Prophet for profit?

Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins, self-styled prophet and religious entrepreneur runs an operation called the “House of Yahweh” (HOY) near Abilene, Texas.

ht_hawkins_prison_080606_mn.jpgRecently featured in a segment on ABC 20/20 and interviewed on CNN Nancy Grace, Hawkins held forth on the fate of the world, predicting with alleged Godly authority that June 12th was the beginning of “The End.”

That’s right, yesterday was supposedly a day of reckoning when a “nuclear baby” would be born and explode somewhere in the Middle East ushering in the “End of Time.”

But Hawkins (see photo above), who has a long history of failed predictions, bombed again.

The would-be prophet’s last doomsday date was set for September 12, 2006.

According to the bible prophets are only allowed one mistake, after that it’s time for stoning.

So how is it that a loser like Hawkins still has a following, which rather than throwing rocks, showers him with praise and money?

Diehard HOY members seem determined to stay with this guy no matter what happens.

Last year CultNews (Rick Ross) hosted a special for the A&E Network titled “Mind Control,” which included a hidden camera conversation with one of HOY’s top leaders.

Hawkins’ lieutenant insisted that a failed prophecy doesn’t really make a difference, it’s the intent that matters.

That is, if Hawkins is faithfully delivering the message God told him everything is OK, even if God somehow later decides to change His mind and let the world last a little longer.

So if Hawkins is wrong it’s God’s fault?

Who said that political campaigns were the only camps with spin machines, it appears modern-day prophets need spin too.

It was at this point that CultNews wondered just a bit cynically if old “Buffalo Bill” was playing his people for money.

After all, HOY has made the purported “cult leader” a multi-millionaire.

Hawkins controls a religious empire, largely accumulated real estate holdings, worth millions of dollars.

In fact, the 73-year old who started HOY more than twenty years ago seems more like a salesman than a soothsayer.

HOY is a burgeoning business that includes publishing, DVD and CD production, a cable show, ticket sales for feasts and festivals and even a grocery store.

Hawkins is also a landlord collecting rents from many of his followers.

John the Baptist may have wandered the desert destitute, but Mr. Hawkins has learned how prophets can turn a profit.

bilde.jpegPart of his prophetic pitch includes selling his compound as a safe haven that “Yahweh” (God) wants the faithful to migrate to before “The Last Days.” And so they come to become Hawkins’ tenants and virtually his captive consumers (see compound photo right).

Hawkins teaches that the outside world is contaminated, which includes its suspect food supply.

So the faithful buy HOY approved products at Buffalo Bill’s grocery store.

Did Jeremiah have a business plan?

It seems like everything at HOY has a price tag, not to mention frequent tithing.

That’s probably why Yisrayl Hawkins won’t be shedding his prophetic mantle any time soon.

After all, predicting the “The End” has worked out well for him.

The only fly in Hawkins’ proverbial anointing oil may be a few legal problems.

The HOY leader was busted for promoting bigamy and child labor violations.

His trial is set for September 15th, that’s if the world doesn’t end first.


only 1 comment untill now

  1. Thanx 4 the article, Rick Ross! You rock! I’ve watched A&E’s “Mind Control” recently and it is wonderful. You had pointed out many great points on how groups can have a ton of power using mind control. I thank you for the fact that you are the cult buster that kicks so much ass!

    In my opinion, I think that false prophets create false prophecies, false hopes and a false sense of security, in my opinion. I am still wondering what the hell is up with “church” leaders coming up with dates for the “End of the World” crap. To tell you truth, I think the End Times doctrine is pure unadulterated bullshit. no offense, though. People should enjoy life as they see fit. It’s all we have right now. Of course, when so-called leaders claim that (insert dates here) are the end of the world, their leaders would actually follow their word. You were right about the cognitive dissonance, Rick. What do you do when your leader makes a prophecy and it does not come true? It’s just craziness. People will find out that after countless attempts with the dates for the End of the World, it means nothing anymore. Nothing. Not one bit. I guess that people are either suicidal for the world to end. or is it just me. I don’t know.

    But anyways, keep kicking ass, Rick Ross. You’re doing great work.

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