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SEVERAL MEN CLAIM TO BE THE `ONE MIGHTY AND STRONG'

Published: Tuesday, June 28 1988 12:00 a.m. MDT

Followers of the late polygamist Ervil LeBaron are not the only radical fundamentalists whose religious rhetoric is sometimes violent.

Several men nationwide claim to be the "One Mighty and Strong" - as LeBaron did.The reference to the One Mighty and Strong comes from Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants, an LDS scripture. Fanatics claim it predicts that the LDS Church would fall and the One Mighty and Strong would restore it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, teaches that the scripture simply told an early bishop to repent or he would be replaced.

LeBaron used his claims to justify several murders - including that of rival polygamist Rulon Allred in 1977 in Murray (or which he was convicted). Police wonder whether his former followers may be following his example.

But LeBaron wasn't the only one claiming to being the One Mighty and Strong who committed murder.

Polygamist Vickie Singer hinted in a Deseret News interview that her son-in-law, Addam Swapp, may be the One Mighty and Strong. The Swapps and Singers ended a standoff with police at Marion, Summit County, earlier this year in a shoot-out that left a corrections officer dead.

Also, self-proclaimed prophet Ron Lafferty and his brothers claimed to collectively be the One Mighty and Strong. He is on death row in the Utah State Prison for the 1984 murder of his sister-in-law and her baby in American Fork.

Such violence raises questions about others who may claim to be the One Mighty and Strong. Following are some:

Ross Wesley LeBaron - The 73-year-old, self-proclaimed prophet and polygamist is a brother of Ervil LeBaron. He lives meagerly in a garage-style, self-storage unit in West Valley City.

He once openly proclaimed himself as the One Mighty and Strong on a weekly radio show. He says he is not violent.

He also makes other claims, such as that the Star of Bethlehem was actually Adam's spaceship - and that Adam is God the Father.

One of his friends says LeBaron tells the press such things so his more violent relatives will think he is crazy and no threat to their aspirations.

Still, some of LeBaron's relatives suffered from hereditary mental illness. A brother and sister were diagnosed as having "dementia praecox," an early term for schizophrenia that normally appears in young adulthood.

Art Bulla - Bulla, 40, keeps his Salt Lake area address a secret. He also once had a radio show on KZZI to proclaim himself as the One Mighty and Strong. He said he believes in polygamy and would practice it but has not found any willing women.

Bulla joined the LDS Church while in the Army but said he left in 1978 when it started ordaining blacks to the priesthood. He said he has since had dozens of revelations and miracles - including casting 100 devils out of a girl. He said he baptized 10 followers, but all fell away because of persecution.

"I am not opposed to violence if it is necessary," he said.

Archie Dean Wood - While many claiming to be the One Mighty and Strong also advocate polygamy, Wood, 39, of Pocatello, Idaho, left the LDS Church because it once espoused that practice. He teaches that Joseph Smith erred in teaching polygamy.

Wood said he has met Christ. "I was camping in the Uinta Mountains in Utah, and God just showed up. I was rummaging in my backpack looking for some lures. When I looked up, he was there." He said Christ's message was personal.

Thirteen members of Wood's 130-member School of the Prophets issued a statement that Wood took them atop a hill near Pocatello where they also met Christ on June 12, 1986.

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