My son is Yedidiyah Hawkins, recently convicted of sexual assault. The purpose of my letter is not to plead forgiveness or to justify actions that my son has taken while involved with the House of Yahweh.
Christopher, aka Yedidiyah, was 8 when his father took him from our New York home to Texas. I had pleaded for his return but to no avail. Chris seemed to have found his place in Texas. I felt it would be in his best interest to stay with his father, not knowing what his future held.
I visited the House of Yahweh to attend Chris' wedding 16 years ago. It was peaceful. People seemed happy with their direction. There wasn't any reason to find the House of Yahweh evil. I heard from Christopher when he needed money. I was cut off from his life otherwise.
Chris worked for Hawkins but couldn't support his growing family. I knew of four grandchildren but didn't meet them until they were in state custody. More have appeared, and I have no idea how many there are.
I want the public realize how the House of Yahweh destroys families and how Hawkins uses these people to gain power of their minds and money, as with any cult.
Christopher is the first generation to have grown up there. Many children behind those walls today are just as susceptible. They will become the next generation of Christophers, waiting Hawkins' direction. Christopher is a victim, as are those that suffered by his hand. His actions were dictated to him. I do know my son will do everything he can to protect Hawkins until his dying day. He is lost to this sick religion as are others that follow it.
The House of Yahweh destroys family ties by alienating people from those that love them. They can only love their leader, and everything they do is for him. I pray that in the future, children are saved from this life and become productive people in the real world and act with a moral conscience that the majority of us can share.
Maria Menzer is the mother of Yedidiyah Hawkins and lives in New York.