I address myself to the great citizens of Taylor, Callahan, and Jones Counties regarding the letter addressed to them from the House of Yahweh, Yisrael Hawkins. I was a member of the House of Yahweh for over ten years. Since leaving the organization, I have not publicly spoken out. The letter Hawkins wrote compels me to voice my concerns regarding the statements Hawkins has made.
How do I describe people that have given up what little they have to be cleansed and healed? These fragile souls yearned for a life of joy and fulfillment and were drawn to the Kingdom as is the moth to the flame. I too was searching for the truth and was a victim to the seduction. How do I describe a place I've yearned for most of my life, but in the end what I thought I found only brought me devastation, seduction, cruelty and made me an unwilling. How has the journey back from the arms of hell left me? I have traveled each crossroad with full awareness that I willingly gave up my reasoning to another, and I must now question my decisions and challenge every step I take forward. I am still healing. The scars go deep, the wounds are raw, open, festering, and the pain still lingers.
Being a member of the House of Yahweh for over ten years, I speak the truth regarding the events, happenings and destruction of current members’ and past members' lives due to my fellowship with the House of Yahweh. I know this because I have lived the lies that are brought forth from the inner circle of members under the instruction of Hawkins. I have paid the price. Since my departure from the House of Yahweh, I have been robbed of my children, grandchildren, business, a trailer, food storage, and mentally so much more there couldn't be enough paper to write on. So much more, a lifetime is not enough time to heal my pain and suffering.
In Hawkins' letter to the people of Abilene, he expresses his desire to bring enlightenment to the area of the House of Yahweh's cause. He wants people to believe that he is not trying to get anyone to leave the church to which they now belong. I attended sermons given by the House of Yahweh; I have purchased and listened to their sermon tapes, and I speak from experience. In the letter, Hawkins states, "Please don't think that I am trying to get you to leave your church, I am not." During my fellowship at the House of Yahweh, many times Hawkins strongly stated other religions were brought forth by Satan. Now that I am no longer a member of the House of Yahweh, I feel as if I have been awakened from a nightmare. I now understand what brainwashing is. The House of Yahweh teaches "sentence meaning restructuring." What I mean by this is, that what Hawkins says with words, is not in reality what the truth is. Hawkins pacifies civil requirements, when in actuality he is being misleading.
The difference with Hawkins' message and that of other churches, is that he teaches he is the Messiah, the King, the High Priest, and the Savior. Unfortunately, members aren't aware of his self-anointed status until they reach the point where they believe anything that comes forth from Hawkins' mouth. Hawkins utilizes the same dogma that David Koresh verbalized to his members. A member stays in good standing at the House of Yahweh as long as they do not question any message brought forth by Hawkins.
Hawkins states the media is misleading the people. I moved to Clyde, Texas in 2001 after being a member for many years. During my membership, I read the articles in the newspaper regarding the fact that the House of Yahweh kills neighbors' dogs. At the time, I couldn't believe what the media printed. I thought it unconscionable. After a few years went by, it came to my attention that the accusation was true.
Hawkins stated the House of Yahweh does not hold grudges. My exodus from the House of Yahweh happened when I discovered new laws Hawkins was bringing forth to us that I just could not accept as truth. I was beginning to awaken. The truth is, if a member so much as questions events or teachings of the Hawkins they are ostracized. If and when a person escapes from the House of Yahweh, they leave everything, family included. Instruction is given in sermons that members must not speak with any person that has left the House of Yahweh. My sons are still at the House of Yahweh along with grandchildren I probably will never get the chance to know. My family is not allowed to contact me. No one that leaves the House of Yahweh experiences forgiveness from Hawkins, only exile.
The extent of Hawkins' control reaches even to the most basic necessities of life. People are not allowed to watch television, read the newspapers or listen to the radio. They are not allowed to use outside bathrooms and must wear diapers rather than use a public facility. Rights are taken away from parents. Children have been given to men without their parents' knowledge.
If and when members become aware of hidden problems at the House of Yahweh, child molesters being harbored, land stolen from dead members, families not being informed of their loved ones dying, Hawkins teaches that the members should not go to the law. It's a fact the House of Yahweh has big problems and the problems are finally coming to the media's attention.
When members become aware of child molesters being harbored, land stolen from deceased members, families cut off from dying loved ones, Hawkins forbids outside influence. These atrocities go unreported, unseen by the law. There is still hope if the media's attention will bring the light to the suffering and inhumane living conditions that are so prevalent on the grounds of the House of Yahweh. If it weren't for the efforts of Shane Deel, who knows how long these wicked, cruel acts would continue.
Like myself, people join the House of Yahweh not knowing what lies in store for them. The weak are trapped at the House of Yahweh and some even die there. My aunt and uncle died and were buried at the House of Yahweh and were given a tombstone with the inscription "Hawkins." They are buried on property that cannot be visited by their loved ones who are not members. I recently was able to rescue my 81 year old aunt from the House of Yahweh. It took me a few years, but with the help of many people I was able to find where she was living and help her escape. She had no means, in fear of reproach, like many others, to contact her loved ones. The House of Yahweh monitors its members' phone bills. Within ten hours of my aunts' escape all her belongings that were left were burned by members of the House under the direction of Hawkins. Many people are stranded at the House of Yahweh, left dependent. Only the strong survive. I, personally, had to financially help other members. One woman with a new baby had no heat or electricity; one of many. One woman was directed to go to the Catholic Church by Hawkins to get diapers when she could not afford them.
Hawkins uses some of his members to perform work for him. Members who work for Hawkins have been denied food for arriving as little as ten minutes late for work.
Underage marriage? Some children are betrothed at the age of 12 to men that are 30, 40, even 50 years older than themselves. Some men belonging to the House of Yahweh reside in other states but come for feasts three times a year. Their wife back home has no idea they are married to other women.
I also believe churches, schools, and hospitals are not responsible for criminal actions of their members as Hawkins' states in his letter. I do believe, though, that when people commit acts that are sanctified by their church in which they trust, the church most certainly is responsible. People at the House of Yahweh are instructed to give food stamps for tithes: illegal; multiple wives: illegal; lying in court: illegal; placing property in a member's name to hide the fact that Hawkins owns it: illegal.
As instructed, children leave their parents at a young age. Young boys once they reach the age of 13 must move out from the protection of their parents and be under the care and supervision of Hawkins.
Hawkins does not teach members to obey the Constitution and laws of the United States. Sermon tapes would verify and corroborate these facts.
It's not people that won't repent that leave the House of Yahweh and are not allowed back, it's the people that wake up and see what's really going on that leave. It's impossible for people so financially devastated to escape. There are people there now that have reached out to me to help them leave. I wish I could financially support them all.
The House of Yahweh does have a gate and fencing surrounding the property. They have guards around the clock who walk the grounds protecting Hawkins from people that have left from coming back on the grounds to regain their belongings.
Many local members rent property from Hawkins personally. If a member cannot pay rent with money, they must pay in sweat. Some members do live in other states and come for feasts as Hawkins wrote, but furnished shelters? The shelter he speaks of is bug infested mattresses laying upon floor huts. Hawkins stated he furnishes food and clothing to anyone in need. That would be true, but he neglected to state that the individual probably works for him and is getting minimal food, shelter, and clothing in return. Nothing is free at the House of Yahweh.
Yes, there is a compound in Clyde that is used three times a year for feasts, but there also are many mobile homes on the compound in which people live year-round.
People that come to the House of Yahweh three times a year for feasts are slowly being taken away from the Abilene trade. What Hawkins neglects to state is that members are strongly persuaded to purchase items from the House of Yahweh's stores; his stores, his sales, his profit. As members, we were informed that we could not buy meat or milk outside of the compound. Clothing was now being supplied for purchase at a marked up price at the House of Yahweh. Everyone was instructed to burn their secondhand clothing, secondhand furniture, because of DNA that may remain on the items.
Hawkins stated that the House of Yahweh does not discriminate against people. What he neglected to state was that people that are gay are allowed to join the House of Yahweh, but in order to remain a member in good standing they must go straight or will be asked to leave. White men are allowed to marry black woman; black men are not allowed to marry white woman.
Hawkins states he does not teach multiple marriages when he, himself, has over 25 wives. Marriages at the House of Yahweh used to be performed with members present. After the media coverage, no one gets invited to marriage ceremonies. Members become aware of marriages by seeing the many wives sit with one man. One must note that the House of Yahweh's marriages are not civil marriages.
Men are taught the lawful act, according to Hawkins, of providing food and shelter for their wives and nothing more. Some women live in bug infested dwellings. Some women have no heat, broken windows throughout, walls that have holes. Some wives remain silent about the black mold that stains the surfaces of their walls. If any of this is spoken about in public a confession must be made.
Men are persuaded to have separate living arrangements from their wives. Women must ask no questions. Men do not have to inform their wives of their whereabouts, who they are marrying, who they have married.
The House of Yahweh did not openly teach artificial insemination of women during my membership, though I was aware of it. Hawkins supplies baster-type devices for females to inseminate themselves with. Using only his HOLY seed. A coverup for his child brides having children. He can now proclaim he doesn't have sex with minors.
Hawkins will not allow my sons to speak with me. They are instructed in the Hawkins' law. If a member leaves the House of Yahweh, they expect retaliation in some form depending on the ties left behind.
The House of Yahweh has confessions that gain information regarding the comings and goings of their members. Members' houses have been entered without their knowledge during services when they're not home. To this day, members do not know their houses have been vandalized. Hawkins states the House of Yahweh does not pry into the lives of their members. Hawkins is in complete control of every member. I know of members Hawkins assigned to secretly follow people and report back to him there whereabouts if he believed they were preparing to leave the organization.
A lot of propaganda comes from the pen of Hawkins. If you have money, you are welcome, as long as you give 20 percent a year for two years, and 30 percent every third year to the House of Yahweh. This money does not reach the members in need. This money goes to line the pockets of the man who runs this organization, Hawkins.
Hawkins tells everyone that the House of Yahweh wants peace. He realizes he is facing 30 years in jail. Peace would be a good thing now.
People must be protected. Unfortunately, protection only comes from being informed. The media is informing the world of what is happening at the House of Yahweh. It's a choice to join a religious organization. Only people like myself can try to help them become aware of the risk they're taking of losing what little they have if they join the House of Yahweh. I don't mean just material things.
Yes, the House of Yahweh is far worse than portrayed. When the media visits the House of Yahweh, the people are handpicked who will be interviewed or stand on-camera. As in the case of Jim Jones, only the true believers were allowed to be seen and heard. I know most of them, those who appear on television or who may be quoted by the media. These people cannot be trusted. They speak the lies they told to speak. They do not know the difference.
I had to hire an armed guard during my exile from the House of Yahweh. During the process of escape, members of the House of Yahweh blocked my driveway with large fallen trees. I was in fear.
Five years later I still ache to see my sons, my grandchildren, wanting just to know if I have new grandchildren. I will never be able to recapture the precious time I have lost with my family. This is the carnage that I now deal with every day of my life.
I joined the House of Yahweh to find my Heavenly Father and lost my family, my business, my home, and my grandchildren. Read the newspaper. Don't believe everything you see or hear.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope others find their voice.