November 8, 1990 |
The leader of a black sect was arrested Wednesday and charged with directing the slayings of 14 people, including "white devils" who were slain in initiation rites. A federal grand jury here indicted Yahweh ben Yahweh--"God, son of God" in Hebrew--and 16 followers of his secretive Miami-based Yahweh cult for allegedly using murder, fire bombings and extortion to build a business empire and keep followers in line.
May 22, 1992 |
A distraught juror was replaced Thursday as the judge in the racketeering trial of religious sect leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh struggled to hold the proceedings together. Closing arguments were suspended as attorneys huddled behind closed doors to watch U.S. District Judge Norman Roettger question the juror, who expressed fears for her safety and suggested that the government had failed to prove its case. The woman was replaced by one of four alternate jurors.
May 15, 1992 |
A prosecutor displayed grisly autopsy photos and waved a sword in front of jurors during closing arguments Thursday in the racketeering trial of black supremacist Yahweh Ben Yahweh and 15 followers. "Death by sword was their preferred method of execution; decapitation and amputation of ears by death angels was their calling card," prosecutor Trudy Novicki said.
September 5, 1992 |
Yahweh Ben Yahweh, the founder of a black religious sect, was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for ordering 14 murders of "white devils" and wayward disciples. Yahweh and six followers were convicted in May of federal conspiracy charges for leading a bloody reign of terror as he built his Miami-based Nation of Yahweh into an $8-million empire of motels, warehouses and stores. He claimed thousands of followers in 22 states.
January 26, 1991 |
He called himself Yahweh Ben Yahweh, Hebrew for "God, son of God," and preached that American blacks were the true Jews, living in the land of the "white devil." But the man born Hulon Mitchell Jr., the son of an Oklahoma minister, was no street-corner crackpot. Despite a theology that many blacks and non-blacks alike found racist, Yahweh in the last decade built a multimillion-dollar economic empire that brought him both political power and respect.
November 16, 1991
Prince Gideon Israel, 43, who used the name Carter Cornelius when he was leader of the 1970s sibling pop group Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose. The group had a hit in 1971 with "Treat Her Like a Lady" and another a year later, "Too Late to Turn Back Now." Gideon wrote and produced songs for the group composed of him, his brother, Eddie, and his sister, Rose.
August 12, 1990 |
The menu included white wine, pasta salad and--for some--the first taste of Yahweh ben Yahweh. "Egypt has her pyramids. India has her Taj Mahal. France has her Eiffel Tower," the self-proclaimed son of God told business leaders and politicians. "Miami has the son of Yahweh. The world's greatest attraction is in your midst. . . . I'm here." Yahweh's lunch appearance before the elite Manatee Bay Club in May was full of self-glorifying rhetoric, his trademark since arriving in Miami 11 years ago.
September 30, 1992 |
In Florida, never before has there been a 23rd Congressional District, never before an election to chose its representative, and rarely a political campaign so deeply shadowed by issues of race and integrity. Of course, never before has there been a candidate quite like Alcee L. Hastings.