Yahweh ben Yahweh was the adopted name of Hulon Mitchell Jr., founder, and leader of the Nation of Yahweh, a black supremacist new religious movement founded in 1979.
In 1991, Mitchell was convicted of conspiring to murder white people as an initiation rite to his cult, as well as former members who disagreed with him, in one case by decapitation. He was released on parole in 2001 on the condition of not reconnecting with his old congregation. He died of prostate cancer in 2007.
The Nation of Yahweh set up its headquarters in Liberty City, Florida in 1979. Mitchell emphasized that God and all the prophets of the Bible were black and blacks would gain the knowledge of their true history through him. He also emphasized whites and particularly Jews as infidels and oppressors. Lastly, he emphasized loyalty to himself as the son of God YHWH. He became the living Messiah of the Nation of Yahweh.
At the time his business and charity efforts earned him respect in the community. The mayor of Miami, Florida declared on October 7, 1990, "Yahweh ben Yahweh Day." This occurred a month before his indictment for alleged crimes.
Although his followers remained devoted to him, by the 1990s he was in trouble with the law. From 1990 until his release on September 26, 2001, he served 11 years of an 18-year sentence on a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) conviction after he and several other Nation of Yahweh members were convicted of conspiracy in more than a dozen murders. The indictment charged 18 specific instances of racketeering, including 14 killings, two attempted killings, extortion, and arson. He was acquitted of first-degree murder charges in 1992.
Mitchell was released on parole in 2001 and returned to Miami, but his activities were strongly restricted until a few months before his death. He was prohibited from reconnecting with his old congregation. To assure this he was restricted from any form of speech by telephone, computer, radio or television that could place him in contact with any congregational members. In 2006, as he became increasingly ill with prostate cancer, his attorney Jayne Weintraub petitioned the U.S. District Court for his release from parole in order to permit him to "die with dignity".
A ruling on a failed appeal, U.S. v. Yahweh Ben Yahweh (792 F. Supp. 104) starts:
Violent crime cases are the exception in federal courts. The instant case is arguably the most violent case ever tried in a federal court: the indictment charges the sixteen defendants on trial with 14 murders by means such as beheading, stabbing, occasionally by pistol shots, plus severing of body parts such as ears to prove the worthiness of the killer. They were also charged with arson of a slumbering neighborhood using Molotov cocktails. The perpetrators were ordered to wait outside the innocent victims' homes wearing ski masks and brandishing machetes to deter the victims from fleeing the flames.
However, his lawyers’ attempt to end the conditions for his parole eventually succeeded.
Yahweh ben Yahweh only faced conviction for conspiracy to murder. A primary component of the prosecution's case was the testimony of Robert Rozier, a former NFL player and Yahweh ben Yahweh follower who admitted to several of the murders and testified, in return for a lighter sentence. Rozier would later enter the Witness Protection Program but would return to prison after being given 25 years to life sentence under California's three-strikes law, following a check kiting conviction.
He had the Federal Bureau of Prisons ID# 22031-034. Yahweh ben Yahweh died May 7, 2007, from prostate cancer. Among other relatives, he was survived by his younger sister Leona, who is a noted soprano who sang at the Metropolitan Opera.