Many years have elapsed since I was excommunicated from The House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas. In the interim, this religious organization has come to be known as the largest doomsday cult in America. How did The House of Yahweh, Abilene, get this sordid reputation? As you read, you will come to understand.
Buffalo Bill Hawkins, now known as Yisrayl B. Hawkins, the Elder and Overseer of this organization, declared to me, "I am The House of Yahweh."
He also declares, "I am without sin." The scriptures in the editions of the bible that he now publishes have been rewritten, cleverly twisted to fit his own personal doctrines. The scriptures plainly show that you will "know him" by his fruit, in other words, by what he has produced. I am sharing these "fruits" with you.
How did this organization begin? Why do people who seem rational, who seem to have a sound mind, get wrapped up in something that Yisrayl Hawkins has caused The House of Yahweh to become? Why do these people change their last names to "Hawkins?" Why do they pierce their ear to a door of The House of Yahweh building in order to go into servitude to a mere man? Why do the men secretly practice polygamy? How would a person stay in a religion like this? Why did I stay as long as I did? Why did I leave? I am writing my personal account to tell you my side of these events.
I was there at the beginning when The House of Yahweh was actually a wonderful place to be. I was also there when things slowly began to change for the worse, like a frog placed in a cool pot of water which the fire slowly brings to a boil.
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The House of YahwehMy Side of the Story
By Kay Hawkins
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Kay Hawkins
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMy Story Begins
My own religious and personal experiences found me searching for roots, security, and a special church that I knew had to be out there somewhere. This would eventually bring me in contact with Buffalo Bill Hawkins. I will begin with the fact that Mother and Daddy were living with Grandmother when I was born in 1948. I have vivid memories of my grandmother, one especially profound. I remember the day that Grandmother was buried. One of the neighbors was babysitting me at home. I asked the lady where my grandmother was. She said, "She's in heaven." I asked her, "Where is heaven?" She said, "Up in the sky, and she is looking down at you right now." I did not believe her. I knew that if my grandmother was looking at me that she would come down and get me, and since she did not come get me then she did not see me. This was my first, deeply embedded, religious experience. I did not believe that anyone went to heaven when they died.
I was in the fifth grade of elementary school when I experienced the second event which would profoundly shape my religious future. Ironically, it was on the day that my class had just finished celebrating our Christmas party. There was a set of The Encyclopedia Britannica in our classroom and, curious about the holiday, I opened one of the books to the article on "Christmas." Chills ran over me as I read the fact that the celebration of Christmas had its origin in the festival of Saturnalia in pagan Rome and not from the bible. It was at that moment that I began to question my religious training and started reading the bible for myself.
Two days after I turned eighteen, I married Kenneth Darrel Rogers. We moved to Haskell, Texas, into a small apartment. Afterward, we moved around following the oil wells. It was also during this time that I visited several different churches, searching for a congregation that worshipped on Saturday and still believed in the Messiah.
It was when we moved back to Haskell that our son, Dennis Morgan, was born in the County Hospital. Trying to make a living in the oil patch was, as my mother said, "Chicken one day and feathers the next." Because we had more feathers than chicken during the winter of '66–'67, we packed up and moved from Texas to New Mexico where a roughneck job was waiting. The oil patch then took us in the spring to Utah and then to Colorado in the fall. In December of 1968 we went back to Texas and stayed with my parents for a while. In the spring of 1969 we went back to Colorado to take up where we left off in the western oil patch. In April of 1969 Kenneth was killed in a car accident while on his first day back to work.
Dennis and I lived with my parents for a while and then moved into the Huckleberry Mobile Home Park in Abilene, Texas, where I had planned to attend college. Instead, I met Teddy Bryan Daniel. I married him and my mobile home was hauled to Stamford. We virtually partied every Saturday night. Teddy was well liked and had many friends. We had a lot of fun. In 1970 Deirdre Yvette (DeeDee) was born in Stamford Memorial Hospital. Ted quit work at the radio station and began working in a paint and body shop, and eventually became part owner of one. The partying stopped. We could barely pay our bills and then we could not pay them at all. We had borrowed money and used my car as collateral. Ted's business failed.
In the spring of 1971 I became employed at Timex Corporation in Abilene. By the fall of that year we had moved back to Abilene, back to Huckleberry Lane in order to be closer to my work. Teddy was unemployed but was searching. At the beginning of February, 1972, I found I was again pregnant. About that same time Teddy found a position with an insurance company as a salesman. His territory would be around Baird, Texas, so we were required to move there. I remained employed at Timex. Two fellow employees agreed to drive me back and forth to work each day, while Teddy took my car to work with him.
About two months after that, Teddy lost his job. He immediately left town with his first cousin to find work in San Angelo, Texas, or so he told me. It was not long afterward that I learned that Ted had also found another woman.
I was stranded in Baird, Texas, pregnant, with two children. Ted's cousin's wife was staying with me. I had about $80.00 in savings in the Timex Credit Union. I had to get back to Abilene to be closer to my job at Timex so I could save the driving fee money; and beside that, I did not know a soul here. I drove to Abilene to search for a mobile home park into which I could move.
First, I had hoped to acquire a space at a very nice park. This area had fenced lots with big trees, close to my work, with a good neighborhood for children. Upon filling out my application at the park office, I made the mistake of telling the leasing agent that another woman would be staying with me for a short time. I was refused service. The leasing agent, a female, stated, "That kind of arrangement never worked out." This was 1972 and still a white man's world. Single women with children were considered to be "bad news," so any reason to refuse service was justification enough.
On reflection later, it seemed as though I was pre-determined to cross paths with Buffalo Bill Hawkins.
After being refused occupancy in the nice park, I drove to the other trailer park which was close to Timex, "Ready Trailer Park." I drove past this place every day on my way to work. It looked like a seedy, run-down dump, but the motive for moving back to Abilene was to be closer to Timex. I went to the small rental office in the middle of the park and met Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Daugherty. Mrs. Daugherty showed me the available vacant space. It had a fenced lot, a cute little wishing well in the front, and large mesquite trees, so much nicer than the locations that fronted the street. Of course, I said nothing about anyone else but my children living with me. Ted's cousin's wife left when I filed for divorce against Teddy.
I assumed that Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty were the owners of the park. I paid the rent at their small mobile home—on time every month, but had no other interaction. My sister moved in with me shortly afterward and we shared living expenses. Dennis was staying with Mother and Daddy in Royston to help me financially and to send him to school. I was also concerned for my children's safety. I saw a police car driving through the park almost daily. I thought that there were bad things constantly going on in this neighborhood, for the police to be around so often. I never allowed my children to play outside the gate and made no acquaintances.
After I had lived there a while, I reported to the Daugherty's that my gate latch did not work. The following Saturday morning, a light teal metallic blue pickup drives up, and out steps a redneck cowboy with a peeled haircut topped off with a brown Stetson hat. He was wearing western clothes and cowboy boots. He began to work on the front gate. I told my sister that I was going out to show him what the problem was. This is how I met Buffalo Bill Hawkins for the first time. You know how they say, "love at first sight"—not in this story. It would not be until December of this same year that we would meet again.
At this point in my life I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was bearing the responsibility for supporting my family, was pregnant and living from paycheck to paycheck. I had hit bottom. Spiritually I had said to myself, "I will never again be committed to a sweet good-old-boy or to a good-looking party animal." Neither type had matched my ambition or the perseverance to succeed. I had been moving around from one place to the other since I had first married, and I wanted the same roots and security for my children that I had as a child. Only a man who would be loyal to me, and who had the ability to make something of himself in order for us to have this kind of security would ever interest me again. I had set my goal.
David Wayman, my son, was born in October of 1972 at Stamford Memorial Hospital. I had taken maternity leave from Timex Corporation, and when I was able to return there were no jobs available. I was out of work. Added to that stress was the stress of the threat of having my mobile home repossessed. I learned that Teddy had borrowed a little over $2,000.00 from a businessman in Stamford and had used my mobile home as collateral. The problem about that was that he never bothered to tell me about it. To prevent some mobile home moving truck from literally tying on to the tongue of my mobile home and carrying it away, when I moved into Ready Trailer Park I had the tires removed.
Thinking of the tires which were stored under my mobile home, I hoped to get permission to place these inside a large building located inside the park—and the time that I had available while on maternity leave was the time to act.
It was around the middle of the second week in December, 1972, that I went to the office to make this request. Mr. Daugherty said that he would ask his "boss" if that was ok. I then asked Mr. Daugherty who owned the park. He said, "Bill Hawkins." Was I surprised to learn that the corn-fed cowboy who came to fix my gate during the summer was the landlord himself.
How I Met Him
Before I continue my story, I have to furnish some background information about Buffalo Bill Hawkins. If I had known then what I know now, this story would never have occurred in the first place. The only sad thing about that would have been that I would never have had the wonderful daughter and son that I have now, and I probably would never have found that special religion that I had been searching for.
This is what I was able to learn about him, much later in time: Buffalo Bill Hawkins was born to William Otis Hawkins and Maggie Mae Russell Hawkins at 3:00 am on August 28, 1934, in Lexington, Oklahoma, Cleveland County, and according to the information on his birth certificate, he was the fourth living child of five children: J.G., Mary Bell, Margaret, Vernon George, then Bill.
It was told to me by Bill that his mother, pregnant with him, father, and siblings fled by horse and wagon to Oklahoma to be near his family after the bank foreclosed on their land.
The 1930 U.S. Census shows that Bill's father was a sharecropper who farmed someone else's land in Precinct 1, Young County, Graham, Texas. Bill must have confused this story with that of his grandfather, Lewis Daniel Hawkins, who actually did own land at one time in Denton County, Texas. Whatever the true reason, the year 1929 began the Great Depression and Bill's mother and dad were among its victims.
Otis and Maggie were tough and did the very best they could under crippling conditions. Bill never seemed to realize their great struggle and sacrifice to provide for their family and keep it together. When Bill was twelve-years-old, his brother, J.G., married his wife, Isabel, on June 2, 1944, her seventeenth birthday. Isabel said she and J.G. lived with Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins for several years and she was always treated well.
Bill's childhood stories revolved around his life in Lexington and Purcell, Oklahoma: His dad was a sharecropper. His mother and dad went to town in a buckboard wagon. He raised a calf that his dad sold out from under him. He nearly killed the family horse by forcing him to plow a field at double time, so he could finish the job faster and go to town. He and his brother, Vernon, hunted small animals (cats included which looked like rabbits when they were skinned, said Isabel Hawkins) and sold their carcasses (rabbits and cats, said Isabel) to the neighbors to have money in their pockets. Bill said he did not do well in school, could not focus, and dropped out of school in the fifth grade. Two brothers were born later, Texas James and Gene Truman.
On June 25, 1950, the Korean Army crossed the 38th parallel and the Korean War broke out, not ending until 1953. During this time-span, when Bill was seventeen-years-old, in 1951, he said he had a job for a short time at a gas station in Purcell. Around 1952, at age eighteen, Buffalo Bill Hawkins was married to Rosa Bell Bolding. Also beginning around 1952, Bill and J.G began studying with Herbert W. Armstrong and were affiliated with The World Church of God (later changed to The Worldwide Church of God). One of Armstrong's doctrines was that no member was allowed to serve in the armed forces. This suited J.G. and Bill just fine. Bill refused to be drafted, but accepted an assignment with the State Board of Health Laboratories in Topeka, Kansas, where he obtained much of his later sermon material.
In 1957, Bill, age twenty-three, and J.G., age thirty-three, were enrolled in Midwest Bible College, sponsored by the Church of God, Seventh Day, in Stanberry, Missouri, led by Andrew N. Dugger. Bill was living on North Maple Street.
He told me that it was so cold in Missouri that he parked his car, drained the radiator to prevent it from freezing, and walked to college. He also told me that he had rented rooms in his house to elderly people to have an income.
Bill was still married to Rosa Bell in 1957 when he was attending bible college, but it would not be too much longer before she and the college would both be replaced.
According to Bill, he was driving a cab, another of his many jobs, and that Rosa Bell had an affair with his best friend. When Bill found out, he said he packed her things and drove her back to her parents' home and left her; that he never heard from her again.
Isabel Hawkins told a different story, saying that Bill started performing in a rock band and met Dena in a night club. Bill soon learned that Dena had access to her own money and she helped Bill promote his singing career. It was Bill who began having the affair. When Rosa Bell learned about it she confronted Bill. He packed some of his clothes and moved in with Dena. Bill never took Rosa Bell back to her parents, Isabel explained, because she was raised in an orphanage and did not even know them.
In April of 1961, Buffalo Bill Hawkins was living in Graham, Texas, with Dena and her son. Bill said he worked at the Graham Flour Mill, as did his father, Otis Hawkins, who was raising his two youngest sons by himself. Maggie, Bill's mother, had passed away in 1956. J.G. Hawkins and his family would also move to Graham, Texas, to be close to their family around this time. Three of Bill and Dena's daughters were born between 1961 and 1964.
Bill held small jobs from 1950 to 1961—worked at a gas station, worked at a poultry plant, sold bibles door to door, worked at a concrete company driving a concrete truck, performed in a rock band, worked for a State Highway Department, where he said his supervisor, whom he hated, forced his crew to work indoors during nice weather and outdoors in severe weather, where Bill contracted a case of pneumonia and was forced to quit his job. Bill worked at the Graham Flour Mill from 1961 to 1964.
It was in the middle of 1963 when J.G. Hawkins and family moved from Graham to Romney, Texas, in order to become the pastor of The Church of God, Seventh Day. Bill Hawkins and family would follow him early in 1965, moving to Cross Plains, Texas.
On March 19, 1965, Bill leased property in Cross Plains for one year for the purpose of a used car lot. Bill also bought coin operated laundry businesses in Cross Plains and Rising Star. The money for these business ventures came from the sale of part of Dena's inheritance, her Tribal Indian Lands in Oklahoma.
During this period Bill also sold stainless steel cookware, set up a welding shop in the back of his house, and started running and raising coon hounds for sale.
In 1967, Bill sold his unsuccessful business ventures in Cross Plains and Rising Star and moved to Abilene, Texas, with his family and coon dogs. This move was not only prompted by the fact that Bill's businesses had failed, there was also an incident told about him being caught red-handed committing adultery with a married woman in that community.
Instead of Bill watching over his business interests in Cross Plains and Rising Star, he performed as a wrestler for a while, drove around as a passenger in the local police car, and became interested in law enforcement and other exciting adventures.
When Bill and family moved to Abilene, Texas, he was accepted by the police department and graduated from the Abilene Police Academy as a rookie on June 26, 1967. He obtained his Basic Certificate on December 20, 1968, from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Bill remained a Basic Patrolman for the entire nine years of his commission.
Bill and Dena would have their fourth daughter while living in Abilene, and Dena would also start working as a nurse to earn her own money. During this time, Bill took out personal loans without Dena's knowledge, bought two old, very small, trailer houses, and moved them to Lake Fort Phantom Hill just outside of Abilene. He rented one to a friend of his, and he moved his new girlfriend into the other one, a woman I knew, who worked on the same line that I did at Timex Corporation.
From the time that Buffalo Bill Hawkins was born in 1934 until the year 1967 when he joined the police department, he had held numerous jobs, but could not remain employed, and he started numerous businesses, which ultimately failed. He also had numerous affairs with numerous women—and nothing that happened during this entire span of time, to hear him tell it, was ever, never, any of his fault.
Excerpted from The House of Yahweh by Kay Hawkins Copyright © 2012 by Kay Hawkins. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One My Story Begins....................1
Chapter Two 1973-1974 Business Partners, 50-50....................11
Chapter Three 1975-1976 Life with Religion....................21
Chapter Four 1977 Trial, Exoneration, Marriage....................37
Chapter Five 1978 Sorrow upon Sorrow upon Sorrow....................47
Chapter Six 1979 The End of The Worldwide Church of God....................55
Chapter Seven 1980 Dedication of the Mobile Sanctuary....................63
Chapter Eight 1981 A House Divided....................67
Chapter Nine 1981-1983 Building the Structure in Abilene....................79
Chapter Ten My Son and The Yliyah School....................83
Chapter Eleven 1985-1991 The Book of Yahweh and The Trademark Battle....................87
Chapter Twelve 1984 -1990 The Beginning of The End And The Golden Age....................95
Chapter Thirteen 1990 A Curse Causeless Does Not Come....................105
Chapter Fourteen 1991 Jacob's Death, The New Sanctuary is Dedicated....................117
Chapter Fifteen 1992 Growth, Understanding, and Joy....................125
Chapter Sixteen 1992 Rumors, Paranoia, and Apprehension....................131
Chapter Seventeen 1993 The Great Depression....................137
Chapter Eighteen 1994 Drama, Divorce, Excommunication....................155
Chapter Nineteen 1995 Through 2011 Mental Recovery and The Real World....................173
Appendix One Genealogy The Fruit Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree....................183
Appendix Two J.G. and Buffalo Bill Hawkins 1963-1969....................187
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Kay Hawkins unveils the true identity of a man who many believe is the anointed one from Yahweh. In this book you will learn about a chilling man that is overcome with greed and the lust of many women all while building up one of the biggest doomsday cults in America. This book reveals the real truth. Thank you Kay for sharing your heartbreaking story. My peace and love be with you.
The "behind the scenes" insight Kay Hawkins has given with such candidness will aide in the healing process of many people who have been associated with The House of Yahweh. I would also recommend this book to educate others who may not understand how people who are level headed, with good intentions and seeking a righteous life could be manipulated, brainwashed and used.