Last week I watched a tv show called The End of the World Cult about a man called Michael Travesser (born Wayne Bent) who believes he’s the son of Christ and predicted that the world would end on 31st October this year. The show, on C4, just let them tell their story. It was a very disturbing show. There were young girls saying how they felt compelled to get naked with this man who is in his sixties so that they would be closer to God. Many of the people had left members of their family to be close to this man, and it had torn parents away from their children. Members of the group had to give all they have (worldly possessions etc) to Michael. Marriages had been ruined, and Michael had even slept with his son’s wife a number of times, in the name of religion; despite this his son remains a devout believer. However, the most disturbing thing was the way the people in the cult talked about how they were looking forward to dying when the world ended. They were anxious and on edge and didn’t seem to be enjoying their lives at all. It was very sad.
The film crew made the documentary during October so they saw the people’s reactions to deadline Michael had given them. They seemed to be all over the place and not surprisingly a touch hysterical. A few weeks later the film crew returned to see what Michael made of the world NOT ending on the 31st. His followers were still loyal and he had made a new date for the world to end: 15th December 2007. Again, he seems to have got it wrong since we’re all still here. When will these people stop believing him?