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The Branch Davidians
Transcript of The Branch Davidians
The people of the cult prepared for the end of the world and believed that David Koresh was the Messiah. They thought they were a new kind of revolution.
After Koresh took control of the group, he annulled the marriages of his followers. He said that he was the only one who could be married. After this statement, several members left.
The former followers told authorities that Koresh would beat the children until they were bruised and bleeding.
Koresh said that the apocalypse would begin when the American army attacked Mount Carmel, their compound outside of Waco.
They buried a school bus to serve as a bunker and stockpiled food and ammunition.
David Koresh targeted people who were vulnerable. He mostly went for college students who were away from familiar territory. He recruited members from all over the world. He also encouraged members to live with him on his ranch outside of Waco, Texas.
Monday, May 15, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
(August 17, 1959 - April 19, 1993)
Allegations surfaced that Koresh was stockpiling illegal weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. After reports of automatic gunfire coming from the compound, the U.S Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms issued warrants for Koresh and senior cult members on firearms charges.
On Sunday, February 28 1993, ATF agents approached the site, hiding inside cattle trucks pulled by pick up trucks. Koresh and his cohorts began firing. 4 ATF agents were killed and 6 branch davidians died before a ceasefire. That night, Koresh gave a phone interview with CNN and made a broadcast with a local radio station. The FBI cut electricity, food and water. On April 19, 1993, tanks were sent and to drive the cult members out, they shot tear gas into the compound. David Koresh said he would rather die than go to prison. He decided to take all of his followers with him
The Branch Davidians
David Koresh was born in Houston, Texas.
His childhood was very difficult. He never knew who his father was and he was raised by his grandparents. Throughout his whole school career he was bullied because of his dyslexia, which caused him to drop out in grade 9. He joined his mother's church but soon got expelled for being a bad influence.
He was very passionate about the bible and by the age of 12, he had memorized large parts of it. In his late teen years, he traveled to Hollywood in a failed attempt to become a rock star. At the age of 22 he joined The Branch Davidians. By 1990, he had become the head of the cult.
The Branch Davidians descend from a schism in the Seventh day Adventist Church and was created in Texas. It began in the 1930's when Victor Houteff wrote a book saying the church has become lax. It began to fall apart after his death in 1955. Cult members left when Christ did not return as Victor's wife predicted.
A fire started inside the compound and lasted for 30 minutes.
76 members, including David Koresh, were burned along with the evidence of his crimes.
There were many speculations whether it was a suicide fire or if it was the FBI gas that started the fire.
Does This Group Meet The Characteristics of a Cult?
1. No ancient writing.
2. Thinks he his messiah.
3. Worshipers are fanatical and withdraw from mainstream society.
4. Total financial commitment from worshipers.
5. Beliefs center on the will of the leader.
6. Leader was insane. David Koresh was thought to be a psychopath.
7. Commonly uses members for physical gratification.
Is this group still a concern?
Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land. "We survivors of 1993 are looking for David and all those that died either in the shootout or in the fire," Doyle says. "We believe that God will resurrect this special group." Out on the grassy rise east of Waco where it all happened, there is a new Branch Davidian community that has risen from the ashes; they call themselves Branch, The Lord Our Righteousness.