Response to the Nuwaubian Nation proves widely varied throughout their history. York’s followers were hailed by the New York mayor as a solution for drug and crime ridden areas in Brooklyn, and yet were dubbed the “Nuwaubian Nightmare”1 in articles years later describing the movements impact on the Putnam County community. In Brooklyn, the group practiced and propagated their beliefs without interference from authorities, though surveillance did begin during this time period.

Robert Peecher, a journalist who authored much of the Eatonton Messenger’s coverage of the Nuwaubian Nation

While perhaps ideologically separate from the majority of Brooklynites, the group fraternized with other religious movements and become a spiritual haven, if an isolated one, for citizens fed up with the drug and crime problems of the day. With their southward move, the group’s doctrine, development, and way of life brought forth a new host of reactions; attitudes of fear, confusion, frustration, humor, and even condescension are evident when highlighting local news coverage of the group. News sources such as The Eatonton Messenger and The Union-Recorder trace the Nuwaubian’s drastic geographic relocation, their efforts to develop their compound, the eventual arrest of leader Dwight York, and even their legacy through the eyes of the public, allowing contemporary an insider view on the ruling sentiments of the time.

1 “Nuwaubian Nightmare,” Washington Times, June 2, 2002.

“Robert Peecher.” Oct. 2002. (Accessed Dec. 3, 2018)