Another Cult Emerges in Guyana - "House of Israel," Led by Black U.S. Fugitive

San Diego Union/November 15, 1979

A self-styled rabbi urging his people to prepare for a racial Armageddon has become Guyana's most powerful cult leader since the Peoples Temple tragedy last year. Rabbi Edward Emmanuel Washington - a 50-year-old fugitive born David Hill in the United States - is called "Master," "king" even "god" by his followers in House of Israel.

Washington says his movement is the fastest-growing group in a nation where cults are common and he claims more than 6,000 members in 38 temples throughout Guyana, with branches in Kingston, Jamaica and Des Moines, Iowa.

Washington preaches a mixture of self-help, anti-white doctrine and a theology that maintains Jesus and the original tribes of Israel were black. He says the House of Israel, which has no ties with any traditional Jewish group, has three immediate aims:

"I foresee a clash soon between white theology and our theology," the short, round-faced preacher said. "It will not be confined to Guyana and will be a real battle. The war of words is just about finished."

Washington acknowledges that some aspects of his movement resemble the communal requirements imposed by Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones. ….

U.S. law enforcement officials say Washington has an arrest record dating from the 1940s. There is no extradition treaty between Guyana and the United States… and no attempt has been made to extradite him.

Detractors in Guyana say he is backed and protected by the government of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and that the House of Israel in return supplies pro-government demonstrators to break-up protest marches.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.