Episode 113: Herbert Cousins – Yahweh Ben Yahweh, Temple of Fear

Retired agent Herbert Cousins, Jr. served in the FBI for nearly 22 years. He retired as the Special Agent in Charge of the Springfield Division in Illinois. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews his investigation of self-proclaimed black messiah and cult leader Hulon Mitchell Jr., also known as Yahweh Ben Yahweh, who led the Florida-based Nation of Yahweh Temple. The Nation of Yahweh was a religious cult founded on the teachings of black separatism and supremacy. On the instructions of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, members of the cult’s violent inner circle committed numerous murders of cult defectors and random racial killings of whites. Yahweh and several of his followers were charged and convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), with predicated violations of murder, attempted murder, arson, and extortion. During his Bureau career, Herbert Cousins specialized in counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal and security matters. After retiring from the FBI, he served for a period of time as the Inspector General for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the United States. Currently, Herbert Cousins is the owner of Cousins & Associate, an agency that provides private corporate security consulting, investigation, and litigation support on a national and international level.

Special Agent in Charge (Retired)

Herbert Cousins, Jr.

1/11/1982 – 7/1/2003










The following links are to a video of an FBI Files episode and newspaper articles about the Yahweh Temple of Love and its leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh:

The FBI Files (VIDEO): Season 3 – Ep 10 “Temple of Fear”

New York Times – 11/8/1990:  F.B.I. Arrests Members of Black Sect in 14 Slayings

Miami Herald – 11/8/1990:  Yahweh sect leader, 16 followers indicted, grand jury links group to 14 deaths

Miami Herald – 1/6/1996:  Murder in the temple of love?

FOX News – 5/8/2007:  ‘Temple of Love’ Black Supremacist Cult Leader Yahweh Ben Yahweh Dies at 71

Daily Mail – 1/28/2017:  Chilling images inside the ‘church’ of a murderous black supremacy cult

Photo of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, cult leader of the Yahweh Temple of Love










Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. carcan pascalApril 26, 2018

    Psychologically it must be very hard, investigating cases of this kind.

    1. Jerri WilliamsApril 27, 2018

      Herb Cousins was repeatedly threatened while working this case. He’s a brave man.


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