Tuesday, November 13, 2012

IHOP Murder / Sex Scandal - Developing

As you may already know, Bethany Deaton, an IHOP intern, was murdered on October 30 by another IHOPper, Micah Moore, apparently at the request of Deaton's husband, Tyler Deaton, a leader at IHOPKC. The murder was staged to appear as a suicide.

The story involves orgies at Deaton's home: assualts on Bethany, and sodomy among other participants.

The bigger problem is this: IHOP claims this was a rogue group, even though the key figure, Tyler Deaton, was part of their home group administrative team. Not just a home group leader- a "Division Coordinator."

Allen Hood, President of IHOP's bible school "IHOPU" said:

"This group has always operated independently of the university, and it is important to all of us that this group’s secrecy and disturbing religious practices are fully exposed.

Mr. Deaton led his religious group entirely independently from IHOPU, though he and some of his members were enrolled in our university."

I believe that "entirely independently" is somewhat of an overstatement.
Tyler Deaton was on staff at IHOP and part of the leadership team. His job was to provide oversight to small house meetings and their leaders. In other words, IHOP had a Division Coordinator in place at all of these gatherings.

Below is an excerpt from a handout at  IHOPKC - these handouts were available on Sunday, November 4. A pdf was listed on their twitter feed, the document is no longer available, the Google Cache is.


Friendship Groups Administrative Team
November 4, 2012

Jon Boegl Department Director (928) 255-3576 jonboegl@ihopkc.org
Michelle Chamberlain Admin. Coordinator (260) 610-4937
Caleb Chamberlain Creative Media/Social Networking (260) 610-2533

Division Coordinators:
Ivy Anderson (816) 668-2728 ivyanderson2@yahoo.com
Chris Castanza (504) 982-7782
Tyler Deaton (361) 877-2727
Jeremy Jacobs (803) 372-1532
Bill Spearman (630) 272-4642
Juliet Canha (816) 509-4803

You will note that Tyler Deaton was a Division Coordinator, part of the Friendship Groups Administrative Team.

A Friendship Group is a small group that meets during the week, typically at the leaders house. Many churches call these "home groups" or "house groups." Until early October, IHOP called these "life groups."

Deaton not only had a group meeting (and living) in his house, he was part of IHOP staff overseeing other group leaders. There are 80 to 90 friendship groups; Deaton shared oversight of these 80 groups with 4 other leaders. So this so-called "independent" group had a recognized IHOP Group Leader admisitrator calling the shots at every meeting. 

Also obtained from Google cache is a job description from an org chart.


GROUP DIVISION COORDINATORS • Full-Time IHOPKC Staff w/24 Hour Prayer Sacred Trust Commitment (must spend 24 hours a week in the hypnotic trance inducing prayer room -ed.) • Serve & Minister at Saturday & Sunday FCF Services • Administrate Family & Group Leaders w/in specific Population Category • Promote New Groups & Multiplication of Groups and Help Identify, Recruit, Train and Deploy Leaders within Group Type

Tyler Deaton was a Division Coordinator. At least until the 11/11 handout was published - he has been removed from his position.

Hood may be correct in one sense.  He stated "This group has always operated independently of the university." Well, yes, so does the Sunday school program at IHOP's church.  And so does the prayer room at IHOP. In fact, IHOP has numerous splinter organizations - probably more than 50, which operate under different names. But it is the same people, the same boards, and in most cases, operating under the corporate umbrella of International House of Prayer, Friends of the Bridegroom, Shiloh Ministries, Inc. and Grace Ministries.

The University is the "educational" wing of the organization. I use quotes, because it offers no graduate program, and is not accredited. It is, at best, a Bible College, and a poor one at that.

The Friendship Groups are part of the larger IHOPKC organization. Mike Bickle, not Allen Hood should be releasing a statement.


UPDATE 11/15/2012 AM

On Monday, Allen Hood, the president of the International House of Prayer, said in a statement that Deaton led his group independently and operated under a “veil of secrecy,” though members attended a school operated by IHOP. The statement also made reference to the group’s “disturbing religious practices.”

But a handout and website posting shows that as of Nov. 4 — five days after Bethany Deaton’s death — Tyler Deaton was a “division coordinator” on the administrative team of International House of Prayer friendship groups. The position is unpaid, according to another person who holds the same position and attended three recent meetings with Deaton. According to IHOP’s website, friendship groups are small groups that meet weekly. There are more than 80 friendship groups. Deaton was listed as one of six division coordinators. When asked Thursday morning to clarify Deaton’s relationship with the organization, spokesman Nick Syrett told The Star that another statement would be released later in the day. In the afternoon, he said the organization would not have the statement ready until Friday.



UPDATE 11/16/2012 PM

The International House of Prayer took greater steps Friday to distance itself from Tyler Deaton, whose wife was murdered allegedly by a member of a small religious sect headed by Deaton.

The statement insisted that Deaton was never part of the organization’s group structure. But another person whose name appeared on the list of division coordinators told The Star on Thursday that she attended three recent meetings at which Deaton participated.


In upcoming articles we will revisit how the Bridal Paridigm (IHOP's signature teaching), the obsession with the Song of Solomon, the focus on and the use of terms like "passion," "ravished," and "intimacy,"  the sensual and hypnotic nature of the repetitive music in the 24/7 Prayer room, sleep depravation, and excessive fasting all combined to set the stage for Micah Moore's manipulation by an IHOP leader. Many of us have seen this coming for a long time.

To wrap this up I'd like to quote an associate, Keith Gibson, the author of Wandering Stars- he hits the nail squarely on the head:

"I could hardly keep from weeping for this poor girl while trying to work. I don't mean to be spiteful but these are the people who have claimed in the past to be able to smell sin on people and see it written on their foreheads. If they were as connected as they claim wouldn't they have been warned about this?

The other issue is that their approach to scripture, doctrine and spiritual authority sets people up to accept teachers like Tyler. They have no grid for judging truth."

Here's my question: How come the same people who most often cry "judge us by our fruits" disavow those fruits when judged?  I think that is a question Mike Bickle will have to answer for - if not soon, some day.

And did I mention that IHOP is fighting sex trafficking as part of their emphasis on justice? Charity begins at home.


 Right now, as the story develops, for current information I would suggest that you look over at Truthspeakers Weblog. And seriously, new information is trickling out almost every hour.

A comprehensive index of background information on IHOP is available here.


  1. I don't have much to say except that this whole thing has left me rather speechless.

    It is so, so sad. I wonder if IHOP can survive the publicity of this one?

    1. More accurate comment would be how did Christianity survive thousands of years when the church is so imperfect? Idolatry, murder and sexually immorality just to name a few.. The answer? People will always come to Christ because we need Jesus who is the only perfect one. We come to Jesus aren't because of what others did (as this blog is so eagerly portrays), but what Christ did for us and himself alone.

  2. Hypnotic and sensual. Can you imagine what a 24/7 steady diet of this, coupled with excessive fasting, and sleep depravation would do to a young 20-something?
    This explains Micah Moore.


  3. "I am not claiming that IHOP intends to promote a sexual Jesus, their motives may be pure. It is inescapable, however, that Mike Bickle paints such a sensual picture of Jesus through his allegorizing of the Song of Solomon that he feels obligated to warn us saying, “We are not to think of kissing Jesus on the mouth.”[viii] This warning is like the legal statements following television drug commercials – this may cause death or injury and the cure may be worse than the disease. The warning itself paints the picture. The Bible doesn’t need to warn Christians “not to think about kissing Jesus on the mouth” because the true teaching of Jesus doesn’t provoke these lusts."


  4. I wonder why God didn't tell one of the prophets at IHOP that this sexual deviancy was going on or that Bethany was about to be MURDERED! I think you know the answer!

    1. really please the Lord does not air our dirty laundry and speaking for my own imperfections I am glad He does not. When we judge and condemn during a tragedy it only plys into the enemy's hand

    2. Rick,

      The real tragedy would be a coverup. The truth about Bethany Deaton's murder needs to see the light of day- wherever it goes.

      And speaking of coverup, what would you call IHOP's deletion of all references to Tyler Deaton from thier website and stating (originally) that he had no real connection to IHOP - when it fact he was a staff member who was moving into a leadership role.

      Dirty Laundry? Would you dare call this "Dirty Laundry" to Bethany Deaton's parents? You are one sick puppy!

      You understand that Charisma magazine and Christianity Today also aired this story? Did you write them as well?

  5. I've got a question. Was Bethany the only female in this IHOP group? (I realize they don't meet in 'the prayer room' but they are part of IHOP's home groups - husband Tyler formerly listed as the coordinator.) But was Bethany the only girl in this IHOP branch?

    1. IT has already been reported in the press, and in the police reports that the men that lived there and others that were part of this branch had 'secrete' relations with Bethany's husband and each other as well as the woman.
      This was an out-of-control situation- only seems to get worse..

  6. The police report suggests that Bethany Deaton shared a house with her husband and some other men.


  7. Well somebody else gets it - re: judging fruits. Here's a comment on Christainity Today's article on IHOP:

    "if Micah Moore was a former drug addict alcoholic turned successful doctor after IHOP, I'm sure IHOP and their supporters would be first to show off their "fruits". If the fruit's rotten, it's no longer theirs?

    And which place do you think it's more likely to pick up a religious sex cult: Southwestern University, a secular liberal arts school...or IHOPU, an unaccredited, already cult-like bible "college" with a leader that obsesses about Song of Solomon? Although it's all speculation, I think the circumstantial evidence suggests Deaton et al were far more involved in and inspired by IHOP than IHOP will ever care to admit. "

  8. News Flash - The KC STAR has contacted another members of the Divison Coordinator team, and that Coordinator indicates that he has been to three DC meetings with Tyler Deaton.

    IHOP is fidgeting and says they will release a new statement sometime today (11/16).


  9. I have sent an email to Michelle Chamberlain about her involvement in the placement of Tyler Deaton in leadership but she has not replied either way.

    As more information comes to light, I will post it, whichever way this goes.

    "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light."

    "But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible."

  10. Just a little more than a year ago (June 2011 to be exact) I was at Southwestern University and in a summer session English class with Micah Moore. Three hours a day 5 days a week we sat in the same room with only about 8 other people discussing poetry and literature. Outside of class we talked about music and art; also how excited he was to be graduating. This was the last class I shared with Micah, but not the first. We were never the best of friends, but I would describe him as being intelligent, soft-spoken and kind. I am only beginning to learn about IHOP and what kind of a community they are creating and promoting. However, I have to say that even though there is some evidence that Deaton's group began in Georgetown, TX while the members were students at SU there appears to me to have been a dramatic change in Micah since he moved to Kansas City to join IHOP. The pictures that have come out in the past week show that the light is gone from his eyes. Bethany Deaton is not the only victim in this horrible tragedy, merely the first to come to be revealed.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I am a national reporter at the New York Times. I'm working on a story about this very tragic situation and I'm desperately trying to find people who knew either Micah Moore or the Deatons at Southwestern. I wondered if you would be willing to email or talk to me? I can keep your identity totally anonymous. You can reach me at goode@nytimes.com. Thanks very much, Erica Goode

  11. I recognized the distant stare as typical of IHOPpers- really, I noticed it right away.

    Too much fasting, sleep deprivation, and long hours in the prayer room with sensual hypnotic music.

    I know of at least one who went catatonic in this environment. It is greivious.

  12. What's so incredbily sad about all the statements made on this page is that none of you knows anything about IHOP. It's so very easy to judge and to gossip. I think everyone should go back to their Bibles and read James 3...the whole chapter. God will hold each person accountable for what they've said about another person or ministry. In a ministry as large as IHOP (over 5,000 people) you are bound to have one student or even a small group of students who is severely in need of help. To sum up that all of IHOP is a cult because of what this small group did is beyond ridiculous and so incredibly sad.

    ... and William...where in the world do you get that there's sensual hypnotic music?? Some of the statements made on this page are completely bizarre.

  13. "Anonymous" Maybe you should take a second look at James 3, '...not many of you should become teachers...' IHOP is producing 'teachers' left and right, or did you not know? I want to requote Keith Gibson from Bill's article-
    "...these are the people who have claimed in the past to be able to smell sin on people and see it written on their foreheads. If they were as connected as they claim wouldn't they have been warned about this?..."
    As to your charge of 'gossip' there are a multitude of FIRST HAND TESTIMONIES about the also multitudinous aberrant practices at IHOP, horror stories etc etc. It is almost certainty that whenever something at IHOP is exposed, there will be several commenters with the name "Anonymous" Quoting select portions of scripture verses ...don't judge...this is gossip...etc. When Christians are commanded in scripture to judge doctrine, to expose works of darkness. One huge problem is that IHoPpers, almost as a whole refuse to judge what they are being taught, but can speak volumes on their "experiences". As for people slipping in in this 5000+ group, IHOP has an extensive network of internal reporting and has mechanisms in place to delve into member's private lives that puts the KGB to shame. I am VERY surprised they missed this one. This is the SECOND death that can be attributed to KC staffers (not necessarily leadership)...that we know about. There is no discernment there, NONE. I am speaking as ex-leadership, and this ain't gossip.

  14. Anon,

    What is incredibly sad is that Bethany Deaton was abused and is now dead. Would you agree?

    Obviously people are looking for information on this tragic story (as you were) and IHOP has not been very forthcoming. Facts reported in this blog are serving a useful purpose.

    You (an IHOP supporter) are the first person to call all of IHOP a cult. You seriously need to leard to read and comprehend better- read the article again and back up your slander with truth.

    The music is the prayer room is sensual and hypnotic (by it's repetition). Do you even know what "sensual" means? All music has great influence over people becuase it affects the senses.

    The article - IHOP: Sensual teaching and practoves explores that music. The first video presents an effective song with minor chords and a groaning Misty Edwards. I'll post the ultimate hypnotic songs shortly.

    IHOP worship has this down pretty good- romantic imagery, minor chords, they even have a standard free worship chord progression.

    No some may argue that the music is indeed appropriate. One cannot argue that it is not sensual. Get real.

  15. Brothers and sisters; Unite together in Christ. Follow Him, who died for you. Put aside your judgements until the day you are given perfect knowledge
    of the whole thing. Is there a judge among you? Judge not, lest you be judged. Follow Jesus who said, "“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbors and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Choose who you will reflect today by the one you obey.

    1. 1 Corinthians 5

      9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

      12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d]


  16. Meanwhile, Mike Bickle is saying that there is a cult at IHOP. Guess he should not judge. Shame on him.

  17. I spent four years in and around this community exposing their practices on my web site www.hisapostle.org This cult has a history of rapes and other felonies all being covered up by their leaders. The most perverse leaders in the body of Christ are IHOP leaders. I guarantee you eventually all will be exposed and you will find that this episode was just typical of the practices taught exemplified by many of their leaders.

  18. If this woman's parents are looking for answers, they need only to be directed toward my web site.

  19. The story picked up by the NY Times


  20. In the end I Thank God that we will not be judged by our leaders! God says He will judge us for our actions and what our fruits are. Instead of us judging our leaders we should look to the parents that didn't teach their kids not to be nieve, or didn't teach their kids not to follow everything that people say! In the end when ever that is our leader will not be sitting next to us.... Yes I agree with alot that is said here, but if anyone can find a perfect church, organization, leadership, or government please let me know. But intill then we should learn to read the bible on our own and to have a relationship with God instead of fallowing man! (ps. I currently work at ihopkc) but that doesnt mean I agree with everything that goes on with open or closed doors....
    I pray for the people that don't want to take the time to live their own lives but would rather live it threw someone else...


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