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Sect treated unfairly, lawyer contends

Attorney Ellis Rubin, representing Yahweh Ben Yahweh and the Temple of Love Inc., said his advice to his client was to decline an interview. The lawyer issued a statement on the sect leader's behalf:

"What if, years ago, a former member of your church or synagogue pleaded guilty to four vicious and brutal first-degree murders for which he plea-bargained out of the death penalty to a total of only 22 years in prison?

"What if, in an effort to reduce his time in prison further, this murderer is now trying to convince a federal grand jury to blame your priest, minister or rabbi for these crimes and others?

"And while all of this is going on, what if The Miami Herald decides to run a series of articles based on the murderer's stories and some from a few other disgruntled former members of your religion?

"This nightmare is actually happening to Yahweh Ben Yahweh.

"For several years now, this newspaper has targeted him with a series of negative, sensational and inflammatory stories resulting in adverse reactions in the community. Why The Herald assumes authority to conduct and publish their stories while federal authorities are investigating is anyone's guess.

"A few days ago, at their request, two reporters from The Herald appeared in my office seeking specific answers or comments to various questions and areas of 'the paper's concern.'

"After I pointed out several times that there has been an official notification from the U.S. Attorney's Office that there is a federal grand jury investigation of my client and others going on now, and that I preferred to let the grand jury complete its work before commenting on these matters, I expressed hope The Herald, in the spirit of fair play, would do the same. We have already filed with the presiding U.S. judge a motion calling for a complete investigation of who previously leaked details of that investigation to The Miami Herald, which, of course, printed them.

"My hopes and expectations were in vain."

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