When a diwata wishes to convey a message, it sends a spirit messenger to possess the baylan and speak through him/her. While in ebpintezan or state of possession, the baylan performs the healing ritual. However, a baylan may also be possessed by a timbusew, a bloodthirsty evil spirit. So, instead of treating the sick, the baylan kills the sick person so that the demon could devour the sick person.
There are three levels of leadership in the religious community: the baylan, terewtawan, and sangka. The baylan appoints a terewtawan, a male assistant who travels from village to village to spread the baylan's teachings. About 10 sangka, male and female , assist the terewtawan in preaching and healing the sick.
Anyone of any gender can become a baylan. One may ask to become apprenticed to a baylan by offering the tendan he idtendan, a gift consisting of the following: mirror, comb, turban, pair of trousers, shirt, a bolo, seven pieces of cloth of varying patterns, white and black handkerchief for betel chew offerings, and seven chickens.