Saturday, June 7, 2008

The World according to Wayne Bent

According to Wayne Bent (Michael Travesser) on his most recent post on the Strong City web site he has stated...
"Today, I began a fast, as I did when I was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. I will now abstain from eating until the child Willow is returned with no strings attached, or until God brings the deliverance that I seek from the present evil, or the answer to my inquiry of justice is clearly manifested, or I am gone from this life altogether."

Hopefully there are enough loopholes in this for Wayne Bent to end his fast before he kills himself by refusing to eat. I find it doubtful that Willow will be returning any time soon. And this announcement is probably one of the most manipulative moves that Wayne Bent has made. Unfortunately there are a number of his followers who have committed to this path, including Gabriel who has been dialoging with me denying that they would ever commit suicide. It appears that they are at least willing to state that they will take their own lives through starvation if Willow does not return or if Wayne dies there appears to be a much more disturbing commitment as stated by Esther in which she posts...
"Here I stand with you, Michael, I can do no other. I will not eat until you do again and should you pass on, I will be with you there also. To do any other I would have to go against my heart and soul."

What I fear is that these people are unreachable. They seem to be able to hold a number of contradictory beliefs all at the same time. Here are a few examples of their doublethink.

Jeff Bent states that Michael did not have sex with his wife and yet Wayne Bent posts in his Testimonies...
"Some said that I would have intimate sexual relations with the seven messengers. Some thought the vision concerned others. But I say unto you, every person must have sexual intercourse with me, or they will have no life in them. My Seed is the only life, for my Seed is life indeed, and my flesh is meat. Anyone who does not receive of my Seed, will be left desolate."

Or they state that they are following the Bible and yet clearly participate in adultery.

Or they state they are telling the truth, while at the same time telling blatant lies that are so transparent because they tell on themselves.

The coming case against Wayne Bent for illegal sexual contact with minors is partially due to this "double think" stated in the following...
"Why did the Father arrange for two of the messengers to be under age? If all of the messengers had been over age, then I would only be accused of sexual perversion, but sexual perversion of itself is not illegal. The country is full of it. What was being proposed by God was something illegal, because the girls had not yet reached the age of 18, and that lent force to Satan's arguments against it."

This tendency to hold opposite beliefs to be true, both at the same time, is dangerous, particularly when they can hold the belief that they are not going to commit suicide and then set forth on a course to do that very thing.

Is there a way out of this for any of them or has their commitment to Michael and their statements to the world placed them beyond reach?

Former members of Strong City have stated that the reason they could leave was due to some traumatic event.
"As I consider what it was that helped many of us break free from Wayne’s mind control, it comes to mind that it was usually a traumatic event that woke us up to the fact that something was way out of line with God’s word. It was a crisis event that shocked us into the realization that we were off track."

We will see how this plays out. Hopefully the crisis of Michael's conviction will break the spell without anyone losing their life. If he is convicted he has basically stated that he will not live in jail. This sounds serious to me. While it is easy to see Wayne Bent as the bad guy, I think he really believes what he is saying and is probably just as vulnerable to harm as the others. The emotions and the fears are running so high among the group, I hope there are no drastic actions to follow. Its apparent that former member Prudence Welch is seen as playing the role of Judas Iscariot. But, hopefully the former members have been able to maintain their contacts in a positive way.

To me this graphically illustrates the extreme dangers of religious belief that has no accountability and uses shame as the motivational tool to find "spirituality."


Anonymous said...

Hello Richard,

This is the Esther that posted a comment saying she wouldn't eat until Michael did again. I would just like to make it VERY clear that I am not committing suicide. You must believe there is NO God in heaven to hold the opinion that you do. You seem to be betting on the fact that God does not answer prayers for you believe we will die and our prayers will not be answered. Our fast is simply a prayer and a very clear statement of being done with the present evil. We have made it VERY clear that our fast is for Father to move His arm in ending the lies that you and so many others love and support wholeheartedly. How can we be committing suicide if the God who made us and is fully capable of bringing an end to the evil in this world, is the One who has instructed us to fast for this cause?

Richard, your imagination has gotten the better of you. We have plainly stated the truth and you have called us liars. You will not believe so God will allow you the delusion you love.

Richard Harty said...

Hello Esther,

Thank you for responding. I really am glad to hear that you are not planning on committing suicide.

Maybe you can clear up what you mean when you posted the following.

"I will not eat until you do again and should you pass on, I will be with you there also."

What I read here is that if Michael passes on or dies then you will be there also. I read this to mean that you will fast until you die IF Willow is not returned with no strings attached because Michael has committed to this.

I know that you believe that Father will intervene before you die, but what if it doesn't happen?

How long are you going to wait until you decide that Father is not going to intervene?

Are you going to die with Michael if he decides to fast unto death?

As it stands now, it is very likely that Michael will be convicted. He has stated that he will not live in jail. It is also unlikely that Willow is going to be returned.

How far are you willing to take the fasting commitment? To the death with Michael?

It appears that Michael has allowed himself a loophole in case Willow is not returned. Hopefully he will not fast to death, even though that is one of the options that he has listed.

I wish you well and have no desire to see anyone die, but from my experience with this type of indoctrination, I know what it feels like. My commitment was unquestioning as a young man and it almost killed me. There are things that you cannot know about because you simply don't have enough life experience. It may bruise your pride to hear this, but if you find yourself contemplating death, that is a sure sign that Michael is not leading you in the right direction.

It is obvious, to me, that Michael is contemplating his own death because he talks a lot about it. He may be confronted with the fact that he is going to jail and there will be no miraculous intervention. If there is any light at the end of the tunnel it will come from the mercy of the court if they consider his mental state and his age.

His treatment by the government is not coming from evil intentions. It is coming from the fact that young girls are vulnerable to suggestions that early intimate encounters are extraordinary spiritual experiences.

These transformations happen all the time without being naked or without Michael. He is using techniques learned from his EST training and incorporating it with a very intense Seventh Day Adventist shame based message.

He is creating the very disease he is claiming to heal you from.

If Father intervenes on your behalf, great. But, if Father doesn't then I hope you think on these things and realize that no matter how bad you may come to feel, there is a way through anything.

Anonymous said...

Richard, thank you for presenting your thoughts here about Strong City in a clearly stated and level headed way. That helps to maintain the conversation in a productive manner with the followers of Mr. Bent, and keeps the tone appropriate for such a serious topic.

You stated, "He is creating the very disease he is claiming to heal you from." This is the gist of the Wayne Bent experience, describing his affect perfectly.

Wayne has always left an out for himself up to this point in his grand immaginative plays, but then again, he's never been called on his behavior so "really" until now, as the specter of facing prison time looms before him, if convicted. Yes, we'll see what happens, but having watched him manuever so well in the past (having been associated with his organization at one point) around the obstacles of reality, I remain doubtful that he will go beyond putting on a good show, and finish like so many times before, claiming victory and vindication within his own mind and world as he is either aquitted of charges or the cell door slams closed behind him. Still, it is my sincerest hope they wake up from their fantasy before any more damage is done.

- Craig

Christy VanOrder said...

Kooky and crazy.These are the ones that give true religion a very, very bad name. People like this would turn anyone off from religion. I've never even heard of them till I stumbled upon your blog, but they are no different from the Jim Jones' and David Koresh's of years past.

Richard Harty said...

I don't think of them as crazy, but set up by a belief system that prevents them from questioning certain beliefs, even when those beliefs contradict in a rational way. They have no problem with this because their life assumptions are based on authority.

Christianity in general has this same problem with many of its beliefs and when I observe the history of Christianity and its longer history of violence, I have to question if there is any long term benefits to religion. I would say that the reasons Christians have given for the violence carried out in the name of God is crazy. This can be demonstrated by the leaders of Christianity, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, who burned people at the stake and believed in witches. Martin Luther provided the philosophical foundation for Hitler's destruction of the Jews and suggested many of the policies carried out by Hitler in his books. Today they would be seen as the lowest of criminals and yet they are revered by protestant Christians.

Wayne Bent, compared to these men, is pretty mild. His violence is not only psychologically self inflicted, but in his ignorance he has set his followers up as well. You can trace the beginnings of his system of belief to Ellen White. I know, because I had to deconstruct these systems of belief for myself.

Christy VanOrder said...

That is so totally sad that you had that experience. I am so sorry and I am glad that if you were part of some unhealthy group you got out...I'm sure you have an interesting story. I wish you'd share it. I don't know you, and I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but we all have stories, and if they can be used to help other people in similar situations then I'm all for it.

I just don't see Ellen White in this guy's thinking. I have only been blessed and drawn closer to the Bible by her writings. But of course anything, and I mean anything good can always be twisted around into something it should never be. I think Satan's favorite game is twisting Christian stuff around and unfortunately using ungrounded people to do his work of turning people off from all Christianity. I became an atheist at 14 because of the scandal with Jimmy Swaggert for example. Jesus said, "Many will come in my name..." and they have. So many atrocities have been done in his name; the masses have been manipulated by politicians in every age in order to do their will and paint a Christian face on it. I've learned that Satan has infiltrated with so many false teachers, and there are so few truly Biblical ones out there.

Anonymous said...

It is plain to see that Michale Travesser/Wayne bent is a fraud and scamer these people are so lost you can lead them like sheep to the slater, it is just a cult. He has comited so many sins