Perfect crystal monochromators cannot diffract x rays efficiently, nor transmit the high source brightness available at synchrotron radiation facilities, unless surface strains within the beam footprint are maintained within a few arcseconds. Insertion devices at existing synchrotron sources already produce x-ray power density levels that can induce surface slope errors of several arcseconds on silicon monochromator crystals at room temperature, no matter how well the crystal is cooled. The power density levels that will be produced by insertion devices at the third-generation sources will be as much as a factor of 100 higher still. One method of restoring ideal x-ray diffraction behavior, while coping with high power levels, involves adaptive compensation of the induced thermal strain field. The design and performance, using the X25 hybrid wiggler beam line at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), of a silicon crystal bender constructed for this purpose are described.