Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Murder in Grandview Brings Novel to Life

By Michael Duran

Grandview, MO  -  Calls and emails came pouring into local media stations as the murder of Bethany Deaton struck a chord with readers of the book, House of Lies.  One reader said, “The book was being played out in real life, and it was scary.”

Bethany Deaton and her killer, Micah Moore, were members of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) out of Grandview, Missouri, a group some say is a cult.

Moore confessed to killing Deaton and told police he was ordered to murder her by Deaton’s husband, Tyler, a known leader at IHOP.

Not only does House of Lies mirror Deaton’s murder, but it also raises a question now on many readers minds:  Does the author know more about what goes on at IHOP and if so, why isn’t she speaking up?

In the novel a woman is drugged, murdered so she doesn’t talk and found by a lake in Kansas City, Missouri.  Sounds all too familiar, making the fact that the story was written before the Deaton killing that much more intriguing.  “I think the book was prophetic,” said one Grandview resident.  “We’ve always known IHOP was a cult and now God’s using a fiction story to prophetically reveal the truth.”

Other similarities have readers expressing concern over what might really be happening behind IHOP’s closed doors. 

Author S.R.Claridge told Fox 4 news that her story is fiction and was written after she studied five cult groups.  “It isn’t written about one cult group or one cult leader,” Claridge explained.

Ex-IHOP members see the book in a different light.  They say it depicts exactly what takes place in the 24/7 prayer movement. 

Ex-member, Julie Basham, says House of Lies describes IHOP with “eerie accuracy.”  Basham claims the repetitive chanting, swaying and mantra-based meditation is right on.  She also described IHOP as a “place where young people are encouraged to abandon their families and friendships and become a part of an end-times militant army.”

Another ex-member turned anti-IHOP crusader, William Fowler, stated the book “accurately depicts the demonic activity within the group and the use of deliberate and false prophetic information to deceive believers.”  

Fowler went on to explain that, similar to what is in the novel, IHOP has political connections and a political agenda in place.  “They are a very dangerous group,” Fowler warned.

If this is true, can we expect more from the pages of House of Lies to play out in real life?  That’s the concern of some Grandview residents, though Claridge tries to belay their fears, confirming the book is a work of fiction.

Fox 4 news reported that Claridge has a sister inside the IHOP organization, the Director of the Gateway House of Prayer (GHOP) in St. Louis.  Ironically, or not, the premise of House of Lies is that a woman sets out on a course to save her sister from a cult in Kansas City.  Too close to not be real?  Claridge told Fox 4 news that the book was not written about her and her sister, but readers and ex-IHOP members aren’t buying it. 

Basham said, “I think God is using IHOP’s lies against them, to expose the truth, and He is using a fiction writer to do it.”



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