[Guest post by DRJ]
In a much smaller version of the Texas FLDS case, New Mexico police have removed 3 children from a church compound near Clayton NM because of allegations of inappropriate contact between minors and an adult leader. A fourth child was interviewed but lives elsewhere and was not removed.
A New Mexico spokesperson indicated they received information that warranted removal of the children but declined to state what that information was. Two children were placed in foster care and the other was put in voluntary placement.
The leader, Wayne Bent, professes to be the Messiah. He reportedly has 70 followers and has acknowledged having sex with the wives of 2 of the followers and with his daughter-in-law “at the direction of God.” Bent, 66 and known in the church as Michael Travesser, accused the State of kidnapping his children and going “against God.”
Bent’s son Jeff denied any child abuse and posted the following message on the internet:
“The group educates its children “to avoid the slavery you seek to impose on them, and to experience the freedom they have in God,” Jeff Bent wrote.
“We have given everything to prepare them for an eternity with God. We haven’t oppressed them with your atheistic globalist curriculum, socialist indoctrination, and ‘alternative lifestyles’ dogma that comprise modern public education. We have taught them higher values than the values of your slave-state, and have sought to shield them from the abuse that is institutionalized in your system,” he wrote.”
Jeff Bent also wrote to NM Governor Bill Richardson: “Now that you have moved against us because of our faith, the cup of God’s anger is full to the brim, and now He is free to move against you.”
It’s deja vu all over again.