Church leader Wayne Bent ended his word fast Thursday with the release of his 43-page pronouncement titled, Going Home. Available as a 6.7 megabyte pdf download at strongcity.info, Bent’s latest entry declares that he is now embarking on a final fast. His words seem to suggest that he believes he will not live to stand trial on charges of second-degree sexual contact with minors and contributing to the delinquency of minors (the trial is scheduled to begin November 17):
The first seven days of the fast I will cut my intake of food to one meal a day. The second seven days I will take only juice. The third seven days of the fast, I will take only water. After October 31st, if I am still on earth, I will take neither food nor water, and I will not eat or drink again until I eat and drink anew with those whom Father has given me, in my Father’s kingdom.
Bent, known as Michael Travesser to members of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, writes that he feels the judge and prosecutors have been unfair, even corrupt, in their treatment of him:
But now I will tolerate this utter deception and molestation of rational thinking no more. If they ran the courts in an honest, factual way, I could cooperate. But now they have exposed themselves as running on pretense, traps and lies.
Also found within the 21,279 words published Thursday are Bent’s highly-critical opinions of former church member Prudence Welch and her blog and filmmaker Ben Anthony (The End of the World Cult).
He also blasts Beyond90Seconds.com and this blogger:
…he (Horner) scurries around the country interviewing our haters in a nice “neutral” way. This man is as neutral as a black widow spider.
This appears to be a reference to the Beyond90Seconds.com video Return to Castle Dome. Part 1 of that video features former LOR member Johnny Miller. Miller often spoke affectionately about Bent, but also expressed that he felt Bent had ultimately taken the church in the wrong direction. Miller’s tone seemed to be one of sadness and disappointment.
From the beginning of its coverage of the Wayne Bent case, Beyond90Seconds.com has extended an open-ended invitation to Bent for an interview. Over the course of several weeks, Bent wrote many kindly worded e-mails to this blogger. Those e-mails have always remained unpublished as Bent wished for them to be.
The invitation for an interview remains.
Several members of Bent’s flock have also written e-mails—most of them friendly in tone—to this blogger. Those e-mails remain unpublished as they were also not considered to be “on the record”.
Given the limited direct input from Bent on this blog (he has written several comments here), Beyond90Seconds.com has invested numerous hours collecting materials produced by Bent and his church so that readers here are clearly afforded the opportunity to consider Bent’s side of the story. This seemed to prove especially valuable after Bent and his followers went on a “word fast” and removed all of their materials from various Web sites (strongcity.info, myspace, youtube, etc).
In Thursday’s entry available at strongcity.info, Bent also writes of this blogger:
The court clerk whispers in his ear every time a move in court is made about us.
This is an unfortunate and grossly inaccurate statement.
Many of this blogger’s 20 years in TV news were spent assigned to the court beat. Five days a week, year after year, going into courthouses, checking files, leaving with copies of documents that might make interesting stories. This includes several years of working the court beat in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Point is, this practice can only be executed because of the existence of public records. Unless a file is sealed, it’s almost always public (the lone exception that comes to mind is when the file is lost).
In covering the Bent case, Beyond90Seconds.com has often been diligent—perhaps to the point of annoyance—about checking filings on the Bent case. No information was “whispered” this way.
This is not the first Beyond90Seconds.com report concerning a Bent fast. On June 6 of this year, the headline, New Mexico church leader now fasting appeared here. One day later, Bent posted a comment on that story. He concluded that comment with the following sentence:
My prayer and fasting will not end until I am satisfied or dead. (Wayne Bent, June 7, 2008 )
The Wayne Bent story has received the most comments on this blog. It is also the only story where the comment sections have been suspended (twice). This was done after the dialogue deteriorated to a point where the comments seemed more aimed at being hurtful than productive.
Still, the comments that were posted here, remain here. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Clearly, this is an important story. And an emotionally charged one, too.
Beyond90Seconds.com will continue to pursue all sides of the story. No matter how unpopular that might be with some people.
The goal here is to be truthful, fair and informative. If that ticks-off people along the way, that likely means Beyond90Seconds.com is doing its job.