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Former International House of Prayer University Intern Murde
Former International House of Prayer University Intern Murdered in Alleged Sex Abuse Cover-up
by Steve Eastman, Faith Issues
Micah Moore probably would have gotten away with murder, except he confessed to Kansas City area authorities.
The death of 27 year-old Bethany Deaton was initially investigated as a suicide. Her body was recently discovered in a van at Longview Lake, with a plastic bag over her head, an empty bottle of acetaminophen and a suicide note which read, ““My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing. I did it because I wouldn’t be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that? I wish I had chosen differently a long time ago. I knew it all and refused to listen. Maybe Jesus will still save me.”
What really happened? According to Moore, who’s been charged with the murder, he was the one who placed the bag over her head and held it until “her body shook.” The 23 year-old International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) student also supplies a motive. He says Deaton’s husband, Tyler, ordered her killed, fearing she would expose the family’s dirty secret — that he, Tyler and a number of male friends , several of whom share the same home, had been sexually abusing her. They also allegedly gave Bethany the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. And court documents state that Tyler was having sexual relations with his male disciples. What did neighbors concluded about the 15 or more cars that showed up one or twice a week? They thought it was for a Bible study.
There was little in Bethany Deaton’s background to indicate her life would end as it did. Bethany was homeschooled until college, which she and Tyler attended at Southwestern University. Later they moved to the Kansas City area for IHOPU, where she was an intern for six months. Bethany got a nursing degree last August and married Tyler.
One of the couple’s classmates at Southwestern, a Methodist-affiliated school, was disturbed about Tyler at the time. Christy Little says, "There was something about him, the way kids listened to him. He was very charismatic, outspoken and very charming and they hung on every word. I used to get so angry the way they were swayed by him.” On the other hand, Little remembers Bethany as “very quiet and into service.”
The woman’s obituary furnishes one more important detail. Bethany and Tyler were apparently planning to go overseas as missionaries.
IHOPU, like its parent congregation — The International House of Prayer — places a high value on intimacy with God, worship, and, of course, prayer. School president Allen Hood is shocked and wants to cooperate with authorities in every possible way. He released this statement:
“Since Bethany's death, it has come to light that over five years ago, both she and Mr. Moore joined an independent, close-knit, religious group in Georgetown, TX. This religious group of fewer than 20 people was led by (Deaton's husband) Tyler Deaton. They relocated to Kansas City over the last few years and operated under a veil of secrecy."
The University emphasizes the group is independent of the school, even though some of its members were enrolled.
So far, Tyler Deaton has not been charged, as officials investigate Moore’s claims and related evidence.
© 2012 Faith Issues
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