The Christian cult rapes and murder of Bethany Deaton share some striking similarities with a novel that was published early in the same month as the horrific crime that brought the International House of Prayer into national news reports. The book House of Lies, written by Susan Claridge, is about a woman who attempts saving her estranged sister from a religious cult. The story takes some strange turns and the lead character stumbles upon a web of deceit, sex and political oppression. The kicker: The story is based out of Kansas City, MissouriÂ—not that far from the goings-on of Tyler Deaton's fringe prayer groupÂ—which he was assigned as community leader by IHOP.
This source doesn't quite accuse the author of the book, but "readers" and "viewers" of the news affiliate seem to believe she knows something about the inner workings of these prayer cults in Missouri. This is especially suspicious since her real-life sister is the director of Gateway House of PrayerÂ—which is a direct offshoot of the International House of Prayer.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters has directly accused Tyler Deaton of ordering the murder of his wife Bethany Deaton, saying that he did order the horrific deed to be done. He is also accused of drugging the woman and allowing male members of his prayer cult to sexually assault her repeatedly over a span of several months. When he feared that she was going to tell someone (her therapist in particular) about what was going on, he allegedly ordered that she be "silenced."
The evangelical Christian group IHOP claims that they mistakenly made Tyler Deaton a community leader and they are trying to separate themselves from what happened. But the fact remains that their establishment not only put Deaton in a position of so called "spiritual power" over people, but their own attendees flocked to his cult with zeal. This reveals, at the least, that IHOP is a haven of easy-to-manipulate people who are taken in by religious charismaÂ—something that can mold them and shape them into doing anything, and that's dangerous.
Crime analyst & profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on Huffington Post or Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case. You can follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or contact her via her personal blog. Fan the Facebook page for updates on missing persons cases, issues in civil rights and details on Chelsea's fiction works.