Cult leader painted as conspiracy victim

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/January 16, 2004
By Bill Torpy

Brunswick -- Several followers of Nuwaubian leader and accused child molester Malachi York testified Thursday that his organization was designed to "uplift" and that his accusers are part of an ongoing effort to discredit him.


"I wholeheartedly feel this is a conspiracy," said Evelyn Rivera, a United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors member since 1977. "They are all liars. I knew them as children. They all lie."

Nine followers of York testified Thursday on the opening day of his defense, which followed seven days of testimony by 14 young women who said they had been molested by York dating back to 1988. York, 58, is on trial in federal court, facing 13 counts of racketeering and molestation.

The first two women called by the defense were a stark contrast with the young accusers, who made up the heart of the prosecution's case. Both Rivera and Samiyra Samad are prim, poised and graying and spoke glowingly of a charismatic leader who spoke truth.

Samad, a registered nurse, said she often examined children on the group's property and never saw signs of molestation. She called York's group a "humanitarian organization that helps people improve their self-esteem."


Samad started listening to York's teachings in 1977 in New York. She later moved to the property in Putnam County that York bought in 1993 and built into a Egyptian-styled community with pyramids and obelisks.

She estimated that more than 1,000 children had been members of the organization and said she never heard talk of molestations. The mother of three said she joined to get her children in a safe environment.

Witness after witness gave the same answers: No, they did not believe York was God. No, the group was not founded as a cover for molesting children. No, they were not paid and they never expected remuneration -- their needs were all provided for. Yes, they received extensive education.

Nathaniel Washington, whose daughter had testified she often had sex with York and helped provide him with younger victims, said she was usually trustworthy.

Washington knew his daughter was impregnated by York when she was 17 but said he never saw signs that she was molested by him when she was younger.















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