[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A cult leader can convince his followers to end their lives now.
Based on SunThe brainwashed members of a doomsday desert cult run by a self-proclaimed Son of God are most likely on a suicide mission, and one former member asserts that if that’s the case, , no one can stop that from happening.
The religious community, located in the middle of the New Mexico desert, is run by Wayne Bent (above), who spent a decade in prison after being accused of sexually abusing teenage virgins.
82 years old, now gone Michael Travesser, was found guilty of being naked in bed with two teenage girls, ages 14 and 16, on separate occasions in 2006 at his New Mexico compound. Bent denied the allegation, claiming during his trial that he only placed his hand on the girls’ breastbones to perform a spiritual cleansing ritual.
Uhhh… still not good, man!
Related: Cult members charged after allegedly dead body of an 8-year-old diabetic girl
However, a former member of the church claims Bent told his followers that God had commanded him to “sleep with seven virgins”. Furthermore, Bent admitted on camera to having slept with his son’s wife several times because “God forced me to.” So he doesn’t seem like the type to know the proper meaning of “clean up”.
The jury was naturally on his side: Bent was found guilty of criminal sex with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The cult leader was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he managed to secure an early release seven years after being diagnosed with skin cancer.
After his release, Bent returned to his compound and continued to preach to his followers. Now, a former member worries that, as Bent’s health deteriorates, he plans to drag his followers down with him.
The former member, who is also the father of two victims of the cult leader, told the magazine:
“If they all want to kill themselves, they’ll do it, it doesn’t matter if they’re out there [pointing to the desert] Or somewhere else. If they want to do it, they will. Anyone who wants to kill themselves and go to Heaven – or walk on a comet somewhere – if they want to do it, they will do it… When I was there, he thought the end of the world was coming but I don’t do’ I didn’t think it was an act of suicide at the time – at least it never happened to me, we never went down the road of ‘take the Kool aid .’
The father noted that Bent brought him into the cult because he was “very convincing,” but said he had learned to think for himself.
Unfortunately, a handful of followers didn’t make it that far. He added:
“He’s pretty convincing about a lot of things and a lot of it [his followers] are fanatics, so if they find something that fits what they already believe in, they follow it. You can make yourself believe whatever you want. Those who don’t leave, it’s everyone’s decision. If you want to go that route, you can.”
Bent initially spread fears of a mass suicide in May 2007, after writing on his website that “I’m ready to go” and “I want to take all of my kids with me. “
We sincerely hope this guy and his “kids” don’t do anything stupid…
[Image via KRQE/New Mexico State Police/KOAT]