Magazine explores local cult

"Texas Monthly" is the latest publication to explore the world of the House of Yahweh, with headquarters on T&P Lane and a compound in Callahan County.

Senior Editor Robert Draper spent a week in Abilene in May as part of his research for the article, which is the cover story of the July issue, titled "Abilene's House of Yahweh believes ... Satan is a woman, the Pope is her puppet, and the world will end in three years."

Subtitled "Inside a Doomsday Cult," the lengthy article chronicles the life of the sect's founder, Yisrayl Hawkins, who was known as Buffalo Bill Hawkins when he was a member of the Abilene Police Department.

Draper interviewed relatives and former and current sect members and attended a Saturday morning worship service. He noted that in the wake of the Heaven's Gate suicides, the media marched en masse to Abilene, thinking Hawkins would be the next David Koresh.

"Not even close," Draper concluded.

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