CALLAHAN COUNTY – In his first sermon after leaving jail, Yisrayl "Buffalo Bill" Hawkins was in classic form: folksy, paternal and apocalyptic.
"No, we're not getting ready to kill ourselves," said the prophet of the House of Yahweh, a barbed wire kingdom of brimstone prophecies and abject poverty 15 miles southeast of Abilene...
The 73-year-old was arrested and indicted in February – less than two months before raids on the Eldorado compound – charged with four counts of promoting bigamy, made a felony in 2005 after the unrelated FLDS group arrived from Utah...
Mr. Hawkins also faces a misdemeanor charge of breaking child labor laws, accused of having up to 40 children working weekdays "in the fields, in a canning operation, in a cafeteria and in the butter making process."
Another member, elder Yedidiyah Hawkins, is expected to stand trial this summer on charges of aggravated sexual assault of his now 14-year-old stepdaughter, a girl who authorities allege he was planning to make his wife.
Yedidiyah, who like many members changed his last name to that of his teacher, faces additional charges, including bigamy and engaging in organized crime. Prosecutors say he has at least four wives...
Marleigh Meisner, a spokeswoman for Child Protective Services, said CPS has investigated at least 20 cases involving House of Yahweh members in recent years.
•Two cases resulted in the removal of children, including four taken from the home of Yedidiyah Hawkins.
•Officials removed two children from a home after a mother and her neighbor performed surgery on a 7-year-old girl who later died.
•CPS officials also investigated the death of a 1-year-old child who died of malnutrition and traumatic asphyxiation. Investigators found "reason to believe" the death was from medical and physical neglect. No criminal charges were brought in that case.
•Ms. Meisner declined to talk about any ongoing investigations or whether she believes abuse and neglect pervades the group.
To read more, go HERE<<<
This is a link to Hawkins' own website, HOUSE OF YAHWEH