TODD BENTLEY:CAN THE TRUTH BE KNOWN?
(Since posting the following comments, still meaningful on their own terms, it is clear to me from such as YouTube videos Bentley is quite simply an imposter who has caused a lot of harm to people).
“Handle with care” is sensible advice where anything to do with popular religion in America is concerned but one has to try not to be automatically cynical either. The following checks out a person/phenomenon as fairly as possible and I must say the picture is unusually complex. At the extremes - and many stand at them on this issue - there are those who see a saint, trigger of a global movement of exceptional spiritual power and healing, one that even raises the dead; and there are those who perceive a fraud, a false prophet, even a devil possessed individual deceiving multitudes. So far this is a controversy almost more among believers than one of believers versus skeptics.
At the time of writing devotees are nonetheless being disturbed by the sudden unexpected announcement on Aug 11 of a marital separation (not apparently caused by any third party involvements) but a breakdown, such as one would not expect from somebody supposedly healing people’s hurts and broken lives on a daily basis.
I have re-written this article in light of recent controversies and some facts I’ve come across. To my regret (since I don’t like the tone of the nay sayers and people claim to have been much helped the recent spiritual wave Todd Bentley launched) I have to lean towards the negative assessment at the same time as I detect a certain honesty of intention in Bentley which does not willingly deceive. But I think too few have sufficiently considered their hero’s background and I find serious irresponsibility among those who have “discovered” and promoted Bentley, people like Patricia King (whom I have criticized before as in The Confused and Confusing Michael Glatze Story of July 07) and Bob Jones and that they promoted Bentley possibly betrays they are themselves a false prophetic breed as some have long maintained.
AMAZING GRACE NOT QUITE SUFFICIENT FOR TODD BENTLEY’S DEVILS?
Fans like to ignore or pass over as a tribute to grace Todd Bentley’s background in Canada which was difficult before he converted at around 18 years old. His father who divorced his mother had been an alcoholic and drug addict and his mother, whom Todd apparently beat up when he was twelve, was deaf. Todd himself was early on an addict like his father and was in juvenile court for sex molestations and robberies. Todd also admits to have enjoyed heavy metal rock and if the report mentioned next is correct was involved in some satanic worship . His heavily tattooed appearance betrays the street kid past. True, God can choose anyone and do anything but what else might Todd himself have told us…..?
Unless it’s more total fraud, and there’s no special reason to think so, an almost cheerfully blasé You Tube confession from Todd betrays with the reckless frankness and too casual approach to the religious life (of which there are traces in his The Reality of the Supernatural World published this year) rather disqualifying things for someone in his position. Not long after his conversion he recounts how he frequented various charismatic groups and at a Catholic group suddenly heard “the audible voice of God” who told him he must tell one of the people in the room he was devil possessed. He felt extreme resistance (because didn’t he “love” Jesus and read the Bible etc?) but he did so confess and soon began to exhibit demonic behaviour including that of a snake writhing on the floor.
If this is true then it is a datum which fits with something I'll come to and has greater importance than might at first appear to those ready to leave all to simple grace. As a result of opening himself to this deliverance allegedly a whole slew of devils were expelled from Bentley. Perhaps they were expelled but if so it’s biblical fact (the seven devils from the Magdalene) and the experience of Catholic exorcisms that there can be multitudes of devils and they won’t necessarily all get cast out at one time. It must be doubted they were so in this instance as Todd goes on to describe events in his own home around his mother over following months, events fit for The Exorcist – the spirits kept making strange noises in the home apparently even broke her bones and one would have to hope this bizarre story isn’t covering for some memory loss for violence otherwise caused.
Whatever, it sounds like the satanistic heritage was still clinging to Todd who, I think, did basically want and wants to be good. But just this could be the problem. Scripturally it’s affirmed that the devil, a liar and deceiver, can appear “as an angel or light”. So it’s possible the dark side when still having a grip on a person for whatever reason will then use the very goodness to work deception. This idea corresponds to the skeptical, more conservative position on Todd Bentley even when the background I’ve just mentioned isn't known or cited in support of the claim.
I have made a critical reading of The Reality of the Supernatural World and I take it for what it is, a mainly visionary rather than theological piece and at that level interesting and sometimes persuasive but also sometimes plain silly. Originally I overlooked the silliness of some claims because I could attribute the same trait to more established figures even among the saints. And nobody can expect to get everything right. However now that I feel more obliged to be critical the following troubled me about the book.
• Even granted charismatics are allowed to “come boldly before the throne of grace” in line with St Paul’s advice there seems at important points to be an overly casual address and relation to God which doesn’t quite ring right (And in real life healings don’t have to be delivered with “Bam”s and “Boom”s in the style of the wrestling matches Bentley likes watching).
• There is an insistence about the need for tithing and offerings which reeks of a legalism Christianity tries to avoid unless in its American version which has become notorious for extravagance and greed.
• The notion that angels are playing football and shouting “go church go” is too absurd for words and I could indulgently dismiss it as daydream mistaken for more serious trance states Bentley evidently has except that this particular revelation is portrayed as somehow major which it oughn’t to be against others obviously more important if true such as about the Seven Spirits of God etc.
The following however is not an assessment of Bentley’s ideas which would merit a separate article. And in a sense his ideas are perhaps less important than a single belief that emanates from the charismatic, almost shamanistic expression of Christianity he represents and that is that we stand at a point in history at which believers can and must ask and expect far more from God in visions, healings and miracles than has ever occurred. And in so far as Bentley assumes we are in “the end times” (and whatever times we’re in it’s the end of the age of Pisces according to astrologers and Jungians), it’s a sort of Last Pentecost claim.
So …...the following is more a sketch of Bentley’s character and factors around him and with it proof against the purblind opposition towards astrology of especially many of those who are Bentley fans but refuse to perceive astrology as any meaningful commentary on religion or anything. The data shows just how relevant the skies are to what some Christians would prefer to consider wholly mysterious areas of life and faith into which they can beat safe retreat from the assumed heresies of doctrines of fate and the so called occult.
TODD BENTLEY: PROFILE OF A SEA GOAT
Bentley was born, 10.1 1976 at Schelt, Canada, under the sign of Capricorn, the best sign if you want to become a saint (if you're a Catholic which Bentley isn't) and perhaps also the easiest sign under which to assume the role of hypocrite like tele-evangelist, Jim Bakker (or like the Tarfuffe so memorably portrayed by Capricorn playwright, Moliere). If Capricorn, which is an energetic rather ruthless sun sign ruled by the often Satanic Saturn, turns its hands to religion like St Ignatius Loyola or St Therese de Lisieux (who knew from childhood she must become a saint), St Bernadette of Lourdes or Joan of Arc, the ambitious efficient dedication of the sign is boundless.
It’s been like that with Todd Bentley. He will think nothing (again rather Catholic style a la Brother Lawrence or Mme Guyon, the Quietist who practiced the presence) of spending if need be 12 hours a day just “soaking” in Jesus’ presence. (Such practices may have helped cause the marital separation which cites no third party!) Bentley will also tirelessly lay hands on hundreds at meetings after sometimes 4 hrs at the pulpit as at the current Lakeland Florida revival rallies. And the fact that the CHRIST asteroid is on a world point for Bentley insures the world will not be ignorant of one of the stated chief belief factors in Bentley’s life though of course for a charismatic, Uranus, symbol of the Spirit in religious contexts is vital. For Bentley it’s in powerful, secretive Scorpio in tense difficulty square to communicating Mercury a signature for the mixture of controversy and mystery that surrounds him and perhaps the mixed signals he gives out.
Bentley, like before him the Washington Seeress, Jeane Dixon, and Nostradamus is less the saint of Capricorn than a classic case of what astrologers traditionally portray as a Sea Goat. The curious medieval image of the Goat of Capricorn with the fish tail betokens the person of vision and prophecy who has affinities with the dream and visionary qualities of Pisces and its ruler Neptune rather than the limiting earthy realism of Capricorn. And actually, Neptune is hugely important for Bentley’s birth pattern no matter what time he was born (though there’s a good chance he was born when Neptune along with other planets was in his health sector reflecting his association with healing ministries). It is however the Saturn factor which for a Capricorn must have the last word in this analysis and I will be giving it that. All else is illuminating and interesting but with Saturn and its neighbours we reach nearest to truth.
ASKING AND SEEING A LOT TODD BENTLEY STYLE
The late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon, maintained those born like Todd Bentley on 10th Jan are in danger of problems with drink and drugs. As already indicated, Bentley had those problems big time before his conversion at which juncture a signature for potential addiction problems, a potent Venus/Neptune conjunction, instead turned visionary – especially as it’s in Sagittarius, sign of faith and organized religion. This potent conjunction sets up certain aspects including to asteroid THEOTES (Godhead) and Bentley has repeatedly claimed visions of the Trinity. Maybe a few too many for credibility but as said, part of his mission is to declare how this kind of visionary experience is now meant to become more commonplace.
It’s a message, shocking to many but quite in line with Bentley’s Mercury (message, communication, mind) natally in shocking, futuristic, revolutionary Aquarius. It’s also a message of potential empowerment for believers which could be correct, but not as much as Bentley assumes under the influence of American egalitarianism.
While arguably there’s no such thing as a completely bad aspect of the luck/grace/truth and preaching planet Jupiter Bentley’s Jupiter stands in tension square to his sun. Apart from reflecting a weight problem he has been obliged to tackle the aspect suggests either he could expect almost too much of people, or people could expect too much from him. It’s one thing to suggest it’s time to ask God for more, another to deny the possibility that some, like possibly Bentley himself, are genuinely more gifted in some areas than others. With asteroid APOSTEL directly aspecting his Uranus and perhaps also his moon Bentley should maybe just accept he has a special talent or role. He certainly has an apostolic potential which people will project upon him. Whether he has been and can realize it is another matter. Jupiter is traditionally ultimate register of truth in a chart. In the case of a person for whom truth and preaching is supposedly of supreme importance an afflicted Jupiter could diminish the capacity for truth to be seen by or about the self.
WHY TODD BENTLEY IS SO HOT AT THIS TIME
This year with the faith, religion and preaching planet, Jupiter, back and forth across his natal Capricorn sun (at 19 degrees) obviously Bentley has been highlighted. Less positive happenings like the marital split have something to do with his ruler Saturn approaching his Venus but keeping to the visionary side there’s more than the faith supporting Jupiter.
In this year that Todd Bentley is widely seen as helping to launch a global superwave of the Spirit, by transit the mystical, visionary planet Neptune (often Christ identified by astrologers) has been moving on and off closely conjunct Bentley’s natal asteroid SPIRIT. And his SPIRIT asteroid is in the sign of Aquarius, sign of shocks, surprises, excitement and revolution. Suitably one of the most original chapters of The Reality of the Supernatural World published this year concerns the Holy Spirit seen as the seven spirits of God in line with the Book of Revelation.
As to surprise more generally, Bentley has been invoking plenty since around especially April when the now famous Lakeland Revival in Florida began. April is the month of Aries and natally Bentley has Jupiter natally in that sign known as a particularly “evangelical” position for the preacherish Jupiter to be placed in. When in Florida on April 3rd the Lakeland Revival (seen less as any conventional “revival” than trigger to an unprecedented global Open Heaven season) began, Jupiter was conjuncting Bentley’s sun while Mercury (message, communication) was on a world point, THE main world point, viz 0 Aries, and thus challengingly opposite Bentley’s CHRIST asteroid. Things could happen and did.
Like the prophets and shamans of many traditions Todd Bentley emphasizes travel to the Beyond. However it’s this year that Uranus, planet in religious contexts of the Spirit, of surprises etc, is transiting back and forth over his natal PARADISE which for him is in the dreams and visions sign of Pisces. Whether he’s been there in reality or more helped by new age visualization techniques favoured by his mentor Patricia King at expensive conferences for the elect is open to question.
TODD BENTLEY AS REPRESENTATIVE OF A HEALING MOVEMENT
Despite all his paradise visions Bentley passes first and foremost today as a healer rather than a prophet, theologian or evangelist even though he can preach at length. The healing and healer’s asteroid is HYGEIA. In Todd Bentley’s chart HYGEIA closely conjuncts CHURCH. And the church is being challenged (opposition aspect) by Bentley’s healing deeds and claims because it’s in 2008 in which he launched the revival wave, PLUTO, (the planetary God symbol if any), has been back and forth opposing Bentley’s HYGEIA/CHURCH conjunction. This conjunction is also joined by HIERA (mysterious things) which is what Bentley is challenging the church with as perhaps never before. Critics would perhaps say HIERA reflecting less divine power than the occult or new age additions they don’t favour. I don’t know sufficiently how HIERA works to comment.
Of course it matters a lot whether Bentley really is healing, especially if, as some imagine, it’s virtually at the level reported in the book of Acts (where even Peter’s passing shadow could produce miracle) rather than merely affecting suggestive minds. I haven’t been to Lakeland (the healing aura of which some maintain can now be felt for miles around this area long associated with Satanism and drug dealing) and I hardly know what to make of the testimonies for and against the healings but I would imagine the sheer extreme volume of testimonies to healing attests to rather more than just the suggestibility which obviously could apply in some, even many, cases.
Noticeably what’s happening seems contagious. People who visit Lakeland take and impart the force elsewhere. Recently there have been reports of notable healings in Melbourne and Sydney, one Sydney doctor said she lost 90 people off her list to the healings. Again there can be exaggerated claims and pious tales around healers and there doubtless are some for Bentley, but we should also probably consider the principle “no smoke without fire”. Something of the kind probably applies to the vexed question of “resurrections” claimed. Some persons may have been revived rather than outright resurrected – there seem to be no hospital records to support the by now extensive and extreme claims of what prayers during the meetings have achieved but then not everyone conveniently for the record dies, or just goes into deep faint, in hospitals!
I leave astrologers to sort out the fascinating following signatures. Asteroid ANASTASIA (Resurrection) loosely conjuncts Bentley’s ruling Saturn, and recall that materialistic Saturn materializes, in dramatic Leo. At the same time, Asteroid ANGEL conjunct ALETHEIA (Truth) in shocking Aquarius opposes the Saturn. A shocking challenge/or opposition to truth in the claims made here? Certainly if there’s any truth here better record should be kept. This would apply to healing more generally. For American TV's Nightline Bentley was unable to present any meaningful proof of any healings. Bentley had promised to supply them at least three well documented cases but didn’t. The husband of one of the three alleged healed persons indicated to Nightline she was still seriously sick. Another person was still receiving regular treatment. There was no proper record from doctor or hospital at all!
Not all faith healing can anyway automatically merit the label “divine healing” and a certain rigour of report should surround major claims – if Bentley were a Catholic it would have to do so. Witches, spiritualists etc can produce miracles though it is often said that the mark of a divine healing is that it lasts whereas by more alternative religious methods one can have major relapses or worse diseases, even death may suddenly overtaking the cured person – the sort of pattern critical examination of Benny Hinn has too often turned up. The fact that Bentley speaks well of the princely living, imperiously tempered Benny Hinn is perhaps no recommendation of Bentley and certain others who do the same.
So the worst case scenario would be (as some charismatic critics have been claiming), there sometimes is a power and there are “angels” (spirits) at work at Bentley’s meetings but Bentley has them less from the Spirit than from “impartations” from the Kansas City prophets who look back to the gifted but controversial figure of William Branham (d.1965) who finished life questioning the Trinity and entertaining various heresies. Certainly I would have some reservations regarding both Bob Jones (who surely sees too many angels and more frequently than any biblical figure and who was also an alcoholic like Bentley before conversion) and Patricia King who have been prophetic mentors of sorts to Bentley and themselves have Kansas connections. I note that asteroid KING fortunately trines Bentley’s Uranus (the Spirit) so the King influence seems anticipated here, and the Jones influence by asteroid JONES fortunately trine Bentley’s Mars.
TODD BENTLEY AND POINTS OF CONTENTION: PAUL AND EMMA
Bentley has received much criticism for maintaining he has met St Paul in heaven and that at one time a female angel called Emma scattered gold dust and assisted healing at his meetings. This is interesting because these two flashpoints of controversy appear indicated on his chart.
The asteroid, PAUL (and I’m persuaded from familiarity with the astrology of Christ and Pentecost that this will signify St Paul in religious contexts) makes exact fortunate aspect to Bentley’s crucial visionary Neptune. While this can’t prove he’s met St Paul it’s clear why he would think he’d done so and the aspect is undeniably a favourable one whereas negative aspects to Neptune frequently bespeak lies and deception.
Emma is an Old German name meaning completeness or wholeness, something healers like Bentley try to bestow. Asteroid EMMA conjuncts Bentley’s crucial Neptune/Venus conjunction. A lot of the objection to Emma is to the idea that any angel could be female. This is nonsense and if anything betrays ignorance including of scriptures by those who set most store by them. Two winged women, plainly angels, are flying about doing God’s business in the book of Zechariah (Zech 5:9) and that angels have sex/gender can be supported by the Genesis story of the angels mating with the women of earth – unless one cares to imagine that genitals are an effect of the Fall so that fallen angels somehow managed to evolve sexually! So maybe Bentley has seen an angel called Emma. Given his pattern he would be disposed to think so even if he hadn’t. All I can say is I believe he’s not been merely inventing for the sake of it. I always feel Bentley has a kind of honest intention though he lacks rigour in pursuing truth. However...
Perhaps Bentley in the way of Neptunian dreamers bends truth and doesn't consider particular facts too important where people are offended or confused. The Emma business is disturbing on two counts. He has recently been speaking and writing of an angel, plainly his Emma, who has turned male evidently to pacify critics. Worse, some critics have been pointing out that Emma could be a satanic figure Emma-Dai-0, the Japanese Yama, Lord of the Dead or Satan. If this sounds far fetched consider that it seems his various tatoos do show Chinese and Japanese signs and symbols including it's said of the Emma entity. Maybe so, maybe not, but what's certain is Bentley can't get the matter of his tatts straight. He has said they are pre conversion but photographic evidence would suggest they were not. He has said Jesus gave them to him (by miracle, by suggestion?) which could hardly be the case and absolutely not if they were including Asian religious symbols and deities. So where is truth in all this?
TODD BENTLEY AND FILTHY LUCRE
Although to his credit Bentley hasn't been living the high life of some tele-evangelists but retains a modest dwelling, owns no private jet, and is said to have taken nothing for the Lakeland revival (beyond his regular salary), in some respects he is still money obsessed. Capricorns frequently are and measure their success in material terms. Years ago I met someone whose friends had worked for the late Jeane Dixon and dismissed her (excessively I felt) as “all about money” despite the vision and spirituality otherwise. It may be for “good” causes that Bentley’s mission serves in India and elsewhere but some have been understandably off-put by Bentley’s money obsession which may involve several collections all within a single meeting. Not (apparently) greedy for himself Bentley can be voracious for his work and organization and recently questions have been raised about expensive property deals for the organization in Florida. As said his teaching is somewhat tithes and offerings obsessed. Whatever, I feel Todd’s Capricornian money obsession however impersonal in its way is reflected in asteroid MONY (asteroids always appear to work by sound vibe not spelling) within conjunction his sun.
TODD BENTLEY: THE THUG LOOK AND AGGRESSIVE ACTS OF HEALING
To his critics it doesn’t help that with his shaved head and plentiful tattoos Bentley looks a bit like a street thug, a sociopath, or even Satanist, though to fans it helps make him more irresistible. No need to comment on this one except to speculate on what it might mean as regards his birth time and hence ascendant.
There’s no substitute for a properly timed chart or a speculative chart carefully rectified against the life, things I am unable to provide. However for the curious and specialists I’ll have an educated guess at the birth time.
Whatever the birth time it probably has to be after 4am. It’s possible, but Bentley being famous it’s unlikely that he would have a late Aries moon weakened by being void of course. Luna is almost certainly in Taurus. Bentley’s visions are anyway full of luscious fruits, strong scents, gold dust, exquisite scenes, Eden, Heaven, you name it. This is the sensuous stuff of Taurus, its luxury and its eternities. This moon is moreover quite likely to be opposite Bentley’s Uranus where it would help reflect his strange early home life and necessarily strange relation to his mother who was deaf. Moon in the twelfth would fit such a wide range of visions and pronounced introspection in someone otherwise relatively extravert.
My guess, then, is that Bentley, who talks like a machine gun with incredible gusto once he gets going, has Gemini rising with aggressive Mars in Gemini within conjunction of the ascendant and so was born around 1.50 pm. This would then place 3 planets and the fated nodes within the house of health, healing or claims to it being his forte. Mars rising belongs with aggressive healing, (in one instance, by faith booting supposedly someone into cure!). However more testing and biographical information for tests would be useful to establishing a birth time.
TODD BENTLEY AND THE SATURN/SATAN FACTOR
If Gemini rises at birth for Todd Bentley (as it did for another sea-goat, Jeane Dixon), then an afflicted Mercury rules Todd’s birth pattern but it is still Saturn which is Capricorn’s ruler. And Saturn as Satan has a disturbing attraction, interest and affinity for especially Capricorns as almost a father figure. Capricorn Marianne Faithful admits to find Satan the most entertaining figure, has acted his part on stage and influenced Mick Jaggers Sympathy for the Devil song. Capricorn Marilyn Manson records trembling with excitement in the hope of meeting the Devil. Dennis Wheatley became a best selling author writing fiction and research on Satan. And so Todd had his adolescent fling with Satan. But where might he stand with him now and otherwise?
Todd’s Saturn is strong if little aspected at 0 degrees of dramatic Leo. He thrives on an audience and may feel he can never quite have enough of one. It is important to consider planets before the supplementary asteroids and my original article placed too much stress on interesting asteroids. I felt I’d not found enough of them which seemed relevant to what I really wanted to know or felt I ought to be finding. Among other things I wanted to see a challenging Lucifer or Malin to indicate that the devil and hell that Todd’s “deliverance” ministry was supposed to be releasing people from, was somehow genuinely opposed to him. What I found was merely factors like a Lucifer at 27 Cancer, a bit too wide to call it a significant conjunction with the Satan of Saturn. In fact it seemed to be saying nothing at all….But obviously it would and could be saying something if it were conjuncting another asteroid that was within clear conjunction of a “ruling” Saturn.
Conservative criticism of Bentley is this. He is allegedly running a fake super revival ahead of the real thing and in such a way as to deceive people and muddy the waters. He is less in touch with God than the devil as light (Lucifer) and has powers from him but the whole phenomenon is incredibly and dangerously deceptive. With so many people claiming to feel blessed and healed I don’t like to admit this might be the truth and is what I would be inclined to read the heavens as saying…
I felt I had made a real discovery for asteroid research when amid my researches for the astrology of Christ and the Church I came across a truly deadly and malign influence in asteroid VIPERA i.e. VIPER because originally asteroids were named in feminine form. It became clear to me this could almost be called the asteroid symbol of something like original sin and/or the subtle, hidden wisdom of the serpent. And at 29 Cancer for Bentley this horrible influence is half a degree conjunct his Saturn on one side while on the other side it conjuncts LUCIFER. Here is a deadly potion if ever which suggests how strongly this Saturn ruled person may be, even against his will, linked to the dark side and conveying improper "impartations". We have already seen he was/is possessed by some kind of snake spirit. Even if this were the case this wouldn’t of course mean Bentley could never get out of any satanic clutches but he should have had vastly more preparation for the work he got into and he should have heeded distinct warnings someone in the prophetic field gave him to avoid his overblown teaching on angels which can be a gate to let alien spirits enter. (Perhaps he enjoyed the power trip of working with “angels” more?). Whatever, the crisis Todd represents it is far greater, deeper and older than some passing marital woes which Todd fans like Wendy Alec of GOd TV (who is sending out urgent messages for worldwide prayer for Todd) imagine it to be.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO TODD BENTLEY
If I am right in the analysis and if there is also yet some super wave of the Spirit due of which Bentley has offered the counterfeit, then it seems you might begin to hear something of this other movement as early as around mid September. One group of prophets in Colorado Springs is forecasting as much only this day that I write this. They are in a 90 days 24/7 vigil of praise in the style (they hope) of the followers of David around the ark according to the book of Chronicles. They say the force of God is becoming overwhelming and will pour out onto the world.
The very fact that people think such things and that the emphasis is so strong upon “living in the presence” tells us something about the times and as far as stellar patterns are concerned it has something to do with Pluto near the Galactic Centre (events in religion) which goes direct in mid September and Uranus (the Spirit) in mystical Pisces. But if something happens I can assess that in due time and I hope a bit more positively than as regards Todd Bentley.