Tell the Truth About Bethany Deaton and Micah Moore
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After the tragic death of Bethany Deaton in the fall of 2012, details about the controlling cult-like community lead by Bethany's husband Tyler Deaton began to emerge. Several days later, Micah Moore, a member of the community and friend of Tyler, was charged with murder in the first degree after he confessed to killing her. The members of this community were part of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOP-KC), many of whom were staff members and students at the International House of Prayer University (IHOPU). In a public statement, IHOP-KC said they were "committed to transparency as we discover more information related to Tyler Deaton."
Since these events, an overwhelming mountain of evidence has emerged pointing to Micah Moore's innocence. Chief among these is prior to Micah's confession, only a few days after Bethany's memorial service, leaders of the International House of Prayer, including Shelley Hundley, Allen and Rachel Hood, and a group known as "Prisoners of Hope" conducted an "exorcism" (they prefer to use the term "deliverance"). Tyler's former community members were gathered together, informed they had demons, were interrogated about their sexuality, and subsequently subjected to hours of exorcism that multiple witnesses attest consisted of yelling, screaming, shouting in "tongues" (an unintelligble prayer language), and people shaking and falling on the floor.
According to a psychological evaluation, this experience, combined with the trauma of the previous weeks, pushed Micah Moore into a "reactive psychotic episode." During this "reactive psychotic episode," according to Moore, Shelley Hundley insisted “that [he] had something to confess, saying 'You have something to tell me, don’t you, Micah?'" After this, Moore gave a confession that was filled with clearly irrational statements and many pieces of information purportedly about Bethany's death and other supposed crimes that evidence proved demonstrably false. In the wee hours of the morning, Moore was driven to the police station by two IHOP leaders, Lenny LaGuardia and Kevin Hardy, to repeat his confession to the police. After sleeping for a few hours, Micah was questioned again and retracted everything he said, but was nevertheless charged.
In the ensuing months, IHOP-KC was less than transparent with the case, as a court motion was required to obtain evidence that showed Micah Moore in IHOP-KC's prayer room on their own webstream video no less than 12 times the afternoon of Bethany's death, and that he had signed into class at IHOPU that morning. Evidence began to mount that both Bethany had very likely committed suicide (including video surveillance of Bethany buying the bottle of sleeping pills and FBI handwriting analysis that confirmed she had written the suicide note) and that Micah Moore had not committed any crime.
It appears that IHOP-KC played a role in helping Micah be charged for a crime he didn't commit, were not forthright with relevant evidence, attempted to block investigators from speaking to witnesses, and did not help exonerate Micah even as evidence mounted.
We believe that while many of IHOP-KC's actions were not illegal per se, they lacked the honesty and integrity that should be expected of a large, public, religious organization with an international influence. We also believe that this behavior can potentially be seen as part of a larger leadership culture that avoids taking responsibility for its actions.
Furthermore, they caused considerable harm to Micah Moore and his family, who have had to live with false accusation for nearly two years.
Having already asked Mike Bickle, Allen Hood, and other IHOP-KC leaders in private to no avail, we are now publicly asking IHOP-KC to follow through on their commitment to "transparency as we discover more information related to Tyler Deaton." More information has been discovered a long time ago and they need to be more forthcoming about the Bethany Deaton/Micah Moore situation.
Specifically we request:
1) A more forthright, honest, and written accounting of the "exorcism/deliverance," including:
(a) what the meeting was like and the high-fervor religious behavior it contained.
(b) what the objectives of the meeting were
(c) how high level IHOP-KC leaders (Shelley Hundley, Allen and Rachel Hood, and others) played a role in pushing Moore into a reactive psychotic episode and how these leaders are being held accountable.
(d) their irresponsibility in handling a clearly irrational confession.
2) An apology for not actively helping exonerate Micah even when the evidence began to mount in the early weeks and months following the arrest.
3) A written apology to the IHOP-KC community and public for the lack of transparency thus far.
4) A written apology to Micah Moore and his family for IHOP-KC's involvement in this situation.
Please comment with your relation to IHOP-KC (such as unaffiliated/concerned-KC resident, current/former/family-member-of staff/intern/student/community member), role, and years of involvement (if applicable). Comments are not public unless you select "Display my signature on change.org."
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