Cult Leader Released From Prison

The Associated Press/September 26, 2001

Miami -- A cult leader linked to a string of mutilation murders in the 1980s was released from federal prison and returned to Miami Tuesday after serving nearly 11 years of his 18-year sentence.

Yahweh Ben Yahweh paid a fine of more than $16,000 required for his release on parole from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

He arrived at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport Tuesday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Yahweh had been held in New York while his attorney fought his conditions of parole.

As part of his parole, Yahweh, convicted of federal racketeering for his connection to the killings, must have written permission from the U.S. Probation Officer to have contact with members of the religious following he once led.

Yahweh, 65, had sought to retake his leadership position with the group, Nation of Yahweh, which attracted about 1,000 people to a gathering last year in Montreal.

Yahweh was accused of dispatching his closest followers in 1986 to kill ``white devils'' and return with a physical souvenir as proof.

Yahweh was charged in three murders but two cases were dropped after a state jury delivered a quick acquittal in the third.

The group denies it is racist, citing nonblack members. Its Web site concentrates on a Bible-based religious message, rails against Yahweh's conviction and accuses the U.S. government of waging a war of words against the group.

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