The End of the World Cult TV - Michael - Jeff - Inside a Cult: Messiah on Trial 2009 - Daily Mail online -
This isolated dirt road leads to a group of people who are waiting for the world to end. This is the man who has led them there: he calls himself Michael. He says he’s the Son of God. For almost twenty years he has prepared his followers for the end of the world and says that time has now come. The End of the World Cult, Channel 4 2007
But what also emerged was a unfolding tale of control, manipulation and sex. ibid.
In a remote arid corner of New Mexico, fifty miles from the nearest town, members of Strong City are counting down the months to the end of the world. ibid.
He told his followers that they must achieve ‘Death to Self’ or be lost when the end comes on 31st October 2007. ibid.
Like many cult leaders before him Michael’s former life was a troubled one. From tragic childhood through adolescence to his days as Wayne Bent, the Seventh Day Adventist minister, deserted by two wives. ibid.
They have had to give everything they own to Michael. ibid.
In 1989 Wayne Bent promised them a life without sin, and they joined his breakaway from the Adventist Church. ibid.
He declared himself Messiah. And now they seem to be completely under their leader’s influence. ibid.
The virgins pleaded with Michael for a full sexual experience ... He says God stopped him; it was just a test of faith. ibid.
No children attend school here. ibid.
I found his complete refusal to take any responsibility for what he has done here chilling. ibid.
Any attempts to reason with him seemed futile. ibid.
In 2008 Wayne Bent was convicted of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor. He will have to serve at least eight and a half years before becoming eligible for release. ibid.
We’re not taking anything with us but our character when we leave. Michael
We’re going to leave the Earth; this isn’t our world. Our world is the next one. Michael
God came down on Michael and forced him to consummate with Christiana. Jeff, re father & wife
In April 2008 the National Geographic channel aired an extraordinary documentary shot inside the closed world of Strong City, an isolated religious cult in New Mexico. The film detailed the group’s complete devotion to Michael, the man they believed to be the Messiah. But what also emerged were his sexual exploits with married female followers and his naked encounters with an underage girl. 13 days after the film was shown, state’s police entered the compound and arrested Michael, whose real name is Wayne Bent. Accused of sex crimes against children, the later-day messiah faces his own crucifixion and a prison sentence of up to 33 years. Inside a Cult: Messiah on Trial, ABC 2008
Bent declared himself to be the Son of God in 2000. ibid.
Many of Wayne Bent’s followers turn their back on friends and family who have left the cult. ibid.
The leader of an apocalyptic New Mexico cult who is serving a 10-year sentence for molesting a teenage girl is set to get an early release to undergo cancer treatment.
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.
Bent, who also goes by the name Michael Travesser, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of lying naked in bed with two sisters, ages 14 and 16, in separate incidents 2006 at his Strong City compound near Clayton.
During his trial, Bent denied any wrongdoing, insisting that he only placed his hands on the girls’ sternums, not breasts, as part of spiritual cleansing rituals.
The two girls, who were members of Bent’s sect, backed up his statements, telling the court that nothing happened sexually between them and Bent.
Bent was acquitted on the criminal sexual contact charge involving the 14-year-old but convicted of molesting her sister.
The younger girl said that lying naked with Bent was a ‘religious healing experience’ for her and had nothing to do with sex.
The married father-of-three cult leader testified that the 14-year-old came to his house late at night after he was in bed and ‘asked to be skin-to-skin with me.’ Bent said there was space between him and the girl and that he was wearing undershorts; the girl had testified she believed he was naked.
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.
The former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor founded his sect in 1987. He claimed that in 2000 God spoke to him and told him he was the Messiah.
For a time, Bent had to be fed a liquid diet through a feeding tube after refusing to eat while locked up at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility.
In August 2015, he underwent a surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his ear. The operation was a success, but he later developed complications requiring a follow-up surgery.
Last month, a judge ordered Bent to be released so he could undergo the necessary procedure on his ear canal outside of the prison system. Daily Mail online article updated 26th January 2016