The leader of a small religious group, already facing charges for allegedly raping his teenage daughter in the name of God, is now being accused by his own sister, the Deseret News reports:
The woman says he also coerced her into having sex by taking advantage of her mental depression and her struggle to find religious answers.
Terrill Dalton has proclaimed himself to be the Holy Ghost and the father of Jesus. “From the Lord I’ve been told, ‘Yes, that’s who I am,'” Dalton said in a 2009 interview. Along with Geody Harman, Dalton leads a small group called The Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven.
Last year, Dalton’s daughter accused both men of rape, at her father’s command, when she was 15. They’re now in the Salt Lake County Jail, awaiting court action. Terrill Dalton faces a preliminary hearing Thursday and Harman will be in court for a scheduling hearing Friday.
Cynthia Dalton’s charges date back to 2005 when members of the group were living in a Magna duplex. In an interview last year, Cynthia Dalton said her father used religion as a justification for the sex acts, first with Harman and later with Dalton himself. “And he’s like, ‘The Lord says, me and you need to have sex,'” she recalled her father saying. “‘We need to have sex three times.'”
Dalton’s sister has come forward with a similar story, reflecting her own search for religious meaning and her ultimate disillusionment with her brother’s preaching. Linda Dalton is now 41 years old and living in Grand Junction, Colo. She said her brother coerced her into having sex with him in 2005 when she was 35 and he was 38.
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In March, 2010 the Billings Gazette wrote that
Dalton said he grew up an active member of the LDS church. Some years ago, he said, he started receiving spiritual promptings from the Lord that Mormon church members had strayed from the church’s founding principles. In 2004, he said, he received a revelation that he should start a new church. At one time, his new church had as many as 50 members, he said.
He described a two-day fast that ended with a vision of Jesus Christ, who visited him several times in the following days. It was during one of these visits that he said he was told he was the Holy Ghost and the father of Jesus Christ.