18 Dec 2010

Two break-away Mormon sect leaders, one who says he is the Holy Ghost and father of Jesus, charged with rape of girl



Daily Herald - Utah August 19, 2010

Co-leader of Mont. religious sect accused of rape

Associated Press


The co-leader of a religious sect that fled Utah and Idaho before coming to southern Montana is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Rod Ostermiller, Montana's acting U.S. marshal, said 37-year-old Geody Harman was arrested in Fromberg, Mont., on Wednesday on a first degree rape warrant out of Salt Lake City. Harman is being held in the Yellowstone County jail on $250,007 bail.

"Due to the nature of the crime and the bond amount set, this is obviously somebody who was a priority," Ostermiller said.

Charging documents allege Harman had sex with the teen in Utah and that she told investigators another church leader encouraged her to do so because Harman was God. The documents say the girl reported having sex with Harman one time because she believed she would be blessed.

Harman, along with Terrill Dalton, lead the Fromberg-based Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven.

An arrest warrant also has been issued for Dalton, the church's president, and charges him with two felony counts of first degree rape. Charging documents say Dalton, who is in his 40s, had sex with the same girl as Harman after telling her "that if she had sex with him three times, (she) would be blessed."

The church moved to Fromberg from Idaho in September after claiming persecution. [see article below] Church members initially fled to Idaho after federal agents raided their headquarters in Magna, Utah, in May 2009 to investigate claims of sexual abuse and assassination threats against President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson.

Dalton told the Billings Gazette in March that investigators did not find anything and no one had been charged. He said the allegations were invented by a rival church member who was involved in a child custody dispute with Dalton's wife. They are now divorced.

Dalton says he grew up as a Mormon but received a revelation in 2004 _ in which Jesus Christ called him the Holy Ghost _ that he should start a new church.


This article was found at:

http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/utah/article_89fbb019-7d20-5931-842b-a10cd6bcc592.html

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Billings Gazette - Montana August 19, 2010

Fromberg sect leader wanted on rape warrant


Terrill Dalton, co-leader of a Fromberg sect, remained at large Thursday morning, said acting Montana U.S. Marshal Rod Ostermiller.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Geody M. Harman, the other co-leader of the group, without incident Wednesday morning in Fromberg. Both men were wanted on rape warrants out of the 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City.

Harman is being held at the Yellowstone County jail, where he is awaiting extradition to Utah. He was arrested on a $250,007 warrant, charged with felony first-degree rape.

Dalton is charged with two felony counts of first-degree rape. Both men are accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Officers went to Fromberg Wednesday intending to arrest both men but found only Harman.

Ostermiller said Thursday morning that his office hasn’t received a request to follow up from the Salt Lake City authorities.

“We aren’t pursuing any active leads,” he said. “Should they send us any or want us to get further involved, then we will.”

Ostermiller said that if his office gets word that Dalton is still in Montana, he will be arrested.

This article was found at:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_96579c1e-abb1-11df-aa5d-001cc4c002e0.html

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Billings Gazette - Montana March 26, 2010

Church relocates to Fromberg

LEADER SAYS HE’S THE HOLY GHOST, BUT NEIGHBORS REMAIN SUSPICIOUS

CHRIS JORGENSEN Of The Gazette Staff


FROMBERG — A religious group led by a man who claims to be the Holy Ghost has moved to the Fromberg area after a brief stay in a small Idaho town where residents protested the group’s building plans.

Their Fromberg neighbors are wary of the group, and law enforcement officials have been notified of the group’s activities in Utah and Idaho.

Members of the Church of the Firstborn and General Assembly of Heaven had fled to Idaho from Utah last year after their large home in a Salt Lake City suburb was raided by federal officials investigating claims of child sexual abuse and assassination threats against President Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Last September, the group started moving from Idaho into two homes on a lot at 605 Bridger-Fromberg Road. The main home had been rented by Larry Daniels, who was sentenced last week to prison for murdering his adult son in the house.

The church is led by 43-year-old Terrill Dalton, who said group members are peaceful and felt drawn to Montana.

“We all prayed about where to go next, and a lot of people had the same feeling that we ought to go to Montana, somewhere nigh unto Billings, not the city, but nearby,” Dalton said.

Church members are spread among two houses on the property, a 5-acre lot with several sheds, campers, a utility trailer, a large passenger van and numerous cars.

Geody Harman is the church’s co-leader, Dalton’s “first counselor.” Asked how many people live on the property, Harman had to stop and count.

“Fourteen or 15, something like that. No, it’s 16,” Harman said. That number includes the 36-year-old Harman’s wife and their nine children.

In Idaho, the church had closer to 30 members, but “weary of the persecution against them,” many of them left the church and declined to follow the group to Montana, he said.

Nervous neighbors

Carbon County Sheriff Tom Rieger said he has been notified about the group by law enforcement officials in Utah and Idaho.

“I haven’t visited them out there,” the sheriff said. “All I know is that some people moved in, quite a few people moved in.”

The group has got neighbors spooked, said Valerie Wichman, who lives about a half-mile south of the church’s property. First the murder, now this, she said.

“It’s a bad deal. I’m hoping they don’t get to stay here,” Wichman said. “Some around here say the house should just be bulldozed over. I think it should be prayed over. Something’s wrong with that house.”

She said sheriff’s deputies have asked neighbors to watch the compound, noting the cars that come and go and recording their license plate information.

“This whole thing doesn’t feel right,” she said. “It’s no good.”

Raided by feds


Last May, the group’s headquarters in Magna, Utah, a blue-collar suburb about 20 miles west of Salt Lake City, was raided by agents of the Secret Service, the FBI, child protective services and local law enforcement officials.

Investigators found nothing and no one has been charged, Dalton said.

He said the allegations were cooked up by a rival church member who conspired with a Texas man who was involved in a child custody dispute with Dalton’s now ex-wife. Dalton is quick to produce a letter from the rival who says he was coerced by the Texas man into making the allegations.

“All that has been cleared up,” Dalton said. “We just want to survive, to get jobs here and be left alone. We’ve been harassed so much, we just don’t want to be harassed anymore.”

Exodus from Idaho

A month after the Utah raid, the religious group moved together in a convoy to a small town near Pocatello, Idaho, and then to a house on the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Their hope, said Dalton, was to build a large dormitorylike building where church members could live together.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal council, however, objected to their request for a building permit, saying the project would strain the reservation’s water and septic services. More than 200 people attended the council meeting to protest the church’s plans, Dalton said.

“People there threw rocks at our cars and called us names. They weren’t very friendly, so we decided to just get out,” Harman said.

Once the church’s property in Idaho is sold, they hope to buy the Fromberg property they are currently renting. That someone was murdered there weeks before they arrived doesn’t bother them.

“It’s OK. We prayed about it. Things happen,” Dalton said.

Just regular folks

Dalton works as a computer tech consultant and installs satellite dishes. Harman is a certified welder who said he’s currently “a little between jobs.”

Several other church members work in the area. One daughter has a job in a Billings department store, he said. Other children are attending school in Fromberg. They look forward to settling into their new home and starting a big garden. Several trays of seedlings are already sprouting in a small greenhouse.

“I’m just a man. I work for a living,” Dalton said. “We’re really pretty normal and want to make friends here and just get along.”

Seeing Jesus

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.

“I know how that sounds, but I don’t think of myself as anything great,” he said. He later met Harman, who described having revelations of his own.

Dalton said over the years he had been collecting stones he felt produced a “unique energy.” He said he showed the stones to Harman, who found several of them to be especially powerful “seer stones.”

Holding the seer stones, Harman said he has been able to view and translate ancient records that help clarify the new church’s mission. Some of the revelations have been published on the church’s Web site.

Apocalypse now?

Residents in the church’s Fromberg neighborhood have been circulating copies of news accounts published in Utah and Idaho that claim the church has odd sexual practices and that members have practiced doomsday mass suicide rituals.

Dalton acknowledges the church has unconventional views about sex.

“What happens between adults is not my business,” as long as it doesn’t violate the law, he said.

He scoffed at the notion of doomsday rituals.

“Everyone prepares for the future, which is unknown. We don’t preach fear. We’re not violent in any way,” he said.

He also discounted rumors that church members were stockpiling guns.

“We have one gun. It’s a .22, and I don’t even know where it’s at,” Dalton said. “It’s here somewhere, and the shells are in a different place just so it’s safe from kids getting into it.”

The church maintains an active Web site where its teachings and revelations are posted. Whether that prompts new members to join the church, and whether or not those members will migrate to Montana, Dalton said he can’t guess.

“(God) told us to come here and we’re here,” he said. “But what comes in a month, or a year, I don’t know. We’d like to stay. It’s easier to stay.”


This article was found at:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_010a1768-3898-11df-9f6e-001cc4c002e0.html

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KSL NewsRadio - Salt Lake City August 19, 2010

Religious sect leader surrenders for Utah rape charge


BILLINGS, Mont. -- The leader of a small religious sect, who is accused of raping his daughter in Magna five years ago, has surrendered to authorities in Montana.

Two leaders of that group face similar charges in Salt Lake County. They are accused of having sex with the 15-year-old daughter of leader Terrill Dalton, who claims to be the Holy Ghost.

Dalton's co-leader, Geody Harman, was arrested Wednesday. Dalton surrendered Thursday, explaining he had been on a job site when authorities tried to arrest him Wednesday.

Cynthia Dalton claims her father told her it was "God's will" that she have sex with both men.

This article was found at:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12071219

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CBS - Associated Press August 19, 2010

Mont Religious Sect Leader Arrested On Rape Charge


FROMBERG, Mont. (AP) ― Authorities say the president of a Montana religious sect was arrested in Wyoming on Thursday for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Terrill Dalton, 43, called authorities and surrendered near Thermopolis on a warrant out of Salt Lake City charging him with two counts of first degree rape. Dalton, leader of the Holy Ghost of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, is being held at the Hot Springs County jail.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested the church's 37-year-old co-leader Geody Harman in Fromberg, Mont., where the sect is now based. He faces a charge of first degree rape and is accused of assaulting the same teen as Dalton.

Charging documents allege Harman had sex with the teen in Utah and that she told investigators another church leader encouraged her to do so because Harman was God. The documents say the girl reported having sex with Harman one time because she believed she would be blessed.

Dalton is accused of having sex with the girl after telling her that if she did so three times she would be blessed.

The church moved to Fromberg from Idaho in September after claiming persecution. Church members initially fled to Idaho after federal agents raided their headquarters in Magna, Utah, in May 2009 to investigate claims of sexual abuse and assassination threats against President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson.

Dalton told the Billings Gazette in March that investigators did not find anything and no one had been charged. He said the allegations were invented by a rival church member who was involved in a child custody dispute with Dalton's wife. They are now divorced.

Dalton says he grew up as a Mormon but received a revelation in 2004 — in which Jesus Christ called him the Holy Ghost — that he should start a new church.

This article was found at:

http://cbs4denver.com/wireapnewswy/President.of.Montana.2.1869894.html

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Billings Gazette - Montana August 20, 2010

Bond set for Fromberg sect leader, accused rapist

by Gazette staff


Carbon County Justice of the Peace Johnny Seiffert set bond Friday at $250,007 for Fromberg sect leader Geody Harman, who was arrested Wednesday on a Utah warrant on rape charges.

Harman, who describes himself as first counsel of the Holy Ghost of the Church of the Firstborn of the General Assembly of Heaven, appeared before Seiffert by video from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility. Seiffert advised Harman of his rights and continued the bond as set in the warrant. Harman will be arraigned Aug. 25 in District Court.

Meanwhile, an extradition hearing date has not yet been set for the church’s president, Terrill Dalton, but officials in Hot Springs County, Wyo., expect it to happen soon. Dalton was arrested Thursday in Thermopolis, Wyo., on a warrant charging him with felony first-degree rape.

The charging documents allege that Harman raped a then-15-year-old girl in Utah sometime between 2005 and 2006. Dalton is charged with two felony counts of first-degree rape of the same girl, also between 2005 and 2006.

Earlier this week, the victim identified herself to a Salt Lake City television station as Cynthia Dalton, Terrill Dalton’s daughter who is now 20.

Hot Springs County Sheriff Lou Falgoust said Dalton, 43, requested a formal hearing in front of a magistrate in the county’s Circuit Court and said there’s a possibility he’ll want to fight extradition back to Utah, where the warrant was issued.

In an interview with The Gazette in March, Dalton said he is the Holy Ghost and the father of Jesus Christ. According to charging documents, Dalton told his daughter that Harman was God and that if she had sex with him, she’d be blessed. He also allegedly told the girl that she would be blessed if she had sex with him as well.

Dalton was arrested Thursday night on Highway 20 outside of Thermopolis, Wyo. Falgoust said his office received a call from the U.S. Marshals Service that Dalton was driving back to Fromberg from a job when his car was broken down outside of town.

Authorities confirmed the warrant and arrested him without incident and he is being held at the Hot Springs County jail on a $250,007 bond set by the warrant.

This article was found at:

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_a9200850-ac78-11df-bef8-001cc4c002e0.html


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