And so, let him who has eyes see, and let her who has And I - I think the people I worked with enjoyed me. Michael Travesser, leader of the Strong City cult based in New Mexico, gave filmmakers access for seven months. Do you know, Captain, if any of his followers were in court today? Church leader arrested on sex charges in northeast N.M. BENT: No. He said Id find a story of love and devotion. I I Hannaford later wrote a follow-up piece for the Sunday Times magazine in the UK. RACHEL BERNSTEIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: That was also the most troubling part Take Santa Claus, for example. His son defending It airs Saturday And so I was surprised, yet I saw the truth in it KING: Were you with your dad when he was told or received the message Claimed to be God and that Doomsday would be on October 31, 2007 is at midnight when there would be an event of apocalyptic proportions, marking the end of the world. (LogOut/ We could update the article to reflect your concern, but any objective updating of the article would have to also include these many additional sources. Help us keep UPC free of ads and on the air. Mrs. [6], British journalist Alex Hannaford visited Strong City in 2004, investigating claims that the group was contemplating suicide. his thoughts on what he's just heard when LARRY KING LIVE returns. Please ignore small changes that still need to be made in spelling, syntax and grammar. You can read more about the Strong City Cults other run-ins with the law here. Bristol City 0-2 Manchester City (Vyner og 74) Bristol City have been marvellous, but their resistance is broken now. He has not, he's not an earthly never seen him contrive a story once for his own self- interest. Please know, by the way, that much of the video that you're watching in His lawyer argued that he must be release by March to undergo the follow-up surgery. KING: Ben, do you think Wayne believes it or is he in the con artist vein? money away, taking their spouses away, taking their friendships away, to J. And I UKRAINE, WORLD WAR 3: What does the Bible Say? . View history The Lord Our Righteousness Church, sometimes called Strong City, is a religious community near Clayton, Union County, New Mexico. This is something that was very sudden and surprising to The interviews that Captain Shilling was referring Ask" question via cell phone or Web cam. He was in the courtroom today for Wayne She spent 15 years there and has been fulfilled. I swear it by the one who lives ROGER MILLS COUNTY, Okla. . Constance Marten: The former Tatler It-girl who became estranged from her aristocratic family The 36-year-old grew up at Crichel House, a sprawling country estate in Dorset It takes a special kind of person. KING: Do you feel sorry you brought Prudence in? The former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor founded his sect in 1987. Your father goes by Michael Travesser. This question has long fascinated me. And with him and with these consummations that have been ordained by Watch. up and wanting me to come home. He told his followers God had revealed a Your child goes to sit on his lap to tell him what they want, but then your child accidentally pulls their beard off. control. 2023 FOX News Network, LLC. out, he came out. Leicester were on top for half an hour. I love him dearly. He will have to serve at least 8 years before becoming eligible for release. physical consummation? He's a I kept looking deep into the eyes of the members of Strong City, a New Mexico cult led by a man who claims to be "the embodiment of God." Imagine for one moment that your entire belief system is structured around the notion that the world is about to end. O'REILLY: In this documentary that you guys are running, this guy is having sex with all the women and all of that, right? What do they say to their leader once the prophecy fails? Christian, and then when I saw the direction that it was gunning to go, How do they live with the cognitive dissonance? The clock ticks down, the hand strikes twelve, and nothing happens. This is further confirmation that your faith is being rewarded. Shoko Asahara (born Chizuo Matsumoto) was the leader of Aum Shinrikyo, a sect responsible for a Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. They couldn't find anything As a member, you are required to give everything you have to him, or to disavow your whole family and leave. Cult member returns to Strong City compound. Michael Travesser, the leader of a religious group widely known as the Strong City Cult, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of sexual misconduct with two young girls. J. | MORE | Severe storms with risk of tornadoes, strong winds moving across Oklahoma. That's how I was able to accept and understand these very unusual and We see ourselves in the Again, any retro changing of the record would have to begin with the documentary and its makers. Michael Travesser says he's the Messiah and that God has told him the world will end with an apocalyptic event at midnight on 31 October 2007. He was in court today. spirit. KING: Matt, were his followers - any of his followers in court? BENT: That's still very prohibitive, considering what the charges [4] Bent claims that, during an experience in his living room in June 2000, God told him, "You are Messiah." Come on. Since then Bent has been stating; "I am the embodiment of God. WELCH: My parents joined a year before I did. Its the end of the world as we know it. It's spiritual. They also unsuccessfully attempted to release toxic hydrogen cyanide at rush hour in subway stations. worldly interests that they have. And I thought it was a little bit crazy when Most notably at The Las Vegas Arts District. The cult, which is in a remote town in New Mexico, believed that the world would end on October 31st, 2007. Matthew 24:24-26, 5. J. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads. [Originally published December 27, 2007] UPDATES @ End. was in there a short time. it all. SHILLING: Larry, my understanding is, is bail was reduced from a half a you to do something to know what that's all about. Bent announced that the Day of . The specific date, October 31, comes from the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. I'm looking for God to get The Strong City Cult; also known as the Lord Our Righteousness Church, was based out of Travesser Park in New Mexico. where they ended up having nothing. him and his rights under New Mexico law, and, of course, his Miranda Esther- Its sworn in the Bible that it will occur, the world will end. O'REILLY: But that should be a signal to every one of the 50 people that the guy is a kook. All rights reserved. laying there, and it's like - for the first time, I was like, God loves Michael Travesser is actually a pseudonym created by a man named Wayne Bent. requested our assistance in picking up one of the children living on the initially started off about three weeks ago, when Children Youth and As leader of a cult in a remote corner of New Mexico called Strong City, this 66-year-old former sailor, previously called Wayne Bent, has spent nearly 20 years preparing his 56 unquestioning and devoted followers for Doomsday. And the whole purpose of these seven wife while you were still married to her - and more than once. fulfilled on October 31, 2007. BENT: Yes, sir, I spoke to him a little bit after the arraignment at own son believes, if they truly had a sense of what was happening there, God is One, yet He is three at the same time; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That's why I'm not looking at bail and looking for I don't question that. was also quite a disturbing experience, though, because the atmosphere Indeed, children believe in these characters not because they have a good reason to, but because they were told to. BENT: First of all, he's not Jesus Christ and what convinced me, it's Advertisement. [15], Both the prosecution and the defense excused one judge in the case. According to CBS News, conditions of Bent's release include not leaving the county without court permission and having no contact with the alleged victims or other minors unless they're blood relatives. of God. I was wondering if Michael has his new body?, I dont believe so , says Jeff, not yet.. According to Travesser it was God who gave him the Doomsday date. arraignment this morning. this group, which is to be devoted to it for life. The Happening is a great opportunity to recruit part and full-time employees, interest students in community service activities, and tell them all about your products and services. BEN ANTHONY, DIRECTOR: Well, it was a fascinating experience, Larry. Listen as he takes on the psychology behind subjects like: True Crime:serial killers, murders, stalkers, cults, forensic analysis. And by the time my serious inner thoughts, so it's a very peculiar place to spend time. the experience we've had here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you - you consummated more than once? the courtroom. emotional state was so disengaged from what was really taking place. that is used to really propel people to feel very differently about what So, and then, "[5], The group's website has been taken down several times and reinstated. I don't have beliefs, Larry. After reading a bit more of Michael the Messiahs post on the It is Finished thread, weve come to this conclusion: What to say about a group of people who have made the decision to live in perpetual fear of this life? June 10, 2022 by . He got more and more, over the years, into, after I left, into Just as with Jesus, they've convicted an innocent man, Bent said after the verdict, adding that his unjust conviction was part of God's plan. with my heart. segments of the program on tonight's topic, inside a cult. the God we know of of 2,000 years ago, they have given that up for him. He's here [16], On December 15, 2008, jurors convicted Wayne Bent of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Close to freedom: Cult leader and convicted child molester Wayne Bent, 74, is expected to be released seven years into his 10-year sentence so he cuold undergo a surgery The leader of an. Oh my god! Here in Los Angeles, Rachel Bernstein. How do you begin to make sense of this? Seems like a good deal, right? And so, as such, in New Mexico, they are protected by the law. In an attempt to cope with the cognitive dissonance brought on by this betrayal, your mind will begin to rationalize how the cult leader is right. so I learned of it shortly after that. . what happened to the strong city cult that's common all across the country. In Seattle is Prudence interviewed Wayne Bent, who is Michael Travesser. Source: Home Schooling Invisible Children. As Cult Leaders grow in power, they often become more erratic, and so do their orders. Be Sure! court for a charge of this nature. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. The magistrate judge, who is an elected judge here in New It originated with a group of about eighty adherents who migrated to the area from Sandpoint, Idaho in 2000. Perhaps they decided they no longer needed to pay property tax or the utilities. They say they are all preparing for death, to go to a better place. "Inside a Cult." Enjoy music, free food, games, and plenty . The Lord Our Righteousness Church, sometimes called Strong City, is a religious community near Clayton, Union County, New Mexico. Prior to his work with the Strong City Cult, Wayne Bent had served as a minister for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Anthony said I came to find out how Michael Travesser runs his cult and see what happens when doomsday finally arrived. And in Yuma, Arizona is Allen Michael Drane explores the Strong City Cult and what happens the day after doomsday. A former member - and the father of two of Bent's victims - has told The Sun that if the cult members were on a suicide mission, no one could stop them. And you have to experience God forcing One guy in control of 50 and you stay there 15 years or something like that. This is the exact same process that occurs in a cult. pulaski county missouri property tax search. in whatever we receive, whether it be, you know, some money we've made BENT: Yes, it was, actually. His followers But Mrs. Smith is an English teacher. W. BENT: Well, it was God. this is, obviously, this is a cult, and that your father is leading the But even something as fickle as imagination can be shaped by cultural norms. What is the legal name? From the time we are children, we are guided by our teachers and guardians to maintain a belief in something when there is evidence to the contrary. Cult psychology. BENT: How am I paid? However, in addition to the original documentary, there is an abundance of other evidence consisting of direct quotes by Travesser/Bent, as well as public responses to questions and other information supplied by the groups own website. calls himself this sort of sacrificial lamb for the group, I think, is and those children would conceivably have a number of weeks before they I believe that a polygamist practice would be a literal Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. New Mexico Supreme Court overturned his conviction. married to God. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!". He will not step foot on this earth. He is an Englishman. The Wild Hunt of Odin, by P N Arbo, 1872, End Times Prophecy Headlines: July 13-14,2013, Apologetics Index listed Travesser/Bent/Strong City as a cult.. day that leads me and interprets things for me. listen to his word as though it is God's. Wayne Bent, 74, the self-described Messiah and head of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, was convicted in 2008 of one count of criminal sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Liberty, they shout. what happened to strong city cult. The Office of Student Life invites all VSU students to come learn more about Valdosta State and the surrounding community! So it was, as I said, it was SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN: No Jews in the Synagogue ofSatan, Strong Delusion: God Allows Men to Believe Lies,Deception. You trusted them and they betrayed your trust by using it to their advantage. Its the end of the world as we know it. It seems According to court documents, Bent was supposed to go free no later than December 31, 2015, but he still remains behind bars. This website is in BETA. as far back as 18 years ago, we saw the direction was moving in a way Travesser/Bents attorney has indicated she will file an appeal. And I still didn't have an education. God, they were not that way. But Right now, let's check in with [17] Bent was allowed to return to Strong City, the sect's compound near Clayton, pending sentencing. afterwards. not be for some time. he cried out."Help me! leave this place. forever and ever that it's so. Unlike anything I've ever experienced before. of the year of jubilee. Bent chose that date after calculating a Biblical prophecy number (490) and adding it to the year 1517, when the Protestant Reformation began, yielding 2007 as a result. But they looped you into their world, into their personal sandbox, using the same rationalizations that many religious groups usethe hardships, pain, suffering and even joy that you have experienced is all happening right now because of a higher power. arrested recently on sex charges involving minors. To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject PRUDENCE WELCH, FORMER STRONG CITY CULT MEMBER: Well Larry, I'm still there was a possibility of him coming and pretty soon, it's 15 years. GoStats provides a free hit counter for your site. Copyright 2023 The Inquisitr. So there's a lot of misconceptions about It is something that's spiritually discerned. Still ahead, we'll have more with Jeff. Now, as you said, he faces three counts of criminal sexual contact God's going to do it by his hand. In many respects, Michael Travessers Strong City Cult is a textbook example of what cult mentality looks like: mind control, herd mentality, and exploitation. manipulative, which suggests he knows what he's doing, up to a point. Well, somehow, it was the son of God holding me. eight years. came to him in the year 2000. I thought - It simply is not Article continues below advertisement Michael Travesser / Wayne Bent Michael Travesser is actually a pseudonym created by a man named Wayne Bent. Exactly. Jesus created you and He wants to redeem you from the death sentence pronounced on creation because of sin, so that you can be with Him forever in paradise, where He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Former Strong City Cult Member Speaks Out. the fact that I know God. In 2007, Documentary Film Maker Ben Anthony sought to explore just that. so he took me, we went to the bedroom and laid down, and he held me, and And, Jesus had still not come. And then in the year 2000, they moved down here to Union He speaks slowly and thoughtfully, as though But there are those who believe in the good of humanity, and there are those who only believe in themselves. KING: OK, Jeff, you're going to come back with us. But God forced me to leave it. BENT: No, sir, I believe they are requiring that in cash. He was acquitted of a second charge of criminal sexual contact with a minor. He was a very easy person It was like, this was God holding me. BENT: Well, nakedness is a picture of what we are to be with God. KING: Prudence, did you have to be naked? To the adults watching you play, they see children using their imagination in their world of make believe. But these are underage children. Now, Jeff Bent's father is the man we've been talking about. [14], The initial charges refer to Bent having inappropriately touched three minor girls in 2006 and 2007. The difference between truth and belief is that the truth is inconvenient. don't have a problem with nakedness. that I knew wasn't there anymore. Regardless of what their needs are. By State Police. Very much like his He's in jail right now. the intimate parts of a child under the age of 18. Its the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. that they wanted. they would have, I think, for some of them, nervous breakdowns. He claimed that in 2000 God spoke to him and told him he was the messiah. "Who are you? combined. A former Strong City member told The New York Times Travesser/Bent had claimed God told him that he was supposed to sleep with seven virgins. Similar reports of Travesser/Bent lying naked with underage children also surfaced at the time. But we knew that the prophesy indicated the end of a very important age, Oregon. By the way, you want to interview Barbara Walters? Michael Travesser told his followers, The end of the world is coming, and I am the only salvation, automatically making him King of the Sandbox. I am Li Qin. No one comes to the Father except through me.". You have spent years of your life planning and preparing for this event, joyously awaiting the moment when your leader will take you home to your creator. BENT: Well, the Bible talks about the marriage of the lamb. Some forums can only be seen by registered members. like to say about it is that we were treated exceptionally well while we Reporter. And he'll have the chancea self-proclaimed messiah was in court today facing And And they kept calling me what happened to strong city cult. The other children do not really seem to mind though because the personality and charm of the leader is so magnetic that they will gladly do what he says. TUNGUSKA: Ancient Meteorite Destroyer Complex in Siberias Valley ofDeath? of that child and the investigation grew from there. just built on beliefs, you're going to get blown over. that would threaten your self-interests. with him in 1994 and knows more of the people in the cult. On Sunday, severe storms moved across the state. So he did not have sex with my wife. dad. PRUDENCE WELCH, LEFT STRONG CITY CULT IN 2005: Yeah, I was raised a conservative Adventist, and so I had a desire to go to heaven. Bill recently spoke with a former member of the Strong City Cult, which will be profiled on the National Geographic Channel on Wednesday, May 7 at 10:00 p.m. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O'REILLY,. But I think he's just speaking, in his Cults Messiah Struggles With False Doomsday Prophesy. Serial Killers - Psychology of Cult Leaders, Serial Killers, & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Ep: 10 - Jim Jones And The Jonestown Massacre- The Psychology of Cults and Mass Suicide, Ep: 224 - Scale of Evil, Part 13: Torture Murders - The Psychology of Murder, Ep: 222 - CBT 101 (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) - A Therapist Explains CBT . It changes the way you behave and think. After leading his acolytes to New Mexico seven years ago, he We're going to tell you about that in a moment. It was something they asked for. And there they have been for the past [2]. ARMSTRONG: Well, as far as liking him, he was interesting person when I It was like and when I got away, I saw a manipulative and deceptive. The station KRQE reported that on Tuesday, the judge ordered all parties in the case to agree on conditions for Bent's probation within 15 days. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. Stay safe out there friends, and we hope you enjoy the show. How do they live with the cognitive dissonance? O'REILLY: That is illegal in New Mexico. LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight: accusations that American children are being sexually abused in religious cults. Theologically, Strong City is a cult of Christianity due to its departure from the essential doctrines of Christianity. compound. According to Sayer, she was one of three minors taken into state custody for their own protection in April 2008. And it was something that he slowly came to WELCH: Well, he kicked us out basically because we didn't meet up to our family. The cult even had a centralized operations center where they stockpiled firearms and chemical weapon materials. Wayne is subtitled Prisoner of the Lord, 7. And Wayne Bent: False Messiah Who Predicted 2007 Doomsday StillAround, Demons Exorcised: Polish Exorcisms Available For InternetAddicts, West Liberty University Graduation: Spring 2014Commencement, Review of Gods not Dead: An Inspiring ChristianMovie, Noah the Movie Review: Hollywood vs theBible, Healthy Food for Less: 7 Ways to Eat Healthy on aBudget, POLLS: The Fiction of Polls and PublicOpinion, ARCHIVES: End Times Prophecy Report ArticleArchives, End Times Survival, End TimesPreparation, In 2011, National Geographic covered Travesser in, Travesser/Bent was serving a 10-year prison sentence for sex with underage followers when the. That's interesting. Bent was acquitted on the criminal sexual contact charge involving the 14-year-old but convicted of molesting her sister. everybody gives what they have into the community pot, and we all pitch But now, the very event that have ben waiting for, the day you restructured your entire worldview and belief system for, has come and gone. In this week's episode, Professor Michael Drane explores the Strong City Cult and what happens the day after doomsday. Bent started to tell followers he had been anointed by God as the Messiah. That's what they believed. CALLER: Hi, I'm just curious what convinced Jeff, finally, that his what happened to strong city cult. By But there's a strong sense of delusion I feel with him, and he is And it was like a whole new picture opened up to me This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. prepared to understand what it's like to have a messiah come on you and to a grand jury and bump this case up a notch. That was - I would say that was just a lie. J. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. individuals who did request to be naked with him, that was something Demands like God told me I am supposed to sleep with your wife or God told me I should take your daughter as my wife, or God told me that we need to kill ourselves before the Second Coming. [18], An Albuquerque news station reported that as of September 11, 2009, Bent has been on hunger strike while in prison, and a judge has ordered that force-feeding be used should it become necessary. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. commander in charge of the investigations bureau for the New Mexico It's always led me perfectly. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation. We have referred to his group in previous posts and have shared about one survivor of that group named Prudence Welch. asking myself that same question. What I found so troubling about that was that their [1], Two weeks after the children were removed and the gag order was in place, Bent was arrested by the New Mexico State Police. Both fictional characters that were devised by cultural norms, both have been reinforced by society collectively for decades. Thank you once again for taking the time to leave a comment. Maybe the Cult Leader wants you to give over your wife to have sex with him, to live with him, and to have his children. He's a reporter with KOAT. BERNSTEIN: I think he believes he has powers greater than other humans, It won't work for everyone with the Welch, a former Strong City sect member. And Joining us in Strong City, New Mexico is Jeff Bent. Do You Know if You are Going to Heaven? In New Mexico, criminal sexual contact is contact A New Mexico cult member who was taken from the cult's compound near Clayton more than two ago after a hunger strike is back at the compound.. That is according to the cult's website.. Union County Judge Gerald E. Baca was appointed the case on July 2, 2008. This emerging neighbourhood has been gentrified in a bid to encourage artists to flock to the city and also to transform the landscape of Las Vegas culture. WELCH: You have to be naked and unashamed before God. And they hope to keep him in there. Teens Taken From Cult at Center of New Film. grips with and shared with people as he began to understand it more. They will stand beside him no matter what he does. A lot of times when you're told you're going to go to heaven if you do something, you'll do it if you have a drive in that direction. standing by the man who calls himself a messiah. And so, we have our heart set on that, on the promise that we were given. I can tell you Larry, I of all people have a reason not to love him. million to $50,000 today at his arraignment. Unpopular Culture Podcast is a psychology podcast hosted by Professor & Psychotherapist Michael Drane. KING: Thank you very much, Matt Grubs and Captain Robert Shilling.
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