Nation of Yahweh
Name: Nation of Yahweh; also Church of Love, Yahwehs, Black Hebrew Israelites
Founder: Yahweh Ben Yahweh aka Hulon Mitchell, Jr.
Birth date: October 27, 1935
Birth place: Kingfisher, Oklahoma
Year founded: 1979
Why founded: To lead blacks from years of oppression to the promised land of Israel.
Sacred text: Bible
| Classification: Cult movement. While building on Christian doctrines, the departures are too radical to be considered a sectarian movement.
Size: The homepage claims to encompass over 1300 U.S. cities and 16 foreign countries.
Fundamental beliefs include that Yahweh Ben Yahweh is the son of God, blacks are the true Jews, God and Jesus are black. Demands breaking from the “immoral world” and birth families. Yahweh demanded total loyalty and total control over his followers and for them to publicly state that they would die and kill for God Yahweh. Later, Yahweh’s teachings became violent, supremacist, and racist. He prophesied a race war between whites and blacks, called whites “white devils,” and that one day they would be driven for the face of the earth by killing them.
Issues and Challenges
The Nation has had a very typical history involving a large amount of conflict with the people and government of Miami, Florida. On November 7, 1990 Yahweh Ben Yahweh and 16 of his followers were “brought to justice” following a series of Waco style raids by nearly 300 law enforcement agents. This culminated in Yahweh and some of his followers ultimately being convicted of “conspiring” to commit RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization statute) although they were found not guilty of the original RICO charge. Yahweh is currently serving an 18 year sentence. Information on the current status of the group has not been located.
Boyd, Herb., 1992. “Leader of Black Hebrews Found Guilty of Conspiracy.” Amsterdam News 4:3.
Freedberg, Sydeny P., 1994. Brother Love: Murder, Money, and a Messiah. New York: Pantheon Books.
Freedberg, Sydeny P. and Donna Gehrke., 1991. “‘Black Messiah’ Leads Followers into Legal Trouble.” Washington Post 7:2.
Hamill, Pete., 1991. “Mr. God raises Hell.” Esquire 115:34.
Johnson, Terry E., 1986. “Yahweh way.” Newsweek 108:31.
Leerhsen, Charles., 1990. “Busting the Prince of Love.” Newsweek 116:45
Salaam, Yusef., 1996. “Yahweh loses appeal.” Amsterdam News 19:1.
Salaam., 1995. “Murder charges against Yahweh dismissed.” Amsterdam News 6:1.
Prepared by Franklin Devon Waddell
Soc 247: New Religious Movements
Spring Term, 1996
Last Updated: 07/25/01