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
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
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.