Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Yaweh ben Yahweh Cult

Given' It Up for Yahweh

It was hard to keep secrets in such cramped quarters, and people started to discuss Mitchell's increasingly suspicious behavior. He'd slip into sisters' rooms in the middle of the night, ostensibly for Bible lessons - with the lights off. When Mitchell caught wind of the talk, he indignantly proclaimed that he was celibate, as Yahweh required him to be.

Then there were the sex-ed classes.

Mitchell required women and adolescent girls to attend midwife classes that he himself conducted. They were to shun modern medicine and have their babies at home, like in Bible times, he told them.

Couples were forbidden from using birth control, and the son of God wanted his disciples to start having babies as soon as they reached puberty. He wanted his tribe to grow, and now.

"Get it, brothers! ...Sisters, give it up!" he exhorted them. ...it's not about fallin' in love, it's about multiplyin.' ...have babies and let's subdue and control the Earth."

Mitchell recorded children who were born in the warehouse into a large black binder he called the "Lamb's Book of Life" - the same book where God records the names of the believers who will be saved from Hell, according to the Bible.

What happened in the midwife classes was supposed to stay behind closed doors, but the details leaked out.

Mitchell, who had no formal medical training, read the women books on how to home-deliver babies, then had them undress and inspect each others' genitalia. He showed them how to use a douche, demonstrating on a volunteer. He had one woman lie naked on her back and another blow into her vagina, telling them it was how you performed CPR on unborn babies.

He also held secret sex classes for boys and men. He showed them movies of white women having sex with animals to dissuade them from lusting after white females, and he made them pull down their pants for a "D.I." or dick inspection, Freedberg says. Those who weren't circumcised paid $100 to be circumcised - by Mitchell himself. He presided over group circumcisions in the sanctuary, reassuring them that it would be quick and painless. As he sliced off foreskin, they shrieked with pain, and some passed out. They started murmuring about the strange goings-ons with their wives and girlfriends, and questioning Mitchell's authority.

Over the year, Mitchell became a sexual predator, singling out girls as young as 10 to serve his depraved lust. He told the girls that as God's emissary, it was his job to teach women how to have sex. In exchange for keeping his dirty secret, he showered them with gifts - little girl taffeta dresses, necklaces, and trips to fancy restaurants. One of the girls he abused would later tell investigators that Mitchell, approaching 50, had sex with her and another pubescent girl at the same time.

More women came forward to tell of the black savior's abuse at the cult's trial. One married woman testified that Mitchell forced her to have sex with him four days after she delivered a baby, tearing her stitches. One of Mitchell's sisters - who joined the cult and later defected - said he'd raped her and another sister back in Oklahoma and that he'd molested one of his biological daughters.

One of the girls he abused was the daughter of Linda, the woman who'd accompanied him to Miami. After enduring the shameful activity for years, the daughter broke down and told her brothers, who already distrusted Mitchell. One of them agreed to wear a bug for the FBI, and provided valuable evidence that helped lead to the cult's take-down.

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