In order to change the subject with all these Ancient Material, i would like to narrate you a story that i became familiar, with only a while back; the Waco Massacre.
Waco in its name, “waco” in its sense as well.
The Waco Massacre is the climax of an unfortunate turn of events that took place in Mount Carmel in Texas, USA. The ignition took place when David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell) (August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) became the leader of a Christian Cult former excommunicated by 7th Day Adventists called the Branch Davidians.
Koresh ascended to leadership when he established an affair with Lois Roden, the prophetess and leader of the sect who was then in her late sixties, eventually claiming that God had chosen him to father a child with her, who would be the Chosen One.
In February 27, 1993, the Waco Herald-Tribune started a series of articles titled the Sinful Messiah accusing Koresh that had physically abused children in the compound and had taken under-age brides, even raping one of them. Koresh was also said to advocate polygamy for himself, and declared himself married to several female residents of the small community.
According to the paper, Koresh declared that he was entitled to at least 140 wives, that he was entitled to claim any of the females in the group as his, that he had fathered at least a dozen children by the harem and that some of these mothers became brides as young as twelve or thirteen years old.
A video clip of an interview between Koresh and an Australian television station notes that he was accused of impregnating the aged widow of the founder of Branch Davidianism. He sarcastically said that if the charges were true, if he had
“made an 82 year-old woman pregnant… I do miracles, I’m God!”
In 1992, a UPS delivery driver alerted the local deputy sheriff that empty grenade casings had been delivered to Mount Carmel (this was and still is legal under federal law). The sheriff notified the ATF and requested their help. This led to an investigation of the Davidians that lasted several months, and ultimately resulted in allegations of weapons violations by the Davidians. In addition, former Davidians told the ATF that Koresh had taught his followers to be prepared for a government assault. The ATF began planning a raid, and search and arrest warrants were issued in early 1993.
The Waco Tribune-Herald pressured authorities to take action against the Davidians. Some Waco residents were wary of the growing number of people and weapons in the Mount Carmel complex. Rumors of child abuse, which a Child Protective Services investigation was unable to confirm, were floating around. The day before the raid by the ATF, the Waco Tribune-Herald criticized the law enforcement agencies for failing to take action.
Carol Moore, author of the 1994 “The Massacre Of The Branch Davidians—A Study Of Government Violations Of Rights, Excessive Force And Cover Up”, published by The Committee For Waco Justice, writes:
Rick Ross told the Houston Chronicle that Koresh is “your stock cult leader. They’re all the same. Meet one and you’ve met them all. They’re deeply disturbed, have a borderline personality and lack any type of conscience. No one willingly enters into a relationship like this. So you’re talking about deception and manipulation (by the leader), people being coached in ever so slight increments, pulled in deeper and deeper without knowing where it’s going or seeing the total picture.
Kimberly Post, a sociology student working on a class assignment for University of Virginia Professor Jeffrey K. Hadden, wrote in 1997:
Relying heavily on reports from a few former members of the Branch Davidians such as Marc Breault (who claimed to have stood armed guard despite being legally blind), and self-proclaimed “cult expert” Rick Ross, Aguilera’s affidavit delved into topics not under the jurisdiction of the BATF or part of the initial investigation into firearms violations, such as allegations of child abuse. His affidavit and the assumptions put forth by Breault and Ross decisively influenced the investigation and opinion of Koresh and his followers by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Attorney General Janet Reno, and President Clinton.
The ATF began surveillance from a house across the street from the center, but their cover was inadequate (the “college students” were in their 30s, not registered at the local schools, and they did not keep a schedule which would have fit any legitimate employment or classes), so it became an open secret that they were government agents. Likewise, the agent who infiltrated the Branch Davidians discovered that he had been identified when Koresh spoke to him about the assault force then assembling across the farm fields near Mount Carmel.
Holding evidence that the Davidians had violated federal law, the ATF obtained search and arrest warrants for Koresh and specific followers on weapons charges due to the many firearms they had accumulated, and they planned their raid for March 1, 1993. However, they moved it up a day in response to the start of the Waco Tribune-Herald series.
The Beggining of the End
Agents approached the site on Sunday morning, February 28, 1993, in cattle trailers pulled by pickup trucks owned by individual ATF agents. Any advantage of surprise was lost as reporters asked for directions from a USPS mail carrier who was one of the Branch Davidians, and the assault team assembled within view of the upper stories of the Mount Carmel main building.
The first shots during the raid are reported to have occurred at the double front entry doors; ATF agents stated that they heard shots coming from within the building, while Branch Davidian survivors claimed that the first shots came from the ATF agents outside.
During the raid, a Davidian, Wayne Martin, called 911 pleading for them to stop shooting. The resident asked for a ceasefire, and audiotapes clearly caught him saying “Here they come again!” and “That’s them shooting, that’s not us!”, though these claims are unsubstantiated.
After the ceasefire, the Davidians, who still had ample ammunition, allowed the dead and wounded to be removed and held their fire during the ATF retreat.
ATF agents established contact with Koresh and others inside the building after they withdrew. The FBI took command soon after, placing the FBI SAC of San Antonio, Jeff Jamar, in charge of the siege. The tactical team was headed by Richard Rogers, whose had previously been criticized for his actions at the Ruby Ridge incident.
For the next fifty-one days, communication with those inside was by telephone by various FBI negotiators (who reportedly were not always in touch with the tactical units surrounding the building). Outside the building, tracked vehicles pushed aside vehicles from parking areas and began circling the building. Loudspeakers were used to broadcast sound at the building to tire those inside.
The Davidians hung banners from high places in the building seeking outside help. Their only source of water was rain which was collected in buckets put outside windows. After eleven days, all power was cut off.
As the stand-off continued, Koresh negotiated more time, allegedly so he could write religious documents he said he needed to complete before he surrendered. His conversations, dense with biblical imagery, alienated the federal negotiators who treated the situation as a hostage crisis. The Davidians released videotapes to agents during the siege in which children sat by Koresh, asking among other things if the agents were going to come kill them.
The children’s willingness to stay with Koresh disturbed the negotiators who were unprepared to work around the Davidians’ religious zeal. However, as the siege went on, the children were aware that an earlier group of children who had left with some women were immediately separated, and the women arrested. This destroyed any faith that the children might have had in the FBI.
During the siege a number of scholars who study apocalypticism in religious groups attempted to persuade the Justice Department that the siege tactics being used by government agents would only create the impression within the Davidians that they were part of a Biblical End Times confrontation that had cosmic significance. Thus, would likely increase the chances of a violent and deadly outcome. (In a subsequent stand-off with the Montana Freemen, the Justice Department incorporated this advice to end the confrontation peacefully).
Many of Koresh’s statements about religion that baffled government negotiators were understood by religious scholars as references to his idiosyncratic interpretations of the Book of Revelation, and his claimed role in the End Times battle between good and evil.
A videotape made by the Davidians at the request of negotiators was supposed to be released to their families. The tapes were not released at the time and several years later survivors had to go to court to obtain the tape that they had made and of which they held the legal copyright.
Several mothers sent their children out of the complex following promises by the FBI that they would be placed with family members. Unrelated senior citizens who had gone with the children were arrested and the children were taken into state custody and then placed in a religious children’s home.
The mothers of these children voiced concern about them and the treatment they were receiving. In reply they received a video sent by the negotiators. The mothers were disturbed that their children were being fed things forbidden by their religious diet and (in their view harmfully) were being allowed to run wild with minimal supervision while watching television. This violation of the promises destroyed any possibility of further trust of the FBI, making the negotiators’ job all but impossible.
The then-newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved the recommendations of tne FBI to mount an assault after being told that conditions were deteriorating and children were being abused inside the compound. Because the Davidians were heavily armed, the FBI’s arms included .50 caliber guns and armored vehicles known as Combat engineering vehicles (CEVs). These vehicles had booms that were used to punch holes in the walls of buildings and then pump in CS gas to try to flush out the Davidians without harming them.
After more than six hours no Davidians had left the building, so one of the CEVs attempted to drive through the gymnasium to clear a pathway to the central part of the building, partially collapsing the gymnasium. A second CEV used its blade to open up the front doors, which the Davidians had blocked with a piano, to open up an exit for people who wanted to leave.
At around noon, three fires started almost simultaneously in different parts of the building. Even then, as the fire spread, few people came out. One woman jumped from a window, her back on fire, and was arrested by FBI agents after the flames were extinguished. Another second woman emerged but then went back into the building. An FBI agent ran after her into the burning building and dragged her out to ask her were the children were, but she refused to tell him.
Most of the Davidians remained inside as fire engulfed the building, with footage being broadcast worldwide by television. In all, 74 died. Jeff Jamar prohibited fire crews access to the burning buildings until after the blaze had burned itself out, due to the danger of explosives within the fire and possible weapons fire from surviving Davidians.
The events at the Branch Davidian property at Waco, Texas have engendered strong reactions among those following the case. Many people view the events at Waco as egregious violations of the civil rights of the Branch Davidians—an entirely inappropriate, illegal use of executive and judicial federal power. The opposing view is that the events constituted an appropriate take down of a child-molesting, radical cult that ran a drug laboratory and threatened local people with automatic weapons. Some facts validate each point of view, but many of the facts are disputed, and some evidence has been lost or destroyed.