Denver-Based 'Concerned Christians' Cult Of 60 Vanishes

Reuters/October 15, 1998

DENVER (Reuters) - Relatives have been searching for as many as 60 members of a cult who disappeared more than two weeks ago with a leader who prophesied Denver would be destroyed, a member of a cult monitoring group said Wednesday. Members of Denver-based Concerned Christians disappeared more than two weeks ago, abandoning homes and jobs to follow their charismatic leader, Monte Kim Miller, 44, said Hal Mansfield, director of the Religious Movement Resource Center. ``Family members have been calling, worried and have not heard from their missing relatives,'' said Mansfield, head of the Fort Collins, Colorado-based group that monitors cults.

Miller, who founded Concerned Christians, is suspected of leading the group to either Jerusalem or Mexico. Relatives of members of the group said the members were fleeing Denver because Miller prophesied the city would be ground zero for an apocalyptic disaster last Saturday. Miller, a former marketing manager, claims to be the last prophet on Earth, according to Bill Honsberger, who also monitors cult groups. The Colorado native has foretold his own death on the streets of Jerusalem sometime during 1999. He has reassured his faithful that he will reappear in three days. Mansfield, who has been monitoring the group for two years, said the disappearance was well planned and orchestrated. ''Follow the money,'' he said. ``I don't think that he's dangerous,'' said Carol Giambalvo, a former cult member and consultant to American Family Foundation, an anti-cult organization.

``I think he had financial problems and needed a reason to move out of Denver, so he made this little prophecy,'' she said. Miller's empty home in southeast Denver is for sale. According to court records, Miller and his wife, Marcia, declared bankruptcy a year ago, owing more than $600,000, published reports said.

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