|“||White people are the devil. They say the Nuwaubians are not racist – bullcrap! I am. He might not be; that’s his prerogative. I am. White people are devils — always was, always will be.||„|
|~ Dwight York|
According to a birth certificate issued in the United States, Dwight D. York was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Other sources give his birthplace as New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, or Takoradi, Ghana.
York says that he was raised in Massachusetts, and at the age of seven went to Aswan, Egypt, to learn about Islam. "My grandfather, As Sayyid Abdur Rahman Al Mahdi, the Imaam of the Ansaars in the Sudan until 1959 AD, upon looking into my eyes foretold that I was the one who would possess 'the light.'" He says he returned to the United States in 1957 at age 12 and continued to study Islam. As an adolescent, he moved with his family to Teaneck, New Jersey.
York began his ministry in the late 1960s. In 1967 he was preaching to the "Ansaaru Allah" (viz. African Americans) in Brooklyn, New York, during the period of the Black Power movement. He founded numerous orders under various names during the 1970s and 1980s. These were at first based on pseudo-Islamic themes and Judaism (Nubian Islamic Hebrews). Later he developed a theme derived from "Ancient Egypt," mixing ideas taken from black nationalism, cryptozoological and UFO religions, and popular conspiracy theory. He last called his group the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, or Nuwabians.
York changed his name legally in 1990 to "Issa al Haadi al Mahdi" when he was still living in Brooklyn. He changed it again in 1993 to "Malachi York," but also adopted a number of titles and pseudonyms, including "The Supreme Grand Master Dr. Malachi Z. York," "Nayya Malachizodoq-El," and "Chief Black Eagle."
By 1985 York had added miracle-performance to his repertoire. He claimed to materialize sacred, healing ash in front of his followers, much in the fashion of Sathya Sai Baba.
In 1988 York was convicted of obtaining a passport with a false birth certificate.
York and the Nuwaubians came under scrutiny in the early 1990s, after they built Tama-Re, an Egyptian-themed "city" for about a hundred of his followers, in rural Putnam County, Georgia. Before York's trial, the community had been joined directly and in the area by hundreds of other followers from out of state, while alienating both black and white local residents. The community was intensively investigated after numerous reports that York had molested numerous children of his followers.
He is currently imprisoned on a 135 year sentence on RICO and child molestation charges, in total he is convict of over a hundred counts of sexually molesting dozens of children, some as young as four years old.
As of 2020 Dwight York is serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, as Inmate # 17911–054. His projected release date is July 12, 2120.
York's followers have said that since 1999 York has been a Consul General of Monrovia, Liberia, under appointment from then-President Charles Taylor. They argue he should be given diplomatic immunity from prosecution and extradited as a persona non grata to Liberia. Officials have not accepted this claim.