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Take one part Native American culture, two parts Egyptian architecture and beliefs, and add a suicidal dash of the Heaven’s Gate cult. Put ‘em together and what’ve you got? The Yamassee Native American Nuwaubians. (Pronounce that anyway you’d like.) This group, currently located in rural Georgia but formerly of New York, is the latest in a series of cults with unorthodox beliefs regarding reincarnation, the Messiah, and their deliverance. Under the leadership of Dwight (aka Malachi Z.) York (aka Chief Black Eagle), an ex-convict from New York — or from the galaxy of Illyuwn, depending on whom you believe — the sect has built what they claim to be a utopia on their 476-acre compound, replete with 40-foot high Egyptian pyramids, a giant sphinx, statues of Egyptian royalty, and a labyrinth. York theorizes that in 2003, spaceships will descend from outer space and deliver 144,000 chosen people for a rebirth — the Nuwaubians included. Sheriff Howard Sills doesn’t think much of York’s or his changing his identity from “an extraterrestrial to a Christian pastor to an Indian leader.” Sills had to summon mediators from the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Dispute Resolution unit when he and his deputies were prevented from entering the group’s compound by armed guards during a rezoning dispute. Then Sills was sued by the cult for $5 million. We wonder what the heck Chief Whosis would do with the money. Do they take American Express on the Mother Ship? And why don’t UFOs ever visit NYC?

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