Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

IHOP’s Downplaying of Link to Tyler Deaton is Implausible, Says TWO

Burlington, Vt. – Truth Wins Out expressed concern today that the International House of Prayer (IHOP) is whitewashing its close ties to cult leader Tyler Deaton, who is under suspicion for allegedly ordering a sect member to murder his wife, Bethany, who he feared was on the verge of revealing his cult’s secrets to her therapist. This included allegations of homosexual religious rituals, as well as the drugging and repeated sexual abuse of Bethany.

“We urge the national media to fully explore this shocking murder and the apparent cover-up of links to IHOP,” said Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director. “This so-called church preaches a radical form of religion that foments extremism. The outrageous ideas and practices of IHOP need to be further explored.”

On Nov. 15, Allen Hood, the president of IHOP, told the Kansas City Star that Deaton’s sect was completely separate from IHOP and operated under a “veil of secrecy.” However, the Star found a handout and website posting showing that as of Nov. 4 — five days after Bethany Deaton’s murder — Tyler Deaton was a “division coordinator” on the administrative team of IHOP friendship groups. The position is unpaid, according to another person who holds the same position and attended three recent meetings with Deaton. There are more than 80 friendship groups. Deaton was listed as one of six division coordinators.

In a statement released Friday, IHOP said Deaton’s name appeared in error — that a volunteer had mistakenly added his name to a list. The statement added that IHOP leadership didn’t even know Deaton. However, the Star reports that another person whose name appeared on the list of division coordinators said that she attended three recent meetings at which Deaton participated.

The Star also mentioned an earlier internal memo attributed to IHOP leader Mike Bickle that expressed concern that Deaton came to IHOP “with the specific goal of infiltrating us and even taking over IHOPU,” which is the prayer center’s “university.”

“This smells like a cover-up and IHOP’s tortured explanation is implausible,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is clear that Deaton was well-known at the highest levels of this operation. Attempts to pretend otherwise appear dishonest and deceitful.”

IHOP is part of C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), an End Times cult where the leaders fancy themselves prophets. NAR leaders, such as Lou Engle, have been linked to Uganda’s notorious “Kill the Gays” bill.

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

Update: Bruce Wilson of Talk2Action examines some of the bizarre scriptures used by IHOP.