House of Yahweh
Warning over influence of 'above the law' sect
November 14, 2008
A RELIGIOUS sect that is ignoring Victoria's gun and traffic laws is likely to attract fragile people and push them over the edge, a cult expert has warned.
Raphael Aron, the director of Cult Counselling Australia, said news the Kingdom of Yahweh was operating in Melbourne was a concern, especially if it was linked to the House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas.
Yisrayl Hawkins, the pastoral head of the House of Yahweh, has more than 20 children and four wives and is awaiting sentence after being found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Mr Aron was trying to establish whether there was a link but warned that such organisations attracted and damaged people from the fringe of society.
"It's difficult to know what these people believe in, but they do believe they are above the law," Mr Aron said.
He said such groups could attract fragile people, and mental illness and religion was a volatile mix that could "push people over the edge".
The Kingdom group came to light after it was discovered that members, from Melbourne's northern suburbs, were refusing to recognise road and firearms laws.
"They have a well developed and peculiar view as to the validity of law," Inspector Eoghan McDonald of Victoria Police said. "They usually come to the attention of police through unlicensed driving and unregistered vehicles."
He did not believe they were a danger to the public and said if they broke the law they would be charged.
The group seemed to be following the views of similar groups that had been around for years, he said.
The cult appears to follow the teachings of the Commonwealth of Caledonia Australis, a secessionist movement that refused to recognise the authority of Australia's governments.
In September 2006 a group of residents from the Gold Coast hinterland declared the Commonwealth of Caledonia Australis had its own driver licences, number plates, postal system and currency.
Cult expert Reverend David Millikan, of the Uniting Church, said it was more than likely they were a small Christian group who believed that God's laws were above the laws of the Government.
"They are out there being provocative because they are frustrated … they want to create the kingdom of God on earth," he said.
"These groups are like fleas on the body of society over the years; they have always been there.
"They will not be dangerous; they are out there. The ones you have to watch are the secretive ones."
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