Judge OKs force feeding cult leader Wayne Bent
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday September 24, 2009
Judge OKs force feeding cult leader
An imprisoned cult leader on a hunger strike won’t be getting home-cooked meals from his followers and instead may be force fed through a tube, a District Court judge decided Wednesday.
He hasn’t eaten since September 11th and stopped accepting water a few days ago. Bent said he’s refusing food because accepting it from the state is like bowing to an idol.
Instead he wants his cult members to bring him home-cooked food for the rest of his prison sentence.
Many of Bent’s cult followers were in court on Wednesday. They brought him orange juice, water and an energy drink and for the first time in three days, Bent took a drink.
He said he would take food and drinks but only if his spiritual family provided it. He said he is not taking foods or drinks from the prison because it is part of an institution that wrongly convicted him of a sex crime in December 2008.
Bent’s attorney tried to get the judge to allow cult followers to prepare food and bring it to his client in jail. The judge ruled against that and said that would cause chaos and prison guards would have to be food inspectors.
A doctor for the state testified Wednesday that if the fast continues, Bent’s vital organs will shut down and he would die in a matter of days.
“He would stand perhaps a ten percent chance of expiring from it on Friday, perhaps a 50 percent chance within eight days of beginning that fast,” the doctor said.
After nearly three hours of testimony, the judge said the argument came down to one question—not if, but when Wayne Bent will die. He will allow Bent to continue his fast unless a doctor decides to intervene by inserting a feeding tube.
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