Date:	98-10-16 16:07:47 EDT
From:	Twaecap
To:	NewSocit2m

Rough Waters

‘Stream of Knowledge’ Probed by Officials


On a quiet street in a poor section of Albuquerque, N.M., known as the 
"war zone," there is a white stucco building with the word "YASHARAHLA" 
painted on the front window. Inside, law enforcement officials say, a 
gruesome mural depicts sword-bearing, black men standing triumphant amid 
bloodied white bodies.

As many as 40 men, many of them dressed in camouflage pants and black 
shirts and bearing the Star of David, congregate here. Many, officials 
say, are heavily armed. They frequently leave the fortress-like building 
to practice martial arts in a nearby park. The group, officials say, is 
amassing weapons and ammunition.

This is the Stream of Knowledge.

Law enforcement agencies in six states are looking into the group, 
described as an offshoot of the black supremacist Black Hebrew Israelite 
religion. The Stream, officials say, is recruiting at military bases and 
in prisons. Members allegedly are preparing for a race war they expect 
to end in black victory by the year 2000.

Black Hebrew Israelites believe God is black and whites are "devils." 
Blacks are the true Jews, God’s chosen people, while those who call 
themselves Jews are imposters usually seen as part of a Satanic plot to 
destroy blacks.

"Since 1992, we believe this group has been building up a tremendous 
arsenal for the war against whites they see coming," says a senior New 
Mexico law enforcement official. "We don’t know yet if its members have 
been involved in any criminal violence. But we do believe they have 
connections to an extremely violent group in Florida. And that has us 
deeply worried."

Miami’s Yahweh Ben Yahweh cult, the most notorious sect of the Black 
Hebrew Israelites, was implicated in a reign of terror in the 1980s, and 
has now all but disappeared. But at its height, it controlled an $8 
million empire of properties, including a Miami headquarters known as 
the "Temple of Love" and temples in 22 states. It left a track record of 
horrific violence, including the murders of 14 people.

Its doomsday leader, Oklahoma native Hulon Mitchell Jr. (known as Yahweh 
Ben Yahweh, Hebrew for "God, son of God"), is in prison with six other 
sect members for conspiracy in connection with the murders. Mitchell 
ordered the slayings of black cult defectors to keep others in line, and 
the random murders of whites as part of an initiation to a secret 
"Brotherhood" within the temple. The killers, as proof of their deeds, 
often brought back severed heads and ears to Mitchell.

No direct connections between the Yahweh Ben Yahweh cult and the Stream 
of Knowledge have been proven. But like the Florida group, officials 
allege, the Albuquerque adherents are violently anti-white.

"The white man has been killing the black man, killing the Puerto 
Ricans, killing the Indians, and he’s got to pay for this crime," a 
19-year-old man told a television audience in 1993. Officials believe 
this man, who identified himself only as Shayarahla, may have helped 
form the Stream in Albuquerque.

"Black men," he said, "get ready for war!"


Mirror image of Christian Identity

In many ways, Black Hebrew Israelite beliefs are a mirror image of the 
white supremacist Christian Identity religion, which holds that northern 
Europeans, not Jews, are God’s true chosen people. Both see Jews as the 
spawn of Satan and accuse them of secretly controlling society by 
Machiavellian string-pulling. Tom Metzger, leader of the White Aryan 
Resistance, has said, "They’re the black counterpart of us."

Black Hebrews believe the descendants of American slaves and the 
indigenous peoples of the Americas make up the 12 tribes of Israel. They 
expect to some day return to Israel (which they call "Northeast 
Africa"). Adherents reject black Africans, who are usually seen as 
"traitors" who sold their black brethren into slavery.

In Albuquerque, the Stream is believed to have been started in 1992. Law 
enforcement officials say it was created by John McGee III (who calls 
himself "Ya Han Na Ga"), now 26, a worker at Kirtland Air Force Base’s 
commissary, and Carl Anthony Bennett ("Ka Ariah"), 34, a Veterans 
Administration Medical Center clerk.

Bennett could not be reached for comment. A man answering a phone listed 
in the name of John McGee said only, "I’m not interested, so just forget 
about it."

Officials say services of the sect were originally held at an apartment 
building in Albuquerque. But they were moved after neighbors complained 
that armed men, possibly including street gang members, were creating 
disturbances. Since 1993, the group has held its services at the 
concrete building in the "war zone."

The sect is allegedly all-male. Law enforcement officials say female 
relatives are subservient to their men. They must wear demure clothing 
and look respectfully at their partner if he is speaking to another man. 
They cannot attend services.

According to the officials, one leader says that when the race war 
comes, "My bitch better not be whining and crying."

The Stream is believed to own $900,000 worth of property in the 
Albuquerque area. It’s not known how it finances itself, but members are 
thought to tithe. In addition, the group supposedly runs a security 
company and a company called Mid East Oils that sells products at a 
local flea market.

Officials in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas, in addition 
to New Mexico, are interested in the Albuquerque group. Some officials 
say they believe that the group may be linked to an armed compound 
outside Pueblo, N.M., and a Black Hebrew Israelite faction in Tempe, 
Ariz. Earlier this year, Oklahoma City police stopped a van with five 
men who identified themselves as Stream members. Although guns were 
found, they were legal, and no arrests were made.


History of criminality

Other Black Israelite sects have a proven history of criminality.
•Leaders of the Chicago-based Original African Hebrew Israelite Nation 
of Jerusalem, including founder Ben Ami Carter and top aide Warren 
Parker ("Prince Asiel Ben Israel"), were convicted in 1986 of 
trafficking in stolen passports and securities and forging checks and 
savings bonds in Washington, D.C. Chicago officials also alleged church 
members stole $6 million to $10 million from banks and supermarkets. •
The next year, three members of a New York Yahweh faction, including 
leader Yesher Israel, were convicted of child abuse after children of 
members were tortured for failing to meet daily financial soliciting 
quotas. The children were beaten, had barbecue sauce poured into open 
wounds, and were threatened with castration. •In Miami, as many as 2,000 
members were taught to worship the "great, good and terrible black God, 
Yahweh." Mitchell, the leader, was protected by an elite corps of 
bodyguards known as the "Circle of Ten." He was accused by defectors of 
ordering both adult and minor female members to have sex with him. 
Devotees were allowed only four hours of daily sleep, fed starvation 
diets and forced to pray for hours.

Members of the Yahweh Ben Yahweh cult were implicated in the firebombing 
of a Delray Beach neighborhood, extortion and other crimes. In 1981, 
cult defector Ashton Green was abducted and beheaded with a machete. 
Mildred Banks, whose neck was hacked with a machete after she was shot, 
survived to testify against Mitchell. In 1983, later testimony showed, 
Mitchell ordered former U.S. karate champion Leonard Dupree to fight a 
cult member. After Dupree won, Mitchell allegedly ordered up to 50 of 
his disciples to kill him. He was beaten to death, and an eye poked out 
with a broom.

Even as the violence occurred, Mitchell and his church received public 
accolades. In 1988, Mayor Xavier Suarez told reporters he was "quite 
impressed" with Mitchell. A month before Mitchell’s indictment, Suarez 
proclaimed Oct. 7, 1990, "Yahweh Ben Yahweh Day." The Urban League in 
Miami, citing Mitchell’s contribution to affordable housing and economic 
development, honored him with two major awards.

The origins of the Black Hebrew Israelite religion may stretch back to 
before the Civil War. By 1896, "Prophet" William Crowdy founded a sect 
in Kansas. The religion permitted polygamy, forbade birth control and 
decreed strict dietary laws similar to Judaism.

By World War I, there were congregations in several major cities. By the 
1980s, others had appeared in Israel and several other countries.

"The racism, paranoia and millenialism that they have is very 
flammable," says Suliman Nyang, an expert at Howard University. "They 
want to take on the entire system, the entire world that they think is 
evil and against them. The line between reality and imagination doesn’t 
exist for them."



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