Tyler Deaton, the leader of a Kansas City youth prayer group whose members say has “overcome” his “struggle with being gay,” is suspected of ordering the murder of his wife, whose death was allegedly made to look like a suicide.
Three days later, investigators say, 23-year-old Micah Moore would go to police and uncork the terrible secrets that allegedly occurred over several months at a Grandview home where Deaton and other members of his religious group lived. Witnesses told of a clan of young adults making sex part of their religious experience, of men in the group sexually assaulting Bethany over months, and of Deaton’s role as their “spiritual leader.” But Moore’s darkest admission, according to court records, was that Deaton feared Bethany was about to reveal the group’s secrets. Moore confessed that he had murdered Bethany and tried to make it look like suicide, and, according to court documents, he said Deaton told him to do it. Moore alone has been charged, with first-degree murder. Deaton and others in the group are under investigation, prosecutors said.
Deaton’s group is part of the International House of Prayer “charismatic movement” headed by the virulently anti-gay Pastor Lou Engle, whose bizarre pronouncements have been covered here on JMG many times. According to members of the group, Deaton was having frequent sex with some of its male members.
Bethany was sexually assaulted over a period of months while drugged with someone else’s prescription anti-psychotic, witnesses in the house told authorities. This was happening, the witnesses alleged, in a period of time that male members in the house were involved in sexual relationships with Deaton, one saying it was part of a “religious experience.” The statements unfolded with Moore allegedly saying that people in the group feared Bethany was about to tell her therapist about the assaults, and that he killed her with the plastic bag over her head at Longview Lake. He did it, his statement to detectives said, because Deaton told him he knew Moore “had it in him to do it.”
UPDATE: The Red Dirt Report takes a closer look at Deaton’s sex-Jesus-cult.