A few days ago Dr. Michael Brown gave an update on the Todd Bentley tribunal, which was convened to investigate numerous salacious accusations that had been publicly lobbed at Todd during the summer, and which included tales of adultery, sexting, pornography use, and various sundry perversions.
The update from Dr. Brown was essentially a plea for patience, informing that they were in the final phases of the investigation but needed a bit more time and would soon post their findings. The text of that update has been posted below.
Consequently, Todd Bentley released a two-hour live Facebook video titled “THE INSIDE STORY ON MY CALLING, MY TRIALS, AND MY PATH OF RESTORATION: In-depth Interview w/ Todd Bentley and Michael Fickess”
Todd has not made any public statements about the tribunal since the process began, and so this was his first foray into sharing his side of the story.
[Publisher’s Note: Bentley has repeatedly attacked the tribunal in sermons released via his podcast feed as being biased, hypocritical, and having no authority over him]
Here are a few observations and thoughts that stand out.
1. Bentley used several new sentences that we had never heard before, not being particularly conversant in charismatic-speak. Three that stood out were (A) repeated references to what Todd describes as “the glory liquid honey cloud experience” (B) a man claiming to have an encounter with “an angel named ‘Oscar the grouch’” and (C) “The Jason Bourne anointing” which is “an anointing given to expose the kingpins in the prophetic movement and bring back holiness.”
[Publisher’s Note: I am too busy doubled-over in laughter to focus here. Even though Bentley is serious, this is hilarious – JD]
2. Todd insists several times that all the sins he’s been accused of happened prior to 2014. He repeatedly says that they were six to ten years ago, and that “it’s easy to believe a lot of bad things about me because I have a past” and that everything happened in his past and none of these sins are current.
3. At the same time, he does say some things that make it seem like it’s not really in the past, but more recent. He says “Are you walking in freedom now from sexual sin? I’m free, and I’ve been free for a long time, doesn’t mean I don’t have struggles, doesn’t mean I haven’t been guilty of texting and flirting and different things,” and “I have my life in order. I don’t have any unconfessed or sin that I haven’t addressed from the past. And I’m not here to debate was it three months ago, six months ago, a year ago, five years ago. I’m not here to give timelines,” and “its years old….most of this.”
4. Todd Bentley views the investigation/ tribunal process as a complete “sham.” He describes the whole thing as a “conspiracy syndicate” of ministers who want to destroy him. He contends that even if the accusations against him were true, the process was done incorrectly and Matthew 18 was not followed. He states that Stephen Powell (the primary accuser who brought all of this to light) never confronted him with the accusation of sins and that he never received any evidence of his supposed wrongdoings.
[Publisher’s Note: Which is weird, because he admits to the wrongdoings, so why he needs evidence, who knows? One would think the “Jason Bourne Anointing” would reveal such a thing to him]
5. Speaking of the tribunal itself, Todd opines that while initially, he was looking forward to it, it quickly became apparent there was no transparency and no way to know if the process is just. There were no timelines, no idea who judges were, and the introduction of secret evidence was routinely brought forth. Through the process, Todd wasn’t allowed to see the charges and was not allowed to respond to or meet his accusers. “I don’t have any accusers. It’s been a year and I still don’t know who is accusing me. ” He suggests the reason the process is taking so long is that it’s just a fishing expedition, with the panel colluding secretly against him.
6. Ultimately, Todd ended the tribunal process and got a criminal lawyer involved because he believed they were going too far by asking questions like, “Was there anyone underage he was sexting?” He felt he was in danger of being accused of crimes or being set up to face criminal prosecution. He describes the tribunal as a “witch hunt,” “dark and demonic” and “designed to destroy me.” He compares it to the Kavanaugh hearings or Trump’s impeachment and says the only thing the corrupt, criminal tribunal is good for is “toilet paper.”
[Publisher’s Note: Read #7 carefully and you’ll see exactly how low a bar Michael Brown and his charismatic brigade has set for holiness]
7. Part of the reason for the angst against the tribunal is the dishonesty of the people involved. Along with Todd, they mutually laid down some parameters for the investigation and struck a deal that they would not discuss or investigate anything before 2014. Furthermore, from 2014-2019 they agreed they would only go after the “big stuff”- ie. any physical, sexual affairs, and not the other “smaller stuff” such as further sexting, coarse jesting, general lack of holiness and pornography use. There was also an agreement that Todd got to face his accusers and respond to them directly during the course of the investigation. This conversation and agreement were recorded by Dr. Brown on his phone, but then he supposedly “lost it” and it is claimed that Michael reneged on the deal later on because he was looking into those things he agreed not to. Todd is also angry about the fact that Michael allegedly said that anyone who came forth with an accusation against Todd would be promised anonymity and that this too was against the deal they had initially agreed upon.
8. Todd Bentley does NOT like Michael Brown. At all. Todd alleges that at first Dr. Brown presented himself as a gracious, impartial arbitrator when in reality he’d been holding a secret blackmailable file on Todd since 2013 which involved knowledge of Todd sexting, and Michael didn’t disclose it before being selected to lead the investigation. Further, he says that “there was a backroom deal that guaranteed certain outcomes.” Todd also alleges that Dr. Brown told him “I believe you and Jessa are living in perpetual adultery” and that he felt Dr. Brown was not fair or balanced or impartial at all but had an ax to grind and was concealing duplicitous motivations.
[Publisher’s Note: I predicted such a backroom deal here and Brown emailed me to complain about my prediction (his emails are provided at that link]
9. Claims that in the process of the investigation, ministry leaders hacked into his financial files and that information about this action has been sent to the FBI. He says he had to change his password seven times because someone got access to his social media and was perusing through his personal information and bank accounts. He alleges that members of the tribunal were acting criminally against him by seeking to steal his personal information to use against him in the tribunal, and so he has involved police and has files on everyone and has proof of this evidence. As a result, he has hired legal counsel, filed lawsuits against certain individuals, and formally withdrawn from the process of arbitration, which is now going on without his involvement or cooperation.
10. He denies the vast majority of accusations against him, only acknowledging that he indeed was sexting women and having inappropriate online interactions before 2014, but insists it was only with willing, legal consenting adults. He says the other charges against him are ridiculous and there there is not one witness or one victim and that he has never seen any evidence. He calls all other charges false and made-up and to back up this claim of how they are contrived, tells the story of how a pastor he knows was cold-called by a third party and told that if he doesn’t support false stories against Bentley, they would accuse him (the pastor) of rape and ruin his life. In the spirit of denial, Todd also states that his wife is completely innocent of all charges against her and didn’t do a single thing she’s been accused of.
11. Says that the sexting thing is in his past, before 2014, and that’s all been dealt with a long time ago. He recounts that he was caught in 2013 sexting other women and sending and receiving nude pictures of each other. He says that Rick Joyner secretly confronted him about this seven years ago and that he was asked to step down for six months so that he might endure six months of secret restoration. When the six months were up, he was restored to ministry. This restoration problem for sexting was never made public until 2019- not to ministry partners, not to financial supporters, not to anyone who had him speak at their churches and events.
12. As a result of this scandal blowing up in the summer, he lost everything. He went bankrupt and only had fifteen people show up at his church on Sunday. He had no money to pay his mortgage and because he was so destitute, he started his own company which sells beard oil, but that he one day hopes to minister again and lead others “into the glory” in a more public way. He’s still angry at the church for doing him dirty and says that this is the last interview that he’ll give about this matter- that he’ll never address it again. He will not participate in any more investigation, as there is no more unconfessed sin that hasn’t been addressed.
13. I spoke to Stephen Powell since the release of the interview and he informs me that despite Todd’s many vigorous protestations, in fact, the sexual sins did not end in 2013, but have persisted in the years since, continues even into now. For this reason, he looks forward to the results from the investigation where he believes will present evidence to vindicate his claims.
“Update on the Todd Bentley Investigation, December 1, 2019
We have now entered the final phase of the investigation into the charges against Todd Bentley. Although I stated in the October 25 update that the investigator was close to wrapping up his work, some new situations arose which required more time and resulted in further delays.
So far, the investigative process has consumed more than 250 hours of time and involved countless phone calls, text messages, emails, and interviews, some of them face to face.
In addition, many more hours have been spent organizing and collating the material in order to present the findings to the panel, which will soon be evaluating all the findings and reaching their conclusions.
Until those conclusions are released, I encourage you to continue to pray for everything to come to the light and to refrain from needless speculation. I also urge you to ignore videos or statements being made by others who are not on the panel and who do not, in fact, have inside information on the investigation.
As for any questions involving my own role in overseeing the panel (which, as I have stated from the outset, does not involve making final judgments), I will be very happy to answer those questions once the panel has published its statements.
I can also assure you that the investigator has done his work in a totally professional, impartial manner. And contrary to internet rumors, before late August of this year, I had never even heard the investigator’s name, let alone met him, and the investigator has no relationship of any kind with anyone on the panel.
We know that many eyes are on this investigation and that many lives are involved, from Todd Bentley to his accusers to others who have followed his ministry. We also know that the Lord Himself is watching, which is why we have been so careful in all our dealings before Him and before His people.
May the name of Jesus be exalted, and may His people be strengthened, edified, and refreshed.
Dr. Michael Brown, on behalf of the panel
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