Crazy Preacher Todd Bentley Refused Entry to the UK

If you follow the lunatic fringes of Pentecostal-evangelicalism, you’ve heard of Todd Bentley. A former child molester, Bentley is a YouTube star for screaming on stage, claiming to cure cancer, and claiming to cure that cancer by bashing old ladies’ heads on stage.

An evangelist preacher who has claimed he can cure people of their illnesses by hitting and kicking them has been banned from entering the UK by the Home Office.

Todd Bentley, a controversial revivalist healer based in the United States, had been due to hold a series of gatherings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the next few weeks. But the Home Office said Bentley, a Canadian citizen, was subject to an exclusion order and would not be permitted entry to the country.

“We can confirm that Mr Bentley has been excluded from the UK. The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they are not conducive to the public good. Coming here is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who might seek to undermine our society,” the Home Office said.

Bentley, a 36-year-old former drug addict who at the age of 13 sexually assaulted a minor, reacted angrily to the decision, writing on his church’s Facebook page: “What about all the other celebrities, musicians and others with a more colorful past than me that are permitted into the UK for shows … Is this really about my past and fear of potential violence or Freedom of Religion and attack on Faith, God & Healing?” [via Revivalist preacher Todd Bentley refused entry to UK | World news | The Guardian]

So, kudos to our brothers and sisters in Great Britain for showing some common sense.

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  • Patrick Marshall

    I would honestly pay around twenty bucks to watch this guy and Mark Driscoll fight in a steel cage.

  • Craig

    While my own view is that this guy should travel with the circus, I’d feel a bit uneasy about the United States blocking his temporary entry on such grounds. If the radical religious pro-lifers took control of the immigration office, it should still be unthinkable that they could refuse entry to the likes of Peter Singer for (perceived) similar reasons.

    • Curtis

      The U.S. has routinely barred entry to anyone with ties to and organized Communist political party for decades. If you are coming from the outside, you have no free speech rights to enter the U.S. Having radical religious leaders decline entry to the U.S. on ideological grounds is a real possibility, and is exactly why we should not put them in national office.

      • Craig

        I guess I don’t really view this issue as concerning would-be visitor’s rights. For me the issue is more comparable to a ban on the domestic distribution of a foreign book on the grounds that the distribution of the particular book “is not conducive to the public good”. It’s just a questionable allowance of governmental power, but not because it violates a book’s rights.

  • Curtis

    By comparing his situation to that of celebrities and musicians, he admits this not about religion or free speech, but about entertainment. Plenty of entertainers with questionable backgrounds have been barred from entry to countries around the world in the past, including the U.S. Past entertainers barred include Amy Winehouse, Jerry Lee Lewis, Miley Cyrus, The Beatles, M.I.A., The Kinks, and many others. The U.S. routinely refuses visas to anyone who has a drug conviction in their past. I guess Bentley can take some comfort in being added to this illustrious list. And like all persecuted public figures, he’ll use this event to drum up donations from his loyal supporters, so will end up wealthier and more notorious in the end anyway.

  • At 2:55 the guy hold on to his Macbook. I guess being slain in the spirit also helps you hold on to your computer while falling.

    • JPL

      No just God would require that kind of sacrifice. If God provided a ram for Abraham, he certainly isn’t going to try to take down your Macbook.

  • People still buy into this kind of hyper-charismatic pentecostal revivalist “healing” nonsense? The guy’s a fraud and a charlatan. Haven’t people learned anything in the past thirty years about these types of “preachers?” Absolutely astounding.

  • As a Brit, I’m in two minds about this. Few nations extend full free speech rights to foreigners, and in the last few years the British government has acted to exclude a variety of ‘extreme’ visitors – including, if memory serves, Fred Phelps, Geert Wilders, Louis Farrakhan,… I can’t honestly say that our national life is impoverished as a result.

    Of course, we don’t have anything directly equivalent to the US first amendment, but have long enjoyed a strong measure of free speech anyway. Curtailments of it tend to be imposed in a spirit of fair play and genuine public protection. It’s not absolutist, but it seems to work fairly well.

  • Dave Burkum

    Good for the UK. This stuff depresses me.

  • If you follow the lunatic fringes of Pentecostal-evangelicalism,

    A couple quick comments.

    First, I think it’s important to choose words carefully. I grew up in this type of Pentecostalism, and a large part of my family remains in it. None of them are lunatics. Do they believe things that I don’t? Yep, they do. But they’re good people who love God and strive to love others. They’re part of our family, so I think we should be a little bit careful. In my view, guys like Todd are the perpetuators, not the people who follow his ilk in good faith.

    Second, I think it’s important to realize that Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing part of Christianity world wide, and depending on how you slice things (like Pentecostals, vs. Aseemblies of God vs. Vineyard vs. Charismatic), also the fastest growing chunk of Christianity in America. This expression of faith in general isn’t “fringe.” It’s a huge part of Christianity in America.

    I’m also an alumnus of Princeton Theological Seminary, like Tony. I encountered lots of people like Tony at PTS, whose experiences were mostly within the Mainline denominations, and had never met anyone who was one of those “crazy Pentecostals,” as my family was called multiple times by classmates. So, I’m probably the most sensitive reader of this blog to these types of comments 🙂 If I’m overreacting at all, please show a little bit of grace. It’s always hard to respond evenly when someone says something that hits this close to home.

    • Ian

      Hi. I too have a lot of experience of pentecostalism and the charismatic movement. When you’ve grown up with something , it’s often hard to take a detached view of it. Eventually, after 25+ years, I finally worked out what it’s all about, and the only way I can put it is that it’s all a con. All the strange things you see in these movements can be perfectly explained by psychology – particularly crowd manipulation and mass hypnosis. Music is the main tool used to achieve this. Many people involved are sincere and devout christians, but they’ve bought into a false religious systems. Most of the big name preachers are fraudsters who have become experts at tricking people into having spiritual experiences, even thinking they’re been miraculously healed. It brings them status and wealth – the whole system is corruipt. I’d love to believe the opposite, but the evidence is simply overwhelming. I’m sorry, but I now have zero tolerance for this sort of deception. Todd Bentley is one of the worst, but there’s plenty more like him.

      • Phil Miller

        Things would certainly be easier for me if I could really agree with everything you wrote here. I grew up in the AoG, which isn’t in the center of the nuttiness, but it has it’s fair share. The thing is, I can’t explain away many of the things I saw through things like hypnosis and psychosis, particularly when it comes to people being healed. For instance, when I was young I fell and almost bit through my tongue – literally hanging by a thread. My mom prayed, and my tongue was healed. I simply can’t explain stuff like that away.

        Certainly there are many frauds, but I can’t throw the whole thing under the bus. I know many African Christians, for instance, and they are the most generous and loving people I know, and they’re Pentecostals.

        • Ian


          I certainly believe that God can do miracles if he so chooses, and I have no problem with people praying for each other, like your mother praying for you. My issue is with the preachers who exploit their audiences. But the extreme manipulation you see at a Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, or Morris Cerrullo meeting (to name just three) is repeated to a lesser extent in pretty much every charismatic and pentecostal church. The whole system is corrupt as the local pastors use the same techniques as the big names, which makes it very hard for people to speak out against the obvious frauds (like Bentley), as it would bring the whole house down.

          And I agree that there are plenty of genuine Christians in the Pentecostal world – I know many myself, including some who follow the sort of false teachers I’ve mentioned.

          But here’s a question – how do you know that the story of your tongue is accurate? I wouldn’t trust my recollection of childhood incidents, and memories can also be distorted by traumatic experiences (such as banging your head). Are you relying on your mother’s account? This also may not be true. We all have a tendency to exaggerate, and over time stories do become distorted, like anglers’ tales of the big fish that they’ve caught over the years.

  • Nice style