do you some good to fast for about 30 days. You would lose that ample girth, and you might never be tempted by a Pizza Hut again. Probably most Americans would benefit from a good fast. We have fasted before and our Father has given instructions to fast again. We are not afraid because our instructions come from God, not our stomachs.

    As to our phone and Internet, yes, we have shut off most of our DSL connections but our wireless LAN and server are still functioning, and we email back and forth regularly. There came a point where the hooting of the mob was a distraction to us, so we turned off our external Internet access to all but a few computers when we went on our word fast. Some people who still want to do something online use the computers that still have access to the Internet. We still have a couple of phones here that aren’t used much these days.

    Everyone wants to join a cause that is popular and riding on the high places of the earth, Johnny. But God lets persecution come to reveal the truth about a person’s character, just as yours has been revealed here. We have been tested to our limits by the attacks of the mob who are stirred up by the lies and misrepresentations of our former brethren, but it has only driven us closer to our Father, and to each other. We will not fail nor be discouraged. Father will manifest the answer to our prayers at the right moment.

    Do you remember the experience of the disciples of Jesus? You should. I’ve never regarded you as a stupid man, Johnny, but I do think you are a foolish one.

  18. Why do you see me as a Judas, old friend? What would you rather I do? I am concerned about people dying a very real death. This is not what we were taught from the beginning. This is known by many. I would think that you would believe that there is going to be a great deliverance from Father in your behalf. I understand your joy and faith. I would have no issues with that kind of deliverance should Father bring that about. I haven’t been there this past two years to receive the preparation that you have received. You could say that I am to blaim for that to a great degree. Yet it is part of all of us counting the cost. But I am looking at the entire picture, but not from on top of the fence. Do you really believe the scripture saying that they loved not their lives, even unto death, means what you have been appling? This is new to me. I do not see your deaths as a proper defination of translation like Enoch and Elijah. Why would Father rewrite the rules now. Are the straight testimonies of the scriptures wrong? Was Ellen White wrong? In the end we will all know who was right. May Father has mercy on all of our souls. He knows all of our hearts. And I will leave the judgement of who are fools up to Father. I wish you the best. By the way, should Grace be too weak to check on the people, who is left? Perhaps Grace is not fasting because of the needs of her aquired knowledge of nursing. I have no knowledge of these final facts. I sense these affairs may already be worked out. I hope so.

  19. The poster called Inkydou asked this -“What is the huge uproar about them fasting anyway? Apart from the fact they are doing this based on their religious beliefs (and apparently that scares some people), fasting takes place all over the world for religious and non-religious reasons.”

    Inkydou, evidently you haven’t read their plan… sure, they started with rather routine fasts (first juice, then just water). People in good health can fast for 40 to 50 days without food, only water. But, when the fast is no food and no water, then death comes quickly. If someone has been on nutrition and calorie deprivation for several weeks and then goes to no-food no-water, a coma ensues (often in a day or two) and then death is assured in 3 to 7 days. Some of these people are not really in a position to think clearly and they have been convinced that they will be “translated,” by which they mean that their physical selves (bodies) will undergo some sort of tele-transportation to heaven without dying conventionally. There is concern for those people who have lost proper judgement to make decisions sanely, because they are under the influence of a leader claiming to actually be God incarnate who has taught them that such a “translation” is going to be a reality

    That’s the uproar.

  20. What I don’t understand is that if some of the family members living not far outside of the compound are concerned about their loved ones, why don’t they just go out there and see what they can do to correct the situation?

    Are you afraid of them calling the cops because you would be trespassing? Are you afraid that Jeff and Wayne would shoot you? Do they have guns? Would they kill an intruder? Are they a violent bunch? Call the cops before you go and tell them you think there is going to be a ruckus… because you plan to make one. Take some action if you care that much, don’t sit around moaning. Force their hand… make them have to call on “the beast” for help.

  21. This was in todays Sunday edition of the Albuquerque Journal. I had to copy and paste the entire text, because the link would not transfer. Here is the article. It is a very good one. It was sent to me by the news desk this afternoon.

    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    ‘Messiah’ and His Followers Fast As His Trial Approaches

    By Vic Vela
    Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal
    Journal Staff Writer
    DES MOINES, N.M. — Wayne Bent said it was 10 in the morning on a July day eight years ago when he was anointed by God as he sat in the same soft purple chair on which he relaxed during a recent interview.
    “I was sitting there just looking out the window, not thinking of anything, not praying,” he said. “And suddenly Father came to me and called me Messiah.”
    At the time, he was merely the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, which he brought to northern New Mexico in 2000 with 77 followers.
    So, he said, he was at first hesitant to take on this new role.
    “I felt nervous,” said Bent, clad in pants, a long-sleeve flannel shirt and suspenders while meeting a Journal crew at his Strong City compound in Union County, northwest of Clayton. “False Christs and all these images of messiahs came up in me, and all those cult leaders.”
    Bent said he ultimately took on the messiah mantle and for the last eight years has led the followers who live on his serene, 280-acre property in peace.
    But the tranquility members once enjoyed has given way to turmoil in recent months.
    Bent not only faces the prospect of prison time, but also — by his own choice — death by starvation.
    He was arrested in May on charges that he had sexual contact with underage girls who once lived at his compound. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 17 in Clayton.
    While Bent has flatly denied any wrongdoing — he claims the physical contact was a healing exercise — the pending prosecution could be the least of his problems.
    Bent says he has not eaten anything since he had a bowl of cereal and fruit on Oct. 16, and he promises to fast barring a “deliverance” from God or unless the state drops the charges against him.
    He had been drinking juice since the 16th, but, on Friday, he said he began drinking water only and that he will not consume anything beginning next Friday.
    He said all of his followers are fasting as well. Some stopped drinking water as of Saturday, according to Bent.
    “It is time for us to go, and for this we now pray,” he wrote on a Web site posting Friday. “If we cannot freely worship our God, it is a certainty that we will not worship the image of the beast. We are free, or we are gone.”
    Bent also declared that he will no longer participate in court proceedings, though a hearing is scheduled for Thursday that will determine a possible change of venue for his trial. He calls his refusal to go forward with legal proceedings a “holy rebellion.”
    He said public misconception of him and his belief that the judge in the case is in cahoots with the district attorney against him means he cannot be exonerated through the state’s judicial system.
    “I think any jury with a lot of psychiatrists and a lot of hocus-pocus and all this cult leader sex stuff, these are just magic buttons for people in this country,” Bent said. “And I just don’t think a fair trial can be had in New Mexico.”
    Meanwhile, Bent’s followers are standing behind their leader.
    A 59-year-old woman, who called herself Faith, said Bent is not guilty of his charges for one simple reason: “He’s innocent because I believe he is the Son of God.”
    But Faith said she is prepared for whatever may happen in the coming weeks if Bent is not “vindicated.”
    “I was looking forward for this particular day to come, and it’s finally here,” she said. “That the world is gonna come to its end, and I’m leaving.”
    District Attorney Donald Gallegos of Taos said recently that he doesn’t know of any precedent for handling a defendant who may be starving himself.
    On Friday, his office sought permission from a judge to allow sheriff’s deputies to check on the welfare of Bent and his followers during the fast. The judge was not available Friday, however, according to Bent’s attorney, Sarah Montoya of Raton. Deputies did perform a welfare check at the compound on Friday and were assured by Bent’s son Jeff that everyone was OK.
    ‘My desires changed’
    Bent said he grew up in Compton, Calif., and joined the Navy Reserves when he was 18. After a two-year stay with the military, he got married and had three children.
    One of them is Jeff Bent, who now lives on the Union County property with his father and is extremely loyal.
    Wayne Bent said he smoked for nine years, drank the occasional beer and was a fan of Southern California professional sports teams, such as the Dodgers and the then-Los Angeles Rams. He also liked to hunt.
    But, in 1967, he had a religious conversion and all that changed.
    “All I know is my desires changed, and I didn’t want to do those things anymore,” he said.
    He earned a master’s degree in religion at Loma Linda University and became a minister. As it became clear that he was devoting his life to God, he said, his wife left him in 1981 after 19 years of marriage.
    “She was never happy to be with a converted husband,” Bent said. “But she did the best she could for 19 years.”
    He moved to Idaho in 1982, where he was a pastor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He left the church in 1987 after having a falling out with a fellow pastor there.
    Bent continued to preach and lead seminars teaching the Adventist faith until 2000, when he says God told him to move to New Mexico. His role here changed, he said, that July morning when God spoke to him.
    Bent said God gave him three Bible verses during that moment that forever changed him.
    “I wasn’t just Pastor Bent,” he said. “Now I was Messiah; and the people knew it.”
    Bent spoke matter-of-factly about his transformation, pausing to acknowledge most people doubt his claims.
    “I know how unbelievable it sounds, but that is how it happened,” he said. “I know how crazy it is.”
    Bent prophesied that the world would end Oct. 31, 2007.
    Son Jeff recently defended his father’s doomsday prediction, saying it had been misunderstood.
    ‘We believe in God’
    The church compound is lined with trees that provide cover for the small, modular homes where members live.
    Women interviewed at Bent’s property earlier this month were full of smiles and wore dresses that reached their ankles. They strongly defended their leader and vowed to stay by his side through thick and thin.
    “We just see God in Michael,” said Wendy, the former wife of Jeff Bent who now calls herself Zion. “If we didn’t see truth or integrity in him, we wouldn’t be here.”
    When asked why she is willing to fast, even to the point of death, Wendy told a reporter, “We believe in God. You don’t.
    “We are following our instructions from God. The consequences are up to him. We’re not planning on dying. God’s promise to us is we will be changed. We are just going forward with what he says to do and leaving the consequences to him.”
    Bent lives alone inside a modest, clean trailer with laminated signs inside that are used to tell visitors not to disturb him while he is resting or praying.
    A small pillow — a gift from a follower with stitching that reads: “He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied” — rests on a futon. The message refers to Bent, who is known to his followers as Michael Travesser. The surname comes from a nearby Union County creek.
    On his bookshelf sit several stuffed animals, gifts from children who once lived on the property.
    In conversation Bent is usually thoughtful, articulate and reserved, but there are moments of anger.
    Twice during the interview, he slammed his hand down, once when talking about the state’s charges and again when asked about published reports that he had sexual relations with his son’s wife. Bent said the couple were separated, though still legally married.
    Bent is just as forceful with the written word.
    On his Web site he has posted blistering opinions about state authorities, saying they’re doing Satan’s work.
    Bent has been criticized by the district attorney’s office for comments he posted on the Web. He has called prosecutor Tomas Benavidez “evil” and wrote that Benavidez has “exhibited the classic stance of the beast.”
    A judge last week ordered Bent to “cease and desist” from making such comments.
    ‘She felt she had to’
    Bent said the will of God led to his “healing” of the two girls with whom he is charged with having illegal sexual contact; he had no control over what happened.
    He said one of the girls was 16 when God came to her in August 2006 and told her to “lay naked on my bed.”
    “She felt she must, she felt she had to,” Bent said. “So I allowed her to do that.”
    Bent said he touched and kissed her clavicle and then told her to leave his bedroom.
    When asked why he allowed a naked teenage girl to enter his bedroom, Bent said, “I’ve always told the girls to do what God tells you. No way I was going to tell her, ‘I don’t care what God tells you. Get out of my house.’ ”
    Bent said he had a similar encounter with the girl’s sister.
    “If (they) had come to me before (the anointment) and said, ‘Can I come lay naked on your bed?’, I would have said, ‘No way,’ ” he said. “But not after Messiah came into me, because I was now responsible for their soul(s).”
    But there was fallout from the girls’ parents.
    Bent said the parents left the church and became friends with and told another former church member, Prudence Welch, about the incident.
    Welch called State Police.
    A three-week investigation by State Police, the state Children, Youth and Families Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Department led to Bent’s arrest May 6.
    A police report states that one of the girls said that as she lay naked with Bent, he “kissed her lips like a husband and wife do.” She also reported Bent touched and kissed her breasts. The sister also told police that Bent had kissed her and that she and Bent “lay chest to chest” while she was naked.
    Bent points to interviews obtained for his defense where the sisters reportedly have said he never molested them.
    Bent provided the Journal a transcript of one girl’s interview by Montoya, his attorney, where the girl said Bent was never naked in her presence and that she “didn’t feel like (Bent) wanted sex. Just probably religious, I guess.”
    Bent also provided a letter to District Attorney Donald Gallegos dated June 25 from the second girl who stated that Bent “never molested me or touched me sexually in any way, nor did he use authority to coerce me.” A recent letter purported to be from the girl is posted online.
    Montoya verified the authenticity of her interview and the June 25 letter.
    Bent says he doesn’t believe he is leading his followers down a suicidal path in spite of their commitment to fasting with him.
    “Let me tell you what it is,” he said. “They love me. That’s it. If they saw me whipped off to jail or in a hospital with tubes down my throat, you would see church members sitting right outside.”
    He rejects any suggestion that he has manipulative control over his followers.
    “I have never implied to anybody that they should copy me,” he said. “Let me enlighten you: God’s here and he talks to the people’s hearts. It’s not Wayne Bent.”
    Bent blasted the public perception of who he is.
    “Oh, he’s having sex with kids and everybody else, too,” he said. “It wasn’t like that. Nothing here was like that. But the problem is people don’t believe me when I say God speaks to me — ‘There’s this fruitcake out there … claiming that God talks to him’ — and I can’t answer for that. But they didn’t believe Jesus either.
    “I expect to get the same treatment that Jesus got. The media wasn’t fair with him, either. They accused him of false charges and they killed him. I know how it looks. I am charged with a crime that did not occur, and even you can understand that.”

  22. avatar
    Taylor Halstead

    This is not a fast! They are going to starve to death and should not be called anything other than Suicide. This is Suicide on Waynes part and Murder on his part as well as he knows very well that these people are under his control. It’s all about control for Wayne and when he saw he was losing control with the current charges against him he became a very desperate man. Wayne the way you are going about this just makes you look that much more guilty! If you really believed in GOD you would leave it in “His Hands” but you do not have enough faith in GOD.

  23. Taylor: Your mother brought this post to my attention so evidently she reads this blog. She told me a few days ago about your physical condition and so I believe a fast is in order for you, too.

    Johnny: We have shared truth with you for years, only to watch you turn back to your vomit again. You just can’t help yourself, and I’m not going to try and clear up your confusion.

    Your comments about body bags and dying in bed are hateful and very inappropriate, and they are also dishonest because you know our fast isn’t about suicide. You are baiting the people on this blog with rhetoric like that so can stir up sympathy and attention for yourself.

  24. avatar
    Taylor Halstead

    Funny Jeff! Just avoid the Truth and I know for a fact that she does not read this Blog as she told me she does not have internet so who is the liar here Her or You? and do you now answer for Wayne? Is he unable to speak for himself? Thanks!

  25. Jeff,

    I have often in my life been wrong. I know myself that well to honesty state that about my many judgements and predictions. I tell you honesty right now, never in my whole life have I ever wanted to be found wrong as I do right now about what I am seeing and feeling. Please prove me wrong, and I will be very much relieved and comforted. I have been praying to Father that I am wrong about all of this, and if I am, then to please have mercy on my soul. I want to be wrong. I do not desire that any of you perish without deliverance from Father. Will you please believe me with this expression of hope. I am sorry if my current state of mind is difficult for you to reason with. I’m afraid that I have never dealt with a situation like this before, and I am dealing with it moment by moment. You would have to admit as well, as this is new ground for yourself. I am doing the best as I am able. There simply are not any flip cards to flip over with step by step instructions as to what to do next. Reality sometimes is not an easy task. But I am doing as I believe I should and would be expected for anyone in my position, as you all are also doing for yourselves. Nobody is keeping score here. I will refrain from the graphic illistrations in the future, if I am able. I WILL MAKE AN EXTRA EFFORT. Wayne has been also very graphic as well in presenting his views, not that that gives me license. Again I am sorry, Jeff. And No, I don’t know what you folks are doing anymore. Appearance does say a very lot, despite as to what the church has clearly taught me in the past 20 years. Somewhere, something has been changed, and nobody told me. I do not want attention, yet at the same time I cannot crawl under a rock and hide. That is just an expression.

  26. avatar
    Taylor Halstead

    Johnny, have some nuts here you don’t have to bow down to Jeff or Wayne! Thats what they want you to do and everyone else to do right now! They want to feel in control and that they have all the power. You don’t have to apologize to them for nothing! This is nothing more than a suicide and murder pact with them and they will be just like all the other cults before them. Something they never said they would do, but then again if they were really following the instructions of GOD they would not do this. Do you really think that the way Jeff or Wayne has spoke to you is really christ like? No! Both of Jeffs comments are meant to hurt and not something that a man of GOD would say to anyone. Be strong Johnny! leave this to the real GOD and trust in him.

  27. Jeff, is your father still sleeping with your wife?

    (Yes, this is horribly mean, but I still can’t forget the look on Jeff’s face in the documentary when he talked about it.)

    Seriously, Wayne and Jeff, to those of us in the “outside world” you look like a bunch of whackaloons. Unfortunately, your whackery now involves the lives of people who may die because you’re trying to prove some obscure point (or worse yet, no point at all).

    The fact is, Wayne and Jeff, that God is not going to intervene on your behalf and save you from the day of judgment. Maybe the New Mexico State Police will save you people from yourselves.

  28. I will also add Jeff, that I am not in hell, but I am walking through some very hot flames. This is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me in years. Everything that has prepared me for these fires that I am walking through, I have learned while sitting at your Dad’s feet. Everything that has brought me to where I am today was as a result of your Fathers influence in my life. I owe Wayne that much, and for that I am very thankful. Don’t be so quick to toss me aside. It’s not over with yet. Believe me, my eyes are very, very open. Remember I was annointed twice with those bitter herbs and it was for a reason.

  29. Mom, Judy Halstead

    I need my mom to call me immediately.
    541-928-3873 or 541-990-0580 Do not deny her this call.

    John Halstead

  30. Taylor, please be calm and have faith. Father is in control. He is above and beyond all appearances, and well able to act and do His Greatness. I pray that I am very aware of the present situation, and what I don’t know, well I believe that Father has my best interest at heart, and I trust Him. I hope this doesn’t sound like double talk, but for some reason this is pouring out of me, and I am oddly at peace. Something is happening. I think I want to be quiet for a while. Good night everyone. I am going to go to bed and listen for a while.

  31. Jeff, YOUR comments to a young man who is ill and about to have surgery are hateful and inappropriate. During such a time in his life he desperately needs his mother’s love and attention. All he gets is the knowledge his mother is starving herself because her religious leader is doing the same. Your lack of sympathy for him is SUCH a Christ like attitude.

    Johnny baits no one. People posting on this blog can read and have read the current stories as well as the past. We don’t need anyone to tell us what is happening at this moment, it’s very obvious. But Johnny’s views having lived there are valuable bits of information to those of us who are interested in this story. As well, he is genuinely concerned about all of you at SC and sadly his graphic details are not that far fetched.

    Facts are facts: One can survive an average of three days without the intake of water assuming you are at sea level (SC is at an elevation of about 6600 ft. above sea level) and at room temperature (It’s 33 degrees at present and will be around 15 degrees during the night warming up to the mid 60’s in the daytime).

    A single day without water significantly reduces bodily and mental performance which is dangerous where clear thinking is essential.

    A continued lack of water causes dehydration which may result in lethargy, headaches, dizziness, confusion and eventually death.

    You haven’t answered Taylor. Do you now answer for Wayne? And my question is are you NOT fasting? To keep answering questions here and maintaining the SC website requires more brain function than someone on day 17 of this type of fast would have.

    And yes, I do happen to know quite a bit about the above facts and I seriously doubt one nurse would have the physical capacity or medical equipment needed to care for the amount of people at SC.

    I really don’t wish you ill. I just wish for your sake and the sake of your families and friends you would stop this insanity and let God take care of the proceedings in the courtroom.

  32. Mom,

    If you read this information as Jeff says you do then communicate with me on here or email me at I want a phone call immediately although. Mom, I’m pleading with you to not break our hearts. We have dealt with sucide our whole lifes and we plead with you to not do it again to us.



  33. Judy,

    As I’ve told you before I know you have a heart. You know how much love is in the boys heart, please do not destroy it.

    Robyn Halstead

  34. Jeff,

    I am married to Wendy’s younger sister. I to watched the documentary that was published. I to watched how distraut you were that Wendy slept with your father. You know what the laws are concerning sex abuse against children, and would speak off camera. You know these laws are in place to protect our children from predators. Based on your law enforcement back ground, you know these laws need to be enforced. Times have changed Jeff, where laws were written that indicated how old a child could be to have sexual relations. You might ask yourself if when you were a police officer, would you not have arrested someone for doing exactly what your father did. I see the look in my sister in-laws eyes as she looks at Wayne. There is no doubt that she believes that he is “father”. But I have also seen the look in your eyes. Wendys family and parents, your inlaws are worried sick. You need to have Wendy contact her family, her parents number is still the same. Your inlaws have said nothing bad about you to me. I am expolice officer and married to Joanie.

  35. I only heard about the Strong City group shortly before seeing the documentary Inside A Cult, but I have this nagging thought that I’ve yet to see anyone consider. Everyone seems to be aware that Wayne Bent is a master manipulator and that Jeff Bent has more than the usual layman’s knowledge of the Justice System in America. Has no one put these two facts together? It occurs to me that perhaps Wayne’s back and forth double-talk, and constant contradiction of his own words, as well as his prior public fasts have also been a form of manipulation. But of the courts. I believe that he has always intended his followers to follow him in a fast to their deaths and by acting in this manner to the point that a sane and rational person (such as a judge) would not take his ‘final’ fast serious enough to approve a raid on his compound. Would it surprise anyone if the Judge’s reaction was “Oh yeah, here he goes again. I wonder what date God will tell him to eat again this time?” If his followers live past the date of Oct 31, 2008, what will he tell them when the world continues with no ‘change’? I do believe that this time he and his followers will not survive but I also believe that he has planned this for the past year. And I wonder why some of his followers went off water earlier than others. Could this be because Wayne considers these individuals to be of stronger physical health than himself? In that case wouldn’t he need them to succumb to their starvation before he himself “leaves this Earth”?

  36. As a nurse of 30 years, I know for fact that if anyone has been without water for over 48 hours their potassium levels drop. Then severe muscle cramps and spasms occur. These can be extremely painful. The ability to perform simple tasks ie: sitting at a desk and typing out well thought out letters would be impossible for Mr. Bent as of yesterday.

    I do not believe that Mr. Bent is fasting from food and water. He would be so weak at this point he would be confined to his bed.

  37. Sam I agree. If this were my family out there I would not be sitting behind a computer blogging. I would be driving out to their land and walking if I had to, to wherever they were living to see them and do what I could to remove them.

    If my parents were part of a fast that was going to exclude water (because that is apparent suicide), then I would be petitioning a court for them to be taken to a facility for an evaluation. I would not be making up web sites and writing posts, there would be action. I would not be waiting for police to make moves. It is obvious that the police do not care if they starve to death as long as there are no minors involved.

    My advice is stop blogging and begging this man. GO TO THE LAND AND WALK IN IF YOU MUST to check in on your families. This messaging back and forth while lives are at stake seems not only tragic but ridiculous.

  38. “And I wonder why some of his followers went off water earlier than others. Could this be because Wayne considers these individuals to be of stronger physical health than himself? In that case wouldn’t he need them to succumb to their starvation before he himself “leaves this Earth””?

    If Wayne was doing this by himself he would generate little sympathy from the public and his passing would be of little consequence. By having others at risk of dying before himself he is in the metaphorical position of saying “Give me what I want, or I’ll kill the hostages”. This only works because the public sees his “flock” as helpless victims rather than willing participants, or even co-conspirators, in this attempt to blackmail the public and the NM justice system. Keep in mind that that many, many people have tried to reason with the Strong City residents over many, many years to let them know that they are off track. The ones whose consciences would not allow them to participate in the SC activities any longer have already left. From my view, these people are not “innocent” and they are not “victims.”
    They are all complicit in what has happened at SC.

    Still….if I had family living there, under the present “leadership” team, I would be doing everything I could to get them out.

  39. Wayne, why is it necessary for your people to follow you on this fast? If your translation is on the horizon, then their fast it not necessary. I understand the purpose of your fast. However, it is YOUR fast, not theirs. As the leader, you should disapprove of their fasting and approve of your followers contacting their families. Do you doubt their faith in you? Why can these family members not come onto the land? Your beliefs assure you that you will be delivered thru your change. So why do you encourage other people’s suffering? The Messiah does not need the support of his people in order to defeat Satan. So, why drag them along? They do not have the power you claim to possess.

  40. Claire, Angela and Raycot, while the Bent’s ARE manipulating the system I believe there are plans in place to stop this. First the court order which hopefully will be signed this morning. Secondly, there is a status conference scheduled on the morning of the 28th (tomorrow) where the judge will hear everything that’s happening.

    Of course we all hope that the court order will be signed this morning and will be acted upon immediately. From what I’ve read of the dynamics between those living at SC and their families on the outside there has been much control of the people at SC making it difficult for anyone to reason with them and I sense the families don’t want to make a bad situation worse by knocking down the gates. No one really knows what would happen if they did. The combo of Law enforcement and the families together might work, but then again, no one knows.

    I don’t really see his flock as victims so much in this fast because unless physically restrained they could pick up a glass of water. But they are victims in a general sense as they have been brainwashed for years into thinking that following WB is a direct line to God.

    Waiting and watching!

  41. Sharon Tate would probably still be alive if Charles Manson had not messed with the minds of those trusting young people who looked up to him.

  42. To Our Friends in LOR

    “Your mind is not always in such a condition that you can safely follow its leadings. Frequently things come into your mind which you regard as the special teachings of the Spirit of God, impressions direct from the Lord; but they are not. You cannot rely upon these impressions. Elder D did this, and it was to a great degree ruin of body as well as to the detriment of his soul. It was the Lord’s way to instruct him by warnings and counsels through the Testimonies. This light was to correct the force of his impressions; and yet these impressions were preferred and relied upon. The light given of God was rejected because it did not coincide with these impressions and sustain the intense feelings he had upon many points.” {Ellen White, 6MR 180.3}

    “Satan can give feelings and impressions, and those who take these as their guide will surely be led astray.” {Ellen White, PH048 34.2}

    “When persons will speak lightly of the word of God, and set their impressions, feelings, and exercises above the divine standard, we may know that they have no light in them. Obedience is the test of discipleship. It is the keeping of the commandments that proves the sincerity of our professions of love. When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart, purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God. When benevolence, kindness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, are manifest in our lives; when the joy of right doing is in our hearts; when we exalt Christ, and not self, we may know that our faith is of the right order. ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.’ 1 John 2:3.” {Ellen White, MB 146.3}

  43. You’re right Ron. He still tries every year for parole which thankfully has not happened.

    And there are 1000’s of other trusting souls who over the years have followed these egotists, who claim to have the only way to eternal life, to their deaths.

  44. I have personally known one of the couples in SC for many years although I have not physically seen them for quite some time. No, I will not say who. This is because I feel it necessary to protect others, not myself. I do not see them as victims of Wayne Bent or his ideas. I am sure that the majority of Waynes followers are now and have always been good people so before you slam me, know that. However, this couple are not innocent lambs. There has been sexual perversion and down right cruelty in their lives long before they ever heard of Wayne Bent. A man such as this cannot become the ‘leader’ he has become without others perpetuating that notion. There have been years of their family trying to reason with or ‘reach’ them. The only result has been alienation. If the state is successful in interceding or if they are somehow forced to see that Wayne Bent is not the Messiah, they will simply find another way to end their lives. My heart does not ache for them but it does ache for all those who have been and will be affected by their actions.

  45. Point Taken! From what I have learned of these people and from their own words, they certainly are not sweet little angels, they are vain humans, just like us. Self Rightous fools.

  46. I’m afraid I have to disagree with you, Ron. I would not consider the couple I knew as vain or self-righteous. There is an illness inside them. In many respects they have had the battle between good and evil raging inside them. Yes, they did vile things, but always had the knowledge of how vile and hurtful their actions were. And yes, they had remorse and guilt. Because of this battle, they suffered immense pain and heartache. They needed help. Along comes Wayne Bent who says to them “I can heal your heart. You are loved. I can give you the peace you are so desperate to find.” He showed them a way to continue many of these perversions and cruel actions in the name of the God and therefore alleviating the guilt the battle inside them ceases. Why wouldn’t they worship him?

  47. I guess I am referring more to the insulting, hate filled posts that I have read from Milton, Wayne, and others in Strong City. Self righteous describes anyone who thinks they know the mind of God.

  48. Ron,
    I do understand and agree that there is alot of hate filled words coming from the principals of SC and would say the same myself. I do consider the principal leaders of SC to be self-righteous and vain. In fact, I don’t believe Wayne Bent gives any consideration to the feelings or well-being of anyone other than himself. It’s just that while I don’t see the followers as victims, I don’t believe they are motivated by vanity or a sense of self-righteousness. I also don’t think that at this point there is anything that we on the outside can do for them, as sad as that may be.

  49. KM, I understand, but if they are definitely fasting from water, there is little time. I would not be waiting for court orders.
    Wayne stated that they live on a sea of glass and that all they do is transparent. If that’s true, then the family should be able to enter their land to check in on their relatives. Maybe I’m missing something here. What is Wayne Bent going to do if family crowds at their gate demanding to see their families? What would they do if they walked in and demanded to see them?

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 24 hours. Without disrespect to anyone here, there is no possible way anyone can go past 3 days without water. Not in all the years I worked as a nurse, have I heard of someone surviving dehydration to that extent. Organs begin to shut down quickly.

    I would be extremely angered if people were lying about this fast, playing games and worrying those who love them.

    We will know when November 3rd comes, if the women that have been called to appear in court, will show.

    I also know that there is a possible chance that they are lying to the authorities, when they entered their land to check on them about their fast. If anyone appeared ill and near death, EMT’s and more police would have been called in. So my question here is, are they truly fasting and going without water? Or is this a ploy?

  50. Angela, It’s hard to know because although they are supposedly transparent there are a lot of secrets. I’m not a part of the LOR just live in the area so this is all speculation on my part.

    The area they live in is remote and from what I can tell it’s a gated community. I don’t think anyone can even get close to it without them knowing that someone is there. That said, I don’t think there are actual guards with weapons. It’s just a control issue and I guess the families have tried to respect their family members right of religious freedom. If someone demanded to see their family they would probably be told they don’t want to see you. WB says that anyone can leave anytime they want but it doesn’t seem to happen very often. If a group of people were camped at my gate though it seems like it would be a little unnerving for the people on the other side of the gate.

    The SP didn’t have a search warrant and they had only just started the no water fast the day they were checked so it’s very possible that none of the people they actually checked looked ill. But, if they get to that point and law enforcement/EMT’s or even family found them they could transport them against their will. You’re absolutely right about dehydration. Not only do your organs shut down but your mind plays tricks on you. It’s a very unpleasant way to die.
    So if they are truly fasting something needs to be done quickly.

    From the many posts I’ve read back through the years it would not be unheard of him to be playing games, it sounds like it’s part of his modus operandi. I don’t know what happened with the court order today and I don’t know if he’s required to appear for the status hearing tomorrow or if it’s just by phone. If he is and doesn’t show that will cause him lots of problems.

    And like you said whoever is posting on here, Wayne or Jeff, has not been on a complete fast for 18 days. They are too functional and lucid.

  51. In scripture is written in Matthew, Jesus tells us to fast and pray IN SECRET! To tell NO ONE!
    SOP has lots to say about fasting as well, that it is always to be done in private and to spend this time in prayer.
    No where does scripture state that fasting be done as a “tantrum” plus spewing out vitriolic messages on the internet.
    Or do they not use scripture any longer>

  52. Has anyone had contact with the people on their fast?
    I was speaking with an internal specialist at work last night who said after 72 hours of no water, they would be near death, or already dead. If they began drinking no more water on Friday, or Saturday, then they would not have anyone there alive on the land.

    I have to say this again, will anyone be going out to check on these folks?

  53. It just occured to me that 7 women of this church were served with an order to appear before the DA. So if they were served on Monday, that means they were found alive. And that would make these women, including the girl Bernice a liar. According to Bernice’s letter, she was off water Friday.

  54. so who has been on the “off water” fast the longest?
    If its mr wayne, perhaps he’s already translated/changed to the next “level”.
    I knew they would end up pulling the suicide card out because wayne has painted himself into a corner.
    This is very sad indeed.
    People who’re loosing loved ones there, I really am sorry this has happened.
    Please don’t be angery with God because this was never about God…it was all about wayne bents ego and need for control.
    Google search “personality disorder”, “Narsissist” and “Control freaks”…you will read all about wayne bent down to the last paragraph.
    Will be like was written to describe him!
    and I know exactly why this all happened with the sexual crimes. I will write what I learned long ago in my next post.
    My heart goes out to those who had/have loved ones there in SC.
    I think thats the end of THAT cult, but sadly won’t be the end of all cults.
    There will be much more believable false prophets who will perform miracles.
    Wayne Bent has been off the charts rediculous and almost laughable….but when another one comes along, we must watch out for even the very elect may be decieved.

  55. I have a couple of questions for Jeff. Since he lives on a Sea Of Glass.

    Are you Eating, or Drinking ANYTHING?

    I heard yesterday that you are.

    The other message to you Jeff, I have NEVER ridiculed my mother. And she is not on my website, and hasn’t been for some time now. I was responding to her ridicule of me. I love her… I always have.

  56. “Yesterday Attorney Sarah Montoya filed a Motion for Injunctive Relief to prevent further warrant-less searches on our land by police and to provide relief from harassment by legal entities of the state.”

    If something unfortunate happens to any of these people, just remember that it was their choice and there was nothing that anyone outside SC could do about it. It’s not the DA’s fault, it’s not the State’s fault, and it certainly isn’t the fault of any of us. There may be a way, however, to hold Mr. Bent and others accountable for their culpability in all of this….weaseling and obfuscation notwithstanding.

  57. Looking at Jeff Bent’s comments, I seriously wonder what is the purpose of his assertions and the nature of his latest internet posting tactic. Who is he talking to? He said that he was puzzled why they would want to get testimony from the seven women, who weren’t involved or present when the “alleged” sexual crimes took place. But, any knowledgeable person (and he’s too aware of what’s going on not to be considered knowledgeable) knows why they would be going to subpoena the seven women. Those ladies will be able to describe and testify to the atmosphere and climate and mind-set of the females there (and the mind-set of Wayne Bent), who somehow are all able to, without Bent’s orders, end up in his bed. They will be able to affirm that the various documents and teachings, which they all relied upon, were what caused them (of course,they will say that this was done with telepathic communications from someone they call Father, who may be Wayne or some strange spirit voice). A jury, which would hear how they were all somehow compelled, each in the same way, to get naked and have sex with Wayne, will be able to easily understand the mind control and not-so-subtle compulsion techniques, which the under-aged virgins were also under (and if it is that powerful to adults… children would be more susceptible).

    Of course, Jeff knows why the calling of those women to testify is relevant to the case, but yet he acted (stated) as though it made no sense. Who is he trying to convince? Other members distant from the camp? Is this just a tactic to keep contributions flowing in?

    I have done a lot of reading of the history here. Based on previous deadlines and threats of doom and self-destruction (self-sacrifice and translations), I observed that Wayne always reserves an ace-in-the hole, an “out.” He calls this the “Ram in the Thicket.” This is based on a biblical story about a guy who was sacrificing his son, because he thought God wanted that, and then God let him off by providing a goat (Ram) stuck in a nearby bunch of bushes, which could be sacrificed instead. Wayne seems to come up with these convenient “Rams,” whenever he is coming to a self-threatened final demise.

    So, my prediction is… Wayne will have to call off the fast, because of just such a “Ram.” It will be that he will interpret some kind of a court ruling as a victory or he will see that others in his camp (like Bernice) are going to die and so his spirit master will tell him that he doesn’t have to go on with it. Wayne contends that there are two entities at work here… the human Wayne and the spirit he is possessed with, called “Michael.” Wayne may be the one fasting… his spirit master, “Michael,” might be able to call it off (something like that). Look for the “Ram in the Thicket.” I think it will be coming very soon.

  58. Sam

    Exactly, Michael will call it off. Michael/Wayne Wayne/Michael has also confused when he went off water. Go look at some of the past posts and court documents

  59. It pains me to see how the media sensationalizes these people’s lives. It is popular for people to thrive on drama. Prudence, you had a picture of your mother on your website for many months until it was removed a couple of weeks ago when you re-fashioned your site. Her picture was there and next to it written “Delivered from Adventist hell? Really?”. I am not attacking you. I’m merely making an observation and giving the truth.

    It is clear to me that everyone in Strong City is being attacked for their religious beliefs. What does the state hope to gain here by going after the seven women, even though two of the D.A.’s witnesses have said that they were not touched sexually? If there were reason enough to believe that these women were molested then why would the state release Willow back to her family? There is no solid reason or they would not have allowed her to go home.

    All of this is slipping through their fingers like sand.

    Many years ago I took a course called “Therapeutic Touch”. It was a method of healing founded by Delores Kreiger. She found that by using TT (therapeutic touch) on hospital patients, their healing was affected greatly. Do you want to know the areas of the body you touch when using TT? The sternum between the breasts of men and women. The upper abdomen beneath the breasts, and oh, on breast cancer patients, sometimes the woman would request a healing where the hands are lightly held above or directly ON the breast. There are other modalities of healing too, which require the touching on a person even near their groin for means of healing.

    What has happened here is the state has taken healing and made it something filthy. In their minds they are thinking filth because they cannot understand anything else. This culture of MTV which disrespects women on a daily basis cannot grasp what is pure anymore.

    I strongly observe that there are people who are feeling extremely angry and want revenge. This is more about you and your wounds than Healed and Matthew. Or anyone else. This is about seeking revenge against someone you hate and would love to see him punished because of your pain. Will punishing Michael take away your hurt? Will you then be able to live in peace? I don’t think you will.

    These actions are hurtful more than healing. You live your lives away from Michael now and have for some time yet you cannot drop your hate, forgive, and move on in your life. Michael has nothing to do with your life now, yet you continue to attack and tear him and everyone else down.

    This website that counters Strong City is sad. It is a sad and depressing site full of people who are angry and in pain. So they lash out and do what they can to attack a peaceful people. You have the choice to move on with your lives and live them or sit back behind a computer every day and spew hate and aggression. I’m praying you find peace in your hearts. I pray that the lies and attacks on what I consider my religious beliefs too end.

  60. Friend, the angry people and the state can’t have it both ways. If Michael did not call off the fast then you all would sit back and claim they were taking their lives and running from the state. If he calls off the fast it’s because of the ram in the thicket.

    It does not matter what Michael does. Whatever he does the angry people will find a way to shred his actions apart.

  61. Angela, Terri Schiavo lived 13 days on no food and no water or liquids of any kind. There were people making sure she didn’t “cheat”. LOR may make it that long as well, but I wouldn’t think much longer.

  62. “Friend, the angry people and the state can’t have it both ways. If Michael did not call off the fast then you all would sit back and claim they were taking their lives and running from the state. If he calls off the fast it’s because of the ram in the thicket.

    It does not matter what Michael does. Whatever he does the angry people will find a way to shred his actions apart.”

    It would be a good thing if Wayne was able to call off the fast…for whatever reason. Then people wouldn’t be at risk of dying, and their families wouldn’t have to worry so much. I think everyone would be happy to see that. He has stated though that this is an individual decision by all involved, so perhaps he has no control over it.

  63. Tabitha – do you know the meaning of the word, “ironic?” Well, you have defined it with your own words. You are the one who has stood in judgement of people who are merely attempting to look at the case objectively (and also lumped them in with those who say they have been hurt by Wayne). You are indeed the one who is using a computer to “spew hate and aggression.” Plus, you have also “ironically” mischaracterized the set and setting of the environment of the alleged sexual events.

    Have you read the documents? The writings of the child called “Healed” are not about someone wanting healing… they are repeatedly about a girl wanting to be de-flowered, to have her virginity taken, to “consummate,” in other words to have sex. She begs for sex like a slut in a bar. Where did a child get such an idea? In all my years (including growing up through my own teen-age years), I have never known a child who longed for and pleaded to have sexual relations with an adult and especially not with her minister or pastor.

    Your comparison of a therapeutic touching session is simply not an honest comparison. In that course of yours did everyone get naked and go into the private bedroom of the therapist? Did the therapist do any “kissing” of the breasts? You know they didn’t. Yes, I can see that you have adopted the “religion.” You have adopted their same style to “just say anything” to try to prove a point. Well, “Tabitha,” reasonable people aren’t fooled by your totally out of place comparisons. Oh, and by-the-way, the “state” child protective services (not the same court trying Wayne Bent) required that Willow not live on the “land,” although, just as you thought, they probably should have been even more circumspect. She has to live with her father in a house away from the property. Her visits to the “land” have always been well-supervised… no solo bed-time with bongo for Willow this time around.

  64. Tabatha,
    If you read what my mother said she was pointing out the faults of another religion. My point was that the same faults have happened in the religion that she is currently in. 3 weeks ago is “some time” I didn’t say a few months, like Jeff did today about me. His “few” was really 18 months)

    If I would have been ridiculing her…. I would have been pointing out her faults and what a terrible mother she had been. BUT I was not doing that.

    Honestly you have not lived there. So you wouldn’t know how stressful living there is. Sure I have not lived there since JUNE 2004, and I left the Group in DEC 2005 (which is more than a “few months Jeff” BUT I spent 15 years in the group. I pretty much know how things go. The thought processes and why you do the things that you do. Sure they can accuse me of having a BIG chip… BUT look at Wayne’s 43 Page chip…

    If this was all of God, then they wouldn’t have said a word. They would have fasted in secret and let God do the work. BUT NO, they want to advertise. They want to try to manipulate to get what they want. Advertising their fast was like Wayne little suggestions about being naked. Then surprisingly Women start wanting to lay naked beside him.

    You mentioned your classes on touch…. Does each body have to be naked and laying next to each other? Or is it just your hand on their “heart”

    I am not making fun of anyone. Simply stating facts…

  65. Tabatha…you forget what you wrote saying you almost got sucked into this cult and how wayne bent kept urging you to let go of your family and your 2 boys came to you telling you they’d be devastated if you’d left.
    You told of how you’ve had to be hospitalized because of depression and your severe mental illness.
    You wrote that you were very thankful that you finally got the big picture of what this man is all about and you worried for his followers.
    You must be off your medications and this is very sad.
    Wayne bent IS all about sex and control and is NOT about the Lord.
    Do you realize he won’t even allow them to have tootpaste!?! And one woman has gone without teeth for years because wayne won’t allow her to buy them!
    Her teeth rotted because of tooth decay and medical neglect!
    Prudence’s mother claims she’s not in pain despite her breast cancer metastatizing all over her body.
    This woman could have had treatment, but wayne wouldn’t allow this! Others have died because he won’t allow them to seek medical attention!
    Do a google search regarding “Narsisstism”, Personality disorder and control freaks”…you will see mr wayne bent in there as clear as day.
    Before they removed their blogs and website on SC, the girls wrote about being naked IN BED with wayne.
    Healed begged him to consumate, have sexual intercourse with her and she threatened suicide.
    These girls said on camera that they laid naked in his bed! THIS is what the state is calling sexual abuse. He also kissed her breast, put his mouth over her nose and mouth and breathed into her…then he kissed her like married people do. That tells anyone he stuck his tongue in her mouth and was NOT just a kiss on the lips!
    I have studied a little about “touch/healing” such as The Tennison Touch and I beleive there is something to this. But this isn’t about touch as they’re making this out to be…its about his putting his lips on her breast, not the clavical! AND about her being naked in his bed…3 girls all say same thing!
    Naked in his bed!….you can read how he “groomed” them for weeks regarding consumation….he was putting these thoughts into their minds long ago.
    Wake up woman! Before its too late for yourself.
    This man is NOT about the Lord and will only lead to death and destruction…just as the other cult leaders before him…Like David Koresh…he did the same thing as Bent is doing.
    YOu need to go back into counceling and stop what you’re doing before you destroy your family!
    This is what satan wants and is leading you into this.
    Wayne will be dead by the 31st and will all be over with…then the true story will come out into the light…he was all about darkness, control and self seeking adulation and demanding others bow down to himself.
    The bible is very clear on way Jesus will return.
    Read your scripture, only then will you know he is a counterfit….a very poor one at that!
    I don’t mean to be ugly towards you, I just am saddened to learn you’ve changed back onto the path of destruction…you know what I am writting is truth!
    Go read scripture, about the way Christ will return.
    Can you beleive a god would only save the 70 there in SC and destroy 6 billion others here on earth?
    Not MY GOD!
    Jesus went about doing good, He was kind and sweet spirited….those in SC are NOT…sure they were to you because they ONLY wanted you to join them, bring your money too! Wanting your SSI checks! Thats who they’re seeking! A gauranteed income for wayne!
    Why else would he have nice modular home to live in while others lived in rusty buckets aka RV’s?
    The boy Matthew lived ALONE in a tiny wooden shack!
    Prudence only spoke of love for her mother…never did she write otherwise! She is very concerned for her not recieving any medical care and will die just like the others have, when wayne claimed to have healed them…then why are they in their graves now?
    You cannot rely on “feelings” because satan can make you “FeeL” “love” or caring towards wayne bent!
    You must rely on what scripture tells you, never by way you feel or think God is whispering in your ear because satan is a cuniving and wiely fox in sheeps clothing.
    You have eternal salvation to loose if you’re wrong and follow this mans teachings.
    May God give you that “wakeup” call again!, Soon!

  66. “Tabatha…you forget what you wrote saying you almost got sucked into this cult and how wayne bent kept urging you to let go of your family and your 2 boys came to you telling you they’d be devastated if you’d left.
    You told of how you’ve had to be hospitalized because of depression and your severe mental illness.”

    You must have me mistaken for someone else that you know. I do not have two sons, and I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness. In all my communications with Michael which was once or twice, he never influenced my thoughts or choices. I also have no desire to go to Strong City and I’ve stated so. I do not understand where you’re getting your information? The other woman I spoke with never influenced any of my decisions or personal choices either. I’d like to state I’m quite grounded in my own thinking and I have a mind of my own. Maybe that concept is difficult for you to understand? You left strong city on your own accord did you not? No one restrained you.

    I can see how angry all of you are. But that does not change the fact that Healed wrote a letter to the D.A. requesting not to be a witness. She has stated that she was not sexually touched. Why are you casting off what the witness herself is saying and replacing it with what you want it to be? You don’t believe for a moment that the state is capble of being dishonest. I can tell you that they can be. I know this for myself. They can take a witness into a room and force them and harass them to say anything or distort words and perceptions.

    You know what is interesting here is the fact that the court will not give Healed a guardian ad litem. And they denied her request to not testify. She deserves to have her rights protected, including religious rights.

    Why are you blaming Michael for the choices people make about their own health concerns? Were some of you restrained physcially from leaving the land to get health care?

    Prudence, I never said you didn’t love your mother. I simply stated the truth; you kept a picture up on your site in a manner which chastised her.

    I have absolutely no knowledge about what health concerns your mother has. If you are this worried and the situation dire, then why not as someone else wrote go to the land yourself and see how your mother is?

    When I speak of using Therapeutic Touch as in a hospital setting, yes, some patients are not fully clothed. Does that make it dirty? Some people in many healing circles depending on culture or belief choose to not be clothed, including people who go to a massage therapist. Does that make it dirty? You choose to take what is one’s spiritual belief and taint it with your own perception of what is filth or molestation. Healed herself said she was not sexually touched.

    I’m not trying to be rude to you. I simply feel that you are after revenge. This is not about the people at Strong City it’s about you and your wounds.

    Raycot and David; Should Michael choose to end this fast or continue with it I will respect what he is doing and understand the reason behind it. It’s not my right to tell someone else what to believe and what they should or should not do.

  67. Mr No name (who cannot use his real name) wrote to me;

    “Wake up woman! Before its too late for yourself.”

    My name is Tabatha. Please call me by my name. Do not condescendingly speak down to me. Thank you.

  68. “It’s not my right to tell someone else what to believe and what they should or should not do.”


    28 Oct 08 at 11:14 am

    Which includes us, I assume?

  69. avatar
    Mr No Name/ John Doe

    OK…Tabatha…I mistakenly took you for another person and you are not the person who changed her mind, me culpa!
    But I will say, miss Healed begged for wayne to have sex with her numerous times, begged and begged him to the point she was going to kill herself!
    He had groomed her for a very long time regarding “The consumation”.
    This was written all over her blogs, is too bad these have been removed or you could read them for yourself.
    I have never been sucked into a cult, and I’ve never been in SC or under anyones spiritual guidence except God himself.
    I’m no prude what so ever, have served in Law enforcment and know how “things” can get out of hand or mishandled.
    The charges mr bent is facing is for his crime of having children lay naked AND his kissing their breast!
    Of course healed doesn’t want her “god” to be in trouble, therefore she’s changed her story and is refusing to testify against him.
    Like many victims always going back to the abuser because they know what is “normal” for them, even if its a sick situation and back into abusive conditions.
    When I was beaten by my parent, I was forced by my other parent to drop all charges, never mind I was beaten like a man when I was a young child.
    Sadly the CPS was not what is today or he’d be in jail. So I went back into the abusive home only because its all I knew, not to mention the thought of my father going to jail!
    Is same way with Healed.
    She is the victim here and is clearly acting her part.
    When she gets older she will become so angry she will spend the rest of her life in counceling.
    And if you’re so inclinded to give your name…then why not use your full name, address, phone info, etc?
    What I have to say here doesn’t matter what name I’ve given…not many would be brave enough to give their real name…there ARE lurkers out there, some pretty bad ones I might add…so no thanks…I will remain anon.
    Go ahead and defend wayne bent all you want!
    I just wonder why you are so inclinded to defend one who molest children?! Gotta be pretty sick when one is on the side of those who destroy people like bent has.
    Mr annonymiss No Name! John Doe.
    Or if it makes you feel better
    Mr Robert F Williams

  70. My husband just read this to me, is in book written by EGW “The Great Controversy” pg 591
    God Never forces the will or the conscience;
    But satans constant resort…
    to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce…his compulsion by cruelty.
    Thru fear or force he endevors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself.

    Think of how Mr Bent has treated those who live in SC, when you read those lines above here.
    Is exactly how satan began his journey out of heaven…he wanted the glory and homage Jesus was getting so he threw a tantrum, gathered a third of the angels together…
    I’m sure there was no talk of his evil plans and the angels he gathered together on his side felt God was unfair, so they wanted to do things thier own way!
    Never mind what Gods ways were!
    talk about a great deceiver!
    He decieved even the angels living in heaven and came to earth to destroy Gods creation.
    See any similarities here?
    Here’s another great one in same book, page 595.
    Satan is constantly endevoring to attract attention to MAN in the place of God.
    He leads the people to look to Bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology as their guides, instead of seraching the scriptures to learn their duty for themselves.
    Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders,
    he (satan) can influence the multitudes according to his will.

    There you have it folks…right out of SOP, the words of a great woman who had much insight for us years ago and today.
    I’m sure if she were alive today, she’d pen volumes chatising wayne bent for what he’s done.
    Talk about right on the mark here!
    Looks like satans done with wayne now…and we all know what happens to those whom satans no longer using. Is always a very ugly and graphic ending.
    As well as eternal punishment and damnation afterwards.
    We all must learn from this, to keep our eyes on the Lord and never selves….or we too can fall in same trap.

    In reading above…are we to use our real names here? I’m not comfy with that because of too many bad lurkers out there. Whats the point anyway?!

  71. Here’s a bit more, is a very important message.
    Same book, pg 597
    “Satan secures multitudes to himself by attacthing them by the silken cords of affection to those who are enemies of the cross of Christ.
    Whatever this attatchement may be, parental, filial, congecal, or social, the effect is the same;
    the opposers of truth exert their power to control the conscience and the souls held under their sway have not sufficient courage or independance to obey their own convictions of duty.”

    And from the word of God Hiself in Prov 16:25
    There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death!

    These are pretty heavy and very daming words when you think of Mr WayBent and how he’s leading them to follow him into death!
    If this isn’t the truth here, then there IS no truth!

  72. And from the word of God Hiself in:
    Prov 16:25

    “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”!

    This verse just jumped out at me again, I just had to share it again incase you missed it…wow, wow WOW!

  73. Perhaps you didn’t realize that many of the writings of “Healed” are available here on the site. Certainly, everything you need to read about “Healed” wanting sex desperately are right here:

    There are more documents where she talks about her sexual desires and her experiences, but in this one is very clear, plus it is very apparent that she, in her words, “had to lay naked and skin-to-skin” (she mentions “skin to skin” 17 times) that’s very descriptive of what occured in Wayne’s bedroom that night. Wayne, in the same document says “I pressed her to me skin to skin.” This is what the criminal charges are exactly about (an adult male inappropriately laying skin-to-skin with a naked child in his bed).

    And she didn’t just lay naked with Wayne one time… he happened a lot. She writes this in another document,

    “The first time I had laid skin to skin with Michael I became aware that I had this unsettled feeling but I could not identify what is was. It was almost like there was something in me that was not giving over to Him completely. And I had felt it each time I laid naked with Michael.”

    You can read that writing of “Healed” here:

    So maybe you can see why the District Attorney doesn’t put much stock in a changed testimony.

  74. Tabatha, You mentioned about my mothers “condition” My mother is dying. She has cancer. When My sister and I found out, we both talked about taking care of her. I was willing to move back to NM and be by her side till her time on earth was done. YES JEFF, I was willing to wipe her bottom indefinitely (more than 6 months) I have always said that my parents will NEVER go to a nursing home. I would LOVE to take care of them when that time comes. BUT they don’t want that because I am not their daughter anymore. My dad has not said that, but my mother has disowned me SEVERAL times through the years. Her heart doesn’t want to, but when Wayne would have a meeting or put on a post about “earthly relatives” she would disown us again. My mother wouldn’t see me, I am not sure about my dad. My mother did say she loved me the other day… I got that second hand. I know that she can’t help but do the disown thing. When Wayne would contact his relatives, then other people would contact their relatives, then when Wayne would stop, everyone else stops… It is called Follow the leader. Which is normal for ALL religions.

    The other Thing Tabatha:

    I wanted to make this part clear. You said that The person that is giving the massage and the person that is getting it are BOTH NAKED? Laying “chest to chest” Whatever you want to call it. I think that a priest sucking on a little boy’s penis is wrong too… so it doesn’t matter to me if it is part of a religion or not.

    If my parents would see me, I would be there in a minute.

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