The End of the World Cult

This documentary film visits New Mexico, USA, to meet a self-declared Messiah named Michael Travesser and his cult followers. They are part of a doomsday cult who believed the world would be destroyed on October 31st, October 2007.

As the documentary crew films the cult’s religious perspective and day-to-day life, it soon becomes evident that Michael is using his position as a leader for more than just religion.

Alarmingly, women and kids in the cult are told to celebrate God through sexual conduct – which just happens to be with cult leader Michael Travesser.

Michael used to be a sailor called Wayne Bent, supposedly he spent the last 20 years before this documentary was made to gather his die-hard religious followers.

Each of them were prepared for death in 2007. Could this be another tragedy like Jonestown or Waco? Or is Travesser just a skilful manipulator, who undermines his subjects before convincing them that he is the route to all wisdom?

Our world did not come to an end on 31 October 2007 – but did theirs?

What happened to the cult and Michael Travesser?

On Dec. 15, 2008, a jury convicted Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser) of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

He was imposed the maximum sentence of 18 years and suspended eight years. He would go on to serve at least 8½ years before becoming eligible for release in 2016.

Paroled from prison in February 2016 he has since been diagnosed with cancer that threatened the hearing in his left ear and has since published a book about his legal case on his website. The title of the publication, The Little Book, is taken from a reference found in the biblical book of Revelation, chapter ten.

The cult followers have all left to find their own path in life since leaving the doomsday cult.

The End of the World Cult
  • Info
  • Release date12 Dec., 2007
  • Full runtime48 min
  • Directed byBen Anthony
  • Produced byFirefly Film and Television Productions
  • Produced forChannel 4
Written